Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Race You For It (544 words)

Adam had turned coming home from work into a secret race. He was proud of it. Proud, like the first Greek athletes who competed in the Olympics on some faraway, olive-dotted mountain where  the actual overly-dramatic and often too-violent gods leaned down to watch and lit the playing fields with the gold light coming off their faces. Proud, like that first guy who looked at a peach basket and thought that it could serve a higher purpose than catering to fruits that were too lazy to shave, and invented the basketball court. Proud, like the first guy to figure out that if he added a score card, running around his backyard and hitting balls with sticks as hard as he could counted as a sport.

Adam was so proud, that he might have hung a banner across his front door to mark the finish line.

Except that it wouldn’t be a secret then.

And he would lose.

Adam unlocked his front door in a rush, shrugged out of his jacket and threw it onto the back of the couch as he moved toward the kitchen and his celebratory bowl of ice cream. He scooped it out of the container with a large spoon in two quick glops and threw the rest back in the freezer. Spinning to pick up his bowl, he strode back through the doorway and dropped onto the couch.

Adam pried his shoes off his feet with his toes, and picked up his remote with all the reverence due to such a grand prize. Clicking on the television, he set the remote in his lap, careful not to put it down.

After about half an hour, he heard Elliott’s key grumble in the lock, and the door squealed open. There was a thunk and a shuffle in the front hall, as his roommate sat to take off his shoes, and dropped his bag in its proper place in the corner. Then he wandered into the living room in socked feet, one hand wrapped lazily around his after work cup of coffee.

Elliott blinked at the television, halfway to taking his next sip. He held his cup in front of his face and his eyes narrowed over the rim.

“Gray’s Anatomy?” he asked. He looked back at Adam. “Again?”

Adam shrugged. He swallowed the ice cream on his tongue. “It’s the only thing on.”

Elliott made an ambivalent grunt in the back of his throat and took his sip.

“I think it’s getting to you, brother,” Adam said. He looked up at Elliott innocently.

Elliott looked back, curious, his eyebrows pulling together.

“How long did it take you to figure out what it was?” Adam said. “Like, half a second?”

Elliot’s eyebrows came down harder. “What? No.”

“Yeah. Like a quarter of a second,” Adam said. “Admit it, it’s getting to you. I bet you even know the cute guy’s name.”

“Who? Jackson?” Elliott asked.

Adam raised his eyebrows.

Elliott glared.

“I’m leaving,” Elliott said.

“You do that,” Adam told him.

Elliott turned his back to the television without any hesitation. Two long steps, and he was almost to the kitchen.

“Escape while you can!” Adam called after him. Then, he grinned into his bowl of ice cream, and settled in to watch.

I’m a thief! I stole the first line of this piece from my friend Bek, and proceeded to write this nonsense. Stop by her blog to see what sense it was originally intended to make. Then check out the rest of the thieves.

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