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Underd0g
May 10th, 2018, 05:59 PM
Everybody Needs A Hobbyby Underdog


Being rich isn't easy... that's not true, being rich is too easy.


Sorry, it isn't pasting correctly

Oh here we go on the second post:

Underd0g
May 10th, 2018, 06:14 PM
Everybody Needs A Hobby
by Underdog




Being rich isn't easy... that's not true, being rich is too easy. The challenge is gone when you have more money than you can spend in five lifetimes. I walk the quarter mile to my mailbox just for the inconvenience of it. Old man Statler was walking up to his box just as I reached mine.

"Good morning Mr. Statler," I politely said.


"Call me Forrest ," he requested, "I'm not so old that you can't use my first name. You finish that book you been writin'?"


This is the only time I'm forced to interact with him so I guess it's not so bad. I knew his first name; I tell my friends that I like how our houses are positioned because 'You can't see Forrest for the trees'.


"They're computer programs sir," I informed him; again.


"Programs schmograms. When I was your age I was still in the mines doing real work. I couldn't stay at home all day until I retired," he chided.


After some small, banal chit chat we went back to our respective homes. I was glad to return to my project. You see, with monetary struggles out of the way, I found a new challenge to keep me charged up. Everybody needs a hobby. Since I live with the highest vantage point in the area, I can survey all the rich people down below. They're not as wealthy as me but they do well.


There is an enclave of houses pretty far away that I've been casing. Yes, I said casing. Since money holds no interest for me I need risk. If I burgle a house, there is the chance for getting caught. I could get jail time, public humiliation. It's invigorating to roll the possibilities over in my mind.There's one house in particular that has my interest. They own a Faberge egg,some first edition classic books and fine art. You'd be amazed what you can learn about people through a telescope and online.


I don't want to get caught. I've thought through every possibility. My window is tinted in such a way that no one can see me as I watch them, even if they have binoculars. I can clearly see every house and know how many people are down there and what their line of vision is. I keep a journal of every movement of every neighbor that could happen by when I commit this felony. I know when they get visitors and when deliveries come. I know the dogs, I know each pet, I know the feeding schedules. Before I leave my house to do this, I will destroy all my notes.


I have secured a small moving truck for which I paid cash. The owner, out of state, was too eager for the money to find out when I'd be transferring the title. He didn't even get my correct name. It will be in my possession for a very short amount of time. I have never driven it without gloves and have left it parked legally until I'm ready for it. I'll exchange the license plates with those I found on the ground at a junk yard. I'll be disguised with fake facial hair that I've learned to apply, that can't be detected in a casual publicsetting. And lastly, I'll drive the truck back out of state when it's over. I'll leave the keys in the ignition for it to get stolen. I don't care what will happen to it.


I'm not stupid enough to drive down to the small neighborhood in case there are surveillance cameras documenting any activity. They won't have any record of me even being close to the crime.


The house next door to my target has become for sale and vacant, and my mark is on vacation. Realtors don't show up until after 9:00 A.M.. I'll park at this house and have a few innocuous items in my truck just in case someone walks up during the theft. It will look like there is a reason for my presence. I'll simply walk the items next door via a pathway I've determined safe. It should take a total of three trips to get what I want.


Do rich people have security alarms you ask? Yes they do but when you have the best Orion telescope available; you can watch tiny fingers type in their security code in real time, and I mean real time.


The day arrives. Up until I enter the house I can back out, I keep thinking. This keeps me plodding on. I tell myself how ashamed I'll be if I quit.


I don't abandon my plan. As I enter the house, one thing that hadn't occurred to me was smell. It smelled like mahogany. After this is over, I will want something made out of mahogany. I resist the impulse to stop and browse. The first trip, and I was a bit nervous. The second trip was like I was strolling through a park on a pleasant day.


I exited the third time with the remaining loot, only to be greeted by two police officers with guns drawn. I was incredulous; how?


I asked as I was being put in the back of the squad car and the officer pointed up high on the hill, "See that house up there?" I look and see Statler's house from down below for the first time. "There's this old guy that sits out on his deck and looks through a telescope all day. I guess everybody needs a hobby."

Theglasshouse
May 11th, 2018, 12:23 AM
Interesting so he was framed it seems to me as a reader, and that's a good way of adding sub-context by saying: everyone has a hobby. Guess at least he might know the suspect is the positive discovery for this story. But is an unusual and interesting one. It did entertain.

Underd0g
May 11th, 2018, 05:28 AM
I'm not sure what you meant by "framed", it was a coincidence that they had the same hobby.
It's just that the thief never had the opportunity to see him "for the trees".
Plus, he never had the chance to see him from below since he didn't want to be spotted casing the area, so he didn't see him from that vantage point.
Thank you for your observation and compliment.

Theglasshouse
May 11th, 2018, 02:26 PM
Pardon my confusion. Here's the snippet of dialogue that made me think he was arrested by the police for looting.


