"You can always steal another day, be happy with a take and go home."
Depending on my picks, twelve wallets could add up fast, and there's no real way to appraise a person's cash value. This...this was going to be interesting. Just then, I started to laugh a bit. I hated group projects in school, because nine times out of ten, I wound up being the shmuck who did all the work for a fraction of the credit. The irony was just too damn funny, especially cause not a few hours earlier...what did I say again? "I won't help people who don't want to be helped" I laughed again, out loud this time. "Fuck."
I hailed myself a cab and decided I might as well get started, I was running out of light after all. "The corner store on Pendle Avenue" I told the guy. A vague description but Pendle was a pretty well known area and the cabbie started on his way without his GPS. The fare came to eight something so I tossed a ten from the jackpot wallet and said the rest was a tip. As he drove away I looked around. Pendle and the surrounding area was a shithole, almost literally. A residential area immediately off one of the city's main streets, Pendle saw a lot of traffic for all reasons. Problem is, no one gave a shit about it. Half the houses this side of 22nd street looked like drug dens and the rest looked like they knew they lived around a drug den. It was a sad sight considering how many kids played baseball on any of the three diamonds in the school grounds. As I made that observation and kicked a pleasantly large rock, I saw another grace from the thief gods. A ball team was just unwinding from a game. The same corner store I'd been dropped off at operated a small pizza joint. It wasn't great pizza, but it was close. Cash was a common currency choice thanks to their kickass two for one slice deal.
I took a moment to thank the several angels on my shoulder before doubling around behind the team, apparently called the Manta Rays...not exactly my first choice for a team animal.
"Develop a gay persona." I had to laugh as I heard Ray's joking voice. "You'll be checking out a lot of dude's asses so you may as well act the part." It worked too damn well here as I quickly pinned a half a dozen easy grabs in my mind. I had to stop myself before I preyed on this team though. I was the only one around who wasn't on the team and if that many wallets disappeared before they even got their pizza, well I'm pretty sure a few saw me earlier. I pretended to answer a phone call as I peeled away.
"What the fuck do I do?" I repeated it about ten times, hoping that eventually I would magically learn the answer. I didn't have time to be choosy, but I didn't want to make this neighbourhood a hotspot. As I saw the team coming out of the pizza place about ten minutes later, I heard a voice in my head again, I didn't like it, but I listened to it.
"Thanks dad." And with that I grudgingly started a jog. They were headed back towards me which worked in my favour, that is, it would until I started to barrel through them. As I quickly closed the gap I called up dad's lessons. Uncle Ray believed in pure stealth and what I was about to do would probably sicken him. All the tips on picks while running hit me hard and I just hoped I could make this worthwhile, after all, these were baseball players, every one of them needs to know how to run. With the last five meters between us, and some of the guys trying to get out of my way, I started to get weird looks, this was the time to start sprinting. Taking a deep breath, I started to bump shoulders. I made one immediately, two, nope lost it. Shit.
"Don't count, it makes you cocky and lose focus." Dad again. My back pockets soon had occupants, same with the two on my hoodie. Before I knew it, there were even a couple in my sleeves.
"Done, now run," I commanded myself. There were some curses and shouts as I broke through the last guys. As soon as I saw open sidewalk I poured everything into one powerful clip. I knew I'd regret it later but I needed to put distance between me and them fast. I ducked into an alley, then through a catwalk, over a fence, and another, across the street and down another alley again. A solid minute went by before my asthma finally said "fuck you" and I desperately fumbled through my bulging pocket for my inhaler. Three puffs later my breathing was finally catching up.
"Two in the back pockets, two in the hoodie, and three in my sleeves. Seven, plus my three makes ten. Five more covers everyone. Fuck me."