This post was written in response to Charli Mills Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch
October 7, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a thief or a theft. Consider motives and repercussions. Is the act a matter of perception? Is it a daring maneuver or a desperate bid for survival? Think about different instances of stealing. Respond by October 13, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
The Dress Thief
Cristina held her father’s wasted hand as he limped along, head bent and soul shattered.
He glimpsed at a woman across the street, squeezed his eyelids to hold back the tears, and pulled his daughter’s hand firmly.
‘Don’t look,’ he pleaded, but the child hurled his hand, jumped on the woman, scratched her face and spit, ‘Thief!’
Cristina tore the buttons of her dress like a wild cat. ‘It was my mother’s!’
‘She doesn’t need it in the graveyard!’
‘Take it off!’
‘Your family left when the soldiers came!’
‘We’re back now and it’s mine!’
‘Nothing is yours anymore!’
My mother once told me about a similar event happening when she was a child in post civil-war Spain. The dress symbolizes the loss of her mother, her family and the life she led. The members of Cristina’s family who survived were robbed of their possessions, family, childhood, dreams, and self-respect.
Sometimes theft is considered acceptable, or even sanctioned, and thieves can steal a lot more than objects.
Would you like to read some of the other responses to this weeks’ prompt? Here they are.