1. Play a train song

2. He knew he had one left–he just knew it

3. A sheep in sheep’s clothing


They were two of a kind, although not many people could see it. Pulled from the same gene pool, they were as physically unalike as sister and brother could. She, the elder by some seven years, had inherited her father’s build, tall, muscular and somehow frightening, with curly dark hair and hooded dark eyes. Her brother, much to his dismay, was in many ways the picture of his delicate mother, small and spare, with pale indeterminate features and a demeanor to match.

The one thing the two had in common was a hunger for money and the power it could bring.

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t work,” Charlie said one day in early summer. “If we both take care we could get thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands before the first snow.”

His sister shook her head, and help up her hand to ward off his usual and insistent declarations.

“We’ve gone over this a hundred times, Charlie. You know the two of us can’t make this kind of thing work without someone we can trust on the inside. It’s not just a matter of Charlie and Clarissa. Not these days.”

The two had worked schemes before, and fate had most often worked their way, but the times were different now. Clarissa needed to make him see that before it all came apart. She picked up the drawing he’d made and began to note vulnerable spots in his plan.

“We might have had a chance if you still had that little-boy innocence, but face it, Charlie, those days are past. What we need now is…” The rest of her sentence was lost as the young man snatched the drawing and ripped it in half.

“It’s because I thought of it!” Charlie yelled. “I’ve always had to watch you take charge of everything! Well, no more! If you don’t want to come along, that’s fine.” The gentle boy had become one of the angry young men.

In his heart, though, Charlie realized she was right. The plan was flawed, as his plans always were. Somehow he always figured that he had another one left–he just knew it. Still, maybe this wasn’t the time.