A con-man cons some rich thieves
|Prompt for 8/8/2017 "Daily Flash Fiction Challenge" use the words Gold, Stairs, and Late in a flash fiction of 300 words or less. must contain a setting, character, conflict, and resolution. Word-count excluding this note and picture and formatting, exactly 300.
The bells of the Chamberlin clock tower rang out the hour, the final soulful tenor of its bourdon confirmed I was an hour late. But what of it, where are they going to go, How pathetic their likes standing under the stony glare of Beethoven, Virgil, Michelangelo, Plato, Shakespeare, Newton, Watt, Faraday, and Darwin. I strolled down the stairs and up the walkway like any other tenured professor.
“Do you have it with you?”
I held out the leather-bound cylinder, “If the gold is in that briefcase, yes. If not, I will bid you a good evening, and be on my way.” The younger man gave the case a slight shake, and the ring of coin broke the silence.
“We cannot make the exchange here in the open.”
“Why not? Is this your man? It doesn’t take more than a second-year undergrad to authenticate The Starry Night.”
“Just hand it over,” said the older man. And he pushed his hand deeper into his pocket poking it in my direction. “We didn’t come here to be robbed.”
“Neither did I.” my hand slid out from beneath my robe, so my Colt was easy to see. “Case on the ground! Then, I give you the painting. You walk away.”
“How do we know….”
“That we can trust each other? Why, Mr. Barbie, I know where you live, and a tenured professor isn't hard to find.”
We made the exchange. I walked down the court, stopped beside the gatehouse, took off the robe, and tossed it in the dustbin. In my car, I opened the case and counted the gold. “I wonder how many more Starry Nights, I can sell. How ironic that they don’t understand that someone capable of fooling a museum expert, can fool them too."