A Jewel Thief and the J's

A Jewel Thief and the J's

A Story by Chelsea Schermerhorn

Written for my Creative Writing Class.


“Hey! Watch where you’re goin’, numbskull! We’re meditastin’ here!”

            “Jack, chill out and shut your trap,” a young, red-faced man said in a low voice, sitting with his legs tucked under each other. The young man seemed frustrated and embarrassed, and unable to stay on the small rug that lay on the floor of the train station. Underground in New York City, surrounded by bustling people in enormous numbers, three other men sat, each on their own little rug.

            “Jack and Jason, please, try to concentrate. You must learn to control your anger. The meditating will help.” The man who spoke, sat perfectly still, the brightly colored turban balanced atop his head wobbled only slightly as he spoke and matched the voluminous pants that gathered in bunches at his ankles where the elastic in the hem was evident.

            Jack made a face and rude gesture to his companion, and anyone else who wanted to look at him, and settled back down to close his eyes with his two former co-workers. All of them had been assigned to anger-management classes after they tried to break into their ex-boss’s office. They had been fired from surveying an area for an industrial mall due to the fact the man in charge didn’t like them.

 “Focus, people,” the man in the turban said once more, “Breathe in and out to counts of seven, and try to channel your bad energy into a positive frame of mind.”

            “I’ll tell you what’s in my positive frame of mind: goin’ to bust up all that fancy lawyer’s junk, what sent us here,” the older, graying man who spoke stood up. “I’m done for the day. I can’t take no more of this crap. People who used to ‘spect me ain’t gonna pay no mind to me now, if they see me on the floor of Penn Station with some crazy guy who ha’nt got them marbles anymore,” the man knocked on his own head while looking toward the leader of the meditation.

            “Come on, Joe, give Sul another chance. He’s tryin’ real hard to help us,” Jack stood up to try to stop the old man from leaving.

            “Do not worry about it. We’re done for the day as it is. I will see you all here tomorrow, at the same time. Don’t be late,” Sul walked off after standing up and grabbing his rug, disappearing up one of the escalators that led to the streets above. Jack, Jason, and Joe

            The next day, around noontime, Jack, Joe, and Jason met up for lunch before the meditating session and then walked together to go to the station. “Whoa! Look at those fancy decorations! What I’d give to have me some,” Joe said, looking in the window of a pawn shop and jewelry store.

            “Why can’t you have some, Joe?” Jason stopped to look with him while Jack strolled on ahead, clueless.

            “Money’s why not. I ain’t got much dough to roll in, and these damn ‘classes’ are killing me. “I may be an old bachelor, but city life’s got the up on me.”

            “Here, why don’t I buy you one? My wife won’t care. I’ve got plenty and you’ve done lots for me in my time,” Jason began to walk into the shop, but was stopped by Joe.

            “You gotta be kiddin’ me. There’s no way you can ‘ford  junk like that,” Joe remarked. “You’re just a surveyor like me an’ Jack. Hell, Jack can’t barely ‘ford his ‘partment.”

            “Don’t you worry, now, Joe-boy. I only survey for fun. I promise you, I can afford a little gift for my friends,” Jason walked back into the pawn shop with a smirk on his face as Jack finally came back up the street after realizing he was walking alone.

            “What’s goin’ on here, buddy? What’s Jason doin’?”

            Joe just shook his head, wondering how Jack could ever understand the complex geometry his surveying job required. After a short while, Jason came out of the store with three Rolex watches and three diamond rings. He distributed the jewelry out to the other two men as they marveled over how quickly Jason had bought it.

            “Come on, let’s get out of here. I don’t like that store keeper,” Jason said as he led the two men away from the pawn shop and down a nearby alleyway. “Hurry up, Jack! That store owner’s got it out for me, now. I paid more than a thousand, but he didn’t want to let those Rolexes go.”

            Joe and Jack looked confused, but just picked up pace and hurried on to Penn Station, with their new jewelry glittering on their wrists and fingers. When they finally arrived, about ten minutes late, Sul was already in position, meditating. As they approached, he opened his eyes, and glared at them. They each took their place on rugs already laid out for them as a response.

            “Those will distract you from meditation. You must remove the jewelry,” Sul said, upon glancing at their wrists and hands.

            “Aw, come on, Sully. We just got ‘em. Jason here paid over a thousand bucks for ‘em,” Jack whined.

            Sul harrumphed and shook his head, passing around a brown paper bag to each of them to place their jewelry in. The surveyors rolled their eyes and removed their jewelry and placed the watches and rings in the bag, handing it back to Sul, who wouldn’t take it. The men took out their wallets and cellphones and placed those in the bag as well, then settled into position and closed their eyes, breathing in and out to counts of seven as Sul instructed. They concentrated on aspects of their life: where they had been, where they were going, their families, children, and parents. The meditating lasted for seventeen minutes, and when they finally opened their eyes, Sul was gone, with the brown paper bag, full of their jewelry and wallets. They all screamed and went scrambling, each running in a different direction to find the man in the brightly colored trousers and turban.

© 2010 Chelsea Schermerhorn

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Added on April 9, 2010
Last Updated on April 9, 2010


Chelsea Schermerhorn
Chelsea Schermerhorn

Bruceville-Eddy, TX

I like books of all sorts, old and new, I love it when the words of a book draw pictures in my mind, I love movies of all genres except horror, learning about all things, including history, pop cultur.. more..