Steven Kapela


Not the dangerous kind, just a kid's toy, for fun, really. It couldn't hurt anybody. Its four little propellers buzzed with steady power as I helped her roll her ring-notched fingers up the sticks of the remote control. She seemed transfixed not with how high it could go—but with what it could catch and what it could reveal. She was bent on spying into open windows at the Ritz Carlton or the rich people's yachts at Pillar Point. For me, mountains and trees and the occasional close-up of a seagull breezing by was enough to make its price seem worth it (two broken locks and a crowbar-dented door). She wanted more though. I took my hands off hers. She held the heavy remote control like a bible she could recite by heart. Our clothes flapped against our bodies as the brisk sea-wind hit us over and over. The drone wavered a bit in place. I hoped it would fall and we'd have to take it home and repair it together. But on it went toward Pillar Point, less than six or seven hundred feet away. Boaters were beginning to emerge from their yachts tilting back and forth in the clear water. Even from here, I saw them obliviously stumble down the docks. Many of them wore those goofy white captains' hats with gold emblems on the front. I wanted to leave. That's fine, she said. I started to walk away to the car but turned around. I saw her reflection flickering in the lake's light, wobbling with the waves like the birds floating in the water atop them. The birds seemed to accept her reflection as if it was one their own. I didn't want to know what that meant so I walked back toward the beach. The blues of her eyes couldn't be seen through her Ray Bans. So I couldn't tell if she saw me turning back, unable to make a decision. The drone couldn't be seen either. But still she stared and stared north toward the docks. I popped a squat on a spot of both sand and grass, thinking and thinking of how I'd pay for rent that month and how, if she was good at flying both high and low, we could see if any of the yachts were left unlocked—if any doors happened to be left swinging open. We could look for these patterns together. Mike, I bet you could get in there, Mitsy said. She turned and smiled. Her eyes peaked out from atop the shades. Yes, it'd be another job—another simple breaking and entering, I thought. But not the dangerous kind. Nobody had to get hurt. Nobody had to get hurt.

Steven Kapela is a poet from Toledo, Ohio. He has been published in After the Pause, In-Flight, Toledo City Paper, Rascal Magazine online, and won awards two years in a row at the Toledo Art Museum for ekphrastic poetry. He was a finalist in Tethered by Letters 2014 Fall Literary Competition for flash fiction. He likes to write haikus for fun on twitter and works at Apple.

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