“Harry the Magnificent” the sign read.
“You’ll be amazed by his magic fingers” it added.
“Oh, please,” I thought. “I’ve never been amazed by any carnival magician.”
The act was boring, bland. Harry’s claims, however, were spot on.
I was amazed to discover my wallet and watch were both missing.
Susan Gale Wickes lives in Indiana. You can find her on Twitter at @SusanGaleWickes.
The new guard was familiar with most of the devices the curator showed him. He was experienced. He had worked, with the utmost discretion, at some of the highest security vaults and museums on the continent.
The only difference? Here they were all on the other side of the glass.
Daniel Galef collects those little metal clips they give you at the door.
I didn’t get the warmest of welcomes when I started at the new branch. In fact, it was downright chilly!
Months passed before I discovered that Frank, my best work buddy and inveterate office joker, had phoned ahead to warn my new colleagues about my kleptomania and willful fire-raising tendencies.
Bill lives in Aberdeen, Scotland. He once flew in a UFO but was sworn to secrecy by the Men in Black.
We lock eyes at the supermarket exit: White kid; nineteen, maybe twenty; camo and boots in this heat.
I look for the AR-15 but all he carries is a box of Twinkies.
Someone yells, “Hey!” but the kid is fast, already on his moped. Gone, Twinkies crushed between his knees.
Susan Rukeyser loves America but has concerns. She wrote a novel, Not On Fire, Only Dying (Twisted Road Publications, 2015). Find more at her website, susanrukeyser.com.
I thought it’d be an easy stab ‘n grab, but the old man didn’t flinch when I pointed the knife at his chest. Instead he grabbed the handle and thrust the blade between his ribs, past the lungs, to where his heart should have been.
He laughed and walked away.
Francisco Tutella’s fiction and poetry reflect his experiences growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania and his travels in Italy. His work has appeared in 50-Word Stories and Wilkes magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and teaches composition and literature in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“This looks too easy,” he thought as he descended to the display on a rope.
It was easy. The glass lid had no trigger. There were no laser trip wires, not even a lock.
He snatched the gem, ascended to the window, and escaped.
Too bad it was a fake.
Sean Quigley also goes by “Posh Platypus.” Follow him on Twitter: @PoshPlatypus.
My son told me his purple stuffed worm was alive. “I caught it sneaking out last night.”
“Where was it going?” I asked.
“To eat some tomatoes.”
I laughed, kissed him goodnight, and took my flashlight out to the garden.
Sure enough, I caught that sneaky tomato thief around midnight.
This story was based on a title suggested by @TheMoatman.
“Can you help me?”
“Sure miss. With what?”
“Oh, you’re so kind. You can put all of the money from the cash register into this bag.”
“I’m sorry, miss, but I can’t do that.”
“Because that bag isn’t big enough. Here, let me get you a bigger one.”
JP originally submitted this story for the Mere 50 Words contest, and also wrote this story.
He appeared out of the shadows. “Money,” he demanded, his knife cutting down the need for explanatory conversation.
Panicking, I explained I had no job, no life, and definitely no money. He apologised for bothering me and left.
I punched the air happily. The air took it like a man.
This week’s guest story comes from Jamie Middleton. He declined to attach a tagline or description of himself, which leads me to believe that he is either celebrity, a secret agent, or both. Rock on, Jamie!