A. Catherine Noon here, wishing you a very happy St. Patrick’s Day! Do you have the luck o’ the Irish? Why not find out, and enter the Grand Prize drawing for a $100 USD Amazon gift card? Or the prize drawing to win something from me or my fellow participating authors? You’ll be glad you did.
As I was preparing for the party, I made a list of topics. As I was doing that, and wracking my brain for St. Paddy’s Day-related stuff, it occurred to me that it’s all about the green, right? And that called to mind a particularly meta story prompt I’d received. Several years ago, I participated in something called “March FADness,” or the “Flash-a-Day” competition. We received the prompt in the morning and, before midnight in our respective time zone, we had to write a flash-fiction story of no more than 1,000 words.
Fine and dandy. Prompts ranged from “puppy love” to “space opera,” and, while challenging, gave me ideas. Then came the prompt for March 29th: “Your prompt for today is green.”
Sage Zelyoni thumbed through the huge pile on the table. She looked up, hazel eyes intent. “These are all the same person?”
“We believe so, yes,” Captain Kenning confirmed.
Sage pulled one from the stack gingerly, holding it by the corner. “This one…” she mused. She set it down next to the stack.
Lieutenant Bissel retrieved it, glanced once, and passed it to the Captain.
“Mmm,” Kenning responded. “New York.”
“Sorry?” Sage asked, looking up.
“New York,” he repeated, flipping it around so she could see. “The Norman heist.”
Her eyes widened. “My goodness.”
“So anything you could tell us would help, Miss Zelyozni.”
“Zelyoni,” she corrected. “Mrs.”
Kenning smiled, showing more teeth than usual. “Apologies.”
She thumbed through the stack again. “I’m very sorry, gentlemen. That’s all I can do.”
“Thank you for your time, ma’am,” Kenning drawled.
Sage stood. “Please call if you find anything else.”
“We will,” Kenning agreed, or threatened. It wasn’t clear from his tone.
Sage wound her way through the cluttered precinct, following the Lieutenant. Late afternoon sun shone in the windows and a cacophony of voices, telephones ringing, and printers going all at once threatened to give her a headache.
Lieutenant Bissel glanced back and saw her expression. “It’s loud,” he apologized.
“It’s energetic,” she returned with a shrug.
The remark seemed to please him and he smiled. In the lobby, he handed her a business card. “My name’s William. Call me if you think of anything else.” His fingers brushed hers as she took the card.
She smiled slightly and moved forward, out of the station. Once clear, she turned left and navigated around to the subway entrance a couple blocks away. She deposited the wig and yellowish contacts in the trash. The contacts looked good with her blue eyes, but they itched. Sage disappeared and Esmerelda Verde shook out her heavy mass of black hair. Esmerelda boarded the Green Line headed back into the heart of the art district.
She smirked. The police still knew nothing. Well, they knew the thief Jaguaro was a woman. But fully half the pictures they’d made Sage sit through weren’t even her. Esmerelda smiled. Tonight, she would torch the building housing ‘Sage Zelyoni Gallery’ and stop at the museum.
Before morning, the Russian Jades would be hers.
The subway rattled on, oblivious.
So what about you, Dear Reader? What does “green” call to mind for you?
(This flash fiction originally appears on my blog from March 29, 2008, here.)
– E.E. Cummings
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