Sometimes people will steal anything. For some it is about the thrill, the rush of endorphins. For others it is out of need and yet for others it is about a bigger plan. It doesn’t mean it’s a complicated plan, just a plan to get something for nothing. David and Albert were the type to scheme for what was always a small payoff. Their only concern was to score enough to get food and meth. Today was one of those days, it was 5 degrees out and the day before ten inches of snow had fallen. David and Albert were walking the neighborhood over clean sidewalks and sidewalks full of snow. Opportunity knocked. Two shovels were resting on a porch, they ran up the walkway and grabbed them.
As they made it to the middle of the walkway a large bang alarmed them.
“You bastards! Drop the shovels!”
A large bulky man in long johns and no shoes was rumbling down the porch steps toward them. The guys ran, he was hot on their heels but gave up after 20 yards or so. They ran through the alleyways until arriving a few blocks over. Winded they discussed their plan. Get someone to agree for them to shovel their walkway and when getting paid grab a purse or wallet and get out of there.
They found a house with no footprints on the walkways. Albert made his way to the front door and banged on the screen door. An older small framed woman answered the door.
“Do you need your walkway shoveled?”
“Yes young man I do. How much do you charge?”
“Ten dollars will do. We’ll give you the senior rate!”
“Oh thank you, yes clear the walkways.”
Albert returned to sidewalk along the street.
“Let’s do this David.”
“How much did you ask for?”
“Dumb ass! You should have asked for twenty!”
“When she comes to the door with the money we can grab her pocketbook!”
They shoveled the sidewalk then the walkway to the porch, shoveled the porch and the walkway to the backyard. Albert and David walked up to the front door located on the porch and knocked. She opened the screen door just a bit and slid the ten dollar bill through the space. Albert grabbed the ten as she closed and locked the door. The woman smiled at them.
“Thank you boys!”
She closed the door. Albert and David stood there arguing with each other. They didn’t notice the man standing at the bottom of the steps.
“Give me my fucking shovels dumbasses!”
Albert swung his shovel at the man from the top step, the man grabbed the end and pulled him down the steps until he fell on the walkway. David dropped his, ran off the porch right into the man, both fell on the walkway. The guys got up and ran to the street, the man was on his back like a turtle on the back of its shell. David looked into the street and saw the man’s car, running. The man got to his feet as he watched the guys jump into his car.
“Jesus fucking Christ!”
David and Albert looked at the man, hooting and laughing Albert floored the gas pedal. Slipping and sliding down the street the car picked up speed. Albert ignored the stop sign. They never saw the snow plow as it rammed the car crunching it against a car in the street like a compactor at a junk yard.
g emil reutter is a writer of poems and stories. Nine collections of his fiction and poetry have been published. He can be found at: