For a Good Cause


I hated the way Tate was successful at dragging me along to do this.  Even being “the lookout” produced overwhelming anxiety.  I was connected to this crime.  My presence would be enough to be convicted.  However, this dystopia left kids with no other choice.

“Hurry up,” I warn through gritted teeth.  Tate stands up from picking the front door’s lock.  Jabbing the metal pin against my chest he says, “Be patient Kiernan or it will be your fault we get caught.”  I open my mouth to argue but realize there’s no point.  Instead, Tate drops to a knee and goes back to work.  Tate was right.  The fewer words we exchange the quicker this will be over.  Just get in and out.

While waiting for Tate to free the deli’s door I scan the street, looking left and then right.  The cobblestone streets remain vacant save for two hungry boys.  The cold fire streetlamps emit blue hues symbolizing comfort.  At the thought, I sneer at them, knowing society abandoned its youth.  The new authority of our fallen nation preached that children needed to learn how to survive on their own.

We told ourselves it was a good cause.  Sometimes, we even believed it.

My eyes catch a glimpse of whirls of steam coming from the rooftops.  The streets are so quiet I can hear the master clock’s cogwheels turning in synchronous harmony.  Just one last time, I lied to myself.  One last meal…

My anxiety fuels thoughts of being caught.  As I begin to lose hope of success I hear Tate withdraw the metal pick.  Standing to his feet, Tate looks at me.  I ready my scarf just above my nose, tucking the corners under my dusted bowler hat.  “Ready?” he whispers.  I take one last breath before nodding.  Tate pushes the door open and I follow him in.  Just get in and out.


Until the next post,




Photo credit:  Sergio Catala at

Inspired by the writing prompt:



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