Robbery Gone Wrong
Me feet pound on the dirty cobblestones as they stream past, blood roaring in me ears. The cops’ angry shouts still echo in me head. It ain’t gonna be long before they catch up. I swerve, ducking into the narrow alleyway that runs behind the hospital. The reek of disinfectant hits me nose, and I gag. This place gives me the creeps real good. It don’t feel right, not by a long shot. There’s an air of misery here, like it never known the meaning of joy.
Me feet skid to a stop as a pile of rubble comes into view, blocking me path. I double over, breathing hard. Might as well take a break cause there ain’t nothing I can do. I’m trapped good and proper. There ain’t no way out but the way I came. Well, ‘less I wanna risk me neck climbing the rubble. A snort escapes me. You’d have to be insane to try. And desperate.
A grin creeps up on me face. Fortunately for me, I tick both those boxes real easy. I grab a piece of cracked brick and haul me-self up onto it.
Just wait ‘til Boss hears of this. He’s gonna be so proud of me. A diamond necklace in me pocket, not to mention thwarting the cops good and proper. ‘Specially since this is me first solo.
Suddenly, the brick under me feet gives out, and I’m left hanging. I flail, trying to find a foot hold. Finally, me feet find purchase and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Correction. Boss will be proud of me if I survive.
Still, this is the best birthday ever! Well not birthday, no one knows that. ‘Cording to boss, he found me in the streets and took me in when I was a baby. Probably the only half decent thing he ever done if you ask me. It's me ‘leventh year in his care and I've never seen him be nice to no one. He's more of a kill first ask questions later kinda guy. All of us gang folk are, if I'm gonna be honest.
I reach the top of the pile and turn to look back. Nothing. Breathing a sigh of relief, I turn
around and start scrambling down the other side. I reach the bottom not a moment too soon.
From behind me comes a chorus of angry grunts. You’d think them cops would come up with a response other than grunting like pigs, but I ‘spose they ain't have the brains to do so. I pull a face at the rubble grinning like a madman. That ought to teach them a lesson. Jokes on them.
Stuffing me hands in me pockets, I turn. And come face to face with a dog. A dog who seems overjoyed to see me. Feck. I’m done for if he barks. Me only chance of escape is if them cops ain’t know I’m here.
“Quiet, boy. Down, boy,” I hiss.
Begrudgingly, the dog lowers itself to the ground. It’s only then that I notice that its fur is shining, and it don’t smell. This ain’t no stray. Clearly this dog belongs to someone who is rich enough to take care of it properly. And chances are, that rich owner will be back to collect them dog at any moment. I bite me lip. The proper folk are always bad news. But sure enough, footsteps start echoing down the narrow alley.
I duck behind a piece of wood and hold me breath. Moments later, a tall man with a
white beard comes into view. In his arms is a small, sickly-looking boy. I bet that boy’s one of
them hospital patients. The man ain’t look like anyone I’ve ever seen, though. Maybe he’s one
of them country folk, cause those folk are all but unaffected by this damned war. They'd be able to afford luxuries like keeping a dog. They’re never bombed.
A high whining fills me ears and I cower, thinking that it’s a plane. Feck. If that plane bombs us I'm done good and proper. However, it don’t go away, so I risk peeking. The dog is pawing the ground, trying to see the boy. After a moment I realize that the sound is coming from the dog.
Suddenly I’m pissed. Since when do I scare that easily? I’m ain't ever scared. Ever. And I never ever cower. Never have. I’m blaming it on the war. It’s real annoying when people are trying to kill you. But I’ve known that for a long time.
The whining stops, and I realize the man's leaving. I let out the breath I've been holding the entire time.
Me relief is interrupted by Big Ben chiming in the distance. I count the strikes. Twelve. Shoot. I’m supposed to be back by now. Boss will be livid. I jump up and start sprinting, and soon I’m at the end of the alley. I go to turn left but pause. Going this way takes twice as long, and I don’t have any time to spare.
I turn me-self around and start sprinting again. Hopefully Boss will forgive me for going into enemy territory. I just gotta hope I ain’t captured. Cause boss won’t pay ransom to any enemy gang, lest of all to this lot. We’re rivals good and proper. I cut across the street to an abandoned warehouse. It'll be me best shot to get out of this place.
A resounding crack sounds behind me and I whirl around. At the end of the street are two thugs. Feck. I’m dead for certain.
I grab a piece of the gutter piping and start moving towards them. I might as well go down swingin’.
The bigger thug puts his hand inside his jacket and is groping around. What’s he doing? His hand returns to his side. In it, there’s a length of metal about the size of me forearm.
I squint at it, then recoil. Feck. That ain't a piece of metal, it’s a gun! How did them folk get them hands on it!? Them guns are mighty rare. Even Boss ain't got one of them.
Before I can speculate further, a loud bang rings in my ears, accompanied by a splintering pain. I crumple to the ground, a scream stuck in my throat, the piece of pipe forgotten on the ground. A red stain slowly spreads on me shirt. It ain't gonna be long before I’m dead. Already spots cover me vision. As darkness consumes me, I hope that it’s ain't for the last time. That maybe I'll live to see another day, that I might survive. Maybe I’ll get another chance.
Charlotte Prebble is thirteen years old and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. Her hobbies are writing, roller skating, drawing, and maybe most of all, reading. More often than not, Charlotte has her head in a book. One of her favorite book series is Lord of the Rings.