Break and Enter
In the English countryside of London, a lot of kids were wandering around the night, grabbing their handful of candies. At this day and age, kids sure love to eat them, once they return to their homes. But homes were rarely abandoned these days, because they were robbed several times in three months to be exact. The police were baffled about the case, and they hadn't figured out the culprits yet. It could be an entire organization for all they knew. But what they didn't know is that only two unemployed men, who got fired from their jobs years earlier, had managed to steal everything they can. And yes, they did.
John Warnick used to work as a fashion designer. He couldn't remember what it was like to dress those beautiful models. The red lipsticks, soft skin, and skinny legs. He had the feeling that he might do something very naughty, and that he could not only lose his job, but his reputation as well. Well, he did it anyways. And the model didn't mind at first. So, John had nothing to worry about it. But the model's mother found out later, and filed a harassment suit against him. He was fired, all right.
Tom Shuckleburg had nothing much else to say on his part. He had too many secrets. He claimed to have three wives, and a high-paying job that landed him on hot water. John asked Tom once, what he did for a living. At first, Tom didn't say anything. Then he said, "I used to be a photographer for the porn industry." John gave a surprise look on his face. Yes, Tom was serious about it. He had made love to the CEO's wife and porn star, and that my friends, which is why Tom swore to himself that he would never work for the porn industry anymore. He had such a hard-on those days, and he couldn't help it.
John laughed at the thought. But he didn't laugh out loud in front of Tom. It would be embarrassing enough. How did he even meet him in the first place? He remembered all right. He used to go to these bars, where big-muscled guys fight all the time. He was drunk once, and he noticed that a man named Tom offered him a drink, sitting right beside him. John said he had enough drinking for one night. But he drank, anyways. Maybe he wanted to please his newfound friend? Who knows? John might find someone in common, because he was already caught in a jam.
Tom said something about robbing houses in the countryside. John looked at him, as if he were joking. But Tom wasn't joking. He even planned out when, and where he can go to these places without further notice. He tried one time stealing alone, but it didn't work. He felt like he needed a partner, which is why he came to this bar, and finally found the person he was looking for.
John didn't know what to say about it. But he had enough of the angry citizens of London scowling at him, as if he killed a loved one. He thought, Sure mate, why not? I'll teach them a lesson. So, he accepted Tom's proposal, and off they went, stealing the goods.
Now, they parked in front of the house, which seemed nobody was staying there. Because someone like Tom heard news about a famous archaeologist, who had just gone on a long trip to God-Knows-Where to study some find, or do something for relaxation. This was the right moment to shine.
"I don't know why we came here, Tom," John said. They both stole everything, and sold them in the highest bidder. But this was different. He had a strange feeling about the house that they were looking at right now. He was... afraid.
"What are you afraid of?" Tom asked his partner, as if he read his mind already. "You and I have done this before, mate. You should be grateful that we're doing this."
"I know, Tom," John said. "But..." He stared at the big house. "I heard... rumors."
"Rumors?" Tom was confused. He looked at his partner, wondering what he was talking about. "What rumors?"
"Well..." John gulped as if he had been inside that house a long time ago. "There had been news of someone, who entered that house. Someone like us."
Well, this wasn't anything new for Tom to hear. Of course, there were others like them. A one-man job was all a single man needed. But then, who knows? That guy may not be lucky enough to steal the goods.
"Listen, mate," Tom said. "You're just over-exaggerating yourself. That's all."
John looked at him, and said, "No, I'm not. It's true. The guy went inside the house, and never came back."
Now, Tom seemed to be afraid. But he had to let go of that fear. He made sure that there weren't dogs around to guard the house. He planned ahead, and now is not the time to back out. He can't let his own fears get to him.
"We'll have to do this, John." Tom was starting to get angry. "We came all the way here. Do you realize how long it took us to get here?”
John realized it all right. The journey was too long that he couldn't remember what time it was. Because he didn't have a watch on him. So, he might have guessed it was a pretty long journey. He sighed.
"Okay, Tom," John said. "We'll do this. We'll find something, whatever it is we're looking for, and then we'll go." It's obvious that John wanted to get out of here. The big house looked too creepy for his taste.
"Okay," Tom said. "Let's go." As they walked out of the car, the wind blew their faces. It was pretty cold at this time of year. Maybe, the kids shouldn't stay out too late. They'll have to make sure the kids wouldn't notice their arrival. Their plan might get backfired.
They approached the house. Thankfully, there were no dogs prowling around the night. That's what John had been afraid of, which Tom thought earlier. But it wasn't the dogs. It was the house.
