Nomadic Thievery

By Tannaaz Zaraineh

Iris could feel trickles of sweat sliding down her temples. She had just shot a man–multiple, actually–and watched the closest person to her dive down into swarms of people, right in the middle of Paris. Her anger was festering, among other emotions. At any given moment, she could fall victim to the strange officers who were trailing her down.

And sometimes she’d glance down below the rooftops she was jumping over, and see Parisians and tourists alike, all pointing her in apparent confusion. She’d do the same as them if she wasn’t living this life.

Dom, the traitor who left her to fend for herself, had come up with the crazy idea that coming to Paris for thievery would be simple. But the longer they stayed, the more problems started to emerge in the chase, and at this point, she was disappointed in her own stupidity.

A symphony of police sirens resonated all around the quartiers. Bribing a taxi driver to take her to a small village, and keeping quiet about it, was excruciating with her broken French. This man had gripped his cellphone tight, shouting that he would call the police, and was receiving unneeded attention. Iris snatched the phone and threw it on the ground, screaming in her native Korean. He forfeited and allowed her to get in the back, fingers anxiously tapping the steering wheel. She took a pen from him and scribbled her destination, and the amount she was willing to pay, on her hand. The driver, who was snappish and wore thick-rimmed glasses, was hesitant to comply at first. He looked at Iris, mumbled something in French, scoffed, and started driving. The rest of the ride was silent; an abrupt contrast from last week.

While in the village, she was able to stay at an inn for a couple of nights, trying to make little-to-no conversation with anybody she passed. A simple smile was off limits. Showing emotion would just help anyone describe her to the police. A small nod proved sufficient. The village’s tourists weren’t friendly to begin with.

According to the papers that were coming in from Paris, Madrid had also become involved. That meant she couldn’t go to Spain, either. One evening was spent contemplating Siberia. Her cousin’s ex-boyfriend had a house when he went hunting. They weren’t on the best of terms, but she thought it had some potential.

Contacting people would help anyone trace her. Her best option was to either go home, or find another country to take refuge in. Her home was currently unavaialble, and non-existent anyway, so trying to figure something out in a new location was her only option. The nomadic approach was something she was used to, after all.

After promising to return a ‘borrowed’ car from someone in the village, Iris found herself on a small ferry leaving from Calais. The sun shone on the colourful pennant flags that flapped back and forth vigorously, and she smiled as she saw the port in Dover. She was enticed with thoughts of what would happen on the other side. This time, she wouldn’t slip; not in London.

Tannaaz is currently a first-year student at the University of Toronto. She’s published poetry and flash fiction for Young Writers of Canada, and has written for The Mike. You can find some of her work on her blog (@themouththatwrites).  

Photo Credit: Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

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