con artist - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Every time I was around Gary my head span faster than a helicopter blade. The person I saw depended on who he was talking to and what he wanted. He could be everything from bad-ass to vulnerable, albeit with a new story of each new situation. He had an infinite number of childhoods; his parents were happy, divorced, fighting, abusive or dead. His Dad had been a banker, a road digger, a burglar or unemployed. His mother had been a drunk, a politician, a Sally-home-baker or a tart. He was an only child, the last of eight, brought up in a foster home or the heir to a fortune. Part of me wanted to walk away, but I was the only one he could tolerate. Why? Because I never asked to see behind his ever changing disguise. Inside that body was a kid, a kid locked in at some emotional age far younger than his twenty-something exterior. I'll never know what happened to him, but whatever it was it just stopped his development at that age. It's a one-way friendship, I know, but he needs someone...
Gordon could read her faster than a tweet. The smile - anxious - she was eager to please him. The clothes quite provocative but her body posture was awkward, she'd do whatever he asked and then be embarrassed. He'd be her best friend for as long as it took to drain her bank account, then he'd do all the things to her that she'd hate and he'd love. Then either she'd walk or stick around to be his servant, he really didn't care which. But once he found his next mark she wouldn't even get a goodbye, he'd just be gone with her cash in his own private accounts. She wasn't bad to look at really, a bit dumpy around the stomach perhaps but a more enjoyable "job" than working in some office or on a building site.
Tara let her tears fall, "You left me when I needed you most. You left me with with all the bills, emptied our account and just disappeared! Now you're back?!" She retreated to the far corner of the condo she'd bought with money from her mother's estate.
"I didn't want to take the money, sweetheart. It was my brother, you know how he is. He made me, oh darling, I missed you every day. Every damn day. Nothing was the same without you. The sunshine was meaningless, I couldn't laugh or smile. Please, sugar, take me back and I'll make you happy again. I swear I will." She turned to see him, sincerity pouring from every feature. His eyes were red-rimmed and watery, his face slack and his lips sagging, listless. He cast his eyes down instead of meeting her gaze in what appeared to be shyness, or shame. Tara turned and just nodded once. He folded her into his strong arms and eye-rolled as she wept. Now he'd have to change his shirt, but no matter, Tara would buy him a new one...
There are family and there are “marks.” A cruel person wouldn't even make that distinction. That's not me though. I pride myself on my family ties. Blood before water. There are people out there that want to save the world, they feel guilty for every over-privileged breath they take. I'm just here to take them closer to those they pity but never actually help. Not that I'm saying they should, I don't. But once I'm gone with their life savings there's just one more bum on welfare to add to the uncounted masses of poor in the world. They mean as little to me as the famine and tsunami victims meant to them. Only difference is that they cry those crocodile tears and I don't. It's true I steal directly, but so do banks and somehow they aren't the bad guy. I'll have a string of fully paid for homes to rent out by the time I'm thirty, I'll be taking care of my Momma, my Dad, my wife and putting my kids though the finest schools. I don't shoot people for a pay-check. I sleep just fine.
The old lady bathed in the attention of the man with the gift catalogue. There was everything for her grandchildren and at such a reasonable price! The smile never left his face, perfect soft lips over perfect white teeth. He was like her son, so kind, so polite! Even his eyes twinkled as he explained the portion that went to the children's hospital and the star that would be added to the christmas tree in her name. He called in her credit card, still smiling and read the numbers. Once the transaction cleared his face slumped faster than a poorly set dessert. He had no more interest in discussing the grandchildren or her holiday snaps, suddenly her little jokes weren't funny at all. He just sat there eating her cookies and sucking back the coffee mutely until it was all gone. She tried harder to engage him again but it was as if she had become invisible. He gathered his belongings and stood, casting a disdainful look around the impoverished room before sweeping out of the front door.
She smiled making small mistakes confirming her lies and laughing at them, blanketing his judgment. I had taught her well. Soon enough we would be strutting away with fifty grand and all she had to do was keep her mask on.
It was simple to gain trust. Too simple. First ask a favour, the bigger the better - but be careful to lace it with flattery. Hardly a person in a hundred will spot it if done right. Frank gazed up at the sky, dark as it should be with a green snake of light swimming into the horizon. It was times like this in Aurora Village that he felt most content. Distance was an illusion in the twenty first century. Getting into someone's life, their head, was no more complicated than typing. He could send out so many a day and hone in on only those that "bit." It was a game that brought such sweet rewards and he was the grand master.
The art of the con was something Horatio felt he'd like to write books on, tell the world how insanely intelligent he was. He wanted to show that, like them, he earned his money - just not in the traditional way. Even more than that he wanted to tell them just how stupid they were, but then how would he fool them after he'd spilled all his secrets? There was something about engaging with a new mark that gave him a buzz, the thrill of the chase, like dating a beautiful woman only to leave her cold with no explanation. He took off his shades and rested them on the cafe table, it wasn't especially sunny and they were really only useful for scanning people undetected. When he needed to "accidentally" meet a person eye contact was all important.