Short Stories 1
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything… Been kind of busy!!.Not too long ago, I was given a paper to read and I loved it soo much that I thought I should share it with you!! It was written by someone very very very very close and special to me. We would appreciate it if you give feedbacks, or just tell us what you think about it!! Have a good day!
The crowded street was bustling with people. The cold, gloomy weather surrounding London didn’t seem to affect its residents. They carried on with their daily routines, ignoring the bristling cold and nagging wind. Oxford Street, one of London’s most popular and probably the most used street was full to the brim as usual. There was hardly any room to walk, but no one cared. People knocked into each other, but didn’t bother mumbling apologies. It was too cold to go to that kind of trouble. The main goal was to survive the frigid cold that was London during winter.
This was exactly what James waited for, the winter and all its glorious cold. James loved this weather. It filled his body with the kind of energy and life that nothing could. He didn’t need an expensive, thick coat like everyone else did, no; the cold didn’t bother him at all. He walked down the streets with the ease of someone who walked these streets often. Taking in a deep breath of fresh air, James welcomed the cold and–he was rammed in the shoulder without warning by a passerby.
“Sorry mate” his apology faded, there was no one to hear it. Smiling brightly, James pocketed the wallet he took from the other man’s back pocket. “Sorry ma’am” he mumbled again, but the unknown woman was already gone, hurrying towards some shelter from the cold. He was an afterthought, just another obstacle in her way towards warmth. Ducking out of the pedestrian traffic for a moment, James took a quick look at the watch in his hand. “Bloody hell” It was a dud. He could spot one easily, having been duped himself the first couple of times. Hoping he could get even something for it, James put it in his bag. Nonchalantly, he launched himself back into the midst of the crowd.
James belonged there.
He had learned to never pick a pocket right off, it was too obvious. So, he let himself be pushed, and shoved around. James didn’t mind walking down Oxford Street, he actually loved it. Even when he wasn’t working, there was always so much going on. The stores were decked out, each trying to outdo the other with their decorations. There were heaps of lights draped over the streets shaped like bells, reindeers and Christmas trees adding light into the darkening sky. Some of his favorite stores were on this street too; John Lewis, Primark, the Disney store and Waterstone, the largest bookstore in Europe. James had spent so many countless hours flipping through comics. His favorite was Batman, because he was the only one willing to do the dirty work for the good of others, and he was also an orphan like him.
Soon, James was making his way towards Debenham’s. Smiling, he knew that this was easy pickings. People were just coming out of the store with bags upon bags of shopping. More than the average layman could afford, but it was the season to be spending more than their means.
Bumping his way into the swarming crowds, James worked quickly, but carefully. He avoided families, mainly because there was more than one person to be concerned about, and he stayed away from teenagers like a plague. They played hero too often, “especially if there is a girl around” he thought, disgusted. James didn’t like being chased around. The rest, however, was fair game. His hands worked with delicate precision, slipping into back pockets, and out, no one the wiser. James knew to use just two fingers; the third finger generally bumped into the body, and risked alerting the victim.
As with London weather, it didn’t take long for it to snow. What began as freezing cold was now amplified by the flurry of snow bearing down on them, which only made life a little harder for James. He had to be extra careful with the slippery weather. He was contemplating heading back, having already done some serious damage today, but then he saw the easiest target ever.
The man staggering clumsily down the street was gigantic. James could see him from a block away, in the middle of all the people, which was really rare.
“He has to be at least 7 feet tall.” James couldn’t help but stare. “Shit.” Not only was he tall, he was unrealistically wide, making him look mammoth. James watched him stumbling over; he wasn’t drunk, but looked uncomfortable on his feet. People tried avoiding him, but he was so big that when he moved around, he knocked into everyone.
“I bet the clothes in ‘Big N’ Tall’ is small for him.” Laughing at his own lame joke, James slowly made his way towards the embattled giant. “One last score and home it is.” Thinking about the little place he had to stay didn’t make him smile, but he was glad for the roof, no matter how badly damaged, over his head. Slinging his bag over to his right side, he positioned himself so that the giant was on his left. Seemingly without purpose he walked over, the giant was looking over him. James smiled, “this is going to be too ea—“
Before he could finish his thought, he found himself sprawled on the cold, wet ground. The giant had knocked him down before he could manage to grab his last score. “Bloody hell, the stupid oaf could be a little more careful.” Cursing, he dusted himself off, and turned towards his house. It had been a successful outing even without the last attempt. Adjusting his clothes, James took a couple of steps before he realized that he had been duped.
“Bloody oaf! Shit, shit, shit!” James scrambled around, hoping his bag would be on the ground, but he knew it was gone. “I can’t believe I fell for it! Stupid shit, I can’t believe I let him get me!” James turned around and started down the way the giant had gone, with his bag that had all his nights work.
“Shouldn’t be too hard to find him” James sprinted; he couldn’t afford to lose it. “I really hate running, but I’ll be damned if I let him get away.” It didn’t take him long to find the thief. He stood out, well, like a giant.
“Oh c’mon, give me a break!” complained James; there was no way to get the bag. The mammoth had his precious bag draped across his shoulder, and because of his atrocious height, he couldn’t pinch it back.
