CC – Made clear

Here’s my next Cryptic Creativity exercise. They’re getting easier to do and even more fun. I’ve no idea where I’m going with these, except that it’s making sure I keep writing. I wonder if anyone reading these would be able to pick out the crosswords. I considered putting the list of words at the bottom of each, but nah.


Made clear


It had been made clear from the very beginning. Back when Marcus had first tried to inflame the passions of his haphazard group of small-time crooks. The idea was to swindle their way quietly to the high life. But all that had happened was an epic scandal had erupted, leaving him swamped in accusation and coasting dangerously close to a jail cell.

He’d spent close on three weeks assuring the chief of police that the whole messy affair had nothing to do with him. And all the while that dastardly Otto was cavorting around their secret vault. Admiring his hideous reflection in silver platters and gold ornaments, rolling around on vintage tapestries with his latest floozy.

To say that Otto was the product of evolution would be an insult to the apes. When it came down to it, why they’d agreed to let him join the group in the first place was a mystery. Marcus had restrained himself from throttling the fool when they’d first been found out, deciding it was best, as the leader to take the heat and deflect the inevitable fall out as much as possible.

It was the only way to reaffirm his position as leader. But now, apart from cutting Otto up into bite sized pieces as distributing him in Chinese take-away cartons across the city, his remains a message to any other miscreants, his only option was to try to edge him out piecemeal with as little fuss as possible.

There were some in their number that had been known to grumble that Marcus had been miscast in the role of leader. But even the most scurrilous of dissent dries up over a few rounds of cider – the good stuff, none of that watered down dish water Eleanor down at the Grizzly Bear’s Tit served with a crooked smile and flash of wrinkled cleavage.

The good stuff is the kind that rips straight down a man’s gullet, setting his belly ablaze. Many a good plan had been made with the aid of the drink and judging by the spirited replies of his crew, this night was no different.

They were closer than they had ever been to hitting the big time. All that remained to do was execute the drop and hightail it out of the city in an unmarked taxi. All of the details had been worked out ages ago. Erne MacAlister, the tartan wearing bastard with only one eye had assured him everything was in place. All Marcus would have to do was make sure his imbecilic team followed the steps exactly and then discard any evidence long before the coppers even got wind that something was afoot.

Marcus’ appetite had been whet a while ago when scanning the horse race results over breakfast one morning and a drop of treacle had dripped onto the face of a rich widow mourning her recently departed, incredibly wealthy dead husband.

How he ended up needing to employ the noisesome bunch he found himself stuck with now was a whole different story. But it really didn’t matter when he looked at the big picture, in just a few hours he would be stepping through the front door of the grieving young damosel, by force if necessary and helping himself to the wealth amassed by the recently departed old toad.

Marcus lifted his glass of cider and opened his mouth to raise a toast to the job at hand, when a figure appeared in the doorway and any planned words of bravado were reduced to a horrified gasp.


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