Flash Fiction (12) – The Caper

Another prompt…it’s funny because I just interpreted a prompt to be about jewels even though there wasn’t a single one in the picture.

jewelry, jewels, police, cops, crime

Prompted by Madison Woods.  Go check out her blog to read more stories inspired by this prompt.

The Caper

Looking at the evidence, the cop sighed.  They had only collected about half of the stolen goods.  The victim, a high-profile socialite, would never find this acceptable.  But then, she never found anything acceptable.

The cop, meticulously cataloging each jewel, envisioned the encounter with the socialite.  She would be loud and shrill, ungrateful and angry.  She would probably go to the press and berate all the NYPD because for her, any press is good press.  But NYPD is held to a different standard.

The cop looked at the last jewel to be cataloged.  She slipped it into her pocket, swept the rest of the jewels up, and put them in the evidence box.  This was her standard, different than the socialite’s and different than the department’s.


47 thoughts on “Flash Fiction (12) – The Caper

    • Thanks for the kind words. I was worried about this piece, it took a long time for me to come up with a story from that prompt.

  1. Hi there,

    I like the overall feel, and especially the short sentences that reflected the gruff,blunt way the cop thought.

    Only thing that bothered me was this line “But then, she never found anything acceptable.” How did the cop know that I wonder?

    • Well, in the backstory that didn’t quite make the 100 word cut, they police have actually been working on the case for quite a while so they’ve spent some time with the socialite.

      Even though it’s third person, it still was sort of a stream of consciousness writing, I’m glad that it was reflected in the writing.

  2. Aha! I like it 🙂 It’s really a strong piece and flows well. The sense of internal dialogue is so clear and the character becomes well-established quickly and completely.

    I would cut “with the socialite” from the end of the first sentence in the second paragraph and add a “the” before the second reference to “NYPD.” Obviously really small things, but I think they would help?

    • I agree, it reads better without “with the socialite” but the cop is female, so I either had to place it there or at the beginning of the next sentence. It probably would have been a stronger choice to put at the beginning of the second sentence.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    • Hahaha! Crime fiction isn’t really my genre, I think I’ve maybe read one book in that genre so writing in it might prove too difficult for me. But thanks for the compliment.

  3. This was great. You delve into the varying standards different stations in society operate by and manage to do it clearly and with entertainment value. Wonderful 100 words.

  4. Delicious! I really liked the moral relativity in your story and the cop’s portait seemed very natural. I probably agree with some of the detail criticisms. “But then, she never found anything acceptable” could be changed to “But then, these people never found anything acceptable” to generalize her attitude.
    The “held to a different standard” bit is brilliant, though, perfectly placed and the gem of the story.

  5. Such a cynical and darker view of the police force, from the perspective of a corrupt (or at least dishonest) cop. Feels like the setup for an episode of CSI or similar, or perhaps the twist in an episode of one of those shows.

    A neat take on this week’s prompt. 🙂

    • I’m on the same page as you as for the socialite comment. I think in a bigger piece there would be more interaction between the two to substantiate the comment, but the cop definitely knows 🙂

      Oh, and I already read you piece (and commented) but I thought it was phenomenal. One of the best (if not the best) I’ve read from this prompt.

  6. Hi Miq,
    This was a good direction to go for this photo, I thought. You created enough character is very few words that I was glad she took one of the jewels. I think you could eliminate the last sentence and that would improve the ending, but overall an excellent story.

    • Thanks! I was trying to make a character who got the reader’s sympathy and understanding when she took a gem. I’m glad it worked.

  7. LOL, I guess if you can’t win for losing, you might as well win a little. That was good, convincing in 100 words. Great character development in the last line. I wonder how she has dealt with this particular socialite in the past to know that nothing is ever good enough for her? Maybe a larger story here.

  8. Nice twist at the end. And I have definitely met people for whom nothing is acceptable — that rang very true for me.

    I also liked that the cop was female, though it’s a sad statement about our culture that that surprised me.

    Here’s my take on this week’s prompt: http://bit.ly/vYUdU3

  9. This is superb, Miq. Wonderful characterisation in so little space, a gritty, almost noir feel. Definitely a hard boiled cop (who I found to be honest rather than dishonest: she knows her world and knows herself) and the socialite feels eminently punchable, even though she never actually makes an appearance. What you don’t say here achieves just as much as what you do say, in my opinion. Top notch stuff! 🙂

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