The Afghan Crown

Gare du Nord, Paris. CC Photo by Elliot Gilfix

The short arm of the law stretched out, grabbed me in the halls of the Gare du Nord – you can never call the French polite, but they were, at least, not rude about it. Gallic apologies flowed – Je suis désolé, monsieur, pour tout inconvénient … mais on fait quoi? – as they fingered through dirty novels and the clean underwear I had carried in my jaunt across the continent. A shrug, a muttered curse – they could not hold me, I knew. I had nothing.

All of France was ablaze, speculating. I was light-fingered, it is true, and the lustre of ancient treasure is always a temptation.

Always have an accomplice .

And make her a pretty one.


She walked quickly across the deserted platform, the click of her heels against the concourse mimicked her racing heart, her panicked breathing seemed to fill the space around her. Calm, she thought to herself. Stay calm. She had seen them swoop on the thief. It almost felt wrong, she was too obvious – red cocktail dress, stiletto heels, black bolero, silver clutch. The Gendarmes certainly watched her. The Afghan crown was collapsible, and they had carried it away, and snatched him away at the last moment. She looked up at the timetable, and made a decision. 

She threw her mobile away, and caught the wrong train. 

Always have someone else to take the blame.

And make sure he’s a fool.


Written for this week’s BeKindRewrite prompt: the short arm of the law,

as well as for the beautiful image above, which comes via

Flash! Friday.



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