Monday, October 5, 2009

To Catch a Thief

Thursday 24th September 2009
The Grocery Outlet car park.

We had just gone out and had one last family dinner and were now stopping to buy some groceries to decorate our empty cupboards and refrigerator with. It had been a long day and I had decided to stay in the car at this last stop so I wouldn’t have to hurt my back any more by stooping and bending to get in and out of the vehicle.

As everyone left I realized I needed to use the toilet. Being alone that one thought really played in my mind and I became desperate fast whilst noticing so many bottles of water strewn around the car. Looking for a distraction I focused my attention outside. I was dark and the car park wasn’t very full. I thought about how different my surroundings were from those of home. Even in a super market car park there were differences.

Parked nose to nose with the car I was in was a red vehicle, it was something created to look like the lovechild of a car and van, not quite either but similar to both. Inside the car sat a man smoking. His chair tilted back a little and a blonde haired woman looking eagerly around.

Interesting, I thought. I’d never seen a mullet like this mans in real life. He even had a mustache, so 80’s. He began looking around too. Both of them looked pretty serious. They spoke every so often but neither smiled. Sitting in the darkness of the van I could stare all I wanted.

The mullet got out his car, leaving the door ajar and looked around. He pulled out another cigarette and lit it, very casually and walked over to the car parked to my right. He put his hand on it and leaned over taking a look in the front window. The blonde woman watched him and their surroundings.

I sat there wondering what on earth was going on. We had been told to definitely not live in this town, the crime rate being above the national average and all. He continued walking around the silver car, running one hand along its roof like he was taming it. He cupped his hands and peered in the driver’s window. With one hand returning the cigarette to his mouth the other caressed the handle.

Chills ran up and down my spine. Nausea partied in my stomach with the steak and mashed potatoes I’d just devoured. I moved around in the van hoping to catch their attention to let them know they weren’t alone. It didn’t appear to work.

The mullet yanked and tugged on the car door handle, shaking the vehicle. A woman walked out the shop and the man returned to his red “can” (that’s what I call the mixture of a car and van.)

If I needed the toilet before I really, really needed it now! I sweating and absolutely terrified. Stuart had my mobile phone in the shop or I would have called the police.
They continued to look around, watching for someone and then turned the engine of their vehicle on. Reversed and parked one spot further behind, in the shade. My heart and steak making their way into my throat I still didn’t know what to do.

Terrified I looked around and spotted my Father-in-Law coming out the shop. Thanking goodness not to be by myself anymore, I could have cried.

“I’m SO glad you came back! You won’t believe what I just saw!”

I recounted the story and at the end of it we both sat wary of them. They finally drove away and we laughed a little. Not long afterwards they returned and parked in the spot in front and to the left of us. The terror returned. This time the woman was scoping out the silver vehicle. Why? Why did they want this car so much? Were they waiting for us to leave so they could break in to it?

We sat still and watched. I memorized their license plate.

Time passed and a truck pulled in. Mullet and Blondie got out of their car. The truck stopped at the silver car and an old man got out. Did I mention it was a tow-truck? Could they really steal someone else’s car by having it towed to wherever they wanted it? No. He wasn’t towing it. He was using his slim-jim to open the car.

The woman had locked her keys in the car. Duh.

*This story has been entered into the Scribbit Write-Away contest.