Both men had bagged the various items that they had come for. Robert suddenly whispered, “I can’t do this anymore, Shane.”
“What?” Shane said with annoyance, “What are you blabbing about, Bob?”
“I can’t do it anymore.”
“This,” said Robert, picking up the heavy cloth sack.
Shane smiled and then said, “C’mon man, it’s a bit too late now. At this moment, that is not a good decision to make, let’s just get out of here with this stuff.”
“I can’t. This is wrong,” murmured Robert.
“It’s wrong! Like, you just realised it’s wrong after five years of doing this, you now say it’s wrong. Listen Bob, you’re scaring me with that kind of talk, so just shut up and let’s get away and we’ll talk about it tomorrow, okay?”
Robert stood silent, softly shaking his head. He gently put the cloth sack upon the floor.
Anxiously, Shane looked down at his wrist watch. “Bob. Robert, we’ve got about twenty minutes before the Finch’s return home. Let’s go! Listen to me, if we get caught, you know what will happen to us. So, stop fooling about and get it together! I want to get out of here!”
“Okay,” said Robert. “But let’s leave the stuff.”
“What are you saying? Leave the stuff! Are you crazy? YOU leave the stuff, I’ll be taking mine, okay?”
“I’d rather you didn’t, Shane. It ain’t right.”
“Let’s not get into that right now, it’s not the right time. Look, let’s fight when we’re out of here, far away from here, yeah?” said Shane.
“It’s wrong,” Robert repeated. “Please leave the bag, Shane. Let’s just go.”
“Damn you!” cursed Shane, clutching the cloth sack and heading for the door. He turned around to call for Robert but a powerful surge of pain erupted within his ribcage. He swallowed hard and desperately gasped for air. He collapsed onto the floor, cradling his chest, his eyes closed.
“Shane! Shane!” Robert shouted as he knelt down beside his friend. He needed emergency help. He stood up and scanned the room for a telephone and as he did so he could see the headlights of the Finch’s car pulling into the driveway. Robert switched on a lamp and moved towards the window and began wildly waving his arms. “Help! Help!” Robert cried.
John D Robinson is our U.K. short fiction contributor.