“A Trail of Breadcrumbs” by Simon Cantan (Age 13)

I recently found a bunch of folders of my old writing, some of it going back to when I first started writing at the age of thirteen. As you might expect, my writing at thirteen is not the greatest, but it was filled with ideas that made me laugh. So I took a couple of hours and typed it up, having to reread sentences a few times (My handwriting was appalling, but then it still is.)

I’m not sure if this will be as entertaining for you as it was for me, but some of the ideas I came up with at thirteen were ridiculous enough to provoke a chuckle. Hopefully you all get a laugh out of it too. Enjoy.

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Action movie guy“A Trail of Breadcrumbs” by Simon Cantan, Age 13
(This story has no end, it just stops. You have been warned.)

I walked down the high street. I strolled slowly, savouring the night air. Then, as I crossed the mouth of an alley, a man stepped in alongside me. He dropped something into my pocket, and then walked briskly on to the next alley, which he disappeared down.

I hurried to the end of the street and got into the waiting car. I had hardly got in when the car sped off.
You may be wondering about all the secrecy. You see, I had just finalised the first stages of the largest deal in Western Mob history. Although the deal itself would be simple enough, what surrounded it was not, and it seemed I had to oversee every part of it.

The car stopped in front of ‘The Piano Club’, the mob’s local branch. I got out and walked to the door. I then carefully knocked in sequence, adding my signature to the end.

The door opened swiftly and I walked into a scene of total disarray. Several groups of people were brawling, whilst in a corner I could see Jake swindling another customer, gambling.

I walked calmly through this melee to the back door, knocked, and went in.

Don Hendry was busy cleaning his nails and looked irritated as I came in. He had been getting more and more restless lately. Perhaps he saw me as a threat to his position, but I doubted that. He was too secure for that.

“Did you get the rings?” he asked me as I sat down.

Sighing, I got up again and fished the small package out of my pocket. Out of it, I poured seven plain gold rings.

Now, these weren’t very important in themselves, but contained vital information magnetically encoded on a small iron band inside.

Don Hendry picked them up, each in turn, and watched the lift reflect off them. “Perfect craftsmanship. Even when I look for what I know is there, I can’t see the differences.”

“Indeed,” I replied sombrely. “Perhaps we should leave.” I checked my watch. “After all, we only have half an hour.”

“We have time enough,” he said and he poured a glass of wine. He offered me some, but I shook my head.

He sipped his wine slowly, contemplating the window through to the club.

Two familiar men were brawling over Don Hendry’s daughter again. She was a skinny girl. I’d always thought she had an odd streak to her. Something never quite fit.

Don Hendry finished his wine and wryly smiled. “I would never let either of them marry her, of course. I’d kill them both first. She’ll learn from this, though.”

We strolled out into the club, the rings safely back in my pocket.

Don Hendry’s daughter strode up to her father. “I’m coming too.”

He merely nodded absent-mindedly. “If you want to, Faye.”

She moved to walk beside me. I held the door open for her as we reached it.

The night air seemed colder than before, an almost bitter cold. I was glad to get in the warm limousine waiting.

Jake and Razor were sitting in the front. Razor was one man I wouldn’t mess with. He was six foot eleven and built like a block. Far from being big and slow, though, he had the fastest reactions I’d ever seen. Don Hendry had once asked him to get rid of a couple of flies in the back room and he had caught them out of the air, almost absent-mindedly.

Jake was almost Razor’s complete opposite. He shied away from any physical activity, but he had a mind faster than any other.

Razor drove quickly, taking back streets, and we soon arrived at the allocated warehouse. It looked absolutely abandoned, which was a good sign. Jake flicked a switch up front and the warehouse doors slid open.
Inside, the warehouse was well lit. The windows were darkened to compensate. Jake closed the doors after the car had rolled in.

We all clambered out of the car and moved to the bonnet.

An expensively dressed man appeared from behind a row of crates and walked towards us. He was carrying an immense suitcase, but showed no signs of strain. I saw Razor had noticed this too and he nodded to me.

The man placed the suitcase on the bonnet of the car and cracked it open. I saw that Razor didn’t turn, and remained watching the rest of the warehouse, so I turned to look.

In the suitcase was more money than I had ever even dreamt about.

Don Hendry took out a stack at random and looked at them. They were all crisp, unmarked thousand dollar bills. He handed them to Jake, who ran his finger down the stack and selected a few at random.

“There’s three million here,” Jake said, placing them back in the suitcase.

Don Hendry nodded to me and I produced the pouch with the rings. I handed it to the neatly dressed man, who nodded, turned and left.

Jake snapped the case shut and took it to lock it in the boot. The rest of us got back in the car. Jake got in the front and opened the warehouse doors. We slowly rolled out, Jake closed the doors, and we drove back to the club.

When we reached it, we all got out but Jake, who took the money off to a safe house. It all seemed somehow anticlimactic.

I walked home slowly, automatically, while my mind wandered. I thought of Faye, Don Hendry’s daughter. I got the feeling she had a crush on me. Somehow, I didn’t want to get in any way involved with her, though. Maybe is what she never seemed to be totally in this world.

