A Man and His Thief

A Man and His Thief

On a fall day long past, near an old English pub, where locals had gathered to cheer their town’s club, in the dark alley behind, wet with rain and puddled leaves were stooped lying in waiting, two thugs, common thieves.

As the night drew on, the crowd slowly dying down, most headed for home, or excitement on the town, one sorrowful soul, hurt from loss–pitch and job took the alley behind, drunk with a slow, quivered sob.

“Hold there,” a voice bellowed, the man then to run and pursued, then tackled, held at point by a gun. “Whatcha got?” croaked the burglar, turning his prey, ignoring the tears, searching pockets in dismay

The other stepped over, his gaze caught by the man with heart suddenly heavy, seared by a new demand. “Let him be,” said he softly, his accomplice then stirring. “What ya mean?” the reply snidely, swift anger incurring.

“Can’t you see his eyes, those dried tears crusted, old his sorrows long past, warmth slowly grown cold; we may be what we be, but are we yet so heartless beholding such pain, yet replying with hardness?”

“Have ya stomach?” shot he back, “We’re sufferin’ too, ain’t eaten in days, we’ve no means to make do. Besides, he’s got nothin’, let’s be on our way,” when the mugged grabbed his leg, lips parted to say,

“If you’ve no bread to eat, I’ve got some to spare,” stunned the thieves halting from words of such care. “Piss off,” the first mumbled, in jest he knew feigned while as the man rose, the thief’s heart fast unchained.

A shared glance, a hid smile, peaceful silence unspoken the man and his thief, with split bread as a token for sorrow, still humble, what had burdened one soul then brought two together, lit a fire in black coal.

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