Cindy and the CreepSep 9, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
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Cindy wasn’t poor, but she looked it. Her mother’s child-rearing philosophy was that if you ignored ‘em, they went away. Therefore, Cindy learned to fend for herself. This meant during the summer, she was out of the house as early as 6am, and didn’t go home again until dinner time. Dinner was served promptly at 5pm, and Cindy knew better than to be late. After dinner, however, she could go out again until dark. It wasn’t that her mother was abusive, it’s just that Cindy learned life went a lot smoother if she made herself scarce.
Lunch was usually something she scrounged on her own. There were berry bushes out in the woods, and apple, plum, pear, and cherry trees in small orchards around the neighborhood. Sometimes, Cindy would eat at a friend’s house, but for the most part she was a loner. Kids and Cindy didn’t get along very well. It wasn’t until years later that she understood how weird a kid she must have been. During the summer, Cindy escaped to the outdoors, but during the school year, she escaped in books. Sometimes, the planets would align just right, and Cindy would suddenly have a ton of friends. She had an active imagination, and the games she invented were usually entertaining. Then, things would go back to normal, and she would be on her own again.
Old people, on the other hand, adored her. Her bookish ways and waif-like appearance appealed to them. This appeal meant Cindy could get by with quite a bit. Nobody would believe her a troublemaker. However, the books and active imagination had given Cindy a taste for childhood crime. Mrs. Jenkins, one of Cindy’s neighbors, frequently had Cindy over for “tea”. Cindy remembered her pleases and thank-yous and typically left each visit with a pocket full of candy or cookies. Mrs. Jenkins had money, but no family or friends. Cindy felt rather sorry for her because she was always alone.Mrs. Jenkins had another thing going for her - a cute little poodle named Reggie. Cindy’s mother wouldn’t let her have a dog, but Mrs. Jenkins let her play with Reggie any time she wanted. Cindy visited Mrs. Jenkins and Reggie a couple of times each week for an hour or so. The rest of the time, she amused herself around town.
From Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, she learned the basics of petty larceny. Candy and ice cream money came from hooking the glass bottles on neighbor’s porches and returning them for the deposit money. Small toys and other childish treasures were lifted from local stores and quickly slipped into her pockets. Shop owners never suspected her. She wasn’t the type.
Robert Jasper, on the other hand, was the kind of man whom shopkeepers had always suspected as a child. He was a creep as a kid, and a creep as an adult. If John Locke was correct in his theories, the first word written on Jasper’s slate was “jerk”. Jasper was one of the few people who was on to Cindy. Sometimes, when she emerged from the local five and dime with a pocket full of fresh loot, she would catch Jasper, propped against a street sign, smoking a cigarette, grinning at her knowingly.
At first, Cindy tried to tell herself that it was a coincidence, and the creep knew nothing. However, he was there often enough that she was starting to get a bit worried. Jasper might be a creep, but he was still a grownup. Cindy became even more nervous when Jasper started showing up at church on Sunday. She stuck to her mother’s hip to make sure he never had a chance to be alone with her. On the third Sunday of the month, Cindy sang in the children’s choir, and was forced to sit with the other children instead of her mother. Jasper took advantage of the situation to sit immediately behind Cindy’s mother and shoot Cindy a nasty grin.
After church, Cindy ran to her mother, and scanned her face for signs of anger and when they weren’t there, sighed with relief. Jasper had nothing on her. She was safe.
Immediately after Sunday dinner, Cindy shot out of the house, and headed for open fields, leaving her father to deal with her mother’s moods. Rounding the corner of Seventh Avenue, Cindy’s heart noticeably skipped three beats when Jasper grabbed her arm and pulled her into the doorway. He grabbed her chin in his large hand, held her face, and bent down so that his face was directly in front of hers. Cindy struggled against his grip, but his hold was solid. She could not escape.
Jasper, of course, had blackmail on his mind. She did what he wanted, or he would tell her mother about the shoplifting. The fact that he had no physical evidence against her was irrelevant. He was an adult; she was a child. Case closed.
Cindy’s crimes were petty. Jasper’s were not. He wanted more than colored erasers and stickers from the local store. He had old Mrs. Jenkins’s jewelry on his mind. Jasper’s plan was simple. Cindy would squeeze through Reggie’s doggy door, and then let Jasper in the house. Because Reggie liked Cindy, it would be her job to keep him quiet and occupied while the creep cleaned out the jewelry box and whatever else seemed of value.
On Fridays, Mrs. Jenkins played bridge at Mrs. Connor’s house down the street. Therefore, Jasper picked Cindy up in his old Dodge, and parked around the corner from Mrs. Jenkins’s's house, waiting for her to pass on the way to her card game. As soon as she passed, Jasper grabbed Cindy’s chin and turned her face towards his. He explained one final time what Cindy’s duties were, and what the consequences would be if she did not complete those duties as ordered. Then, he moved his car directly in front of the target house, got out of the car, and gestured for Cindy to follow him.
As she got out of the car, Cindy paused when she noticed an old manual concrete mixer on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Jenkins’ house. Somebody was repairing the sidewalk in front of her house, but was apparently on his lunch break. Impatiently, Jasper yanked Cindy’s arm to hurry her along; so she turned her attention to getting in the house. Reggie’s doggie door was a tight squeeze, but Cindy made it, greeted Reggie, scooped him up in her arms and opened the door for Jasper. As Jasper entered the house, Cindy turned and walked towards the back of the house, with Reggie still safe in her arms.
“Where do you think you’re going?” asked Jasper.
Cindy responded that she was going to put Reggie in the guest room where he couldn’t cause any trouble. Jasper snorted, and headed for the silver drawer.
In the back hall, outside the guest room door, Cindy picked up the phone and quietly dialed 911. After a hurried whispered conversation, she ducked out the back door after putting Reggie safely in the guest room. The cement mixer had given her a glimmer of an idea. In a movie she had seen last year, the good guy had stopped somebody from following him by stuffing a banana up his tailpipe. Cindy only needed to delay Jasper a little bit, until the police arrived. Jasper may be an adult and more credible than she, but if caught with stolen items in hand, his word would mean nothing.
Quickly, Cindy scooped up a handful of the wet cement, bent down, stuffed it in the tailpipe of Jasper’s car, and slipped away as the first sound of approaching sirens filled the air.
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