The Last Car

I was an uneducated burglar and I was proud of my heritage. My father was a burglar in the morning and a thief at night, so was his mother. I was still working on my thief skills at that time. Being a burglar was so much easier, since burglary mostly required brute force, but thieving was an art. Like playing a violin, we thieves needed to learn from the basics and build our muscles to memorize the moves. Our family did not join gangs on the street: we was a private enterprise and we did our own business because we was a proud people. Our house was built from the bricks my grandmother stole from a memorial construction site. We needed money to hire people to do the water pipes: sadly, skills could not be stoled. I believed that it was time for me to make a contribution to my family like a good thief.

I decided to try my luck on a train. I sneaked past the ticket clipping people and hopped onto the last car of the train. I was so lucky: there was an elegant lady leaning delicately against the side of the window looking out to the crowds below. I quietly slipped into the seat next to her, all the while clenching my lunch box to my chest nervously(I could not find a proper lunch box so I used a large cardboard box to store my homemade sandwich, an apple, a yogurt, and a carton of milk snatched from a street store). The lady did not stir. I looked at her back, and noticed a curious thing perched on top of her head. I could not but frown furiously when I saw that it was a gigantic birdcage connected to a hat. It was made out of pure gold. My eyes widened so much and so quickly at the thought that my ears popped. At least… I thought it was pure gold. I did not know how to verify such thing other than to bite into the metal: I have seen sailors done that on the Macnolia port before. But she looked so pretty, like a crane I saw at the park yesterday. Before I realized it, the train entered the destination’s station. The rays of sunshine was blocked by the sudden concrete structure of Le Gare. We were thrown into pitch black for a moment. My heart raced and I bit my lunch box anxiously. This was it, now or never! I firmly told myself and tried to imagine papa and grandma’s proud faces when they saw the golden cage. I leaned over and clamped my teeth hard over the rim of the cage. The cage did not bulge, but my teeth was stuck on the metal. The lady started and turned around, and what I saw made me scream like a pig. It was my grandma! Her hazel eyes stared straight into my soul and I could only drool stupidly while my face was locked in place by my teeth an inch away from her face. She furiously kicked me away so hard that my teeth disconnected with the metal with a sticky noise. We barely noticed that the train stopped and people were leaving. Grandma was ripping off her disguise and screaming in my face telling me I was a failure to my entire family because I destroyed the golden cage she stole from the Palace. My throbbing mouth made me mad as well, and I told her how could she ever put a cage on her hat and expect no one to deport her. I clutched my lunch box deeply to my chest until its edges dug into my ribs. I was so sad that I had let my grandma down, but I did not want to let her win the argument, so I tried hard to bite back tears, which was difficult because my teeth were still hurting and it made me want to cry even more. Grandma wiped out a large map and tried to fold it into a stick so she could slap me on the head with it. I clutched my box even harder. All the while we did not notice someone standing on the platform, staring silently at us with his eerily familiar eyes.


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