Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • "Find the international spy."
    "Hmmm....red shirt?"
    "Nah..."
    "Ah! Old man with the newspaper!"
    "Haha! Yeah, definitely."
    "See the crossword he's doing? Bet it's just a front..."

    We looked out across the plaza full of people rushing around, back and forth, crossing the streets, involved in a little game only we knew was being played.

    Nearby a young man in a suit and tie lay sleeping, crumpled at the base of a large statue.

    "Should we wake him up?"
    "Why?"
    "He might be late for something."
    "True..."

    People rushed across the plaza, a sense of urgency pulsing from their steps. Across the street, in front of a bus, just in time, pause, stop, start again, never meeting another's eyes, never falling in step.

    "Okay...find a guy who's having a fine day now, but something's gonna make him snap and he's gonna kill his whole family this evening."
    "Tough one."

    Scanning the new players (the first bunch had moved on by now) we settled on a rather rushed looking man in his early thirties in a zipped-up black jacket. He just had a look.

    "The sleeping guy woke up."
    "Yeah?"
    "Yeah...we'll know when he checks his phone..."

    Slowly pulling himself upright, the young man rubbed his face and looked around him, seeming a bit surprised and annoyed to find himself waking up in a public place and broad daylight. He pulled his phone from his jacket pocket and checked the time.

    "Is he drunk?"
    "Dunno..."

    Picking up his briefcase, the young man stumbled across the plaza to the street. Seeming to recognize he'd made a mistake, he stumbled backward a bit and changed direction toward the opposite side of the plaza.

    "Yeah, he's drunk."
    "I hope he's okay..."

    We watched the young man cross the plaza, unstable on his feet, barely maintaining a hold on his briefcase, until he had disappeared around the corner.

    "Find a lost American."
    "Done."
    "Yep."

    The sky dimmed a bit as evening crept in over the city, darkening the plaza.

    "The bobbies got 'em somebody."

    Sure enough, the three drunk guys across the plaza had been spotted by two police officers who were, even as we spoke, writing furiously in their little pads and questioning the men.

    "Find the heiress."
    "Easy. There. Big bag, brown leggings."
    "No, no. Like--big time heiress. She's rebelling."
    "Oh...."

    "The bobbies left 'em alone."
    "Huh."

    A little girl ran by in sneakers that lit up pink with each step. Then a trans woman with long brown hair followed closely by an older woman with dyed blonde hair and bright red lipstick.

    One of the drunk men began trying to leave but found it difficult to do so with his friends continually sneaking up behind him to grab him in a bear hug, spinning him the wrong way and making it all the more difficult for him to maintain his balance.

    The bobbies appeared again from around the corner, not at all amused, prompting the remaining drunk men to begin moving away from the area.

    It was quieter now, and cooler out. A light breeze blew through the square and several people pulled their jackets closer around themselves as they crossed the plaza and moved onward and out of our view.

    "There!"
    "Who? The blonde?"
    "No, the girl with the braids."
    "Where? I don't see."
    "She's sort of flirting with another girl on the bench now..."
    "Oh! She's the heiress. I see it now."

    An old couple walked toward the bench where the girls sat and the lady sat down on the bench. Her husband stood nearby, as the bench was full, and the girls got up, offering the older man a seat. The couple thanked them and the girls left the plaza together.

    "Okay...find the world's best hacker."
    "Kid?"
    "Maybe..."
    "What about this girl?"
    "Nah, too tall."
    "Yeah..."
    "There he is!"
    "Yeah, that's him. That's definitely him."
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.