H is for Heist, L is for Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A simple heist just got more complicated.

Submitted: February 11, 2008

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Submitted: February 11, 2008

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“Please state your name and age.”
“My name is Leander Finlay and I’m forty two.”
“Into the microphone please.”
“Yes of course, sorry about that.”
“Let’s start from the beginning.”
“Ok, right then. I believe it was back in the summer of seventy-nine when I committed my first robbery. I was a young lad growing up in Swindon. I robbed a nickel and dime store for a piece of chocolate that I immediately had to pay back when mum noticed the smudge of guilt on my face. I wasn’t sorry I did it but I did learn that if you get caught you’ll have to pay for it. So I learned to be more careful not to get caught. In Reading a few years later I donned a ski mask and absconded with a lady’s purse in the dead of night outside a pub. I ran till her cries for help were but a faint echo in the wind but I turned a corner and ran straight smack into a Bobby on patrol. And hence my criminal record was born. 
Over the next few years I had added several notches to that stick; petty larceny, breaking and entering, even aggravated assault, although I’ve never hurt no one. Not so much as a paper cut from snatching crisp bills from a banker’s hands. The officer trumped up the charges on account of my ancestry. Eventually I had help and I became more attuned at thievery. I moved on to bigger and better scores. I even gained some notoriety among the thieves and bandits for some of my more famous capers. I’ve stolen from museums, banks, and once from a visiting Maharaja. I was especially humbled by that one since the bugger wasn’t exactly a testament to greatness and the jewel encrusted elephant he prized was quite a treasure to lift. Yes, I was getting more knowledgeable and better prepared to walk away with sizeable sums of money. However, with every score there was still the matter of getting caught. As good as I was at getting goods I wasn’t very good at getting away. At times it was not enough preparation, others it was the accomplices I worked with, and yet most of the time it was sheer carelessness on my part. I always felt it was a bit unfair to be born to be great at something and not be great at all. I was beginning to get my fill of the romance and the excitement of each theft. It was wearing at my very being. I was sick of getting caught and longing to live among those great villains in history. I wanted to be known as a pirate, a Viking, a bloody Mongolian if it meant success, if it meant accomplishment and not disappointment. 
I found myself thinking of retirement, a way to get out for good. I just had to perform one last score, the one that would very well keep me out of the game forever. A score so big that I could live without the one thing I feared more than anything…doubt. It was a few weeks ago when it appeared right before my very eyes. I knew it wouldn’t be easy and I knew the risks would be great and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be the only thief with a thirsty eye for it. The Zicari Diamond was legendary as well as the world’s most beautiful and largest. It had been in hiding for many years in the Soviet Republic under the greedy paws of the ill famed Russian Czar. It wasn’t until their separation that the world was so lucky to once again see its beauty. The Natural History Museum in London was also so lucky to possess the great diamond for a week out of its world tour. This brilliant bit of information was shoved right under my nose almost as if it was meant to be. Yes, perhaps it was a bit premature to go after such a coveted artifact but its history was of little importance to me as was my competition. The diamond had found me and I had every intention of not disappointing her. Time was a luxury I was not afforded but I had time to put a workable plan together. There were several facets to consider, of course. Aside from the guards, cameras, and invisible lasers, there was my past and my failures and worst of all my doubt. Not to have my confidence shaken I kept my mind on other distractions, namely chewing fingernails and marking ‘x’s’ on calendars. In spite of all the hanging delusions and distant storms brewing I some how found serenity in the fact that if I could not have the diamond, I very well would have at least attempted to reach the diamond and leave my fingerprint on it’s face forever. This is about all a lowly thief such as myself can really ever hope for. When all else fails, there is memory, there are moments of pure ecstasy and pure safety. It is why I feel comfortable relaying all this to you now.”
“So how did you do it?”
“No doubt you are wondering that very query, but you are asking me the wrong question. The greater question is was it worth it.”
“Well was it?”
“I suppose the simple answer is yes but perhaps a better answer would be left to the poets and romantics who could convey a beautiful sentiment, poignant and elegant. But coming from a has-been thief like me all I can say is you have no fucking idea mate. She is one goddamn beautiful diamond!”


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