Theodore (Part three)

So here is the final part. Hope you like it.

After she had fallen asleep again Theodore had really focused on his research. This time he went through all the history of the ancient world up to the present day and he was sure he had found the answer. He wasn’t the only one to fail before victory, in fact it was a depressingly common occurrence. His new hero was Odysseus, King of Ithaca. Although impressed with his exploits, Theodore didn’t intend on waiting ten years before breaching his Troy. No, third time lucky, tomorrow he was going to use the old Trojan horse trick.
The next morning Molly had a few choice words for Theodore about the state he had got himself into the night before. It had taken all day to placate her and Theodore was desperate to get the job done soon. It was Molly’s birthday tomorrow and he couldn’t bear to let her down.
He was impatient but still made sure she was comfortably asleep before he crept out of the house.
The evening was cold, the skies were threatening to rain again. Theodore sneaked into the garage where Molly’s father stored the crates that brought his personal artifacts to the house. There were several to choose from.
Theodore found one about the right size, pulled off the smart label and added his own. He was able to finagle the data by using Molly’s fathers password; being important had its uses.
He made sure the crate was scheduled to be delivered to the museum by same day delivery. He then crawled inside and sealed himself within. He waited.
An hour later and the garage was opened by the automatic butler.
“This is the one” The butler intoned. Theodore didn’t get along with the butler very well. He thought it was a stupid and rigid machine, but in this situation he had to admit he was glad it was old “misery butts” sending the package off. A human might get curious as to where this mysterious parcel had appeared from, not to mention how it had suddenly got on his to-do list. Yes old misery butts would do just as programmed and no more.
The courier was human, there was no mistaking it in his voice, which just showed what a high class service it was. The courier loaded the crate onto his hover-bike, none too gently Theodore thought, and raced off to the museum.
The journey was swift and he wasn’t jolted around too much. Hover-bikes were an amazingly smooth ride, the only issues Theodore had were the dangerously swift turns the courier made which threw him around a bit.
He felt the hover-bike slow and there was silence for a while. There was a whine as some machinery clattered and Theodore’s crate was lifted into the air and placed on a flat surface. Theodore could hear the buzz of human voices conversing for a minute or two and then more silence. He checked the time, it was three am, he would wait until four before making his move. Plenty of time to peruse the blueprints for the building again and decide which route to take.
It was time, Theodore hadn’t heard any movement. If the guards stuck to their schedule they would be patrolling the grounds looking for intruders. He had done it!
He was giddy with joy for moment but this time viciously clamped down on the urge to giggle, or dance, he wasn’t done yet. He carefully climbed out of the crate, making sure not to damage it. He pulled off the used smart label and put on a new one. The room he was in was dark and full of unopened crates like his own. The mail room, perfect. It was on the lowest level of the museum and coincidentally directly connected by air vents to the exhibit he was going to steal.
It was all working out brilliantly, just like in the holo’s. He moved quietly to the nearest vent and unscrewed the cover. It took a while- his hands weren’t really designed for using a screwdriver but with patience and perseverance he managed. The vent was filthy, he had thought buildings like this were supposed to have robot cleaners for the ventilation shafts, they must be on the blink. There was a thick layer of dust that stuck to his body and made him feel disgusted, but he pushed on undeterred.
The room with the exhibit had a guard in it. He was one of the large men Theodore had seen two nights previously. He felt guilt for a moment in that he had destroyed the man’s car, but then shrugged it off. For Molly, it was worth it. The man did a slow circuit of the room and then wandered off. Theodore heard the click of the lock when the guard shut the door behind him.
So they had changed their scheduled routes but it didn’t matter he was practically in the room now. Unscrewing the cover from behind the vent was surprisingly easier for him than from the front. He just had to grasp the threads in his hands and twist. He pulled himself out of the vent and stood.
The room was large and there were paintings on every wall. There were no windows but there was a skylight above him. The moonlight gave everything a silvery glow. In the centre of the room stood the glass case with the treasure.
He walked past a Gauguin, a Monet and two lost but found masterpieces, Vermeer’s The concert and Galitee’s The crown of stones. Until finally he stood before it, the real prize.
The moon glow surrounding the glass case made it seem almost magical. Inside she stood, an original vintage Barbie, circa 1959. Over a hundred years old and still stunning in her black and white zebra striped one piece swimming suit. Theodore was grinning, she was his! Molly was going to love her.
He knocked on the glass, “Hello? Er…miss Barbie, hello?”
She ignored him and continued to stare to the side. He felt nonplussed for a moment then realised with a slap to his head that dolls back then didn’t have minds. She wasn’t a smart toy. He shook his head in irritation and cracked the case open with his screwdriver. He pulled the doll from the stand and threw the screwdriver straight up and through the skylight. The smashing noise drowned out by the hair raising alarms that were going off.
Theodore could hear heavy fire doors slamming down outside the room cutting it off, the thumping footsteps of large men approaching. He needed to move. He dragged the Barbie after him like so much baggage.

