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It’s Mine Now!

Is your work all that secure?

By Mark GagnonPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - December 2023
It’s Mine Now!
Photo by Tolga Ulkan on Unsplash

Well, Simon, here we are alone once again. No one is here to stop us from committing any type of mayhem we wish to. Yes, mayhem seems to be our middle name, doesn’t it? I remember when we were young and always getting scolded for being somewhere we weren’t supposed to be, or taking something that didn’t belong to us. There are so many tales we could tell.

There was the time Mr. Jackson from the corner store accused us of taking his shop keys. It was sooo much fun watching him and his wife scour their shop for over an hour looking for, “those damn keys I know that kid stole.” He was so sure we stole them he even called the police. I wish I had a camera available when the cops found his keys tucked safely away in his coat pocket, which was hanging in the back room.

His expression was priceless. The look was a mixture of frustration because I wasn’t the culprit that caused him all this grief, and befuddlement. After all, he had no idea how the keys had gotten there originally. The police laughed, making light of the situation, then instructed the shopkeeper to shake my hand and apologize. Naturally, I smiled and said some meaningless reassuring phrase, and walked out.

What Mr. Jackson and the police didn’t know was I stole the keys, unlocked the back door to the storage room, and helped myself to a few goodies. When I got what I wanted stashed away, I went back through the breakroom, dropped the keys in his coat pocket, and rejoined you at the front of the store. No one ever figured it out. That was our first caper together.

Since our first job, we have been a busy pair of thieves. Life has been good to us as we globe-hopped from country to country, becoming wealthier while meeting new and interesting people and ripping them off. There have been a few close calls, but we have always prevailed. Now, my friend, it’s time for a change.

Oh, no, we’re not giving up the clandestine world of the thief. I could never do that. We are merely adjusting our methods to fit our ages and lifestyles. What are we going to do? We are about to become famous authors. Are you attempting to laugh, or are you complaining? You know it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so why not start today?

Yes, I know you’ve seen some of my scribblings in the past, and ‘not impressed’ is more than an understatement, and I agree. I admit I’m not Mark Twain or even Steven King, but I have no intention of doing the actual writing. That is much too time-consuming. We are going to write the way we have done everything in our lives—we are going to steal people’s stories. How is this possible? Let me explain.

I recently found a website called Vocal. It is overflowing with talented authors vying for a coveted Top Story or a contest win. The beauty of this plan is I can be a hit in any genre. Just for some examples, I could steal from JBez, Lamar Wiggins, Dana Crandell, Mike Singleton, and occasionally Mother Combs and Celia in Underland if I’m looking for mystery or thriller. If I want to claim to have written a sci-fi or fantasy, my choices would go again to Celia in Underland and Donna Fox. Music reviews are Kendel Defoe’s preview. For informative and fun writing, there is Donna Renee and Jay Kantor. My first choice in the poetry category has to be Pernoste and Dahl. Should my fancy shift to the Middle Ages, Matthew Fromm is my obvious target. Dharrsheene is my #1 for dark and macabre. There is so much opportunity and not nearly enough time to mention everyone, let alone plagiarize their work.

My first target is Tina D’Angelo. Her bawdy stories involving tawdry affairs and murder will surely catch the reader’s attention. Besides, representing us as a female author may confuse anyone attempting to track us down.

So, what do you say, Simon? Are you ready to join me in this new venture? I’ll take your content purring as a yes!

(I wrote this in response to a comment from Tina D'Angelo about one of her stories being copied and posted on Vocal under someone else's name.)

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.

I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (21)

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  • Mariann Carroll3 months ago

    Swiper no swiping! Love the humor

  • Donna Fox (HKB)3 months ago

    Mark this is another great piece by you!! I loved this!! The overall mood and mockery type of narrative that you gave off with a slightly too realistic plan of attack! Great story and I love that this was inspired by a conversation between you and Tina! 💚 Congrats on Top Story!

  • Daphsam3 months ago

    Wow, this is quite thrilling, a scary story. Congratulations on your top story. 

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    This might be the scariest piece I have ever read on here...

  • Jade Loson3 months ago

    This was a beautiful piece! First piece i've read since joining vocal, love it!

  • Kenny Penn3 months ago

    Man, reading this made me so angry. Some people are really scum. Great piece and congrats on top story

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    It's so blatant sometimes. I mean, stealing is one thing but to publish it on the same site it was stolen from defies logic. There is no Thanks for sharing and congrats, Mark!

  • Shirley Belk3 months ago

    Congratulations!!!! And to Simon, too :) of course

  • JBaz3 months ago

    Isn't this kind of theft supposed to be a form of compliment? I don't see it but I do see brilliance in this story. I had no idea where you were going then whammo. The dang cat picture threw me off. Congratulations

  • Paul Stewart3 months ago

    Shame about Tina's story being nicked. What a timely piece and so well written. I've had stuff nicked in the past...not a fun thing. Loved this and congrats on it getting Top Story!

  • Little do you know, Simon has already outmaneuvered your scheme and hit it big with the latest thievery gizmo: a clandestine printing press known in private circles only by its codename, ChatGPT. Plus, Simon doesn’t have to fear the retribution of irate authors since that content is “his” 😉

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    Congratulations on very relevant Top story! 🤍

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Great piece, Mark. This has happened so often to so many of us. It's disgusting. Congrats on the TS.

  • Gosh you have no idea how much fear this has instilled in me because this is what's been happening, what is still happening and what what will continue to happen. The other day I found someone who had plagiarised The Invisible Writer's Top Story. I informed him and reported the story as well. That was my most recent encounter. What I don't understand is, why the hell is Vocal allowing this to happen?!

  • Andrew C McDonald3 months ago

    On point and quite relevant. I love this. It brings to mind a time when I was in a creative writing class in high school. We were tasked to write a fable with a moral lesson to it. I wrote a tale about a skunk who was bullied until he let loose with his secret weapon. The day after we turned on our assignments the teacher called me and another student up. She had two stories,both exactly the same … My story. It seems the other student had filched my story, copied it, and turned it in under his own name. I will never understand why he would then turn in my original story as well as his plagiarized copy. The teacher, knowing us both, merely asked if I had written the fable.I simply replied yes and she took my word for it. He failed the assignment. It was a lesson. Luckily, I was known as an honest student. So…, I get this.

  • Jay Kantor3 months ago

    My Friend - This is a great narrative. There's always going to be the 'Sucker' that wants to hang from your banner. One of our greatest allies is our vm village, Judey Kachik, she bounces all over such things and got them tossed from plagiarizing, verbatim, several of my pieces; she's just terrific. Remember she even wrote about 'Plagiarism' If it came to push-shove copyright infringement their 1st line of defense would be to question ours for 'Originality.' Sorry to blab...Marvelous enlightenment - It's so hard to acknowledge that someones always in your "Pocket" for one reason or another. btw; say hi2tina 'j' Jay Kantor, Chatsworth, California 'Senior' Vocal Author - Vocal Village Community -

  • Tina D'Angelo3 months ago

    Evil, Mark. Evil. Wonder if the powers that be will pay attention.

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    NAILED IT. I can picture them now! Oof lol. Thanks for making me smile about it though!! 😁

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    Brilliant! Probs a little too close to home though. And thank you for the mention -was not expecting to see that! Did someone really copy one of your stories? 🤍

  • Kendall Defoe 3 months ago

    Umm...should I be nervous and switch to Medium? 😉

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