Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: Eleanor Capaldi

This entry is by Eleanor Capaldi (@brightstarshine on Twitter)

Just the Ticket

‘Are you sure this is your ticket?’ the cloakroom attendant asked me. Of course I was sure, I’d only been given it a couple of hours earlier. But my pal had pulled, and seeing as we were a two woman team, that left me decidedly on my own. Not that I wasn’t happy for her, but it did take the fun out of dancing. Having no-one to dance with.

So, he asks me again, ‘Are you sure?’ Completely. My bag therefore missing, the hunt begins. While mindfully musing the practicality of a sweep of the building, I saw a flash of white heading out beyond the cloakroom and down towards the dance floor. A glance over the shoulder vaguely in my direction. Bitch had my bag.

I forgot my usual feeble approach in the face of danger and set off in hot pursuit. Within a couple of minutes I could just see the back of the person disappear into the civilisation of the crowd. Under the lights, white showed up in a sort of ghoulish glow, as if UV paint had been spilt all over the enthusiastic club goer. I began to weave my way in and out of the maze, searching for spaces; under an elbow here, round a waist there.

Timidity began to grow. The flush of ‘no fear!’ faded as I steeled myself to meet my thief. I hoped they weren’t bigger than me. Long legs poked out the edge of an alcove.

So she was bigger than me. Damn.

Dark jeans to slim body, encased in white shirt. Charm of necklace resting low. I followed the chain and it led to glinting hazel eyes, dark hair pinned back. Oh god she might be Mediterranean. Suddenly my head is imagining beaches and vegan paella and coffee on the veranda.

But I must stop. This is my thief. And there is her loot. My bag. Sitting quite peacefully beside her. Matching ticket number still attached.

She studies me in the eye, and before I can launch into any tirade,

“I knew I had to get your attention somehow.”