Lord of Thieves

A Wound, A Gift

Das and Ray slammed into the ground. Das groaned upon collision. They rolled. A fleeting sound of screeching tires as Das winced. He climbed to his knees and looked up. Baring his and Rays alley was vacant of souls. Theyd lost them. No, theyd lost the money.

Ray managed to beat Ray to his feet: he got up first, holding his arm. He watched as Das got up and he frowned. Now, there was some nuance to his face almost as though hed virtually smirked but such was ephemeral. It was the smirk that had last for long.

Das got to his feet. Looked left, looked right. Then, he gagged. Blood burst out from his mouth, nostrils and ears. And he collapsed right back to the floor such that Ray towered over him.

”Are you alright? ” Ray asked.

”What does it look like? ” Das asked, scoffing as he tried to get up again.

”Listen, man, ” Ray frowned, ”I was not expecting any of that. ”

”All this bullshit so absurd you make me think otherwise, ” Das climbed to his knees again, ”like youd planned it like a comedian plans his jokes. ”

Ray sighed. He hoped Das would compose himself and stop spitting morsels of none sense but what theyd experienced was supposed to come off as jarring to anyone, but especially Das. Das, he knew, was different.

Das finally climbed to his feet once more. He flinched as he coughed, presuming he was out to burst again but the latter did not occur. So he turned to Ray and frowned again.

”Ray, why were we even here? ” Das asked.

”Why … what do you mean? ” Ray asked.

”I mean, ” Das snapped his shoulder back into place, ”Argh … here. Here in this sketchy alley. Why were we here? ”

”To make the exchange, ” Ray said. ”What else? ”

Das sighed. Assuming this exchange was the trading in the jewelry for cash, he made good enough reason with that to let Ray off the hook … just for now. Because now, he was in over his head. He had get that money back.

Ray winced, cracking his neck. ”You know, I saw what you did with that trash can and … ” he frowned, ”don you have a trick to alakazam back into shape? ”

Das walked off. ”I break, I don heal. ”

All Das could do with his gift was manipulate metallic objects. Small metallic objects. Small because heavy, bigger objects made him bleed … a lot. Just raising his hand to move those costed him around a few months of his lifespan; or so hed been told. And so nails was his forte.

Ray followed after Das. ”Do you even know where they
e going? ”

”I don , ” Das said, limping stiffly.

”Then where to? Disneyland? ”

”I am going where ever they
e going. ”

”They
e just a bunch of homeless tots, they ain got places to be, ” Ray said.

Das continued. ”Thats why I know they won be off too far. ” Das continued limping.

He was a man who knew he sure had a lot to live for. He had thievery, God father and … thievery. He hadn many plans but he figured hed figure something out before the purposelessness get to him. But now, he had a lot of purposes. One too many things filling his hands full: he had to catch those kids whod stolen the jewelry.

Das continued until the end of the alley where, to his left, a garage door opened. A man was slowly revealed as the automation occurred. A grey, old man.

”Lenny, ” Ray said, ”I thought you were dead. ”

”A piece of steel never ruts, ” Lenny said, smiling. ”At least not this one. ”

Das narrowed his eyes at Lenny. Who was he? Ray seemed to know him well so Das reckoned he was just a friend but unbeknownst to him, he was a lot more than that.

”Why don you two bring the car in? ” Lenny asked.

”About that … ” Ray said.

”That look on your face tells me somethin happened alright, ” Lenny shook his head. ”Spill the beans. ”

”Well, ” Ray answered, ”some homeless brats stole it from us. ”

”Us? ” Das asked. ”It was your fault. ”

Ray glared at him. ”What, my fault? How dare you! If you had just taken the kiss, none of this would have happened! ”

”Ah, god, Ray, ” Lenny said, ”you
e a disgrace. You don kiss a partner on the first date. ”

”You don kiss a partner at all, ” Das said. ”And because you did, the jewelry is beyond our reach. ”

”Its not entirely my fault, ” Ray said, ”you failed to catch them. ”

”Only because you let a kid stab you to the gut like it was stealing candy from a kid, ” Das said. ”I told you not to intervene in the first place! ”

”Fuck you! ” Ray snapped. ”I was just trying to help! ”

”Your incompetence was of very little help to me, ” Das said.

