Legal Theft Project: Rest in the Rain

Rain drowned the world in white noise.

Shedding his black coat and hat in the entryway to his home, the hard holder shivers. He is not immune to the cold and the damp, he only pretends it away when his people can see him. He sits down on the bench and removes his boots, placing them carefully in the tray just for them. He can hear the radio from the living room and sees the warm glow of a fire. Before giving in to the warmth, he drifts into the bedroom. His wife’s clothes are jumbled on the end of the bed as if she could not decide what to wear and so tried everything before she settled on something. It makes him smile as he picks them up and puts them away before taking out a sweater and slipping it on. He pulls the curtains closed on the grey grey day and goes back to the beckoning warmth of the fire. His wife smiles when he comes in and he lets the iron in his spine relax. He pours them both a drink and sits down with her in front of the fire.

Rain drowned the world in white noise.

The soldier, still lost, lets it wash all other thoughts from her head. She has not had peace since she woke up from the ice and the rain makes it easier to pretend. She sits back and takes care of her guns, watching the mechanic tinker with things she used to know the names of, now made strange and ethereal by the light and the man who twists them to do impossible tasks. She misses sitting in the barracks, playing cards with her fellows, bickering about assignments on similar rainy days. Back when the world was ordered. Back before storms and white noise were similar. Back when wolves only had one name. Rain at least, rain is the same. So she protects the items from her past and meditates on her place in the future, now that there is no army, no city, no country, to claim her.

Rain drowned the world in white noise.

Under the miraculous clear roof, the dedicate watches the rain. He’s met the springs, the sea, the fog, and the rain. While the springs may have his heart, the rains are a flirt, at times dangerous, at others delightful, and only time will tell which is which. Dry under the greenhouse roof, he tends to the flowers and vegetables, singing. His voice accompanies the scattered rushes of raindrops and rises and falls in time. When his work is complete, he walks out into the rain, letting it wash over him in chill sheets. It blinds him, but he knows the ways of his domain well and he makes it to the springs. He wades into the steam and the warm water with a smile. Water takes and water gives. And he is content to follow where it flows.

Rain drowned the world in white noise.

For the first time in a long time, the driver is not waiting out the rain in her car. Her car is safe under her custom tarp, though it does not keep the driver from the occasional worry when she glances out the window at the sheets of rain. The room is smoky and close with people lounging and dicing, playing cards and chatting. The radio plays lowly in the background, something moody and slow. Her brother is on a stool at the bar, flirting with the bartender. For his part, the bartender smiles and puts the finishing touches on something warm and steaming that smells of apples and better days. She walks over and takes a seat next to her brother and earns her own flash of a smile. They talk and the driver forgets to worry about her car. They are not talking of much, but it has been too long since she spent a day out of the rain. A day safe with other people, and not worried about what would happen when the rain lifts. At least while it rains, tomorrow and its roads will wait. At least for now, she can pretend she has a home.

Rain drowned the world in white noise. And the world slowed. And the wolves went home. And all, for now, was quiet, was well. For now.


Thieves abound! and stole this rainy first line to write their own pieces. Take a look! Completely independently that machete happy diplomat and I ended up with eerily similar pieces.

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Legal Theft Project: What To Call a Girl

Sammy slipped out of the van, keeping the door from slamming so as not to wake her brother or father. The relative silence when the rainstorm stopped had woken her from sleep. As it was going to be morning relatively soon, she figured she’d see if anyone was willing to barter for help that morning in exchange for some breakfast. Eating the same fish bowl at every meal for a week was beyond boring. She made her way from their van at the edge of camp toward the central fire around which all the vehicles were arranged. Passed Echo and Lemon’s trailer, noting who had a lamp or a light on this early, and made her way to Code’s kitchen truck. Code’s assistant had skipped off at the last town and he was more than happy to have a hand with the morning prep. Sammy scrambled the eggs and passed completed bowls to Code so he could make them into burritos. She’d get three of her own and an offer to help with the lunch rush which she declined. The sun was peeking through the crowds as she gathered up her haul and headed off to the rain barrel. More people were out and about by now and Sammy nodded to those who greeted her. She washed her hands in the rain barrel and was picking up her breakfast when she noticed Echo and Lemon, walking by arm in arm, were looking at her. She kept a watch out of the corner of her eye.

