Kane swept the black and white squared linoleum floor. The broom swished
back and forth, brushing bits of chocolate and crumbs from other dropped
sweeties into a pile.
very well, Kane. Is this your first job?” Kane's boss, Mr. Rutherford
wiped his finger across the counter top. “This place is spotless. Keep
up the good work and I'll give you a raise.”
Kane felt his
heart swell with pride.
“Did we go over
the rules, Kane?”
Kane looked up
at the elderly man. “I'm not sure. What rules?”
“You can nibble
on as many sweeties as you'd like, but you are not to give any out to
your pals without them paying for it. I trust you can abide?”
A nodding head
gave its approval.
“Very well. I'll
be back in a hour. Do you think you can handle it?” The boss waited for
another nod and then left Kane alone.
Kane wiped the
counter clean again and polished the glass jars holding a variety of
colored sweets. The bell tinkled and Kane looked up. “Kyle? Ramsay?
Rory? Kirsten? What are you doing here?”
Kyle stepped up
to the counter. “We heard you got a job here with auld man Rutherford
and came for a sweetie.” The boy lifted the lid off and reached inside,
grabbing a handful of boiled sugar drops.
“Don't do that.”
Kane grabbed the lid and put it back on the jar. “You're not allowed to
have sweets unless you pay for them. That's one of Mr. Rutherford's
over to the other side of the counter. “Can I have a few?” She batted
her eyelashes as Kane. “Come on, Kane. I know you like me.”
“You can't have
them unless you pay for them. If he notices anything missing, I'll loose
my job.” Kane glanced from jar to jar to make sure they weren't pinching
“I don't think
you're our friend any more,” Kirsten pouted. “What do you think, Kyle?”
“He's no friend
of mine,” Kyle said, walking to the door.
“Nor mine.” Rory
shut the door behind them.
watching them through the windows as they walked away from the shop.
A few minutes
later Mr. Rutherford came by. “I saw your pals leaving. I hope you
didn't give them any sweets.”
“I didn't. I
promise. They wanted me to, but I said no,” Kane said.
That's enough for today. Come back tomorrow after school.” Mr.
Rutherford took some money out of his wallet and gave it to Kane.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
The next day at
school his friends avoided him. Whenever he approached they ran off.
Mathematics class was at the end of the day. Rory, Kirsten and Ramsay
were in the class. Whenever Kane looked at them, he'd find them
whispering things to the other classmates.
he showed up as planned at the sweetie shop. Mr. Rutherford stood behind
the counter waiting for him. “Ah, it's Master Kane. I'm glad you showed
up. I'll be gone for a while. Take care of the shop. Tidy up and keep it
After his boss
had left, Kane went to work. He refilled the Rosebuds and Turkish
Delight. He'd just screwed the lid on when the door opened. The bell
tinkled as the four friends marched inside.
Kyle stepped up
to the counter. “I brought some money today, but I don't feel like
wasting it when I can have all the sweets I want for free. You see,
Kane, if you don't let me have some, I'll make sure nobody at school
speaks to you ever again.”
nodded, arms folded across their chests.
“Go ahead and do
that if you want. No sweets unless you pay for them. That's the rule.”
Kane spoke with firmness.
“All right. If
you want it that way.” Kyle turned and winked at the others. Ramsay and
Rory ran behind the counter and threw Kane to the ground. They pinned
him while Kyle and Kirsten filled bags up with sweets. “I think we have
enough for now.” Kyle ordered them to let Kane go and the four of them
rushed out the door.
brushing the dirt off his shirt.
chose that moment to come back to the shop. He saw sweets lying on the
ground in front of the counter and half empty jars. “What's all this
about, Kane? Did you let your friends have some sweets? I hope they paid
me, Mr. Rutherford. They threw me on the floor and stole them.”
“That's a load
of rubbish, Kane. You let your friends help themselves. You broke the
rule. Your services are no longer required.” Mr. Rutherford untied
Kane's apron and tossed it on the counter. “You'll get no pay for today
and I'm going to call your mum and dad about this.”
Just leave.” He pointed to the door.
drooped on his neck. He sauntered out of the door and down the street.
Kirsten, who had
parted ways from the boys, watched the saddened Kane as he walked home.
Feeling guilty, she went over to him. “What's wrong, Kane? Why did you
leave your job?”
“What do you
care? I got fired. You and Kyle and the others made me lose my job. Mr.
Rutherford thinks I gave you all the sweets. Leave me alone. Go and play
with your friends. I don't want to talk to you again.” Kane ran off,
leaving the upset girl standing in the middle of the sidewalk.
hesitation, Kirsten marched into the sweetie shop. She explained to Mr.
Rutherford that Kyle was behind all of it and he coerced the others to
do this. When she finished her story, she left.
Kane sat watching television. The telephone rang. His mother called for
him. “It's Mr. Rutherford, Kane. He wants to speak to you.”
“Oh.” He took the telephone from his mother's grasp.
friend, Kirsten came in and told me what happened and that none of it
was your fault. I've called Kyle's, Ramsay's and Rory's fathers and told
them what went on. I've been assured they won't step inside the shop
again. I thought you'd like to know. I want you to come back to work
tomorrow. I've hired a helper for you too.”
to have his job back, accepted the offer. The next day after school he
went to the sweetie shop. He grabbed a broom and worked cleaning the
place up. When the door opened and the bell tinkled, he looked up.
Kirsten stood there.
“Oh no. I
thought you guys weren't allowed back in here.” Kane scowled.
“It's only me.
Mr. Rutherford said I could work for him, to earn the money from the
sweeties I ate.” Kirsten smiled and picked up a cloth. She polished the
jars until they shone.
Kane and Kirsten
worked at the shop for the next year and they both got raises!