"Coffee?" asked Marissa.
"No thanks." said Gary. He was really worked up about all the things he
had to do because of the newspaper. " I gotta go break up a fight."
"Give me my money back!" A muscular man yelled.
"You already bought it. There's nothing I can do about it." A woman who obviously owned the store replied.
"This must be it." thought Gary. He walked up to the customer and employee. "What's the problem here?" he asked the man.
"I bought a motorcycle tire but it busted after going 6 blocks. It's a rip-off! I want my money back!"
"Sir, we have a no return policy." The lady said in an irritated voice.
"Well," said Gary. "I'll pay for the new tire. How much?"
After Gary payed for the tire the man left.
"Thanks" said the lady. My name's Susan. Look, I know this sounds kinda awkward, but do you wanna do lunch sometime? I mean, you seem like a very nice guy."
Gary smiled at the compliment. "Sure" he said. Give me your phone number and I'll call ya. Oh, by the way, my name's Gary. Gary Hobson."
"Good morning Chicago, it's 6:30 AM and..." Gary groaned and turned off his alarm. He walked up to the door to get the paper.
"The paper!" He said in disbelief. "It's not there."
After 3 hours of searching he found the cat next to the same building he payed for the tire. There was a little homeless girl who looked about 9 or 10 with ratty hair and filthy clothes sitting next to the cat.
"Excuse me," Gary said to the girl. "that's my cat."
"Oh, sorry," she said. "He keeps following me. What's his name?"
"Well he doesn't really have a name. Uh, by any chance did the cat come with a paper?"
"Come to think of it, yeah." She stood up and picked up the paper which she was sitting on. "I thought I'd use it tonight but you can have it. Here."
"Thanks." Gary took the paper and started to walk away.
"What about your cat?!" the girl yelled.
"Oh, uh, well, you can play with him if you want. He'll come back to me anyway!" Gary called over his shoulder.
"Woman Found Shot In Apartment" the headline read. Gary began to read the article. "32 year old Susan Bailey...". That was all Gary needed to know. He reached for the crumpled phone number in his pocket.
"Hi, Susan? About that date, how 'bout tonight at 6:30?...Ok, see you then..., ok bye!"
The homeless girl saw the cat over by a fountain. "Hi Kitty!"
The cat meowed.
"What is it?"
The cat turned his head to a nervous looking man standing by a building.
The girl recognized him from somewhere. Then she realized he was the guy with the motorcycle that was yelling at some lady when she woke up.
"Meow." The cat turned his head to a couple talking by the fountain. It was the man who asked her for his newspaper and the lady the guy with the motorcycle had yelled at. The girl looked back at the guy with the motorcycle. He was pointing a gun this time- and it was aiming at the couple.
The girl did the first thing she could think of. She ran to push the couple over as the shouted, "Watch Ouuuut!" Gary and Susan fell to the ground. The bullet hit the fountain they were standing near.
"Thank you so much!" said Susan.
How did you know that would happen?" Gary asked in disbelief and suspicion.
"Your cat." said the girl. Gary immediately knew what she was talking about.
He looked at the cat. The cat looked at him and meowed and jumped up into the girl's arms.
"Mister?" the girl asked.
"Would u mind if I play with your cat sometime?"
"Anytime you like. Anytime." Gary winked.
Email the author: Paper Caper