It was the late hours of the night, and a man walked quietly down a bustling urban street. He made long, even steps, staring forward; he kept his hands in the pockets of his oversized black hoodie. Every so often, he would take a quick sniff. The cold, crisp city air was giving him a slight runny nose.
In front of an alleyway in between two restaurants, he stopped to light a cigarette. As he did, he noticed right out of the corner of his eye a woman running towards him. He looked up from what he was doing to get a look at her.
He could hear her distant shouts. He couldn't quite make out what she was saying, but he was sure she was directing it towards him.
Soon, she was near enough for him to understand, "Thief! Criminal! Give me back my stuff!"
The man turned around to see if she could've been talking to anyone else, and then turned to face her again. She had nearly reached him.
"Me?" He called to her.
"Yes, you!" She stopped in front of him, panting from the run. "You are a thief! A slimy little thief!" She shoved him; he stumbled two steps backwards, dropping his cigarette. His pocket-change rattled within his hoodie.
"You're crazy!" He exclaimed. "I'm no thief! I've just been walking!"
"Oh, sure, that's what you all say," the woman said coldly. "Now I'm giving you one more chance, hand over the things you stole!"
"The man was very confused. This woman clearly thought he had stolen something, "I'm telling you, I didn't take anything!"
"Yes you did!" she yelled.
That last shout alerted the attention of another man who was strolling from behind the woman about to walk past. He put himself in the middle of the two of them and looked at the woman, "Is there a problem here?"
"Yes!" the woman exclaimed. "He stole jewelry from my store down the block!"
The other man turned around and looked at the other. He was very irritated with this woman now; if he had actually stolen something, he probably wouldn't have allowed the woman to catch up with him. Who does she think he is; an idiot?
The man spoke, "I haven't stolen a thing! I've just been minding my own business."
The second man said to the woman, "Have you alerted any authority?"
"No, not yet," the woman said. "Why bother? I've got him right there! I can just take my stuff back myself!"
The second man held her back from going up to the first as she spoke. He said to her, "You should've called the police if you were sure he's guilty."
"I'm not!" the first man shouted. He put his hands on his head in aggravation and turned around, so as to not look directly at the woman. His pocket-change rattled again.
He couldn't believe he was being accused of thievery just out of the blue. But then he thought, if this woman is going to persist then he'd just have to persist back.
"Do you have any proof I did anything?" he asked the woman. "Anything?"
"I don't need proof!" the woman exclaimed. "I saw you do it, and I followed you here!"
The second man cut in, "You mean to say that you saw this man commit the crime first hand?"
The woman nodded, "Yes! Valuable merchandise was sitting on my counters and when I walked in, it was all gone and I saw him leave!" She pointed at the man.
The second man's jaw dropped, "But, you didn't see him take anything! You're simply assuming he did! And did you even see his face?"
"Same coat!" She exclaimed. The second man simply backed a step away from her, and she groaned angrily. "I don't need your third degree!" She paused, irritated, and proceeded to fetch a cell phone from her pocket, and dial. "I'm gonna call the cops, and they'll show you all."
The man grinned with some satisfaction; the woman didn't really have any proof he did anything, so she's only going to humiliate herself in front of the authorities. The man was relieved that he wasn't going to go to jail for nothing. He had been beginning to worry that that was the case.
The second man kept talking, "But you have absolutely no indisputable evidence that this man stole anything."
She turned and yelled, eyes wide with anger, "He's a thief! Look at him! He's so smug and creepy! He did it!"
"That's what you're basing this on?" the first man spoke. "You get robbed so you decide to pin it on some random man on the street?"
"That's what it seems like you're doing." The second man came in again. "You know what? You probably didn't even get robbed at all. Are you drunk?"
"I'm not drunk!" The woman insisted.
"I bet you anything she's had a few, though," the first man accused. "Why don't you go home, ma'am? For a second there, you actually had me thinking I was going to jail, but you're just a blundering idiot."
