The previous post CAUGHT started the except from my new novel, untitled as of yet, but it might be called Without A Family. It would be best to read the previous post if you haven’t yet, to catch up on the story. I will post excerpts throughout the editing process and hope to have a solid draft ready by September. I am inviting you to leave comments, suggestions, etc.
Shayla, a 17 year old, was shoplifting in a department store. On her way out of the mall, the loss prevention guy (as they call security personnel) grabbed her by the shoulder and would not let go.
“Excuse me?” she asks politely, while trying to wriggle her shoulder free from underneath his stealthy grip.
“You heard me, you’re just stalling. Give me an answer, now.” He said with a gruff voice.
“What?” she tries again.
“I am asking you to go with me to the store office, as I observed you taking something from the store that you did not pay for, a dress. Shall I call the police, or are you willing to go with me —- your choice.”
“Where will you take me?” Shayla asked in a quiet voice, feeling very small and very bad. Thoughts tumble through her head, making it hard to think. I am going to miss Ellen and Anita. I won’t have the dress. Will he arrest me? What are my mom and dad going to say? No Police!
“To the office, so you can show me what you took, of course, and talk. Well, what’ll it be, make up your mind. I don’t have all day,” the man says. He has a radio piece in his ear and a microphone clipped to his collar.
“Yes, to the office.” Her voice is wavering and she looks down, still trying to wiggle her body from his hold. She has no idea where the office might be. She tells herself she is not going to faint, but feels very, very sweaty, moist building up in her waistline and between her breasts.
The man turns back towards the store entrance holding her firmly by her shoulder in his iron grip; they go back inside the mall. Once inside they walk towards a side door right beside the main entrance, a door she had never noticed before. STAFF ONLY it reads.
They walk through a long corridor with many doors on either side. She hears his pants rustle against his legs, while he slowly moves his big body forward, his right hand now gripping her upper arm. She can smell him: a greasy, musky smell like the guinea pig cage of her brothers in need of cleaning.
He picks one of the doors and leads her into a small office practically bare with a table, and one chair behind it, two chairs on the other side, and a phone.
He sits down heavily behind the desk and asks her: “Hand me your purse and sit down.”
Shayla has not much of a choice. To her consternation, he opens her handbag and shakes its contents out in front of her on the table. He then opens the zippered inside pockets and takes out whatever is stored in there: tampons, Tylenol, address book, lipstick, other cosmetics, a prescription bottle, and a condom.
“What medication are you taking?” he asks, pointing at the plastic vial.
“Antibiotics, I had an infection,” she answers.
“Are you using any other drugs?”
“No, why are you asking?” she says. “I am not a drug user. I am going to high school and I am a good girl.”
“Have you shoplifted before?”
“No,” she lies, “this is my first time.”
“Take your coat off. Then take that dress off that you took without paying. Sometimes we give people a break when we are in a good mood,” he says while his eyes roam over her body while Shayla is taking her coat off. Shayla feels already naked.
”I believe you when you say you are a good girl. You will not be sorry if you do take that dress off now, as I am giving you a chance here, young lady,” he says in a softer voice apparently with as much kindness as he could generate.
“If you don’t, I will have to turn you over to the police and then you might get a criminal record, if they decide to charge you. So, what’ll it be?”
Shayla feel shivers running all over her body, her hands start to shake; she does not know what to do. I am not going to undress. This guy is scary and who knows what he will do.
“I will take it off if you leave the room, please?”
The man seems distracted, then slowly raises a hand to his earpiece and pushes it closer into his ear with his fat digit and listens, then starts talking into his collar.
“How many?” Pause. “I am busy.” Pause. “Right now?” Pause. “OK, I’ll be there in thirty seconds.”
Then he accelerates getting up very fast and makes his way out the room, turning back at the door to face her.
“You take that dress off and leave it here on the table, pack up your stuff and get out of here. I‘d better not catch you at it again, as next time you won’t get off this easily. I am needed upstairs.” And he is gone.
Shayla can’t believe her good fortune. She quickly undresses, puts the store dress on the table, gets dressed in her own clothes in a hurry, throws her things in her purse and runs out of the corridor, through the side door and into the bright daylight as far away as she can from LeChateau. Euphoria envelops her. Thank you God, I will never shoplift again. I am not going to tell the girls. It’s just too embarrassing. They’ll think I’m a total loser; they think that anyway already now. I wonder where that guy was, never saw him in the store.
When she reaches the other side of the mall at Chapters, Ellen and Anita are impatiently waiting around, browsing, each with a book in their hands that they drop back on the table, when they see Shayla entering the store.
“Hey, where were you? We have been waiting for half an hour or so already.”
“Sorry, I was waiting at the other end when I realized we’d said to meet here. You could’ve texted me.” Her friends didn’t notice Shayla’s flushed look. The girls wander through the mall and chat in rapid fire back and forth about the upcoming adventures of the evening.
“It’s going to be so much fun tonight. Is Eric coming?” Ellen asks Shayla.
“Yes, he said he would; he texted me this morning. I’m so excited. We might be doing it tonight. I think I am ready. He’s ready, for sure. He had a pack of condoms in his car last Wednesday; he showed them to me. He also gave me one for safekeeping, just in case he loses them or forgets them.”
“Oh-my-god. What did you say? I would’ve died.”
“I did, for sure, like, my face must’ve been beet red, but I didn’t say anything. But really, if you think about it, you know, I think it’s good of him to think about birth control; it’s responsible, right? I like that, don’t you guys?”
“I think it’s great, like, it shows initiative, good for him,” Anita answers. Ellen nods her head. The girls continue on and start popping in and out of stores, on the hunt for that steal of a deal……