Monday, May 21, 2007

I’m Not Afraid of the Coppers, a sequel (Ashley Stahle)

(Note: In Jennifer Semple Siegel's Introduction to Literature class, students were offered the option of writing a prequel or sequel to a short story. Ashley Stahle chose to write a sequel to Alan Sillitoe's novella The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner.)

Well, I pulled my big job about two weeks ago, and the coppers haven’t started closing in yet. While that doesn’t mean I am in the clear, it is most definitely a good sign. It makes me smile to think about how the Governor would react if he knew about this last pinch. I like to think it stings when people like him find out they can be wrong, that just maybe someone like me can knock `em off their high horses even for only a moment or two.

The money from this last job will keep me going for a while, at least until I find myself a new mark. I’ve already got something in mind, but I need more information on it before I can decide if it’s worth the risk. It’s not that I’m afraid of gettin’ nabbed by the rats again. I know they’ll get me sooner or later; I just want to enjoy what I can get until that happens. For now, my plan is to just keep on running, fast and hard, see how far I can get, you know? It’s funny how the Borstal made me faster than ever when you think about it. They were supposed to be reforming me for the honest life. Instead, they made me harder to catch.

I haven’t seen my ma in a long while. Sometimes I wonder how she and the younger ones are doing. I still think about me pa, too. I remember how he slaved away doin’ honest work for them and gettin’ nothing in return. They’ll never get me like that, not me. They may catch me, stop me for a while, but they’ll never own me. I’ve found my own way, and though it’s not without risk, I’m making it just fine. Better off now than I’d be if they got hold of me for good.
I hid my take from this last job good. Even if they suspect me, those coppers’ll have a tough time hookin’ me for it. They’re not too bright, you know. With the set-up I’ve got, I expect they’ll have more than their share of work cut out for them. And no matter how hard they sweat me, I’ll never give ‘em a thing. I’m no fool; I know their tricks by now. They don’t know mine, though, and that’s all the edge you need most of the time. If you can just outthink ‘em, you’re golden ‘cause coppers, they think you and me are stupid, too stupid to hide from them for long. They underestimate us, and between you and me, they’re not doing themselves only favors that way.


LIT160 Introduction to Literature, Spring 2007

Published with permission.

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