Published in my collection, “Short Stories & Allegories” in 2014.
It was a little after dusk as Micky crept up the pebbled path, to Isfield Place, East Sussex. He was wearing a black, turtleneck jumper; black denim trousers; black trainers; and carried in his hand a stocking leg, which he had cut off a pair of tights.
You could say that his plans for the evening were to be furtively clandestine. It was said that this house was full of expensive gear. Not only that, but he had heard it told, that the owners were away at this time of year and that meant that he could have the place to himself. No worrying about waking anyone up or getting caught in the act or anything like that.
He crept up closer. Just because you were sure everyone was out, it was always prudent to keep an eye out and not take anything for granted.
He moved round to the back of the property and found a small window, which he could slip through and gain access to the building. He jimmied it open and threw the bag, which he had also brought with him, into the awaiting room. Slipping through the gap, himself, he slid down and landed smartly on the floor. From there he pulled a torch, from out of his bag, and switched it on, giving him enough light to work his way through the house.
As he passed from room to room, he saw many wonderful things. Bodiless Beasts cluttered the walls; vases and statues littered the tables; busks and tapestries; rugs and suits of armour; everything that a stately home should have, was here and Micky didn’t have a bag big enough.
He threw some small things into his bag, as he passed, but the spoil he was looking for, would be upstairs in the bedrooms or in the study.
He went, firstly to the study and searched the desk drawers and cabinets. He then checked behind each painting in turn, as he looked for any hidden safe that might be there.
After uncovering very little, the hapless thief decided to head to the sleeping quarters. He climbed the steps, very carefully and cautiously, in case there was anyone around, who shouldn’t be. Reaching the top of the stairs, Micky turned left and headed down the corridor, to the main bedroom. He had managed, after a painstaking search, to find the plans for the building, during one of his many online attempts and it was just as well, because the place was a maze of corridors.
There were over twenty bedrooms, as well as all the bathrooms and the two kitchens; also the dining room and the boardroom; and let’s not forget the sitting rooms and the reception hall. To put it short, the place was frigging big.
As he entered the main bedroom, Micky scoured the room, before dashing over to the sideboard and start rummaging through the drawers, for any piece of jewellery or the like, which he could hock afterwards.
He was more successful here, than he was, when he searched the study. He found three men’s Rolex watches, which were most definitely gold; seven ladies watches of different styles and forms; a pearl necklace; and thirteen hundred in cash. Things were looking like they were going to plan.
He had been warned off, from ripping off this house, by a number of people. Don’t do it! They would say, Those people are mental! He didn’t believe a word of it, though. As far as he could see, there was nothing out of the ordinary about these folks at all. They were just a couple of Old Money, Well-to-Do’s with a crap security system.
That was strange, he thought. You would have thought a place like this would have a decent alarm installed, but it just occurred to him, that there was none present. Weird!
His train of thought was punctuated, when he heard a slight click, while looking behind some books, on the bookshelf. He froze, instinctively. Right before his eyes, the bookcase unhinged itself from the wall, on one side and creaked open.
From the other side of the newly found door, there was the obligatory secret passage. Wow, Micky thought. He had always wanted, in all his time of burgling, to find a secret passage to some lost treasure. Tonight could be his night. Hopes and dreams flooded his mind, as he stepped through the gap and into the passage ahead.
He followed the passage for a goodthree minutes, as he worked his way through the veins of the house and up towards the upper rooms and quarters.
When he reached the end of the passage, with no other ways to go, Micky was presented with another door. He put his ear up against the door and listened for anything that might be heard. As he did, he heard something, which he didn’t expect.
Surely not! His ears must be deceiving him. He listened again and again, the sound he thought he heard the first time, came back to him once more. It was the sound of a young girl crying.
He quickly looked through a hole, which he found in the wall, to see if he could see what was going on, on the other side of the door. What he saw scarred him to his soul. Never before had he seen such as he did now and he wished with all his heart that the nightmare had never darkened his eyes.
On the other side knelt a dirty and beaten young girl. She was bent forwards and had her arms stretched out to either side of her, with her wrists strapped in manacles, which, in turn, were attached to chains, pinned to either wall. Her clothes, or rather what was left of her clothes, after they had been torn to what was almost sheds, were covered in dirt and blood. Her hair was black and oily and extremely unkempt. Her face however was covered, by her erratic hair and so Micky could not see what she looked like.
As soon as the shock of what he had seen relented, his sense of ethics and morals both came back to him, in a flood and he immediately stepped back a bit, from the door and gave it a good hard kick.
The door burst open and Micky dashed through. The girl was so scared, that she tried to climb the wall and only calmed down when Micky managed to convince her that he was alone and did not wish to harm her, in any way.
“I want to help you get out of those chains,” he had said. “Will you allow me to try?”
The tormented girl waited a few seconds, pondering things, as she jerked her head this way and that, as if trying to physically shake out a calculation, before nodding in agreement.
Micky crept closer, keeping his hands in her view, showing her that what he was doing was a good thing. She watched him keenly, as he managed to unclasp her left wrist, from its manacle. He gave it a light rub, to get the circulation going properly again, before moving over to her other wrist.
On unlocking the second manacle, and easing the circulation, as he had done before, he sat back on the floor, in front of her.
“Now,” he said softly, “my name is Micky. What should I call you?”
The girl continued to sit there, rubbing her wrists, her hair still covering her face. She paused, for just a second and said, “You should call me Doom,” as she lifted her head, to reveal a face that haunted nightmares and screamed a bloodcurdling scream, at him.
Micky, having received the fright of his life, tried to throw himself backwards as the girl dived on top of him screaming and salivating all over him. Her fingers wrapped around his throat, as he fought for breath
Before long his wriggling and writhing slowed down to a few random jerks, before dribbling down to complete stillness, bereft of life.
The girl wrapped his body in a sheet, pushed him down a hatch, which was secretly hidden on the opposite wall, and went back to her cot, reattaching her chains.
Back in the same position that she was, when Micky had found her, she slipped off to sleep, awaiting the next unsuspecting intruder.