Gloves

By Saxon Drury-Godden

CBS News, 17 August 2003.

".In technology news, the CIA has leaked information regarding the disappearance of a special piece of equipment dubbed "The CD Prototype" which appears to be a database of criminal activity, so important and classified that only Top and Second Class agents can access the information. The CD Prototype's creator, Jake Richmond has also gone missing and a nation-wide manhunt has been put underway to find him.

Troy, Michigan, August 21 2003

"I'm waiting outside now, but I don't see you. I thought you said you'd be here at 9 o'clock. Jack was waiting outside his workplace, Tony's Magic Palace, a small mainly black building with small purple and gold tinsel stars hanging in the doorway. It was 9:20, at least according to his watch. The tinny voice of Leah, Jack's sister rang back through the very early mobile phone. "You said 10 tonight!' "I did not, why would I say that, you nearly always pick me up at 9" "Who cares?" Leah asked. "I'll just come now, it only takes about 15 minutes to get to you anyway." "Okay, but be quick." Said Jack. He hung up his phone and put it back in his place in the pocket of the black suit he was required to wear in the magic store. The owner thought if everyone was wearing tuxedo-like suits, it would lend the store a tad more class, leaving the employees themselves to fork out for the uniforms. Jack took off his jacket, it was a warm night and underneath he was wearing a regular long-sleeved business shirt in deep blue. He stuffed the jacket into the backpack sitting beside him, and also swapped his black leather shoes for some more casual, but more expensive brand name sneakers from the bag. It was all about style.. After ten boring minutes more and still no sign of Leah, Jack decided to grab something to eat, he hadn't got a dinner break and if she wasn't going to bother to get there on time, he couldn't be bothered waiting for her.

*****

At 9:33, Leah pulled up to the curb outside Tony's Magic Palace, the cheap looking black building where her brother, Jack worked but he wasn't there waiting for her. She had made good time for him too, the bastard. Leah got out of her acid yellow Ford and wandered over to the door of the Magic Store where she tapped on the tinted purple glass. A familiar face appeared at the door of the shop. It was Cassie, a friend of both Leah and Jack who, upon seeing Leah opened the door to let her in. 'Hey Leah, what are you doing around here so late, Jack left over half an hour ago' 'Well Cass,' said Leah, 'He rang up asking for me to come and get him from just outside here, but he's not here now.' I haven't seen him since I left.' Said Cass. 'Maybe he just went to the bakery across the street to grab something to eat, he was going on about how hungry he was earlier.' 'Okay, thanks Cass.' Said Leah. 'I'll see ya later.' 'Yeah, see you later.' Leah slipped through the arched doorway of Tony's magic Palace and continued out onto the footpath as Cassie closed the stained glass door behind her. Leah walked across the road without stopping; it was too late for many cars to still be about, especially on a Monday. The bakery opposite Tony's was small and family-run, but produced some of the best stuff around, because they hand-made all their pastries and didn't use any of the additives the mass-producing bakeries use. They were just closing up as Leah got to the door, they knew her from her various binges, she was always on diets but when she came off of them it was amazing what she could fit in. 'Hey guys.' She said, referring to the two people who ran the late-night shift. 'You seen by brother recently, I can't find him.' 'Yeah, he bought a lamington,' said one of them, a girl with strawberry- blonde hair. ' He was in only 10 or so minutes ago, he went back across the street I think.' 'Okay, thanks. Bye.' Leah exited the bakery and walked back across the road, ending on the curb in front of Tony's. She sat down on the pavement, figuring that Jack would turn up soon enough. I dull skidding sound to her left caught her attention. Sliding ever so slightly across the ground was a brown paper bag, with a curious square object weighing it down. Leah stretched, picked up the bag and looked inside. In the brown paper bag there was a lamington. Untouched.

***** It was 9:23 and Jack was still waiting. A red plastic bag swirled in the wind, blowing into the windscreen of the few oncoming cars still driving down the road. This sucks, thought Jack. I'm getting something to eat. Jack walked across the fairly quiet road to The Casey Bakery opposite Tony's. They were still open, but only just, they closed at 9:30. Jack ordered a Lamington from the prettier of the two, figuring if he was going to pay a fairly overpriced two-fifty for a lamington, he'd at least get a nice view out of it. I'm so shallow, Jack thought as he grinned slightly. The girl however, noticed this grin and thought of asking if he was retarded but, of course, that would be bad customer service so just just smiled back awkwardly and drifted into the back room. Only then did she burst out laughing. Tony headed back across the street and settled down on the curb, sill waiting for Leah. Suddenly, hands tightened across his neck and mouth. Jack struggled, but only for a second, before losing consciousness. It was 9:29.

