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The Crimson Chase

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Eric looked over his shoulder. Stern looking men with navy blue uniforms yelling into phones were everywhere. To his right, Eric saw a menacing beige bank building, fourteen stories high. Wish as he might, there was no way he would be able to climb its oily slick surface. His left side didn’t raise his morale either; a murky black river with a pollutant like odor laid that direction. If he thought he was going to get the satisfaction of escape for being able to swim across the nauseating substance, he was horribly mistaken. He could see the hazy police car lights spinning rapidly across the river, almost like a tiger’s tongue ready to lap up its prey. There was only one way to go to maintain his freedom, and that was across the fence. That metallic chrome fence was the only thing that could save Eric from a trip to prison now.
It had all begun with a petty theft, just a measly apple from the grocery store. When Eric’s father saw the stolen property when the family arrived back home, he simply muttered something to the extent of “boys will be boys”, and casually ordered Eric to never repeat the offense again. However, those words never seemed to sink into Eric’s cement firm head. The apples eventually lead to other foods, then toys and eventually to the extreme of computers and cameras once he became old enough to realize their immense value. This sly habit only worsened as Eric realized he could make a profit by selling the stolen goods. In the city, it became clear to him that if he looked hard enough, there was almost always an itchy palmed bargain hunter ready to make a transaction. He could make an average nearly three hundred dollars off of each sale, and it didn’t cost him a penny to get the goods. Content with his slimy trade, Eric simply dosed off from the rest of life. To him, stealing was a full time job.

Eric was so skilled at his so called trade that everyone in his neighborhood had been robbed at least once by him and yet not a single person suspected him. He was friendly, charismatic, and seemed compassionate. Of course, these emotions were just part of a mask. However, if he was going to be able to keep his risky business alive, he needed to make sure he kept suspense away from himself. That is why he had to begin robbing elsewhere, such as the rich neighborhood across the river, posing as a respectable salesman and gathering valuables while oblivious home owners turned their backs to him. It seemed like a marvelous plan until he arrived at the door of Herman M. Waynedorf.

Herman seemed like the perfect person to rob. He was a rather weakly built man and looked somewhat young and naïve. He wore copper lined glasses and had a soft spot for exquisite cheeses. Eric, now Eddie the friendly cheese salesman, briskly approached the Waynedorf residence and rung their custom made doorbell. It was a wealthy neighborhood and he could sense it by a whiff of its clean evening air. He was greeted by a proper hello by Herman but was not invited inside the house. When told what goods were being offered, Herman lit up like a fireplace. With a grin the size of a watermelon, Herman raced to his room to retrieve his checkbook. In a giant house like Herman’s, it takes quite a long time to get from place to place, thus it is a perfect opportunity for a thief to grab a few valuables and thrust them into a large handbag. The stage seemed set.

Feeling delighted with the smooth going of his plan, Eric jokingly skipped like a schoolgirl into the house. A silver engraved watch engraved with “Herman” was what he targeted first. It just lay there on a table, silent as a stone. After grabbing it with his giddy hands and plopping it into the bag, he scooped up other plunder. Cameras, an IPod, expensive ornaments, Mrs. Waynedorf’s silverware, and even the petite sized television in the nearby guest room were not spared. When it seemed the job had been complete, Eric smiled to himself and headed back outside. All of sudden, a glimpse of crimson in the corner of his eye caught his attention. It was from a ruby ring sitting benignly above the microwave. It continued to sit there, almost taunting Eric to go over and snatch it. Eric cringed, he knew Herman would be back any minute but couldn’t bring himself to leave the ring behind. He took a chance, and lunged for the ring. He soon held it in his palm, and chuckled to himself. He turned to leave but suddenly froze like a board. He paused quick enough to see Herman’s jaw drop.

At first Herman only cursed. It wasn’t loud, because that simply wasn’t his style. He quickly shook off his previous habits, and began to yell at the top of his lungs. Herman was now wild eyed and at that moment seemed to resemble a bear more than a man. However, Eric never saw this expression. He already had bolted for the door, and felt the air slap across his body. Herman was not a track star, but he was certainly capable of catching up to a man hauling a bag full of heavy objects. Herman reached Eric just at the edge of the driveway, and with all of the might he had, dragged Eric to the ground.
Eric slammed face first into the pavement, and heard a sound like a giant nutcracker crashing down on a boulder. His nose started to swell up and felt like fire as he let out a yell from the intense pain. It must have been broken, but he didn’t have time to find out for sure. He leapt up again and felt his legs churning beneath him. He noticed a crowd of neighbors had gathered to see the commotion, and a couple of them were on their phones. The police would probably arrive any minute. Eric noticed Herman getting back on his feet, and it looked as though he was preparing to make another attack. Hoping to avoid another calamity, Eric made a stiff arm a football player would have admired, and watched Herman gently collapse onto the grass beside him. Eric abandoned the bag and stumbled toward his recently stolen motorcycle.
The neighbors were not nearly as bold as Herman had been. They helplessly watched Eric as he zoomed away in his motorcycle. As he looked over his shoulder, Eric scanned the eyes of the still motionless neighbors and noticed they glanced slyly towards his license plate number. As he made his way out of the residential area, it became apparent to him that he couldn’t be seen near this motorcycle or the police would surely discover his identity and swiftly arrest him. Keeping that in mind, Eric approached a gas station, slowed down and pulled over. He started to panic thinking of the finger print DNA identification test the police might use on his motorcycle. Right as he started to drag it off of the gas station’s grimy pavement, he saw a familiar crimson color in the corner of his eye once again. This time, the bright color did not belong to a sparkling gem. Once Eric figured out what it belonged to, he started shaking and trembling. It was the lights on top of a police car.
There was nothing left to do but flee the area. He turned the motorcycle over and made a dash for the main road. The police car started to back up, filling up the exit of any gaps. Eric turned into the mud instead, which transferred filth onto his wheels and lengthened his escape. The police didn’t wait to watch what happened, they instinctively drove closer toward him. Eventually, Eric made it out of the muck and jabbed the cycle to full speed. He used agile arm motions and pulls to shift through the steady streams of cars on the highway. He heard the police sirens turn on, and it appeared the battle had begun. He noticed as he propelled himself farther and farther, more sirens could be heard. As he approached the downtown, he leapt off of his bike and sprinted into the city.
Eventually, Eric came to a dead end. The police were tracking him on foot now; he saw their faces not far behind him. He had only one option, to escape over the fence and into ongoing traffic. He took a deep breath and hurled himself upward toward it. He had only crawled a few feet upward when he abruptly was pull to the ground. Eric felt a muscular foot place itself onto his stomach. He barely managed to read officer’s crimson badge above him. It belonged to Officer Waynedorf.




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