A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
Billy West was an nine year old punk. His parents gave him a long leash and he freely roamed the city where he lived. He spent time hanging around the downtown area where he could shoplift from several stores. He was good at stealing candy, but every so often he would grab a piece of merchandise and sell it to an older kid for some change. Billy was all about getting his hands on some money.
One day as he was hanging out at a department store, an old lady approached him. “Excuse me young man. Are you here with your mother?” she asked.
“No” Billy stubbornly replied.
“I could use some help,” she continued. Pointing to a couple of shopping bags on the floor. “I have to take these bags home and I'm too old to carry them by myself. You seem like a nice young boy, would you be willing to help me?
“No,” he replied. He started to leave when the old lady upped the ante.
“I'll give you two dollars?”
Billy stopped short. “Two dollars, Really? All I have to do is help you get these bags to your house?”
“That's right. I do have to take the bus for a couple of blocks, but only because I can't walk that far. I'll pay your fare.”
Even at eight, Billy was street smart. Something didn't seem right. The old lady looked funny and he didn't like the idea of riding the bus with her. “I don't know if I want to do that,” he replied.
“I know I'm asking a lot,” she replied. “How about if I give you three dollars? One now and two more when we get to my house.”
Three dollars was more than Billy could turn down, so against his better judgment he agreed.
The bus ride was further away than the old lady had said. When they got to the house she invited Billy in so she could give him his two dollars. Billy was reluctant, but he had gone this far and he wanted the money, so he went in.
Once inside, the old lady closed and locked the door. She pulled off her wig revealing the fact that she was really a man. Billy tried to run but the man grabbed him. “Not as smart as you think, are you?”
Billy began to scream, but the man muffled him, then slapped him on the side of the head and told him to shut up.
Just then, the front door burst open. Several police officers stormed into the house and wrestled the man to the floor. Seems Billy wasn't the first kid to fall for this mans ploy. They had the house under surveillance.
“Are you OK, son?” Asked one of the officers.
Billy tried to answer through a veil of tears, but couldn't.
“Let's call your parents. Today's your lucky day.”
Billy agreed. It was a day that changed him forever.
© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.