And so it ends

Glancing around we slunk closer and closer to the car. I pulled out the key and quickly passed it to Jane. She glanced at me and gave me a thumbs up sign before she put the key in the lock. Just as she turned the key in the lock the car beeped. It always did that but I had forgotten about it. Glancing at Jane, I knew that we were knee deep in trouble.

Jane yanked the door open and jumped into the car. I did the same on the passenger side. Just a Jane turned the ignition on, I heard a shout echo from the shack. Glancing around I saw the man with the red bottom shoes running towards us.

“Quick! He is coming towards us!” I shouted in panic

“I’m trying! I’m trying!” screamed Jane back at me.

For an agonizing second the car did not start and then just like that the engine came on. I took in a deep breath. I hadn’t realized that I wasn’t breathing. Jane pushed the engine to it’s limits as she sped down the mud road.

“I don’t believe we made it!” said Jane laughing in relief. Jane however spoke to soon. Two loud noises echoed through the air.

“He’s shooting at us!” I said

“Oh my God! Oh my God!” said Jane scared. We however did not have much to worry. Just as we took a blind turn on the path, Jane was forced to apply the brakes. The police had managed to arrive early and they had just arrested the man in the red car.

It wasn’t long before the police got the situation under control. The man with the red bottom shoes was caught and taken to the police station. Jane handed the car over to an officer. She said that she was trembling too much to drive it any further. The officer drove us to the police station where we gave our statement.

It was there that we learnt that we had invariably busted a criminal organization. Though we had caught only two of their members, they were both willing to confess to their crimes and give up the names of the other ring members. The gang had apparently been stealing cars for the past few years. After a little modification to the cars and a good paint job, they passed them off as seldom used second hand cars. They were making a fortune out of it.

It did not take a long time for my parents to arrive at the station. They had hitched a ride with Jane’s parents. The relief was obvious on everyone’s face. For me seeing them wasn’t the greatest part of the whole reunion. The best part was knowing that I had been able to lift a great burden off my father’s shoulders. Taking him aside, I placed the key back in his hand.

“I told you we would get back, didn’t I?” I asked him. They say that actions speak louder than words. My father’s gratitude was apparent by the hug that he gave me. He paused for a moment and the said, “You fool! I am more relieved that you are safe. I can save and buy a hundred cars but no one can replace you!”

*The End!*



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Chapter 4: The Plot Is Unraveled

“What should we do?” asked Jane worried. She glanced over her shoulder to check if we were being followed.

“Call the police is the most obvious choice, I would think. The only problem is that I don’t know where the latest payphone is.” I replied.

“There’s no need for that. I got a cell for my last birthday. Give me a second. I will make the call.” said Jane.

I started wondering what the crooks were up too. In the background I could hear Jane narrating the episode to the police. She even put in a call to my parents. The only problem was that we were far away from the city. Now that the thieves knew that we had spotted them, they were more than likely to get away with the cars before the police arrived.

“What do you think they are doing with the cars?” I asked Jane worried.

“Isn’t it obvious?” asked Jane incredulously. I glanced at her a little puzzled.

“They are painting the cars and then reselling them with a fake license plate.” said Jane. I looked at her astonished. It made perfect sense. That’s why the red car had so much red paint around it. It also set off a lot of warning bells in my head. We needed to get our car out of there soon. Otherwise there was a high chance that we would never see it again.

I clenched my hand in my pocket frustrated and something hard dug into my palm. Surprised, I pulled it out of my pocket. In the palm of my hand was the key that my father had given me.

“What’s that?” asked Jane

“The spare key of our car. My Dad gave it to me this morning as a keepsake. If only I knew to drive, then I could have just taken the car and gone.” I said sadly.

“You may not know how to drive but I do!” said Jane excitedly. This girl was surprising me more and more. She was no longer the scared girl who I had to comfort. I wish I knew where she drew her courage from because I was sorely lacking it.

