High Time for Crime

Entry by Joshua Hanson. This entry needs artwork!

My name is Dexter Jared Peterson. I am 26 years old and live in New York City. In the last seven years I have lived as 11,577 different people.

A sudden flash of light opened my eyes to the next life. In the first five seconds I determined that I had no clue what was going on. No big surprise there. I stood in a large dark room holding a small blowtorch. Ahead of me was an ornate mahogany box, surrounded by thick ballistic glass and a cage. I looked around for a moment, most of the building was dark but I could see some roped off areas and a few more glass boxes with assorted bits in them.

I looked back at the box in front of me, my thoughts interrupted by a man yelling, “Come on Dex, grab the stupid thing and get the HELL out of there, we can’t keep the security off forever!”

A Thief. Of all the things to be, I had to be a thief. I decided not to question the man and instead reached through the cage only to be blocked by the ballistic glass. “Alright, use your torch on the upper left corner, and the lower right. This should free the pins on the case. Don’t burn that box!” the man ordered through the earpiece.

I did just that, causing the front of the glass box to fall onto the stand it was sitting on with a loud thud.

“Easy, easy! The cameras might be off but the mics on them still work! Just grab that box and get out, we’re already past the deadline,” the man said, slightly frantic. I grabbed the box and slid it into a felt pouch, then started for the door. Just past halfway to the door a heard the automatic locks click into place. If I didn’t have the sense to take this seriously I would have guessed I was on a movie set.

The radio crackled and a woman’s voice came out, “Dex this is Alexandria, we’ve lost the frequency for the security system and everything is reactivating! GET OUT OF THERE NOW!!!”

Alexandria… I half hoped she wasn’t part of this, but then I wasn’t surprised that she was. I didn’t have to be told twice, I booked it to the next exit. I grasped at the handle only to find it locked. As I heard the next door lock I leaned up against the door and sighed. Completely trapped now. At this point I was pretty sure I wasn’t making it out of this life, alive. I guess it isn’t that bad though, thieves don’t really deserve any better do they?

The door behind me suddenly swung open, tossing me onto a flight of stairs. There was a sudden rush of panic as I fell back, but as I landed on nothing but my own ass it subsided a bit. I quickly scrambled to my feet as the radio once again came to life.

“We got one door unlocked but it’s not going to stay that way for long, it’s on the East side of the building, go!” Alex yelled. I heard faint sirens over the radio and somebody else yelling. Seems luck was on my side for once. I started down the stairs three steps at a time, pivoting on the railing at each landing. There was a muffled screeching of tires below me. Something caught my foot and I went head first down the last flight, slamming into the door at the bottom.

The door burst open and I was delivered onto the cool pavement of the sidewalk. I really should watch my step. As I collected the box and took a moment to make sure nothing was broken a grey windowless van came barreling down the street, screeching to a stop a few meters past me. The double doors on the back swung open and Alexandria ushered me toward them.

“Dex hurry up, they’re not far behind!” she yelled to me. Her voice sounded so soft even in the desperate situation. I ran to the back and jumped in as a pair of police cars came flying around the corner.

“Pedal to the metal, we’re getting out of here!” ordered the man who had been talking to me on the radio as Alexandria pulled the doors shut. “Alright Dex, let’s see the prize.

“The man grabbed the bag from me and pulled out the box. In the light of the van I could see small carvings in the wood, which was polished to a mirror like finish. He almost fainted at the sight of it.

“Fantastic! I can’t wait until the client sees this, we’ll be rich!” he sang in excitement. Alexandria took the box and examined it before handing it back to me. I looked it over for a moment then turned to her to ask if she recognized the carvings when everything froze. The image of her face slowly faded into black as I was pulled from the life of the thief.

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