, , , , , , , , ,

These two look as though they’re likely candidates. I mean, it’s dark, desolate, deathly quiet and they, depict desperatation. Yes, sure enough, watch them, trying the door handles of the cars in the row to see if one’s open. Saves them breaking the glass you see, quieter that way.

No, not tonight, none left open by a careless owner. I guess it’ll be the usual then; the last car gets it. A quick snap to the glass in the quarterlight with an automatic centrepunch, push the shattered glass in, a hand through to the lock, pull, pull again and they’re in. No alarm? No; too old.

With the doors quietly shut behind them, the courtesy lights go out. One rogue in the back, rummaging around for whatever he can find; one in the front, pilfering the radio.

A few seconds later and the it’s nearly out, cables everywhere, just a final pull on the wiring should do it. The one in the back still blindly foraging; oops, he’s spilt a petrol can, clumsy lad.

The final pull on the loom doesn’t free the radio but sparks fly and a short circuit locks the doors. Desperation mode now; they tug on the door handles, to no avail. ‘The centre punch, use that,’ one cries. But in his panic, the other drops it down the side of the seat, just as the first tugs again on the radio. The punch lost, the doors locked, the petrol fumes now burning their eyes, the final wrench, the wiring shorts again.

The next day a local newsreader gave the two boys a mention in her newscast. “Last night, two young boys died in a car fire after they broke into it in the eastside of town, the police said they had been identified by their dental records. They had apparently broken in to steal the radio. In another incident …”

Ten seconds of news, not much for their lives but then they weren’t living much of a life, thieving to fund their habit. The newsreader didn’t mention me; I was completely burnt out, my radio still hanging from my dashboard. But I’m so old, I’m worth restoring. I’ll live again in beautiful splendour. Shame about the boys though, wasn’t it; I did say it was deathly quiet, didn’t I?

Ken Balneaves also wrote, The Greatest Gift, available at http://amzn.to/QF7RLd (US), http://amzn.to/O12kgX (UK)