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.
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.