This time the competition was for a story in 500 words. There were other requirements also, see if you can guess what they were. This all came together in a lunchtime, and I am rather proud of it.
Steel threw his weight against the door and it cracked open. He froze when he saw the shadow of a man standing at the entrance to the alley. Slowly leaning out of the doorway, he waited for the shadow to come investigate the noise, but it didn’t move. Steel then noticed the harness in his hand, and the guide dog attached to it, and quietly returned to work.
Entering the room, it was just what he expected to see; Walter was lying dead on the floor, a mangled vinyl umbrella from the Hard Rock Cafe in Roppongi sticking out of his back. He checked the suitcase on the table but it was empty. He wanted to search the whole room, but did not have time, and he knew he could not leave any trace that would betray the fact he had been there.
Running back out into the street, he cursed. The Sumida fireworks had just ended, dumping close to a million people back onto the Tokyo streets. Pulling his collar up around his head to shield him from the warm drizzle, he hunched his shoulders and weaved through the crowd, trying not to get poked in the eye by the flittering sea of umbrellas.
"Why did it have to be this way?", he wondered; "was there no honour among thieves anymore?" They had pulled off the perfect crime, stealing from another thief before he had even completed his theft, so he would not know how much was gone, or that it was gone at all; and could not call the police even if he did. All they had to do was split it three ways and disappear, and they would have been set for life!
But Kennedy was true to form, taking all the swag for himself. Steel knew he should not have trusted him, but they needed his computer skills, and the time window for the gig to work was too short to find anyone else. He walked the whole distance, trying not to sweat, avoiding the surveillance cameras present at all metro stations, and reached Kennedy's apartment just before midnight. Casing the place for a few minutes, it was clear that Kennedy had flown. Sixty seconds later, yet another of the ten million doors in the world's most expensive city had been broken. Steel went straight for the dustbin. "Gotcha!" he thought, as he picked out the pamphlet for the overnight bus to Osaka. He was out of the room before it had fallen to the floor.
Steel was only beginning to get out of breath as he rounded the corner to the station. The bus was already boarding. In the long line of people juggling baggage and tickets, there was one dripping raincoat that stood out.
"Kennedy!" Steel called out, gripping the gun in his pocket as his target turned and stared like a rabbit on a highway, sopping hair patted down on his forehead.
"What's the matter?" Steel grinned, "Forgot your umbrella?"
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