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The Lays ® Potato Chip Chronicles

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First, a bit about this story. In 8th grade, we had to write a creative writing every week, and there was never any prompt. It had to be about a page long, but it could be more. I've has this idea for a while about people who rob a Lays truck, so I started on that and wrote the first one "I'll Never Tell You". I told my dad about it that day when he asked what happened at school, and then he suggested a smarter way of robbing a Lays truck, and then things just kind of snowballed. So as you read, remember, I wrote these week after week. But sometimes I wrote other things, they're not every single week. And it wasn't until the 3rd one that I intended it to write a longer thing, the first 2 were one-offs, she the character development is kind of random, and it grows — in the first 2, which are one-offs, I didn't know it's be long enough to have any characters.

"I'll Never Tell You"

The document was lost, although I'm trying to get it.

The Other Approach

They checked the clock, then went over the plan again. Timing was the key. Timing.

When the clock ticked onto the time, they leaped into action. The truck driver of the Lays Potato Chips® truck drove into the gas station like he did every day at that time. He filled the truck with gas, then went inside to buy himself a coffee, leaving the door unlocked, as he would only be gone a minute. Only a minute. As I said, timing was crucial.

Abigail leapt from her hiding place, and silently ran across the concrete and top speed. She opened the door, and leapt onto the seat. She broke the steering column and jammed the screwdriver into the keyhole. The truck roared to life. This was why Abigail had been chosen: she had nibble hands and was faster than a tornado.

She drove it out of the gas station, just fast enough not to draw attention to it. Two blocks later, she took a sharp turn into the warehouse where the others waited. The warehouse door closed behind her, cutting off the view of the empty street.

Abigail pulled the screwdriver out of the keyhole and climbed out. She was a tiny woman, and apart from the glint in her eyes, she looked nothing like a criminal. She was young, with a heart-shaped face and wavy coppery-brown hair, but the glint in her blue eyes was tell-tale.

They pulled out the bolt cutters and cut the bolts and opened the back of the truck: Lays Potato Chips® galore. Everyone grabbed one of the yellow cellophane bags. For a moment, everyone war silent, and the only sound to be heard was the crunch of chips, and rustle of bags, and the birds and faraway cars outside the warehouse. No one would dispute that stolen ships tasted much better that purchased ones — but mostly they were easier on the pocketbook.

In Every Wall, If You Look, There’s a Crack

Eddie sat down glumly on the bed in his new jail cell. He eyed his new cellmate. “So,” he asked. “Whatcha here for?”

“Robbing a Lays ® truck,” Charles responded. “What did you do?”

“Stole a Lays ® truck.” For a moment, they both sat there. Then the words registered. “Wait, you robbed a Lays ® truck too?”

“Well, actually I stole the whole truck,” Eddie explained. “I didn’t even do it: Abigail did. But she got away. And I got 9 years.”

“I’ve got 20 year, been in here 3 months so far,” Charles said. “’Cause we tied the driver up. Didn’t even take the truck.”

Eddie grinned hollowly. “Too bad we can’t escape.”

A look crossed Charles’s face. “Who says we can’t?”

The prisoners filed into the dining hall the next day, and took their seats. Eddie and Charles already knew who they wanted to include in the plan. Four other people who had robbed the truck with Charles were in this prison, but Charles didn’t trust two of them, and one of them was too bubbling and stupid to include. This left only one person: James. Charles said that he was sure that James wouldn’t rat them out, and that he was smart enough to make the escape. On Eddie’s side, there were three other guys in the prison, two of which it would be safe to include: Simon and Frasier.

“No,” Frasier said. “I’ve got 3 years, then 2 years of work furlough, then I’m out. I’m not risking it.”

‘Cause Tonight I’m Breakin’ Out

“No,” Frasier said. “I’ve got 3 years, then 2 years of work furlough, then I’m out. I’m not risking it.”

“We’re not breaking out and leaving you here to rot!” Eddie whispered.

“Yes, you are.” Frasier said firmly. “Don’t worry, I won’t rat you out.”

Eddie opened his mouth to talk, then fell silent as a guard walked past them in the lunchroom. Frasier gave him a look that said I mean it, and Eddie filled his mouth with soup instead of words.

“So James is with Frasier, and Simon’s along, cause they’ve got an odd number in inmates right now,” Charles said. “And I’m not sure, Fraz might change his mind when we’re getting James.”

“So how do we get out of this freakin’ jail cell?” Eddie snapped. He was not a good mood. He was having trouble adjusting to jail life, and the fact that they didn’t serve Lays Potato Chips ® in the dining hall wasn’t helping.

“I’m working on that part,” Charles snapped back. He went to the barred door, and looked out. There were still no guards around. Charles climbed up onto his bunk (his was the top one) and pulled the spork he stolen from the dining hall out of his sleeve and began trying to use it to unscrew the screws that held the ventilation grate to the ceiling. Eddie sighed, and walked over to the barred door, watching for guards.

Charles fiddled with it, and broke off a tine, then managed to loosen one of the screws. He grinned at Eddie.

“Don’t take it off,” Eddie whispered. “They’ll be coming back soon.” Charles nodded, and slipped the spork back into his sleeve.

That night, after lights-out, Charles sat up. He felt out, and quickly found the ventilation grate because it was blowing cold air on him. He ran his fingers over it to find the screws, then began unscrewing them with the spork. He carefully sat the grate down on his bed, wincing and the sound. But the sounds of his jail-cell neighbors covered it. He tried to crawl up into the ventilation ducts, and immediately ran into a problem: his shoulders wouldn’t fit in. He tried to put the grate back up, but it wouldn’t go.

Charles thought for a moment, then hit the spork in his sleeve again and carefully placed the screws and grate. Then he screamed.

