I write flash fiction, non-fiction, essays and novels. This month’s Tease is from a novel in progress.
Facing down Main Street (hell, the only street) in this tiny, unlikely town on the edge of humanity, wedged between the green, cut banks of spruce and the green, icy waters of Lacy Cove, the tallest building he could see wasn’t even a building. It was a ship. And that ship, the Balkan Jewel, Jewel of the Inland Passage, carried in its massive hull many more jewels. The ice in Alaska didn’t always form in hidden coves with shaded saltwater or even in cascading tumbles over glacial valleys. Sometimes it came by courier or personal shopper, duty-free and pear cut. Diamonds.
He had shadowed the little, silver-haired group and their guide for days, learning all their turns, noting how each little case was unlocked, counted and locked again. In the end, it wouldn’t be difficult at all. He knew the odd, idiosyncratic twitches of two dozen elderly, rich couples. A pat to the breast pocket, a tap of the purse. They relentlessly invaded each tourist town, guided by their “expert” purchaser – buying, trading, getting a deal. But, the investment was his. Their money, his treasure, they just didn’t understand the arrangement, yet. And when the time came, he would sweep in without mercy, harvesting the contents of pockets and satchels like fresh eggs in an unguarded hen house. In the morning, when the squawking and clucking began, the victims and their cruise ship would be two hundred miles away. One more day and they wouldn’t even be in the same country. His plan was as perfect as the stones that would soon rest in his gloved hand.