I Can’t Believe I Didn’t See That Coming: January 17, 2017

Write a story that starts with the line “You’ll never get me my tell you where the jewels are,” and ends with the line, “I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming.” Be as creative as you can.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.548


“You’ll never get me to tell you where the jewels are.” The woman in a black tank top smiles. She leans back against the brick wall of my cottage.

I press her neck against the wall.

My fifteen-year-old boy Gareth is watching. “Who’s she?” he asks. “What’s she doing here, Mum?”

“A traitor,” I say.

“She looks kind–”

Melanie pushes me.

“–of weird.”

Her hands are gloved in ghostly white. I stagger, but do not fall over.

Melanie pulls out a dagger from her lower left leg, beneath the silver-sequinned skirt she’s wearing. I hit Melanie in the stomach just as her gnarly arms were about to touch him. Her alternating streaks of black and white hair flaps at that instant. I kick her and she falls to the ground in a thud. The dagger drops to the ground. I pick it up and hide it behind me.

“You have no idea what I’m made of,” she says, climbing back up on her feet. She looks around but says nothing. Clearly she wants her dagger back.

“The jewels are the property of the tuath,” I say. I keep the dagger close behind me.

“So what?” Melanie spreads her hands out as if to shrug. “The problem with our current system is there is no law.”

“Don’t give me that look,” I say. “You can’t get away with this.”

“There IS a law,” shouts Gareth. “Our judges decide it case by case.”

“Weak,” says Melanie.

I say, “Since you have the jewels and you have fingerprints all over them–”

“You’re wrong.” Melanie cackles like a witch. “I don’t have fingerprints. See?” She pulls out her right glove and shows me her fingers. Indeed, she’s one of the rare ones who don’t have fingerprints.

“You’re the prime suspect,” I say. “Just because the jewels symbolise power doesn’t mean that stealing them will gather all the power to oneself. There’s still a king,” I hold the dagger close behind.

“The king is dead.”

I gasped. “You…”

“Let me be the prime suspect as long as no one catches me,” says Melanie. “Not even the judges dare to challenge anyone with the jewels.”

I say, “If you don’t tell me where the jewels are–”

I make the mistake of raising my hand over my head, as now she must have seen me holding the dagger. She seizes the dagger from me and holds it at my son’s throat.

“If you want the jewels back so badly,” she says, slightly shivering, “you can’t have your son back.”

“No!”

“I shall take him to a boys’ school where he’ll unlearn everything you’ve taught him.”

“Where are they, then?”

Gareth glances at her.

“My boy,” I say.

He turns and looks at me.

“If she takes you, don’t sleep around. Stay pure for your future wife.”

“The jewels are in my husband’s safe in the school.”

Who is Melanie’s husband?

At that moment, Melanie thrusts her dagger at me. I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming.