Monday, October 27, 2008

The sixth thing- The first story- Theives or detectives?

It was past two in the morning and it was very dark. There were few diffused patches of light on the floor near the windows caused due to the dim street lampposts.

The two intruders crept stealthily across the hall on bare feet- not a sound was heard. They quietly slipped through the doorway and reached the stairs and looked at each other. This was it. No turning back now.

Lisa and Frances had marked down number 13 a month ago. Though the inhabitants were quite rich, they didn’t seem to be wary of burglars. Their burglary alarm was dreadfully simple to be silenced by the amateur criminals. They had the whole house under surveillance and knew every nook and corner.

Lisa first tiptoed up the stairs and glanced around. She then nodded to Frances who was waiting at the bottom and then hurried off quietly to check on the inhabitants- a Mrs.Alastor and her three month old child. The father was away on a business tour. Lisa had only one door to guard, which made things a lot easier than it was last time. She put her head near the keyhole and was satisfied to hear steady breathing. She hoped Frances would hurry up.

Frances set off and reached the huge study. He flashed his torch once around the room. The walls were lined with shelves that contained the best books on law. There were few locked windows at regular intervals. The large mahogany table and cushioned chair glared at him imperiously from across the room, as though he could never pull it off in a hundred years. He smirked and his eyes fixed upon the moderately sized safe that was on the left wall, its iron handle catching the light.

He sneaked up to the safe and put his bag gently on the floor and felt the cool metal.

“Not too long buddy, you’ll be open in a jiffy.” He set to work.

Not five minutes had passed since she last saw Frances that Lisa began to feel fidgety. She didn’t want to guard a woman who was sleeping soundly anyway. She thought she might be able to help Frances and crept back down the stairs and into the study room, where she saw him hard at work. She slipped in.

“Are you done?”


Frances had dropped something metal and heavy onto the well carpeted floor, but the sound was loud nonetheless.

“What do you think you’re doing? Sneaking up at me like that?” he demanded angrily.

“The woman’s asleep, might as well help you here. And don’t look at me like that. Its safe enough.”

Just then, there was an unmistakable sound of a baby wailing.

Mrs. Alastor jerked awake, and sat up on her bed slowly. She then walked a short distance to the cradle and lifted her crying baby and made soft crooning noises to comfort her. She looked sleepily at the luminous arms of the clock. It was 2:15.

Maybe her baby was hungry. It was the third time this week she’d wailed in the wee hours of the morning.

The baby stopped crying and Mrs. Alastor put her down gently into the cradle and put on her bedroom slippers. She trudged down the stairs and towards the kitchen. Then she distinctly heard a noise in the study.

“Let hope she doesn’t wake up,” whispered Frances “if she does and causes trouble it’d be your fault.”

Both listened with bated breath. For quite a while, the baby wailed and then there was nothing.

Maybe they’ve gone back to bed, thought Lisa. But suddenly, a footfall was heard on what seemed to be the bottommost stair!

Quick! Hide!, mouthed Frances. Both Frances and Lisa dived behind the desk at the same instant, resulting in a collision, Lisa yelped.

Her heart missed a beat.

What in the world-

Mrs. Alastor quickly walked to the hall and reached the side door which opened out to the garden. She saw the green light of the burglary alarm blinking innocently and heaved a small sigh of relief.

“Now that that’s working perfectly, what- ohhh”, she muttered, comprehension dawning on her.

She quickly walked to the study and her suspicions were confirmed once she saw the study door ajar. She stood at the doorway, carefully looking.

They lay hidden behind the huge desk, scared to breathe. The lady was scrutinizing the room. They heard her mutter “I must’ve been mistaken” and leave the room.

Lisa and Frances exhaled and slowly crept out of their hiding place once they’d made sure there were no more noises heard from the lady. All of a sudden, light flooded the room. The two spun around, the bright light dazzling, and saw Mrs.Alastor’s finger still on the light switch. Their hearts sank.

“What do you think you two are doing?” she enquired in a weary but stern voice.

“Nothing mum.. we were just-”

“We were sleepwalking. We just found ourselves here-”

“Yeah can you believe it? Must’ve been some shock for us eh?”


The two children’s explanations were silenced at once. Mrs. Alastor looked at her children’s innocent faces and smiled inwardly. She quickly put on an impatient face though, and said, “I’ll deal with you two later on when the sun has properly risen. Till then please try not to blow up this place. Honestly, what were you two doing? Playing detectives?”

No comments: