Wednesday, July 31, 2013

'Today I stole a back massage' -- short short fiction

Today I stole a back massage.

It was a smash-and-grab operation.

Around lunch time, I went to the Massage Therapy Center at the corner of my street and the highway.

I punched the window. The glass smashed, just as I had planned.

I grabbed the first massage lady I saw, according to plan.

Lucky for me, I picked a room with a small massage lady.

As the last of the glass tinkled to the floor, I heard New Age music and snoring. The massage lady's client remained stagnant, face-down on the massage table, with more hair on his back than all the candles in Christendom could wax.

I slung the massage lady onto my back. I hooked my hands under her knees, and I ran down the uneven dirt on the side of the street.

"I know it's a bit bumpy," I said over my shoulder. "But I still expect quality service."

She didn't seem to speak English, so I don't know what she was screaming.

I was lucky a second time: Her hands were still slick with the oil she was using on her client, who I imagined would be late returning to work because no one was there to wake him.

I almost stumbled on a chunk of asphalt, but the massage lady's hands only popped from my trapezoid muscles for a split second. The massage lady, although screaming, was providing quality service.

I heard sirens, probably three blocks away.

"OK," I said. "It's time to ditch you. I've been watching the evening news very closely. Most thieves toss pocketbooks and wallets into dumpsters. Do you know where there's a dumpster around here?"

The massage lady was no longer screaming. She was yelling at me, quite angrily, as she kneaded my shoulders, but I didn't know her language.

"Look," I said. "I realize most massage ladies are more valuable than pocketbooks and wallets. So I'll tell you what. Here."

I walked over to a large pickup truck in the liquor store parking lot, turned, and backed toward the hood. Her knuckles hastened between my shoulder blades, trying to complete at least part of her quality service.

With a little shrug, my stolen massage was off my back, sitting on the hood of a pickup truck.

"You might want to get down from there," I said. "The truck's owner might suppose someone left him a gift massage."

At that point, the sirens were probably a block away. So I wiped my fingerprints off the backs of her knees and ran.

She yelled something at my back, but she wasn't yelling English. I bet the local cops don't know her language, either.

You know what? My neck and shoulders have never felt better. But my legs sure are sore.

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