Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Curiosity Killed the Cat (10/10/13)
TITLE: Easy Street
By Wilma Schlegel
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“You’re right. I find it hard to believe. They are certainly...” the man cut his words off short as one of the group came from behind and grabbed his shoulder.
“Good to have you join us, Alek is it? You will be back?” the man questioned. His manner seemed genuine.
“Yes, yes, good to be here,” Alek managed. “Yes, my wife and I were just discussing it. I expect we’ll be back soon, next week.”
The fellow nodded and passed on by.
“They are very friendly, aren’t they?” the woman, Sleena, asked.
“Yes, aren’t they? But, I don’t know. It is not what I am used to.” Alek answered.
“We will go back, but we will be very careful.” His fingers tapped his lips and his eyes were contemplative.
Several weeks passed and Alek and Sleena continued to attend the meetings of this curious group they’d discovered. They kept their distance, but managed a pretense of growing devotion. In fact they enjoyed the company of the people in the group. They liked the welcome they received and they were intrigued at the way everyone in the group openly shared - shared problems, shared good things, and the best thing of all - shared all their possessions.
In their exquisite home after a meeting one evening, Alek approached Sleena in her room. “Oh dear wife of mine, you have led me to ‘easy street,’” he breathed into her ear. “What do you say, shall we move there?” He smiled at his wife’s reflection, massaging her shoulders as their eyes met in the mirror.
“What do you have in mind, my dearest?” the wife asked.
“I have been wondering what it would be like to have all my needs met for the rest of my life by a group of trusting, communal, fools. I would never have to work again. Wouldn’t that be grand?”
“Dearest husband,” she frowned, “That’s not how it works.” She pushed his hands off her shoulders. “And if you think I am ready to live the humble life of one of those mindless, doting women in the group, think again. I will not give up all of this.” She gracefully swept her jeweled hand through the air indicating the lavish furnishings surrounding her.
“You have nothing to fear, my love,” Alek replaced his hands on his wife’s shoulders, his fingertips resting against her slender neck. “We have already infiltrated the group. They think we are simpletons like them. They have no idea who we are or what we are worth. The silly fools sell all their possessions and give it all to the group. So ridiculous! Who could blame us for having a better plan? Who could blame us for taking advantage of such an opportunity? I don’t think we’ll ever get another opportunity like this!
“I wish you would stop babbling and tell me what you are thinking! You are fatiguing me and you need a breath mint.”
For an instant Alek’s fingers pressed into his wife’s neck. Then he slid his hands to her upper arms and turned her to face him. “This is what I am thinking. We sell our property, in part or in whole, but if in whole, we keep a portion - a portion substantial enough that we keep the same lifestyle, but we don’t let them know. To them we will be as they are - fully dependent. Our needs will be met. We will never work again. Even you, dear wife, must see it’s a perfect plan. Everyone gets what they have asked for, especially us. Can you even imagine what it will be like?”
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