Total Eclipse

The dark is my friend. At night while the world sleeps, I come out to work – visiting the most affluent homes and liberating pieces of jewellery, mobile phones, iPods, iPads, and anything else I think I may be able to make money from. I don’t see it as wrong – I’m not physically harming the people I take from and they can claim the money back from the insurance companies who charge extortionate premiums. They are the real villains. Not me.

I have developed excellent night vision and I can spot an open window from the other end of an unlit street. Dressed in black, I have perfected the art of blending into shadows, slipping unseen and unheard into people’s houses. The dark is my friend.

Today is a new opportunity. A total eclipse of the sun. People are gathered in parks and town squares and on beaches. It’s a time of darkness in the middle of the day – a bonus for me.

I find a large group of office workers in one of the squares, chattering excitedly about what is to happen. They all wear special dark glasses to protect their eyes. I don’t need them. I won’t be looking at the sun. As the crowd oohs and aahs over the eclipse, I concentrate on slipping wallets out of pockets and dipping into handbags. When I have as much as I can carry, I leave.

But I’m curious. I can’t help raising my eyes to see what they’ve all been watching. It’s so beautiful – a perfect black circle with a perfect ring of light. I shouldn’t have looked. Even when almost completely blocked out, the sun’s light is too bright. My retinas burn, leaving me blind.

Unable to see, my job as a thief is over. The dark is no longer my friend.

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2 Responses to Total Eclipse

  1. Mayumi-H says:

    Such lovely irony, here.

    I like the narrator’s indifference to the crime itself; I think it’s likely more common among thieves than we’d guess. I also really like the way the narrator is unknown by name or even gender. It makes the character even more invisible.

    Very nice!

    • Sally-Jayne says:

      I remember once reading an interview with an armed robber, and he said his crime wasn’t as bad as breaking into houses, because the victim was a company not an individual. I obviously didn’t agree with him, but it’s something I’ve never forgotten.

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