Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stealing Salt

The bags were outside the Ace stacked on wooden pallets. Toby didn't have the cash on him and going into the Jewel to buy the water softener salt seemed like a hassle. But mostly he didn't have the money. He was a writer with a family and had just put his last ten bucks in the tank and now he didn't have any money to break the hard water ruining their clothes and tearing off the upper layer of their skin. Taking a shower had become like being pelted with bricks.

 But the salt was right there. Toby looked around. He was in his fifties and still felt like a thirty something and yet he was this father of two and husband of one contemplating stealing. But he had done it before. In fact stealing salt had been going on since his family found their way into the lower middle class after the crash. But he owned a home and fathers did not go around stealing salt but there it was.

Toby looked around. No cops. He lived in a far western suburb of Chicago and the cops were busy with teenagers smoking pot in parking lots. No. The coast was clear. Toby pulled up his SUV and bailed out like a commando. He threw open the hatch and grabbed the forty pound bag of salt and threw it in the back. He looked up once and saw the surveillance camera.

It was too late now. He  had to just hope his plates didn't show. He jumped in the truck and threw it into gear when a squad car turned the corner. He felt perspiration sting his body as the police car cruised past him and turned out of the parking lot. Toby drove to the parking lot and parked between two cars and turned off the lights. He watched the prowling squad car go by on the highway. Toby started the car and took the back roads home.

When he lugged the salt in his wife looked up from the couch.
"I hope you got a good deal."'
Toby wiped his brow and nodded.
"It was on sale."


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