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Proletarian Shopping

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#1Ambrose 

on Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:30 pm

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“Surely this is a joke.” He said quietly to himself as he looked the request over that was in front of him. Though he could make out the amount of jewels easily enough, the rest of the request was a different story entirely. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind that this request was either coming from a child, or a severely handicapped individual.

It took him a few tries, but eventually what he could garner from the barely legible handwriting was that someone needed something stolen. And with the amount offered for a completed job, if it was legit, he’d be a fool not to take it. Either way, he was simply curious to see who it was that put the request up.

With form in hand, he began his quick travel along the streets of Oat Town to the location listed, or at least what he was fairly certain was the location, due to the bad handwriting. Ambrose was looking the paper over one last time as he rounded the corner into the alleyway he believed to be described on the form, and that’s when a sound similar to a yelp caught his attention, drawing his eyes up from the paper.

He simply stood there staring at the kid that was all too familiar before he actually broke into laughter. He saw Jerr jump a little at the sound, his eyes wide as he looked around him for a way to escape. That is until Ambrose waived the request form as he subdued his laughter; the irony simply being too much.

“Are you for real kid? This isn’t a joke?” He said to the still frightened Jerr.
The kid still seemed wary about the situation, which could only be expected, seeing as just a little over a few days ago, Ambrose had been the very guy who’d practically scared the life out of the kid for stealing. But after taking a couple breaths, he said “N-no. I’m for real. My friends and I need food, and you were the one who told me that I needed to learn how to pick my battles.”

Well, at least he listens. Ambrose thought with some annoyance, and a small bit of begrudging admiration for the child’s planning. “And let me guess, you realized it was far safer for someone else to potentially get caught doing the stealing for you? Well,” He said, taking a breath before continuing, “You wouldn’t be entirely wrong.” Ambrose watched the kids face light up a bit at the small bit of praise, “However,” Jerr stopped, eyes widening slightly, it was clear the kid was still terrified of Ambrose, but he wasn’t going to take any chances, “Remember what I said about wronging me kid.” He said as he looked down at Jerr, his eyes cold and intense as he held the kid’s fearful one.

He watched as Jerr slowly centered himself, his fear battling against his determination, and the latter finally winning, “I haven’t forgotten.” He said with stern eyes now, “I’ll make good on the reward. But first, you need to steal enough food for my friends and I, enough to last a week.”

At that, Ambrose’s brows twitched upwards a bit. No matter the fact they were all kids, that would still be quite a bit of food. And he wondered at the poor slouch who was about to be the victim of his crime, but didn’t have to wonder long as the kid then said, “And you’ll be stealing it from the old man. You know the one.”

It took only a second for the realization to hit him; his brows twitching upward slightly, lips pulled in a crooked grin, a chuckle leaving him in amusement at the whole ordeal. “So he pays me to stop you from stealing from him, and then you in turn pay me to steal from him.” He chuckled some more before saying, “I gotta say kid, I’m actually beginning to like you. But don’t let it go to your head.” He soon added, pointing a finger at the kid, to which Jerr quickly shook his head.

“Alright kid, you’ve got a deal. I’ll be back with the food soon. Just wait here.” He told Jerr, rolling his eyes at the kid’s smile when he turned to leave. He first stopped at a nearby shop, buying himself a backpack, knowing there was no way he’d be able to carry all the food by hand and get away. Luckily, this wasn’t the first time he’d done something like this, having had to resort to stealing food and such for himself on many occasions when he was younger.

He’d been so nervous the first time around, and when he thought he’d been caught, he’d simply dropped all that he’d grabbed and ran for it. Little did he know, that the old man had simply wanted to talk with him, having had no clue what he’d been up to at the time.

But he was much younger back then, and far less experienced. As it was now, he didn’t have a single twinge of nervousness or worry, and had practically mastered sleight of hand. As he approached the old man’s shop, he took note of his surroundings: the many tourists, and shoppers, the layout of the produce and how easily some could be reached versus others.
The old man nodded to him in recognition as he came nearby, but was currently in conversation with some obvious tourists. Perfect, that would make it even easier. His biggest obstacle would have been the fact the owner knew him. But the fact that he had previously worked for the man on a request, and had delivered excellent results definitely aided in the lack of suspicion.

He simply wandered around the small shop, picking up items here and there, weighing them in one hand and acting as if he were simply judging whether he actually wanted the product or not. All the while, his free hand was at work sightlessly pocketing other items in his pack slung over his shoulder. The pack was sitting at hip level, easily out of obvious sight.

Ambrose made sure to keep his pace leisurely, never staying in one spot too long or too briefly, and always keeping an eye on others around him; gauging whether anyone might have caught on to him or not. Several minutes later, after having pocketed a generous amount of food in his pack, and placing a few items in his own basket for good measure he wandered back up to the old man.

They engaged in simple small talk as he paid for the items in his basket. With his own food paid for, and sure that the old man was none the wiser about his theft, Ambrose returned to the delighted kid. “That was awesome!” Jerr said excitedly, “I was watching the whole time, and no one noticed a thing. Where did you learn how to do that?” He asked as Ambrose placed the pack on the ground for the kid, still keeping hold of the bag with his own food, “Years of practice.” He responded.

The kid looked slightly crestfallen, “I wish I could steal like that. My friends and I would never go hungry.”

“Are you forgetting something?” Ambrose asked, raising a single brow.

“Oh yeah.” Jerr said with a slight start, then pulled out a small leather bag before handing it over to Ambrose, “Thanks mister.”

He gave a slight nod to the kid, then turned and left. All the while inwardly chuckling at the irony of this whole situation.

[EXIT]

Word Count: 1,270/1,000

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