I asked as I was being put in the back of the squad car and the officer pointed up high on the hill, "See that house up there?" I look and see Statler's house from down below for the first time.

Then, of course, the quote about the telescope which is open to people's own interpretation. And this is posted in the crime section so that was how I connected the dots. And you are welcome.

Underd0g
May 11th, 2018, 04:45 PM
Pardon my confusion. Here's the snippet of dialogue that made me think he was arrested by the police for looting.



Then, of course, the quote about the telescope which is open to people's own interpretation. And this is posted in the crime section so that was how I connected the dots. And you are welcome.

No, you are absolutely right. He committed the crime. "Framed" implies he was innocent and someone planted evidence.
Thanks for your attention to detail.

Theglasshouse
May 11th, 2018, 08:06 PM
Last post for the moment from me for the time being not to flood the thread with only my comments:
The main character isn't a good sort of person then, I always assume the good people in stories are heroes. Except in a movie where they get labeled anti-heroes maybe because of the flaws they have. So that's one tragic ending but has closure. Also, it is an interesting hobby that made me think, hmm is this guy with the telescope doing something more sinister with that telescope? Is he looking into people's houses to steal and he framed someone? Maybe even know their schedule of when they arrive and leave the house? But that is fine. I decided to post again since imo there could have been a sequel you did not think people would read. But looting is a crime. Perhaps this can be a kernel for another story. This idea I thought was the real ending to the story. Multiple interpretations of this story is a good sign that you've written something that is subliminal because of plot. This seemed like an ambiguous way to end it. Anyways good luck with the story. Framed or not it was still an interesting read,he couldn't get the ending needed for this story to be considered a happy ending.

Underd0g
May 11th, 2018, 09:04 PM
Hey, I don't care if it's only a conversation between the two of us, I appreciate your insights.
Growing up I loved reading short stories compiled by Alfred Hitchcock. In short stories you don't have as much time invested in reading and it wasn't so bad if the protagonist was criminal.
Sometimes evil triumphed in the end.
I mostly make up for talent with humor, by giving a punchline at the end.

Thank you for taking the time to respond!

SueC
June 7th, 2018, 04:21 PM
Hi UnderOg. Really enjoyed this, with that quirky little surprise at the end.

So, I guess really my only comment is that I would like to have seen this person - the one with the POV - fleshed out a little more. The move from just talking about being wealthy to his "hobby" seemed a little abrupt to me.


After some small, banal chit chat we went back to our respective homes. I was glad to return to my project. You see, with monetary struggles out of the way, I found a new challenge to keep me charged up. Everybody needs a hobby. Since I live with the highest vantage point in the area, I can survey all the rich people down below. They're not as wealthy as me but they do well.

There is an enclave of houses pretty far away that I've been casing. Yes, I said casing. Since money holds no interest for me I need risk. If I burgle a house, there is the chance for getting caught. I could get jail time, public humiliation. It's invigorating to roll the possibilities over in my mind.There's one house in particular that has my interest. They own a Faberge egg,some first edition classic books and fine art. You'd be amazed what you can learn about people through a telescope and online.

Maybe you could spend some time describing his day, describing what it was like before he started snooping on others, show what made him decide to become a sneak thief in his own neighborhood. How would jail time impact him personally? How would it impact his wealth? Where did his wealth come from?

One thing I really liked was the consistency in the MC's personality. Because of his "better than you" ideology, it never occurred to him in a million years that the old guy next door would have the same, or at least similar, ideas on how to fight boredom.

I often find myself writing "back stories" so that my characters stay consistent and don't go on wild-hairs that make readers wonder what I was thinking of, but YOU did an awesome job of keeping your MC on track. Would love to read more like this :)

Underd0g
June 7th, 2018, 07:47 PM
Well thank you Sue,
I guess I am reluctant to do too much description and "back story" with my writings. What I try to do is come up with just enough to keep interest so as the reader makes it to the end.
I have a hard time embellishing.
Although I am pleased that you are intrigued enough to wonder about those issues.
Here is another story that makes my point: https://www.writingforums.com/threads/178405-1038-Word-Short-Story
I see myself as an ideas guy and a humorist.

Thank you for your reply.

Plasticweld
June 7th, 2018, 10:26 PM
It was a good read. The only point that caught my attention that made me wonder was the statement the the main character had the highest vantage point in the neighborhood.

Since I live with the highest vantage point in the area, I can survey all the rich people down below. They're not as wealthy as me but they do well.


There's this old guy that sits out on his deck and looks through a telescope all day

I would have thought he would have thought he would have been seen, as he was out on the deck.


I like the story, It is a good idea for one, and one that makes perfect sense. Thanks for the read Bob

Underd0g
June 7th, 2018, 10:41 PM
Thank you Bob,

It was subtle but I did think about the visibility. (You can't see Forrest for the trees)

I appreciate your reading my story!