A Short Story for “P” and the Font “Person Non Grata” (#AtoZChallenge)

persona non grata

Today’s font for my Blogging from A to Z April Challenge post inspired the tale of young Abby Quinn, a young woman who faces a tough decision on the eve of her eighteenth birthday.

For Day 19, I chose the font Persona Non Grata by junkohanhero as my prompt for today’s flash fiction.

persona non grata

persona non grata

I hope you enjoy today’s short story, Persona Non Grata.


Persona Non Grata

By Anjela Curtis

Sitting for hours in a police station was the last place Abby Quinn expected to spend her eighteenth birthday. When her parents found out all the details that led to this moment, she had little doubt that they’d disown her. She would become persona non grata. She’d expect no less.

Abby had the bad luck of being born the only law-abiding person within a family of criminals. She couldn’t have been more different had she hatched from a platypus egg. As hard as she tried, she’d never been good at lying, cheating, or stealing—which was a constant source of frustration to her mother and father.

The Quinns prided themselves on being a family with a long tradition of breeding the world’s most skilled con artists, thieves, and liars. At least, that was the case until Abby was born. Though she didn’t believe it, Abby grew up listening to amazing tales of the first Quinn ancester who, on his eighteenth birthday, had left England for the Americas by conning his way aboard the Mayflower.

Today was Abby’s day to follow in the hallowed footsteps of her forefathers and commit her first crime as an initiation into the family business. So, instead of celebrating her birthday in a limo with her best friends and an overabundance of illegal alcohol, she’d been tasked to execute a con on her best friend who was the daughter of a local judge and hailed from one of the most prominent, philanthropic families in the area.

As motivation, her parents made sure to pick a mark, that should she fail, would be the most humiliating for her. She could always count on good ol’ mom and dad to compensate for their lack of nurturing with cold-blooded calculation and practicality. This was her chance to prove to them that though her sensibilities might be different, she did possess the attention to detail and the conviction of purpose that was every bit as important to her as it was to them.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Miss Quinn,” the detective apologized, approaching his desk with two cups of coffee. He sat down and placed the coffee on the other side of his desk in front of her. “You sure you wanna do this? You can walk out of here right now and life goes on for you as it always has.”

“Yeah, well, that’s the problem. I can’t be the person my parents want me to be. I’m not cut out for a life of crime. However, as I happen to have detailed information regarding my parents’ involvement in several open cases you are currently investigating, I am willing to testify on behalf of the state in exchange for relocation in the Witness Protection Program. Do we have a deal or what?”

2017 © Anjela Curtis

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