“In the fight of good versus bad there’s a never-ending battle to keep up. In the world of thieves new methods to steal are being created all the time. An example: Just last week I witness to woman in long skirts arrested for shoplifting. They’d sown bags into those skirts enabling them to steal a large amount of stuff with ease. Here’s another Rat with an ingenious plan…”
I wrote this poem in answer to the following prompts:
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie– First line Friday — The rat ran and he chased.
Pensitivity Three Things Challenge — Option, Standard, Circumstances
RagTag Daily Prompt — Inevitable
The rat ran and he chased. He had to or he wouldn’t deserve the security badge he bore proudly on his chest. The rat was a man in his mid-twenties. Neil had watched him secrete hundreds of pounds worth of expensive perfumes into his jeans pockets. The man had been quick, getting away before the security guard could apprehend him.
Now the chase was on, the rat was a little way ahead and Neil was gaining.
The rat took a left at the top of the high street, skirting the bus-filled roundabout. His move causing a young mum to scream as he barrelled over her pushchair.
Neil breathed a sigh of relief, realising the baby was in her arms. Redoubling his efforts, he raced between pedestrians with his eyes locked on the back of the thief.
The rat leapt into the flower trough and vaulted over a railing. With a parkour-like roll back to his feet, he descended the ramp into the pedestrian subway.
“Zulu-10 to Security Station. In pursuit of the thief. Now, heading into the subway.” Neil radioed as he descended after him.
The subway had been built to allow pedestrians to move around the very busy roundabout junction safely.
Neil turned into the dark underpass and flinched away from the cyclist walking out of the shadows. Rebounding off the wall, he lowered his stance and ran for all he was worth.
Ahead, the rat reached the crossroads and sized up every escape option.
“Freeze! Stay where you are!” yelled the security guard running through the dim light. The walls were filled with horrendous graffiti, yet he barely realised as he focused on his target.
The rat went right.
Neil burst around the corner after him.
“You’ll never catch me!” The thief had seized an old woman. He bodily threw her to the ground in front of the security guard and burst away again.
“I’m sorry, madam!” Neil leapt over her and kept up his pursuit. “I need paramedics in the subway. The thief assaulted an old lady!” he called into his radio as he burst back into the sunlight.
The rat had gone left using the steps this time.
Neil saw him go right at the top. Time to change the circumstances in his favour. Dashing right he powered up the ramp. Emerging back on the road by the furniture shop, he sucked in lungfuls of air.
Across the road, the rat slowed, thinking he’d lost his pursuer.
The security guard half-smiled as he dashed through a gap in the buses and lorries causing a traffic jam on the city’s ring road. Reaching the far side, he grabbed the railing and hurled himself over the top. Making a lunge, he felt his fingers grip onto the man’s hoodie. “Now, stay where you are!”
“My freedom is inevitable. You cannot hold me!” The rat threw back his head connecting with a savage crack against the security guard’s nose.
Neil felt his nose break as he got a glance of platinum white hair and strange red eyes beneath the hood. Despite the pain and blood spilling from his nostrils, he held on gamely. “The only inevitable thing is your arrest for theft and assault,”
“Never!” The thief twisted, swinging a fist with murderous intent.
Neil ducked and drove his palm hard into the rat’s abdomen. Rising, he spun back behind him, drove his arm between his shoulder blades and tripped him to the pavement.
“Argh! You a martial artist or something,” complained the thief writhing and kicking against his capture.
“Let’s just say, I’m not a standard security guard, shall we!” Neil saw a pair of police officers running toward him and smiled through his bloody nose.
“Good afternoon, this the thief?” asked one officer as they relieved him of the still writing rat.
“Yeah, I’m Security Guard Neil Sedgewick. I witnessed him loading his pockets with expensive perfume from the Scent Shop in the High Street. In making his escape he assaulted an old lady in the subway and broke my nose.” Neil explained.
“I took nothing. He set me up!” yelled the rat.
“CCTV will prove everything. There are a least six bottles in his jeans,” Neil said as an ambulance pulled over to assist. He watched as one of the officers patted the thief down.
“You sure this is the man. I’m not finding anything,” he said looking to Neil for answers.
Neil felt the flicker of worry. If he couldn’t prove this man a thief, he would lose his badge for sure. He glanced at the man’s jeans. They were extremely baggy and not torn to shreds as was the fashion these days. “If you strip-search him, I’m sure you’ll discover his jeans pockets go further than you think. Those perfumes are in there somewhere!” he said with conviction.
“While they do that, we need to get your nose taken care of, sir.” said a paramedic stemming the blood flow with a gauze cloth.
“Take Neil to hospital please, paramedic,” instructed an officer handcuffing the suspect. “We’ll take him into custody and deal with him. I’ll come and see you at the store in due course to let you know the outcome.”
“I appreciate that thank you, officer,” Neil gave the rat a victorious grin as he climbed aboard the ambulance and the doors were closed behind him.
Almost a week later, Neil stood in his office holding a series of photographs. They showed the thief’s jeans turned inside out. As he suspected, the waist pocket extended almost to the lower hems. Beside them were the six stolen perfume bottles. ‘Catching this professional thief was worth the broken nose and black eye,’ he thought with a smile. “Neil – one. thieving rat – nil.”
Have a great day!