I f*cking quit
I'm not legally allowed to work in the United States.
I had a job at Foot Locker, floor sales. Got news of a shipment of new shoes coming in that's rather irregular. Only seen once by each manager, it was so irregular. Usually, shoe supplies are provided on a basis. But light-up sneakers... they sell so rarely that they just refill all at once. 150 pairs, all in one truck.
I learned how to design an RFID spoofer from Google. I called in sick from work one day. Dressed up as an elderly man, makeup and everything. Went into the store, nervous as hell, and used my best rehearsed rasp to demand my manager, who did not recognize me. As he helped me slip on some shoes, holding me close to support me and my "shaky joints," I got the spoofer close enough to his clearance pass.
Then, I asked my manager to go fetch a pair of shoes from the back. While he did so, I furtively put on latex gloves and pulled some old shoes out of my bag. Sometimes, when customers buy new shoes, they throw the old ones out in a dumpster. The chances of getting sick from wearing, or just touching these is highly likely. I replaced the shoes i just tried with this older pair and closed the box, knowing my manager would follow store policy and make sure they were snug before returning them to the shelves. Athlete's foot on the hands, enough to make anyone call in sick.
I came in, the assistant manager absent-minded compared to my usual boss. He left the store on his two hour "thirty minute" lunch to go try (at the time) Last of Us 2 at GameSpot. I sprung into action, using my spoofed card to gain access. Easy. My manager thought this place was fort knox and kept his password on a sticky. I'm in. I download foot locker's shipping manifest to a USB flash drive that i conceal in my uniforms's breast pocket.
As I leave, I notice something. A piece of tape, torn in two, on the ground. The assistant manager didn't have a card to gain entry... Jesus christ. I try to think it through. Only answer is that my manager booby-trapped the door, to know if we opened it on his day off. My trick the day before spooked him. Jesus christ.
I have to think fast. I take a letter opener and stick it in myself. I walk out. Close the door to the office--then throw myself through as hard as possible. The alarms blare, and customers run over to check on me. "Oh my God!" I shout. "Someone just tried to break in to get at our safe--I've been stabbed!"
I am taken to get medical support at a nearby hospital. While recuperating, allowing my stitches to settle, I assemble a heist team to intercept the truck. Sammy, a bouncer I knew, could be the muscle. He had an addiction to pokemon cards and was constantly out of cash. Gerald, a real smooth talker. Couldn't smooth talk his way out of the loan he owed to some sharks. Vanessa, the one who would get the truck to pull over. She was like me. In it for the shoes, not the money.
The day of the heist came. On one of the more desolate roads along the truck's route, we cooked the engine to my Cadillac, right there, in the center of the road. Vanessa pretends to be a woman confounded by her vehicular problem. And when the driver of our truck pulls up, he's taken in by the chance to be a Samaritan.
We jump him. He doesn't resist, just pleading with us to not hurt him. Sammy freaks out... smacks him upside the head. "What the hell?!" I shout. "No one was supposed to get hurt." Sammy takes the opportunity to point something out. Car equals heavy. He equal muscle. The shoulders are too narrow to steer the truck around, and our safe house is up north. God damn it. I relent.
We make it to the safe house. Our tension is forgotten as we see the LED payload. It's beautiful. So beautiful. We start to unload, box by box, emptying them into a hidden location. We'll launder them in using Gerald. He would go on a hike in the area. Sneak pairs in. I used the shipping manifests to draft a believable array of strip malls he made the purchases at.
Soon I'm the last one unloading in the back of the truck, last box in my hands. Sam and Gerald are gone. Vanessa comes up to the doors.
I hear the faint sound of sirens.
"Sorry," she says. "You might think we're the same. Might be true. I might even be in love with you. But we took this on for very different reasons, and I wish you had been smart enough to figure it out."
I race forward, but it's too late. In the dark pit of the truck, the sirens growing louder, I take out my "haul." A single glowing pair.
The police take me into custody and tell me that, from this point on, I am not allowed to work in the United States--after a four-month prison sentence. How so short? Vanessa paid Gerald to spin a yarn that Sammy coerced us. She planted his prints on the letter opener I injured myself with, implicating him as the robber. Sammy went down for ten years.
To this day, her motivations are unclear to me. I live my life as a vagrant, trying to discover what little joys I can. One fine morning, I am at my usual spot on the boardwalk. Another unlucky fellow who goes by the name "Rowdy Riley" comes up to me. Socially anxious guy. Not normal behavior.
"A super super preddy lady wanted you to have this."
He hands me an envelope. Inside are shoestrings with pink tassels. And a check for two million dollars.
I finally understood her. She didn't care for the shoes at all. Or money. She cared about me. She saw the things I did to make our heist successful, and saw farther down the path than I did.
To this day, I have her shoestrings fashioned as a necklace that everyone mistakes for some avante garde piece. They ask me where they can get one.
"Well!" I always exclaim. "Just go to your shoes and tug." Of course, the meaning wouldn't be there. Vanessa and I are tied together and would see each other once again. Even in my darkest moments, she'll be there, ready to don the shoes these came from and light the way.
Long story short, your job is safe!
Man... What a truly blessed day. A Papaya response.
I have so many questions.