*** Chapter 4 Part 3
The next morning Dell awoke to an odd pressure in her chest. She felt oppressed and more scattered in her thinking than usual. She had a notion she should be up and doing something but it wasn’t clear to her just what that could be. The feeling persisted through her shower and while selecting one of the umpteen new fabulous outfits she had gotten for herself yesterday at the mall. She chose her new designer jeans and a Todd Oldham blouse with tiny crochet buttons in white. She loved red accessories with her flame red hair, and chose a chunky carved cinnabar necklace and bracelet set. She picked her good old Nike’s and soft cotton socks. She knew that Panda would have her working like a parking attendant or garbage collector for most of the day so she might as well wear sensible shoes for a change. Her luxurious red curls were wound into a messy bun and as she looked in the mirror she approved of what she saw.
“I need diamonds!” she thought. “Why not go to the jewelry store and get myself the largest karat diamond studs I can find?” She was meeting Panda at Trader Joe’s, the halfway point, at 10 am but it was early: only 8:00 am. She’d go to Pet Maxx and get a giant bag of pig kibble and then stop by the jewelry store and do a little shopping. First, though, she intended to trade in her vehicle for something a little more posh!
The pigs heard her coming down the concrete stairs on the outside of the building and were amassed by the landing waiting to be fed. Silky and Freed greeted her enthusiastically with grunts and wet snurfles. “Pigs really are the sweetest animals!” she told them. “I’ll be back later with a giant bag of kibble! In the meantime just go dig in the garbage, why don’t ya?” She sauntered over to her car and headed up the street. It was a bright clear morning with the bluest sky, and yet she still felt slightly crushed somehow. “Whatever could be wrong?” she thought. Other than the entire human race having gone up in smoke before her eyes just 3 days ago, that is.
Pet Maxx, one of those pet-needs mega-stores, was right on her way to the Shawn’s Jewelry store she planned on looting for diamonds. As she was driving along she kept punching buttons on her car radio, trying to catch some tunes. As always in these little moments where reality was forced upon her, it did not occur to her right away that there were no more radio stations. And once it did, she quickly switched over to her CD player, barely missing a beat. “Just don’t delve into it too deeply” was her motto. Don’t think about Radio Silence over Berlin.
As she drove she kept her eyes peeled for any likely vehicle to catch her notice. And there it was! A Porsche Cayenne Turbo in Sand White. V8, 4 wheel drive.
She saw it parked along the roadside and pulled over to inspect it for keys. Sure enough, on the ground by the driver’s side, were the keys and all the –now usual--detritus of wallet, watch, belt and shoes. She grabbed the keys and the wallet, inspecting it for cash and credit cards as she unlocked the door and hopped inside. A full wallet and a full tank of gas and yes, written on the upper left corner of the back of the bank debit card, was the guy’s pin number. A quick check of the other credit cards showed the same tiny 4 unit number printed in permanent ink. This guy was not a genius! "Ever hear of identity theft?" she said to the pile of dust at her feet. Of course there was no answer.
It seemed funny to her that she had taken up a life of crime. Car theft, traffic violations, identity theft. Soon she was going to rob a bank and pull off a jewelry heist. She felt fantastic! Grinning from ear to ear she pulled into the large parking lot of the Pet Maxx.
It was when she went inside that the reason for her earlier oppressive gloom hit home.