Skywriting at Night

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Chapter 9

     The next day was filled with news stories about Jet, though he was the only one who knew it. First was a two-liner Jet would have heard on his clock-radio as he was getting ready for school had he not been energetically scrubbing the bathroom sink with his toothbrush in loud imitation of brushing his teeth, a practice he'd developed because putting anything in his mouth before breakfast made him gag.

     "And in local news, the Food House supermarket on Broad Street was broken into shortly after closing last night," the radio newscaster read. "Police have no leads and say they won’t know the extent of the losses until store personnel complete an inventory later this morning."

     Since the crime was discovered just before deadline, the morning newspaper ran a one-paragraph story on page four of the second section which didn’t include any more information than the radio report. The morning television broadcast, which as always supplied Jackson Robert with more of an eyeful than an earful, was a network broadcast; they wouldn't have reported the Food House story even if they'd accidentally learned of it. It wasn't until later that day when the afternoon newspaper ran a story on the front page of the second section that the details became known.


   A break-in at the Food House supermarket on Broad Street last night has police and company officials baffled.

   Police responding to an alarm which went off at 9:27 PM discovered that one or more people had entered the store through the rear door. Officers searched the premises and the surrounding area but found no sign of the intruders.

   Store manager Howard "Whitey" Heppelwhite reported no money missing, and after an extensive inventory assured police that everything seemed to be intact.

   Shortly after opening this morning, it was discovered the intruders had stolen all the grocery bags in the store, forcing customers to cart their purchases home in cardboard boxes.

   "After we'd been open for about a half an hour we ran out of boxes," Heppelwhite said.

   Many shoppers carted their groceries off in large plastic trash bags provided by the store.

   "Once the plastic bags were gone, we had to tell customers we had no way for them to carry their purchases home," Heppelwhite said. "I don't think we lost much business because of this."

   As word spread, people started bringing old bags with them from home. An emergency shipment of paper sacks didn't arrive until early afternoon.

   "I've seen some strange crimes before, but this one has us baffled," reported Officer Milo Jenkins. "We’re not sure whether we have a robbery, vandalism, or a hijacking on our hands."

   The police say there was no sign of forced entry and they have no leads.


Chapter 10 ]

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  Skywriting at Night - a novel by Mad Dog

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