The shortish man, dressed in green, as always, scurried down the alleyway, masterfully concealing himself in the darkness. He carried on him a tattered backpack hastily slung over one shoulder, stuffed with the prize of his heist. He panted, scanning the world of near-black for the recipient. Years of this work had grayed his once brightly orange hair, and a goatee had found its way onto his unkempt face.
"Lucky? Is that you?" a timid female voice inquired, clearly fearful of the dangers of the world.
"Yes, it's me, Samantha." Lucas Sharmes responded passionately. Not since the assassination of his wife had he loved anyone like he loved that little girl on the streets. Hopeless in this hell of poverty and corruption, she was the last human link he had left. He had given the orphan everything he had: literacy, food, the clothes on her back. Smiling, he reached into the backpack, and she squealed with glee as he revealed her present, a box of Lucky Charms, her favorite, their favorite. Lucas warmly reminisced of the days of his childhood, reacting similarly when his parents presented him with his favorite cereal. In a way, though, it was nothing more than a mask. The man knew how horrible his school days were, and how life went downhill when his parents suddenly found themselves out of work, and life collapsed into shambles. He attempted to shrug off such dark thoughts, but failed, for he knew what had happened today, and what he would have to do about, when he saw them with his sharp vision.
Those stern eyes, that golden gleaning badge, and that frightening shade of blue.
He had been followed here from the burglary by a police officer.
The ascent of the officer's right arm was accompanied by a menacing click.
"Unhand her." Lucas and Samantha both stared at the officer silently, frozen in disbelief.
"I command you to unhand her, felon!" Lucky didn't have to scramble about his memory to know how this had happened. Right as he was leaving the house, yes, he had seen the young boy. Just an extremely quick glimpse, that was all, before both retreated to safety. The child must have proceeded to call the authorities. When he had been hiding the the bushes, camouflaged by this clover-colored attire, Mr. Sharmes somehow knew deep down that he should have gone after the boy, and have taken him out right then and there, but resolved to finish that business later for fear of the immediate danger of other possible witnesses. Why on Earth had he not acted upon that initial impulse? He had failed not only himself, but Samantha, the one person left in the world who trusted him.
And if he could protect her no longer, was there any further purpose in life?
He thought silently to himself.
If you let her go, at least she'll be safe.
And without second thought, he released his grip upon her, telling her to go to the other man. She did not question him.
As the law enforcement official pushed he aside to safety, she could be heard to whisper one thing from beneath her surprisingly few tears.
"I love you, Lucky."
Lucky couldn't muster the power to say it back. He simply nodded, almost emotionlessly.
The officer, however, was extremely cautious never to let the burglar out of his sights. It would be futile for Sharmes to retaliate; a bullet would make short work of him. Perhaps not even Sharmes, who over the years had become a master of trickery, would be able to escape. And even so, what was the point of escaping, if his life held no value to him anymore?
"Put your hands in the air or I will not hesitate to shoot you."
Slowly, Sharmes raised his hands into the air.
With nearly impossible speed, the felon darted behind a green trash can, which was itself in the shadow of a building. Alarmed, the officer reacted viciously.
"I order you to reveal yourself! I know you're behind there!"
However, by the time the officer had time to utter those words, Mr. Sharmes had already soundlessly trotted away, and had made off with his backpack.
He had made up his mind. He would use it now. His "special tool," he would sometimes call it when talking to the girl, the one thing that could always protect him. Nobody else could ever know about it, as he hadn't exactly obtained it legally.
Of course, he had to find the right place to activate said device. If he or the device were to be seen by anybody, his plan would almost certainly fail. The device would be taken from him, and the information would make it to the officer by word of mouth in a matter of minutes. Clearly it was necessary for Sharmes to avoid any and all human contact in his search for the right spot.
In a mad dash through secluded alleyways, Sharmes finally came upon the ideal location, an abandoned schoolhouse. Finally, he thought. Leaping through a broken window, he proceeded to cursorily sift through his backpack, before stopping when he realized where he really was. The lunchroom.
This fact only served to justify his position further. He could clearly remember those horrible days, those horrible years in that room. Ironically, he had always been surrounded by people there.
How dearly he wished that he could have been alone.
They would gather around him with their evil grins. Leprechaun, they called him, for his shortness and Irish background. On many days he went without a lunch: the Lucky Charms packed for him by his father would be taken from him, time and time again, by the same syndicate of bullies. Even attempts to avoid them by eating lunch in the restrooms did not succeed. In ways, they were the only constant in Lucas's life.
In one particularly horrific scenario, Lucas had stood up to the gang of bullies, only to be dealt with via a swift punch to the face which had left him with a broken and bloody nose. He had nearly committed suicide that night in the hospital before a nurse passing by his room had intervened.
And now, he was back here to finish that job. After all, the one thing that his special tool couldn't protect him from was himself.