Easy Job. Short Story.

Sorry this is up so late! Twas a long day, I’m fairly wrecked so after this I’m just going to veg out until it’s time to sleep.

My weekend was mundane/boring. Did some reading, did some college work and that was pretty much it.

On with the show!

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Easy Job.

The dew sparkled on the grass in the morning light. The bottom of his trousers were soaked already and he still wasn’t done. He didn’t think the grass was as high as it was, nor did he think it would take this long. The distance had seemed much shorter the past few times he had traversed it, but then he had done so in mild, sunny weather. There was still a chill in the air but it was slowly getting warmer, he had no doubt that it would be a nice day. Afterwards he could relax and do something fun, but now it was all about work.

Before it had seemed like a good idea to come this way, but now he regretted his choice, it was discrete yes, but he would have to repeat this path, the car was far away and he stupidly didn’t bring a change of clothes. He would be stuck like this, cold and wet, until he could get home and dry off. He never liked jobs like these, they were piddling easy things, he didn’t like that. He wanted a challenge. But despite their ease they paid well, and this job paid very well. It wouldn’t take him long but it would give him a big fat payment. That was the important thing here. Once he had that money he could relax for a little while. He wasn’t stuck for  cash, wouldn’t be for a while longer, but he liked having a buffer there, it made things easier, safer. He paused at the rise of a short hill and looked down at the house. It didn’t appear to be much, but he knew it was deceiving. Beneath the house was an almost labyrinthine structure, a maze that could easily trap the unwary. But he had memorised the layout, he would be in and out in no time. It wasn’t really a maze, at least, it wasn’t designed with that in mind, but it made it difficult for anyone who didn’t know the layout to leave. Rooms twisted and turned into one another, leading a person deeper, there were no indicators, nothing telling a person if they were going the right way or not. It would be so easy to get lost down there. Sure it was nicely furnished, he had seen pictures, but it wouldn’t make it any less of a prison. He started to walk down the hill, taking his time. The house was empty, would be for another month. It was an easy job and he had plenty of time. He would be in and out before an hour was gone.

The house was small and unassuming, the house was one story high with small windows, it appeared almost cottage like. The lock on the door gave him no trouble, when he stepped inside he listened for the tell tale countdown of an alarm, but none came. He smiled. This was too easy. There was a sitting room, a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom, he had studied the layout of the upstairs too. The door he was looking for was in the kitchen. The kitchen, like the rest of the place, was small, a tiny fridge/freezer, a stove, crammed into one corner, the oven stuffed beside it. A two person table was placed beneath the window, an empty vase sat on the table, waiting to be filled with flowers. He ignored this and went straight to the door. It wasn’t out of place, a person would think it lead to something quaint like a pantry. He turned the handle but the door didn’t move. This would be a little trickier.

When the door finally opened he was surprised how thick it was, despite the ease at which it moved on the hinges, he knew it was heavy. He left the door open and went down the stairs. At the bottom was another door, this one unlocked. The stairs brought him down thirty feet, the door itself gave him no bother, but he was surprised at how uneasy he felt. He could almost feel the earth above pressing down on him. He had the path memorised so there was no need to stop in any of the rooms, some were covered in plush carpets, filled with elaborate cabinets which in turn were filled with rare and wonderful objects, others were floored with wood and lined with books, he ignored these though. He had a mission. It didn’t take him long to find the room he was looking for and in there, he found what he was sent for. It was a small item, one that the owner would probably never miss. It was a pen, plated in gold and spotted with gems, it belonged to someone famous at some point, passed around by collectors. He had read up a little on it, though most of the information was forgotten. He knew what it looked like and that was enough. The pen itself was worth a hefty fortune, almost twenty million, but it was small, discrete. The owner wouldn’t notice its absence for a while. It was most likely never used for fear of damaging it. He took the pen from the cabinet and placed it in a small pouch that was tied to his belt. He turned, then left the room. In the next room he paused and looked around. This wasn’t right. This was a small cinema, he should have entered a room full of DVD cases. He turned and went back into the room, but it too had changed, this one was filled with fancy furniture, a Persian rug covering the floor. He froze, this wasn’t possible. He must have gotten turned around. He went through the door again, this time the room was filled with books. He looked around. This room was familiar, he was through this one before. The next room should bring him past some weird china dolls, then there was a left, a right and he was home free. He looked around the room, wondering how he got here. He must have just been turned around. He went through the door, bracing himself for the dead eyed stare of a thousand dolls, but it never came. This room had a large aquarium in the centre, fish swam around it lazily, a few chairs were placed around the glass container so someone could sit and watch. He went through another room, and another, each one changing, occasionally he would go through the same room twice, but the rooms after were always different.

She entered the cottage, it had been a nice vacation but she was glad to be home. There was a faint smell in the air, one she quickly identified. She smiled as she dialled the clean up crew, wondering what it was they had tried to take this time. Her security wasn’t that tight, it didn’t need to be, no one could leave unescorted. Anyone who ventured in alone never made it out again.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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