Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tough All Over

Harry B. Sanderford

What I'm talking about are people who genuinely believe they are struggling because the antique Persian rug they do their yoga on is made of wool and therefore is too scratchy. The economy being what it is, they fear they'll take a beating trading it on the silk one that will not chafe Mistress's knees. I'm talking about people with crab quiche on their breath and cars that never had a payment book or leaked important fluids on the driveway, looking me straight in the eye and telling me about hard times.

The gentleman of the manor has an insatiable penchant for fine art and times being what they are, now regularly calls upon my services. Telling me his story about the economy is his soft effort at driving a hard bargain. I just keep looking him in the eye as I help myself to a Cuban from his humidor, light it with the silver lighter next to it, and put the lighter in my pocket.

13 comments:

John Wiswell said...

Not hard to hate the rich, right? They're unhappy, so're the poor, so're the middle. We find ways...

Crybbe666 said...

So, that's where my lighter went?

Fine work, Harry..."and cars that never had a payment book..." I remember the days!!

Harry said...

John, I don't hate the rich. Well, I wouldn't just for being rich anyway. The narrator is a fictional art thief. I have met people who only look at things from their own selfish perspective.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Nice little number, Harry. I feel for the guy. At my house all he'd have is a disposable lighter to steal. Wait, no! I have a little Holstein cow lighter - you pull back on the horns and flames shoot out his cute pink nostrils!

Eric J. Krause said...

Good story! I wonder if the missing lighter will even be noticed...

Steve Green said...

Nice one Harry, let's get things into perspective eh? It's hard to take seriously a hard luck story from someone hanging out of the window of a Bentley, but some poor guy sleeping in the park....

Stephen said...

Hi Harry - like the fact that you're going for these really short stories. Very hard. I must admit I was a little confused about the relationship of the narrator to the owner of the house (sounded a bit like he was robbing his own employer - perhaps he was) and maybe a little too subtle about what was going on - I didn't pick up on the fact he was supposed to be an art thief. But I did like the fact that he had such a strong voice: the scene was well filtered through his perspective. It felt realist to the extent of gaining the first comment, above - job done.

theothersideofdeanna said...

My first thought after reading this was "Amen!", and then you told us the narrator is an art thief...hmmm, I still say Amen, but that little fact does make this more thought-provoking. We want to feel for him, at least empathize with him, but, well, he's a thief!

You packed an awful lot into such a short space, not easy to do. I admire those of you who can pull that off.

Harry said...

Thanks you guys. This one is a little under done. My thinking when I wrote it was that he deliberatley pockets the lighter in front of the "gentleman" to show who was in charge of negotiations. And Deanna, you're right, he's no hero either.

Stephen said...

I love the narrator's voice of this piece, Harry. It sounds noir, kind of like Mike Hammer. And while it's tough all over, this character sounds like he excretes "tough" from his pores. Good stuff.

L'Aussie said...

Not hard to miss the swagger of this piece Cowboy Harry. Tough and mean and true to himself.:)

Bukowski's Basement said...

"'m talking about people with crab quiche on their breath and cars that never had a payment book ..."

great line Harry!

juliorvarela.com said...

Hi, Harry, I am new to #fridayflash and the line about the crab quiche and cars with no payment book was spot on. I like how the character takes charge at the end.