Stealing the Dark Added£1.29
Add to basket
(A short story of 6361 words)

Stealing the Dark

Crime and Thrillers

by Jane A Adams

Amongst those items recovered was an album of faded photographs. Sepia toned faces gazed out at him from foxed pages decorated with roses and twining tendrils of honeysuckle. The cream boards that formed the cover had pulled loose from their binding and flopped limply as he removed the book from the evidence bag and lay it down on the wooden table of the interview room. It was, he thought, a sad little volume, filled with the faces of the long dead, stiffly posed and their eyes gazing from the book at a world so changed it made him wince to think of it.

The young man accused of theft sat opposite him, blank eyed and sullen. His chair had been pushed back from the table and his long legs stretched beneath it, the air of studied nonchalance designed to make him look hard, though all it did, to Colm’s practised eye, was emphasize how scared this kid was.

Colm checked the tape and announced himself and the others in the room for the benefit of posterity, then, gently, careful not to dislodge any of the fragile images, he began to turn the pages of the book.

“Where’d you get this, Michael?”

The boy glanced at the book, a mere flick of his eyes sideways and down.

“Where’d I get what?”

“It’s an album, Michael. Family pictures. Someone’s grieving for this loss.” He paused, again noted the swift sideways look, but aimed at him this time and not the book upon the table.

“Some old book?” the boy said boldly. “You going to charge me with stealing some old book?” He jerked upright and then sat forward, pushing the album back towards Colm.

“Well, no,” Colm said. “I thought we’d charge you for the video camera and the bits of jewellery that we found first, but I’d like you to tell me about the book. Call it curiosity.”

“The boy shifted awkwardly He was baffled by this, Colm knew, by his interest in some tatty old album full of people who’d most likely been dead even before the lad was born.

“It’s me auntie’s, ain’t it?” he said at last.

“And which auntie would that be, Michael? Your auntie May that lives in Galway or your auntie Joan that married the teacher and won’t have anything to do with your lot now? Colm shook his head and allowed the creases on his ugly face to compose themselves into a look of deep sorrow at the boy’s situation.

“Your mam told me you were going straight, Michael. She told me you’d even got a job. What was it, Michael, couldn’t earn enough honestly, you had to make a bit extra thieving from those who worked hard for the things they’ve got?”

“What, like that scrappy old thing? Look at it. It’s filthy dirty and falling to bits.” He lunged forward and gave the book a shove that sent it to the floor, the poor old covers flapping and flailing in flight and the back one breaking away as it hit the floor.

Colm crossed the room and bent to pick up the book, an anger burning in his chest that was quite out of proportion to the boy’s action.

“It’s people’s lives you’re wrecking,” he almost shouted at the boy. “People like the ones here in the book. Ordinary working folk that can’t afford what your thieving costs them, never mind thinking what it’s costing you, lad.”

“Like you care.”

“Like I care!” Colm sighed and returned to his seat, placing the book closed once more upon the wooden table...

What others say about Stealing the Dark - Add your review

© 2023 CUT All rights reserved.