A short conversation between cellmates. Daily Flash Fiction winner.
|“Oh, man.” Jack paced back and forth, stopping midway each time to punch his left palm with his right fist, or to kick some invisible object out of the way.
“What's the problem?” Arnie wanted to know.
“This is bad. This is major hurt.”
“Details,” said Arnie. “A little enlightenment, please.”
“My wife will have a fit if she finds out where I am.”
“I don't doubt it. Mine probably will too.”
Jack stopped pacing. “Promise me something.”
“I might. It depends.”
“If you get out first, don't tell anyone you saw me.”
“Why would I? I just met you ten minutes ago. I doubt that we know any of the same people.”
Jack scowled and started pacing again. But when he reached the wall, he stopped and spoke without turning. “Just promise me.”
“Okay, yeah. Sure. Anything you say. And by the way, what are you in for?”
Jack didn't turn, but stared at his feet. “It's kind of embarrassing,” he muttered.
“Then don't tell me. Doesn't really matter. I'm not exactly proud of what I did, either. But I guess I got what I deserved, and that's that.”
Jack nodded in agreement and decided to get things off his chest. “I stole a kid's bike. Me. Thirty-two years old. Who does something like that. And can you believe it? Not only did somebody see me do it, but fifteen minutes later somebody else stole it from me while my back was turned.”
Arnie turned sharply toward Jack. “You stole that bike?”
“Yeah. Pretty stupid, huh?”
Arnie laughed. “I'll tell you what's stupid. I stole that bike from you.