An Elementary Heist
By Jess Leather
“What’s my codename again?”
The Boss sighed and stared at her accomplice with a critical eye. If only she could go it alone - half the danger, twice the spoils.
At least, she thought it was half. They hadn’t done fractions yet.
“You’re The Amazing Lily-Mae.”
“Boss. I’m The Boss.” The Boss sucked on the end of her pencil with no small degree of malice. If Lily-Mae hadn’t just won the Year One tumbling contest, there was no way she would have turned to her.
“Maybe you could just ask Kylie to borrow-”
“Amazing Lily-Mae, how many times do I have to tell you? I don’t borrow.”
The Boss glanced involuntarily across the room. Yes, there it was. The pencil case. Kylie Jones had brought it in for the first time two days ago, and it was beautiful. Deep, shiny red, the same shape as a book but with a zip - groaning with crayons of every colour, more pencils than one girl would ever need, and, prize above prizes, a full set of banned gel pens. Beautiful.
Well worth the trouble of a playtime heist.
“Can we run through it again?” The Amazing Lily-Mae sounded meek. Typical.
“Fine.” The Boss sighed, and tugged the Amazing Lily-Mae further into the dim light of the book corner. “When we get outside, wait until the big hand is on the eight. Then you need to do your fall.”
“From the climbing frame.”
“Yes. You don’t actually have to hurt yourself, just pretend. Make them think you’ve cracked your head open.”
“What does that mean?” The Amazing Lily-Mae whispered, horrified.
“I don’t know,” the Boss admitted. “But when Jamie did it, everybody talked about it for days. So do that, and scream nice and loud.”
“No, don’t do it here.” The Boss cast about shiftily. “We don’t want them looking now. Wait until the big hand is on the eight.”
“OK, so I scream nice and loud.”
“Yes, until at least the big hand is on the ten. That’s how many minutes I need.”
“OK. What will you do?”
“I can’t tell you, Amazing Lily-Mae. If I told you, I’d have to lock you in the boys’ toilets.”
“If Mrs Ingram finds out you’re just pretending, she might ask you where I am. And if you don’t know, you can’t tell her.”
“Wow.” Amazing Lily-Mae whistled. “But I still get a gel pen?”
“You do this right, you get two gel pens,” the Boss promised.
As the Amazing Lily-Mae sat back to consider this awesome prospect, the Boss contemplated her plan. One step at a time, the heist couldn’t go wrong. While the Amazing Lily-Mae prepared for her tumble, the Boss would position herself behind Mrs Ingram.
As the screams began and the teacher rushed forward, the Boss would seize the classroom key from the chain on Mrs Ingram’s skirt. She wouldn’t even notice. Then the Boss would slip into the empty classroom, grab the coveted pencil case, and hide it in the safest, most secure place she could think of - her homework tray.
In Kylie’s tray, she would leave one of those football stickers all the boys loved so much; who would suspect her, a girl, in light of such evidence?
The plan was foolproof. The Boss could almost smell the gel pen ink.
But then suddenly, calamity.
It started to rain.
“Indoor playtime today, children,” came the voice of Mrs Ingram.
And the Boss, the Amazing Lily-Mae, and the heist of the century were thwarted for another day.Tweet