Something small, easy to hide. These thoughts formed as he shaped a fist around a pack of bubble gum, and hid both in a pocket. Just that fast, he became a thief.
He liked books where bad guys got away. A block after his first crime, he found a bookstore and committed another. Again something small, a paperback, bendable. He thumbed through the first few pages, and headed for the cashier, book in hand, but tucked it under his shirt before he got there.
In a restaurant he refused the menu, but allowed the waitress to recite the specials. While waiting for the food, he thought about bubble gum and paperback books. His meal arrived, and he mixed things that were separate. He maneuvered a forkful to his mouth, wondered why it tasted different. He asked for the check, and slipped away before it got there.
He picked a park bench beneath a tree, and began to read, but just like with the food, his taste in literature had also changed. After a chapter he backtracked to the convenience store: “I forgot to pay for this gum.”
He went to the restaurant: “It was an accident, my apologies.”
At the bookstore: “I just walked right out, never paid.”
He hurried back to the park bench to start again from the beginning, but soon realized he still did not like the book. So he looked at his feet.
At a shoe store, he found a pair he liked and asked for his size. After a few minutes, he handed the box back to the clerk: “No thanks,” he said. “These aren’t for me.” He left in a hurry and smiled when the clerk called after him. He walked faster and thought about bad guys who always got away.
Foster Trecost writes stories that are mostly made up. They tend to follow his attention span: sometimes short, and sometimes very short. He lives in New Orleans.