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Costello's Legacy - The Nightwalkers

·by Αθανάσιος Βασιλάκης·On-going Novl duration N/A

Costello's Legacy - The Nightwalkers

The Thief

Duration 1 mins·byΑθανάσιος Βασιλάκης

#Eastern Harlem, New York 1942, 10/11 01:23am

On a dark road near Willis Bridge of Manhattan, a man was hiding amongst the shadows of an alleyway. He was about thirty six, thin and about 6 feet tall. His face was crummy and weathered, despite his age, while his hazel eyes and the flesh of his cheeks looked like they were swallowed in his skull. He was dressed in a ragged brown coat and held a purse in his right hand. The long, oil-riddled hair he had covered his face whilst he tried to peek at some police siren lights.

Lucky for him, he was not seen, so he kept hiding. The police car stopped a few feet further down the road, and a fat looking man came out of the front seat. He had what looked like a well-polished Smith & Wesson revolver! Suddenly, about sixteen policemen came out of each corner of the neighborhood. They stood in attention and saluted the fat man. He shouted:

- Find that scum! I won’t tolerate any more of these thieves in my turf!

- Yes Sheriff Duncan, sir! , they all shouted with excellent synchronization.

The policemen turned the other way, took out their batons and left in pairs through the exactly same corners they came from, all of them but one. He stood in front of the sheriff, saluted him, and stood in attention.

- You know what to do chief! , said the Duncan in a commanding voice. I want this to come to an end tonight, make it look like an accident if you need to.

Sheriff Duncan walked back into the police car, reached in his pocket, got a big cigar out and puffed at it while looking like his was enjoying it. The smoke from that cigar was so thick that the car looked like it was on fire. The place was silent for a second, until a man appeared at the side of the road, heading at the police car. The man opened the passenger’s seat door and sat next to Duncan, closing the door behind him. He wore a black suit and a hat, which covered a big part of his face, leaving only his smile and a big scar on the left side of his mouth.

- When are you going to stop dealing with this bullshit Sheriff?, said the man sarcastically.

- When are you going to understand that I have to justify the money I’m paid in some way Hunter? , answered Duncan in the same sarcastic manner.

Plus I’ll get them out of my head easier this way, who cares about one less crook anyway? You should be thankful that these dangheads exist, was it not for them, we’d be putting you in the can instead.

- You are the one who should be thankful Sheriff, he said. Our Boss has a job for you.

- I’ll drop by in a day or two, answered Duncan in a serious tone. Want me to drop you anywhere?

- No, I’ll walk from here, he responded.

The man opened the door again and got out without hesitation. He said what he wanted to say and disappeared in the shadows.

- Sumbitches, thinking this town belongs to you, uttered Duncan in anger.

The sheriff was quite irritated after his meeting with the man named Hunter, smoking intensively his big cigar, blowing the smoke out of his lungs with force. It was at this moment that he realized he could not enjoy it as he used to, so he threw it out the window of his police car, switched the ignition on and rushed with haste to the police department.

As before, he passed in front of the man hiding in the shadows, completely ignoring his existence. When he was sure that nobody was around and was clear of danger, he crept out of his hiding spot, and carefully proceeded to walk at the other side of the road. Being terrified, he kept looking left and right, as he didn’t want to be found by the cops from the incident that occurred earlier.

Unfortunately, he had no idea about where he was, so he kept blindly walking in the darkness, desperately searching for a landmark. Trying to stay as long as he can into the shadows, he kept his body sticking to the wall, treading carefully so as not to make any unnecessary noises and trying to hear the sounds of the environment.

Suddenly, he heard a crushing metallic sound from the distance. He froze in place from fear, as his eyes widened. His vision was weakened because of the darkness, but the rest of his senses were in full strength. He stood still as he waited to listen, but no other sound reached his ears. Petrified, he could even listen to the blood in his veins pumping like never before, making a fade beating noise.

