A Chapter by MightyMouse

“Are you sure about this, Opal? We can still change our minds, or rather, you can still change your mind.”

“Yes, I’m sure. If you haven’t noticed, we’re starving. We need whatever food he’s got.”

“But we’ve never stolen from someone before. For all we know, that guy has some kind of crazy martial arts background. He could probably beat the crap out of us in a second and take our stuff. Then where would we be?” Rocco and Opal are crouched down behind an old, green dumpster in an alley between two buildings whose names have been weathered away. They’re watching a young man walking down the street. The man looks close to six feet tall and very serious and that worries Rocco. Everyone worries Rocco. “Rocco, you have martial arts training. I doubt he’s going to beat us up. He looks like a pushover anyway.” Opal takes off her nearly empty orange backpack and sets it on the ground behind the dumpster. “Alright, it looks like he’s going into that store. We’ll corner him there and take his food. If he cooperates, he won’t get hit in the face. Let’s go.” Opal takes off without even bothering to see if Rocco is coming or not. “Stubborn woman.” Rocco mumbles.

Rocco watches her until she stops just outside the front of the convenience store. She’s wearing her black shirt and yoga pants today. She changed into them when she decided to rob someone. Unfortunately her yellow nike shoes stand out. She tried to cover them up a few times with various things, spray paint, duct tape, etc. but they didn’t work for very long. It did help to dull the color a little bit though. Opal’s strawberry blonde hair is pulled back out of her face in a high ponytail. She never lets it out. Her green eyes are determined and stubborn while she watches the man from her position in front of the store. Rocco however, is dressed in baggy jeans with holes in the knees and a white stained tank top. His black boots are in near perfect condition contradictory to the rest of him. He has a thing with clean shoes, kind of an OCD tendency he’s trying to get over. He doesn’t have any hair, premature balding, but Opal says she doesn’t mind.

Rocco takes the time to appreciate his wife. She was born here in America, unlike him. He was born and raised in Italy. He only moved here when he married her. She had an easy life as daughter of some big time tv producer, whereas he had a hard life as a stereotypical son of a pizza parlor owner. He was supposed to take over the ‘family business’ when his father passed away, but he just didn’t want that. Opal was his way out, and he loved her very much. But her stubbornness and lack of attention to detail was going to get them killed some day.

He creeps slowly and silently towards the store and  stops crouched down behind Opal. She’s beneath the window stealing occasional peeks inside waiting for Rocco to met her there. Rocco peeks into the window as well. The man seems agitated as he tosses things to the side. He’s looking for food, no doubt, and he isn’t finding any, or at least not enough. Rocco tries one last time to stop Opal. “We really don’t have to steal from people. We’re better than this, Opal. Besides, if he’s looking for food, then wouldn’t it make sense for us to leave him alone? He obviously doesn’t have anything. And look,” he says pointing, “He has a gun in his belt.”

“Yes, we do have to do this.” Opal says firmly. “Just because we steal, doesn’t make us bad people. It makes us survivors. And I have a gun too, remember?” She takes out the .22 she found some time ago as she’s talking. They don’t actually have any bullets so it’s just used to scare people trying to mess with them. But now it’s being used to scare someone into giving them their food. A much more sinister act in Rocco’s mind. “Alright, I’m going to go in the front, you go around the side, or back. Just find a way in.” Rocco sighs knowing he’s not getting out of this and creeps around the side of the store. “It’s easier to appease my wife than displease my wife.” Rocco says to himself as he turns into the alley beside the store. There’s a side exit, broken in, and it’s easy to slide inside unnoticed. Opal is supposed to wait outside the front door. Once inside, Rocco ducks behind the front counter and signals to Opal through the window.

Quickly and quietly she sneaks in the front door staying in her crouched down position. Rocco watches as she follows a path through the store hiding behind shelves. He marvels at her almost ghost-like entrance into the store. He thinks maybe they might be able to pull this off, but he’s still worried about the size of the man and the gun he has tucked in his belt. Opal is dwarfed by him and if he pulls the trigger of his gun and it’s loaded, or even if he just hit her hard enough, Rocco would lose his wife.

Opal pauses behind a row of shelves directly behind the man. He’s tossing things around almost desperately, like he’s looking for at least one thing useful. She takes a deep breath to prepare herself and lets it out slowly. Rocco and Opal make eye contact. “One, two, three!” Opal mouths and swings the gun around the shelves aiming it at the man. He drops some cans he’s holding and puts his hands out in front of him like he’s telling her not to shoot, though he doesn’t actually say anything. “Give me whatever you got and I won’t hurt you.” She says trying to sound tough. Rocco notices that with Opal standing at her full height the man is shorter than he looked a moment ago. But the man still looks strong, and he doesn’t look afraid of Opal in the slightest. “You don’t look like much of a thief.” He says slowly. His voice higher than Rocco expected. “Don’t underestimate me, boy. Just give me all the food you’ve got.” Opal demands. The man sighs a little like he’s sad she’s still trying to threaten him and before Opal or Rocco even knows what happened he’s holding her gun. Rocco leaps over the counter worrying for Opal’s safety. “It doesn’t even have bullets in it.” The man observes as he inspects the gun. “If you’re going to rob someone, you might want to…” He’s rudely interrupted as Rocco slams his fist into the side of his face. The man is knocked to the ground losing his grip on Opal’s gun and it falls out of his hands at Opal’s feet. She picks it up and stuffs it into her pocket. “If I were you, I’d stay down.” Rocco suggests seriously. The man rubs his cheek looking almost like he’s pouting. “Why does everyone have to hit me? Do I just look like a punching bag to everybody? Why don’t you two go away and mind your own business?” He offers. “You can shut up!” Opal says, kicking him in the chest when he tries to sit up sending him flying backwards to the floor again. Rocco picks up the man’s backpack so he can search it for food. Opal joins him. “Take whatever food you need.” The man says getting his feet back underneath him. “Just please don’t take all of it. I have to feed my brother.”

