Flash Fiction: Worth It

Two robberies, a purse-snatcher, and one giant robot. Not a bad night overall. Ash stripped off her costume, shaking out her curly black hair in front of the bathroom mirror.

A thick cut was now sticky over her left eyebrow. The skin over her right shoulder and collarbone was bright red, and would probably be purple tomorrow. She could barely close her right fingers. But the thieves were in police custody, found sleeping soundly at the scene, the purse-snatcher turned himself in after getting thoroughly beat by a diminutive teenager in spandex, and the robot was a smoking twist of metal outside the city borders.

Tomorrow she’d hide the bruises, stumble through a trigonometry test, lie to her teachers, and probably fall asleep in sixth period. Out all night, that tomorrow was a few hours away. She leaned over the sink at herself in the bathroom mirror. “Worth it,” She whispered to the glass.

Legal Theft: Illusions of Home

The ashen clouds began to clear, letting sunlight stream into the twisted wrecks. Nothing stirred therein, even the gulls wouldn’t approach the beached ships as the black metal skeletons stank of alien fire. Like the scavengers, he stayed hidden. Few could survive what happened, and even if they had, their pitiable straits weren’t his concern.

Coastal winds scattered the remaining haze quickly enough. With the sun starting to rust into late afternoon, he chanced revealing himself to the sky. One moment the cliff side was empty, covered only in wildflowers and low scrub, then it was occupied by a lone man. Young, narrow-shouldered, and in desperate need of a haircut, he frowned at the city still shining up the coast. A moment passed, and with it his thoughts on the city and its apparently lazy inhabitants.

He waved a hand dismissively into the empty air and a tall lighthouse joined him, appearing out of the air with the slightest glint of quickly extinguished motes. Unlike the destruction below, the lighthouse bore only by the ravages of wind, rain, and an irresponsible keeper.  Repairs were needed, and he’d long ago let the light burn out. Aside from keeping the place hidden from conquest and collateral, the young man didn’t chase illusions of home. He was capable of learning from some old mistakes.

He did shake his head at the wreckage below him. It’d been a valiant, if overly optimistic, stand. But now his view was an ugly jungle-gym of black metal, and her attention was piqued in his direction. Both were messes he had no interest in dealing with ever, and certainly not tonight.

Luckily, there was no one to cheerily goad him into action or sternly smile and insinuate he should. Thus, fortuitously alone, he was able to duck into the lighthouse and ignore the heavy feeling the twisted metal left on his mind.

Not a thief this week, but perhaps a willing victim? Who knows, these things are hard to predict. 

I am in fact a victim of a heinous heist. Check out Creatures, Critters and Crawlers and their piece Technical Difficulties. And The Gate in the Wood’s piece Charity.

Legal Theft: Pests and Proof

They claimed rats, she didn’t believe it for a moment.

Kira eyed the security camera tucked into the corner of the sterile walls. Its light didn’t blink at her, and the lens didn’t track as she tested it, swaying side to side. More importantly, no alarms blared through the corridor. They’d shut the cameras off.

Someone didn’t want tonight recorded. Kira smirked up at the disabled lens and shouldered the strap of her own camera, she wasn’t going to accommodate that.

For the first time in the research company’s history, someone had managed to stick Dovon Affiliated Medical with a viable lawsuit. An investigation was underway and the authorities would be present tomorrow to search for proof of the alleged unlawful trials. They wouldn’t find anything of course. By tomorrow morning, the “exterminators” would be gone and so would any proof of the lawsuits grounding.

She just needed pictures, a few files, something to keep it open and pressure Dovon to a settlement. Blue lock screens lit the cubicles of the upper level offices. Without worry of observation, Kira flitted between the terminals, running her fingers under the keyboards. Access cards were small and easily misplaced, lazy workers often slipped them close for convenience.

Her fingers found plastic.

The exterminators were already in the labs. Kira listened to them though the walls as she padded down the industrially cold stairwells. The night was young, she needed to find a lab they hadn’t scrubbed yet.

The stairwell didn’t stop on the ground floor continuing to wind down deep into the lower labs. Kira paused on the landing, looking out the glass doors into the facility parking lot. Her bike was there, tucked behind a hedge. There were people who would pay well for the access cards in her pocket. Easy money and a clear escape if she just left now.

Justice wasn’t something that happened to behemoths like Dovon Affiliated. Even with overwhelming evidence of illicit human trials, the medical giant would settle the suit and find someone to fire. Business would go on, the fiscal loss would be absorbed by Dovon’s patients. The board and their CEO probably wouldn’t feel a thing.

At most, she’d be a pest.

Kira’s lip twitched. Above her the exterminators did their work, but below she couldn’t hear a sound. The bottom labs were yet untouched. She checked her camera one more time and turned her back on the parking lot. A pest, thought Kira with another smile, as she plunged into the depths of the facility.

For this week I challenged my fellow thieves to include a rodent and/or pest problem. 

Creatures, Critters and Crawlers, rose to the task with Cat TV. 

White Walls

Her makeshift room only had two real walls, which she didn’t mind, as two presented problems enough. She leaned back on the simple twin bed and stared upwards at the glaringly bare space.

A screen of dark wood and sectioned paper divided her corner from the rest of the living room. The bed’s blue comforter, while rarely used, was a good color. Even her laptop, humming comfortingly on a pillow, possessed a border of tiny rhinestones around the logo. But the walls…

They were empty and she had nothing to fill them with.