Sunday, July 7, 2013

3. "A Walk in the Park" (P2)

If anything, life was good. Fun! Exciting! My dad thought I would never amount to anything. Whenever he was around he would say, “Son, all that intelligence, yet you never try to amount to anything.” Ha, look at me now. No wasting time in school, no wasting time at home being bored. Dodging city dwellers and police, most don’t even know I exist. All the forensics and money in the world, and they couldn’t figure out that I didn’t actually die.

That was the thoughts running through the head of Timothy after his most recent victory. With another hand full of cash, no one had seen him yet again... or so he thought. When he first set out on his own, beginning in spring, he had some close calls stealing from stores for various foods and other consumables. After almost getting caught, he had resolved to be far more careful. In fact, it was when walking through the park that he developed several rather successful methodologies.

These were primarily predicated on utilizing his well developed memory. Something that was significantly under utilized in the accelerated classes he had previously attended and was now truly put to task. He spent a large amount of time going over faces, names, schedules and various other seemingly insignificant details of those who frequented the park. Businesses had security and were expecting the common burglar, on the other hand, people walking through the city were otherwise preoccupied. But of course, one needed to avoid too much repetition and timing was everything. Noting the most recent victims, the large catalog of information he had collected on their relationship and habits, he knew well before time the perfect moment to strike.

While laying in the dry leaves lost in his thoughts and surrounded by a thick patch of trees, he was brought back to reality with his first shock in several months. Standing half behind one of the larger trees was a girl several years younger than himself. First he felt a moment of terror, quickly stuffing the money in his pocket. How long had she been standing there? How much of my mumblings had she heard? Had she seen me behind the couple? But as the moments wore on and the two continued to stare at each other, he began to relax.

He was on the other side of the woods from where he had accomplished his deed and she had come from this side. She must have simply been passing through and had stumbled upon him lying amongst the trees. So, after his nerves had calmed down he decided to try and strike up a conversation with a greeting.

After sitting up, he began sheepishly, “I’m sorry, did I surprise....” he paused when she raised her eyebrows, “err, no. I probably should introduce myself, then.”

“I guess ... that’d be a good idea,” she walked out from behind the tree and continued confidently. “Well, go on.”

“Give me a chance,” he responded with annoyance, “my name’s Tim and I like to be alone.”

“Yeah! I can see that,” she laughed, “that makes me Novella.”

He replied somewhat sceptical, “Novella? That’s an odd name, isn’t that the word for a short book?” Giving her a quizzical look, he asked, “how’d you get that name?”

“I … I don’t know,”.

“You never asked your parents? When I asked mine, they just gave me some silly story about my uncle, caviar, and their wedding.”

“Well ... I never knew my parents,” she momentarily had downcast look, but before Timothy could try to say something comforting she quickly threw it away. “Anyway, thats not why I came. I wanted to talk about that game you were playing.”

“Gah! … you came,” sputtering as he tried to respond clearly flustered, “what? no, I wasn’t playing any game. I was just...”

“The sneaking wasn’t a game?” She looked worried.

“No, I mean, clearly it is.” Maybe she hadn’t seen him actually take the wallet, “It’s quite fun... sneaking around... so that no one knows you're there. Yeah, thats it.”

“And then taking their stuff!” Why was she so excited? “Yes, you need to show me more, how’d you do it? I want to try!” She started skipping around.

He needed to make this stop. A girl tagging along, that would ruin everything. But talking was not one of his strong points, he always tried to avoid it when possible. I should have been practicing for this sort of thing. What could he say? Ah, that will do it. The idea was stupid, but it should work for a nosy girl.

“Well see, there’s a problem with that.” A smile started to creep over his lips when he saw her mood start to deflate, “If you want play the game, you have to join a club. There are some rather strict rules. For example, you can’t live at home anymore.”

“Oh, well actually…”

“And you can’t see any of your old friends again. Gee, look at the weather, how do you think you would fare in the cold with no one else to care for you?” He was quite pleased with how well this was working.

After a moment of hard thought she responded, “It’s not like I couldn’t ever go back. I can still give it a try. Right?”

“Haha, so naive, of course you can never go back.”


“Absolutely never.”


She had always imagined running away, but now with the finality of it thrust in her face, she couldn’t make the jump. Although, this may have been because she was not expecting to have to make such a choice at that moment. She had thought it was going to be a simple game like the ones she always played with her friends, except slightly more real. But still, not with such drastic consequences.

As she began to walk away downcast, Tim called out to her, “Of course, if you ever feel up to it, just come back and I’ll show you the ropes.” He promptly snorted, she could tell she was being mocked.

After meandering for a while, she wandered back to the other side of the park, it was not easy to miss the assembly of children ready to go.

Ms. Parker motioned toward her, “where have you been? It’s time to go back to the house.” She then looked back to the rest of the group and finished, “everyone needs to wake up tomorrow for the start of school. Doesn’t that sound exciting!”

Some in the group mumbled half heartedly their agreement, so she continued, “Fine, fine, you know, life is only what you make it.”

Ugh, why does she always have to say that, thought Novella.

“Come along girls, lets get going.”

As they came up to the street and waited for the light to change, Novella noticed the same couple from earlier standing next to a taxi.

“Alex, what do you mean you don’t have any money?” The women exclaimed angrily.

“I'm sure I had some cash, I just visited the ATM this morning.” He truly seemed flabbergasted.

“This has to be the third time you’ve made me pay. I swear, if you were the boss and I the employee, our company would have folded a long time ago.” Then in a deep mock voice, ‘I'm sorry client, I lost those bonds.’”

“Well,” he said resolutely as they slid into the taxi, “I guess it’s good that’s not the case, my lady.”

“How dare you ca...”

As, their voices were cut off by the slamming of the taxi’s door, Novella couldn’t help but suppress a giggle. Maybe the day was worth it after all.

[to be continued...]

I am definitely having fun with this.

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