Monday, November 7, 2011

Write By The Park With Purple Mark: "Carla's Con"


A Pro Considers a Con

       When they had two it worked just fine. Norman would do all the hard work, suss out the area until he found a likely store front, closed but just right for their new business. She picked a yarn shop this time, at least she knew how to knit. He had all the right patter about leases and triple net and she didn't know what all. Trying to pull this off on her own, talking as if she negotiated the lease and knew about business was going to be difficult. Maybe when she brought the marks to look at the store front, "forgetting" the key, of course, she would just say her lawyer was handling all that, if they even asked. She backed up to note down the address, 1753 Hugo St. It wouldn't do to get that wrong.

       God, this was difficult without him. She couldn't stop though, he needed some rest after his heart attack and that took real money and time. He couldn't protect them anymore and she needed to take up the slack. They worked it out years ago, a little accent, and she was Balkan royalty, dispossessed, a refugee with nothing when she came to this country. Her family were all killed trying to defend their city and save others. At least that's what Norman murmured to marks on the side to get their sympathy going. As far as she knew, her only brother John was still in their home town of Duluth selling insurance. The money they got came from unused accounts left with the state. A little research, some new identities and you could pick up some careless person's unconsidered trifles, plus some credit. Even with the economy, credit cards were still trying to give it away. They got their BMW that way. They couldn't even be charged with theft for that, since they were given the keys after filling out a credit app and handing over a down payment. Fraud maybe, but not theft. But it was never enough.

       To establish themselves, they were using the stranded travelers con. They usually could get away a month, a month and a half at a hotel before leaving. Their cover story was that they were waiting to receive a baby from Vietnam. Their friend had been killed and they had been asked to adopt. When they got the word, they warned their new "friends" that they would have to leave immediately to pick the child up from LAX. They would leave a few items of clothing to convince the hotel they were coming back and delay suspicion. When to leave was always the question, the rush. It was living on that knife edge, between safety and getting caught.

       But it took two. Telling people yourself that you were foreign royalty just made you seem crazy. It was a real problem.


---By Carla Blaschka, 11/5/11

     Written along side Priya Keefe, PurpleMark Wirth and Philip Bernier-Smith
     at Richard Hugo House.


Priya's Prompts:                                                                         

  1. Quickly write down the plot of a book or movie.
  2. Look it over and choose 3 lines that stand out, and then rewrite the lines.
  3. Fill in the blanks between the 3 lines
  4. The prompt sentences were culled from Water Witch by Connie Willis & Cynthia Felice
    1. "She tries to do the con on her own and nearly fails"
    2. "He was told that his job was to protect and serve the princess"
    3. "She saves the city"
Also check out my new wordpress website. It's a literary journal I am building up called Randomly Accessed Poetics! Submissions are open for short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. I am featuring more polished literary works, explicit language pieces, and eventually a journal a relative wrote in the late 1800's detailing their journey to Oregon on the Oregon Trail. And when I gather enough submitted works from other people, I will cobble together an e-anthology called Randomly Accessed Poetics.

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