The Pickpocket and the Maid

Alright, I'm back! This is Ashlie, other wise known as wingedblackheart or sethsmababy. So, if you are a past reader you know that I deleted all my stories to write better ones. It has been over a year but I have finally planned a story and had time to type it out. With high school and marching band life is hard. It is almost Christmas break and now I'm done planning! I've been taking classes and been in some critiques and I think I'm ready for my stories not to suck. So, this is a mixture of a lot of types of Oliver Twist, but mostly the movie with Elijah Wood. It is also coming from the book by Charles Dickens and "Oliver!" the play and movie-even though they are pretty much the same thing. In closing, I am always awaiting suggestions and review me brutally; I love to learn how to make my stories better!

Chapter I

The Long Awaited Plans

The days seemed to grow longer as Dodger sat around the prison lately. He had been there for two years and learned everything he ever needed to know. The 'Institute for Higher Learning' had been most helpful, and the men hadn't been so bad considering they were all liars and crooks. Dodger made up his mind. It was time to get out of here. He made up his plan weeks ago and it was time to put it into action. He had run it by his good inspiration Streak a few times to make sure it was fool proof, and it seemed to be a winner now.

Streak had been in prison for a long time. He wasted a majority of his life there, and now he was old and graying in a streaked pattern. He wanted to help Dodger get out to continue the rest of his life and not ruin it like he did. Even taken to calling him Jack when they were alone, other than that he was still known as The Artful Dodger. He didn't dare tell the other guys the plan of escape, who knows who could be a snitch or who just would want to come with.

The first step in his all-too-simple plan was to take the keys from the guard as he brought him his meal. Being a pickpocket most of his life this was a piece of cake. His facial expressions never changed but being a 'disgruntled eighteen-year-old' he was able to pull off angrily staring at the guard through the bars. To make this seem even more like a normality, Dodger had been staring at the guard with and evil expression in his eye for weeks. He took the disgusting food as usual and sat down to eat it. Dodger couldn't say he didn't miss his sausage meals with his friends back with Fagin, but those days were over.

Step two required darkness and lots of it. It also required silence. Dodger would wait until everyone fell asleep to achieve this. He was going to unlock his door and sneak out. To do this without a sound, he would need to keep the doors from creaking and his shoes would need to come off. Streak had given him the idea of stopping all doors from creaking by stuffing a cloth around the hinges. But this aroused two problems. One, how would he acquire this cloth? Two, how would he acquire enough of it?

Two weeks before hand, Dodger solved these problems. He cut himself with the silverware that the guards brought with the meal and blamed his injury on a 'slight insane moment'. As planned the guards brought him cloth to cover it up to keep from infection. In the two weeks of time, the cut had become nothing more than a scratch. He would just have to keep removing and replacing the cloth on each door hinge.

It was late. Dodger couldn't sleep. It was time. He untied his shoes and stuffed them in his top hat. Putting his back on his head was risky but he needed his hands free for unlocking doors and stuffing cloth. The first door was probably trickiest because the lock was on the other side. On the other hand, the hinges were exposed clearly. Dodger took a very deep breath as he prayed it worked. His work was slow but he knew it would have to be. His stomach was so jumbled he felt as if he would be sick.

Finally he broke through, but that wasn't the hard part. Next, he had to walk down the path of other cells to reach the door that opened to the main hallway. He also had to search the key ring to find the right one. The cell keys were numbered and he knew that he was kept in cell 5. He had two keys to choose from, one for the door and one for the outside gate. He quietly took the cloth out of the hinges, trying very hard not to rip them.

He tip-toed down the hallway, carefully balancing his hat with shoes inside atop his head. He was barely breathing. He couldn't believe he was almost to the door. He kept thinking in his mind about how much harder this would have been without working with Bill Sykes all those years. Then he thought of what he did to Oliver and Nancy. Nancy, he was always thinking of Nancy. Why did she have to die, why?

His thoughts kept him too occupied. He had to focus! He was jolted back into his senses when he heard, "Hey!"

Dodger stopped. His heart had successfully dropped into his pants. He turned slowly. He saw Streak smiling at him, "Be safe, Jack." He said quietly.

Dodger smiled and made an obscene gesture with his hand. He turned and started towards the door again. He had to give it to the man; he knew exactly what to do. He stayed awake to make sure he had made it to the door. He must have noticed that he was unfocused. He was a good friend.

He looked at the hinges on the door in front of him. He wouldn't be able to stuff the cloth between the gaps! He panicked. He would have to go without. How creaky would this door be anyway? Besides, he had snuck into enough houses without cloth on the hinges before. Dodger picked his first key and tried it out. Wrong one, he tried the second. Luckily, it fit. He turned it, closed his eyes, held his breath, and pulled the door open.

He stepped through. So far he had not been caught. He knew which door to go to next because there was light from the moon shining through. It almost looked like a sign from God. Of course, it couldn't have been because he was committing a crime. He slowly continued down the hallway. All the guards would have been in their quarters at the other end of the hallway. So, if he walked into light he could be seen if the guard on duty was awake. He stayed in the shadows and reached the door. Again, the cloth would not fit in the hinges. He felt more confident know seeing as he made it through the last door without the silencer. He looked at his key ring; there were only two un-numbered keys. So, one of the keys must be used twice.

He tried the gate key first. It was the right one. He opened the door only wide enough to get through because he was risking everything just standing in the moonlight. He had to close this one behind him to not raise suspicion. Unlike the other two doors, this one would be able to be seen as open from the guard offices. He slowly stepped outside and closed the door behind him. He made sure that he kept the latches in while he did this to not make a sound.

It must have been July, because it was beautiful out. It wasn't cold but there were bugs everywhere. Now, Dodger didn't know if there would be guards outside. He decided to stay in the shadows to be safe. He saw the gate; he knew this one was creaky from all the rain. But, it was a gate just like the first door so the cloth would go through. The gate key went through; he pushed the heavy door open. He had to close this one as well so you couldn't see that it was open through a window.

He grabbed his cloth and hid behind a tree. He put his shoes on and stuffed the cloth and keys in his pockets. He walked in the shadows down the road until he couldn't see the prison anymore. Then he ran as hard as he could through the darkness. He couldn't stop until he reached another town. He couldn't stay until he was plenty of towns away. Dodger had to live somewhere small where they wouldn't know his name. He needed to find an old broken down building to stay in, and the town would need plenty of rich families with pockets to pick.

There was no way he would go to jail again, and he was going to continue his old life. He said his silent good-byes to Oliver and Charlie. All the boys he would miss so much, he hoped they were faring well. He even said good-bye to Fagin; he was an inspiration, even if he never really cared for any of the boys. Dodger thought of all the good times he had and of all the fun he would have in his new life. He couldn't get his hopes up; right now all he could do was run.

Well, I have goose bumps now! Dodger is off to start a completely new life, this time he wants to be the Fagin. But, he will be a nice one. Unless, things don't go as planned. How often do things go as planned anyway? Sorry this one is kind of short but without dialog I am at a loss for length. The next chapter will have talking in it and more characters than just our good ol' Dodge. It's better though right? I'm actually not as proud of it as I could be, but a lot more proud of it than my old stories. So, stay tuned! Another chapter will be up next week!

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