It was now 9:55 according to Jack's watch, and he was still rather cross. You see Jack had been mugged and wasn't at all happy about it. Two men had taken his wallet, including the fresh pay pack he had just received, and also his rings and his silver necklace. In addition they took his shoes, which had cost Jack a bundle. All they really had left was his clothes (minus shoes), his crappy four-dollar digital watch and his old model mobile. After they had taken his stuff, they tied him up and shoved one of their pairs of gloves in his mouth, stopping him from speaking.

***** Leah looked up to an alley beside Tony's, only to see something squirming about. It looked suspiciously like five or six giant rats eating a dog. Leah cautiously crept forward until she was nearly at the alley entrance when WHUMP, the writhing mass fell sideways out of the alley and onto the footpath. Leah jumped back, covered her eyes and screamed so loud that if she was holding a glass it would have cracked. 'Don't be such a girl.' Leah turned around to see Jack, with one arm loose, the other one still bound tightly to his feet, with a pair of gloves on the ground in front of him. 'Jack. Shit.' Said Leah. 'I thought you were a stack of rats eating a dog.' 'Nice to see you too sis.' Said Jack sarcastically. I got mugged.' 'Really? Shit. I mean.shit. Ah.when?' 'About 25 minutes ago. Let me tell you first-hand. It sucks. Although I have to say that my muggers were most polite. Apologised for robbing me and thanked me for kindly giving over my belongings against my will.' 'Are you going to report it to the police?' 'Hell, of course I am, and they made an easy mistake. Jack picked up the gloves sitting by his side. They left this in my mouth. Surely it would have their DNA all over it.' 'Great. Do you want to go now, or in the morning.' 'Screw going now, it's late and I'm tired and one of my hands is tied to my feet. Could you?' said Jack, indicating the ropes that were keeping him so tightly bound. Leah quickly got Jack out of the ropes and they headed towards Leah's car on curb. As Jack was about to get in the passenger side seat, he heard a slamming noise. It was Cassie, coming out from her cleaning job at the magic shop. He called out to her. 'Hey, Cass!' Cassie noticed Jack and was about to say hello when she noticed something - 'Jack, why do you have a rope tied to one of your feet?' 'Okay Cassie, when you get home, get on the net to chat. I've got a long story to tell and I can't be bothered speaking.

*****

It was 11:15 and Jack was up on his computer, talking to Cassie.

Then they took off and left me in the alley, I was
pissed off too.
So you didn't get a look at them?
No, it was way too dark to see either of them. The
only thing I noticed was one guy had glow in the dark shoelaces.
Really? Weird.
Yeah, I know. They were like a neon blue sort of
colour.
You still going to the cops tomorrow?
Yeah, I reckon.
You should tell them about the laces, it could
help.
Yeah, okay I will then.
How much money of yours did they manage to
take?
Well I had about $35 left from my last pay and I had
just got $180 so that's over $200. Thieving bastards. I wish I
could give them a whack in the face.
Yeah, well they did tie you up. And shove
gloves in your mouth.
Yeah, the gloves, I'm looking at them now.
Don't mess with them too much, don't forget
they might have DNA or something on them for the police to look
at.
Wait, there's a zipper on the side of one of them.
I'm gonna open it.
A zipper? Be careful with it.
I will.
Well?
WELL?
Are you there?
Shit. I need to go, Cass, to the police. It's
the CIA chip, the one that went missing. Those street-thug
bastards were holding one of the most powerful pieces of
machinery in the world. This thing had the entire CIA database
on it.
Wait! What does it mean?
It means that the CIA has no information on what
anybody is doing. Which means with the right information,
whoever has this chip will know who, where and when anything
criminal is going to happen. I'm holding he CD Prototype. I need
to get this to the police.
Be Careful Jack.
I will be.
Wait!
What this time, I was about to leave.
Can I come with you?
Why?
I want to see the commotion at the cop shop.
Okay! Be at the corner of Gerald and Freedman Rd in
5 minutes. If you aren't there I'm going without you.
K. Seeya there.

has left the chat room
has left the chat room

*****

Jack pulled his coat, grabbed his his sisters keys and ran out to her car where she was waiting for him. 'Here you go.' He said, throwing the keys to Leah. 'Now speed, I want to get there as quickly as possible. And Cassie better be waiting when we get to the end of the road.' Leah put the car into gear and rumbled on down the road. Just as she reached the end, a black car pulled into her driveway.

