Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Purse Thief and His Prize - free short stories

Looking around to make sure nobody was watching, Ken burst the passenger side window on the scruffy- looking little vehicle. The tiny glass fragments rained to the cement below like a jar of spilled candy. He quickly snatched the purse he had been eyeing that was sitting on the floorboard. Ken hightailed it around the back of the grocery store while trying to hide the purse under his shirt and met up with the other boys in his gang. “Did you get it, man?” one of them asked. “Man, shut up! Yeah, I got it,” Ken panted while trying to catch his breath. He dropped it to the ground from under his shirt like an unwanted baby. Several hands reached for the brown leather purse at the same time. Its contents were spilled out and carefully examined. The wallet went first. A total of twenty- seven dollars in cash was quickly drained from the inside. Next came the credit cards. Although those are a bit riskier in nature, they were divided evenly between the gang members. The driver’s license and I. D.’s were split up also. Ken grabbed one of the identifications from the wallet he had stolen. It was a security officer’s state commission with the name of Amy Lefeaux on it. Ken thought it looked neat so he shoved it in his pocket without further thought. Next came the makeup and hairbrush — they went over the fence. Then a surprise came out. It was a shiny sterling silver pocket watch. Ken scooped it up just before one of the other boys got his hands on it. He examined the watch carefully to see if the silver was real. If it was, he might be able to get ten dollars for it from his ffiend at the pawnshop. He flipped open the top and saw a little red sticker with some letters on it. Unfortunately, he could not read well and only was able to get the second two of the three words printed on it. It said something ‘use only’. He flipped it over and noticed that it had two ugly plastic buttons sticking out of the side where someone hid drilled holes in it. One of the buttons was red and the other one was black. “Dang man. Someone ruined this pocket watch,” he sighed, as he realized he was not going to get much for it now. He pressed the red button to see what it did. The second hand stopped on the watch. Of course, so did his friends. At first Ken thought his friends were playing some kind of trick on him as usual. They were all acting like statues and not moving at all. He began to push around them ttying to call their bluff None of them would move even in the slightest. Ken thought, “I’ll make ‘em move.” He reached over and pulled everyone’s share of the stolen cash right out of their hands and their pockets. Not one of the members moved an inch. Ken was beginning to get worried. His friends had never acted in such a strange manner before. He slowly backed away from them and began to look around. It was then that he realized that not only were his friends frozen but also there was an alley cat stuck in mid-air. 1 looked like it had just jumped off the edge of the trash dumpster. It had a half-eaten chicken leg in its mouth. Ken could not figure out how the cat was able to float in the air. He walked around the corner and was amazed to see the entire block was somehow frozen in its tracks. Cars were frozen with their drivers unable to move. People were stopped in mid-stride walking to and from their cars in the grocery store parking lot. Even the birds in the sky were stuck in mid-flight Finally, Ken thought back and remembered exactly when his friends stopped moving. It was just after he pressed the red button on the silver watch. He pulled the watch out of his pocket. He pressed the black button and the world came to life around him. “Wow! This is great!” Ken exclaimed. He pressed the red button again and was rewarded with the world freezing for him. The black button again let the whole world go about its business. He quickly ran back to where his friends were. They were looking for him all around the back of the store. Not surprisingly, they all had a rather puzzled look on their faces when Ken came running up to them. “Hey man, how did you do that magic trick disappearing thing?” one of them asked. “What do you mean?” Ken asked with an equally confused look. “You just disappeared when you pressed the button on that watch. Next thing we know you come running around the corner. How did you get over there?” “Well, I just walked,” he answered as if they should have known that. Now that he entire gang was totally confused they all just shrugged their shoulders and went back to the business of being bad. Ken though, had other plans. He made up an excuse and departed from the company of his friends in order to further test the magic watch’s amazing abilities. After he got around the corner, he pressed the red button and froze the world just as he had done before. This time he walked right into the grocery store. Everyone was frozen in their place. It was easy pickins’. Ken strolled around the store and picked every bit of cash off of every person in there. He cleaned out all of the cashier’s tills as well. By the time he was finished, he had collected over ten thousand dollars. It was almost too easy. Ken walked out the store and pessed the black button to release time. The chaos that ensued in the grocery store was priceless. All of the people were baffled by the sudden disappearance of cash on the premises. Some of the people were blaming others for stealing and fights broke out all over the store. Finally, the police came in and arrested everyone as Ken watched from across the street. One could almost see the wheels turning in Ken’s head as he stared at the scene and thought of how he could practically rule the world with this little silver watch. He needed to find a place to hide all of his cash. It was just too much to carry around. His pockets looked funny with as much as they were bulged out. He went back to his house and locked the door on his room. Acting quickly, he stuffed all of the money in between his mattresses. The watch, however, would definitely stay with him. As he opened the door to his room to rejoin his gang, his mom stood in his path with an angry look on her face. “What have you been up to, boy?” she asked with a stem voice. “You ain’t been hanging around them bad kids now have you?” “Aw morn, come on. They ain’t bad,” Ken pleaded. “You gonna end up in jail if you keep hanging with them boys, son!” she fussed. Ken reached for the watch to try to pull his disappearing act on his mom but she outflanked him and yanked the device from his hand before he could activate it. “Dat is mine, Morn! Girnrnie it back!” Ken shouted, attempting to regain control of the situation. “Who did you steal this from?” his morn dernanded. “Nobody Morn. I bought it frorn Carl.” Unfortunately, Ken did not lie well. He tended to look away and not make direct eye contact with the person he was fibbing to. His mother was an expert at perceiving his lies. She searched ler son’s pockets and found the security commission from the purse he had stolen. She took the watch and the commission and brought both of them to the police. Eventually, all of the money Ken had stolen from the grocery store was returned to the rightful owners. Ken ended up in juvenile detention for the possession of the stolen money although they could not prove that he was the one who took it or even how it was taken. The commission was returned to the security officer who owned the purse, but not the watch. Somehow it was found missing from the police evidence room just before Ken’s trial date. The last people to exarnine the watch were a couple of agents sent from the FBI. Unfortunately, nobody ever saw the watch after that.


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