Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Proper Profit (1028 words)

Though this piece does not have any significant speculative elements, it does have an air of fantasy and mystery to it. And it is adventurous, and well written, so I figured it was worth sharing. This piece is a good example of how props can been used for significant effect. Props that have a deep meaning attached to them can be vehicles for examining the characters. It is probably a technique I do not use often enough.

apprentice, never master

Elida knew every creak in the expansive apartments. She had watched Ness invent them eight months before when they moved in.

It had been pure entertainment, watching him on his hands and knees, teasing floorboards and stair railings and cupboard hinges into making their little noises. He tested them and he memorized the distinctions at the same time. Each was a little warning bell when anyone moved inside his apartment. When Elida stepped forward to help him, he gave her a look the equivalent of slapping her hands away, and laughed at himself after. He trusted her. But he trusted himself more.

So, she just watched him engineer squeaks and groans and creaks out of polished elegance. She hadn’t purposefully memorized them, too, but she liked the look on his face when she arrived in all her usual silence even while he rattled in the spaces he created.

Creeping down the stairs now, Elida had no need to see his…

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