The Royal Path of Life


There it was. You could see the corner of the folded yellowed parchment sticking out of the torn lining of the battered book. Its letter from Auntie telling Timothy about knowledge.

Timothy carefully places the old tome on the counter.

“Miriam,  lovely to see you again. I was wondering if you could help me with something?”  His big smile accents a well worn face.  His features craved by years of hard living.

“Well, sir.  What can I do for you today?” Miriam has no idea who he really is.  Bank tellers just smile, small talk them away.

“I would like to inventory the Franklin’s, Grant’ s and Jackson’s in your drawer.  Oh, sorry, how are your three kids? And how do you ever get then in that Prius?” Timothy quietly responds.  He teaches up and taps on the book.  “If you’re quiet, then I’m quiet. No dye packs, no daycare visits.”

“Sir?! Is this a..”

“Yes, its a lovely day.  Hate to ruin it for others.”  The book tapping gets loud

She gulps hard.  Eyes never leave his unguarded face.  Fingers find bills and a blue change bag.  Alarm button goes unpushed.  Thoughts of those children smiling in that picture beside her.

“Thank you Miriam!   I hope you have a great day.   Auntie told me learned people can use books to get ahead in thus world. She was right.” He picks up the bag and book turning for the door.

Outside the sun shines on his face.   No alarms. No pursuers.   The police station across the street is quiet.

Truly the book is correct, “The Royal Path of Life”

Written as part of a weekly challenge called Flash Fiction for the Purposeful practitioners

27 thoughts on “The Royal Path of Life

  1. Difficult to capture those nuances in a conversation so reliant on timing well cut scenes and facial expressions. You did this so well, I asked the question right when Miriam did. [Uproarious clapping!]

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, the whole kids thing I had forgotten about. To me that’s more terrifying than anything else. Ick. So no, I retract the whole jean Valjeant thing. He was valiant.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s all about what terrifies you. What scares you has some defense mechanism… But true terror has only fight or flight. Basic reactions feed those and everything changes


      3. True. I saw a man on the bus home today and he had his little girl snuggled up in his arms and they both fell asleep. Before that she was jabbering on non-stop about all sorts of things a little girl would. I caught myself staring and smiling. It was so heart warming. But in the end, I am happy I have no little one to protect. I would go insane. I would be a warrior. if man threatened me with the ones I loved I’d gouge his fucking eyes out.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yep. It’s an all or nothing thing. But if they were elsewhere and the other person could know where. You’re only play is passive. And checking immediately after… It’s a great scenario for a story. Gut wrenching in life


      5. True. And I still think I would gouge his eyes out. I’m not that emotionally in control when my loved ones are threatened.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, a crooked and creepy guy. Of course she gives him the money he wants, he’s been stalking her family. Still, I think she could call the police after? Great job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don Henley once said ” a man with a briefcase can steal more money than anyone with a gun”. A gentler but much scary way of attaining his money. Her family, he knows or sees picture and car in lot;-) thanks darling

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, an elder man in tge poor side of town was called a gentleman robber. He knocked off a dozen banks. No one set off alarms or dye packs. He talked like he knew people. He looked at pictures and cars in the lot. Guessed well. Of course, his picture got out


      1. I think deep down we want to believe people. So if they tell us something about ourselves they know something about us. They don’t allow personal effects at banks around here.


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