I led the handcuffed, fourteen-year-old pickpocket to a seat by my desk, where I pulled up her past offenses: petty theft (six instances), resisting arrest (three), escape from police custody (twenty-four).

Twenty-four escapes?

I looked up to an empty chair, handcuffs open on the seat. Girl gone.

Detectives grinned at me. One approached the whiteboard, on which was recorded a series of times–minutes, seconds–in rank order, lowest at the top. When I’d first arrived, I’d asked what it was.

“Oh,” my guide had said, “we’ll get to that later.”

My time went on the top of the list.

A list of short stories published in other venues, most of them longer than microfiction and with links to the journals that published them, can be found here


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