“Run,” I hissed. Jamie ran, glancing back only once. I thumbed back the hammer of my gun and aimed it at the cop’s forehead.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t shoot,” I said quietly. My eyes glimmered in the half-light and a smile danced around the corners of my mouth.
“Well, Tex, how can you shoot me if you ain’t got no bullets?” the copper said, whacking his truncheon into his free hand. A load of bullets fell out of his pocket and I gulped.
“I can hit you with the gun,” I said, holding it like a bat. The cop raised his truncheon and I shrank back.
“Mr Texan, you’re comin’ with me right this instant,” the cop growled. I shook my head, edging towards the door.
“No I ain’t. I have a home to get to, an’ a job, an’ a son. I ain’t bein’ trapped in Victorian times,” I replied, dropping the gun to the floor and bolting.
I dodged through the police station, sprinting flat out until I realised that there was no door at the end, only a window. Only a window…
I jumped, glass raining down on me as I crashed to the ground outside. I’d lost my gun, my already threadbare jacket was in shreds and my leg was hurting all the more, but I was free and determined to find Jamie. And if I could pick a few pockets along the way, that was even better.
I continued running, my limp slowing me down a little. I had no idea where I was going but I followed my nose, hoping that my sense of direction was better than everyone said. It wasn’t. I ended up facing a brick wall with policemen surrounding me. I turned, ready to fight. Every single one of them raised a gun.
“Damn it,” I muttered, raising my arms in the air. One of the cops stepped forwards to cuff me and I punched him, right in the jaw. It hurt my hand but it hurt him more. He fell to the floor and all havoc broke out. Guns were fired and bullets whizzed around that little alley like torpedoes. I threw myself to the floor, covering my head with my hands. People fell all around me and I wriggled towards the alley’s entrance in all the confusion. Smiling to myself, I stood up, dusting the dirt out of my hair and clothes. I turned back to all the fighting and whistled tauntingly.
“Oi! Missed me, bozos,” I said, grinning. The fight froze and everyone turned to me, including the people in the street. My smile died and I felt a hand on my neck.
“You’ve evaded capture not once, but twice,” the cop said, the same one as earlier. I swivelled my head to look at him and winced. He had hold of my ear.
“Well, I’m a hitman,” I said breezily, “an’ I got a job to do. So, sorry fellas-” I wrenched my head free and howled in pain as my ear ripped - “I’m outta here.”
Guns fired (again) and I ran (again). Blood soaked into my collar and I gritted my teeth against the pain. People stepped out of my way as I ran, allowing me easy access to wherever I was going. Four street-urchins ran out of a side street, throwing me into the road. They cheered and darted back into the shadows, laughing cruelly. I lay there, winded and bruised, quite content to just stay there until I had recovered.
Until I heard a noise.
An omnibus rounded the corner, just out of my line of sight. I felt vibrations through the ground and a horn blared.
I moved just a
“Dad!” I yelled, running forwards. People melted out of my way and only police tried to hold me back. Old Sam-cop was standing over Dad, smirking. I broke free of his colleague's hold and sprang forward with a snarl. Grabbing a truncheon from a stunned policeman, I swung it wide. And brought it in hard.
Old Sam-cop crumpled to the ground, blood pouring from the hole in his head. People gasped and I heard a voice call my name.
“Jamie, what in the world have you done?” Arthur had followed me here and was watching me carefully. I dropped the bloodied truncheon and hung my head.
“I… I didn’t mean too,” I croaked. “Honest, I didn’t.”
“Murderer,” a voice from the crowd whispered, “murderer!” A woman, the spitting image of Abbi, charged through the crowd.
“You killed my pa!” she screeched, pointing a shaking finger at me. “You’ll pay. PAY!” She ran forwards, picking up the truncheon that I’d dropped. I stepped backwards, slipping in all the blood. My head whacked into the cobbled road and I groaned, then lay very still.
“‘E’s dead,” a man’s voice said. Soon the chant went up. “The murderer’s dead! ‘E’s dead, ‘e’s dead!” Eventually the voices faded and the crowd went away. Someone lifted me up and put me at the side of the street. Dad was lifted and put next to me.
“Ow,” I heard a small voice say. Dad lifted his head, grimacing as his shoulder clicked. I sat up, using my jacket to stop the blood coming from my head. Dad dragged himself up into a sitting position and watched me, an approving smile on his face.
“We’ll make a hitman of you yet,” he said. I scowled and he laughed.
“I don’t wanna be a hitman,” I said, hurt. “I want to be an actor. More than that, I wanna go home.”
“Well,” Dad said, pulling something gold from his pocket, “it’s lucky for you that I found this, eh?” The pocket watch caught the light and I cheered. Taking it cautiously, I flipped open the watch face and set it for 20:14. There was a flash of light and all of a sudden, we were back home with Rex licking my face and Nicci squealing. Smaug made funny chirping noises and licked the side of his tank.
“Well, would ya look at tha’,” Dad said, all traces of pain and fear gone from his voice, “I’m me again. Jacket an’ all.”
I laughed and my phone rang. Nicci handed it to me. “Hello?”
“You shouldn’t have meddled with history,” a voice hissed. I frowned.
“What’re you on about?”
“You aren’t back in your own time. It is 1914. Good luck, soldiers.” The line went blank.
YOU ARE READING
The PickpocketScience Fiction
My name is Jamie Hattchet. I'm fourteen years old and a trained actor/pickpocket. My life was pretty normal until I found the pocket watch. After that everything sort of spiralled out of control and my dad and I were flung through the pages of histo...