“Whilst the police department are dealing with the troubles caused by these rampant gangs of youths, the bank will only be protected by a handful of private security guards. Thus it will be, as they say, ripe for the picking.”

She looked at the assembled ladies with a rare, thin smile of pleasure. There was a brief ripple of motion and noise, as teacups clinked against saucers, throats were cleared, and legs elegantly uncrossed.

A woman in a low cut red dress, with scarlet hair to match, was the first to speak.

“How much do we expect to be picking, Mrs Du- ah, I mean, ‘Mother In Law’? Do we have specifics?”

The older woman gave a sharp look at the near-slip of her real name, and paused to straighten her smart grey skirt suit before replying.

“Plenty for all of us, Ms ‘Elegance’, I assure you,” she said in clipped tones, “Provided, of course, that those of you with a preference for sharp instruments can restrain yourselves near the money bags. Lacerate, puncture, slash and stab at the guards by all means, but do please remember that it’s easier to carry notes in a bag which remains intact.”

By the glare she gave one of the younger ladies, and the girl’s slightly sullen avoidance of eye contact in return, it was obvious that she had a previous incident in mind.

“Oh, and one final note, ladies. Please remember to conduct yourselves with dignity. We are villains, not thugs, and we have a reputation to uphold. If one of those over-powered heroes turns up, let’s not all fight over him. Whoever gets there first can take out the cape.”

There was a murmur of agreement at this rather sensible suggestion, and the Mother In Law looked around with satisfaction before glancing down at her agenda.

“Now, with that settled, the next order of business. As you know, we have agreed to run a cake stall at the harvest fair next Sunday, so I would like a list of who shall be baking what…”

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This week’s Three Word Wednesday prompts are Dignity, Lacerate and Ripe.)

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