Short Stories

Hot Air

“I can’t believe you did that.”

He stayed silent.

“How could you do that.”

Alec looked down as he walked.

“They would have helped.”

He didn’t even show he had heard.

Beside him Nat matched his stride with years of familiarity. She sighed and walked with her hands in her pockets looking at the ground. Alec didn’t even acknowledge she was there. They walked fast, away from the kindly old man.

“They would have helped,” Nat said again, but quieter.

“No,” Alec said.

He was looking in front of them. The pavement ended a little ahead and there was a car pulled in front of the gap in the fence. Alec slowed and put his hand on his sisters arm. She glowered at him and he nodded to the car. It was black and a big seven seater. There was something wrong with the windows, they mirrored the outside world and showed nothing of the inside.

They stopped. The car was still a good fifty yards away. Alec tensed ready to run. Nat looked from him to the car and then back.


She was cut off as car door opened with a dull thump.

They both looked. There was the man that had caught them shoplifting earlier. They had only been pocketing a couple of apples, but he had seen. They had just taken them when Nat had felt a hand on her shoulder.

She had looked at Alec but he had been looking behind her. She’d turned her head and seen, not the security guard she’d expected, but an old man. He’d seemed kindly with a gentle smile.

“Let her go,” Alec had said.

The old man had. “I can help you.”

Alec had taken Nat’s hand and started to the door. The old man had let him. But once outside they had been stopped by a large man. He hadn’t threatened them but blocked their escape. They couldn’t draw attention to themselves. Neither of them wanted to go back to the home, so they had waited. Nat nervously and Alec eyeing every route searching for a way out.

The old man had sauntered out to them. “I can help you,” he repeated.


“We don’t need your help,” Nat had said and tried to keep the shake out of her voice. It wasn’t the first time that they had been found. It was the first time they’d been surprised though.

Alec had suddenly grabbed Nat and pulled her away and toward a shop. Once inside they ran straight through. The back opened onto the street. Once out the sun was blindingly bright from the Mall’s dimness.

Now they stood watching of the car. The old man got out. Nat couldn’t see the larger man but she assumed he was driving.

“Come with me,” he said, walking toward them.

Alec stepped back and started to turn.

“I will find you again.”

Alec looked at him. “Maybe.”

Nat looked between the two of them. “Alec, I don’t want to run anymore.”

This started as a daily prompt but I have a feeling it is going to grow… 😀

6 thoughts on “Hot Air

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