Song Title Challenge #63: From Russia With Love by Matt Monro

It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.

Write a short piece of fiction, around 300 words, using the song title as your story title but don’t listen to the song.  You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me.  Remember to link back to this post so I can find yours.

If you would like to suggest a song title for a future post, you can do so from the challenge page.  You can also leave a suggestion on the Facebook page.

This week’s song is From Russia With Love by Matt Monro. It was suggested by a blogger who will no longer be named until he learns to behave himself. He who shall not be named again ignored my genre options, expecting me to write a Latvian Folk Tale. For a brief moment I entertained the idea and tried looking up a few Latvian folk tales online. However, folk tales are not a literary genre as such, but a cultural artefact originating in the oral traditions of a culture, and I’ve had exactly zero exposure to Latvian culture in my lifetime (I even had to consult an atlas to just know where Latvia is). I did compromise by working some Latvian aspects into my story (though I just know that won’t be good enough for the nameless one…good thing this is my blog).

From Russia With Love

The handwriting was Karina’s. Of that I had no doubt. The rest was a mystery.

From Russia with love

Except, the postcard wasn’t from Russia. The front showed the Saint Peter’s Church in Riga. I’d been confirmed in that church, baptised; my parents married there.

There was no stamp or postmark, only a bright red lipstick kiss – not something you’d typically include in a postcard to your brother.

Karina had always been secretive, constantly making up riddles and never giving a straight answer to a simple question. But this was cryptic even for her.

I slipped the postcard into my briefcase. I had to get to work. I stepped outside and headed for the Tube. I didn’t notice the black van parked three houses down until the door slid open and two men in ski-masks jumped out. Before I could even think to react I was lying tied and gagged on the metal floor of the van with a bag over my head.

After some time – I was too terrified to even try and figure out how long – the van stopped and I was dragged through what felt like an endless number of corridors before being pushed down in a chair. My bonds were cut and the gag and blindfold removed.

“Morning, Mr Celms,” said a man seated opposite me. “Can I offer you a cup of tea?”

“What the hell is going on? Where am I?”

“I apologise for the…unorthodox methods we used to get you here, but the situation is delicate and time is of the essence. My name is Carruthers. Welcome to MI6.”

“MI6? What situation?”

“Have you ever been to St. Petersburg, Mr Celms?”

“What? No. Why?”

“I’m afraid your sister is in a spot of trouble. We need your help.”

Copyright © 2014 Herman Kok

And yes, of course the song itself influenced today’s story. How could it not? I think this weekend will be a good time for a 007-marathon.

14 thoughts on “Song Title Challenge #63: From Russia With Love by Matt Monro

      1. I’ve had a few things going on in my life recently, so I haven’t been logging in nearly as often.

        BTW: don’t wait until the last minute to translate the newest song title. It can be translated but it will be kind of hard.

        And I have an idea…


      2. Ooh, yes! Who sings/performs it? That one is going into the queue 😀

        Why do I always assume it will be something bad? I don’t assume it will be bad, just stretching me to my limits and them some 😉


      1. I see – no, it wasn’t personal. With this story, I don’t know why, but the words just run from my mind like rain drops or whatever…seldomly had such a writing flow


      2. thanks a lot, I really appreciate that feedback 🙂

        and you made it really difficult to write something to “From Russia with Love” that doesn’t seem copied from your text


      3. The song is too well known to easily lead to a different interpretation. That’s why I enjoy it so much if I get a title to a song I’ve never heard before. It’s much easier to stretch my imagination around it.


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