Short Story #40: The Mugging by Edward L. Perry

Title:  The Mugging

Author:  Edward L. Perry

Short Story #40 out of 365

Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)

Book cover:  Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories for Late at Night edited by Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Arthur
Date Read:  2/5/2014
Source:  Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories for Late at Night edited by Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Arthur.

Summary

Jake, his girl, Jane, and a friend, Tony leave a movie theater late at night and decide they want to rob someone--part of their usual antics.  They chose a target; an obese man leering at people coming out of the theaters.  Jane and Jake really don't like the looks of the guy, but Tony keeps on insisting--challenging Jake's manhood and bullying the both of them into it.  Jane goes back to the theater to make eyes with the guy and lead him to an alley down the street.  Jake and Tony follow a ways behind.  As Jane and the man go into the alley, police cars show up and start harassing Jake and Tony about their whereabouts that evening because there was a robbery earlier.  While this is getting sorted out, Jake sees the man leave the alley, dropping something along the way.  Once the police have left them alone, they race to the alley.  They look at what the man dropped, a bloody shiv and Jake knows what he will find in the alley.

Reflection

It's a gritty and quick story but of course, filled with irony.  Tony and Jake are out to do harm to an innocent and the person who gets harmed is the one they care about the most.  It also has a bit of the hunter being hunted.  As told through Jake's eyes, it's also easy to empathize with Jane and even Jake in the ways in which Tony manipulates the two of them to do what he wants and yet, he has the least stake in the game. 

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.






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