I reached my apartment building finally, with a sudden rush of fatigue. I just wanted to go to bed. I needed to buy a new car, after I had trashed my old one a month back in chasing down a fugitive. The local county council hadn’t had the facilities themselves to deal with him, but we had and did. Deal with him, that is.

I climbed the stairs wearily to my fourth floor apartment. It had one advantage, in that it included the roof, which I’d found many uses for. I reached my apartment and stopped, I had heard someone moving inside.

I clambered out onto the fire escape from the floor below and carefully ascended the stairs, gun ready. No lights were on in my apartment. I kept low and peered in the window.

Two men were searching through my bedroom cabinet with their backs turned towards me. I eased the window gently open and stood, gun levelled at them.

“Can I help you gentlemen?” I enquired sweetly.

They turned with shocked expressions on their faced and I knew they had to be police. The one on the left slowly got control of himself and said, “Where is it?”

“What?” I asked saccharinely.

“The ring,” he said gruffly.

Then it was my turn to gape. They must be government agents in on the deal to even know about the ring. If this was the case, the rings I had been supplied with were forgeries. For a fraud that size, there must be more agents around.
I turned and saw a man who had been trying to sneak up on me. I hammered him in the forehead with the butt of my gun. He fell backwards and I had to dive to keep him from tumbling back off the fire escape. By the time I had dumped him safely down, the other agents had disappeared. I knew they were calling for backup. I had to get out of there fast.

I climbed another set of stairs to the roof and ran to the large shelter there. I opened the door and ran to my helicopter. It had been one of my grandfather’s. I clambered in and pressed a button so that the ceiling of the shelter rolled back.
I quickly started the motor and rotors. The door was flung open and the two agents dove in. I leaned out and silenced them both with a tranquiliser gun.

The helicopter slowly lifted off the ground, groaning as it rose. I crossed my fingers. It was about a century old, an ancient Vietnam model.

I leaned the stick forward and the helicopter flew out over the edge of the building. I let it gain some more height and then pushed it further forward.

It took very little time to clear the city and I was soon out over the countryside and out of immediate danger. The fatigue then hit me, but I took a stimulant to counteract it. I had work to do.

Up until that moment, I had only been reacting. Now, as I had time to think, I realised that I had made a mistake. Since I had run, I looked guilty. I would have to run a lot more. It galled me to take the rap for someone else’s graft. I would investigate it when I had the chance.

I, of course, had an escape route, and I would follow it to get Don Hendry and the FBI off my trail. Then I would search up a few old friends in the ring business.

I flew the helicopter lower to the ground as dawn approached to avoid ground sightings. The radar soon bleeped, however, as three fast moving objects were coming in my direction.

I spotted them on the horizon – three Eagle Nines. I was in trouble. I hovered even lower to the ground and watched as they sped in. Then, just as they were coming within their weapons’ range, I fired. Three missiles sped away towards the Eagle Nines.

They were too close to react and they all erupted into balls of flame. The last century had one forte – weapons. I had relieved several museums of their weaponry sections to outfit the copter. Most of them were highly illegal to own.

I gained some height again and sped off.

It took me only an hour more to reach the garage. I landed in the forecourt, much to the shock of the attendant. I hopped out and handed him the keys. I then walked to the back of the building to a low garage. Producing a small keyring, I unlocked the door.

Inside was the fastest road car ever built. It had cost me half a year’s wages, but it was worth it.

I opened the door and got in. The car accepted me readily and seemed almost poised for action. I started it up and slowly eased the accelerator down. The car pulled out of the garage and turned out onto the road with only the slightest of directions from me.

Once on the road, I decided to see what it could do. I floored the accelerator and the car leapt forward with a roar. The road ahead disappeared in a streak. I felt my heart pounding with exhilaration. Very few people ever reached this speed. I checked the speedometer then tapped it, thinking it must be stuck. It read 340mph.

I sighed and slowed down. I didn’t want to attract the attention of the local police. The dial slowly crept back down to 100mph and stayed there.

I then had a chance to look out at the landscape and was pleased to see a change. Rather than farmland, there was desert, an indication that I had progressed.

I came to a town and checked my fuel gauge. It was almost empty, I had to stop. I pulled into a small garage and nodded to the attendant. “Fill ‘er up.”

I then headed to the back of the building, to the toilets.

When I got back, the attendant had disappeared. I grimaced and pulled out my tranquiliser gun. Sure enough, he was in the main building on the phone. It could have been a normal phone call, but I was taking no chances. I shot him in the back and quickly headed back to my car.

I then filled the tank and the spare, and left the money for it in the attendant’s front pocket. Petty crime is only for petty criminals.

As I left the town, though, I was greeted by the wail of police sirens. The attendant had obviously gotten his message through. I glanced in the mirror. One of the men was leaning out the window. I gaped when I saw what was in his hands – a Spirit body-seeking missile. I hammered the accelerator and sped away from the police car.

The man fired before I got out of range, though, and the missile sped after me. It was slowly catching as well. I had no choice. I strapped my self in well and hit the nitro button.