“And girls who look like that–they are noticed.” Echo was keeping her voice low, but Sammy had good ears.

“Snicket’s paying attention to her, not serious or anything, but anyone could see. Not to mention Tommy and Yellow. Randa’s getting sour about it,” Lemon replied. Both of them nodded and glanced at Sammy as she walked past.

“Girl’s gonna be Trouble,” Echo declared.

Sammy hurried off, stomach soured. Troubles didn’t last long in caravan life. You needed to make friends, supply jingle, keep people happy to make it in the mobile life. Her dad may not have skills, but he wasn’t Trouble. Trouble’s caused fights, got too much attention, were a risk. She arrived back at her dad’s van and hesitated before she opened the door. They could handle it. She would handle it. She liked being Sammy, she didn’t want to be Trouble.


Stole the line, “And girls who look like that–they are noticed.”  from Beks awhile back. Finally got around to fencing my stolen goods.

Legal Theft Project: Envy in Blue

Blue as skies in summer, pouring out exhaust, and attracting a small crowd, he’d never seen anything like it. He already wanted it gone. His garage didn’t have anything as would come close to those wheels and everyone knew it. The rest of the caravan wasn’t much to look at and the caravan master, Dixon, was the first to pop out of his battered van and head Allison’s way. For his part, Allison kept his arms folded and his face cold as Dixon tromped over.

“Allison.” Dixon bobbed his head respectfully to the man whose domain he’d entered. Allison didn’t acknowledge the greeting, keeping his eyes on the dapper wheels and the crowd swelling around it as the exhaust wisped away.

Dixon soldiered on. “Ah, Sammy’s girl. Elvira. Heck of a car. Heck of a lady.”

Allison turned his head slightly and raised his eyebrow a mere fraction. Dixon swallowed and nodded back toward the car. A mile of leg ending in denim cut offs and hello gorgeous, swung out of the driver side door like sugar in sweet. Her hip pushed the door closed and she leaned against it, pushing her sunglasses on top of her head. He hadn’t figured trouble in a blue jumpsuit into his plans. Oh he wanted her and her car out of his holding and back on the road something fierce. “You brought me trouble, Dixon,” Allison finally said.

Dixon looped his thumbs in his belt. “Got here fastest and safest I’ve ever done. Girl knows her wheels and don’t hesitate on the road. Brought plenty through.”

Allison unfolded his arms. “Any trouble she causes, you cause.”

“No no no. She’s good, but she ain’t mine.” Dixon shook his head. They looked at the woman by the car, answering some of the crowd’s questions, cool as snow in shade. “Sammy handles herself.”

Allison brushed the comment aside, letting Dixon shed the blame and accepting the tacit promise to stay out of the way. “Let’s see what else you brought.”


I’m a thief! I stole this first line from M.D. – take a look at other unique blues at the Legal Theft Project site.

Legal Theft Project: Take that Bet

“You won’t be leaving this town alive.” He leaned over her car door, beer and menace on his breath. Lore smiled softly at him and brought up the mace in her right hand. Right in his eyes. Point blank. She turned the key, the engine revved and he was left, swearing, in her tail lights. His cronies were piling in cars and speeding after her. Two wild spurts of gun fires whistled up the street behind her. One dinged the paint. She shifted into a higher gear and made a beeline for the highway. Three quarter tank of gas and everything she owned in the world heaped in the trunk next to five and a half thousand dollars. Some men couldn’t take losing. She sped through a red light and cursed the fact that bullets were cheap as three more skidded over the back end of her red convertible.

