November 16th – Brass Buttons and Bobby Socks
09.51 – 10.01
Bobby Socks was a small-time crook. Small-time, as in ‘not very good’. Even his name was a disappointment to him, given, as it was, by a small-time (but slightly bigger-time than Bobby would ever become) bookie in the East End by the name of Danny Clark. In fact, possibly the most memorable thing Danny Clark had done was to give Bobby Socks his name, which gives you an idea of just how small-time Bobby Socks was.
But he was going big-time.
At least, this was what he told the boys in the pub the other night, over a couple of pints of disappointing lager.
‘I’m going big time, boys.’
These were Bobby Socks’s actual words, and the fact that no-one was really listening, or cared that much, or believed him in the slightest, was an indication again of the small-time reality of his big-time dreams.
‘I’m planning a job. You want in?’
They all shook their heads, or looked away. Or almost all of them. And when they made their excuses and left, (making sure they got their drinks from Bobby Socks’s round first), Brian stayed behind. He even bought Bobby Socks a pint, which was unexpected, because no-one ever bought Bobby Socks a pint, at least not voluntarily.
‘What’s the job, Bobby?’
Bobby looked around, making sure they were not overheard.
‘There’s an antiques shop on Portland Road. I’ve been watching it. One old guy, he bags the good stuff up at the end of the night before he locks up. All we have to do is hit the place just before he closes. Just before 6. Grab the bag and run. Easy as.’
For once, Bobby Socks was right. The elderly owner of the antiques shop on Portland Road did bag stuff up at the end of the day, and Bobby Socks and Brian hit the place just before six. Brian stood over the terrified man, watching the door, while Bobby Socks grabbed the bag and they ran.
They didn’t see the CCTV cameras liberally dotted along the street. If they had it would, perhaps, have come as less of a surprise when they saw the blue lights splashing on the bare walls of Bobby Socks’s flat, seconds after they’d emptied a bag full of mismatched brass buttons onto the only table in Bobby Socks’s place. They were still rolling around on the floor when the hammering started on the door.
Inspired by a prompt from here.