Thief | Teen Ink


December 1, 2017
By Panthera GOLD, Plymouth, Minnesota
Panthera GOLD, Plymouth, Minnesota
11 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Don’t let them tell you it was on your back; the point of contention is how they act. Where you draw the line will set you free,” -Chris #1, AntiFlag (The Debate is Over)

            I am sitting at the end of the dock with my head in my hands and I’m crying. It’s not the sniffle-a-few-times-and-shed-a-few-tears crying, but the large-tears-and-body-wracking-sobs crying. I am Skylar Pantar, or at least I thought I was, and my life got turned head-over-heels and upside down as well as sideways all at the same time.

          Today like any ordinary story: on a seemingly normal day. And it ends here, with me sitting on the dock and contemplating jumping. To sum it up in the fewest words, it’s all my fault. Here’s my tale:

         The life of my kind is tough, especially in 2112. I am a Thief. I take  the things no one wants so I can live. I took empty boxes full of metal from the House Scrapyard, took broken nails and tools, and built a crude house. The rain got in it sometimes, but most of the time, it worked as a barrier between me and outside forces just fine. What minimal furniture in there was taken from the Rich dump. The rich Leave their furniture when a newer version comes out. Taking from the Rich dump is a big risk, for they have traps set to catch my kind, but it’s worth it, unless you get Caught. Being caught is the end, the ultimate humiliation. The Rich torture you and you end up begging for a death they never give you. I’ve been Caught once, and I escaped. Most don’t.

            Taking food is harder than Taking materials. The food has to be fresh, otherwise it’s poisoned.That means we have to Take it from their stores without the Rick noticing. If they see you, you get Caught. You can’t store food, for it is engineered to become toxic after a day. The food in stores is always good for ten hours and it must remain that way, otherwise more of the Rich would die, and since the Rich make the rules, everything is centered around giving them a longer life and us a shorter one.

            Ok, enough background information. On with the story. Gray light filtered in through the gaps of the roof of my makeshift house. I blearily blinked open my eyes and reached over for my water skin, for I was thirsty. Sadly, there was no water in it, which meant I would also have to Take another bucket alongside more food. I rubbed my eyes and stepped out of the rickety bed with the velvet coverings and shrugged on an old, discarded garment, no, shirt, that was stone grey and seven sizes too big for me. I kicked down the wooden planks that served as a door and walked out into the post-apocalyptic landscape. It was dusty and dry, and nothing grew there. Few dared to live in the place that was hit by the Bombing ninety years ago, but it was the only option for some of us Thieves. I stood for a moment before beginning the few hour walk to the Rich town. The journey was long and hard, but worth it. About an hour in, I felt someone place a hand on my shoulder in the same way that the Rich do when you have been Caught. I jumped a mile into the air before I turned around and saw fellow Thief Aaron Synth.

        “Jeez, you scared me!” I exclaimed, staring into his blue eyes. A smirk played across his face before he said, “I know.” I looked at him with annoyance for a moment before saying something.

       “So, what do you need?” I asked. Aaron and I worked together- one Take from one place, the other Take from another.

       “A little food. You?” He replied.

       “Food and water. The usual,” I answered.

        “You hit the bakery and I’ll get the fruit,” Aaron said. I nodded. We started walking again, this time in silence. We reached the town a few hours later. I nodded to Aaron and we split up. I wandered over to the Rich bakery and waited. A Rich came out and I wrapped my arm around their neck and dragged them backwards. They struggled, then they went limp. I tore off their clothes and put them on myself. Now I looked like one of them and it would be easier to Take. I heard a commotion across the street and looked over. There was a large crowd of the Rich. Someone had been Caught. Please not Aaron. Please not Aaron.

       I walked over in the same way the Rich do and saw my fears confirmed: Aaron was huddled on the blood slick sidewalk as the Rich beat him up and jeered. He mouthed a word to me: Help. I walked over and pulled out a little dagger I always have kept on myself out of the pocket of the Rich’s clothes. I hesitated for a moment before plunging it into his heart. I stared at what I had done, my only friend’s blood dripping from my hands.

             I pulled off the Rich’s clothes and pulled my ugly gray shirt back on and ran. I ran away from the town. Away from the scene and the crime I had committed. I would surely be hunted by the Thieves as well as the Rich. I only had moments before the Rich would be on me in their rusted ‘cars’. I had to run fast. I had to run far. I had to run before they Caught me.

           I knew of a little island that escaped the Bombing and ran towards the ocean it was in, and switched my feet that direction. I had a ways to go when I heard the sputtering sound of a ‘car’ starting. I was almost at the ocean when I saw the ‘car’. I turned to face it, spread my arms wide, and fell into the sea. I dove underwater and into the abandoned pathway that guided me to the island. It alternated breath-spots and swimming tunnels. I was unaware of how many breath-spots I used before I reached the output of the pathway. My arms felt very heavy and it hurt to move. I dragged myself, gasping, to the island. I reached shore and the world dimmed.

            When I woke up, it was late at night and pitch black. I dragged myself to the wooden planks, a dock, that sat over a pit of rusted metal spikes. I dangled my legs over the edge, put my head in my hands, and started crying. Which brings me to now. The tears are still rolling down my face as I push myself off the dock and fall into the spikes. I feel a brief moment of pain, then nothing more.

The author's comments:

I’ve been working on Science Fiction in class, which inspired me to write this.

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