#

Theodore was excited, his plan had worked perfectly. The package had been picked up by courier from the Museum at six am sharp. He had endured another hair raising journey before being placed at the front door of Molly’s house, as per his instructions on the smart label.
Theodore was feeling very happy with himself and he at last allowed himself a small giggle. It made him feel even better somehow.
The courier rang the doorbell. Theodore heard the door being pulled open.
“I have it Jeeves, you go check on the cake.”
“Yes, milady.”
“Yes?” It sounded like Molly’s mother.
“Delivery for Molly Dingausser.”
“For Molly?” Her voice rose in surprise.
“Thats what it says.” The courier sounded bored.
“She’s six years old. Where did it come from?”
The courier sounded impatient as he replied. “The museum, look do you want it or not? I’ve got other deliveries, I can take it back?” Theodore tensed. No!
“Oh, no that’s okay.” Theodore quietly breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thumbprint here.”
“Yes sorry. There”
The courier didn’t reply but Theodore felt the package being picked up and handed over.
He felt the slight sway as Molly’s mother carried the crate inside.
“I’m not impressed with that courier service,” Molly’s mother muttered to herself, “a bit rude I thought.” She raised her voice, “Darling? Did you send a package from the museum?”
“What?” A deeper voice from inside the house responded. Molly’s father, he sounded harried.
“A package.”
“No, what are you talking about? Actually don’t bother, I don’t have time, I’ve got to go.”
“But darling it’s Molly’s Birthday you can’t-”
“I have to!” Molly’s father sounded angry and frustrated.
Theodore’s excitement was beginning to fade. What was going on?
“Daddy?” Molly’s sleepy voice interjected. “You promised. It’s my party! My gang is coming over to play. You said we would…”
His voice quietened as he brought himself under control, “I’m sorry honey, I can’t. The police need me to answer some questions. There was a robbery last night.”
“A robbery?”
“Yes at the museum, I need to let them have access to the security footage.”
“But daddy…” Molly’s voice thickened and Theodore could imagine the tears pooling in her eyes. Oh no, she was going to cry. He had to do something so he did the only thing that always made her happy.
Theodore burst out of the package and danced a jig for Molly, singing Happy Birthday.
The whole room went silent. Molly’s face was streaked with tears and her mouth was half open as she stared at Theodore.
“Teddy? You’re filthy! What’s happened to you?” Then she caught sight of the Barbie and her eyes went wide. A big smile broke out on her face at that point and Theodore knew he had done the right thing.
Molly’s father was also looking at him with his mouth half open. He laughed and shook his head. “Thanks Teddy, great timing, I think Molly needs a friend right now.”
Molly ran to Theodore and picked him up in a bear hug, not caring that her new dress was now smudged with grime.
“Oh thank you Teddy! She’s beautiful! She looks just like the one we saw on the Holovids!” She put him down, pulled the Barbie from the packaging, and threw the box on the floor.
Theodore felt wonderful, he was so happy, they would let him do things now for certain.
Molly’s father had a long suffering look on his face as he picked up the box,
“Okay honey, I’ll see you later then.” Molly was too absorbed in her doll to answer.
He smiled again, kissed Molly’s mother and was taking the box to the disposer on his way out when he stopped stock still, his back went rigid.
“Er, Teddy,” his voice was strange, he was examining the box very carefully. “That’s a very nice doll you’ve got there…where exactly did you get it from?”
Molly wasn’t happy after all, and Theodore still didn’t get to do much in the gang.

