Rutger Galtiarii Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Rutger Galtiarii is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

mathers steamship cleveland ohio oct 2008
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

by Rutger Galtiarii

It was a black ship. A ship of mystery. It moved through the waters with the grace of a shadow and with the silence of a whisper.

No one knew from whence it came, or to where it was bound. It flew no flag and it had no allegiance. It carried in its hold a cargo of unknown type. And its crew would not speak.

A man stood on its upper deck. A solitary man. A man in a black fedora. He held a cigarette and its smoke trailed into the night.

He had travelled to many countries, had assumed many identities, and had engaged in many covert activities. He moved in the shadows, conducted his business behind closed doors, and knew the intimate affairs of the powerful.

No one knew his name and or that he even existed, except those with whom he was acquainted or those from whom he took orders. And he took orders from very few individuals.

He had boarded the ship in a faraway land, and now he was bound for an unknown destination.

The man in the black fedora and the black ship were an enigma, bound together in a dark mystery, in a noir of intrigue and secrecy. There would be no newspaper articles about their travels; no novels would be written about their exploits.

In a world of tumult and uncertainty, they went about their business like whispers in the night.

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