Jim looked at his watch impatiently. Why aren’t they here? It was not quite morning yet, and the sky was still dark. He shivered under his long, dark coat. When are they coming? He was not used to being kept waiting by others, and he was quite annoyed at this delay. Finally, he saw two men walk towards him. The taller one he recognized as The Boss, the other, a more stocky and muscular man, he knew was Tom.
The taller man handed Jim some keys which he slipped quickly into his pocket, and said, “Bring me that ring tomorrow, and I’ll give you the $10,000.” Jim nodded and walked away to his car. He didn’t notice the gleam of greed and envy shining in Tom’s eyes.
Jim was sure he could do the job. They’d never get him. He was too smart for that.
But what if they DID catch him? He shuddered at the very thought. Confinement in one tiny cell would be sure to make him go insane with humiliation. He enjoyed his reputation as one of the most clever outlaws of his time, he had often boasted of it to other miscreants he knew. His great pride led him to think he would rather commit suicide than be shut up in prison, shamed before everyone he had boasted to.
Later that morning, Jim entered the Museum and started the tour with a group of other people. The guide began explaining historical facts about the ring that Jim was later going to steal. “This ring is one of the most precious pieces of jewelry ever made. It is set with these blue gemstones, which are extremely rare…” Jim sighed in boredom.
Suddenly his ears pricked up. “Many robbers in the course of history have attempted to steal this jewel, but none have succeeded.
“Well, I’m smarter than any of them,” he said to himself.
At the end of the morning’s tour, Jim lingered in the gift shop until he was he only person left besides the cashier, who was counting money. Keeping an eye on her, he sneaked back to the door and entered the room that contained the glass case with the ring. All was dark, so he did not see the man clad in a dark coat, who was following him.
When he reached the glass case, Jim opened it with The Boss’ keys. Something glided noiselessly by him, and a hand reached out to grab the ring. Bewildered, Jim, in a fit of rage, took the man by the arm and threw him across the room. He landed with a thud on another glass case, blood oozing from a wound in his head. Suddenly the lights turned on and an alarm started wailing. In the confusion, Jim looked at the man laying prostrate on the ground and, with a start of surprise, recognized him. It was Tom.
He did not have much time to wonder, however, because a dozen policemen rushed in and surrounded him. Jim looked around desperately for something, anything that would help him get away. He would rather die than be caught and dragged to prison!
He spied a pistol on the floor, probably fallen from Tom’s pocket. Stooping, he grabbed it and pointed it to his chest. In his last moments, a great, inexpressible fear got the better of him.
He hesitated, but then stubbornly pushed this dread away and pulled the trigger before he could be stopped. In that instant, he met his Maker, and, alas, discovered that His judgement was far worse than confinement in a prison cell.
About the Author
My name is Naomi and I am 11 years old. I’ve loved reading since I was in 2nd grade, and some time ago I became interested in writing stories and sometimes poems. Now I am an avid reader and writing is my favorite hobby. My favorite genre is mystery, but I also love fantasy and adventure books. I am now trying to get my brother, Simeone, to “catch the reading bug.”
(Naomi also reads Classical Literature and Shakespeare…in two languages. Her brother, Simeone (at left), posed for the photos in this story, which Naomi shot and then turned into those clever “noir” illustrations. “We had a lot of fun finding the right hat and coat and posing the shots,” she says.)