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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year:

Putty Thief
Amanda Donovan

"Run!" yelled my little sister.
I couldn't move. I was petrified. Rooted to the spot. My skinny legs felt as heavy as the grey, graffiti covered concrete tunnels I could see in the junior school playground. The huge ball of soft, blue putty I'd been playing with didn't seem fun any more.

I dropped it on the floor then kicked it towards the red brick wall. It was too late to put it back into the window frame. I'd been caught red handed and my sister had already run away and left me standing there.
The figure inside the classroom lifted up her gnarly finger to point at me as she crept closer to the window. Her black eyes peered at me, squinted at me, accused me. Her tiny mouth opened wide as she shouted loudly,
" I know who you are! You're Amanda Donovan!"
"N.... no, No, that's not me." I stammered as I turned bright red.
"Yes it is. You live in Allen Close. I heard you scratching at the windows and thought someone was breaking into the school. You really scared me! This is vandalism. I'm calling the POLICE right now."

That scared me enough to leg it out of the school. I climbed over the metal gate, quickly left the school, then ran up the steep hill panting hard, tears of fear running down my face. My sister, Nicola, appeared suddenly. I shouted,
"The cleaner said she's calling the police!"
"Why didn't you run you idiot? You just stood there like a spaz! It's..."
"...she'd seen me already, so it was too late to run and I couldn't move anyway."
"But we'd have got away with it. It's your fault! You've ruined the weekend." she cried running off to her friend's house.

I walked home slowly, dreading the rest of the weekend. It was going to be so good. Dad was going to treat us while Mum was away at a Cliff Richard show. Shoulders slumped. I sighed miserably when I realised there would be no treats now. I passed some ramshackle gardens that backed onto the school then carried on through the woods at the bottom of our street. I could hear police car sirens in the distance. Oh my God, they are really coming for me! I ran again, running through the woods, twigs cracking under my feet, ignoring the boys playing in the street.

I ran straight past my house, skidding as I turned right into the overgrown alley way where the bins were kept and the prickly hedgehogs lived. My heart was pounding so loudly that my ears were throbbing. I felt sick with worry. The sirens were getting louder. Shit! My Mum is going to kill me if she finds out! I sat on a rusty bin for a moment to catch my breath. Oh my God, This is the end of my life. I'm going to prison. I'll have to hide, maybe build a camp in the woods and live there for a while until the police forget about me. I'll get my sister to bring me food and water.

I had to make a decision. Hide in the alley and wait until the police left, then pretend I didn't know what was going on, or just go inside to warn Dad? The police might look for me. What if they found me hiding here? That could be much worse. Ten years in prison instead of 5 maybe? I'd seen things like this happen in my favourite T.V program, Grange Hill! I couldn't stay here hiding. I decided I had to tell Dad before the police came. He deserved a warning. What if the police thought he was hiding me?

Breathing hard, face bright red, eyes bloodshot. I opened the rotting back gate, walked down the path, stepped down the two uneven concrete steps and arrived at the yellow back door. The sirens were getting too loud. I took a deep breath, opened the door and shouted for Dad.
"Hello, darling. Where have you been? Auntie Edna called and she wondered if you wanted to go ice skating with her tomorrow?"
"The police are coming! The police are coming! They will be here any second."
"Don't be silly, love. They're not here for you."
The sirens were right outside the house now. I could see the blue flashing lights reflected on my Dad's face, on the walls, on the TV. Everything was flashing blue. I wanted to faint.
"...they are! Dad, I've taken wet putty out of the school window because it felt really nice like play dough. I did it yesterday and today I went with Nicola. But the cleaner saw me, she was really angry and said she was calling the police. They are here. They've come for me!"
...and then came the sound of the special police knock.
Rat tat tat.
© Amanda Donovan Oct 2009

Amanda is studying for her Masters at the University of Portsmouth

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