Seemingly Innocent

December 23, 2011
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The young boy leaned against the wall at the back of the lolly shop, reading each of the carefully printed labels describing both the exotic and common lollies. He kept his hands firmly wedged into the pockets of his shorts, trying to appear as though he was seriously contemplating a purchase. The shop owner watched him with suspicious eyes, like a hawk watching its prey, hungry for the kill, or, in this case, to catch the boy stealing. Closing time eventually rolled around, and the boy was ushered out the door, after his pockets had been carefully checked for stolen lollies.

Early the next morning, at 7am, the store owner arrived to open up, and found the boy leaning against the store window, obviously waiting for the shop to open. The man scowled at the boy, before opening the door, and closing it in the boys’ face with a satisfactory thud. This time the boy stood near the front counter, opening and closing each of the lolly canisters. The shop owner continued to watch him with suspicion, but the boy didn’t seem to notice: he wandered around the store and drew messy, childish drawings of the counter, store shelves and general set-up. When the owner ducked out the back, to grab another box of lollies, the boy peeked behind the counter, drawing more pictures of the cash tin, computer and books. He said nothing, but wrote plenty in his tiny blue pocketbook, in an almost illegible scrawl. The shop again closed at 5pm, the same as the previous day, and, yet again, the boy was the last to leave, after a close inspection of his pockets.

By the fourth day of this routine, the lolly store owner barely noticed the boys presence, and went about his usual business. What he didn’t notice was that the boy was now watching him like a hawk eyeing its dinner: as he entered codes into the computer, opened the cash register, took credit card payments, or re-filled empty lolly canisters. Each and every day for a whole week the boy entered the shop, and each afternoon, at 5pm, he pulled out his empty pockets to show the manager, and left the store, seemingly innocent.

On the morning of the eighth day the boy didn’t show, and his constant presence was missed by the lonesome shop owner, not that he’d admit it. He packed up at his usual 5pm and wandered down the street, hoping the boy would be there to greet him the next morning.

His wish was far from coming true. When he arrived at the store the sight that greeted him was of a ruin. The windows were smashed in, with glass littering the shops’ tiled floor, and the outside concrete pathway. Lollies were strewn everywhere, labels torn into confetti, and the cash kept on the premises all gone. He sighed, for the past nine years he had kept money in the tin overnight, nine years, and now this had happened. The police cordoned of the area, watched by a seemingly innocent young boy, with his hands wedged into his pockets, browsing around a clothing store…

A month later the police called in the owner of the lolly store, the clothes store, the bakery and the latest, the general store. “Four break-ins in four weeks, can you think of anything irregular that may have happened to you?” he queried, eyeing each of them. They all shook their heads, not suspecting the seemingly innocent boy that had appeared in each of their shops for seven days before the robbery occurred…

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

Silver2black said...
Sept. 4, 2012 at 6:19 am
Really good at writing, Reminds me of an author, but I forgot his name; Anyway keep up the good work :D !
Moonlitnight said...
Jan. 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm
That was really well done! You added enough detail to make the setting clear, but not so much that i got tired of reading! I loved it! :)
Pen2Paper replied...
Jan. 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm
Thanks for the comments, I'm glad you liked it!!!
SarasotaWonder said...
Dec. 31, 2011 at 1:54 pm
That was awesome! It kept me hanging till the end...wondering what would happen...and you paced it out extremely well!!!
Pen2Paper replied...
Dec. 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Thanks so much for your rating and comments, they are greatly appreciated.
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