Tales from the Sidewalk: The Backpack

The surplus store smelled of musty canvas, decaying rubber and old sweat and piss and blood and beer lingering in poorly washed uniforms that had lost their soldiers long years past. The fine patina of dust over everything spoke to Old Joe’s hatred for the only asset he owned.

Stephen had found the threadbare khaki canvas backpack near the bottom of the heap. Though worn, it was sturdy enough for the task at hand. Forking over $4 and tax for his prize, Stephen walked the two blocks to Marty’s basement flat, scanning the street constantly as he walked. He paused briefly at the top of the stairs for a final look around. Satisfied, he descended and knocked on the door.

A moment later, the door cracked open. Stephen silently handed Marty the empty backpack and the door closed. Two minutes later, Marty handed the backpack, full and heavy, back to Stephen and closed the door.

Stephen set off for home with his precious cargo of C-4 and blasting caps. The home made timer was waiting on his dining table at home.

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