At this instant, he felt something touching his leg, making him trip and fall into some trash cans. He realized how stupid he was as he saw what scared him. It was just a cat that got scared by his flick as he got terrified from the noise the garbage cans made. He figured out that it was this cat that produced that crushing noise, because he made the same one as he fell into the trashcans during the silence of the night.

When he recovered from the reality of the situation, he realized that the purse he was carrying had gone missing. Desperately trying to find it in the shroud of darkness that encircled him because of the night, he finally found it. Without even shaking the dirt from his clothes, he got up and continued walking.

Fortunately, nothing could be heard except for his breath. That purse had been stolen for some time now. He managed to mug a well-dressed lady just before the cops arrived on the scene. Most of the stuff contained in the bag was clutter, other than some cash he found, that was. They turned out to be useful though, as he got to feed himself for a month and bought this second-hand coat of his to survive during the harsh winter that was coming.

Now, food was bagged into that purse which he got his hands on by stealing it from a market some hours ago. A loaf of bread, a tomato, and some cheese, he was even starving during the theft as he had not eaten since last night. He wanted to make sure that he was not in danger before he finally sat down to enjoy his meal.

#Eastern Harlem, New York 1942, 10/11 01:43am

After a walking for hours into the night, he finally reached a highway. He still had absolutely no idea about where he was; he could not even recognize the place!

Proceeding to follow the highway, he kept walking hoping to find something to orientate himself, but the only thing he could see was just the road parallel to the one he was and some half-built houses. He also saw some closed shops with their blinds shut. These houses looked like a good hiding place for him to sit down and enjoy his hard-earned meal and get some rest.

It was then that he decided to venture further on up the highway to find the best place to stay for the night. The lights on the shop windows were fade and he could not easily make out what services these shops were offering, but he managed to read some of the signs. Passing in front of a shoemaker, he stood in front of a barber shop. It was the only shop that did not have blinds installed, maybe because there was nothing to steal at all, he figured! There was a glass shop window next to the door, it read:

“William Costello – Precision Razor“

The man that he would definitely come to this barber if he could afford it. For some reason, he thought that he was flawless in his job. Unfortunately though, he had neither the money nor the time to fantasize such matters.

Continuing his walk to the unfinished houses, the man tried to look for an opening in the wire fences big enough so he could fit through. His struggles had ended as he finally found one on the next house. Closing up the gap between himself and the hole, he could not believe his eyes when he realized that the hole was just big enough to go through, but at the same time small enough for nobody to think that he got in there from that way. First he put his leg, then his torso and with a swift move his other leg. He was finally through.

Moving up the stairs as fast as possible, he got onto the first floor. This house had more floors as well, but he did not care about them. He investigated the layout for a while, in case he needed to make fast decisions in the future. When he was done, it was time to eat. He sat into a corner, got the loaf of bread out of the purse, cut it open and put the slice of cheese inside it. As he was eating gazing at the moon, his eyesight stopped at the unfinished building above the barbershop.

#Eastern Harlem, New York 1942, 10/11 02:08 am

Tired and done with his meal, he was extremely fatigued. His eyes started to close by themselves as the only thing he wanted was to sleep. His fortune sadly ran out, as he heard something that made his skin go white and his sleepy mood got lost.

- This was the road we were informed about! , said a voice coming from a road like hell’s bell into his ear.

- Good, I want 2 men guarding this side of the road and 2 on the opposite. The rest stay with me, we’re going in! , shouted a second voice ordering the rest of the men.

At the same time, he heard hasty steps from the highway, making him think that he was in huge trouble.

Maybe some snitch saw him creeping inside the lot and informed the police about it, bringing all those cops he evaded earlier there.

His first thought was to surrender, but just after that came the thought of those awful four years he spent in prison, and he could not put up with it again. “I’d rather die than surrendering”, he thought, and retreated to the nearest shadowy spot he could find to hide himself in the darkness, hoping that he could get away with it once again. Of course, he knew that it was just a matter of time to find him. The cops would not stop searching until daylight.

- Hey, look at this opening here, on the fence! , said a voice coming from one of the policemen.

- That’s where he must’ve gotten inside from, let’s get in there! , came a voice from another policeman.

