Friday Fiction is waking up from a very long nap and checking to see if there are any interested writers looking to share their short fiction. ^_^
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FRIDAY FICTION : Awkward Thief
Simone froze when the masked figure straightened to his full height. “Well, this is awkward,” she muttered.
Fenwick was not supposed to be here.
No, really. He wasn’t supposed to be in Haddock’s Custom Jewelry at four past midnight, stuffing the contents of the left-side glass case into a frilly pillowcase.
Not Fenwick. Not straight-A, I-will-be-a-detective-just-like-my-father Fenwick. Not the one who had managed to single-handedly apprehend the notorious Comet Chaser gang.
He sneered at her and went back to shaking the velvet holders into his loot bag. “Don’t just stand there,” he growled. “Come and help, if you’re only going to gawk.”
“W-what are you doing here?” Simone hissed. She stepped fully into the main room, casting a cautious glance at the ceiling for the surveillance cameras that were supposed to be there.
“A child could make the proper deduction.” Fenwick spun the pillowcase in a quick twirl, pulling out a zip tie from his sleeve and tying it shut. He produced another pillowcase from one trouser pocket and started in on the second case.
“Stealing is—is,” Simone faltered. She inched around him, choosing the case at the far end—the one she’d been aiming for originally. It held a lovely, custom diamond-sapphire collar necklace, complete with matching accessories. Her client was paying her an arm and two legs for the bit of sparkling finery and it was enough to pay the rent on her studio apartment for a year, with utilities.
“Couldn’t find your own jewelry store?”
“The same to you!” she threw back, threading the loot bag over her left arm by the straps. The case was still monitored and she couldn’t help sneaking a glance over one shoulder to see how Fenwick had managed to bypass that. She nearly choked when she realized that he hadn’t even taken that into account.
Not that she was about to tell him.
No way, no how.
Hunching over the case, she cupped her hands over the glass, directly above the necklace in question. Sucking in a deep breath, she breathed out, wincing as the glass warmed to barely tolerable proportions and then faded. A neat, melted hole was the desired result and she used the paperclip hook from her sleeve to scoop up the necklace and the velvet holder with the matching pieces.
“So that’s how you did it,” Fenwick said, from right by her elbow.
The necklace fell to the floor and Simone’s reflexes kicked in. She drove one elbow into his stomach, stomping back with one foot, aiming for his instep and then whirling around with a follow-up kick. He dodged the elbow and that put him out of distance for the foot-stomp, but he hadn’t expected the kick and it caught him squarely in the jaw.
He swore roundly for a good minute—after he staggered back, then swung wildly.
She ducked, dropping to the floor and rolling after the necklace she’d dropped. The earrings had scattered, but the bracelet and necklace were still intact. She shoved them into the loot bag and pulled the drawstrings closed. He was almost on her then, but she rolled away, leaving the earring behind.
The determined gleam in his eyes said that she wouldn’t be getting out of there scot-free tonight. Experience taught her that taking a cut in the reward to compensate for the missing earrings was a perfectly acceptable price to pay for her freedom. She popped up to her feet and bolted for the outside hall.
She heard him curse some more and stumble after her, but her ears were ringing with the faint vibrations that hinted of change invisible to the eye. She read the signs a few seconds too late and came skidding out into the front windows to see the flashing lights and raised guns. Her heart stuttered a beat and she froze when the lights focused on her.
Fenwick came dashing around the corner as she raised a trembling arm to her mouth. “Don’t move!” He bellowed. “You’ll-”
She breathed out, eyes closed.
The flames washed over her with familiar, fierce warmth, protective in their nature and vicious in their temperament. She didn’t use this trick often, because it gave too much away—but she wanted to live tonight, thank you very much. Spinning on her heel, she darted back towards the hall where she’d just come from.
Fenwick gulped and moved to block her way.
“Don’t,” she mouthed, before she shoved him out of the way.
His screech of pain drew no sympathy. She ran through the main room and aimed straight for the wall. Willing her flames to burn high and bright, she slammed into the sturdy structure. It buckled as she pushed against it, then groaned as it gave way beneath her persistence. Cool air rushed around her as she fell forward into the back alley.
Running feet could be heard scuffling and scrambling to reach her position. She ran forward and launched herself over the metal fence and out onto the sidewalk. Her flames turned off, affording her some degree of invisibility in the barely lit street.
(c) Sara Harricharan
A/N: This was a prompt from Max Kirin's Tumblr for writers. I could not resist writing this little snippet and I love the way it turned out, so I'm sharing it. I'm a bit rusty on quick fiction (have been slaving over longer pieces, lol), but thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. ^_^