I did not have much time to ponder. The sound of a car was heard heading our way. We jumped over the nearby hedge to hide. Glancing through the leaves I saw a man drive the red car away. Jane wasted no time in informing the police about the new developments. She also explained our plan. It was only later that Jane told me that the police had warned us against trying to get our car back. I’m sure that my parents would have said the same had they known.

We needed a plan. The police would arrive in another fifteen minutes but from the looks of things we did not have that long. We ditched the picnic supplies behind the bushes and quickly made our way towards the shack. I couldn’t believe that we were doing this. Part of me wanted to turn back but a part of me did not want to be seen as a coward. After all Jane seemed to be braver than me. I just couldn’t let the girl be the braver one! My ego wouldn’t allow it!


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Chapter 3: A Surprise In The Woods

It was hard to forget the incident when all Jane wanted to do was talk about it. I understood her fears. It was scary to tell anyone else that we had been there. The thieves could just come back to finish us off. I gave Jane a hand and we crossed the fence that led into the fields. Most of the children and adults used to use the outskirts of the woods for picnics. No one ventured too far into the woods due the fear of getting lost. Crossing across the field, we jumped across the next fence which led us into the woods.

“This is beautiful.” commented Jane

“It is.” I replied glancing around. The smell of the flowers wafted up to my nose. The green grass stretched out till it touched the outskirts of the woods.

I was surprised to see that there was a path which had been made into the woods. It had been years since I had gone on a picnic. Maybe things had changed since then.

“I’ve never seen that path before!” exclaimed Jane voicing out my thoughts.

“Neither have I!” I replied.

“Let’s check it out!” said Jane excited.

“Are you sure it’s a good idea?” I asked hesitantly.

“Come on. It will be fun!” said Jane as she ran ahead.

With nothing better to do, I followed her. The path was just a mud road. It was obvious that a few cars had traveled the distance lately. In fact it was surprisingly scenic. The path led towards a broken down shack. From the distance I saw a car parked at the entrance. Something made me hesitate. I put my hand on Jane’s shoulder and urged her to be silent. We walked cautiously up to the structure. That’s when it struck me… The car was our car! It was the same SUV that we owned for the past two years. Glancing at the number plate I realized that I had guessed right.

That’s when I realized that we were in trouble. I whispered everything into Jane’s ear. The color drained from her face. She wanted to go home but I was still curious. The run down shack looked deserted and I crept closer to it. Another red car stood behind our SUV. There were red splotches of paint on the ground. That’s when I put two and two together. The man had stepped on red paint. That’s how he had got the bottom of his shoes red.

A man suddenly popped out of the shack and shouted at us. He had the same build as the intruder did. I was frozen in one spot. Glancing down at his shoes, I found that I recognized them. He strode towards us and I had a chance to get a glimpse of the red bottom of his shoes.

“What are you kids doing here?” he asked gruffly

“We were looking for a picnic spot.” replied Jane nervously

“Well go somewhere else. This is private property!” replied the man gruffly

We took heed of his warning and quickly retreated back the way we came. My heart was pounding. I was glad that Jane had the presence of mind to answer the man’s question. My tongue had just frozen in place. I still couldn’t believe that we had found the thieves! That too by accident!


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Chapter 2: A Key And A Realization

A scream echoed through the house. I could feel Jane trembling beside me. Hurried footsteps echoed through the stairs and someone burst through the bedroom door. I recognized my dad from under the bed and scrambled out from under it. My mom sobbed in relief as she hugged me. I heard Jane crawl out behind me. Everything happened quickly. The police arrived, they took our statement and left. That’s when we realized that they had robbed our car. My Dad and Mom had taken a cab for their date night. Dad hates not being able to drink when he goes out. This gives him the chance to enjoy his alcohol and he doesn’t have to drive back.

The loss of our car had put a damper on everyone’s mood. I still couldn’t help wondering why would the thieves steal our car. The police had promised to keep an eye out for the thief. They however had little to go on. I hadn’t seen the person’s face so it was difficult to narrow down the suspects based on their height and build.

