Runner-up #4

Table-turning twist in this excellent tale.

BRIG AND STEAM

by Lindsey McLeod

The ancient hands that clutched the baseball bat were only just visible around the corner, shaking and ribboned with blue veins. Jamie inched into the kitchen, barely daring to breath. He’d planned this badly. Should have come in through the front door or shimmied up the drainpipe. There was a butter knife on the counter and a rolling pin on the table. Obvious choices. But what about brute strength? As he lunged across the room, his foot caught on the almost invisible string tied between the bin and a chair leg. He went down with a clatter and a stifled yelp. The old man stood over him, scowling down in irritation. The baseball bat jabbed into Jamie’s shoulder hard.

‘How many times -’

‘I know, I know! I’m sorry Grandpa. I didn’t see the string.’

‘I’ll make a thief of you yet, lad. Now get up and do it again.’

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