Short Story: Crimes Exposed
A crowd gathered at the market square.
“I saw him. He took the ginger from the basket.”
“I saw him take a whole roll of cloth down that way.”
“I didn’t do it,” the accused said.
But the accusations kept coming from different people who had witnessed his thievery from all over the market. He had stolen everything from a bread roll to a golden watch. The thief would not escape his punishment!
“I saw this man turn into him,” a loud voice cut through the noise.
The crowd parted for two people. A woman walked purposefully towards the centre as she pulled a man by his ear behind her. They didn’t stop until they stood beside the accused.
“Show them,” she said.
“I’m innocent,” the second man said, “Don’t listen to her. She’s crazy.”
“If you won’t show them then I will.”
The woman grabbed the man’s hair and pulled. It came off easily, as it wasn’t his hair but a wig. The rest of him changed too. Starting from his head to his toes, the man changed into a completely different person. The woman then wore the wig on her own head.
Before their eyes, the woman transformed into the accused man.
“This wig allows this man to change into anyone he wants. With this, even if he gets caught, someone else takes the blame,” the woman said as she changed into different people.
The crowd, naturally, were not happy. How many innocent lives had this man ruined? Too many in their opinion.
The crowd descended on the guilty man with righteous fury. The woman slipped away before she, too, was pinned underneath. Forgotten, she disappeared with the wig around the corner and emerged on the other side as a poor, shabby crone.
An officer clasped glowing chains around the crone’s neck. Where the chain touched, the illusion fell away, revealing the true face underneath. The officer continued to wrap the chain around the crone, from head to toe, stripping her disguise away while also immobilising her. Around the corner, more officers rushed in to break up the crowd and save the innocent scapegoat.
The woman laughed.
“Took you long enough. But we both know you can’t keep me long enough.”
“We can certainly try. Every moment you spend with us is one less moment you’re out there ruining someone else’s life. Now get up. It’s time to face the consequence of your crimes.”