Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Genre: Crime / Heist
Word: Avant Garde
Random action: Eavesdropping on a private conversation
Word count: 550
The plan wasn’t simple, but my part was. Mike planned for every contingency. Yet there I was in an Avant Garde gown that looked like a teapot atop a pile of laundry, with no idea what to do next. The show was starting and we should have been out of here by now. I was supposed to be a model handler backstage and switch out the jewels around Miattina Gomez’s neck with fakes. Done and done. But the hand off with Richard didn’t happen, he wasn’t there. I’d ditched the jewels in a small trash can just before the fashion show director found me. A model had dropped out and I was forced into a costume and put in a lineup of beautiful women waiting for a signal to go out on stage at the Hurty Museum Fashion Show. I overheard the girl in line behind me tell her friend this show cost 7 million dollars to put on. Panic set in when I saw the golden chandelier of the staging area. This is the most expensive looking building I’d ever seen, the art on the walls cost more than a mansion in a neighborhood I’d get arrested just for looking at. There was no way I could go out on that runway. But Mike’s number one rule came blaring to my ears, “Never act out of place. Fake it.”
I studied the models around me; they all looked bored. How do you pull off bored when you’re panicking? “You fake it.” Mike’s voice rang out, again. I put on my best bored face, and dropped a shoulder like the blonde in front of me.
“30 seconds girls.” The show director said down the increasingly long line of models. “First girl, now.” He said. No way that was 30 seconds. One girl went, then another, the lights of the runway became brighter and brighter as each girl went out, and I was inched forward. But not so bright I missed the two men in black suits tied up in a dark corner. The plan didn’t require disabling security? That’s when I saw two other figures in all black, attaching something large and heavy to wired carabiners.
“You’re next,” said the director, “go.” I was forced onto the catwalk. The lights made it impossible to see anything but where the runway ended. I did my best impression of a tv model. I shadowed my eyes just long enough to see that behind the crowd, hanging from the ceiling as the crowd stared at me, was Mike! He saw me see him and shrugged.
I turned around and walked away from my captain. I ran through the plan in my head, I was the stooge. The scapegoat. I would’ve been caught with the Miattina’s jewels and they would make off with the building priceless art.
“Good job temp.” The director said as I was unceremoniously undressed by assistants. “If you’re going to throw up there’s a trash bin over there.” He pointed to the small trash can where the jewels were stashed.
“Good call.” I said and after throwing my hoodie over me. Picked up the bin and walked out. No need going to the rendezvous point. Mike’s second rule, if you can’t trust your team you might as well be alone.