Rocco eyeballs Opal, almost disappointed, with one of his ‘I told you so’ expressions. “What brother?” Rocco asks cautiously in case it’s just a ruse to throw them off guard. “He’s only five years old. Our father died almost a year ago and I’ve been trying to take care of him since. At least leave me enough food to feed him today. I can always find more tomorrow.” Rocco grabs Opal by the arm and drags her away dropping the backpack behind them. “I told you we shouldn’t steal from him. It ain’t right.” He whispers angrily. “He’s making it up.” Opal insists stubbornly crossing her small arms. “But what if he isn’t?” Rocco persists. She frowns and thinks it over. “Why do you have to always give other people the benefit of the doubt? What about us? We need to eat too!”

“Opal, my darling wife,” Rocco says reaching up to cup her face in his hand. “Know you not that a good man does nothing for appearance sake, but for the sake of having done right?” he asks quoting Epictetus. “If this man has a baby brother, we can’t steal from him. And even if he doesn’t have a baby brother, we shouldn’t steal from him. We can find our own food.”

“What do you suggest we do then? I tired of not having enough food to eat but once every couple of days. Humans weren’t made to live this way..”

“How about we make him prove he has a brother first and if he doesn’t, then maybe we could just split whatever he has. He already told us to take what we need. Its decent to at least leave him with something. He needs food too.” Opal spends some time thinking it over. “What if he has a group out there somewhere and we end up dead?”

“Think about that, Opal. If he had a group he wouldn’t be out here all alone and he wouldn’t look so hungry.” She huffs loudly and stomps away. Her usual way of letting Rocco know he’d won. It isn’t usually hard for Rocco to win arguments. He has a way making Opal change her mind without much effort, except on special occasions. He shakes his head as he walks back over to the man. He’s sitting cross-legged on the floor putting things in his backpack nonchalantly like nothing had just happened to him. “Alright, we’ve decided we want proof of this brother of yours. If he’s real, we won’t take any of your stuff. But if he isn’t we’re splitting your supplies.” Rocco says taking the backpack away. “I’ll give you back your stuff later.” The man sighs and rolls his eyes. “I’ll take you to meet my brother then. But you have to promise you won’t hurt him. The only reason you’re both still alive is because I don’t feel like hurting anyone today. Frankly, I’m just too tired, But you put one hand on my little brother and you won’t even see me coming. And that’s not an exaggeration.”

“I believe you.” Rocco says sincerely glancing down at the man’s gun. He puts his hand on it as they silently acknowledge each other. “We don’t want to hurt a little kid. You have nothing to worry about. My name’s Rocco, by the way. And that’s my wife, Opal. She’s kind of stubborn and cantankerous, but you’ll get used to it.” Opal gives him the finger and stalks away. Rocco chuckles and rolls his eyes. “See what I mean?” The two men follow Opal out of the convenience store and across the street to retrieve her backpack from behind the dumpster. “Guess she doesn’t quite agree with your plan of meeting my little brother.” The man observes.

“No, but she’ll get over it. What’s your name?” The man starts walking in the direction of his little brother. “Waya Samson. My little brother is Jago, but everyone just calls him Jake. It’s nice to meet you.” He says smiling.

© 2016 MightyMouse

Author's Note

Done with this one too.

My Review

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I liked this one as well. You are getting better. Just a few small grammatical errors that you should catch once you do a thorough read through. But this is a worthy story and my senses were filled to bring me right there in this moment. Good job.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Thanks, I'm really trying, I think my practice is paying off.
The story is good in itself, and I'm enjoying it, but the narrative needs cleaning up. For instance, Rocco and Opal are introduced as debating jumping a guy for his food. A guy who they think looks intimidating, so they feel they're taking a risk. Immediately, the guy is described as muscular, 'despite an obvious lack of food'. If the lack is obvious, why take the risk? What's more, does that mean he doesn't appear to have food on his person, or does he look malnourished? In either case, what makes it obvious?
Then, during the brief fight, Rocco hits him and tells him to stay down, implying that he was knocked down though you don't say he was. But then he's kicked in the chest, sending him flying to the floor. If he wasn't there to begin with, why did Rocco tell him to stay down? Did he fall, get up, and get kicked down again? You need to say so.
He seems awfully quick to trust people who just tried robbing him with the location of his brother, but I will buy that he's just confident he can take them if need be.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

When Rocco hit him, he did fall, but he was sitting rather than laying giving Opal the chance to kic.. read more

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6 Reviews
Added on August 20, 2016
Last Updated on August 23, 2016



Dayton, TX

I enjoy writing and I want to know if other people enjoy my writing. I live in a house full of seven people, three of them children, thirteen dogs, and ten cats. I have a twin sister with only one leg.. more..

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