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The Journey of a Thief

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I knew the consequences, yet I proceeded. I understood the dangers it held, the pain I would have to suffer, but on the other hand, what would happen if I didn’t? I would be lost forever. I would have nowhere to go, and nothing to lead me. There would be no hope. At least, that’s what I told myself at the time. Germany was suffering under the Treaty of Versailles and so was I.

Now looking back, I realize I was foolish. But that’s a little late to say. I mean, what do you do when you’re locked up in a 50 square foot jail cell with nothing but a ripped journal, a pencil, and a guard ordered to watch over you at all times? Nothing but write.

March 14, 1923

So the big deal is that I stole a 100 year old gold Rolex watch that apparently belonged to a man named Bob, who is dead now. Technically, it was an antique and I would have almost gotten rich. Almost. That’s the key part. But it doesn’t really make a difference now. I know it was stupid but when you’re the queen of the world (actually, I scrub floors for a living) you’ve got nothing to lose. You don’t have any pride, no happiness, and no life, basically, so I decided to do something worthwhile – steal. I’ve been stealing things since I was 10. First people thought I had kleptomania, but then the truth was revealed: I had been taught by professionals on the streets. These are the ones that stand in train stations and pick pockets, disappearing deep into the crowd before the rich people realize anything’s gone. I’m proud to say I was pretty good at it. I got away with a small ruby ring, an emerald necklace, two radios, and seven leather wallets with money inside! I sold them for pretty good prices and I dare say I was on the path from rags to riches, but sadly this jail incident got in my way. That gold watch would have gotten me enough to pay for a small apartment up in Northdale, a one bedroom with a kitchen. That would have been nice. Oh, the Officer’s coming. He hasn’t seen my little book yet; better put it away.

March 17, 1923

The past few days have been busy. I have to go for counseling, where two people try to help me get out of my stealing habits and “make me a better world citizen”. That’s what I’ve been told. In my opinion, if it even matters in this place, those two weasels are trying to learn my best techniques and sell them to their crook acquaintances. They’re trying to infiltrate my sensitive thief brain, tracking down my thoughts. It’s a horrible feeling! I have four counseling sessions per day and they wear my mind down. I’m actually looking forward to the little time I have to write in this journal. I have nothing else to do - nothing to pick at here. The guards don’t wear any jewelry and I would love to steal the keys but they’re hung in the most well lit corner of the Officer’s room, and under his constant, wary eyes, they’re probably impossible to steal. I doubt even the world’s best thief would be able to snatch those silver beauties. Ah, its lights out and I’m writing this in the dark. I thank the teacher who forced me to write with my eyes closed!

March 21, 1923

My two counselors, CarolineLANce, as much as I hate to admit, have been quite nice. They share biscuits and chocolates that they sneak into the rooms, and allow me to munch on them while we talk. I’m so hungry these days; their goodies are a blessing. Caroline told me that she was once a thief too, but she was able to get over it. At first I wasn’t sure. I assumed this was a trick they used to get the jailers on their side, until she stole a cream chocolate, my favorite, which I put in my pocket the previous day. It had disappeared and I panicked, almost in tears, when she presented it to me, with a little note that read “Surprise, fellow thief.” Lance is more serious. He focuses on what I used to do in the past, before my dark days as a child robber, and it hurts my brain. Reaching so far back into my memory is like muscle cramps – it’s easy to get them and hard to let go. The counseling sessions are forcing me to let go of my stealing side. However, I’m not ashamed to admit, I have been using my free time to think of ways to get those keys into my hands. I’m trying to make friends with my cell guard (I call him Hugo the grump), but he’s pretty reserved. Maybe he knows what I’m trying to do?

March 30, 1923


Caroline realized I was plotting the stealing of the keys. How she figured it out, I will never know. But I guess it does take a thief to know a thief. I’m putting the fiery determination to steal aside, which, believe me, is not easy. It’s hard enough for a thief to talk about their stealing experiences, but to try to ignore the temptation is torture. I’m focusing on improving my drawing skills, as a change to writing, but I’m not nearly as successful as I’d like to be. I tried to draw my semi-friend Hugo the grump but it turned out like a spotted flamingo head with a mushroom body hanging from a tree. I’m going to start on my next drawing project - my dream: a city apartment, one of big ones that that overlook the skyline, with a pool, and have easy access to everything. I just hope it doesn’t turn out like a green blob. Lance snuck in some color pencils for me, and even though they’re just blue, red, and green, they’re beautiful. I’m going to color each page of the book in different shades to fill in for my lost childhood of coloring.

April 1, 1923

I was a fool to believe Caroline and Lance. An April’s Fool, in fact. They claimed I was getting out today. Getting out from jail! I couldn’t believe it. In the jail contract, it states that “Jailers may be paid a sum of $100 or more, if their Officer sees fit, with the requirement of a hand-written 1000 word essay on why they should be given this money.” I became quite restless, worrying about how I would have the times to write a 1000 word essay in 2 hours. I was quite angry when Lance pointed out the date to me and yelled “April Fools!” But at the end of our last counsel for the day, Caroline did let me in on an internal secret – the Officer was planning on letting me go the next month. Lance handed me a new pad of paper. It’s brand new, sparkling white, with the sweet aroma of new paper! Our next counseling sessions will discuss my essay for getting the money from the Officer, and I’ll use my beautiful new paper. I know exactly what I’ll write about – my transformation from a thief to someone with principles and tact. It’ll be called “The Journey of a Thief”.



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