Crime Thriller Fantasy

They say that bad times can fall on anybody at any time but at this time in my life, I had come to the conclusion that I was a favorite of target of bad times, whenever there was no one else available. Maybe because I chose a life of crime, so I just kept going from committing one crime to another which led to one cell to another. This was the life I was destined to have. At least that's what I thought until one summer day while reading the morning paper an article caught my attention.

   It was something fantastic. Something real, not rumored or internet gossip. It made a man like me who was always in the market for something that could ease the pain of my empty pockets and struggling ways pay attention to. 

   The article was about a man who had been declared legally blind due to both eyes being removed 10yrs ago after an automobile accident. Yet he was astonishing the world because with no eyes he had become an accomplished globally known painter and his art was selling for hundreds of thousands. Yes, an accomplished painter and I'm not talking about just splashing paint on a canvas and then having someone come along and see what's not there. It was real art with images and all. 

   He had opened a gallery not far from me but as we used to say, on the other side of the tracks. It had quickly become the toast of the town. It was where people would gather to hear him speak as he displayed his art. Somehow, he also possessed a strong sense of the things around him, without having the blessing of sight. Yes, this article and this man, Marvin Johnson really fascinated me but not as much as the fact that they called him " The Blind Man of Gold". 

   Johnson, the article stated, painted alone while naked wearing nothing but gold and was proclaiming that the power within the gold, the force that came from it, somehow powered his sight especially while painting. Powered it the same way it had powered the greed of man for centuries past to present. He said in the interview as he cried, that it gave him back what had been taken...Sight. My impression of this, was that it was all just a crock of......you know what I mean.

   He had refused the offers of paid scientific study stating that he already knew why and how and that it would be his secret until the day he died. The article described how he was able to stroll the streets as if he could see. He would walk alone to his home that was also near his gallery. The article further said that along the way he would talk to strangers while sometimes complimenting and describing the clothes people wore. He would even call people he knew by their names even before they spoke. He did this while being completely unassisted and according to him, he could do it as long as he wore enough gold. Wow, what a fool I thought. A damn fool ...one that was waiting to meet me. 

   As far as I was concerned the article was an invitation to meet and greet that gold. In the back of my head, I was telling myself that this story had to be a fool's tale, but I was going to find the time to find out. I was also going to find out if what he wore was real or just fool's gold. I started going to the gallery to see for myself what was true and not true. I ended up going several times, sometimes near closing time. I needed to get a feel for him. I had to track and learn so I could hatch a plan, an end game. 

  Talk about good timing and luck, I saw and answered the ad in the job wanted column for a janitor at that gallery. Then with a combination of my charm , good looks and fake references that would go straight to friends if checked, I impressed the woman interviewing me as well as I did the man himself when first introduced to him. Whenever he passed me as I worked, he said "Good honest worker".First impressions.

   I studied him and to my amazement I saw for myself that gold was really flashing around his neck, arms and waist. I watched him in the gallery, and I watched him through the window when I wasn't working as he would close the gallery. 

   This man did move around like a man with sight and at the end of his day he would just put on an overcoat, without ever removing his gold and leave. After observing him for almost two months, I had seen enough with my own eyes to know that this just wasn't a man hoodwinking the public, it was an impressive hoodwinking. He did amaze me. 

   I kept an open mind and said to myself that if somehow this was all true , I could assume the gold was real. So, like a good criminal, I set the next phase in motion, right after I quit.

   I did go on and continued my observation of him and stalked him too. I followed him home a couple of times and each time he again never failed to amaze me. I watched him walk with no walking stick, stop when he had to and he really did walk up to people and start conversations.

One time he stepped off a curb and into the path of an oncoming not so loud messenger bike. The bike was going full speed towards him, yet as they were about to collide, Johnson at the last second avoided the painful collision by stepping back onto the sidewalk, just in time. Impressive Oscar performances.

   If real, it would be so fantastic and unbelievable but I must admit that I was almost convinced it was all true but I still felt I had to be totally sure to set my mind at ease. I went on to research his life story myself and found that it wasn't going to change. It was the same as what the author had wrote. Both of Johnson's eyes had been removed. If I had found out that he was just blind but still really had both his eyes, my first thought would have been, that he was simply working a better scam, than I could ever have thought of. It was all so impossible but that didn't stop me from deciding to go forward. I was going to follow what had been developing in my head since the minute I had read that article.

