seven

Sarah bent the bars that covered the window of the convenience store. It was closed tonight, which was why she was here.

Suddenly, they gave way and the entire set of bars came loose from the building. The long security bolts came out with them, leaving large gouged scars in the wall and stucco surface.

She looked around, hoping no one heard the wrenching sound, and set the bars down. Hmmm, she thought, break the glass or pull out the whole casing?

She really didn’t want to leave the window open all night. That would be rude. All she wanted was some cash. The email had come early the day before.

“Dearest Sarah,

Thank you so much for your touching note. I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time with all the new things in your life.

Thing here aren’t much better. In fact, I owe a lot of money to some men here in town, and they’re coming around more and more, to ‘talk’ to me. It’s getting pretty desperate.

I played some poker with some high rollers, trying to get enough money together to upgrade the plane. The SBC won’t give me another loan, and my business isn’t doing too well. I know I told you I had stopped gambling, and I did, honestly. It’s just that I needed the money.

Now, I’ve never known you to be a liar, honey, and I don’t see why you’d start now. I believe you when you say you have powers. I’m wondering if you could maybe use them to help me. I could really use $25,000. If you could find these powers and use them to help your old man, I’d really appreciate it.

Thank you honey,

Take care,

Dad”

At first, she’d been upset. Kind of pissed, actually. She had sent her first scared note, and then another detailing her power. He’d responded to that one, all right.

But then she got to thinking. Why couldn’t she help him out? Who was to say that she had to go the hero route? Why not take a little for herself? For her Dad, who loved her? If she couldn’t help her family, who could she help? Some random strangers that would sooner spit on her than help her out?

“There are so many burglaries that the majority are not investigated, police said.

‘They understand armed robbery will put them away for six years or maybe longer, but there’s not a lot of risk in property crime,’ said Deputy Chief Rick Plebis.”

That was from the local paper. She’d been reading it on a break at work one day and came across it with a mixture of dread and excitement. Maybe this would work.

After a day or two more of thinking, here she was. She thought maybe she’d hit a couple of places in Anchorage, far apart, of course, so no one would see it as a pattern. She had put on her warm clothing, grabbed a couple of powerbars from the cupboard, and ran south through the city.

To this strip mall. It was quiet, dark, and even better, in a wealthy neighborhood.

she forced the window open, somehow not breaking it in the process. The lock gave easily enough. Apparently the owners thought that the bars would keep out any traffic when they were closed. She smiled at that thought.

This is way too easy, she thought. Sarah Juneau climbed through the window, and stood in the little shop. She looked toward the front of the store, where the big windows were. She glanced at the front door and at the clock hanging above it. 3:28 AM, it said in big red numbers.

Sarah went to the register, and smacked it a little till it opened up. She pulled the drawer out and stuffed the twenties, tens, fives and ones into her deep jacket pockets. She left the change. What was the point? She looked around the store, grabbed a couple of boxes of power bars, and went back out through the window. Funny, she thought, how this whole thing had started with a burglary. She tore open a powerbar as the hunger pangs started to hit. Running across town, ripping open windows and breaking cash registers was apparently hard work. She bit off a chunk of the powerbar (now with more protein!), closed the window behind her, and ran home. She had a few more places to go.

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