Strange Encounter

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

A red haired woman, peeked out the window before she stepped out of the Italian Coffee & Pastries Carriage. She pushed her face against the window, leaving a smudge from pressing her oval-shaped face against it, then her breath fogged up the window. She stood watching as it began to sprinkle outside, gray clouds touching in closer. Then the sound of thunder screeched, similar to someone beating on a drum.

Just as the red head escaped out of the Italian Coffee & Pastries Carriage, a tall man, with broad shoulders, and long fingers, the length of fish sticks, dressed in black, with a hat and brief case in his hand, ran into her and shoved the woman down to the ground. The woman’s box of pastries landed on some guy’s head coming out the Italian Coffee & Pastries Carriage and coffee splashed all over her, leaving a stain the size of ink spots on her shirt. The woman took her left hand, which had a peculiar scar down the center of it and reached over to rub her right shoulder.

The man coming out the Coffee & Pastries Carriage in behind the red head had strawberry pastries rolling down the side of his face. The man took his hands and wiped the sticky mess off.

“Wonder where he was headed. Can I give you a hand?” The man asked.

“Why should I trust you?” The woman asked.

“I’m only trying to help,” the man said. The man walked away, and before his hand could touch the door handle of the coffee & pastries carriage—the woman asked a perfect good question, that deserved a yes or no answer.  

“Sir, have you by any chance seen my purse? I can’t seem to find it anywhere,” The woman said.

 “No! Are you sure you had it, when you came out the pastries carriage?” The man asked.

The woman’s face turned ten shades redder than her hair, she placed her hands over her eyes, shaking her head.

“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m positive, I had my purse when I left out the pastries carriage,” The woman replied.

“Perhaps you should retrace your steps then,” The man said.

“I assure you, there is no need for that,” The woman said.

“Why don’t I let you figure this out on your own?” The man replied, with no more suggestions to offer this woman.

“No! Can we start over? I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit rude. You see, I believe someone’s following me,” The woman said.

“Why do you say that?” The man asked.

“Fine, don’t believe me,” The woman began looking around outside, and came up with nothing.

“If what you say is true, I think we should go inside and talk,” The man suggested.

Both the man and red head went inside the Italian Coffee & Pastries Carriage and sat down.

“Nice and slow. Start from the beginning,” The man said.

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“So, I met this man with 7 wives, no kids, and no friends. He worked for a man, that worked for another man and then a bigger man,” The woman said.

“Go on. Wait, do you mind if I order something?” The man asked.

“Go right ahead,” The woman replied.

“Can I get you anything?” The man asked.

“Just coffee,” The woman said.

“Now continue,” The man said.

“One day I overheard the man talking to someone, about stolen jewels,” The woman said.

“Jewels?” The man yelled.

“Hush, my life is in danger. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you,” The woman said.

“I’m sorry, but when you mentioned jewels, I got a little nervous,” The man said.

“ So….” The woman said, while being interrupted.

“Sorry I need some coffee. My nerves are shot. Do you mind?” The man asked.

“My life is in danger. And you’re the one complaining about your nerves,” The woman became quite annoyed with the man.

“I promise, I’ll be right back,” The man said.

The man left and the woman sat there alone, so he could order more coffee. He came back to the woman and handed her a cup of coffee and placed his coffee down and left again.

“Now, I’m all ears,” The man said.

“Where was I? Yes, so the man didn’t know that I overheard him. So, I began searching throughout my apartment and found jewels hidden in my bookcase,” The woman said.

“ Bookcase, jewels. This is too much. What did you do with the jewels?” The man asked.

“I hid them,” The woman said.

“Where?” The man asked.

“Did you see that?” The woman asked.

“See what?” The man asked.

“I told you someone’s following me. What do I do?” The woman said.

“Wait right here. I’ll be back.” The man said.

When the man came back, he stretched and yawned.

“What’s the matter with you?” The woman asked.

The man’s eyelids began to blink—opening and closing shut. Head rocking back and forth.

“Nothing I’m, I’m,” The man said.

Thump… The man’s head hit the table, and not another word from him.

The woman looked around and moved to the other side of the table, and slid her hands into the man’s pockets and stole his goods. His money, credit cards, watch and wedding ring. Then she eased out the back door without ever being noticed.

 

 

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Walking down the hall, heading straight for her apartment, the red head pulled out her key to unlock her apartment door but kept watching over her shoulders. She locked the door and went into the kitchen. She emptied out the silverware drawer, throwing silverware everywhere. “Where is it? It was just here this morning,” She said.

Next, she went into her bedroom and reached into the top of the closet and pulled down something in a bag. There were rings, earrings, broaches, watches and money too. She looked into the mirror, as she tried on the jewels. Still not satisfied, and hungered for more.

Someone’s footsteps entered inside the woman’s apartment. Meanwhile she picked up a baseball bat and held it up to take a nice swing at whomever entered her apartment.

“Honey, I’m home,” A man said.

“Hi dear! I thought you would never make it home,” The woman said.

“How we do today?” A man said.

“Not bad.” The woman said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 likes 2 comments

22:55 Dec 10, 2019

Fascinating piece! The way it's written stimulates the mind.

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23:19 Dec 12, 2019

Thanks so much!

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