The sharp turn almost had me running flat into
the hard concrete of the dead end, but the newest Nikes kept me
sprinting down the next tunnel, where I would hide. I had gotten lucky
that the kicks had come out on shelves the day I made a big score. But
that cruddy little sports store didn't have one measly security camera.
I could have stolen practically the whole store with my eyes closed.
This time I swiftly skidded around the metal pole and sprawled into the
Billy and Stevie were still cautiously hauling me in when the pudgy cop
slowly rounded the corner. Even through our slit of a peephole, you
could easily see that the cop was panting like a dog and was way out of
shape. If he wasn't coughing and wheezing his guts out, he might have
been smart and at least looked around and discovered the crevasse in the
concrete and found our hideaway. But the important thing was that he
wasn't, and he turned around and started walking back up and out of the
tunnels. And we were safe.
"You lucky little son of a gun, if that officer
wasn't sittin' on his butt all day, and eatin' all the food that we
could be eatin', we would've been caught for sure!?" Billy quietly
hissed, pointing out the obvious yet again.
"He was so chubby, he probably ate the whole box of donuts that you see
cops eating in those cartoons in one huge bite", Stevie added. I shook
off their comments, although I knew I had cut it way too close this
time. They were still running their mouths off at me until I pulled out
the bag of the day's stuff. They were shocked. The brand new shoes I
snagged off the rack for them fit perfectly. Next, I took out the two
whole loaves of bread. And saving the best for last, I pulled out a rare
steal, one of our favorites if we could get 'em. Strawberries. A whole
basket filled to the brim.
"No way Jonny!?" Stevie gasped.
"You kiddin??" Billy gushed.
"For real! I got 'em right off an old guys
cart." I replied. I have to say, it might have been one of my best
swipes since..well, to tell you that, first I have to get through this.
My name's Jonny, and I'm 11 and three quarters. Actually, as I'll get
to, I've been hanging out in the alleys and streets a lot since I was
little, so I figured I had to find a cooler name than Harold. Ya, that's
it. I made people call me Jonny or else I'd tell them I had a gun in my
pocket, which back then I was faking, but with the streets and trouble
now, my zippered left pocket is always taken up with one I stole these
days. I'm an orphan, along with Stevie and Billy. We ditched what we
called the "orephanage", a couple years back when it wasn't enough to
entertain us and didn't feed us enough. Sometimes we can get a helping
of food in a day than we would get in a week there. Kids were getting
sick and dying. We just had to dump it. Listening to this, you're
probably wondering where this dreadful life can take place. I'll tell
you where: the low life of the worst parts of New York City. Also, the
times that the world is going through are horrible. They beat the Great
Depression by a long shot and make the 2008-2010 days a decade back look
like ants compared to a foot. Our town, Queens, has turned into a
rich-people-eat-and-poor-people-don't zone, and it's not like if you're
poor you can't still earn food, you have to get it on your own, and I'm
not talking about buying.
So the past couples months have been routine for Billy, Stevie and I.
First, we take turns stealing as much as we can get without getting
caught. Then, we might either run down into the underground tunnels and
into our hideout we found one day if a cop is on our tail, or, we go to
hang out with our other friends and play and share our food and other
items. Some kid we know named Mikie came back from an early morning
breakfast stop with not just breakfast, but a beautiful, bright orange
basketball! Now, we play all day long. Last, we sneak into the orphanage
at night when we get tired and crawl into the cozy and warm beds. (In my
opinion, that is the only good part about the orphanage.) Most of the
time we get by okay and it can be pretty fun.
Up until that one day, our lives of stealing to survive were rolling
along totally fine. However, disaster had to strike soon. It came the
Saturday we had collected food to fill up all of our group we hung out
with and a football. With our bellies full, we decided to play with our
brand new football. Nobody we knew very well had played football enough
to know the rules, so we just passed it until somebody dropped it, then
we'd all just pile up fighting for the loose pigskin. Close to the end
of our game, something terrible happened. The youngest and smallest
boy(he's only six and a half) in our group of friends, Shaun, tripped
and fell, landing hard on the rough dirt and grass. In addition, Shaun
landed right on an extremely sharp piece of glass, and it cut him so bad
that you could see the bone in his left leg!
"OOOUUCCHHHH!!!" Shaun yelled at the top of his
"Hurry!?NO! GO!?" We all panicked. We understood
that we needed to do something quick.
"Com'on guys! We need to get him some medicine
and bandages!" I screamed and took off running, knowing that Billy and
Stevie were right behind me. We reached the store in time that probably
"Sir! Sir! Sir!" My friends and I all rushed the
clerk at the desk. However, the clerk wouldn't let us take any medical
supplies without paying. I thought the situation over. This was for an
important person to me, almost like a family member. Without this, he
You know how in cartoons there is always an inspiring lesson in the end?
Well, as of right then, this story has a slight chance of ending like
one. Because at that moment, I grabbed the supplies and bolted out the
door, not caring what was to occur next.