Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2287867
Stranded in an airport was bad enough and now there was a thief in the crowd.
|Thick snow made visibility near impossible and a sloppy, icy, mess began to form inside and out. Horns blared, people yelled, and cars slid; barely missing hitting pedestrians and other vehicles. Several police cars arrived, lights flashing. The officers jumped out and attempted to control the traffic.|
So many flights had been cancelled. So many people to tend to; it was almost impossible. Hotels were all booked, there was nowhere to send anyone. Even worse, there was not enough staff to help.
Unbelievably, inside the airport was worse. Entering passengers brought the slippery, wet mess in with them causing unsafe footing. A woman with two suitcases and three children fell down near the front door taking the children along with her. Suitcases and bags flew everywhere toppling other people behind them.
Yelling incurred, "Woman, can't you watch your step? Look at what you've done!" He waved his arms behind him at the pile of people and gear on the floor.
The woman began to cry. "I'm sorry, the floor was slippery." She glared at the man. "If you were a gentleman, you would help me and my children get back on our feet instead of standing there like an idiot."
"An idiot! An idiot! How dare you call me that," he spat at the woman. "Please move your children so I can make my way to the counter, I have an important business meeting to attend."
He shoved a suitcase aside with his foot and with a shake of his head, and a sniff, he continued on his way.
An overwhelmed security man reached for his phone. "Assistance needed in Level 3. Immediate assistance needed, Level 3."
Blaring of the phone assailed the now uncontrolled room. "Brian in Level 3 security, we cannot assist, we have our hands full down here. Brian, Level 3, do you read?"
Defeated, Brian answered, "I read, over and out." He stood looking at the door contemplating escape when a middle-aged woman shoved a purse into his face.
"Hello, Security, Brian, is that your name? Look at this? What are you going to do about it?"
"Madam, please control yourself, what are you talking about?"
"My wallet, my wallet is gone from my purse, someone has stolen it. What are you going to do about it," she cried. "My money, my credit cards, what will I do?"
Trying to compose himself, he gave a glance around the chaotic room. He grabbed the woman's elbow, "Come with me, we will make a report."
"A report? A Report? By the time we make a report the thief will get away," cried the panicked woman.
"Madam, look around you, where would he possibly go?"
"I hope you're right, I hope you're right," she said with sarcasm, wiping her eyes.
Brian led her to a back room and asked the assistant to make a report. "I will check back with you momentarily," he said, glad to leave and collect his thoughts.
Meanwhile, a young man stooped to help the woman who had fallen with the children. "What do you need," he asked.
"Oh thank you," she smiled. "I'm so stressed out. If you could help the children I will get our things together. It's really so kind of you."
"No problem," he replied. He gathered the children. "Let's go over here with your mother and find a spot to sit. I think there's a candy bar in my pocket you can share." He winked at the woman.
With that, they leaned against the wall and the young man said his goodbyes and left.
A scream was heard on the opposite side of the terminal. "Help, Help, someone has stolen my wallet."
Brian grabbed his kerchief and wiped his brow, not another one. He quickly headed toward the screamer when more shouts were heard in the terminal.
"My wallet is missing."
"My pocket is empty, it was there when I arrived here."
Brian went to the counter and grabbed a microphone. "Attention. Will all customers with missing wallets please make your way to Room 3 at the back of the room."
Like a flock of sheep, an alarming crowd of people all came running toward him. Once gathered in the room he announced, "Stay here, I'm going out to get a policeman who can help us."
"I hope he can, I hope he can, should have done that right away," spoke the first woman who had been escorted into the room.
Quickly Brian made his way to the front door nearly falling himself and making a mental note to get a janitor to clean up the slush. He saw a policeman and hailed him to the door.
"We seem to have a thief in the building, several people are missing their wallets," he breathlessly told the officer. "They are all gathered in Room 3."
"OK, can't spare anyone right now but we'll have to make do. Show me the way."
Brian and the officer had nearly reached Room 3 when a man shouted from the top of the escalator. "I've got him, I've got the thief!"
With that, the crowd parted and they ran to the escalator but were too late. The thief had freed himself and lunged down the steps, knocking people over as he ran.
"He's getting away out the door," the customers cried. "Stop him, Stop him!"
And just like that, with a slide that would make Guiness World Book History, the thief slid across the parking lot and then collided with a car and was knocked out cold. Finally catching up to him, the police gathered up the bag of wallets that had careened across the pavement.
It was a day of frustrated, crabby customers and weary employees but at least the thief was 'Caught in the Act' and the rude man missed his important meeting due to a cancelled flight.