The Thief

The wood of the ancient door splintered as Pincushion broke the lock.  It was just after Christmas, and he had been scoping out houses that would be easy targets.  This one with it’s old doors and stacks of electronics boxes out front seemed perfect. If got just $500 more dollars in these sorts of smash and grabs he could move up to bigger and better jobs.

He yanked the door open and stepped inside, closing the door behind him so as not to raise any suspicion from the neighbors.  Mildew and rot assailed his nose as he entered, causing him to gag. He looked around and found himself surrounded by peeling walls and bent floorboards.   Exposed wiring wrapped in some sort of string stuck out from the wall.

Pincushion nearly left,  but in his mind, he pictured all those boxes stacked outside.  He blew out a big breath and began searching the first floor. Every room he entered held only rotten furniture and moldy dishes.  The kitchen was so thick with the stench of decay he didn’t even enter it. He turned to head out and leave when he saw a blue glow coming from upstairs,

Blue glows meant TVs and computers and that meant money.  Grinning, he climbed the stairs, finding a hallway with collapsing plaster walls.  More wires were exposed here, with a dead rat lying with a cord in its mouth. The rancid stench tore through his nostrils.  Looking around he saw the blue glow to his left and turned to gain his prize. He strode towards the room and nearly tripped over a child who came out of nowhere,

The girl was wearing a shapeless white dress and had curly blonde hair.  She pulled a bedraggled stuff rabbit by one ear behind her. “Who are you and why are you in my house?” the child asked.  By the voice, Pincushion realized it was a boy, not a girl. Was the kid a crossdresser? In the end it didn’t matter.

“Listen, you little shit, I want the goods in that room you’re blocking.  I’ll kill you if I have to” he pulled out a blade and grinned with slitted eyes.

“Are you sure you want it?  You can still leave now, it’s not too late to turn down a righteous path”

“You some kinda religious freak or somethin’?  You can shove your righteous path right up your ass,” he held his knife to the boy’s throat.

The boy laughed melodiously and stepped out of the way.  Pincushion strode past him, looked around and vomited. Bloated and desiccated corpses lay everywhere in the room.  The air was thick with flies, and their maggots crawled everywhere. The putrid smell burned through his nostrils, the air was so thick you could taste the decay.  He turned to run and saw the boy standing in the doorway.

His cherubic face was now gaunt and chalky.  His mouth seemed larger, and the teeth within glinted like daggers.  His arms had stretched, veins and tendons standing in his white flesh.  His nails had become talons. A glint of sickly green smoked from his eyes.  He looked the man in the eyes and pointed a gnarled finger at the flashing blue.  

Not daring to anger the creature he turned and saw a screen glowing blue.  As he looked he saw his perfect life, even better than he could have imagined.  Money, women, cars and drugs, all he could ever want. Things he didn’t even know he wanted appearing before him. Mesmerized, he walked toward the screen.  

Pincushion stood for hours in front of the screen, until his legs were ready to give out.  He spotted a blood stained, maggot covered armchair with a skeleton in it. He shoved the skeleton aside and sat transfixed on the screen, not even noticing the writhing mass of maggots oozing over his body.

In the doorway, the creature stood laughing.  Another greedy fool had met his end. He sucked the air, and mist poured from the Pincushion and some of the newer bodies.  The creature’s eyes glowed red and he shuddered, a toothy grin crossing it’s gaping maw. He loped away from the room and went to reset his bait.

Published by Robert C Hartwell

I live in Northeastern Vermont in the US. I am currently working towards becoming an author. I am the proud father of two great kids.

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