Featured Student Work: "The Man in Black"

by Stephanie Brown, 6I | 18 Dec 2020



Cop cars are heard throughout the town, the wind rushes through my hair I feel the food and items I stole keep getting heavier and heavier, I keep on running, I don’t care where I end up anymore I just need to run, run, run, run. I stop. There’s a high fence in front of me and cops are closing in. I have to make this jump, I bend down and push my feet off the ground…I land the jump and manage to get away from the cops I don’t know if I can do this anymore. After a few minutes I manage to get to the abandoned store, I see the 5 kids that I found yesterday I give the food and items that I stole to the children, I don’t want them to starve but I think I could deal with 1 week with no food right? Right?...


I walk upstairs to an abandoned building that I sleep in; I take off my black hoodie and mask, my mask is uncomfortable to put on but I use it, so I don’t get caught. This building I’m in right now was abandoned about a decade ago due to a nuclear explosion, don’t really remember what happened since I was about 5 when I was told about this, about a year later my parents abandoned me. But that’s a story for another day. I never steal for myself I always give to people who need it more, but whenever I have too much, I use it to feed myself, I don’t eat, I usually never eat. I sit down on the corner I sleep in and close my eyes…


I wake up at the same time I always usually wake up, a quarter to 9. I walked down the 2 flights of stairs and rush to the nearest TV store ‘Tiana’s TV’s’ they always have the news on at 9 o’clock, I run on the sidewalk and cross the street to ‘Tiana’s’ I make it just in time for Bill the News guy to start talking. “Unknown Man robs his 20th store this month, Police now call him “The Man in Black” business owners, police now tell you to have strict rules of no Mask’s or Hoodies, if someone in your business is wearing a hoodie please advise them to take off the hood. Now onto our weather reports, Janice?” I stop and think, “20th store this month? Huh. New record…” “Well Bill all of Detroit seems to be fine today, now if we give our attention to Florida, a big storm seems to be-“ I look away, I don’t really enjoy knowing about the weather, I hit a rock on the sidewalk and walk away.


I see a Bank not far away and seem to be in the giving mood…I run to the abandoned building grab my hoodie and mask and rush out, I see some homeless people outside the building, I feel great knowing I’ll be able to give back to them even if they haven’t given to me. I grab the gun in my pocket, I usually keep guns casually in my pocket. I mean, its me? What are you going to do about it? I kick the bank door open “HANDS UP. THIS IS A ROBBERY” I shout, I shoot above an employee’s head to warn them, I never intend to hurt people. “WE WILL GET THE MONEY SIR” shouts a scared employee, I wait and after 2 minutes I shout “IM GETTING IMPATIENT, I HAVE 5 BULLETS LEFT.” The employee squirms out with a sack of money, I grab the money and punch the employee. I run out and find the nearest getaway path. The employee’s lock the door, the employee that was almost shot tries to find where he went, and informs the other employee’s the bank manager tries to treat the punch wound of the scared employee, and the senior executive calls the police.


Not long after they call the police, a detective and two cops show up, one by one each employee describes what happened, and each one told a similar story “MC comes in he shouts that it’s a robbing shoots above the head of the employee and money is given to MC he injures an employee and runs off” The employee that was almost shot (Martha Green) explains in detail the warning shot, “So…What is your name?” “Martha Green” she says with fear in her voice, “Can you explain what happened?” asks the detective. “He came in with a gun, he shouted that it was a robbery, I looked at the robber and he shoots above my head I felt a kind of zap in that moment and I was certain that it would kill me, but it didn’t” She says with immense fear in her voice. Other employees are questioned. Before leaving the detective discovers something…Boot marks left by none other than our famed robber. The detective makes a clicking noise. “Aha…Boot marks made by our notorious Man in Black.” The cops swiftly take an eye on the boot prints, “Lets track him down.” They follow the steps each boot mark farther and farther away they get from the bank and closer they get to the building, and in that moment, when they made eye contact with MC for the first time…They knew, it was over.


The cops rush to MC shouting “YOU ARE UNDER ARREST” MC manages to evade the grasp of both cops each itching for a fight, He punches the first cop and kicks the second, but little did he know the detective was waiting for MC to make a misstep and so he did, he made a misstep. The detective caught him and brought him up “Hey, thanks ma- “as MC turned around. All the feelings of loss and regret flooded MC’s body “Sir, we’re the FBI.” He says while taking out a badge. “You’re under arrest for stealing people blind, and for almost taking a bank employee’s life.” “WAIT, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND! I DON’T STEAL FOR MYSELF! I STEAL FOR OTH-““We’re going to have to cut you short sir, we deal with this all the time. You ARE under arrest and we will NOT feel guilt.” They slipped MC’s hands in the cuff and for the first time, he couldn’t speak back.


It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve heard from that new inmate, I think his name was MC, the inmates have a nickname for him, “Robin Hood” they call him, I decided to check up on him. It was the least I could do, I walk to his cell and say, “Hey Robin Hood!” I turn my back and bump into what felt like a pipe thing, or like a Jail cell bar, I get up and turn around… “oh no…” Sirens started, another cop ran in. “ARE YOU MAD?! CHECK FOR CLUES!” I ran in and found a note “It’s not that hard to listen. You could have heard; You could have listened. I’ll meet you on the dock when the wind blows high and snow is falling from head to feet the ice frozen over in chilly day, and you can listen to my story the whole day, the location is near but far. You cannot travel by car, listen to the story of the Man in Black and maybe if you’re lucky he’ll let you go back”.

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