Sabtu, 04 Desember 2010

Short Story: Alley Cats

Zipping my thin jacket I leave the goldsmith´s, provoked by the idea that anyone can afford those diamond necklaces. It is beastly cold, and the streets are teeming with Christmas-crazed shoppers.
My few errands took longer than expected. No chance of catching a bus now so I cross the square and slip down a narrow street. Now I´ll have to walk all the way home. I turn another corner, only accompanied by sleepy street lights.

I approach the railway tunnel, determined to ignore the twilight and the long, distorted shadows. This is a shortcut, for God´s sake. Down there, I also ignore the mixed wafts of faeces and decay from the tunnel, but a giant rat scuttling in the opposite direction makes me hesitate until crunching sounds from the path above send me skydiving into the sea of darkness, ready to kick if a dosser stretches out a clammy hand.
Navigating painfully slowly between filthy sleeping bags and rusty rails, I realize someone is gaining on me. I hear him stumbling and cussing, and I spurt through the half circle of pale light and up the path on the other side. I dodge the bicycle barrier, hoping he won´t see it coming.
That is when I am floored; my shin rams into solid flesh, and brain cells doing overtime inform me that I just hit a jeansclad leg. I try to ward off the fall but my temple hits the flagstone in a white explosion while the raw surface skins half my face.
My attacker grabs my long hair while the other guy jerks a knee into my back. He twists my free arm behind me, rasping a caution, ”Catherine Smith, you are arrested under suspicion of theft, and now you´d better hand over that necklace, sweetie.”

By Dorte H, on September 4th, 2010
This posting is published on Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2010

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