The acceleration hit me like a wall and I almost blacked out. The road flooded towards me and the missile faded behind. I thanked the powers that be that it was a straight road.

Slowly, I decelerated when I was sure the missile was far behind.

I almost missed my turning, it was so small. I had planned it this way. It was a cul-de-sac and probably wouldn’t be checked.

I sped down this road until it turned into a dirt track. I then stopped the car and got out. It was with a tear in my eye that I bid the car goodbye.

I broke right over the countryside. It would be harder for them to follow me that way. I pulled into a ground-eating lope and by mid-afternoon had reached my destination.

The ranch looked deserted as I walked up. So I hurried around to the back.

I was presented with an awesome sight. In a pen around the back of the house, a man was hanging on for dear life to the back of a raging stallion.

The stallion was tossing the man around on his back like a rag-doll, but still the man hung on. I just had to admire the man’s tenacity. Or maybe it was the fact that if he let go, the fall would probably kill him.

He saw me and attempted to wave. This action dislodged him and he was thrown ten feet away, outside the pen. I grimaced as he thudded to the ground.

I ran over to see if he was still breathing, but as I arrived he simply leapt to his feet.

“What can I do for you, stranger?” he asked.

“I need a horse, equipment and provisions,” I replied.

“Easy enough,” he said. “But it’ll cost.”

I just nodded.

He led me to a large stable at the side of the main building. “Take your pick.” He gestured to the row of horses behind him. There were about twenty in all.

I quickly walked down the line. Some had already obviously been exercised that morning and would be useless to me. All of them, at least, were fit. I picked out a large stallion, who looked the strongest of the group, and led him outside.

We left him tied to a post and went to the equipment shed nearby. I chose a plain saddle and rains, utilitarian and strong. I also took some saddle bags of grain, waterskins, and a shotgun to add to the handgun I was already carrying.

I changed clothes too. Anything that helped throw my pursuers off my trail, I would take.

I saddled up my horse, and then paid the owner. I quickly set out east on what was turning to desert. With any luck, they would assume a man on foot wouldn’t try to cross the desert.

As I reached the top of the next hill, I looked back to the ranch to see a jeep pulling into it. I knew it had to be my hunters. At least here was territory I probably knew better than them.

I nudged my horse up to a gallop. It wasn’t long before I heard the faint thunder of horses behind me. I looked back to see I was being pursued by eight men, all riding hard. I kicked my horse up to his limits. Keeping low, we raced across the ground, my horse stretching to his fastest.

The horse was extremely fit and fast, and I thanked the hardy ranch owner for that. The men after me were not about to lose ground, though, and they too rode at full gallop.

I rode hard until nightfall, and then kept going until even the last rays of light had gone. My pursuers had lost some ground as we had come to a mountainous region, where my stronger horse gained. He was, however, exhausted, as was I. I gratefully unrolled my blanket, unsaddled my horse and, placing the shotgun near to hand, slept.

I woke at first light and quickly resaddled my horse. My pursuers, who had made camp in a small valley, seemed to have not woken yet.

I made breakfast, as without being chased, I was in no hurry. I ate quickly and was on my way just as they were rising.
I rode down the side of the next mountain and out of their sight. After a couple of hours without having seen my pursuers.

I stopped in front of a large sign which read, ‘Ganglands: Extreme Danger!’

I smiled. My brother ran one of the local gangs. I had little to worry about here. My pursuers did, however.

It was not long before I heard the low rumble of motorbikes. A small group of fifteen bikers hove into view over the next ridge and quickly boxed me in. The leader pulled up in front of me.

“Who are you?” he growled.

“Roy Taylor,” I replied. “Here to see my brother.”

The leader sneered. “Follow me.”

 

Their camp was composed of makeshift shelters and tents, grouped around a large building. The biker stopped his bike outside this building and dismounted. I did likewise.

The building looked as if it was quickly disintegrating from age, but the rest of the camp was composed of relatively new equipment.

Inside the building was cold and I shivered slightly. I wondered how they could maintain such a low temperature with the desert heat outside.

I was led into a side chamber, where a group of men were standing around a large table shouting in a language I didn’t know. They looked up as we entered.

“Taylor’s brother,” my guide said and left.

The men laughed. One of them broke off from the group and approached me. “Your brother is dead. He was killed in a trial of leadership. You have no immunity here.”

I knew then that I was in trouble. The men that had taken over from my brother wouldn’t want to see me live to take his place.

A large man in the group walked out. “I say we try him by tournament.”

The others mumbled agreement at this.

I groaned. I knew little of gang ways, but I did know of the tournament. It took place in the pit where two men per match fought to the death or submission. A person on trial must win eight of these matches from ten to live. The only rule banned projectile weapons.

I was led to a large shed filled with armaments.

“Choose your weapon,” my guard said.

There was every type of weapon I had ever seen and a few new ones. I walked to a rack of quarter staffs and picked up one. I tested its strength. It was inflexible and heavy, not my type. I chose another. This one was perfect, weighted with metal caps on each end and flexible enough, without being too much so.


 




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