“Looks like t’mail’s come,” Private O’Boyle said. He leaned over the M-2’s exposed, greasy innards and smiled at his friend.
Pfc. Flanagan grinned back. The two watched a soldier unloading a canvas bag.
“Betcha got one from Mary,” O’Boyle teased. He dodged Flanagan’s kick.
“Oh; aye? And what of you, Joseph O’Boyle?”
O’Boyle pretended sudden concentration in securing a bolt. A smudge of grease almost worked to hide his half-smile.
“Aha!” Flanagan said, “I knew it.”
“You’re not foolin’ anyone! You’ve had more Sugar Reports from Miss Josephine Callahan that the rest of the unit put together!”
Written with a few ancestral names for this week’s prompt from Carrot Ranch:
February 13, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes a sugar report. Use its original meaning of a letter from a sweetheart to a soldier, or invent a new use for it. Go where the prompt leads!
Respond by February 18, 2020. Use the comment section to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments. If you want to be published in the weekly collection, please use the form. Rules & Guidelines.
©2020 Chelsea Owens
Photo Credit: Pixabay
When it comes to fantasy storytelling, Charles Yallowitz is your man. From why only some vampires can (and should) reproduce to the proper way of knowing the best mapper shop in town, he’s the expert.
He recently dragged one of the best spies from his Legends of Windemere series out to ask him for 7 Tips to Being an Effective Spymaster. The post is as follows:
(From a Yahoo image search)
So, I’ve asked Kai Stavros from War of Nytefall: Rivalry to give some tips on being a spymaster. He doesn’t really want to share his secrets or be out in public, so he gave me a list. It was written into my car with a warning that I should never ask him to do anything like this again. Here we go:
- Never do public appearances unless they are on your terms . . . Just going to voice a complaint right away, huh? You know, I could have asked another of my spy characters to do this. Well, I don’t have any, but I know a few who would willing to make stuff up.
- Always double-check your information. (That makes sense.) Torture is a good way to confirm . . . Really!? This is what I get for asking a vampire how this goes. In his defense, vampires regeneration, so what would be a fatal wound for a mortal isn’t a big deal for them. Still, there could be kids reading this, Stavros.
- Maintains some friendships with your coworkers, but remain distant. You don’t want to get attached to those you might have to sacrifice for the sake of a mission. The exceptions are your masters or employers depending on your personal employment position. (That was bizarrely bureaucratic.)
- Never fall in love because that will inevitably be used against you. If not your lover then children, so celibacy is a good idea as well. (I know of one famous spy who would really disagree on that last one. Why doesn’t that guy have kids on every continent?)
- When sending messages, you must write in code to protect your secrets. It is best to have multiple code systems and randomly cycle through them. Only one person should know the locations of the scrolls needed to decipher them. It helps to put two spells on the messages as well. One is to share the information with your employer if you and the translator are dead. The other is to curse or kill anyone who manages to get even one word correct. (Wow. That’s actually a good one.)
- Never agree to appear on a blog to share secrets. It doesn’t matter how much the author pathetically begs. (And we’re back to the sass.)
- Uh . . . This one is in code and I don’t want to risk anything. I mean, he did give me a warning in #5. Oh, it’s just messy penmanship since I guess he was in a rush to get out of here. The tip is: Don’t bring attention to yourself, but don’t try to hide from society. You need to find something in the middle because blending in and understanding human nature are essential tools of the trade. (I think that was cursed . . . No, just the Taco Bell I ate, which is basically the same thing.)
See? Spies can be handy -you know, when they’re not stabbing you in the back or whatnot.
Be sure to check out Charles’ books for more adventures. He writes unique stories where vampires are the main characters, and not because they sparkle.