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The Broken Window - a short story by A.B.King

   Once upon a time in a place called America there lived a kid named Tommy and he loved baseball more than cars love fuel.
   Tommy and his friends were always teased by Duncan. Duncan was the coolest and most talented baseball player within their age range that they had ever seen.
   Hating Duncan was easy since he was always bragging to everyone about how good he was.
   One Saturday morning while Tommy and his friends were playing Baseball on the sand-field opposite Old Man MacGrady’s house, Duncan showed up and asked if he could play.
   “Sure, Common”, Tommy said. Even though he hated Duncan’s rub-in-my-victory attitude; Duncan was still a victor – a winner, and everyone loves to have a winner on their team.
   While playing, Tommy accidentally sent the ball flying through one of Old Man MacGrady’s windows.
   Now, when things like this happen, kids normally do one of two things:
1) Get the ball (the evidence that has your fingerprints on it) and run.
2) Leave the ball and run.
    Considering the fact that no one had ever entered into Old Man MacGrady’s compound before and all the kids believed tall tales about him actually being an evil pirate phantom who got sick of life at sea and decided to settle down on their block thousands of years ago; they decided to choose the second option: leave the ball and run away.
   20 Minutes later Tommy and his friends where playing video games in the play room of Tommy’s house like if they hadn’t broken a window some minutes ago.
   Knock! Knock! Knock! There was a knock on the door. When Tommy went to answer it, he saw two cops standing on his front porch. It turned out they wanted to know who broke the window.
   Now everybody knows it’s wrong to break a window that isn’t yours, but the police force sending two cops to investigate a broken window? Common, that’s just too much. Everyone that cared to know knew that Tommy and his friends played baseball on the sand field opposite Old Man MacGrady’s house.Tommy knew that even Old Man MacGrady who no one ever saw knew it too so it must not have been hard for the cops to trace him.
   Fortunately, Tommy was a quick thinker. Fortunately for him also, he was very smart too. Unfortunately for him, at the moment his quick thinking and smartness just produced a convenient lie he wanted to tell the cops. He wanted to blame Duncan for it. This was his perfect opportunity to get back at Duncan. Duncan had played with them and if all of Tommy’s friends said that it was Duncan that did it, it would be his words against theirs and Duncan would get into trouble.
   Tommy considered what he was taught during the last church house fellowship meeting that held in their house. The church house fellowship leader (his Mom) had preached and laid emphasis on one of the 10 commandments God gave Moses for the people of Israel; that we should not bear false witness against our neighbour – we should not lie against others and say they did something we know they didn’t just to get them in trouble.
   Tommy’s conscience pricked at him but he hated Duncan more than he wanted to do the right thing right now – he hated him with a hatred that Tommy had no business allowing to get 2 inches close to his heart in the first place.
   Tommy lied to the cops. Boy! Was Duncan going to get it.
   Tommy went back to the play room and told his friends what he told the cops. They were all happy and praised Tommy calling him a genius.
   Surprisingly, all Duncan got was praise. It turned out that Old Man MacGrady was a retired Government secret agent and at that time they were playing baseball; an old enemy had paid him a visit, tied him to a chair and had begun to torture him. The police deduced that the sound of the baseball shattering the window must have made Old Man MacGrady’s unwanted visitors scared. They had wanted their visit to remain unknown and after torturing Old Man MacGrady to their satisfaction they would make it look like a suicide. The baseball flying through the window meant kids would soon be coming so thinking they didn’t have much time, they set the house on fire and ran away. They didn’t have enough time to cover their tracks and thanks to modern crime scene investigation technology even after the fire the cops still found clues that they were there. Tommy and his friends had run away so fast after Tommy had broken the window that they didn’t know that the house soon started burning. Old Man MacGrady was unconscious from all the beating and was inside the fire, but firemen being the heroes that they are, when they arrived at the scene they saved Old Man MacGrady .
   Old Man MacGrady was still in the hospital but as far as the police was concerned, he was still alive because of Duncan. Duncan was a hero because he broke a window or at least because the cops thought he did.
   Tommy was out raged. How did things turn out this way? All he wanted to do was to get Duncan in trouble rather he had made him look like a hero for breaking a window. I mean, who becomes a hero for breaking somebody else’s window?
   This was probably God getting back at him for lying. What are the odds it was anything else?
   The more Paul got praised and got called a hero, the more it angered Tommy until Tommy couldn’t take it anymore. Whether anyone liked it or not the truth was going to come out. Everyone was going to know that he broke that window.
   Tommy and his friends put their heads together and after a whole lot of thinking they came up with a plan which after it was executed everyone knew that the real person who broke the window was Tommy. Even Duncan had to admit that it was Tommy who broke the window.
   The cops understanding what was happening knew the only reason Tommy came clean was that he wanted to be praised and congratulated like Duncan was. So in the cop’s eyes Tommy now looked like a dishonest kid and Duncan looked like a dishonest kid too for keeping quiet and letting them praise him for something he didn’t do.
   Instead of Tommy being treated as a hero, he was treated as a liar. So both Tommy and Duncan got burnt for telling lies about the broken window.
   I guess if you could rewind time now, Tommy would never bear false witness against his neighbour. It’s best to always do what God wants us to do.


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