Friday, June 26, 2015

Today's #flashfiction Sticky Fingers

“I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.”
Siri* #quote

CJ's coming over tomorrow so that's radically rad. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

Sticky Fingers

        “Calm down Barry,” I whispered under my breath. Oh, damn you know you're in trouble when you start talking to yourself. Why, why did it just have to be there? I'd been seeing a therapist for months to help me get over my compulsion. I stopped wearing my wizarding robes to discourage it. Robes made it easy to stash things. But when the museum’s security shut down, the thousands of invisible barriers melting away I couldn't help but grab it and put it the pocket of my leather pants. It happened as soon as smelt that familiar smell enchantments melting away, a mix of campfire smoke and fresh fruit. A familiar smell from when I broke protective barriers myself.
        But I didn't break these barriers myself. My therapist recommended I go to this museum so I could be around valuable things but be unable to steal them. Yet today someone lowered the magic protection, it must have been the Phantom Mages, thieves that stole magic relies from all around the world. Dangerous, devious, people with powerful magic. Despite knowing this my hand moved and grabbed the item in front of me without hesitation and I slipped into the crowd.
        Several of the Phantom Mages could be in the crowd, they could all be gone. More items than what I took vanished from the museum as the lights flickered when the magical barriers went down. The attack only lasted a few seconds but instinct for theft, something I thought I suppressed, moved in those moments without me stopping myself and in that short moment.
       And the worst part was what I stole. Museums are usually the most secure places in the world because when wizards want some dangerous magical thing removed from the world they put it in a museum to “preserve it” as an easily legal way to get it out of the public's hands. My pocket now contained the “Ral-Runin” an artifact that summoned natural disasters. My I pictured myself in prison for the rest of my life for stealing something so dangerous, or as a corpse for taking the Phantom Mages's potential loot from them if I tried to run.
       But I couldn't let it go. When I reached into my pocket to grab it I couldn't pull it out. It felt like a prize. Mine.
       “Come on Barry,” I whispered again. Officers started to enter the room. I instantly recognized the familiar green robes of the Magical Theft Investigations Office, the wizards who brought me to prison the first time. Just drop it next to the stand Barry. Drop the artifact next to stand. You can say you accidentally knocked it over when the lights went out. That'll explain your finger prints on the artifact. Just pull it out. Take it out of your pocket. You know it's not yours. You don't want it. You didn't want to grab it in the first place. So take it out. Take it out. Take it out!
         The officer's footsteps became louder. Time slowed down. The years in prison came back to mind. The years of therapy. The therapist's words of encouragement. The progress that crumbled down when I came here on her recommendation. It's her fault I grabbed it. No. It's my hand. My hand moved and grabbed it. And my hand won't move again to throw it back. It can't be this easy to fall. I can't run. If the officers don't get me the Phantom Mages will.
       I didn't need to steal. I didn't to steal. My breath started to quicken. Faster. Faster. My body turned light. My hand raised from my pocket with the artifact. I tossed it away with a hard flick of my wrist next to the display, cementing my explanation of knocking it over if they find my finger prints. My breath had yet to slow down and after a few more seconds I fainted right there.

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