Tom picked a lock on the front door. John looked around to see if anyone was coming in their direction. It took a while for Tom to finally open the door. They went inside the house. Tom locked the door. He made sure that all the curtains were closed, so that the outsiders couldn't see them.
The interior of the house looked too big for the robbers. They went around the kitchen, and the living room. Some of the furniture looked quite old. Whoever this archaeologist was, he or she had great tastes. There were also old paintings hanging on the wall. When John went back to the kitchen, he noticed a door that might lead to the backyard. So, he opened it. But it wasn't the backyard. It turned out to be a basement.
"Hey Tom!" John raised his voice. Tom heard him, and came back to the kitchen, He said, "What is it?" Then he looked downstairs.
"What do you think is down there?" John asked. As a kid, he used to be scared of the basement, all those fuzzy rats, and spiders crawling around there. Now, he wasn't sure.
"I don't know," Tom said. "But we better find out. Where's the flashlight?" John had brought the flashlight with him. He gave it to Tom.
"Okay, let's go," Tom said. "Watch your step."
They tried to find the switch. So, they went downstairs slowly and carefully. A cobweb almost smacked John's face. He sneezed.
When they reached the basement, Tom stepped on something. He turned the flashlight towards it. It was a dead rat.
John wanted to puke. He couldn't stand all this dread lying around the basement, and that he wanted to go back to the car. He might as well stay there, and wait for Tom to steal the goods. This house was too creepy for him.
Tom finally found the switch, or felt like it. He turned it on. The light flickered and dimmed.
"Jesus Christ!" John stared at the ancient objects lying on the countertop. On the left corner of the wall, was a huge Chinese vase. It looked pretty new. John was appalled by its appearance. The vase had a drawing of a dragon, eating a live human. John felt sick.
"Well, what do you know?" Tom said, examining the objects. "This is neat." He looked at John, still staring at the vase. "Hey John, we need to take all of them." John came to his senses and said, "All of them?"
"Yeah, all of them," Tom said. And then he looked at the Chinese vase. "But we need to take that one first. It looks big." John nodded. They lifted the vase. It was heavy.
"Jesus Christ!" John puffed. "What's in here?"
"I don't know," Tom said. "But we better be careful. We need to watch those stairs."
They were careful enough to climb the stairs. But something hit John. He felt the vase was moving by itself.
"Tom..." John said, "I think something moved."
"What?" Tom couldn't hear him because he was trying to focus on the stairs. "What moved?"
"The..." John paused. "The vase. Something moved inside the vase!"
"Oh come on, mate," Tom said. "It's just your imagination."
"But Tom, I'm not..." John paused again, and this time Tom heard something. He dropped the vase accidentally, and it rolled over the stairs. John screamed as he fell back. He also rolled like a pinball, and crashed on the floor.
"John!" Tom shouted at his partner. "Are you alright?” He looked at the vase. It was broken.
"Yeah..." John was trying to get up. "I'm fine. The vase... What happened to it?" Then he looked at the vase. Something came out of it. It moved like a venomous snake. The two robbers gasped.
"What..." Tom said slowly. "What the devil?" He couldn’t make anything of the creature that came from the vase. It looked reptilian, and scaly. “What the hell is it?”
John didn't want to know. He knew that something was wrong here, and that the previous robber must have died because of it. He got up, but the creature pounced on him so fast, it tore his skin apart. It was eating him. John screamed.
Tom screamed too. He climbed the stairs immediately, leaving John behind. He slammed the door, sweating all over.
He wanted to open the door quickly as possible. But he didn't move because the creature might catch him as well. However, as strange as it sounds, the screaming stopped, and it looked like the creature had finished his dinner.
He opened the door slowly. He could be stupid enough to perform this task. All he had to do was to escape from this dreadful house. But he had to know. He had to see what happened down in the basement. Of course, John was dead. He thought he could go back down there, and steal all those precious objects, and then leave. But the creature was still there.
He looked down at the basement, and saw a human figure standing there. Tom gasped.
Tom was looking at a big mansion, where the CEO currently lives. This businessman was the person who fired Tom in the first place. Tom figured he could teach him a lesson by stealing precious goods. Probably his wife has a stock of jewelry, hidden somewhere behind the closet, Tom thought.
But Tom decided to change his plans. Instead of stealing the goodies, he planned to kill them. Tom was about to leave the car. But he stopped. He wasn't sure if he had to bring him, or it along. He looked at the creature that took the shape of his dead partner.
"So..." Tom tried to search for a line of communication, because he knew the creature didn't talk much. "Are you ready?"
The creature looked at Tom, and grinned.
Next story- That Cold Feeling