You have no idea how hard it is being able to read people. I don’t mean like tell if someone’s upset or they’re hiding something, I mean READING someone. I suppose I should explain what that actually means, a lot of people would compare it to mind reading, but my “ability” is less about the mind and more about the physical gestures. I guess an example would be helpful. When people lie, there are some pretty common tells, but there are some microscopic things that people can’t see, well normal people. For instance, if someone is lying, I can tell you not only that they are lying, but why they lied and what the truth is. It could be in the way their pupils dilate on a certain word or phrase, or the way their hand rotates exactly 45 degrees to the right.
I work for a man called O’Shea, he was one of the first men “off the ship” as they say when they landed in New York. The Irish mafia has remained one of the best underground operations to exist out of New Whitney, it wasn’t my first choice of occupation you must understand, but a man with my talents can find a very easy life in crime. I began working when I was about 11 years old for myself, stealing sweets from O’Shea’s General Store, making money selling it on for a tiny profit at school. Not that I was a very educated guy, but had enough brains that making green now would mean I wouldn’t have too later. Eventually I got caught when he installed a hidden camera in the entrance to the store and the next time I came into to steal was taken off to the back room and given two choices; lose my fingers or join the family. And that’s where you come in.
My name is Fletch, and you’re my next victim. You don’t know that yet, well you sort of do, you’re trying to work out why I’m in your shop. I don’t exactly look like your usual clientele, hood drawn all the way over my head, sleeves rolled up and stained in something that by the way your gazing at it is ketchup but I assure you its blood. “Can I help you Sir” are the words that leave your mouth, they hang on the air a bit forming a physical sentence for me to examine. “Sir” was a courtesy that you personally didn’t want to give to me but you’ve been trained to treat everyone as if they’re going to buy the entire store. The words fade off and your face becomes clear again “I’m alright for now thank you” faking my best pretentious accent, anything to help my disguise my appearance until I’m ready to commit to a plan.
And then without realising it, you’ve given away your entire panic plan. Your hand is resting on a certain part of the table, whilst you move the rest of your body and sway slightly staring out the window, which one hand remains rooted in place. Panic button. No visible weapons behind the counter and given your slim build it’s unlikely you’ve got any sort of martial arts training. The jewellery is beneath glass and judging by the way you hesitated to lean on it when I walked in shows me that it’s delicate, no need for too much force. They wanted to give me a gun but that felt…well it’s not my aesthetic. I walk over the counter and as your wry smile begins to form, I see your hand move further under the table, you try and cover it by pretending that you’re picking something up but the second your eyes are off me the Taser is sending you into spasms on the floor.
“Did you get it” O’Shea says, turning around from the front seat as I jump in the car and bring my hood down. The car’s engine revs and we pull away, a harmony of police sirens and shop alarms fill the street “Yeah, well I think so, this was the only one that fit the description you gave me”. I reach into my pockets and pull out the gold chains and put them into the fedora that is on the seat next to me, passing the broach over to him. You see it’s important to steal more than just you want otherwise it looks like you’ve gone for a specific reason, cover your footprints by doing a river dance. That iconic smile spreads over his lips, not a man known for being able to hide his emotions, a stifled life escapes his lips and he turns back around in the seat “I have no idea how you do it”.