*****

Once Anthony and Warwick got into the house, it was mayhem. Not one thing lay untouched by them. Every draw had to be rifled through, every ornament has to be lifted and if they didn't find what they were looking for, hurled. 'Hey Anthony' called Warwick in his throaty tone. ' Come see this.' Anthony came into Jack's bedroom. Immediately he noticed the black pair of gloves sitting on the desk, zipper unzipped, and pockets empty. "It gets worse.' Warwick pointed at the screen. Anthony walked over until he could see it.

Shit. I need to go, Cass, to the police. It's
the CIA chip, the one that went missing. Those street-thug
bastards were holding one of the most powerful pieces of
machinery in the world. This thing had the entire CIA database
on it.]

'Shit! If we screw this up we're dead.' 'Wait.' Said Warwick. 'There may be a way to get it back.' He pointed further down the screen.

Okay! Be at the corner of Gerald and Freedman Rd in
5 minutes. If you aren't there I'm going without you.

'Ring the guys. Tell them to meet us there, but discreetly. Just park a little bit away and walk in.' said Warwick Warwick and Anthony turned and back to the car they went.
*****

As Tony and Leah approached the corner of Gerald and Freedman, the shivering figure of Cassie was visible, the dim streetlight illuminating one side of her face. Leah pulled the car over to the side of the road and unlocked the passenger side door, allowing Cassie to climb in. Leah kept driving, but not for long. A sleek, black car came screaming round the corner at 100 kph and swirl around to face them. 'Shit,' Said Leah. 'What's this maniac doing?' The black car turned its lights up full, temporarily blinding all of the occupants of the acid-yellow car. A ringing noise broke throught he loud revving sound of the bright-lighted cars engine. It was Tony's mobile beeping away. Tony's picked up the phone and pressed the talk button. 'Hello?' A sinister voice cam from the other end of the line 'Hello. Tony, I presume.' 'Yeh that's right, who's this?' 'Don't you recognise my voice?' "It sounds familiar. Remind me.' 'Okay: "now give me your wallet dickhead", how about now?' Tony recognised the voice now. Hell, even if he hadn't, with the size of the clue he was given he would have to be thicker than a blonde bowl of porridge to not get it. 'You bastard. But now it's payback time. You left something behind. And we're handing it in.' 'Yes I know about hat little mishap. But I am going to correct it. Give it back now.' 'Well firstly NO, and secondly how would I give it back even if I wanted to?' 'You'd just give it to me. I can see you, can't you see me?' 'Don't play games mate, I'm not stupid.' 'Here's another hint. Beep Beep.' Suddenly, breaking Tony's concentration was the black car. He had almost forgotten about it but it hadn't moved, but it was what it did next which shocked Tony. From insode the front of the car Tony heard something. The horn. "beep, beep". Tony hung up his phone. 'I think we're in trouble.' Said Tony. Cassie stretched to the front. 'How, what do you mean?' 'In the black car. It's them. It's my muggers.' And that's when the black car started moving. First slowly rolling, before gathering some pace and speeding along, getting closer and closer to Tony, Cassie and Leah sitting in their yellow car. What happened next went by in seconds. As the black car reached a point about ten metres from Leah, She started to turn. But it wasn't enough, the black car hit the corner of the back of her car, spinning her around, before she eventually came to a stop, unharmed. The black car, however kept going at its great speed - right into brick fence. Unfortunately, Anthony had never been one to care much for road safety and therefore never wore a seatbelt. When he flew through the front windscreen into the cement wall in front of it, it was like a watermelon being shot out of a cannon onto a wall of shredders. Anthony died the moment the bridge of his nose was plunged through his brain. Tony heard guns shooting, but before he could turn around, one entered the back of his head.

Tony took his Virtual Reality mask off. 'Shit! I always die there!'

THE END By Saxon Drury-Godden