Georgie, Bradley, Todd and Wally hid behind the store, waiting for impetus.

“Look Georgie” said Bradley. “You go in and we’ll follow you. Go back to the fridge and  grab a couple of 40’s. We’ll distract the guy at the counter. We’ve done this so many times, why are you being a bitch about this now?”

“Dude, don’t call me a bitch.”

“Then do it” said Wally. “Jeez, why do we have to go through this every time?”

“Cuz I’m the guy who’s always doing the snatch.”

“That’s cuz you’re the shortest. We’ve been through this.” Piped in Todd. “No one will notice you.”

“That’s right.” added Bradley. “Just like always. We’ll be blocking the view while you grab the stuff. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.”

Georgie only grimaced. Then he turned and headed for the front of the store, with the other three right behind him.

As Georgie made his way to the back Bradley walked up to the counter.

“Excuse me sir, do you have any gum?”

“Sure, right here”. The guy behind the counter was a bit leery about the three that stood before him. Sure they were being polite, but something about them didn’t sit well with him. They began to question him about any little thing.

“Do you have the gum with the pop rocks in it?”

“Wait, I want the one that comes in a pouch?”

“Are those the lighters that have that jet action, you know what I mean?”

”Hey, are those the new vapes over there? What flavors you got?”

They bombarded the counterman with questions, which made Georgie’s job that much easier. He made it to the back, grabbed the beer, tucked them into his jacket, and while keeping his head down headed for the door. 

He was almost out the door when the counterman noticed him. “Hey, what are you doing?” he said. The other three took this a their cue.

“Oh look at that” said Bradley, as he upended the lighter stand. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’d help you with that but I’m in a rush.” 

The three of them follow Georgie out the door as the counterman is caught between following after and fixing the mess left by Bradley.

The four ran behind the store, flush with excitement. Bradley was especially enthusiastic. It’s not often he gets out or has a chance to drink stolen beer. They barely make it behind the building when he starts pawing at Georgie’s jacket.

“Give me that” he says.

“Hey, don’t tear my jacket” said Georgie as he pulls the two forties out. Bradley immediately grabs one, twists the cap off and starts chugging. Meanwhile Todd has grabbed the other one and does the same. After a few seconds they both pass the bottles to the other two as they gasp for air.

“Good work Georgie” said Bradley. “See, this is why it works. Every time.”

That’s when they notice the red and blue flashing lights. 

“Uh oh” says Wally, stopping his chug mid-way. “I think the store owner called the cops.”

“What do we do, make a run for it?” asked Georgie.

“Wait” said Bradley. “Look to see if they’re coming this way.”

Georgie crept up to the corner of the wall to peek around it. That’s when Bradley kicked him in the back, sending him flailing from behind the building.

The cops saw him and called out for him to freeze. Georgie looked back to his friends to see they had already ran away. Not knowing what to do next, looking from the back of the building to the approaching police, Georgie ran off, away from where they were, with the cops giving chase.

The other three ran for a few hundred feet and hid behind a van parked in the street. Bradley looked to see if they were being pursued. When he saw it was clear he laughed. He turned back and grabbed one of the bottles and started drinking again.

“Dude, that wasn’t cool” said Wally.

“Dude, relax” Bradley replied. “If they catch him they’ll probably let him go. We have the evidence.” He wiggled the bottle in Wally’s face to make his point.

“But what if they arrest him, huh? Naw man, that wasn’t cool.”

“Dude, chill. Or even better yet, have a drink” as he handed Wally the bottle.

“You don’t get it. Georgie was one of the us and you left him to take the fall.”

“So what? He’s uh, he’s taking one for the team. I would do the same thing if it came to that.”

“But you didn’t. You kicked him.”

“Yeah, so? It’ll be okay, right Todd?”

Todd just gave a thumbs up as he took another swig from the other bottle.

“Forget you guys. We don’t leave friends to the police.”

“Hey forget you. We out here tryin’ to get our drunk on and you’re bringing us down. If you’re not gonna drink give the beer back.” He reached for it but Wally pulled it back.

“Naw man, this ani’t right.”

“So what?” Bradley was clearly upset. “What? You gonna snitch on us? You gonna go back and tell the cops we did it? All we did was talk to the store guy. Georgies was the one who stole it. If that’s a problem then maybe you should start hangin’ with someone else. But first, you gonna snitch on us or what?”

“Naw man, I ani’t no snitch.”

“I don’t know, you lookin’ like a snitch right now.” Bradley had stepped closer to Wally, looking him square in the eye.

“Dude, don’t call me a snitch.”

“Then shut up and drink, or we gonna have a problem.”

Wally looked at the seriousness in Bradley’s eyes. He looked back at Todd who only shrugged. He turned back to Bradley, and with misgivings, raised the bottle.

“But first” he said, and tilted the bottle to pour some out. “This is for Georgie.”

Todd saw this and did the same, letting the poured beer splatter over his sneakers. When that was done Wally took a big swig. He handed it back to Bradley, who only nodded before upending the bottle, drinking as much as he could. 

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