Later the next day Jane suggested going out in the countryside for a picnic. It’s not often that an elder girl asks a young guy like me out. I mean it wasn’t a date. I think she just wanted to talk about the happenings of the previous day. I asked my parents for their permission and they readily granted it. Mum said that it would be a good change for me. She kept saying that I needed to unwind. It was easier said than done. I was continuously on my guard. Fear paralyzed me at night. I was worried that the intruder might come back.

Mum packed a delicious picnic lunch for us. As I was about to leave I saw my father gazing at something in his hand. I leaned forward to get a better look. It was a key.

“What’s that Dad?” I asked intrigued. I had never ever seen such a solemn look on my father’s face before.

“The spare keys of the car.” said my father sadly.

“Don’t worry Dad. I’m sure they will find it.” I replied reassuringly

“I don’t think they will. Anyway… Here! You keep it!” said my father. He placed the key in my hand. He turned and walked away.

It made me sad. My parents were not rich. The car was not very old but it wasn’t new either. We could ill afford to get another car. I knew that was what was on his mind. I clasped the key tightly and said a small prayer. I hoped that the thieves were caught soon. I was sure that there was more than one. Now that I though of it, there was a noise in my parents room while the intruder with the red bottom shoes was in my room. There had to have been at least two of them! I wondered whether I should tell the police. I decided against it. After all, I had already given my statement. I needed more proof to make such a claim. I decided to enjoy my picnic with Jane instead. Mum was right. I needed to unwind!



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Chapter 1: The Intruder

It was a rainy day when it all started. I was at home alone with the sitter. I’m Mike by the way. I’m fifteen years old and my parents still think that I need a sitter. Go figure. I’ve argued about it often but if they want to waste their money then it’s up to them. Who am I to complain? After all the sitter is cute. She is three years elder than me and she is super hot!

Anyway, back to what happened that night. I was busy studying and my sitter Jane was helping me with my work. That was the ultimate clause of her coming over I guess. She was brilliant at her studies, top of her class, stuff like that. It did help. The lights were off in the rest of the house and we were in my room dealing with algebra. That’s when we heard the sound of glass breaking. Jane looked at me in worry and I saw her face turn pale.

“What do we do?” she whispered softly

I was hesitant. It was not as if I was overtly brave either. Thinking quickly, I shut of the lights and urged her to hide under the bed. I quickly followed suit. My heart was beating rapidly. I could feel it trying to escape from my chest. I quickly scurried under the bed and lay quietly at the side of Jane. Cautioning her to be quiet I pulled my baseball bat closer to me. They were not going to get us without a fight.

“I’m scared….” whispered Jane

“Ssshhhh!!!” I said urgently. I could hear the sound of footsteps echoing up the stairs. The sound kept coming closer and closer. Suddenly the door flew open. I clamped my hand on Jane’s mouth to keep her from screaming.

The moonlight filtered through the curtain and what I saw that night made my blood curdle. I couldn’t see the person’s face but I saw the gun that was in his hand. I know that it was a man because of the person’s build. He was stocky and yet large. His hands were muscular. He wasn’t someone I wanted to mess with. Glancing at his shoes, I noticed that they were black and well polished. I found that odd. The man wore jeans which were splattered with paint and yet clean polished shoes which were obviously of good quality. He turned to leave the room and as he walked away I noticed something else. The bottom of his shoes was red. It later seemed like a weird observation but I am dead serious when I say that it was blood red.

Time ticked by and I heard a sound from outside. It was almost as if the the garage had been opened. My heart started to pound once more. I hoped that my parents were not home yet. If they were then I would soon be an orphan. A car started up and that was all I heard for a long time.

Both Jane and I stayed under the bed. We were not about to get out and run into the intruder. It felt so much safer there. Our hiding spot felt very protected. I was certainly going to wait for my parents before I got out. I’m sure Jane was of the same opinion because she did not make a move to get out either.