He noticed the woman’s handbag lying under the seat.

He noticed the woman's handbag lying under the seat.  The bus driver had already exited and was completing his end-of-run vehicle check, seemingly not caring whether Randy had exited or not.

Randy picked up the purse.  Heavy.  Black.  Leather.  'Like my soul tonight' he thought. 

Tucking it under his arm, and making sure the strap was tight between the purse and his left armpit so as not to dangle and draw attention, Randy left the bus and began making his way toward Chinatown.

"Egg rolls, I could go for egg rolls" he said to himself.  

The 13-city block predominantly made up of Chinese grocers, restaurants, and gift shops was the last area to close in the city.  More precisely, it never closed. 

Moving along the crowded streets, he headed towards his faourite jaunt, "EggRol   ing" - the last L in Eggroll and the K in King having burnt out long ago.

The city-within-a-city, normally lit up like it was noon, seemed darker tonight.  Like somehow Randy's inner anger was projecting itself like vapour and clouding the streets. 

He was within a block of supper when he heard the footsteps behind him.  Why he could hear a singular set of footprints among the hundreds of pedestrians crowding the sidewalks he didn't know.  But he knew the steps were following his every move. 

Randy saw his destination approaching and made a bolt for the front entrance.  Running inside, he slid sideways into the first empty booth and watched through the window.  He knew he would recognize the face of the one following him, and he waited.

"Coffee for you?"  the waitress asked, startling Randy enough that his attention was drawn away from the window.  He nodded, and when his gaze returned to the passersby, he saw the back of the head of the woman who'd stepped in unison a few short strides behind him.

He watched her cross the street and disappear into the night.. 

Remembering the handbag, Randy set it down beside him, and without thinking opened it up and began rooting through like the homeless scrounging through a McDonald's dumpster after midnight.

What shocked him wasn't how much was in the purse.  Rather, it was the what that alarmed him.

The End

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