It was a hard life for 8 year old Archie Tumbart, being found guilty of a crime he and his 10 year old brother, Fredrick had committed, but honestly was it a crime to steal food for your starving sister?
There was no remorse, why should there be? The need simply outweighed the risk, even if the risk of being caught meant 24 strikes of a cane and 3 months of extreme labour.
The day of the crime kept repeating in Archie's mind every time he closed his eyes.
They had planned it meticulously the previous week. It was simple, grab the loaf of bread off the table outside the bakery shop.
"Just take it and run" he kept telling himself, "just take it and run."
It was just bad luck that as soon as his dirty fingers touched the dry loaf that had been sat on the table for most of the day, the Baker saw him and shouted. The next thing he knew he was running for his life, his brother beside him. Sounds of whistling and shouting came from behind them, the had become far more serious than he had intended.
"The bobbies are after us," Fredrick shouted, "just keep running!"
It was too late, Archie and Fredrick ran straight into a police officer. He held them tightly whilst shouting to others near by, Archie broke free and went to run but he looked back to see his poor brother struggling,
"Just go!" Fredrick shouted, but Archie couldn't leave him. Now, he was sat in a police cart, being taken to Tin Wallace Prison.
The sound of the cart wheels on the old wet cobbled stones made Archie shiver. Everytime a wheel hit a hole in the road. The cart gave a jolt, almost reaffirming to Archie that this was not a dream. He listened to the sound of the markets hustle and bustle as he peeked out the small window at the back of the cart. He saw one of the market stalls where they sold wind chimes made out of sea shells. It reminded him of Emily, it was her favourite place to visit and he remembers telling her he will buy her one some day. His heart sank as he thought of her and how worried she must be. How angry she would be too, that they had risked so much for her.
As if reading his mind, Fredrick squeezed Archie's hand, "Emily was sick, this was the only way to make her strong again Archie, she needed food. Don't worry though because once we are out, we can try again. It's only 3 months."
The thought made Archie feel sick and he knew the only thing he would want to do after those gruesome three months is see his sister again. The thought of her alone and weak with no food made him cry.
He vowed he would never get caught up in Fredrick's nefarious plans again. He would never break the law again.
As for Fredrick he had other plans...