After a moment, a guard came over and shone his flashlight on Charles. “Is there a problem?” he leered.

“I was asleep, and the grate fell on me!” Charles moaned, rubbing his head as if he’s been hit. On the bunk below him, Eddie tried to make sense of what was going on. This wasn’t the plan.

The guard unlocked the cell and looked at the grate. He nodded. “You two, go out to the courtyard for a few minutes while we’re fixing it.” Eddie rolled off his bunk, mumbling sleepily. Charles nodded, and grabbed Eddie’s arm, pulling him toward the door. When the guard wasn’t looking, Charles shot Eddie a look: the same look that Frasier had given Eddie not too long ago. Eddie sighed inaudibly, and went along with it. “We’ll get you an icepack for your head tomorrow,” the guard said as Charles and Eddie left the cell. When he turned to face them, Charles saw his face. He didn’t recognize it: this was a new guard, this was one of his first few days on the job.

The courtyard, so heavily guarded during the day, was empty and dark. The prisoners were all locked up in their cells, so there were no guards.

“What’s going on?” Eddie hissed.

“I can’t fit though the duct,” Charles whispered. Both potato chip thieves fell silent for a moment. Through the tall, electric chain-link fence, they could see lights in the distance. The lights of freedom.

Suddenly, something moved outside the fence. The noise could be dismissed as wind on grass, but they looked closer. Outside the fence, someone stood.

They were dressed in dark clothes, and their face was covered in a scarf. Charles and Eddie hurried to the fence, careful not to touch it. Eddie starred. He knew those blue eyes with that glint. It was Abigail.

“Abigail!” he hissed. “What are you doing?”

“Breaking you out, what did you think?” she replied, her voice quiet but clear, despite the scarf that covered her mouth. “Who’s that?”

“Charles, my cellmate. I thought you abandoned me! You lied in that courtroom, and waltzed out, free and clear, leaving me to rot in here for 9 years!” His voice hard with furry and resentment.

“Keep quiet!” Abigail hissed. “How was I supposed to break you out if I was in prison too?” Her face was covered, but by her tone of voice and because he knew Abigail, Eddie was sure that behind the scarf, her mouth was curved into an Abigail that’s-right-I-knew-what-I-was-doing-the-whole-time smirk.

She held a pair of wire-cutters, their handles wrapped in colorful rubber, and began to cut away a large hole in the fence. They could tell that the wire-cutters were flowing with electricity, but Abigail held them by the rubber handles. With quick dexterity, Abigail cut a large hole in the fence, that Eddie and Charles could walk though without getting too close to the fence.

“Where’s Simon, Frasier, and Tom?” Abigail asked as she worked.

Eddie gave her a skeptical look. “Do you really think it’s safe to include Tom? He might just go tell the police about you as soon as you got him out. We didn’t include him in our escape plan.”

“Good point,” Abigail said. “But what about Simon and Frasier?”

“Simon’s in a cell down on the end, and Frasier doesn’t wanna escape.”

“At least that makes it an easier job, or at least a smaller one,” Abigail sighed.

“What about James?”

“Who’s James?”

“My friend, who’s part of our plan.”

“I’m not breaking your people out! You get your own people out! You’re lucky I’m taking you!” Abigail retorted as she carefully pulled the piece that she cut out aside, using the wire-cutter. “Do you smell smoke?”

James took the cigarette lighter that he had gotten from one the other inmates and lit the corner of Frasier’s paperback. Once it was burning steadily, he threw it out, thought the bars at the desk at the end of the hall. He’d always been a good throw, and it fell on the paperwork. James watched, filled with a kind of wild, sinister, happiness as he watched the fire grow. When the guard saw it (James was pretty sure he was new), he freaked out and started looking around frantically, then he threw his water bottle on it. The plastic melted, and the water fell out, putting a little of it out, but the flames sprang back.

A few moments later, another guard came in, and started yelling at the new guard. The new guard had a nervous breakdown, while the other guard grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire. The fire was mostly out when they head a large bang at the other end of the jail: the firecracker Abigail had lit. The experienced guard told the new one, who seemed to be most-of-the-way calm again, and went to go find whatever made the noise, then went back to guarding his own section. The new guard barely heard it, and went to get a cup of coffee.

Abigail told Eddie and Charles to stay there, then sprinted into the courtyard, then to the hall that Eddie’s, Charles’s, James’s, Frasier’s, and most importantly, Simon’s cell was on. There was no guard in the hall, and Abigail attributed it to the firecracker she had lit on the front lawn, not a nervous breakdown and need for coffee. She dashed to Simon’s cell, and quickly picked the lock. “C’mon.” And the two off them raced down the hall, and out the door.

And Eddie, Charles, Simon, and Abigail ran, toward the lights off freedom.

The End

Eddie, Charles, Simon and Abigail ran across the park. It was a little park, near the edge of town. The one of the swings was broken, and everything was rusty, and the grass was full of dead patches. Parked at the curb was Abigail’s car.

Eddie looked at her with an amused expression. “Seriously?”

“Yup. Nice, isn’t it?”

Simon laughed, and Charles looked very confused. “May I ask what is going on?” he asked Eddie.

“What’s going on is you guys are getting in the car. The dogs’ll follow your scent to the curb, and then that’ll be the end of the trail.”

“Abigail’s got a new car,” Eddie explained as they got in.

“My old one was nice, but red cars really do get pulled over more than other colors. And that’s not what you want when it’s a stolen car.”

“So what now?” Simon asked.

“Well, I was thinking you guys could get jobs as Lays® truck drivers.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. The best place to hide is in plain view. And you could nick a crate from ever delivery, and no one would ever know.”

And that’s exactly what they did (many states away, of course).

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