Shifting again, she dodged three civilians in pokey sedans. Thankfully none of them swerved into her or her pursuers. The irritated gamblers weren’t driving terribly well. Her smile took on a razor edge as she flew up the freeway on-ramp. If she could avoid getting shot  for the next five miles she would lose them for good on the coastal highway. No way they would take those curves at her speeds.

She dropped into fifth gear and said a brief prayer of encouragement to her car. A few more shots trailed after her, but she barely heard them. The world became wind, road, and reflexes. Spirit soaring, she raced over the pavement. One of her pursuers dropped behind and fell out of the chase. Car repairs and surgery cost far more than what she had in the trunk. She wasn’t surprised the other car continued. Pride had a high value, for all you couldn’t sell it.

A white sedan swerved erratically and she swore. Managing not to get nicked, she made it by, but she lost ground. The curves of the highway were coming up fast and she started to hear the distant sound of sirens. She had to lose them, now. Curve after curve, she spun her complaining car down the curving coastal highway.

The squeal of tires and she risked a glance in the rear view. Her pursuer had finally messed up. She let out a long breath, glad he had spun out into the hillside instead of tumbling off the cliffs.

She let herself gradually decelerate and cruised along. She’d need to get gas, and then keep going. Change highways. Dip into small towns. She had enough to go on for a while. She turned on the radio, flipped to a pop station and sang along to whatever top hit came up. Alive, a couple thousand richer, a good chase behind her. Some days, it was all she wanted out of life.


Robbed that machete wielding rogue again. Click the link to see who else may not be leaving a town alive.

Legal Theft Project: Burning Rubber

On the hottest day of the year, the skirt of my red dress flutters against my thighs in the breeze manufactured by the fan. The line creeps and I shift uncomfortably in my heels. I’m probably going to have blisters. I glance up from my phone to check the distance of the line – still too far to care. Magazine finished, I consider starting a run of online five card draw but the wireless connection here is crap. Sheep in a chute the line snakes forward. I avoid eye contact. One of these day’s I’ll wear flip flops and sweats to dull locations. It probably wouldn’t help. The things I do to keep a legal license. Flipping through a magazine I wait as the hours evaporate into the heat of the day.

“Number 93.”

Finally. I slip my phone away and approach the window. The young man behind the counter doesn’t turn from his computer as I walk up and he pushes his hair out of his eyes in a gesture a lot like my brother’s but more sincere. He blinks at me through his glasses and I give him a smile. He sits up a little straighter. I know my smile is more refreshing to him than a glass of iced lemonade. Beauty does smooth out so many problems. I take off my sun glasses and meet his eyes. “Hi there.”

He fumbles with the packet of papers he’s handed out so many times he hadn’t noticed he had them in hand. “Hello ma’am.”

“Miss. Miss Lauralee King.” I take the papers from him. “I’m here to renew my RV license and my motorcycle license. I know I could renew online, but I’m going out of country for three months and wanted to get it done before I left.”

“Alright Miss King. You’ll need to fill out a few forms and pay a renewal fee, but there shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Thanks sugar.” I take the pen and fill out the forms. He charges my card and can’t quite get up the nerve to ask me for my number. I’ve been friendly, but not that kind of friendly. Forms filled out, I chat very briefly finish this transaction and get out of that grey haze of public space. At least traffic court has cops to watch. The DMV is just where boredom goes to die. My baby is right where I left her. Sleek, red and splashy among the vans, trucks and sedans crowded sardine like into the parking lot.

Slipping in, I marvel that I managed to avoid an unpleasant conversation. Must be too hot for assholes to creep out of their holes. Or maybe my luck is running strong today. I smile at myself in the rearview and start back out onto the streets, hands caressing the wheel of my coup as I swoop out into traffic. It never failed. Deal with enough dull and the bright shines even better for the rest of the day. After the hours in that office, tonight was going to burn right up.

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I’m a thief! I stole this wonderfully challenging first line from Kathryn’s “Little Red Dress“. See what other thieves wrote here.