   On a Thursday I decided to do this job but I figured it was best to wait a couple of days until Monday night because at that time there would be almost no one on the streets, most stores in the area on Mondays closed a little earlier than usual. 

   I'm sure like mostly everyone else, I kept wondering but couldn't figure out how Johnson was doing all this, but he was pulling it off. There was one thing I knew for sure and that was that this blind man was a fool and as they say, a fool and his money, or gold in this case... would soon be parted. I just had to get past a weekend that seemed to never end.      

    When Monday night finally came, Johnson closed the gallery and left a little later than usual and headed home. I can tell you as God is my witness, he didn't make it without incident, at least not until a detour to the local hospital. I followed him on the deserted street and if someone could have seen my face in the darkness, they would have seen a big smirk and probably me forming at the mouth. If you could have read my mind you would have heard over and over the words "Gold gold gold" because I knew that all that glittered was really gold.

   I have to admit that as I got closer and closer to him, I felt a little uneasy because Johnson kept turning around like he had felt or sensed something. At this point I had no reason to believe that he didn't. So, I moved faster like a cat thinking that he might scream at any time or just simply run around a parked car. When I was about 15 feet away from him, I knew none of that mattered any longer. I came out of the shadow of the next doorway he passed after I had gotten ahead of him from the other side of the street. 

   It was time to pounce on him and relieve him my magic gold. I reached my arms out grabbing his neck from behind then I spent him around and pounded him with an elbow punch to the chest that sent him to the ground hard and face first. He didn't scream and to my surprise he suddenly turned his body back around to face me as I mounted him. I gave him one solid punch to the face. It was then that he pointed his long finger in my face which was now inches away from his as he shouted, "I CAN SEE YOU". I hesitated for a split second but only enough to think to myself that this fool was going down with his act intact. Then I sent another punch upside his head which I thought should have left him senseless.

   He wasn't senseless and time seemed to be passing slowly as I was still on top of him telling him to let go of his coat. I had already ripped the gold belt from his waist and the bracelets from his arms. I needed to get to those chains because they looked like they had diamonds on them. I started beating him again, perhaps more than I should have but he was holding onto that jacket for dear life or in this case, for dear sight. He kept shouting over and over again " I CAN SEE YOU; I CAN SEE YOU". I finally stripped him of all that gold but because I was so greedy and caught up in the moment, I started going through his coat pockets. My goodness he had gold nuggets in both right and left pockets. BINGO!

   This scene seemed to last forever but it didn't, it just seemed that way. When I rolled off of him and got up, I never looked back just kept putting the gold in the bag. I knew he was still on that ground so ran to the subway then got on the bus that took me to Big Al's Blue Tangerine Pub. To some or most, the trip to the bar might have been foolish, but I wanted to celebrate the beginning of good times.

   Unfortunately, it was at the bar, where my worries started and began to overwhelm my joy and thoughts of good times to come. After arriving and ordering my drink it seemed like Al had suddenly seemed to have forgotten my age. He asked me for ID even though he knew me. The look on my face made him point slyly to a corner of the bar where a man in a black suit sat and it looked like he was watching us. Al told me the man was one of those Liquor boys checking to see if he was ID-Ing everybody. He told me he even had to ID the old bastard right next to me. "Well, we don't want any problems" I said to Al before reaching for my ID. That's when my mind went south. I didn't have it; it wasn't where it was supposed to be. 

   My thought then was that hopefully I left it home. I thought about cops and them possibly stopping me on the way home and asking me for ID. With no ID they would lock me up for the hell of it on some bogus suspicion again. Those flat-footed coppers were always harassing me because most of them knew of my record. This would have been the wrong night to be tossed by the cops.    

   It was crazy that I never thought about anything else, at least not what I should have thought about. That maybe just maybe I had lost my ID during the beating and gold relief operation I had performed on Johnson. I didn't dwell on it, I just got up and started on my way home slipping in and out of doorways. I made it. 

   I spent almost a week locked up in my apartment planning the new life. No way was I going out. I had seen a lot of movies in my time, and I saw what always seemed to happen to those just about to start anew...some accident, death or something stupid that gets them caught. So as unlikely as it seemed I wasn't taking any chances. 

   Then two days before the date I had decided I would leave town, it happened. I was laying in my bed sleeping like a man who had no regrets, only a shining glittering future if you know what I mean. I had gone to sleep feeling great until I was awakened to the noise of something falling in the living room. I suppose I jumped out the bed just as fast as the victims of my past burglaries had done when they heard noise. I grabbed my trusty bat which was my weapon of choice since with my record, I couldn't get caught with a gun. I quietly opened my bedroom door. It was dark as hell and the light switch all of a sudden wasn't working. I looked up wondering if the bulb had blown out. I had just changed it.

   Then from the corner of my eye I saw a figure dash across the floor and into the kitchen. I thought to myself that by chance an intruder had the luck of picking the right night for a burglary with all that gold in here. Today this wasn't just an apartment it was a gold mine. I put my bat in the ready position as though I was at the plate to wait for the pitch. I peered into the kitchen never looking behind me forgetting for a second, that someone could go out one side of the kitchen then come back around and get behind me. That was when from behind my bat was knocked from my hands.

   I instantly reached out for the pot on the stove that even in the darkness I knew was there. I picked it up and quickly turned to throw it at the shadow that was now almost right behind me. I threw it and missed. I started reaching around for something else, anything that was on the counter, my hands found the hard covered book I had been reading and threw it. I saw the shadow duck then bend down and pick it up. I wanted to run out of fear that the shadow had a weapon but should have or just pounced on him, but fear had struck me like it had never done before, and I froze. 

   The shadow seemed to know I was frozen. It didn't seem to be in a rush when it bent down as though it knew I wasn't going anywhere. A second or two later my heart almost stopped beating almost as though it too was about to freeze when I heard the words from the voice of the shadow say.... " The Stand by Stephen King, I read it two years ago, no braille" To my horror it was the voice of that blind man... Johnson. I had heard it many many times in his gallery, and it was still just as squeaky and irritating as it was then and, on the night, I beat and robbed him. 

   This was my worst unbelievable nightmare and I knew now that some of those earlier impressions and thoughts that I had of Johnson , were definitely wildly inaccurate. He was moving, seeing and reading in the dark with sockets that I knew had no damn eyes. Johnson was used to putting on a great show at his gallery and now he was here for the GRAND FINALE. He must have found my ID in my almost empty wallet apparently left at the scene of my crime. It turned out that I should have thought of this after all. If I had, I would have left town immediately. 

    Johnson probably never bothered to go to the police, he knew what he was going to do and that was come right here and take care of things himself. 

I yelled to myself over and over while being stuck in what seemed to be a time tunnel. "Snap out of it, Snap out of it " I knew I had to kill the old bastard and be done with it. Then suddenly, I felt it and knew it had to be a knife the way it slipped in and out of me with ease. As I went down, I was wondering why the pain didn't make me scream. I must have still been in shock. 

   Then like a cat, Johnson was on top of me, his face close to mine just like when I had my face close to his. It was then in that second that I realized that I, Maxwell Bush, was taking my last breaths of life and would never get to see the life, I thought I was going to have at the expense of another. Unfortunately for me, the last words I was ever going to hear, were the ones I heard as I slipped towards death...." I told you I CAN SEE YOU".

January 28, 2022 22:34

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22:06 Feb 09, 2022

This story had me on the edge of my seat. I loved it! The blind man kept saying to the man stealing his gold "I can see you! I can see you!" Maybe he was saying I can see through your intentions. The blind man was robbed of his gold because the other man did not believe the man was really blind but he got too greedy and you know what happens to those who want too much. Nothing good...


Darrell Grant
22:43 Feb 09, 2022

Lol thanks I appreciate your read and comments


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Jeanette Harris
16:29 Feb 07, 2022

Here he tried to rob a blind not knowing at first that man could see. He tried to steal the gold.


Darrell Grant
17:27 Feb 07, 2022

He was blinded by gold and could not really bring himself to believe


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