Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Almost Thief - 3WW

The thief moved around the living room, his gloved hands rifling through the box of VCR tapes. He snorted at the titles, wondering how anyone can still watch tapes when this new thing called a Digital Video Disc player was going to the coolest thing ever. He eyed the VCR on the ottoman beside the sofa. He wondered how much he would get for it. He lifted up his scratchy ski mask to wipe his face. It was only the middle of May and already it was hot. He pulled the mask back down and picked up the VCR.

An overhead  light suddenly clicked on and he froze, horror twisting a knot in his stomach. He looked up and nearly died.
Waller Fenroy, a big hulking man in his mid-sixties, bellowed.
"What in tarnation do ya think ya doin'?"
Marcus Simpson, fifteen years old and just plain stupid, jumped and nearly dropped the VCR player. His eyes, round as saucers, fixed on the sawed-off shotgun in the beefy man's hands.
He blubbered.
"" His teeth began to chatter as fear rendered him speechless. He swallowed, his eyes still locked on the gun pointed in his direction. Waller strode into the room with a "Put that back or I'll put a hole in ya head!" The older man paused and looked around, noting the ramshackle state of his living room. His box of videos was upended, copies of his favourite Columbo and Rockford Files episodes littering the floor. He saw a partially ejected video in the player. Books and papers were scattered about and even his cactus, Harry, had been knocked over. Clumps of dirt covered the little table next to his comfy recliner. What was the fool hoping to find in there, the man wondered. 

Waller swung back to the boy, his eyes murderous. He reached out and snatched the ski mask off the thief's head, yanking out some hair in the process. The boy started to shout but his throat closed up as the older man pointed the gun in his face. Waller bared his teeth.
"I oughta shoot ya right here an' now."
Marcus stuttered, beads of sweat rolling down his face.
"P-please...I-I-I'm s-sorry." He carefully set the VCR down and wiped his palms on his faded jeans. He looked from Waller to the window he'd crawled in and back again.
Waller propped the gun next to the recliner and squinted at him.
"You Jesse Simpson's boy, right?" He raked him with a disgusted look, "Michael or Mitchell or sumthin' like that, ain'tcha?"
"M-M-Marcus S-Simpson, y-y-yes sir." The boy nodded frantically, his heart pounding. He began to inch towards the open window, silently praying that he can get through it in one piece. 

Waller must have read his mind because he barked, "Oh hell no! Don't even think about it!" and snatched him up by the scruff of his neck. Mark yowled and tried to twist loose but the older man held him tight, shaking him like a dog with a meaty bone, shouting.
"I ain't got no time to be wastin' with no snot-nosed little boy!"
Waller frog-marched him through the kitchen, cursing a blue-streak. Mark scuttled along on his toes. The older man opened up the front door and set him on the top step. Before Mark knew it, he felt the full force of Waller Fenroy's size twelve in his ass with Waller's bellow of "STAY OUTTA MY HOUSE, MARCUS SIMPSON!!" echoing through the neighbourhood. 

The impact sent him sailing through the air, before landing in a painful heap in the middle of Waller's prized tulip bed. He blinked, coughed and spat out a mouthful of moist earth. He peeked over his shoulder to see Waller jumping up and down in a fit of rage. The older man roared as he started down the stairs,
"Doggone it, ya little sumbitch!! Lookit whatcha did now!!"
Mark didn't waste any time trying to find out what else he did as he shakily got up and ran, tears of mortification streaking down his dirty face. The throbbing pain in his hind quarters didn't help matters much but he knew he was going to get a lot worse once his dad found out...

Mark knocked on the door, nervously wiping his hands on his jeans. He waited, wondering if he was making a mistake. He knocked again and blew out a breath. He turned ready to leave when the door opened. He looked down into the eyes of an elderly man, bent over slightly, his gnarled hands gripping the handles of a walker. Mark frowned, thinking he had the wrong house.
"Mr. Fenroy?"
The man glared up at him.
"Who wants to know?"
Mark swallowed at the brusque tone. He looked back over the lawn and saw all of the tulips in full bloom. He shook his head, thinking how much larger the man had seemed almost fifteen years ago. Waller Fenroy might have changed over the years but that voice alone could still put fear into him. 
Mark put a hesitant smile on his face.
"It's me, sir." He wiped his sweaty palm before holding it out. "Mark Simpson, I few years ago-" Lord, this was so hard. He rushed the rest of it out. "I know its kind of late but I just wanted to apologize for what I did back then."
He waited with his heart in his throat.

Waller Fenroy looked him up and down before abruptly turning, clumping his walker down the hallway, leaving the door open. He paused and grouched over his shoulder. "Come in an' shut the damn door, ya moron!"

Mark blinked in surprise and stepped over the threshold. He followed the old man to the living room, where he saw that a new television stand had replaced the old one. Right in the centre of it stood a top-of-the-line 42 inch LG flat-screen with a Blu Ray disc player next to it. Everything else was still the same. Even Harry the cactus was there but in the corner by the window this time, complete with a cowboy hat perched on top. A familiar image on the screen brought a smile to his face as he stood next to the old recliner and waited as Waller settled himself in. 
The old man waved a hand at him and barked impatiently.
"What the hell ya standin' aroun' for?" He nodded at the screen. "Sit down an' shut up. Columbo's on."
Mark pulled the ottoman over and sat.

© copyright 2011 by Ren Thompson October 5, 2011

3 Word Wednesday: Eject, Render and Impact


  1. Loved it. Not the ending I expected...

  2. I love it. You put a smile on my face. Excellent writing.

    Great use of three words. I hope you'll check out my attempt.

  3. Yeah, love the way you turned it, and a cactus called Harry! Dead good!!

    NaiSaiKu Time

  4. You truly made my day. Loved that ending. Smiling....