Steal Tomorrow Extra: A Birthday Present


AUTHOR'S NOTE: This flash fiction piece about Danny (one of the twins) was written for Three Word Wednesday and it contains no spoilers. Be sure to drop by Three Word Wednesday for more fun.

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Danny stood in the shadows and watched the scene below. The pandemic-ravaged city was surreal even without the Thespians, but the kids who lived at the theater and went about in costumes trumped even the oddest of the survivors. Today, Danny eyed them with particular concern. The Thespian forage team, clad in pirate costumes, had converged on the half-looted shop Danny staked out the day before, and there were too many take on alone.

Exasperated, Danny climbed down from his perch on the questionable fire escape. As he made his descent, he pondered his options. What do you get for the girl who means everything to you when the city is a wreck and some crazy gang of misfits beat you to the goods?

On the filthy streets, a few teens had set up makeshift vending stalls to sell what they could scavenge, but although food and liquor would be welcome, they were too practical for a birthday present. Silk scarves and perfume were romantic, but not Danica's style. He needed something different, something special, and if at all possible, something he could steal.

Without realizing how it happened, he found himself in a part of the city he hadn't ventured to since the pandemic. He looked around with narrowed eyes. Between his martial arts training and the knife and Glock on his belt, he wasn't concerned about being jumped by a stranger, but if he was on some jealous gang's turf, some group of paranoid freaks like the Christian Soldiers, who would just as soon kill you as look at you...

Something odd caught his eye: a tattered canopy hung with ribbons and chains of broken glass that clattered a merry chant in the afternoon breeze. Danny went closer and peered at the hand-lettered sign: "May's Creations." A real store? In this wreck of a world? Fascinated, Danny stepped inside.

In the dim light that filtered through the windows, he saw long glass cases full of glittering objects. More items sat perched on shelves or dangled on colorful ribbons from the ceiling. Scented candles provided light deeper inside, and a slim Asian girl with painted face and her hair in an odd configuration of looped braids and ponytails came to one of the display cases. "Can I help you find anything in particular? I make everything myself."

Danny examined the items more closely - pendants, earrings, charm bracelets, and spangled items of all description, made from what looked like...

"I use the broken glass and plastic I find in the street."

"I see." Danica wasn't much of a jewelry type, but something as unique at this might be right up her alley. He pointed to one that seemed like her style. "How much?"

The girl named a price and Danny frowned. It would be easier to come back later and steal something, but as he looked around again he had second thoughts. There were kids out there who were pretty enterprising, but not like this. May had gone to a lot of work to make all these things and set up shop. Besides, how fair was it to give the love of his life a stolen birthday present? "Do you do gift wrap?"

May grinned. "I decorate the wrapping paper with my own designs."

"It's a deal, then."

He would probably come back later to steal a few more, if Danica really liked May's "creations," but for today, he'd play things straight. After all, nothing was too good for the girl you loved.

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7 comments:

Fear Not the Darkness but What lies Within said...

lovely story I love well writen science fiction.

Lilibeth said...

From the ashes...brightly colored enterprise. Appealing. Also appealing that he doesn't steal his girl's birthday present.

Alice Audrey said...

So that's how he came to know May. A nice little addition to the book.

ThomG said...

there's a sweetness to this, amid the chaos. I like the way you did that.

ms pie said...

even in the chaos jewelry is important just as much as love... haven't been by in awhile but love that the story goes on... and just as good as ever....

Dee Martin said...

May is one of my favorite characters. Even in the middle of a horrible situation, creativity and beauty are found:)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Aww, there's more to Danny yet. Glad to see this side of him emerge. There might be a sweet kid in there yet.