Lenny, a.k.a. Night Owl, was often accused of taking the easy route through life, but there was nothing easy about how Lenny earned his living. There was a good deal of skill involved in opening and starting today’s modern and prestigious cars.....yes, Lenny was a professional car thief!
Lenny stood in the public telephone kiosk which also served as his office, with the door open. The smoke from his cigarette had made it almost impossible to breathe, even for him.
“It’s a three year old Merc, do you want it or not?” asked Lenny getting impatient at his potential client’s indecision.
“What do you mean what colour is it? I can make it any colour you want!” he continued.
“Oh please yourself!” said Lenny slamming the phone back onto its hanger. ‘Bloody joker’ he mumbled to himself.
Lenny lit yet another cigarette and was about to step out of the phone booth when the telephone rang!
“Is that Night Owl?” asked the voice at the other end of the line.
“Who wants to know?” asked Lenny.
“Well that ‘aint important, what’s important is do you wanna job?” asked the voice.
“What kind of job?”
“The kinda job yer can earn some big dough” was the reply.
“I’m listening” said Lenny.
The man had offered Lenny 5000 Euros to steal a car, a Jaguar XJ6, and deliver it to him, nothing more nothing less. There was one stipulation which he stressed, ‘DO NOT LOOK IN THE BOOT’. He had been told which Jaguar and where to find this particular car, and an address to deliver it to and get paid. ‘Easy money’ Lenny had thought and accepted the offer.
The next night Lenny went to the parking lot where he was told he would find the car, and sure enough there it was. Lenny pulled out his ‘Slim-Jim’ from his trouser leg and easily opened the door, but before starting it, he went to the rear of the car. He stood with his hand on his chin looking at the boot. The temptation was strong. Lenny was one of those people that on seeing a ‘Wet Paint’ sign, he would have to touch it to see if it was so. A voice in his head said, ‘Remember Pandora’s Box’. His curiosity won him over. He gently picked the lock on the boot lid and it popped up a couple of inches. ‘He won’t know I looked’ he thought to himself as he lifted the lid the rest of the way. Lenny jump back a step, startled by something fluttering out of the boot and hitting him in the face as it passed him on its way to freedom. It was a White Dove!
“Oh shit!” said Lenny out loud.
From the shadows of the parking lot appeared a man. He was wearing a big Crombie overcoat with the collar turned upwards, and a big black hat. He walked towards Lenny.
“Couldn’t even follow a simple bloody instruction could yer!” said the man now standing right in front of Lenny.
“Er, er, sorry, I’ll get you another Dove” was all Lenny could offer.
“Not the point mate! The point is yer just blew an opportunity to earn big bucks regularly working for me! It was a test mate! Night Owl , you can’t be trusted!”
As the man finished talking, he held out his arm. The Dove came fluttering down and gently settled on it.
‘Even the bird’s in on it!’ Thought Lenny as he bowed his head, turned, and slowly walked away.....Lesson learnt?
Story by Chris Christodoulou