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One, two, three, four...

By J. R. LowePublished 8 months ago Updated 8 months ago 1 min read
Photo by Ryan Johns on Unsplash

The man doesn't recognise them under their masks. His eyes, myopically distracted by the gun Four holds to his head. He kneels, reaching skyward, uncharacteristically helpless.

"Seven, twenty-eight, sixty-five," he says.

"What?" Two asks, glaring at the papers the man is clutching protectively.

"The code to the safe," he stammers, and then adds, nervously "that's what you want… right?"

His question is answered in the silence that follows.

One's eyes survey the familiar walls. She'd left when she was seventeen, got a degree, a job, and later, a husband. But she never recovered.

Two ran away when he was twelve, went back into the system, found a new family. But he never forgot.

Four knew about the others. She found them, confided, schemed, and brought them back 'home'.

Shame got to Three before they had.

The man’s eyes dart between the three silhouettes in his moonlit foyer; bodies he's far too familiar with.

It clicks.

He begs for forgiveness, and for a moment, Four’s hand wavers, until she sees the adoption papers. The others nod.


The man collapses, lifeless.

The counting stops and blood covers the papers, concealing the name that would have been Five.

Young AdultPsychologicalMicrofictionCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

J. R. Lowe

By day, I'm a PhD student, by night.... I'm still a PhD student, but sometimes I procrastinate by writing on Vocal. Based in Australia.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  4. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  5. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

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Comments (14)

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  • Naveed about a month ago

    That was some fantastic writing! I enjoyed it immensely.

  • Babs Iverson7 months ago

    Josh, this is simply powerful!!! Wonderfully written micro fiction!!! ♥️♥️💕

  • Veronica Coldiron7 months ago

    I don't know how you got so much suspense and action in that short a span, but I'm impressed! This was a GREAT read!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)8 months ago

    That was unexpected and thrilling. I wasn't ready for that ending, great work J.R.! I loved your word choices and precision in how well you executed this micro fiction.

  • Harmony Kent8 months ago

    Wow! I couldn’t see where this was going, and you executed the micro fiction expertly, J R 💕🙂

  • Grz Colm8 months ago

    An effective and tantalising micro that gives you just the right amount of info…😊👍

  • 😱 🖤👣

  • Naomi Gold8 months ago

    This was so well done. I had an idea for a micro heist that is psychological horror, but I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to execute it. You were brave to tackle a sensitive subject like this, and I’m so glad you did. You’ve proven once again that you’re great at these micros!

  • Goosebumps!

  • C. R. Drinkwater8 months ago

    Absolutely love this - so unique and original! Brilliant writing and a really engrossing read.

  • Lamar Wiggins8 months ago

    Wow! Disturbing, that’s probably why I loved it! Not exactly for the content but the chilling way it was written and played out.

  • L.C. Schäfer8 months ago

    This is so good I read it 3x 😱

  • It's just so heartbreaking. This isn't something that can be forgotten, recovered from or moved on from so easily. So glad you wrote about this!

  • Mariann Carroll8 months ago

    Brilliant story telling

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