Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sticky fingers

Do Some Damage have put up a challenge to write a piece of recession meets crime flash fiction. I've started a piece involving a woman reduced to shoplifting to help make ends meet. Then today I witnessed an old woman doing her bit to liberate some goods without payment. I'd popped into a newsagents in a small country town to buy a newspaper and pick up a birthday card. I also picked up a copy of Peter Temple's Truth, which I was delighted to come across. As I went pay an old, thin, smartly dressed woman, with long grey hair piled up in a bun on the top of her head, sidled to the front of the queue and pushed in in front of me to buy two magazines. Her first trick was to make a show of placing the 2.40 euro required in her right hand, turning it over to drop the coins into the cashier's palm but keeping hold of the two euro coin. The cashier went to drop the coins into the till and realised she'd been had. The old woman reluctantly passed over the missing coin. She then shuffled off to one-side to where she'd left her bag on the floor. As she bent over to put the magazines into her bag she grabbed a bag of crisps (chips) and dropped them into the bag, placing the magazines on top, then casually shuffled out of the shop. I glanced over at the cashier, who shrugged and totalled up how much I owed her. The front cover of Donna Moore's forthcoming Old Dogs springs to mind; except remove the shades and think country not city.

3 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob - That must have made for an interesting moment! Sounds like a terrific flash fiction idea, too. I hope you enjoy Truth.

Dorte H said...

Great post!

And thanks for posting about the flash challenge. I´ll probably join in though I am really too busy right now.

オテモヤン said...
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