September 16, 2009
Jonathan Daniels needed money.
He needed it more than anything…it was an obsession...a necessity…He needed to feel the crinkle of worn paper in his hands…he needed to smell the musty scent of ink and travel. He needed something to hold onto as he wandered aimlessly through the darkening streets.
It was a dreary fall evening, and the sun had long faded behind the line of buildings along the road. The man nervously reached into his large coat pocket, fingers clinking around the meager loose change lurking inside…He took slight comfort in its cold texture; after all, it was money. It was all he had anymore.
For one who had once been rich, having nothing was devastating. He had tried to find more…tried to keep everything that he once owned in his possession…but one by one, everything was taken from him.
How was he going to live?
Shadows fell around him, cast by buildings, trees, and lampposts; deep, inky black, oozing across the ground in grasping tendrils. Jonathan ignored them, clomping over the sidewalk, his worn boots breaking the still, eerie silence that had descended upon the area.
Walking past the darkened storefronts was torture. Television sets, electronics, furniture, and expensive clothes all stared mockingly out at him. He wanted them all…
He needed them…just like he needed money…
More than he needed money.
Jonathan couldn’t help but pause in front of a display of cell phones. Their sleek surfaces looked so new…so rich. If only he had one. If only he could walk down the street-- homeless, poor—and yet still hold one of those phones in his hand. Even if it didn’t work, he could look rich.
Jonathan paused for a moment…
Was he really ready to stoop so low?
Staring at the phone, the man made his decision, his eyes scanning the street, searching for a rock…anything.
He wasn’t going to put his fist against the glass. He wasn’t going to risk that sort of injury. He needed a tool. He needed something…
A loose brick poked out from the store’s wall. Jonathan knelt down, his fingers grasping at the stone, while his eyes continued to dart around, nervous, cautious, waiting for someone to appear at the end of the sidewalk and stop him.
Finally, he wrenched the brick free, and stumbled to his feet, whipping his head around to see if anyone had heard the grating sound of stone on stone.
The man held his breath, turning back to the window.
It was a beautiful window…new, pristinely clean. Holding the brick in his hands, Jonathan paused, unable to throw, unable to shatter the perfect window…just so he could look rich…
Then, he stared at the phones…so new; symbols of a status he once had known. Hefting the brick in his hands, the man focused his eyes on the center of the glass pane, holding it there for an agonizingly long moment, his heart thumping loudly in his chest.
This is wrong…He said to himself…So wrong…
I don’t care…
I don’t care anymore!
The brick sailed through the air, hitting its mark, showering the sidewalk in a rain of crystal glass. Jonathan stumbled back, holding up his arm to shield his face. A siren pealed in the distance, shrieking loudly.
Its sound pushed the man into action. He reached through the large hole in the glass, grabbing one of the phones, quickly hiding it in the large pocket of his coat.
But, why stop there?
Maybe he could sell the rest.
He reached in again and again, dragging every phone from its cradle, shoving it roughly into his bulging pocket.
The sirens continued to wail.
Adrenaline coursed through Jonathan’s veins; his heart pounded in his chest, faster, faster as he started to run. The phones bumped painfully against his side, weighing him down. All he could do was run as the red and blue lights flashed in the distance, distorting the shadows that lurked in the night.
All Jonathan Daniels could do was run…run away from the glass that littered the sidewalk behind him…all he could do was run from the life he had known.
With the stolen phones in his pocket, Jonathan rushed forward, turning his back on his old life…
For good.

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Airidella said...
Feb. 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm
Please continue, this story is great. I love how you described the moment before he threw the brick. It's amazing. Great job.
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