There were about three ways things went for the Street Trash when working a house. It all depended on how the hosts responded to him.
One, Jamie was offered something and took it while accidentally tripping over the respective house owner, with the intention of stealing the key. The Street Trash would then return afterwards to rob stuff.
Two, Jamie would be invited into the home, usually to take part in a meal, and would meanwhile pocket everything within reach, finally leaving before too much time was wasted. Going to the bathroom was the usual excuse.
Three, Jamie would get harassed, sexually or physically or otherwise, and would either use that as leverage to get a lot of the culprit’s valuables, or would be forced to resort to violence in order to stop said culprit, then having all the freedom in the world to search for valuables.
Jamie liked to avoid scenario three but the reality was that the Street Trash had a whole lot of experience in all scenarios. Jamie had been seen, heard, caught, arrested and beaten too many times to count, but it had all optimized his instinct for reading people so that the Street Trash could be who the Street Trash had to be in order to, frankly speaking, manipulate them.
It’s been long enough, Jamie considered while eating an apple, might as well turn back and re-visit some of those houses I have keys for.
In order to make sure previous victims of scenarios two and three would not bother Jamie during these rounds back through previously visited homes, The Street Trash would change appearances.
A hat put away, hair messed up in a different manner so that it would cover a different eye as well as simply looking different, a little water to change the hue of the hair and skin and clothes. A little limping wouldn’t hurt either, different posture.
Jamie had such generic poor clothes not even people who invited him into their homes kept a vivid image of what the Street Trash looked like. Of course, those most offended would run off and grab unto him all the same. In fact, Jamie’s peripheral vision had been alerted by one such ruckus of a movement.
Jamie turned around scared but the woman just grabbed on to the collar, pulling it close, angry as all get out.
“Thief! You little rotten thief, give me back my things!”
“Blimey, what? Wha– who are ye, mum?–” Jamie’s voice sounded different now, a bit of an accent and on a different more feminine pitch, a close one to her real tone. That alone would immediately cause a flinch, which it did.
“I stole nuthin’, mum, this’s some kind ova misunderstandin’, I swear.”
The woman looked at the Street Trash suspiciously and attentively, but it was too late now. If they had done such at first, looked closely, they would recognize Jamie immediately, but they never did. The Street Trash was never closely inspected when first met, and when second encountered…
“Apologies, girl, I-…hmm…”
“Please lemme go, mum.” The woman obliged and released Jamie, then looking around for, well, Jamie.
“Run along, little girl, I mistook you for some other street trash…”
A slight of a smirk formed across Jamie’s mouth. When second encountered, the Street Trash would be little else than a fluke and, because of that, soon forgotten. It was a little psychological trick Jamie had perfected.
When they looked at Jamie the first time, no clear descriptive image was kept. The second time around, they would discriminately generate an image of all of Jamie’s features, but his acting would predispose them to think these were unlike what they had seen at first. Making the decision they were wrong, they would then chalk Jamie’s real appearance to negligible. The point was that when it came to remember the thief, like when reporting to the law, they would come up with Jamie’s image, his second appearance, who they knew wasn’t the thief.
In summary, the appearance of the thief, down to the very last detail, vanished from any and all witness’s minds. This was the kind of subtle manipulation the Street Trash was the absolute best at. It came to Jamie naturally, an emphatic sense as to how the mental process works and how it can be influenced in the right direction.
More than pleased, Jamie deftly and carefully used the key to silently open the first door… only for the lock to suddenly sound the alarm.
Jamie quickly removed the key but the alarm kept blaring out at an amazing volume. Startled, she flung the key away.
Jamie heard rumbling inside the house. He prepared himself, quickly assuming a fetus position. He started sobbing. The door opened to show a man in his pajamas.
“What the devil is that noise?!” His eyes went from the door knob to the scared little street urchin sobbing over his feet, the same one that had been given bread not two hours before.
“Suh I promise it wasn’t me, I just came to ask for more food, suh, for my sister, suh, she didn’t get any. I dunno what’s makin’ this noise, I swear it wasn’t me.”
The man quickly crouched and put a hand over Jamie’s shoulder.
“Hey hey now, I know, I remember you, alright? I don’t know what that is either, it’s definitely not mine.”
Not his? What does he mean not his?!
“I’ll get you another piece of bread and then you’ll run along, alright? Where are the authorities? Amore! Did you call them, yet?”
