Short Story #3: Overnight Celebrity
Read First Chapter here.
Read Previous Chapter here.
Previously on Overnight Celebrity: Aron had left home to his office and there was a robbery attempt at a small jewellery shop in a far away avenue street.
The old watchman could not believe what he was seeing. The unmasked man who was coming out of the shop was the other guard who was supposed to take over his shift for the daytime watch. Now, he seem to have robbed all the jewels inside the shop and is heading out, with his duffel bag around his neck, like nothing had happened.
The daytime guard was in his forties, well-built body, and looked younger than he actually was. He had sketched this malicious plan one month before; he had observed that the night watchman was elderly and so won't cause much trouble when he attempts a burglary. Plus, working as a daytime guard here would help him to learn more about the shop; owner's routine, number of employees, and other trivial details. And so, he had joined as a daytime security guard one month back. Learning the infrastructure of the location and the patterns of everyone around, he was waiting for the right time to lay his hands on the jewels. This was the day and if he could manage this score, he would be settled for his life.
The old watchman ran towards the guard and started shouting nervously, "What are you doing Ben? You are supposed to safeguard the shop not rob it... please Ben... please return the jewels..." He was now holding the hands of Ben, the other guard.
"Get lost you old pig! Clucking like a chicken... Get lost or I'll have to hurt you"
"No! Please Ben, I will lose my job, you know my situation Ben, please don't do this. Just return the jewels I will not tell about this to anyone, I promise... just please return the bag now".
The street was soundless; no sign of anyone around and even the winds had deserted, turning blind to what was happening in front of the shop. There was an intense struggle between the two men. Ben pushed the old man away and tried hard not to hit him considering his age. But the old man was persistent testing his patience. He grabbed the bag now and seized it from behind. This caused Ben's neck to squeeze, leaving him gasping for breadth. The old man didn't had enough strength; he was thrown over when Ben pulled him from behind to release the hold he was having on his neck. The bag's handle tore apart and the old man fell in front of Ben with the duffel bag in his hands. Ben became furious and kicked the old man in his chest, making him lose his hold on the bag. He plucked away the bag from him and started to walk past him. The intransigent old watchman was not ready to give up. He caught hold of Ben's legs and wrapped his hands firmly around them, not letting Ben to move. This infuriated Ben further and he now decided not to show any mercy.
Just when things were becoming intense between the two men, Aron, riding his bike, took a turn into the avenue street. He travelled through this route regularly to his office, aware that there was a jewellery shop around. When he was nearing the shop, he realized the weird situation and applied brakes on his bike. There was an old man who was shouting at another person, who seemed to be neatly dressed and was carrying a duffel bag. And both of them were in a brawl, with the old man clearly on the losing side.
Aron was confused for a second and was not able to understand what is actually happening. Only upon noticing the uniform of the old man and listening to what he was shouting at, he understood what is going on; The man is snatching away jewels discreetly and this old man was being an obstacle. Aron didn't know what to do; whether to pitch in and help the old man or just sit and observe. He was lost in his rumination for a while and by then people had quickly gathered around the scene.
First it was just three or four people and then their raucous attracted more crowd from the nearby streets. Everyone was watching the struggle terrified and not knowing how to respond. Some good soul in the crowd dialed for police. Most of them were watching with rapt attention and few gave a quick glance and went past to catch up with their busy schedule. Nobody cared to intrude the scuffle and help the old man.
The old man was now grabbing the legs of the other man with his hands, and he was literally pleading and begging for help from others around. This made Aron indignant. He decided to act. He kicked out his bike's side stand, parking it at the middle of the road and cautiously plodded towards the tussle. Noticing Aron nearing him, Ben took out a pocket knife. The crowd let out a tumultuous cry seeing the knife and the turmoil around the scene was growing.
[To be continued]