Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To Catch A Thief ـــ Short Story


 For so many years, more than I can remember, I enjoyed the sight of people as they hesitate  near me feeling their pockets and a certain look of confusion accompanied b y the straying of the eye  colors their faces, as though doing some calculations within their heads before they either walk away or throw me a dollar or two, mostly, without even looking. They never do that for me, or for anyone like me, but solely so that they can be so full of themselves and before putting their heads over the pillows, use the missing dollars as a reminder of their act of benevolence. Often, I smile trying to hide my sardonic thoughts at their faces.
   Straying in every corner of this town, my home is always a sidewalk; and  I do not claim that I ever came close to liking it. It has become inevitable, people averting their eyes when they fall on me as though they fell on nothing, shouting at the top of their lungs within my head, “You are nothing!” And I look at that sidewalk and feel that somehow, everyone has rendered be part of it.
    I steal. And I cannot tell when it started for, like the sidewalks, it became part of me. Of course I do it for money, but I will not deny how enjoyable I find it. The rash of adrenaline as my hands pass swiftly over whatever they fall on then quickly hide it into the long sleeves of my only jacket; the fear of being caught that somehow, challenges me into doing it; and after it is done, the feeling I have when I own something I never got to pay for; all make stealing a source of momentary delight. But then, there comes this time when, before sleeping, I stand  defenseless before the guilt that inhabits the unreachable places within my soul. It talks  to me like an outer being using telepathy to inject something good within my filthy being that feeds on hurting others. I tried to quit. A lot. other rosy dreams of a happy conscience that permits sleep to pass through my eyelids without horrible nightmares fill me but quickly fall on nothing. I can never stop it. If not for getting money, then for its pleasure. And then I go and steal, and after that ephemeral happiness comes to an end, I feel self-dread overwhelming every empty hole within my being until it makes me want to peel my skin and get out of it. I crawl back to the sidewalks and feel their uneven surfaces scratching my back , they too, trying to torture me.   Conscience is not my only punisher, neither is it the worse, for as they, sometimes it “sleeps”. Fear never leaves.
  Today, while passing the fish market, I felt a couple of eyes  fixed on my back. Without looking, I ran fast as I could. This all was new to me. After many turns and desperate trials to escape, dirty hands got me.  They took turns punching me and I could feel the salty taste of blood all over my mouth. My head felt as though being twisted in a hurricane. Finally, they let me go throwing me into mud. My blood mingled with mud, The whole of my entity was in mud, And right then, the only thing I thought of was, “You came back to where you belong.’

14 comments:

Eva said...

You really get in the minds of the people you create. Even if you've never experienced them you are able to paint a very realistic picture.

Brian Miller said...

phenomenal write maha...this is an incredible character...love the feel of the rush of stealing anf the regret and the return to the mud is a nice unch at the end...

THE BEATY said...

great character writing. Yuo're extremely good at getting inside character's heads at a leval I can only dream of.

steveroni said...

Extraordinary, girl-lady!

RJ said...

I can relate to this to some degree. You did a nice job with this character. Being able to put yourself believably into someone else's shoes is always a good thing for a writer to be able to do.

Magpie said...

This is such an intense piece, Maha. Very well done.

Susan Deborah said...

The last line is true not only for that individual but for all of us! Going inside a person, delving into intense emotions and doing a reality check of the individual: Done brilliantly here.

Tight write, Maha.

Have a lovely remainder of the week.

Joy always,
Susan

Oddyoddyo13 said...

"Fear never leaves."

Love this line. :)

Sam Liu said...

What I love about your writing Maha is that firstly, you always weave multiple meanings into all of your carefully chosen words, thus lending your work a profound and poignant mystery. And secondly, you can empathise. You are able to relate, communicate and understand the feelings of others. I admire your astounding skill.

Kaleidoscope Girl said...

This is absolutely wonderful!
I love your narratives.
I feel like I am actually there when I read them.

sheri said...

maha, this was such an enjoyable read...a thief with a concious, having an addiction too thrilling to give up! bravo!! this was stunning, having an ending that surprise me but obviously the character needed it, felt as if it were deserved!

Mr. Stupid said...

This was amazing Maha. As Sam said, your writing always has multiple meanings. Enjoyed the read...:)

Tamarind~ said...

Written amazingly well..! Words fail here!

dulce said...

WOW
Astounding this reading has been... You made it here
A crime full of the felling it brings!