Nocturnal Pursuits

Today’s assignment was an image prompt. Write a post based on an image. Once again, the good folks at WordPress provided a few images to get the ideas pumping. This one spoke to me, though I was inspired by looking at the thumbnail and started writing from there. The full image is blurrier than I’d thought, which doesn’t quite fit in with the perspective I was going for, but it still fits with the general theme of a city at night.

Neon lights illuminated the night sky, advertising hotels, restaurants and products that few people would actually buy. Cars crowded the streets, streetbound fireflies flitting back and forth. The downtown area of the city was like a carnival after sundown, full of enticing sights and sounds, some of which were only illusions, promising much and delivering nothing. Lydia sighed as she looked out the window. A carnival. And she couldn’t go on any of the rides. Not yet.

She was the lone occupant of a sprawling 22nd floor office. There was a job to be done. Lydia worked late often. In fact, working late was pretty much all she did. She opened another file on the computer and scanned its contents, only half focused on the task. Her eyes drifted toward the skyline. She would love to be standing on a balcony, or a rooftop even, soaking in the night air, letting the moonlight wash over her.

After a few more searches, she found the files she was looking for. They were in a folder labeled ‘Vacation Slideshows’. Of course nobody would look there. She started the download process and turned her attention to the city again. Its twinkling lights, brighter than the stars above them, beckoned to her. The city wanted her. It would have her soon enough. She remembered nights spent looking at the stars, back when the city was so far away and exotic.It had been her dream to live there one day, to be among the glitz and the glamor, an angel with a neon halo. She was living the dream now, in a way. But not quite like she imagined.

The download was complete. Lydia took the flash drive out and pocketed it. She turned off the light on her desk, equally relieved and disappointed that building security hadn’t come by to check the floor. It made things easier for her, of course, but she did enjoy a challenge. She snuck out of the office, making sure the lights were all turned off, walked down the hallway and took the service elevator up to the roof.

It felt good to step out into the night air. Lydia walked to the edge and gazed at the urban panorama spread out before her. She closed her eyes and listened to the city’s constantly thrumming heart. She considered her situation for a moment. Her employers only needed the information before trading began in the morning, and she wouldn’t really get paid till then anyway. That gave her plenty of time to revel in the night. Maybe she’d find another place to rob. For fun, this time.

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