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The Cane


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Click … Click … Click … Click …

The pale, yellow streetlights flicker on and off, illuminating the dark, rainy street. A street sign bearing the name Rosewood Avenue is lying on the ground, a casualty of some recent accident. Having rained earlier, a light haze covers the ground: not quite a fog, yet enough to slightly obscure the legs of the only man on the sidewalk. Sporting a simple, yet well-tailored suit, a slightly rotund belly, and a bowler’s cap that hides thin grey hair, this charming looking elder is nothing one would look twice at. He walks with a slight limp, using a wooden cane to support himself.

Click … Click … Click … Click …

In the distance, the sound of city police sirens can be heard. Not uncommon in this city. Riddled with both simple misdemeanors and high-end organized crime, the feds get plenty of practice. Slowly they are clearing the streets, and getting better at predicting mob movements. Only last week, they tracked down and captured the capo di tutti capi. Unfortunately, that particular boss was on his way out anyway. Sources hinted that the man who tipped them off was the second-in-command, and was too tired of waiting for the old guy to kick the bucket. A rather bold move on his part, as making one visible makes one very easy to track, and they play a rather cutthroat game....
The sirens are now much closer.

Click … Click … Click … Click …

A few blocks behind the old man, the sirens stop approaching. He hears a commotion, yet continues on. Pulling out his smart phone, he opens a radio app and tunes in to the news.

“…murderer is still at large. Few clues have been found at the scene. The victim is believed to have been the rising mafia boss, Vincent Alo. Alo was found late this evening on Rosewood Avenue, with multiple bruises on his body and face, causing severe internal and external bleeding and ultimately, his death. This is the second high-ranking mob death in a week. More news on this story to follow. Tonight at eleven, a new study…”

Click … Click … Splash

His cane hits a puddle obscured by the fog. Using the walking stick as a guide, he makes his way around the water as to save his shoes. Italian leather, crafted by a friend of his, those loafers cost him a pretty penny. Also, his friend’s business was failing, and he had a feeling that the shoemaker would soon retire. This very well might be the last pair he made. He once again hears the sirens start up, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees the brightly flashing lights. Stopping, he turns to look at the oncoming pursuit of cars. About 12 in all; this seems to be a bigger deal than he thought! The motorcade screeches to a halt next to him, splashing up some water. He surprises even himself as he acrobatically dodges the oncoming wave. His shoes stay dry, yet his cane takes the brunt of the onslaught. He shakes off his cane and waits as doors open and cops file out. One man walks up to him scowling, the insignia of the Chief of Police glinting in his face.
“What are you doing out tonight?”
“I’m simply taking a stroll,” he says with a
smile. “The streets are way too crowded during the day for an old man like me to have a nice relaxing walk.”
The Chief’s eyes narrow as he studies the old man intently. “Are you aware that a murder happened not 2 blocks from you earlier?”
The contented smile from earlier disappears in a heartbeat. “Oh my goodness, here? I can’t believe it.” the old man says; eyes wide and knuckles white as he grips his cane, “What happened? Is there anything I can do to help?”
The officers visibly relax at his surprise. Then the Chief speaks up, “A mob leader was beaten to death. We believe that it was an inside job. If we can catch the murderer, we think it can lead us to a wealth of information about the mafia. You wouldn’t happen to have seen anything unusual tonight have you?”
The man now has a slight tremor in his voice. “In f-fact, I did see something quite odd a little bit ago. You see, after I retired, I was left w-w-with quite a bit of a safety net for my affairs. So I s-s-started to enjoy myself, and I got well aquatinted with a s-shoemaker,” In an attempt to lighten the mood, he flashes the officer his leather loafers. “I know the f-fellow well, quite nice, but always seemed k-k-kind of—“
“Get on with it, citizen,” the Chief barks at him. “We’ve got a schedule here. What does this have to do with the murder?”
The man flinches at the order. “Alright, alright. So about an hour ago, I s-saw this shoemaker go sprinting down the street away from me. I c-c-called out to him, but he didn’t respond.
“Where is his shop?”
“Just a f-few blocks ahead. Can’t miss it. Big glowing s-sign, real f-flashy—“ But the officers had already gotten back into the car and sped off. Again, water splashes up onto his cane. As the sirens fade into the distance, the old man exhales a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding, and shakes himself out of character. He glances down at what may just be the final reminders of two of his friends; the last pair of shoes his cobbler made, and the last drops of Vincent Alo’s blood slipping off of his cane and into the sewer.




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WriterHeadThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 10:04 pm:
it scared me at the end, great job.
 
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