The Ordinary Lives of Everyday Thieves

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Chapter 6

Michael was so happy when he found out that the boy was safe, he turned to see him sitting on the ground.

"I didn't need your help." He said, beginning to stand up. That was when Michael saw the blood as it spread across the front of his shirt. Michael kept saying that he needed to get the kid to the hospital, but the kid kept refusing. He tried to stand up a few times, before managing to stand and take a few steps then falling and loosing consciousness.

As he began to fall, Michael caught him, cradling him in his arms. His face was pale and he was still bleeding, even through Michael's fingers that were holding the wound.

Not knowing what else to do, Michael lifted the small boy in his arms and carried him away. Out of the dark ally.

"Sol, I need help" Michael said into his phone.

"What is it? Are you injured?" "No, not me, but a kid has been shot!"

"I'll be there soon, keep pressure on it, don't let him bleed out."

"Got it, please hurry." With that, the phone went dead, and Michael carried the boy further away, and set him down on the sidewalk across the street. Michael took off his coat and balled it up before holding it tightly against the wound.

"Storm?" The boy asked. "Are you Storm?" He asked.

"Yes, but you need to be quite, relax, everything is going to be okay." Michael reassured, getting more and more worried about the kid. He couldn't even focus his eyes anymore.

"Michael! What happened?" Sol asked, approaching them quickly.

"I rounded the corner and saw three grown men surrounding him, one of them with a gun pulled and pointed at him. I took them down, but not until after the shot was fired."

"Okay, we need to get him to a hospital." Sol's voice was calm, almost deadly so.

"No...no hospitals." A small voice said, both Sol and Michael looked at him, then at each other.

"Listen kid-"

"I'm not a kid."

"Yeah? What are you like 12-13?" Sol asked.

"16." He croaked.

Sol and Michael looked at each other again.

"Okay, no hospitals, but we do need to do something about that." Sol motioned to his side.

"Okay, just...no hospitals." And with that, the kid was out of it again.

"Get him to the car." Sol commanded, rushing off with the keys, Michael just nodded and slipped his arms under the sixteen-year-old's small frame. He saw the kid wince, his face scrunching slightly in pain.

Michael moved slowly and carefully while holding him, trying not to jostle him to much. Michael may have been much bigger than the boy, but it was almost scary how light he was. When Michael got himself and the boy safe in the car, Sol decided to take them back to his place, to try and treat his wound.

Michael was just glad that it seemed to have finally stopped bleeding, and that he seemed to be more asleep than passed out. Michael watched the boy the whole ride, watched the way his eyes flickered and the way he gripped Michael's shirt weakly like he was searching for some sort of comfort. Michael held tightly to the young boy, his fingers running through the mop of dark, auburn hair.

It took about ten minutes for them to reach Sol's place, and less than a minute to get him inside and on the table. They quickly removed his shirt and inspected the wound. Sol told Michael to get him the supplies he needed. After cleaning in and around the wound, Michael took a deep breath in. He had seen a lot of injuries in his time, but something about the fact that it happened to this boy, this boy who seemed so innocent and small.

After looking at the boy for some time, Michael found that even worse than the wound, was the sight of the boys body. He was even smaller than he looked now that he was out of his shirt. His body was so small, his stomach shrunken in, and his waist nearly nonexsitent.
"We need to get this sewn up, and clean it." Sol said, Michael just nodded woodenly.

"What happened to this boy?" Michael asked. "He got shot."

"No, I mean, why is he so...small?" Sol shrugged.

"Right now the main concern is his wound, after that we can deal with anything else."

"Right, okay."

"You can sit down if you need to." Sol said, looking at Michael. Michael nodded, he would have liked to shake his head, but he knew that if he watched or helped that he would probably end up fainting.

Michael slowly walked over to the couch, sitting on it heavily. He just sat there, with his eyes closed, waiting for news. Nearly an hour later Sol came back out in to the living room, sighing and sitting next to Michael.

"He's all sewn up and stable, there's not sign of any complications, but he is going to need rest, and lots of it." Michael let out another sigh of relief.

"Where is he?"

"He's asleep in your room. I hope you don't mind." "Of course not, I'll sleep on the couch tonight." Michael said, but Sol shook his head.

"No, it would be better to have someone with him tonight. Can you stay with him?"

"Yes."

Michael had had such a long day that by the time this conversation had ended, he was ready to go to sleep. He sat on the floor next to his bed and closed his eyes. As soon as his eyes closed, Michael was asleep.

He slept that night without any dreams, and woke up the next morning to the sound of his alarm. He stood slowly as his eyes adjusted and the events of last night came back to him.
He glanced at the bed and did a double take. The kid, that just the night before had been sleeping there, was gone, and all trace of his presence gone.

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