A Changing Of The Tides
A Short Story By Andrew Pritchard

The weather in Spain is hot. It might not seem hot to Spaniards, but I'm not a Spaniard, so it seems hot to me. And it isn't too hot either, like some of the Caribbean islands I visited such as the Dominican Republic for instance. No, the weather is just hot enough for me to enjoy it.
I like it here; I prefer it to England because it's the complete opposite, especially on the quiet outskirts of Barcelona. What's to like about a place with lousy weather, constant rain and a bunch of people that are constantly pissing about asking you for favours.
That's why I chose to retire to Spain. I'd never been to Spain before I moved here either. Which is a bit silly, considering all the other places in the world I'd been to before and could have moved to. I simply asked my wife, we packed our suitcases, and on the plane we got.
So here I am, enjoying my swim in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea with my beautiful wife, soon to be a father. This is gorgeous, the Mediterranean Sea, in my own backyard, with the magnificent, enormous house to match the amazing view. Only in beautiful Barcelona.
After my refreshing swim, I took a brisk walk along the beach with my beautiful wife. As the hot sand was warming my cold feet, I began to think to myself: this is what every man dreams of. Every man in the world dreams of a beautiful house, with a gorgeous wife, a son soon to be born in a country where everyone welcomes you and is kind to you. Yes, this is truly every man's dream. I was the world's luckiest man. I had everything. Everything.
How does a man gain all these things? Money. By now you've probably guessed how I acquired this appealing life: I was a criminal. However, I wasn't your typical purse-snatching, dimwitted thug. I was more of an aristocratic thief. I guess you could say I had a very good taste in jewelry, and I had no problem obtaining it without the money to purchase it. I'd been robbing banks and jewelry stores since I was 17, and I had even pulled jobs on high security banks when I was in my early 20's.
But as I said, I was a thief. I'm through with that profession now. With the money I had left after buying the house, I started an education savings fund for my future son, and invested the rest. I'm retired now. Forever. I simply want to enjoy life now.
I started reading an awful lot as of late. I'm not reading trashy mystery novels either. I started reading actual books. Authors like Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Salinger just to name the Americans. I also started reading philosophy and things like that, Plato, Dostoevsky, Socrates. Whatever I could find, I'd read.
I figured if I got bored with lazing about home, reading, watching the telly and swimming in that devilishly seductive sea, I could always get an education. I fancied myself a bit of a writer, so maybe I would get a degree in writing at some university. I'd write my stories under a pseudonym, as to disguise my identity from the world and that would also make me a bit more of a mysterious chap, even to myself. You see what I mean, I'm constantly thinking of brilliant ideas. If I wrote them down they could even be worth millions to the world.
I laughed out loud at that. It was quite funny, you have to admit. Retired jewelry thief turns world class writer, ha. Stranger things have happened though, so maybe it was possible, I didn't know.
Just as I finished laughing, the phone rang. I was too lazy to walk all over my luxurious home and get it, so I hollered to my wife, Caitlin, "Will you answer that for me, love? I can't be bothered after that invigorating swim,"
"Sure darling," she replied. When she next spoke, a tone of fear was arising in her voice. "Sol, you better get this, it's Caleb."
Christ, I thought to myself as my heart suddenly stopped, then sped up twice as fast as before. Just what I needed. I'd only been in Spain for 3 months and already my retirement had been ruined.
"Yeah, Caleb, it's me Sol now mate." I said, trying to sound casual and calm.
"How's Spain treatin' you Sol? Enjoying the weather?" he said.
"Yeah, it's a lot bloody hotter than England, but I like it,"
"Anyway mate, first things first. Let's cut the small talk and talk business. We need you, on a squad of 12 men set to rob this pawn shop. It's loaded with gold and diamonds the size of my left fist Sol. It's a jack- effing-pot if you know what I mean." He said, sounding as excited as child getting a new video game for Christmas.
"No Caleb, I don't know what you mean, but I'm sure you know what I mean when I tell you for the second time that I'm retired. Now piss off mate." I yelled into the phone as hung up.
"What in the bloody hell was that about, Sol?" Caitlin said to me cockeyed.
"Nothing darling, nothing," I said, as I embraced her in a tight hug. She began to cry on my shoulder. "You're getting tears on my new shirt." I said to her.
"Oh Sol, you know I don't want you going back to that. The stealing, all the risks, the people that had to die."
"You listen to me, and you listen well because I'm not saying it again. I have never killed anyone. Anyone. In my entire life. Never. So don't accuse me of murder." I let go of her and pushed her away. She fell into the table and knocked a wine glass over, shattering it into a billion pieces on the floor. She began to cry much more heavily than she had been before.
"Christ." I mumbled to myself as I ran out the back door and along the beach. I ran for miles. It seemed like I had been running for hours when I decided to turn back. The sky was pitch-black except for the beautiful stars that lit the sky like hundreds of fireflies, which is what I thought they were at first glance.
