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The moonlight shone onto the musty, gray shack, wide open in the middle of the night. If you were to peek just over the rusted fence at the area behind this shack, you would see this poor family, huddled in the cold gloom. They squished in, coming closer to fire for warmth, for survival. For, not too long ago, these people lived in a mansion, happy and wealthy, together like a family should be. Though, now, you could tell that all this was taken away from the father’s family once you see their eyes, showing nothing but misery. The father had to do something.
The Shauws’ family had nothing at all in their lives except for a small sack of berries they had hunted woefully and they had a very tiny shack, which was barely the proper shelter for five people to live in. This shack was located in an empty, deserted property, nearby dangerous, hungry animals in the dump. This family’s life was in the father’s hands, who had no idea of what to do about this. There were no “HELP WANTED” signs in the poor village, and his family was growing hungry, too hungry, but who would know that this was the least of their problems?
Kish, the eldest child, nervously peered around the fire. “Did you hear something?” she asked her brother, Greg, who was carefully wrapped in his mother’s arms. He shook his head, and he closed his eyes again. Kish hushed everyone at a low, moaning sound. It sounded as if it was a dead animal being trampled over a mob, slowly dying, but the moan grew a bit louder, more fierce.
“ I hear it,” Greg whispered. He stood up and peered behind him. He squinted at the dark area of the empty dump. There was a faint glow of a set of yellow eyes, snooping on the family.
Greg stood up and stared harder and suddenly, his eyes grew wide. He took a step back from the growl. “Dog!!!” he screamed, and
immediately ran off in the opposite direction of the fire. The family took a look at the hungry dog, slowly emerging from the dump. The family quickly grabbled the matches from the ground and ran off, away from the dog that was eating their food from the shack, away from their home that disappeared in the dark.
“ Where can we go now?” the mother cried as they ran through the dark village. They slowed down and looked behind them.
“We’d better sleep in an empty tent for the night,” Kish said, pointing at a row of tents on the grass, all messed and ripped. This idea was better than being ripped open by an angry dog, so this settled the family for the night, but this was not what the father had in plan.
It was hard for Mr. Shauwn to sleep. This horrid surrounding around them was bad enough, but what had happened to their happy life in the past? There were no worries, no misfortune, no sacrificing. The family was growing so mad hungry. As the father leaned over to kiss Kish, he paused when he saw, traces through her rags, her bony ribs and arms. He decided to back away as he saw Kish shiver and lean to her left side. What could the father do?
He carefully stood up from the solid grounding under the tent, slowly walking out. He closed the tent with a loose string, blocking the frigid air of the night. He decided to ponder about what he was going to do about this situation. As the father left the tent and walked on the side-road, he looked into a puddle that
came after the storm last evening. This puddle was pure blue, seeming to represent his lovely days in the mansion he and his family had lived in a couple of months ago, until the flood had washed and broke his house in to the ocean. The puddle seemed to turn a bit of a sickly gray once he remembered the ocean that had washed away the house. This all was in the puddle, and the father kicked the puddle, splashing onto the road. He faced away and continued walking.
Suddenly, Mr. Shauwn’s eye caught a glimpse of a French bakery store. He tried to face away from the window, but he ended up catching a smell of the sweet, crisp sandwiches in the window. He suddenly though about his poor family, probably starving, nearly dying by now. No, he thought. I can’t steal the bread. I won’t do a bad deed just for my family. Mr. Shauwn started wishing that he had a job in that store, working away with delicious bread, sampling them once a while. He would feel the thick, crusty bread in his mouth, being pulled left to right, feeling the hint of mint each moment. Then he remembered the puddle that the father had seen, re-playing the bad luck he and his family had encountered. This flashback was a painful one, but it was true. He took a few steps away from the store, but he couldn’t help it. He had a starving family that he was in charge of, that he had to save soon. He couldn’t let his family’s lives slipping away from his fingers without a fight, but could this be an acception to commit crime? Just half of a loaf of bread wouldn’t hurt, but would it be worth it? Wouldn’t the father get caught? This frightening feeling always haunted him, each moment in his life, especially now. He wished that the father hadn’t seen this store, but he ended up picking up a heavy stick from the ground and slowly walking toward the door.
This wasn’t an excuse for his family starving, was it? The father felt that he had to do this, but he felt uncomfortable. He just had to sacrifice for his family to live. He wouldn’t care if he went to jail or anything. He just wanted the bread to safely arrive to the tent/ shack [if he’d ever get to live there again].
Mr. Shauwn took a quick glance at the road behind him. It was totally empty, totally safe, just for now. He pulled his feet toward the door of the shop, and he prayed that he wouldn’t get caught. Someday, he thought, if I even survive without getting caught, I will apologize to the owner of the store for stealing. I’ll explain the terrible situation I was in, which was the reason I am stealing in the first place. For now, I need to know that someday, actually today, I will safely arrive home and my family will safely emerge home. There was a tingle in the father’s spine, as if a bug of guilt had bit him, cold and hard. This horrid thing that the father was doing in order for his family to survive got tears in his eyes. His family was so dear to him, he couldn’t let them die slowly and painfully. Wiping off the sweat from his head and lifting the stick over his body, he shattered the glass door into pieces.
The alarm went, startling Mr. Shauwn out of his life. He ran straight into the bakery store, ran up to the counter, and snitched two loafs of minty bread into his arms. He wished that he had a moment to smell this hot batch of bread, but gasped at a sound over the shrill alarm.
“Where do you think YOU’RE going?” said a voice behind him. The father slowly turned around, and he took a step back at who he saw. It was a cop, dressed in a glowing uniform. He sighed in deeply and, ignoring the cop’s horrid words, raced toward the door. The cop grinned. “He’s a runner,” he cried. Another police
car stopped on the road and dodged for the father.
Mr. Shauwn ran faster, his heart beating wildly in his chest. The cop grabbed the father by his shirt, and they locked up his hands with a pair of cuffs. The father busted with tears. “Please,” he sobbed, “release me. I have a starving family. They can die any moment now. I’ll put back the food, just let me go back to my family!” His eyes were flooded with tears. “I can’t let them go like that.” The cop shook his head.
“ You can commit crime again if we release you,” one of the cops said. “ If we see any more-” The cop was interrupted by a familiar voice that the Father had been worried about all night. He clutched he bread harder in his arms once he saw his family’s pale, worried faces. He was unable to say anything, and a couple of tears had fallen into the same puddle where the father had seen the flash back.
“Where were you, Daddy?” Greg cried. He tried to run up to is father to hug him, but the cops pushed him gently away. The father had a catch in his voice as he spoke his last words.
“I’m sorry, Greg,” he said, trying to smile. “Have this bread, please.” The father struggled to throw the bread into his son’s hands, reaching into the air. Greg, Kish, Mrs. Shauwn, and baby Susie all stared at their father, being clutched in the cops’ arms. “I’m sorry,” he repeated. As the tears suddenly dried out, more began to flood. Was this the last sight that he would get of his family? As the cops pulled him away from his wife and children, he didn’t know if it was worth stealing bread to sacrifice.