Beautiful Dreamer

by Allen Morgan


no illustrations

nine chapters - 107 pages

Chapter Five (part 1)

When Katie woke up the next morning, she knew just what she was going to do. And, even though she kept telling herself that she shouldn't, she knew that she would. Shoplifting - the word didn't sound so bad any more. It even sounded a little daring. After breakfast, Katie put on a slip and pinned it up at, the waistband. Then she went upstairs to tell Gale that she was going to shoplift too.

Gale didn't like the idea and didn't want any part of it. Katie told her over and over how easy it would be and she demonstrated the trick with the pouch again. She even got Gale to put on a slip and try it herself. It turned out that Gale was quite good. Her fingers were long and she was better at palming things than Katie was.

"See what I mean:' said Katie. "It's as simple as Simon Says."

"Oh, it's easy enough here in the house where nobody's watching us," said Gale. "But the store will be different."

"Don't worry, we won't get caught," Katie assured her. "And anyway, I'll be taking all the risk. All you have to be is the look out. That way we can make sure nobody's watching."

"But you'll be stealing things Katie," said Gale. "It's wrong to steal things, don't you know that?"

"I'm only going to do it this once," insisted Katie. "Just one little thing that the store won't even miss. It won't hurt the store very much if I just do that."

"It's still not right," said Gale. "Listen, why don't you get Brenda to be look out for you? She's a professional. She knows all about it."

Katie shook her head. "Brenda's a creep and you're my best friend. Your are my best friend, aren't you?"

"Sure I am but..."

"So then you have to come with me," said Katie. "Best friends have to stick together." She looked so solemn that Gale finally had to give in. After all, she and Katie were best friends; there was no getting around it.

"Oh, okay, I'll do it," she said finally. "But I still say the whole thing is very risky."

Katie gave her a big hug. "Don't you worry, it's going to be a real cinch. I'm only going to be taking a couple of things anyway so what's the big deal?"

"Wait a minute. I though you said just one thing?"

"Well, actually, it's a couple more than one," admitted Katie.

"How many more?" demanded Gale.

"Actually, I'd say about four."

Gale groaned. "Why not take ten while you're at it? Why not twenty? Why not just get a big sack and haul away the whole store?"

"Just four," promised Katie. "I want to get the same things Susie has, that's all. First the eye shadow, midnight blue, you know? You wanted to try out that one yourself, didn't you?"

"Sure Katie, but..."

"And if I get the eye shadow, I have to get the blush and the lipstick. I can't just wear the eye shadow by itself, can I? I won't look like anything if I just wear the eye shadow."

Gale was silent for moment. "What's the fourth?" she asked finally.

"I thought maybe a small bottle of perfume."

"Perfume!" exclaimed Gale. "Susie doesn't even wear perfume."

"Well I don't have to be exactly the same as her, do I?" demanded Katie. "Holy bullfrogs Gale, can't you see that I'll never be able to get any make-up the regular way? Even if the Beautiful Dreamers makes a lot of money it would still take me half the summer to save up enough to buy anything. I can't wait half the summer. I need that stuff right now. You may want to look like a kid for the rest of your life but I sure don't."

"Okay, okay, we'll shoplift those things if you want," said Gale. "But I'm telling you one thing right now: best friends or no best friends, if we get caught and sent to jail I'm never going to speak to you again."

"Listen, we aren't going to get caught," Katie told her. "And anyway, even if we did, I'm the only one doing all the crooked stuff."

"People who help crooks get sent to jail too," said Gale. "They don't get sent for as long but they go just the same."

A little while later, Katie and Gale went out to 4th Avenue and caught the downtown bus. When they reached Granville Mall they went into one of the department stores. It was after noon and the place was filled with lunchtime shoppers.

"Keep an eye out for the sales lady!" Katie whispered to Gale. "This is going to be easy."

She was right. It was very easy. In no time, Katie had the eye shadow, the blush and the lipstick safely tucked away in her pouch. None of the salespeople noticed what she was doing. They were too busy taking care of the real customers. Katie had no trouble getting the perfume either.

"Can I try this one?" Katie asked the woman behind the counter. The saleslady smiled at her and dabbed a bit on the back of Katie's wrist.

"It's fun trying them on, isn't it?" she said.

Katie smiled back at her and sniffed the perfume. "It smells very nice," she said, "But would it be okay if my friend tries a different kind? We don't want to smell the same."

The saleslady put down the first sample and picked up another. While she was putting some on Gale's wrist, Katie passed her hand over the first bottle and palmed it. A moment later it was safely out of sight in her pouch.

Gale was amazed to see how easy it was. She suddenly realized that nobody was going to catch them. As they were leaving the store she pulled Katie over to the candy counter.

"I'm going to try it too," she whispered. She stepped up and ordered a pound of jelly beans. While the saleslady turned her back to weigh them, Gale filled her pouch with candy bars and lifesavers from the display. Then she paid for her jelly beans and she and Katie left the store.

They were giggling by the time they reached the sidewalk. Everyone stared but they didn't care. The whole thing was so crazy that nothing seemed to matter anymore.

continue on to part two of Chapter Five

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