Who Knew?

We knew them as John and Mary.

They were our friends and neighbors for five years. They came to our parties and our daughter’s graduation.

We watched their son play football, and we watched as John moved up the ladder at the research facility where he and I worked.

Yesterday, we watched as FBI agents led them away in handcuffs.

It seems they stepped right out of a LaCarre novel and into our kitchen. Under a blanket of normalcy, they shared our boring suburban lives and our national secrets with their Russian controller.

Huh. Who knew? Spies really do exist.

Back Story:

While the above is a fictional account, it was inspired by a very current new event.

After years of investigation and surveillance, on Sunday June 27, FBI agents arrested several people and charged them with being deep cover Russian spies in an operation that reached from Boston to Seattle. News reports read like the epilogue from a LaCarre thriller.  To read more, go here.

This was written for this week's prompt of "blanket" on Velvet Verbosity's 100-Word Challenge.  For more, click this to visit the 100-Word Challenge, graciously hosted by LouCeel.


  1. It seems as though they may not have been the most efficient of spies rings - but they were capitalists, nonetheless. I've seen reports regarding their expense accounts.

  2. spies rings? I better start proofing better.

  3. I like your use of the word. Amazing that this is probably someone's experience of them.

  4. Lou: The whole story is so bizarre, so "Hollywood," so Michael Caine. Capitalists for sure, they lived pretty darned well. The way the report of their expenses was written, it sounded like a monthly report. That NJ couple paid $8500 for rent??? Yikes.

    Well, like 28-year-old glamour girl spy Anna Chapman said on her Facebook page (and how western is that?): "if you can dream, you can become it."

  5. Jennifer; Indeed. My favorite quote from a neighbor was: "They couldn’t have been spies. Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”

  6. i wont lie...you had me for a second there...as i was familiar with the news story...lol. crazy stuff..

  7. Interesting story and great writing! I'm surprised by all the uses of the prompt as I scrounged and scrounged for something that didn't actually have a blanket in it :) Great job!

  8. Nicely done! Gives the news story nice 'first person' feel about it.

  9. Fascinating stuff and you added a layer that head me going as I read it. Well-done!


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