“A Theft” was written by Madhulika, who is in my 2016 “Ace Your Writing” class. Madhulika’s careful attention to details makes this an interesting read.
A cool draft swept over her face as Mary entered the humongous shopping mall. It was a bustling Saturday afternoon and Mary was strolling inside the Suntec City Mall. She was window-shopping alone as her friends were busy. The mall was crowded with weekend shoppers.
As Mary sauntered around the mall, a shop display filled with sparkling, fashionable rings caught her eye. She rushed forward to have a closer look. At the window display, there were rows and rows of beautiful rings. Her eyes sparkled as she entered the shop.
Inside the shop, Mary was awestruck by the breath-taking collection of jewellery. The dazzling diamond necklaces stood majestically on the racks, as if beckoning the customer to buy them. Mary looked around tentatively. Once again, the glittery rings caught her eyes. It was as if she was spellbound. Mary approached the glass display where the rings were laid out enticingly.
“May I help you?” the sales manager asked politely. Mary whirled around. She quickly recovered her composure, and requested the manager to allow her to have a closer look at one of the rings, a brilliant grass-green beauty. The courteous manager readily agreed, unlocked the glass cabinet and gingerly took out the emerald ring. At that moment, another customer called out to him and he left Mary to admire the beautiful ring as he proceeded to attend to the other customer.
Mary was dumbfounded. She was stunned by the beauty of the emerald ring. She imagined the admiring looks on her friends’ faces as she wore the ring on her finger and flashed it nonchalantly at them. She turned over the little white card attached to the ring and read the figures printed there. She gasped. There was no way she would be able to afford it with her meagre salary. She stood there, vexed. In her mind’s eye, her friends’ admiration of her had turned to pity as they cast her withering looks.
Temptation seized Mary. She looked at the manager who was still busy with the customer at the other corner of the shop. It would be so easy to conceal the ring in her pocket and walk out of the shop. Mary glanced around surreptitiously. When she was sure no one was watching her, she carefully stuffed the emerald ring into her pocket and walked coolly towards the exit.
“I don’t think you can leave just yet,” the manager stated grimly as he caught hold of Mary’s shoulder. “You have taken the emerald ring! Unless you pay up, I am going to call the police!” he continued sternly.
Fear gripped Mary. She turned around the face the manager. She stuttered nervously, at a loss for words. She only had a few dollars with her and she knew that even if she emptied out her entire bank account, it would not be enough to buy the ring.
Mary burst into tears and pleaded with the manager to let her off but her pleas fell on deaf ears. He promptly called the police and Mary was arrested. She wished she could go back in time to erase her grave mistake. What a price Mary had to pay for a moment’s folly!
Crime certainly does not pay.