Strategy – The Speakeasy


Drew pressed a key on his pad as he leaned against the oak. His data stream soon penetrated the mansion’s security. In seconds, the rambling building was defenseless and no one, not even the home security computer, knew about it. He grinned, and placed Gecko Pads on his hands and knees. They allowed him to scale vertical surfaces as effortlessly as a lizard. The camo suit he wore faithfully reproduced the surface of the wall he climbed, rendering him effectively invisible. All this expensive equipment had left him very nearly penniless. It was a routine he’d used many times before. Make a score, invest in better equipment, make a bigger score, and so on. The Chancellor’s Mansion was his biggest target to date, and likewise its defenses were more difficult to overcome.

The window was unlocked. He knew it would be. He knew this from emails hacked in a security guard’s email account. The Chancellor’s daughter insisted upon this hole in security, so she could “see the world” whenever she wanted. It worked well for Drew as he slipped through the window and landed silently inside. As he moved silently through the lavishly decorated bedroom, he came upon the first hitch in his plan. Daphne Haberdash, daughter of the Chancellor, sat at a writing table, watching him with wide pale blue eyes.

He pulled his tranq gun and leveled it.

“Are you going to kill me?” she whispered.

Her effort at silence surprised him and he hesitated. “Uh, well…” A tear slipped down her perfect cheek. “Oh stop! It’s a tranq gun. You’ll just fall asleep.”

Her delicate chin fell to her chest. “I’m almost wish you’d kill me.”

Drew sighed and gestured at the elaborate furnishings. “Oh, you suffering soul.”

Her eyes flashed beneath voluminous raven hair. “A lovely gilded cage, isn’t it? I suppose it’s vain if I assume you’ve seen me on TriVee, with perfectly coifed hair, gems draped from everywhere. So pampered you think, yes?”

Drew shrugged.

She crossed her legs, a perfectly shaped calf peeking out from her silken robe. Drew knew she was a designer baby, perfectly designed to be perfect as a career politician’s daughter. Everything in Chancellor Haberdash’s life followed the desires of the polls, even what his own daughter looked like. A woman designed to be beautiful and nothing else. “I can’t leave here when I like, you know,” she said. “I just sit here, reading and watching news, only going out when daddy needs an escort to make him look good.”

“‘Kay. I’m not here to be your shrink. I just want the jewels.”

Daphne charged across the room and opened a safe. “There! Take them. I don’t care.”

Drew took them with befuddlement. As he slipped out the window, he looked back, twice, watching her sob.

After two weeks, and nothing in the news about a theft, he broke a cardinal rule and broke in again. He listened to her longer this time, and held her as she cried. She opened her safe for him once more, and he left much richer than before. He returned again and again.

“Checkmate,” Drew announced. “I have to admit, you’re well read and super-smart, but strategy eludes you.”

Daphne hung her head. “I know. I just don’t get it. You know, I’ve tried escaping a few times.”

“What happened?”

“Daddy’s men brought me back. I don’t know how to hide. I don’t know anything about, out there.”

By seven break-ins to Daphne’s bedroom, their time became more about enjoying each other’s company. Daphne cried less, laughed more, and they made love in their time together. Drew knew he was falling for her. Though already wealthy from her jewels, he continued breaking in. He stopped stealing diamonds and stole kisses instead. At last he made his most elaborate plan to date, and with her help, he stole Daphne herself.

“Checkmate!” said Daphne in the lounge of his starship, enroute to their new home, far from the Chancellor.

“That’s four times already. How?”

“Strategy,” she said. “I just pulled you in.”

“But before…”

“Before, I wanted to know you. Think. How could you break in so many times without inside help?”


She kissed him tenderly. “It’s lucky for you, you’re smart, handsome, sweet, and I love you.”