When I got in it was probably really late, or rather really early in the morning, but I didn't know because I couldn't find the damn clock in our bedroom. I took off my clothes, down to my boxer shorts and climbed into bed quietly as not to wake Caitlin.
She was already awake though and asked, "Did you really mean what you said to him?"
"Yes." I said. She turned to face me and gazed into my eyes. "I love you," I said as I kissed her. And then we went to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up and went for my daily 5 mile run down the beach, and took a quick cool off swim so I wasn't all sweaty when I got home.
When I got home however, I knew I wasn't going to be able to go in and have my usual breakfast of sausage, eggs and beans, my glass of orange juice and read the morning paper.
A jet-black, brand new looking Peugeot was parked in my driveway, beside my own Citroen. Goddamn it I thought to myself. This wasn't going to end with one of us walking away happy. Most definitely not.
When I walked into my house I saw my wife sitting at the table surrounded by four well built thugs and Caleb.
"Sol, how wonderful for you to join us! We just got in when Caitlin informed us that you were out for your morning jog. How was it? See anything exciting?" he said, a smirk coming across his smug face.
"What the hell do you want, I already told you I'm retired." I said as firmly as I could.
Caleb crossed the kitchen and grabbed me by the face. "I told you on the phone, remember that talk we had last night where you spoke so politely to me? We need you to rob a pawn shop over in London, back across the pond mate. What's the matter, you not up to it anymore?" He let go of my face and gently slapped it with a chuckle.
I kept a pistol in my bedroom for situations like this, so I devised a little scheme on how to get it within a matter of seconds.
"Alright," I said. "I'll do it. If you promise this is the last goddamn job."
"I do, I swear on. my mother's grave." He said, still with that obnoxious smirk painted across his face.
"Alright, just let me get dressed, I'll grab my passport and we can all get the next flight to London, I'll stay in town until the deed is finished and we can all live happy ever after, right?"
"Right." Caleb said.
I walked to my bedroom and got myself dressed into a nice outfit. I might as well look good when saying goodbye to an old business partner I figured. I got this pistol too, which was already loaded. As for my passport, I wasn't going anywhere so why would I need it. As I walked back to the kitchen I heard Caleb call, "Ready, Sol?"
Your goddamn right I'm ready I thought to myself. I walked back into the kitchen gun in hand.
Two shots were fired into the wall right as I walked around the corner. I responded with three shots which disposed of two of the thugs. Only two left I thought to myself. My street instincts were popping up like crazy.
I prowled as quietly as possible around the house looking for the other two thugs, but they were no where to be found. I walked out front and the Puegeot was still there, so they had to be around here somewhere.
I immediately began running towards the beach. I knew where they had gone. Caleb probably spotted that pier a few miles down the beach and figured it would be a good place for a final showdown.
I ran as fast as I could, my heart was pounding in my chest, I could feel my blood running throughout my body, and sweat trickled down my forehead into my eyes.
When I got to the pier, I saw Caleb standing there, holding Caitlin with a pistol to her temple. His goddamned obnoxious smirk light up his face as soon as he saw me. I turned and saw the two thugs standing far off down the beach, still at my house.
"Is this what you wanted, Sol? I gave you an offer for more work. Now it's turned into a command. You're going to do it, or your beautiful wife dies. As will you. What's it going to be, Sol?"
"I'm also presenting you with two options, you let my wife go, leave and never rear your ugly head in my life again and live, or you get two bullets in the head."
"10 seconds until your pretty wife loses her head. Literally." He said; his obnoxious smirk was twisted now into a maniacal smile entangled in a frenzy of death.
"Go ahead, it's your funeral." I said raising my pistol and shooting him a cold glare. My heart was beating faster than ever in my chest, not from that sprint either; I was as stressed as ever now.
A shot rung in the air as blood splattered my face and Caleb's face. My stomach heaved. "You bastard!" I said as I attempted to squeeze the trigger on my pistol. Goddamn it the safety catch was on. Caleb tried firing at my but I guess he had a bullet stuck in the firing chamber or something because his pistol wasn't work either. I was trying to flick the switch at fast as I could when I felt a tingle in my stomach and then a piercing scream ripped through the air and was probably heard even in Barcelona.
It was my own scream. While I was trying to flick the safety off, Caleb had thrown a knife at me and it was currently stuck just above my naval. He then shot me using another gun he had, a six shooter.
I collapsed on the pier, right near the edge. Blood oozed out of my mouth and chest and I coughed and spluttered and gasped for air. But I knew it was no use, I was dying.
Caleb walked over and pulled the knife from my stomach, and blood spurted from the wound like a fountain. I was really amazed I even had this much blood.
"So long, Sol." He said as he kicked me off the pier into the Mediterranean Sea.
As I sunk like a stone towards the sea floor, the water turned red with blood. And all I could think about was sharks getting attracted to the scent of my blood and eating me. I hated sharks. Especially that Jaws bastard.
I thought of every famous quote or piece of advice I could give to you before I die, I swear to god I did. But all I can say is sometimes things seem too good to be true, especially in a place as hot and pretty as Spain.