“Hold it mate” planting himself in the man’s way, he said. “I want my stuff back.”
Looking down at him, the man smiled. James took a step back, that wasn’t a pleasant smile. The man had little to no facial hair, including eyebrows or eyelashes. His jaw line stood out prominently and his eyes were hard. James held back a shudder, “looks like the loch ness monster’s little brother” he thought.
“I don’t know what you mean boy. Now please get out of my way.”
“Na, I don’t think so matey. You have my bag, and my stuff. I want it, now.”
“You mean the stuff you stole?” Shaking his head, the man moved to the side of the street, away from the path of scurrying Londoners. “You don’t even deserve to be working these streets laddie. I got you too easily.” The man’s thick Scottish accent made it harder for James to understand his words.
“I don’t care man, I want my stuff back or I call the Bobby!” James knew that calling the police was the worst thing he could do for both of them.
Surprised, “You would send us both to jail for this bag?”
“Yes. Now hand it over, or I shout.” Almost as if to back his words, a policeman walked by them. “Who do you think they’d believe mate? I’m just an innocent, helpless child…”
The giant laughed, seemed impressed with James’s resilience and resourcefulness.
“Alright boy, I have a proposition for you. A challenge laddie. We pick the Bobby’s pocket, and the one that returns with the most valuable pick wins.”
James knew that this was suicide, but he needed the bag. It was his lifeline for a week, maybe two. “If I win, I get my bag, your picks and you stay off my streets.”
“That’s a heavy toll boy. In that case, when I win, I get everything, and you work for me for a year. I get 75% of everything you pick.” The mammoth mass looming in front of James grinned, and that worried him.
“Ok, it’s a deal.”
The giant spied out the policeman from his vantage spot, and decided to go first. While the man stumbled his way into the bobby, James hurriedly wrote a note on a piece of paper he had in his pocket. The giant man returned, and flashed the wallet he had picked. “Try to up this laddie. I have his wallet.”
Grimacing, James made his way towards the policeman. “If I get sent to jail, I swear, I’m going to kill someone.” James was going to try his routine ‘bump and run’ tactic, but the policeman turned at the last minute. He was too close to move away without looking suspicious. Praying to all the Gods above, he tripped himself into the arms of the shocked bobby.
“Whoa laddie, are you alright? Watch where you’re going,”
“I’m sorry sir, just tripped. I’m looking for my bag…” Disengaging himself from the man’s body, James had what he needed. “It’s alright sir, I’m sure I’ll find it.
“Alright then lad, if you need anything let me know.
Moving away, James made his way back towards the giant standing beside the Debenham’s store. “Well, what do you pick child?” James produced the Policeman’s badge. Laughing hard, the giant asked, “And you think this trumps my pick?”
“Not really” James replied handing over the badge. “But that does.” He pointed at the Policeman they had both swiped, he was running towards them, and he wasn’t happy.
“You little prick, did you think—” Before the giant could finish, the bobby was all over the man. The giant had both the badge and wallet in his hands.
“You bloody fool; did you think you could rob me?” Shouting, he put the giant in handcuffs. “did you think you would get away after stealing my badge and wallet?”
Unable to answer, the giant glowered with pure rage. James couldn’t help but smile, but he wasn’t finished. “Sir, this man has my bag. He must have stolen it.”
“Is that so?” Ripping the bag from the giant’s shoulder, he handed it over. “Take better care of your stuff laddie; these streets are full of thieves.”
“I will sir, thank you.”
Being led away in cuffs, James heard the giant ask, “How did you know it was me?”
“Someone slipped a note into my pocket that said, ‘Giant + Wallet + Badge = Thief.’”
James made his way home, holding onto his bag with extra care. He was done for the day, and for at least another two weeks. He had used some of his day’s work to buy groceries, blankets, batteries, school books and stationary. The snow had eased, but the misty streets made the night look ominous. This wasn’t Oxford Street anymore, this was the East End. Nothing here was as beautiful as the bustling streets of Downtown London, and there was certainly no decorations or lights around. The streets were deserted; the ground was broken with multiple cracks and the atmosphere gloomy. Windows from the surrounding shambled houses were closed making this look like a scene from a Jack the Ripper movie. “I’m getting tired of this” James grumbled to the world, but there was no one to hear him. “I don’t want to live like this no more.” His footsteps echoing in the empty streets, James knew that no matter how badly he wanted to live another life; there was no other life for him right now. “I’m going to make it big” he promised himself, “Someday I’m going to be a somebody, and then life will be better. But until then, I have a good reason to keep fighting!” Stepping into an alley, James found the steps of a fire escape, and climbed to the very top. Pushing open a broken window, he stepped in.
James lived in an attic of an abandoned house.
The wooden floor was still a little dusty, and the broken windows and cracked roof made it fiercely cold, but in James’s eyes, the little light piercing through from the battery-powered bulbs made it homey and cozy. He crossed over to the little cot, and bundled in the blankets he bought from his last outing was his baby sister. This was his good reason to keep fighting, to make life better for his little sister.
“Beth, I’m home.”