TITLE: Crash and Ride
GENRE: YA Contemporary
I really, really don’t want to steal anything today.
But I have to.
The Shopper Mart is silent as I walk in. I’ve arrived stupidly early this Sunday morning, and the store has only been open for five minutes. There are zero customers. I don’t count as one, obviously.
My anxiety is high, heart hammering against my Grateful Dead T-shirt. I tap a drum beat on my thighs to help me groove with the rapid rhythm in my chest. Boom tappa tap boom.
The pattern soothes me and gives cadence to my footsteps. Packages of Halloween cookies fill a table near the front. A black ghost cut from a garbage bag is strung behind the display. Its open mouth is a silent scream.
The only human I can see is a tired teenager leaning against her register at a checkout lane. I recognize her from the high school.
At first this panics me out of my drum beat. But then I think, this is good. I can chit-chat if I need to divert her attention from what I’ve stashed. I just have to be brave.
My steps are the bass, thump thump thump. My hands are the snare, filling in the spaces. I let the rhythm carry me into the aisles. I am a marcher. I am the drum. My path is set, like a formation on a football field.
I glance up at the two-way mirror that hides the offices. Security cameras perch in the corners.