10/28 – Flash Fiction Entry – Thief

Tom sat in the back of the deli and watched the tape. 

“Goddamit.” Tom said out loud in the empty room. 

He wringed his fingers and put his hands against his forehead.

He pressed the rewind button and watched it again.  Each time Tom left the counter, Jason would sneak a few dollars out of the register and put them in his pocket.  Tom watched the video for the fourth time then walked out of the back room.  At the counter Jason was slicing ham for a customer.

“Hey Merle.” Tom said and waved.

“Hey Tom, what’s doin’?” Merle answered.

“Nothing much, just the ham today?”

“Yep”

Jason took the meat off the slicer and weighed it.  He pressed a button, took the sticker and stuck it on the paper.  Tom watched Jason walk from the scale to the register.  Jason rang it up.

“That’s 5 and a quarter.” Jason said.

Merle handed him exact change and took his ham.

“See you guys.” Merle said.

Merle walked out.  Tom motioned for Jason to follow him.

“Come in the back kiddo.” Tom said.

“Sure Tom, what’s up” Jason said. 

“Just come on.”

“Ok, do I need a lawyer?” Jason asked jokingly.

“No you don’t.” Tom said.

Jason sat at the table in the back and saw the video.  The images on the tape incriminated him.

“I don’t know what to say Tom, I’m so sorry.” Jason said.

“There’s nothing to say Jason.  You’re fired.” Tom said.

Jason took off his apron and handed it to Tom.  Tom looked down at Jason’s pockets.  He removed the singles and placed them on the table.

“Get out.” Tom said.

Jason walked out the back door as Tom picked up the money.  Tom locked the back door and returned to the front of the deli.

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