a short story by Allen Mincemoyer
“No, we can’t go back there!” His outburst pulls looks of confusion from passing customers. The girl he shouted at frowns at the interruption.
“Why not?” she asks, voice low to avoid eavesdroppers, “after we ran, they had to have thought we weren’t coming back.” She pauses to see if he catches her suggestion. “They probably moved on to look somewhere else for us.”
The boy stays silent for a few seconds to consider her logic. “I still don’t think that's a good idea. It’s not worth–” Just then, an old lady starts walking down their aisle, slowly pushing her cart along.
As if they share one mind, they walk away from the lady and into the next empty aisle. The boy continues, “I’m just saying it’s not worth the risk.”
“Well, I think it is,” she counters. Her voice grows more desperate with each word. “We need to get the heirloom back. What if they do find it and open it? Your family is too powerful. They can’t afford letting all those secrets loose. It’ll be chaos.”
Right then, another oblivious customer walks down the aisle they occupy. The boy gives up being discreet and rolls his eyes. “Can we at least get out of here and go somewhere no one can hear us?”
She sighs and nods. “Alright, let’s go.”
As they move to an alley a few streets over, she tries to convince him again. “Please, we need to go back. The secrets inside of it are too important to lose. Remember that story I told you about Pandora? That’s what it’ll be like if they ever get their hands on it.” He stays quiet, refusing to argue any more with her.
“Come on, stop being so stubborn!”
He’s silent for a few seconds more before caving in. “Fine, but other than that, we only get what we can carry, ok? Nothing else.” He never wanted to agree with her on this, never wanted to go back home again.
“Finally.” The girl sighs in relief. “Ok, let’s go.” He hopes that her optimistic reaction will calm him down by the time they get there.
The girl practically skips in excitement. What the boy doesn’t know is that she doesn’t intend for him to ever get his precious family heirloom back.
Art Academy of Milton will be featuring short stories written by the students of Michael Rash's Prose Writers' Workshop. To learn more about the next workshop and other events, visit our classes page!