short story, story promptJoanna uses her special skills to make a living for herself – after all, living in London alone when you’re a teenager can be tough. Her methods aren’t exactly … legal, but she has the best partner-in-crime to help her pull it off!


“Hunter, here boy!” Joanna let out a shrill whistle. The dog across the road in the park pricked up his ears and looked her way. With swift bounds, he crossed the quiet street and entered the dark alley where she waited.

“Good boy.” She patted his head. “Drop it.” A brown paper bag fell at her feet as he release it from his jaws. She knelt, gently pushing his big head out of the way. Opening the bag, she smiled. Perfect.

“I think someone deserves extra treats tonight,” she said fondly, scratching Hunter between the ears. “We managed quite a haul this time.” She reached into the bag and pulled out a handful of £20 notes, slipping them into her wallet. “Let’s go shopping, Hunter.”

Joanna scrunched the top the paper bag closed and stuffed it into her knock-off handbag. She left the alleyway, Hunter following close on her heels. He never strayed. Flipping open a cheap phone, she dialled a number as she walked and held the device to her ear. The person on the other end of the line picked up almost immediately.

“Look, I left the money where you told me, but some mangy mutt seemed to think it was lunch and made off with it! Even the police couldn’t catch the damn dog!”

Joanna affected a deep, seductive female voice. She’d gotten quite good at it over the past year. “Tut-tut, Mr Winters. I thought I told you no police were to get involved in our little … arrangement.”

The voice on the other end of the phone spluttered. “I … they were just in the area and I shouted for help, that’s all.”

“You’re bluffing, but I’m in a forgiving mood. Seeing as the funds seemed to make their way to me despite your bumbling, I’ll let it slide. This time.” She paused at a pedestrian crossing. “One more thing Mr Winters. I still have those photos.”

“Our deal was for you to get rid of those once I paid you!” She could practically hear the steam coming out of his ears.

“Our deal was also supposed to be between just you and me. Not half of the cops in London, Mr Winters.” She crossed the road, Hunter still faithfully by her side. “You’ll be hearing from me again.” She snapped the phone shut and tossed it into a nearby rubbish bin.

Hunter barked a warning. Police officers were heading her way. “Scatter,” she ordered him softly. Obligingly, he wandered off a little way.

“Young lady, a quick word please?” The female officer flashed her badge.

Joanna looked at them, her face a picture of puzzlement. “Of course. Is something wrong?”

“We’re trying to locate something. Is that your dog?”

She looked to where Hunter was currently sniffing around the delicate parts of another dog. “That dog?” She wrinkled her nose in disgust. “Ew. No way. I wouldn’t have that thing in my place. Mum would kill me.”

“He seemed to be following you pretty closely just now,” the male cop spoke up.

Joanna sighed dramatically. “I made the mistake of throwing him my sandwich crusts. Now he won’t stop following me. I figure he’ll get tired and wander off eventually.”

“Better call the animal shelter,” the lady said to her partner, “get him off the streets.” She turned back to Joanna. “Thanks for your time.”

She smiled charmingly. “No problem, officers.” Fools. Once again, no one suspects a teenage girl of pulling off a major blackmailing job! I love my life!

She walked away as the two cops started closing in on Hunter. Glancing out of the corner of her eye, she smiled slyly as he danced away from them, for all the world looking as if he was a cheeky dog playing a game. She’d trained him well. He knew how to evade them. He’d probably beat her back to their hideout, too. He was sneaky like that.

Forget about man’s best friend. Hunter was the best partner-in-crime a girl could ask for.

I really like this one! What do you think?

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