“I did, they should be arriving soon,” a concerned woman’s voice replied from inside.
“Alright then, what the devil is this? “ He eyed the noisy lock. “I wonder if that thief left it here?”
That thief? Street Trash’s mind ran through the possibilities.
Jamie waited for the bread and then walked away, nibbling at it. The Street Trash was definitely intrigued. From the man’s comments, Jamie had gathered they had just been robbed by someone, and that someone had forced them to give him, or her, their valuables under threat of death. A quick talk of a golden prosthetic arm went a long way to help Jamie realize who was walking around on the Street Trash’s side of the city.
The Mad Genious…I should avoid that lunatic, Jamie looked around in real concern, feeling watched and in legitimate danger, being believed to not be a competitor is a big disadvantage when it comes to him. He might just shoot me.
The Mad Genious’s reputation was uncanny. Once a great scientist, he had caused an accident that had killed a lot of other great scientists. He was jailed for crime and eventually escaped by causing the death of many more. Ever since then, he had become a murderous crazy person on a rampage to make the world pay for disgracing him.
He had gone mad, hence his title.
Jamie looked around again, noticing a silhouette vaulting into a second story window, on the other side of the street.
That is not…the Mad Genious. With a sly smirk, the Street Trash crossed the bridge. Jamie felt around his pocket for the house’s key. The house had provided a rare scenario, they offered Jamie a bath. He stole a bunch of stuff while he pretended to take a very long bath, but Jamie had taken the key just in case.
The Street Trash quietly opened the front door, taking the shoes off, and proceeded to slowly step across the entrance corridor. It seemed the owners had yet to notice all the stealing as they were already tucked away in the bedroom, sleeping soundly. Jamie heard the faint noises of the thief upstairs however, and decided to follow the sense of adrenalin that pulled him towards it.
Who is it, I wonder?
Jamie walked up to the door, but didn’t open it. Head bowed, whole body in darkness, the Street Trash waited for the thief to decide to search the ground floor.
Having second thoughts, Jamie extended a left hand towards the knob as if to grab it. It would be more believable. The Street Trash then waited.
As expected, the thief eventually sighed impatiently, approaching the door. Jamie steeled his nerves and prepared the heart to leap with the opening of the door.
“Ahh!” The silenced gasping came out of the startled woman who, reacting to the figure of the little boy in the dark, jumped back and away. Less than ideal but Jamie ran with it, reacting startled as well. But more curious.
“What are ya doin’, miss?”
“Nothing,” the whisper came, almost in a scolding tone. She stood up to seriously look at the Street Trash. “Return to bed.”
She was hidden by the shadows very well now, except for the gleaming red eyes which were still visible through what Jamie guessed were dark garments. She had moved away very quickly, the momentary glimpse that Jamie had gotten had revealed just a dark blue blur.
“But hu are ya?” Jamie stepped forward, curious and scared, immediately hesitating in fear “you’re not ‘ere to hurt usus, are ya?”
“No,” the whisper came out again, frantic and almost comedic, “just shoo, return to your bed.”
Jamie wanted to get close. If the Street Trash could get close enough, one more opponent would be disqualified.
“Bu’ miss, my parents are good, they won’t hurt ya at awl, is it food ya need, miss?” Jamie stepped closer.
“I require nothing,” she said, sounding disappointed, “apologies for waking you, child. Farewell.”
Jamie smiled because she was cornered. Time to pick-pocket a thief. Fast and clumsily, the Street Trash tripped over to her, but her eyes vanished into the dark and Jamie ended up head-butting the wall. “Ow!”
Jamie bounced back in confusion. The Street Trash looked at the wall perplexed, massaging his forehead.
“Miss?” Jamie felt the wall and looked around but saw no one. She was gone and the only explanation was that she had very literally vanished into the wall. That meant either through the wall or through teleportation.
And there was no teleportation effect left behind, no magical residue that was usually very visible to the naked eye.
The Shadow, The Street Rat flinched, backing away carefully, holy crap, I near took out the Shadow!
She paused in disbelief for a few seconds, the last few minutes trailing back in her mind. Eventually, the Street Trash smiled awkwardly and confidently.
She had been so flustered she hadn’t even noticed how Jamie was dressed, obviously he wasn’t some kid that had just left the bed.
That was the Shadow?
Jamie turned around to walk out of the house and proceed with the competition.