Night in the Shopping Mall – by Lev Chapovskiy

Primrose Hill Short Story Entry

What if I told you about a time in our history when all of us were isolated? Yes, completely isolated from the outside world. You might see this as a fun experience, but no it is a miserable and gloomy happening. The COVID-19 pandemic had ruined many lives but still people had to move on and stay resilient against the coronavirus. All around London the
streets were empty and deserted. Even the busiest streets in the city were completely abandoned.

Well, to be honest there was one place where there was one person who dared to go outside, Jake. He was a tall, black haired boy with bright, green eyes and short stylish hair,about the age of 12, and lived on Prince Albert Road. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and his parents and younger sister were asleep, when he crept out of the house. You see, the lockdown was a very stressful and annoying event and Jake was quite an anxious child, he simply got fed up to the teeth about isolation.

After a couple of hours of freely walking through the park, he finally reached Bond Street and set off to find his favourite shop in London, John Lewis. Bond Street, as many people know, was a very busy place to be, well until the lockdown, that is. Jake, who had the whole street to himself, laughed with joy and relief, his voice echoing in the darkness. He ran further and further until he saw a large sign stuck to one of the many grand buildings on Bond Street.

The sign read John Lewis. Jake had broken through the glass door, which was meant to be automatic and slowly stepped in, careful not to tread on any pieces of glass. He stopped and stood for a couple of seconds open mouthed and amazed at how silent and empty the place actually was. First he walked through the perfume centre to reach the escalator. As he passed the many stalls of perfume, he couldn’t help but notice that the smell that usually filled the centre was gone.

Once he had reached the escalator, he turned it on and went to the bottom floor. He was starving and the first thing he had to do was to eat. After reaching the lower floor, Jake explored the place and grabbed anything he saw that he might like to eat from packets of Doritos to sushi. There was an absolutely unlimited amount of food. After getting all of the food he liked, Jake excitedly ran up the moving escalator and towards the second floor. This part of the shopping mall was filled with all kinds of comfortable furniture that Jake was planning to lay himself on as he was extremely tired and needed some rest. After watching his favourite movie on a TV he found and finished up all of his food, he decided he’d play some video games for an hour and then practice his football and basketball skills. This place felt like sanctuary to him, it really did. He felt alive, he felt free, he felt like he belonged. But at the same time he slightly regretted coming here at this time of the night and started to feel more and more lonely the more he thought about it.

Suddenly his fear took over his excitement, forcing himself to run down the escalator and towards the exit. As he sprinted across the perfume center, he heard two men whispering in very low voices:
“ What the…? Someone came into the shop before we did. See all this broken glass?” said one of the two.
“ Maybe they left?” replied the other.
“ No, we can’t take any chances. We have to make sure that whoever broke in must be dealt with or else they might tell the police about us.”
“Burglars,” Jake thought to himself, “ I’m in serious trouble, what should I do?”
He couldn’t just slip out of the shop as the two burglars put trackers on the front of every entrance and exit in the shop (Jake was quite surprised that they had that kind of technology) nor could he call the police as he would have gotten himself into big trouble.

There were two robbers: Eric, a tall, blond bearded man, and Larry, a short, brown haired man wearing a red, wooly hat. Jake overheard their plan. All he needed to do was set up his battle plan. Jake had started to feel more and more nervous. He wanted to be at home not here, not now. But there was nothing he could do, he had to stay determined.

Eric didn’t really want to split up with Larry. To him that was how all horror films started but Larry was the boss so he had to do whatever he said. Suddenly something wet and cold hit him hard in the back. It was a water balloon. Eric looked up but had no time to run when a second giant water balloon collapsed right on to him. Meanwhile, Larry had reached the second floor and immediately caught sight of Jake but little did he know that a huge stack of pillows was about to fall right onto him, knocking him out unconscious. In a few minutes, Eric was on the escalator with a frightened look on his face. He looked around himself, checking for any booby traps but unfortunately he didn’t spot the rope he stripped over and the metal bucket of water he was hit by. He too was knocked unconscious.

The two burglars woke up each tied up to a column several meters apart. “ Sorry guys, but social distancing,” said Jake laughing slightly whilst the burglars yelled in vexation. After he called the police, he left John Lewis and ran home. In an hour, he was there.
The next morning, Jake was very tired but luckily his parents and sister didn’t suspect a thing. Oh I nearly forgot, my name is Jake.

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