”Boys? ” Lenny called intrusively, prompting the two to turn their heads toward him.

”What, Lenny? ” Ray asked. ”Can you see Im in the middle of something? ”

”Aren you losers coming inside to talk business? ” Lenny asked, smiling.

”Losers? ” Das furrowed his brows as the old man turned around.

”Yes, ” Lenny said, back turned, ”losers. You heard me perfectly. ”

”What do you mean by that? ” Das balled his fists.

”You let a juvenile duo steal your bag, ” Lenny said, ”if that isn the biggest loss ever, I don know what is. ”

Das growled. ”Im out of here. ”

”Don you wanna know how to catch the kids? ”

Das stopped, turned around and showed his grimace to Lenny, who stood, looking over his shoulder. ”Im listening… ”

”Not until we
e having a cup of tea, ” Lenny said.

Das sucked his teeth. A cup of tea? Was this old man right in the head? Who drank a cup of tea in hot weather? Das wanted not to waste a minute more with these two but he had not a choice.

”Coming or not? ” Ray walked into the garage.

Walking into the garage, Ray scowled.

***

The garage was wide; tools spanned the expanse. There were tires and wrenches and saws: tools that were not meant to be in a garage. Das got the impression that Lenny was a mechanic and not just some old asshole.

”A cup of tea for loser number one, ” Lenny handed the cup to Ray. ”Loser number two, ” he gave Das a cup as well.

”Hey, ” Ray said, ”how come Im loser number one. Das is a bigger loser than I am. ”

”So … Das is your name, ” Lenny said, gawking at Das as he sipped the tea.

Das held the cup of tea in his hands, looking away and down at it to avoid the old mans bothersome eye-contact. The tea was almost black and it was then that Das realized that the old man hadn put milk.

”How am I doing this now? ” Das asked.

”Just drink it, ” Lenny said.

”No, ” Das said, ”Im not talking about the tea. ”

Lenny smiled. ”Hmm, well … to tell you the truth, Das, there is no catching those kids. ”

Das looked daggers at the old man. ”Just what … do you mean by that? ”

”It is what it is, ” Ray said, ”well just have to make more cash. ”

Das shuddered in rage. How could this happen again? First, he lost the money hed stolen from the gan. Then the jewelry hed stolen from Ken Khals. He had under seven days to live and, once again, he pushed back to the start.

”Make more cash? Are even listening to yourself? I wasted so many hours already ”—He witnessed a smirk on Lennys face— ”and theres no getting them back. You and everybody else are just hindrances to my theft. ” He scoffed, turning around. ”Im out of here … ”

”No, ” Lenny said, ”you
e not. ”

Das stopped, looking over his shoulder at the old man. ”What did you say? ”

”I said, ” Lenny leaned in, ”you
e not goin anywhere. ”

Das looked at Ray as he stood.

”Im sorry, Das, ” Ray said, ”I just had to do this. Please forgive me for whats about to happen to you … ”

Das quailed. ”What? ” He grimaced. ”What are you talking about? What have you done to me? ”

Ray sighed. ”What a tragedy. ”

”What the ** are you two on about? ” Das asked. ”Are you trying to fight me? ”

Lenny shook his head.

Das narrowed his eyes. ”Then watch me walk out of here. ” Das turned around.

Lenny smiled. ”Who offers tea in hot sun? ”

Das continued toward the exit.

Lenny continued. ”I don see why unless someones poisoned your drink. ”

Das suddenly stopped and not because he wants to stop but rather given that his body chose not to respond. He paused, eyes widened. His breaths slowed. Then, he felt weak in the legs. His eyes rolled up in his head and he collapsed head first.

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