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A Cat Burglar?
He had swaggered along Apperley Drive, his hands in his pockets; innumerable times previously in search of easy pickings and today number twenty-seven was ripe.
He pauses for a moment surveying his intended target. Nice...very nice. The house was located in a salubrious area, in anybody's book. A top notch estate for Middle-class two-car families, too busy earning to ever be in at this time of the morning. Half an hour's ‘Work’ and he would have enough money for another holiday in the Canaries.
What shall we name our cat burglar? Let's call him Nick just for the fun of it. But the last laugh may be on you. Nick is everywhere - he could be in your street too. Maybe even right now. Are you sure you locked all your windows before you came out today? Did you forget to set your burglar alarm? I’ll bet my bottom dollar you left your spare bunch of keys hanging on the rack just inside your back door, didn’t you?
One look at the smart semi-detached from the tree-lined pavement and Nick's decision is made. No alarm... open upstairs window... very tempting. There’s a convenient hedge of overgrown conifers to provide plenty of cover and even an unsecured ladder to make things even easier. Nick will prop it up against the porch roof and be inside in next to no time.
There's a BMW parked on the drive, convertible too... very nice.
‘All right, mate?’ Nick says casually to an unsuspecting passer by, before he saunters down the drive of number twenty-seven. Could have been the guy whose place I did last week, he smiles to himself - serves him right for not securing his property. People are real stupid when it comes down to it - only themselves to blame really.
My house will be OK they’ll brag ... I've got a dog. I've nothing worth taking anyway. Nobody could get in through that tiny window!
WATCH ME! Says Nick.
Nick doesn't need a bucket and a chamois to masquerade as a window cleaner. A quick glance up and down the road is sufficient. Speed is the essence and being as lean and as lithe as a cat is a must. He tries to enter through the doors first - it’s surprising how many people don't even bother to lock up. There's a dog inside, a pedigree pooch by the look of him, leaping up and down in the hallway and growling with convincing ferocity, protecting his master's domain.
Undeterred by this hostile reception Nick goes about his business nonchalantly. The ladder is soon in place and scrambling from the last rung up on to the sloping roof of the porch, he is through the open bedroom window in a matter of seconds.
There’s no time to lose. Drawers are spilled onto beds and their contents emptied into two obliging suitcases that sit conveniently on top of the wardrobes. Nick’s dealer will be pleased – he’s already located most of the items he requires.
The barking becomes louder. Better go and sort that mutt out once and for all, Nick thinks. Taking the laden cases downstairs, he is met at the bottom by the angry hound. Nick reaches into his pocket and draws out a handful of doggy chocs and throws them in the direction of the dog. ‘Hello boy, come on then, like some of these hey? What a good doggy you are.’
The dog immediately responds to the generosity of this kindly stranger who has now gone into the kitchen to offer him some tasty morsels from the fridge. With the lure of a few slices of ham, Nick even manages to get the dog eating out of his hand ‘Here boy – what a good boy you are!’
With the dog subdued and befriended, Nick empties more drawers, finding valuable documents and even an unsigned credit card. He'll have fun with that tonight out on the town with his girlfriend spending someone else's money. Several cheques are torn at random from a new book and the book returned to its original place. It'll be a good few weeks before anyone notices they’ve gone missing, if at all.
Finding a spare set of house keys hanging on the cupboard by the kitchen door together with the ones to the BMW, Nick is soon outside, operating the soft-top roof of the car. Cases are slung into the back. It's a lovely car, plush interior and every gadget on the dashboard you could think of - the owners pride and joy; sleek and steam lined. What a shame it'll soon be stripped down and sold for spare parts.
A quick glance round and Nick returns to the house several times for more goods. He doesn't trash the place... what's the point? He's got what he wants.
People sometimes notice Nick; but he doesn't mind, in fact he likes to be noticed; that way he fits in. Attracting attention is what he doesn't want. The nice lady in the front garden opposite belongs to the neighbourhood watch scheme. She sees him but suspects nothing, pausing for a second from her pruning to give him a friendly nod.
He must be a young relative of the Jones’s across the road, borrowing their car for a weekend away. And after all she thinks, it can't be anything suspicious. Look, he even has the family dog in the back.
© 2014 Stella Kaye