This is a flawed story -- but I think the flaws are interesting. I will be talking about how and why I wrote it the way I did tomorrow.
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THE BANDIT KNEW
by Camille LaGuire
THE BANDIT knew everything he needed to know.
He knew all about the diamond engagement ring--how the rock was big enough to land the Mayflower on, and how it was surrounded by little ruby chips, and was set in platinum. He knew how much the woman's boyfriend had paid for it, and how much he could get for it from his fence. He knew which finger she wore it on, and how she was so thrilled about the marriage that she wore it all the time, even to the grocery store.
He knew about the rich and flashy boyfriend, of course. The man was a talker, a bragger. That was how the bandit had found out about the ring in the first place. He knew the boyfriend was out of town, at a conference that night, so the woman would be alone. And he knew she was the confident sort who would go out alone if the boyfriend wasn't there. The bandit liked robbing that kind, because they took chances, but they also kept their heads. He didn't have to worry about a panic if he made it reasonable for her to cooperate. He'd flash the knife, she'd see she was trapped, he'd make it clear he was only after the ring, and she'd give it to him.
He knew he had to rob her to get it, because she lived in an exclusive town home with a good security system, so burglary was no good. He also knew what kind of car she drove and where she parked it, and that she would have to come around that corner by the dumpster to get to her door. He knew how scary that spot could be if a shadow jumped out with a knife, and he knew just where to conceal himself.
He had watched for three nights, and he knew the sound of her car as she pulled into her spot. He recognized her footsteps as she walked, alone, toward the corner. He knew just how she would look down for her keys as she came around the corner, giving him an extra moment for surprise.
In two steps he was blocking her way back to the parking lot. She gasped and clutched her purse.
"Gimme the ring and I'm gone," he said, harshly.
"The ring," she said, and she clutched her purse. He thought for a minute she would stall, and pretend she didn't know what he meant.
"The engagement ring, lady," he said. "I know all about it, and I know you always keep it with you, so don't try to pawn anything else off on me."
Her eyes went wide. But then she shook her head and almost sneered at him.
"A lot you know," she declared. "If you know all about it, you'd know my fiance's been cheating on me. I caught him today and I returned that ring. To the store, for cash."
"Hey, cash is fine with me, lady. I know how much he spent on that ring, and you probably got more than I'd get from a fence. Hand over the cash."
She tossed her head with pride and reached into the purse.
"If you know so much," she said. "You'd know that I know my cheating boyfriend hangs out with low-lives like you, so I took that cash and bought a semi-automatic pistol on my way home." She pulled the gun from her purse.
The bandit realized he didn't know all he thought he did ... but he did know when to call it quits. He put the knife away and ran.
* * *The woman took out her keys and unlocked her door with shaking hands. Even though the bandit had fled, she checked every room, and made sure every window was locked and the security system was on. Then she put the tea pot on and sat and rubbed her temples.
The phone rang, and the woman answered it. It was her boyfriend.
"You creep!" she said.
"I'm sorry I called late tonight," he said. "I had to work."
"A guy tried to rob me just now, you ... you rat!"
"Oh my god! Are you okay?"
"Sure, no thanks to you."
"But...how is it my fault?"
"You and your bragging. He knew all about the ring. He knew that I had it and that I'd be wearing it. If I hadn't thought fast and lied, he'd have it now. It's a good thing I still had that toy gun in my purse."
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Stay tuned for tomorrow's exciting episode: Why I wrote "The Bandit Knew" the way I did....
In the meantime: you can read more of my (published and award nominated) mystery and suspense fiction in the short ebook collection: Waiter, There's a Clue In My Soup! Five Mystery Stories. For 99 cents!
Available at the Amazon Kindle Store, Kindle UK, and in multiple formats at Smashwords. Also available at the B&N Nook Store, as well as the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Sony and other e-retailers.