As he watched her eyes, both smiling and conniving, he realized what she’d done. He’d planned to steal from her, but through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned.
Written for The Speakeasy. The weekly writing challenge is limited to 750 words and must contain a certain sentence. The sentence is positioned differently depending on which week of the month. This week the sentence, “Through the clarity of retrospect, the obvious conclusion surfaced: things don’t always turn out as planned,” must be the LAST sentence of the story. This week’s prompt may be found here:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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45 Responses to Strategy – The Speakeasy

  1. Oh she’s a clever one! Really enjoyed this story … and strangely want to look into those gecko pads.


  2. Indira says:

    How clever of her. enjoyed thoroughly. I think you have more inventive mind than scientists.


  3. jannatwrites says:

    Haha… he thought he was the one with a master plan, and then to find out he’d been had. Guess she had him wrapped around her finger (though it doesn’t seem as though he’s complaining!) I enjoyed reading this story, sort of a sci-fi fairy tale 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      Oh, she had him wrapped alright. He could do worse though. She’s designed, by her father, for beauty, and this lovely and talented woman had fallen for him. Though he was duped, he really shouldn’t complain. No trophy wife, this one. You’re right, this is a scifi Rapunzel story. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂


  4. nabanita says:

    Ohh how clever Daphne is! She completely turned his plans upside down! Enjoyed reading it


  5. Stacie says:

    Loved this! Glad she was such a smartie.


  6. Madhura says:

    Ah immensely enjoyable. I love how he stopped stealing diamonds and stole kisses instead!


  7. tedstrutz says:

    You definitely have my attention now. Best story you have written… that I’ve read.


  8. Really enjoyed this one!! He thought he had it planned. I think he underestimated her!


    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! He waaay underestimated her. He thought she was another vapid rich girl. Turns out she’s the brains between the two of them. He may be on his heels a lot, but I think he’ll be happy with her. 😉 Thanks for stopping in!


  9. JaneS says:

    I loved this well told tale, although I advise the thieves of this world that gems like Daphne are few and far between.


    • EagleAye says:

      Daphne is definitely the greatest gem he’s ever stolen. She is indeed very rare. I hope he appreciates her. I think he will, especially since she so easily beats him at chess. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the story. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  10. Imaginative use of the prompt. Enjoyed this…


  11. janisezayas1 says:

    awwww that was so sweet! Would like to see an extended more intricate take on this love story. I like the idea of him being a space pirate! =)


  12. Suzanne says:

    Smart girl! Very clever strategy indeed. Another great story! 🙂


  13. chanolsy says:

    She is very clever indeed, though I admit I expected something a little more sinister from her. 🙂 Great little story!


    • EagleAye says:

      If he hadn’t been a “nice guy,” in a roguish sort of way, we would have seen something much different from her. Like most folks, she has a bad side too. Lucky for him, she loves him. Thanks for your thoughts. I appreciate it!


  14. atrm61 says:

    A woman who knows what she wants and how to get it too-yay! I loved the heady mix of superhero – Robinhood vs pampered ,wall flower -a beautiful woman of substance 😀 Of course,the fact that they were both good looking,smart,rich and devious made it more delicious!Good job again Eric 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      Oh yes, this is just the sort of story my wife likes. Can you imagine there’s some influence there? 😉 If Drew were merely devious, and not good-looking and nice, I expect he might’ve awoken in an alley and wondering where his ship went. Luck for him, he’s on her good side. 😉 Thanks so much for the visit, Atreyee!


      • atrm61 says:

        Ha!ha Eric!Don’t they say that behind every successful man,there is a woman and that woman is usually his wife ?;-)More lol at your wicked thoughts-I agree-good looks and being nice means a lot to us women 😀


  15. Silverleaf says:

    This one was fun and sweet and a joy to read. I had to look up the name Daphne this time – not as familiar to me as Achilles. I’m assuming you chose it on purpose?


    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! So glad to hear that. This time, Daphne was chosen just because I like the name. No other reason. But don’t ever fail to expect me to have ulterior motives with name picks. I do so enjoy adding extra levels of meaning. Thanks for stopping in!


  16. christi74 says:

    This was really good. I’d definitely see the movie!


  17. Lyn says:

    Brilliant! Simply brilliant. (yes, I’m disobeying the doctor by being on the computer 😉


  18. Shey says:

    This woman knows what she wants. A nice love story with a happy ending. I love happy endings. 🙂


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