After the conversation ended, he heard the sound of the fence being pulled aside, and steps coming from the staircase! He saw two cops walking cautiously in front of him with batons in one of their hands and a flashlight to the other. “All hope is gone…” , he thought. Without having any particular choice, he decided it was all or nothing at all.

As the cops continued to investigate, he tried to find a chance to escape them. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t go to the upper floors. As soon as one of the cops turned his back at him, he crept out of the shadows, grabbed his baton, and struck him in the back of his head with a lighting fast thrust move.

He did not wait to see what would happen next, and immediately rushed to the staircase. The first cop’s body fell into the ground with force, making his partner instantly look at him. Rushing into the body of his mate, the second cop noticed a huge amount of blood coming out of his head. He immediately got out of the building and called for backup. Two more cops rushed in to help.

- What happened officer? Tell me! , shouted his superior.

- We were investigating, and this guy came out of nowhere and hit Kelly in the head! , he responded, terrified.

- Is he alright?

- He’s unconscious, but alive! He needs medical attention immediately!

- Alright, Howard, get there and help him. John, come with me, we’re going to get that bastard!

Howard hopped over the fence and disappeared into the darkness. The leader asked John with a strict tone:

- Did you see where he was headed?

- No, chief, I did not. But I think he has some kind of magical powers! , claimed John with sheer terror in his eyes.

At that moment, a distant sound from a breaking glass was heard. The police chief reached in his holster and got his revolver out, pointing at the source of the sound.

- Don’t be stupid John, there is no such thing as magic! The only magic in this world, is this gun, pointing at the gun he had just gotten out.

The other two police officers reached the barber shop, where they were supposed to meet with the ones guarding the opposite side of the highway. What used to be the shop window was nothing but broken glass now and a rock in the middle of the shards.

- You two stay here; shoot him in the head if he shows up! You come with me! , ordered them the chief and took Howard with him into the shop.

The two cops were inside the shop now. Nothing but barbering tools, mirrors and chairs was around them. Deeper, a storage room could be seen as well as a newly built staircase leading to the newly built second floor.

The chief beckoned at his partner to move on the upper floor, and so they did, watching their every move. When they got onto the top of the stairs, they saw nothing, but they were sure that this vagabond was hiding around there somewhere. The chief signaled John to move forward as he silently waited with his weapon raised in the corner. The police officer slowly walked whilst holding his baton in one hand and the flashlight on the other, being terrified as he was still thinking that sorcery was involved into this. Suddenly, the thief appeared behind him with the downed officer’s baton raised behind John’s head, trying to incapacitate him as well.

Two gunshots following one another broke the silence of the night! The thief fell down on the ground screaming in pain, as he got one bullet to the ribs and one to his ankle. The chief went close to the vagabond and saw him crying in agony. He looked at him straight in the eyes as the chief grinned at him.

- Let’s go, said the chief to the cop.

- Shouldn’t we call for backup? Somebody should come and get him, he might bleed out here , asked the cop with a low and scared voice.

- No need to, the shopkeeper will find him in the morning and will probably call an ambulance, he responded without showing any particular interest in the question.

- But…

- Are you listening to what I say? We can’t deal with every scum at the same time, we’ve got much more serious business to attend to! Our colleague was beaten up and we must see to his well-being.

- Yes sir! You’re right, sir! , he responded with his head lowered.

The two police officers left the scene, and the man was all alone again, as he was in his whole life. He felt the cold shroud of the night embrace him, a freezing wind that made him flail like a fish, but also one that freed him from this miserable world. All he was thinking about was that he wanted a second chance, a chance to live, a chance to study and fight hard for a decent life!

#Eastern Harlem, New York 1942, 10/11 02:18 am

The man had now stopped shaking, he was dead now. His lifeless body stood still, but his soul was free, free to go wherever it sees fit, maybe in another world, a better one!

The Thief·End of chapter·Please vote
Αθανάσιος Βασιλάκης
Αθανάσιος Βασιλάκης
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