Sticky Fingers by Kellie Scott-Reed

Flash Fiction, Heist

With your head turned away, I could smell your unwashed hair. Girls think they can get away with this. A little dry shampoo and voila! But it doesn’t work. You can smell the weed from the night before, you can smell the fear.  I put my hand over your mouth. “Sticky Fingers” they used to call me as a kid. Always taking what wasn’t mine. I grew up in the care of my Irish Catholic grandmother who spared no rod but ruined the child anyway. I would nick her pocket book when she passed out on the couch. A night of Bridge with her friends sent her to the sofa with a ‘headache’ and vodka, rocks. She would notice in the morning and I’d be beaten and dragged to the confession box to tell of my transgression. I knew that Jesus didn’t give a fuck what I did. I knew the first night after my parents dumped me with that banshee, and I went to bed with my stomach rumbling and my eyes swollen from crying. I was eight.

A priest once told me as we sat smoking a cigarette together on my grandmother’s front porch that every sin is essentially theft. We were sitting on the old glider. It groaned under his weight and didn’t move an inch. Enormous, he showed up to my grandmother on the weekends to administer her communion, when she was too decrepit to attend church. He would sometimes order a large pizza that he alone would consume while he visited.  He was one of the good ones. He wasn’t a diddler.

The way we must look from the view of the security camera, me pressed up against your body from behind. We could be dancing, or fucking. I grab your right hand with mine and lead it to the cash drawer in front of you.  I whisper, ‘all of it’ into your ear. You inhale sharply.  You crumple the cocaine dusted tender into your fist. You pass it into the purple Crown Royal bag I supplied. I used to carry tumbled rocks in them as a kid, then cigarettes and condoms, then my take. The bag is kind of my signature. I wished I could be easy on you, less of an asshole, but I know you’d kill me if given the chance. I press the barrel of the gun deeper into the small of your back. “Hurry”.

There isn’t a second in this odd embrace, we aren’t in tune. You know what my next move is, and the disgust with which you shove the money into my chest shows me what you know.  And while our time together is brief, you will recount it for decades. The memory of me will outlast lovers and childhood friends, even grandparents.  There will be mornings when you wake, and in that blissful lingering in the cloud of your dream, still see me walking past the height strip on my way out the door. 

Kellie Scott-Reed songwriter, writer and AEIC of Roi Faineant Press. In spite of her cheerful disposition, she is fascinated with the dark side of humanity, and most of her written work has threads of stories she has heard through family lore, and her own investigation into her shadowy side. Kellie has been published recently in Synchronized Chaos and Roi Faineant press. She has been a guest on the Arts Calling Podcast with Jaime Alejandro as well her work being read on the podcast Modus Operandi. Her songs can be found on iTunes and Spotify, under the band name Fivehead. The press can be located at