Advertisements

THEODORE (part two)

Theodore usually made it to the target by twelve am. Molly was always in bed before that and normally he would wait until she was asleep before sneaking out. She had noticed the burnt hair today and gave him a hard time over it. Theodore had done his best to distract her with intricate and plausible lies but he wasn’t sure she had bought it. She was not happy.
Nevertheless he was here now, a little later than usual but ready for business. He made it to his usual hiding spot and was about to crawl into position when he stopped in dismay, there were four cars in the car park!
What the heck? Looking around sharply he made sure no one else was nearby. Safe, for now.
What had happened? He had managed to make things worse!

For a moment he felt overwhelmed by the disaster before he forced himself to think calmly. They would have called the police yesterday but they wouldn’t still be around. It must be extra security. Maybe they had doubled the guards. They did that a lot on the Holovids whenever an intruder was about.
Blast it!
What would Moriarty do? He had read the entire Sherlock Holmes series last night in an attempt to find inspiration. Well, the Napoleon of crime would probably get someone else to do it for him. No, That wouldn’t work. He needed to show Molly that he could do it himself. Then it hit him. The roof.
In every show he had seen no matter how much security they had you could always enter by the roof. They might even leave a skylight open or something. He looked up at the building, trying to work out how high it might be. Getting up there might be tricky.
He knew his next door neighbours’ son had a Chinese kite, a beautiful thing that Theodore had seen dancing in the skies on many occasions. If he could get a hold of that it might help him get onto the roof. He checked the time, it was one AM, the neighbours would be asleep.
He waddled back to the main road and caught a ride on the first air-tram to come by. He was back at his house fifteen minutes later.
The neighbour’s house was faux Tudor, the roof was carbon thatched, looked like the real thing but never needed replacing and vermin couldn’t get in. Theodore had visited the neighbours’ son on many occasions. He was in Molly’s gang and was one of the main detractors to Theodore’s inclusion, so stealing his kite was going to be satisfying on many levels.
The garden was dark, but Theodore knew the layout and scaled the outer wall to drop into the underbrush. It was pitch dark but Theodore could see into the infrared and so had no trouble navigating towards the summer-house at the end of the garden about two hundred metres away.
There was a noise and Theodore froze in place. The garden was still but he swore he could hear a faint rustling coming from ahead. He slowly parted the leaves of a palm plant to see a new addition to the neighbours family. A large Doberman, inky black and almost invisible, its eyes reflected the moonlight and glowed eerily. A dog! When the heck did they get that! Theodore didn’t move, he knew the dog couldn’t see him but it would hear him move.
The dog padded past him to cock his leg against a forlorn shrub, brown and withered from earlier urinations. The dog stopped mid-stream as a breeze wafted something in its direction; the Doberman went rigid, and then started to dart it’s head from side to side. Trying to catch the scent again.
Theodore knew he was in trouble, the dog had caught something off him, maybe Molly’s smell, maybe his singed hair. It was only a matter of seconds before the dog found him. He turned and ran as fast as his legs could carry him. The Doberman immediately heard the rustling and leapt to the chase. Theodore had never been so terrified, he could hear the dog barking behind him and crashing through the brush.
He ducked under a rose-bush, snagging on a few thorns on the way, he ripped himself free. The Doberman was just behind him, snarling but stymied by the thorns. The larger dog couldn’t follow Theodore but now he was trapped. He turned to see snapping jaws inches away from his face. A jolt of fear went through him and he pushed himself harder to emerge on the opposite side of the bush. The Doberman was trying to go around the other side, Theodore noticed the tendrils of a hanging vine, he leapt and grabbed a hold.
Pulling himself upwards as fast as he could he managed to find safety in the lower branches of a tree. Just in time, the huge dog had made it past the rose-bush and was jumping and barking frenziedly at the foot of the tree. It was the eucalyptus at the bottom of the garden, Theodore was relieved and frustrated at the same time. He had missed his chance again, there was no way to get to the summer-house now. The Chinese kite plan was ruined.
The eucalyptus overlooked the bordering wall so Theodore climbed a little higher and crept out on a branch overhanging Molly’s garden.
He could see lights coming on in the neighbour’s house, the dog was still going crazy. Theodore dropped silently into his own back yard, his thoughts were glum. It was never this difficult on the Holovids.
He trudged up the garden path to the house, pulling thorns out of himself all the way and let himself in. He just knew Molly wasn’t going to be pleased.

#

Part three will be on it’s way soon.