Walking down the endless slick marbled floors of the department store, winter just begun. The dogs and cats didn’t celebrate Christmas but they had a holiday that same day called “St. Fredruck’s Day” and it was the same thing. Walking down the center of the store, all white and gold with the pine wreaths and the sparkly stars hanging down from the center, where you could look up and see many more floors of clothing and furniture. I was drunk and I was old, fifty seven years, but I had a little bit of money at that time. I had run across some smart ass orphan earlier that week who had fucked me over in a bet and I decided it would be rather in character to take him in as my own, as his reward, in lieu of the bet payment. So the brat was staying in my home and getting hair all over the place, and it was all a terrible decision.
He’d demanded we go here, and here we were. “If you’re such a rich human piece of shit buy me some gifts then,” he said, and I really hated him. The papers were already in on putting him in the orphanage, but it would unfortunately take till after the holidays. And While I hated him, for sure, I had a very soft place in my heart for the gift giving holidays and when it comes to my principles I believe even nasty little dog boys deserve a gift when everyone else is getting one.
Well, he took off the second we stepped in the place and I didn’t have the energy to run after him. I’d sat in one of the seats outside the cat dressing rooms and taken to a bottle and time passed and before you knew it I was gone on booze and getting bad looks. Here I was then, stumbling through the watches and rings and perfumes, eyes alternately on the floor and up looking through the many floors up to the ceiling and the sparkly stars hanging on strings. At the exact center of the store I had stopped, as in my drunken stupor I had thought that view of the stars and the floors was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, and in my mind all those stars turned into many great suns and the column of floors the great tunnel of time and space where they danced, and then through this beauty came sailing a TV and it fell down the many stories and right past face and it landed so close a shard of TV screen went and cut me in my leg before i knew what had happened.
Well it was the boy. Seemed he’d gone nuts and caused a scene. He screamed from the seventh story, “I’d meant to kill you!” and went off running. More and more I could hear screams from the top of the store. In a running limp I got in the glass elevator. As it ascended I saw a great and terrible mess on every floor and as I arrived at the seventh I could see the boy across the way, surrounded by police. Not department security, armed professionals, these were real deal cops, and the boy had a gun pointed at them and a couple of hostages too. I’d wonder how long this had been going on and If I had really been so out of it as to not discover it untill now. And I wondered, the kid was annoying for sure, but a psychopath? It seemed a tad out of character, but I suppose I’d never gotten to know him too well, and he did fuck me over in that bet, which is out of character for children to do to adults.
As I sat and pondered in the elevator a bullet came shattering through the glass window of the elevator. It, unfortunately, missed my sad face and went through the open door blasting some poor old cat’s head off and all over the place. I ducked through the door and went scrambling to the ground. A round of bullets sounded and the room went silent. In the coming minutes i was to find the boy’s body shot up by cop bullets, and we were all to be ushered to the bottom floor to be asked questions. I snuck into a stairwell, bolted down to street level and took off for my car. When the child protective agency were to learn of this, I was to be “fucked.” How was I to explain I let him stay in my home because of old movies I’d seen? Also FOR SURE he found that gun in my place. This is the sort of thing that gets you put in jail, and when it comes to jail I don’t go for dumb shit like this that’s not even all the way my fault. The good thing was all they knew was I had a kid to give them, not who the kid was.
What I needed now was another kiddo, who would not only be willing to repeat my story, but be willing to go to an orphanage for a time. I headed south of the shopping district to where all the homeless kids hung, and drove down the street real slow. I was in a panic and wasn’t going off much more than looks so when I saw a kid that was a black lab, like the other kid was, I beckoned him in the car, and as street kids, I’ve found, are wont to do, he obliged. I explained to him my plan and the score. I would take him to my home, he would sleep on my comfortable couch for a little bit, and then he would go to an orphanage where he would say I was a kind man who saved him from the street and he was excited to live in the orphanage. A week later I was to come by the orphanage and bust him out using a laundry man’s ruse, hiding him in dirty clothes etc.
I looked him in his eyes then and asked “How much is something like this worth to you, payment to be made, of course, after the busting out.” It’s always best, I’ve found, to let a child make the first move in any negotiation as they usually go low, for they do not know the value of money. The dog boy looked up for the first time and growled “10,000 cash.” “Woah,” I thought. “You gotta be kidding me,” I then thought. “pfwuah!” I sputtered. Well now I was up a rope, the kid wasn’t fucking around, and was likely a young professional criminal. He knew I couldn’t go to anyone else cause he had info I couldn’t let out, and that this gave him the leverage. I had to accept his offer, and just to confuse him a bit I offered him twelve thousand. I drove him to my home, where he ate steak every day, and drank brandy at night. The plan went accordingly. He said what I told him, they took him off to the orphanage and I let him rot in there because fuck him. He should owe me twelve thousand for that life lesson.
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