"No!" the woman yelled. "I'm not lying! You did it! YOU'RE A THIEF!" At that moment, the woman viciously lunged at the man, punching him hard in the jaw. He was thrown back a ways, smacking the wall hard. The contents of his pockets rung again, and a grunt escaped his lips.
The second man attempted to restrain her, but she still managed to kick the first man in the shin.
"Stop it!" the man breathed while holding her back. He threw her against the opposite wall. The first man stood up, slightly bloodied. "What's your problem? This man has done nothing to you!"
"Lies!" she hissed. "He stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of my jewelry! He must be punished!"
"Will you just shut up!" the second man shouted. "Only someone completely out of their mind would think they can pretend-"
Suddenly, the woman pounced again, this time striking the second man in the nose with her forehead in the middle of his speech.
She pushed him backwards, and he tripped over a crack in the pavement, landing flat on his back with blood pouring profusely from his face.
Then, she turned her violent attention to the first man who had begun to try and escape the scene. She grabbed him by the black hood that hung back from his neck and pulled him down. Rattles and metallic bouncing ensued when he too smacked the concrete.
She stared at him while he was down. He didn't know really how to react to the look in her eyes. He was quite certain that she was going to kill him.
But then, as if hope itself had seen the commotion, the police cruiser signaled by the woman's earlier car arrived. The second man whom now had a badly busted nose was signaling with bloody hands for help. An officer from the passenger side of the vehicle swiftly emerged as the cruiser slowed to a stop.
"What has happened?" she asked the man.
"Her! She's attacking us!"
"Ma'am, get on the ground! Now!" the officer warned.
"Don't tell me! Tell him!" The woman started towards the cruiser slowly. A tall man emerged, hand on his still-sheathed gun, from the driver side of the vehicle.
The man on the ground took this opportunity to stand up and back off a little. The driver of the cruiser proceeded slowly towards the woman, her hands now clutching her hair.
Eventually, the officer reached the woman, grabbed her right arm, and as fast as experience can make it, handcuffed her.
She began to shout some more, "I'm not the thief! I'm the innocent victim! INNOCENT!"
The first officer approached the men, "I just called an ambulance for your nose there. Has the bleeding slowed?" The second man, face covered in solid crimson, nodded. "What happened?"
"She attacked this man for no justified reason," the second man's speech was a little distorted due to his broken nose. "Then she head butted me in the face and went after him again."
"What about you, sir?" the officer asked the first man. "Are your injuries severe?"
The man was a little shaken, but not because he was injured by the woman, but because of the look in her face before the officers arrived. He regretted not simply walking away at the first moments of her pointing accusations in his face.
"I'm fine," he told her. "She got me in the jaw pretty good but that's the worst of it. You, guy," he spoke to the other man. "You saved my ass. I got the feeling that she was gonna rip me apart."
"Well, sir," the officer started. "If you could come down to the station, you could give a report."
"I'll do that," he nodded. "But I think I'd like to get home and maybe wash up. I'll be fine; she honestly didn't really get me all that bad. Maybe just some bruises, but no more, really."
"That's your call," she said. "The ambulance should arrive soon. They'll wanna look at you."
The officer then receded back into the cruiser with her partner, and the two of them drove off with the woman in the back.
The first man rummaged through the abnormally noisy metal in his pockets again. The second man said, "Lots of change, eh? Were you heading for the bus terminal before?"
"Before? Yeah, I was." The first man nodded, and then added, "Do you think that the real thief will get away because of her idiocy?"
The second man raised an eyebrow, "How do you know there even was a thief?"
The first man shrugged, hands still in his pockets, "I don't know. I suppose something must've set her off, right?"
The second man paused for a moment, blood still all over his face. Then, he simply said, "Sure."
The first man then turned around, and started walking; limping slightly due to the kick he received in his shin. He simply just continued to rummage through his pocket contents some more. Then, he smirked and began nodding to himself in achievement.
Then, still walking, the ambulance drove by. Not looking back, he took out another cigarette, and brought out a lighter to light it.
He decided to put the lighter back into the same pocket as his prize.
Tens of thousands of dollars worth in jewelry, eh? He wondered where he should start selling it first.