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The siren from the NYPD car doesn’t ring in my ears anymore. Knowing the shortcuts indeed helps. I pat myself on the back for my smartness. I lean back against a wall in the desolate alley. An unknown artist has sprayed graffiti over its shabby surface. 

The sapphire ring I have stolen from the MET dazzles in my palm. Suddenly, from somewhere, a clock chimes, reminding me that it’s time to meet my friends under the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, they are not exactly my friends. Accomplices? No, that would make them my equals. I smirk at the idea. The fools didn’t even have a foolproof plan in place (hehehehe, pardon the pun) to enter the museum, let alone retrieve Nefertiti’s ring from its enclosure.

I get going. 

She must be in her office. For months, I have been stalking her now. She is a recluse, and hers is the safest place to keep the ring for the time being. Once the euphoria dies down and those idiots lose track of me, I’ll return to retrieve the jewel. 

I take out the duplicate key from my pocket and let myself in. Taking a deep breath, I plonk myself on the couch. I wish I could catch some sleep. Suddenly, I feel something hairy brush against my wrist. The beady eyes of a gigantic spider stare back at me. 

I try to scream, but the words remain stuck in my parched throat. The last thing I remember is a sharp prick on my quivering palm. 

But who the hell is Tarantino, I wonder before darkness engulfs me.


I am thinking of going to a therapist. For months, I have had this uncanny feeling that I’m being stalked by someone. I have no inkling as to who he is. 

My colleagues laughed it off that day.

“Lucky you! You have an admirer,” gushed my co-worker.

I glared at her but said nothing.

I brew a fresh cup of coffee for myself. The migraine is bad, so I have called in sick. Somewhere, sirens from police cars are blaring. I’m used to them in NYC.

I wonder if it’s a figment of my imagination. Years of being single have probably made me skeptical. The man must be harmless. Maybe he wants to date me. I smile.

The key makes a clicking sound as it comes into contact with the lock of my door. It is an intruder. Unlike the average American, I don’t have a gun. My hand quivers as I grab a knife. 

My mobile is on a shelf in the living room. Damn it! 

Praying to God, I tiptoe towards the source of the sound. 

I stifle a gasp. It’s the man who has been following me. But before I can react, he plonks himself onto my couch. Should I attack him? 

It’s then I spot my baby. Thank God there was a delay in feeding him and changing his water bowl. I discern the horror in the stranger’s eyes.

“Tarantino!” I croon at my tarantula after he has done his job. Relieved, I dash to the shelf, grab my mobile and dial 911. 

[Article in The New York Times]

The notorious gang ‘Clooney’s Nine’ has been apprehended by the NYPD. After responding to an emergency call by one Emma Johnson, the police found Brian Clooney, the mastermind behind the MET heist, unconscious. His fear of spiders proved to be his undoing. A valuable ring, believed to be Nefertiti’s, was found in his possession. The press conference by the District Attorney will be held today, where more details are expected.


Prompt of Story #2 –

A stolen ring, fear of spiders, a sinister stranger

Words –

600 (only the story)

Prompt by –





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