Gold-Handed

*Flash Fiction Contest entry. Cover by Lily Anna* Goldilocks is a notorious thief whose crimes have made her the most wanted criminal in the village. When she decides to rob from the wealthy Bears' household, however, she runs into more than she bargained for. ©2015

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1. Gold-Handed

A small figure swooped inside a mansion, eyes darting around the building. After confirming that no one was here, the person proceeded to shut the door closed. The mask that had covered the face was pulled down, revealing blonde curls and a feminine face.

The person was Goldilocks, and this was her fifth robbery.

Though Goldilocks was relatively new to the thievery business, she was very good at it. The first time she had robbed a small house, which happened to be her neighbor’s, she had managed to swipe him clean of all his prized possessions just before he had returned home. 

Thinking of her past theft reminded Goldilocks why she was here. She was in the Bear household now, she reminded herself. Though they weren’t royalty like the kings and queens in the country, they were extremely wealthy. But Goldilocks didn’t care about class status; all she wanted was porridge, the currency in the village. 

It appeared that finding the porridge was easier said than done; Goldilocks searched through the furnitures, the closets, any place where someone might store something of value, but she found nothing. The hour was ticking away by the clock; how much time was even left until the Bears returned from their vacation?

Goldilocks wasn’t one to give up easily, but she finally just stopped for a moment to think. What if the bears somehow knew she was here? Goldilocks had seen several wanted posters of herself in the forest. Maybe they already knew she was here…

She quickly  pushed the thoughts aside. Even if the Bears had taken precautions to keep their riches safe, it wasn’t as if Goldilocks couldn’t find them. And, for the trap…well, she’d just have to be extra cautious about that. The Bears probably weren’t that proactive, anyway.

Refocusing her attention, Goldilocks continued her search—but she expanded her imagination. She checked the portraits, the bookshelves, even inside the vents. She checked all the rooms—the basement, the living room, the kitchen, the bedrooms. She made sure she checked everywhere.

And then she saw it. There was a conspicuously placed painting hanging on the kitchen room wall, showing the Bears smiling together. It had to hide the safe…she had checked every other place in the house already.

Goldilocks carefully took the painting down. There it was—the safe! It only took her a few minutes to crack the code. She grabbed hold on the porridge and held it into her hands, taking a moment to examine its beauty. They looked like regular coins, yet they shined so brightly that it almost hurt her eyes to look at it. “It’s beautiful,” Goldilocks breathed.

Satisfied, she stuffed the porridge in her bag and turned to leave. But, just as she was leaving, she saw something standing a few feet away from her. It was a bedroom, but much more expensive-looking than most; the door was decorated in rubies, diamonds, and other precious jewels. As she took a step closer, she saw that the beds were decorated equally: pearls had been embedded into the headboards. 

It took every inch of Goldilocks not to just sink inside the bed. But she did approach it and felt the mattress with her hands, feeling just as soft as it looked. It was so comfortable, something she needed for a break.

And, before she knew what she was doing, Goldilocks tucked herself into the bed. An ahh sound immediately escaped from her lips. It was like she was sinking into a pillow—a giant, fluffy, silken pillow, and, if she sunk deeper, she would fall right into it…

 

***

 

Goldilocks didn’t know how long she had fallen asleep. But she knew it must have been awhile, because the sun was not shining as brightly as it had 

“Mom, dad, look!” a little voice shouted. “I told you someone was here.” 

Startled, Goldilocks opened her eyes—and immediately regretted it.

There were three figures surrounding her bed—one was bigger than all of them, and one was very small—but they all wore a brown, fuzzy shade. Looking closer, she could see that they were all bears.

The Bear family, coming back from vacation. A family she could have escaped if she had left the house as soon as she had stolen the porridge.

Goldilocks’ first reaction was to bolt out of the bed and make a run before it, but, even before she had done so much as sit up straight, she knew it was useless. She was trapped. 

“We know what you came for,” Mama Bear said. “The porridge.” Her voice didn’t sound angered, but it was as cold as ice. 

Goldilocks glared. “You don’t know that.” Maybe they would believe her.

“Oh, we know,” Papa Bear said, his voice echoing thought the house. “The evidence is right in your hands.”

The blonde thief looked to where Papa Bear was gesturing—her hands—and froze. She still held the bag, but some of the porridge had spilled. It probably had moved around when she slept—Stupid, Goldilocks. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

“Hand it over,” Mama Bear ordered. 

Goldilocks tugged the bag closer to her. “Make me,” she spat. She may have been going down, but she wasn’t going down without dignity. 

Baby Bear looked shocked. “She’s not going to do it, Mom!” he protested. 

“It doesn’t matter,” Papa Bear said, crossing his arms over his chest. He was smiling, actually smiling at her, and any hope of making it out of here with dignity escaped Goldilocks’ grasp. “Well, it looks like we’ve caught you, Goldilocks—gold-handed.” 

 

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