There One Moment… Gone the Next

Submitted by Sydney Mari to Contest #18 in response to: Write a story about a very skilled pickpocket. ... view prompt

“Rita!” I scowl, grabbing my little sister’s arm which is elbow-deep in a fat lady’s purse. 

The lady looks down at Rita with disgust, “Get your little rat’s hand out of my purse.” she growls, and swats at my sister’s curly-brunette hair. 

“Yes, miss, sorry miss.” I apologize quickly, dragging Rita towards the busy pawn shop I deliver my goods to. 

“Ritalinda Montres Sanders! What in Hell do you think you’re doing? You’re going to get us caught and beheaded! Do you want to have no head?” I ask furiously, shaking my sister’s arm up and down to emphasize my point.

“I… I want my head!” Rita whines, her eyes becoming deep pools about to transform into a tsunami of a fit. 

“Why would you steal Rita? I do that, you don’t. It’s not a good job, but it’s the only thing I have to keep you safe and decently fed.” I say, poking her in her skinny stomach.

“I just wanted to help. You make it look… cool.” she wines, a fat drop of water rolls down her cheek. 

Cool, I scoff,  my little sister thinks that the worst job in the workforce is cool.

I kneel beside Rita and take her hand. “Oh, sis. Stealing is wrong, and I wish I didn’t have to be so good at it, but in the scarce world we live in today, It’s my only option. I wouldn’t do it unless I absolutely had to, to provide for you and baby Jake.”

I watch as Rita’s face transforms into a mix of sadness, and understanding at the mention of our baby brother. 

“But…” I whisper, hooking my finger gently under her chin and lift it up. “I am pretty good at it huh?”

Rita sweetly smiles and gives me an encouraging nod. I feel my eyebrows raise in question, to be answered by a sharp grin that replaces her gentle smile. 

“Oh fine, but you better stay right here Little Miss.”


After a quick nod from Rita, and making sure that she won’t wander off, I walk towards the crowd, shaking my hands in anticipation. No matter how wrong stealing is, and how much my morality hates doing it, my dark side pulses at the thought of it. I do love working with my hands, and what better way than to do it by taking what people don’t exactly need?

 Once my hands are properly warmed up and the muscles are loosened, I let my fingers glide about, into people’s pockets, purses, bags, you name it. Once my hands retrieve an item, they retreat back to my body and shove the good into the leather satchel at my side. No one glances at me more than once, my face a murky drink of de Ja Vu. None of them notice my fingers slyly inching across their belongings until I find what I want. 

I come across the same woman that yelled at Rita and see a large ruby ring on her plump fingers. I sneak up behind her, and as soon as she turns her head away from my direction, I quickly slide the ring off her finger, she doesn’t even feel the absence of the cool silver metal, proving my point about how these rich pigs won’t notice anything missing from their piles of treasure lying in their bags. 

I examine the ring between my fingers, “Rita’s gonna love this.”

I turn back towards the pawnshop where I left her at, only to see that there’s no little girl with chocolate-brown curls waiting for me.


You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

9 likes 5 comments

13:16 Dec 10, 2019

I really liked it! But the ending... I’m worrying about little Rita!

Reply

21:53 Dec 10, 2019

Thank you! Yeah, I'm worried about her too... perhaps she'll show up in another story...

Reply

18:29 Dec 18, 2019

Yes please!!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
21:23 Dec 09, 2019

I really love this story! Very heartfelt.

Reply

21:53 Dec 10, 2019

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply