"I just need a drink"

Submitted into Contest #50 in response to: Write a story told entirely through one chase scene.... view prompt

4 comments

General

The Prey

It is a hot day. Extremely hot. It’s so hot that I woke up this morning covered in sweat. I’m still sweating. It’s so hot that I could cook a pancake on the roof of that shiny, black car parked at the Coffee Shoppe. And maybe some bacon too. It’s so hot that all the worms from Tuesday’s rain lie dried up on the sidewalks. Poor worms. It’s so hot that I need a drink. I’m super thirsty. I haven’t had a drink since Tuesday, and that was rainwater. Bad news is, people don’t give away free water anymore. You’ve got to pay for it. Sure, there are the nice ones that pop up here and there, the ones who give you water and socks and maybe even a toothbrush to boot. But the average person either ignores you or makes you pay. If water’s so precious, shouldn’t it be shared? If I don’t get water soon, I won’t make it.

The Predator

Whew, boy is it a doozy today! I’ve already had six customers and it’s not even 9:00am. Guess everybody wants a drink to cool off. Heh. Good business for me. Well, I’d better organize those bottles of champagne. Too bad that I had to cancel the outdoor cart and bring everything back inside. I probably would have sold lots outside, with good publicity and all. Lousy alley boys. If they hadn’t kept stealing drinks off my cart…really lousy alley boys. Wait till I get my hands on one of those culprits.

The Prey

Hm. I’m not too worried, though. If I’ve managed to survive by myself in “the city that has it all” (aka Washington D.C.) for the past two years, I’ll be able to get a drink of water. The problem is, it’s getting tougher and tougher to get food and water. When I started out here, I was so little and cute that people just gave me stuff (for the record, I hated when people called me cute, but it did mean I would eat that day). Apparently though, once I turned thirteen, I stopped being cute and turned into a nuisance. An annoying and potentially dangerous nuisance who gets weird stares when I ask for food. What’s a kid supposed to do? Nobody’ll let me work for them. And now nobody’ll give me food. So, I resorted to snitching. Snitch a little apple off the grocer’s cart (he’ll never notice). Snitch a roll from the huge basket in the baker’s shop (he eats too many anyway, I know by his size). Yep, I’m not too worried about getting that drink. I just need it soon.

The Predator

It’s almost noon. The lunch hour will probably be busy today because of the heat. Who can resist a cool drink?

The Prey

Ok, I really need that drink now. Aha! It’s one of my favorite places-The Bar. Hey, the bartender doesn’t have that handy dandy cart out today. Ah well, I’ll just sneak behind this man and snitch some when he’s ordering.

The Predator

I was right: busiest lunch hour of the summer.

The Prey

Almost there…

The Predator

I’ll make a fortune today. Wait, what’s that boy doing? He’s underage. Hey! He’s stealing from me!

The Prey

Ah! A drink at last. I feel like I’m watering a desert. I’d better get out before the bartender…uh oh. Run!

The Predator

He’s getting away! I have to catch him! Hm, he looks like one of those alley boys who stole from my cart! Maybe I’d better get the police on him. Underage drinker and all. Naw, I’ll get him myself and make him sorry he ever stole from me. I always let those rats get away. Well, today’ll be different! 

The Prey

Run. Run. Run. Oh shucks! That bartender’s chasing me! Yikes, he can run fast. Maybe he knows I’ve snitched water from him before. Hm. I’m near downtown, maybe I can lose him.

The Predator

Boy can that alley scum run! Probably has practice from his other thefts. We’re almost to the city’s center. The kid’s smart-he’ll try to escape in the crowds. Well, I’ll show him that he’s not getting chased by the average bartender.

The Prey

Ok, now I’m starting to get worried. I’m still super thirsty and he’s not stopping. Huh. I guess there’s more to him than meets the eye. Literally. I mean, who’d expect a bald, fat bartender to run that fast and dodge the crowds? He’s pretty serious about catching me.

The Predator

I’ll get that little rat, I will.

The Prey

I’m not losing him! Ok, time for a hideout. A bookstore-perfect! This bookshelf looks far enough away from the wall for me to…Ah! There we go. Hidden behind a bookshelf. He’ll never find me in here. I wish I had some water.

The Predator

Where did that alley nuisance go? Must’ve hid in one of these shops. Which one? I guess I’ll just have to search ‘em all.

The Prey

So far so good.

The Predator

Where is that kid?

The Prey

So far still good.

The Predator

Where IS that kid?

The Prey

Um, who knew that the bookstore attendant dusts behind bookshelves? Lucky for me, she was a bookworm so I got away without notice. Hm, where’d the bartender go? I guess I’m all clear. Another successful snitch. Except for the fact that I only got one sip.

The Predator

Where is that…oh! There he is, coming out of the bookstore. He isn’t running. Ha. Tricky little kid thinks he’s all clear. I’ll sneak up behind him and grab him when he’s distracted.

The Prey

I’d better get out of the area, just in case that bartender’s still around. Where should I go next? Lincoln Memorial? White House? A diner? I guess I’ll go…ouch! Ah! It’s the bartender!

The Predator

Ow. Ow. OW. That kid’s as slippery as a fish and has teeth like a shark. Oh, and his fists? I’m not even going to think about those.

The Prey

My knuckles hurt. Why’d he have to have such a hard head?

The Predator

Maybe I should get the coppers on him. Underage drinking and assault.

The Prey

I know what I’ll do! I’ll go back to his shop and snitch more water. He won’t be back for ages.

The Predator

Well, there’s plenty of time to catch him tomorrow. Right now, a nice drink sounds good. I’ll take the trolley-I need the rest.

The Prey

Huh, why’s the light on? He probably forgot to turn it off when he started chasing me. Water, here I come.

The Predator

Ah. That drink hit the spot. Wait a minute. Who’s coming in the store? 

The Prey

Yes! The door was unlocked and…um, the bartender’s sitting right there. I should run. But I’m really thirsty.

The Predator

Aha! The culprit returns! I’ll grab him and call the coppers. A while in jail should improve him.

The Prey

Should I ask him? I might die if I don’t.

The Predator

Wait, why isn’t he doing anything?

The Prey

I’ll do it. I’ll ask him.

The Predator

He wants a cup of water? Not beer, not wine, but water?

The Prey

The bartender’s staring at me. I’ll tell him that I’ve never snitched anything but water from him before (he had a nice little pitcher on the back of his cart). And that I’m really thirsty.

The Predator

What? He’s lying, he has to be lying. Although, there’s something honest about his face…about as honest as a thief can get.

The Prey

I’ll tell him that nobody’ll let me work for ‘em, so I can’t afford water. Or food, but that’s not as important.

The Predator

Really? I thought those alley boys lived the way they did for the fun of it. Stole for the fun of it. Maybe this one’s different. I’m beginning to believe him.

The Prey

Ok, I’m almost out of words. I just want him to make up his mind. Be nice or throw me out. I need that drink.

The Predator

Maybe, just maybe…

The Prey

Although it’s impressive that he hasn’t called the coppers yet.

The Predator

After all, if he only stole water, where’s the fault in that?

The Prey

He’s also a fast runner and seems a decent fellow. Just trying to protect his merchandise.

The Predator

I’ll take the chance. Wouldn’t a bar assistant be helpful anyway?

The Prey

Now I can have a drink whenever I want.




July 16, 2020 22:21

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4 comments

22:09 Jul 22, 2020

I've never read such style, and also enjoyed it so much. Thanks for the chance. It is gripping, fast paced, engaging, and owing to the writer's creativity, does not lose the reader or cause the tension to fizzle in between switching characters' POVs. Out of curiosity, does the style have a name?

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Maya Reynolds
02:45 Jul 23, 2020

Thanks so much for your encouraging feedback! That I know of, the style does not have a name; I just thought it would be an interesting way to follow a chase scene. I had a lot of fun with this story, glad you enjoyed it:)

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Neela Sanders
21:30 Jul 22, 2020

I love this story, the detail is amazing and the way that the point of veiw switches ways is extrodinary.

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Maya Reynolds
02:46 Jul 23, 2020

Thank you for your kind words!

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