Arti Verma

Abstract Thriller


Arti Verma

Abstract Thriller

Predators on the Prowl

Predators on the Prowl

7 mins 10.9K 7 mins 10.9K

“Hoooot” quavered the owl, keeping a sharp look out for prey as it circled around a copse of trees. The moonlight glistened off the owl’s body, threatening to reveal the hiding spots of the tiny field mice, scurrying to and fro. It was a dark night, and the moon shone down faintly on the sleepy town of Arlstaw. The timid stars twinkled knowingly, as if they had heard about all the secrets going on, down on earth. Their slight, gentle light shimmered down onto a big house on the forested hillside.


The house was backed up with trees. “The perfect spot!” exclaimed the man, as he whispered into the phone. “Move in and hide behind those trees in the far corner of the house”, he ordered. His gang was a tough lot, and he couldn’t pull it off without them. Tom Swiper was a computer geek who could hack through just about anything. He was also Mr. Perfect and listened to everything he said. He had Tom in his pocket all right! Cut throat Chris – muscular, strong, huge…. everything a regular bulldog should be. Phantom Paul – he could scare the socks off anyone and scare them into giving him their wallet, phone or anything else he wanted. And then there was himself – Steve Bladen – probably the best thing that happened to the gang. He was a mysterious one. He shook himself from his contemplative mood and got back to the task at hand. It was critical he got this job right. “The party is at the back so we can enter.”


The “party”, as Steve called them, were talking, laughing, cooking food – generally partying and having fun in the starlit night. The countryside was lit up brightly and it seemed as though everyone was partying and having fun. Music and laughter provided the perfect cover.


The ringleader, Steve, ran to hide behind a tree, as did the rest of the gang. “All this running and hiding will be the death of me!” complained a panting Chris. He preferred jobs where he could just show his infamous dagger and get what he wanted. “That, and we aren’t even paid well!” moaned Phantom Paul, who wasn’t in great shape either and would never work out unless he had to. “Stop whining” said Steve and Tom in unison. Paul grumbled to himself about how Tom always sided with Steve, even when he was being snarky and mean. He tried to tell Chris about the unfairness of it but Chris merely grunted and hefted the sack on his shoulder. They continued on in their slow, quarrelsome manner. The gang had now reached the back of the house and were inspecting it closely, looking for ways to enter. Chris quickly took care of the security guard doing the rounds of the house. Paul, with his good eyesight, spotted a window. It was locked and coded. They managed to unfasten it – Tom hacking through the passcode.


All of them painstakingly clambered in. They had entered the house and were now in a long, dark corridor. Chris, being the lumbering oaf he was, started to take a step towards the door at the far corner of the corridor, Paul following him, not far behind. Steve stopped them, cursing. “You have no idea what could be there. There may be knife studded walls, a quicksand floor, lasers, you never know! Be careful. You could have died!” Chris rolled his eyes while Steve continued. “You should always take precautions first”. He took out a small box of some kind of whitish powder. It would supposedly show him if there were any traps. He put some on his palm and blew it. They waited. “You see, nothing happened. No danger. You worry too much”, said Chris and he started walking again. “Wait, you fools!” cried Tom. “Precautions aren’t over yet.” He got out his extremely high-tech laptop and furiously tapped away at it. He finally got his answer. “Aha!” he exclaimed. “Had you taken a few more steps towards the corridor you would have been electrocuted. I’ve disabled it so that you can now walk safely”. The thieves made their way onward and finally entered the room they desired. They stared around it with eyes as big as medallions. They had made it through all the traps and were now in the mansion of the richest man in the country.


Rob, the mansion’s owner, was a man of less words and lots of money. He was known to have the world’s most priceless paintings. This was the reason the thieves wanted to loot his paintings. Now, all they had to do was collect the priceless treasures. The gang made a long human chain, collecting the paintings at one end and sending it down the line to Chris, who carefully put it into his enormous sack. Just then, Steve murmured to be excused, saying something about using the restroom. Tom said yes at once while the others rolled their eyes. Steve was back in about ten minutes, with a relieved and happier look on his face. The gang asked him why he took so long. “Couldn’t find it, I was a bit lost.” he answered quickly. The others, with the exception of Tom, didn’t believe it. But they let it go. This wasn’t the time for arguments. There… they were almost done. They just had space for three more things in the second sack. And they would be off.


Suddenly after that things started going wrong. The noises in the background – all those happy voices and laughter – faded away. There was some murmuring as the footsteps came closer. “Nooo!” the men groaned. “So close yet so far!” The ringleader cursed. “It must have been when you fools dropped that painting”. Paul could have kicked himself for being the clumsy hulk of a man he was and dropping the painting through his fat, clumsy fingers like that. “We should try and make a run for it while we can”, said Steve. They quietly scurried out of the room and made their way out of the house. The thieves dumped the sacks into the boot of the car and started to clamber into the car as noiselessly as they could. And so Rob had been robbed!


Chris quickly revved up the car to the maximum and make a speedy getaway. Zoom… and they were off.


One man, however, had been left behind! Finally, the gang had been able to get rid of their snarky and rude boss. Paul had proposed his sneaky idea when Steve had taken his so called restroom break. They had left Steve behind, all agreeing to it, with the exception of Tom. He always sided with Steve, no matter what. So when Chris and Paul suggested leaving Steve behind he was completely against it. But they did it anyway. So there they all sat, in the car. Paul swerved and almost crashed into four cars since he couldn’t control his excitement. Tom was in a corner, sulking and wondering how the robbery took such an unexpected turn for the worse.


Steve was left behind, standing underneath a small copse of trees. An owl was circling him, overhead, making Steve look like a harbinger of all darkness.

Steve didn’t feel hurt, angry or betrayed – just pleased. He had finally been able to get rid of the rest of the gang. He had finally got what he wanted. Things were tying up perfectly. His gang knew that Rob had lots of priceless paintings. What they didn’t know, though, was that Rob had sold them off for large sums of money and replaced them with worthless fakes. Rob, though he was a millionaire, needed money. He had used most of his fortune gambling it all away. He was a lonely drunkard and wanted something to cheer him up. And so he held the party. The other reason he had hosted the party that night was because it was the last of his successful painting transactions and he wanted to celebrate.


Steve was smart. He had figured out that the paintings at Robs mansion were fake, using ways that detectives would have given their right arm to know about. The only reason he had organized this raid was because he knew, somewhere in that house was a priceless gem. He wanted it. So now, alone, in the moonlight, he took the glistening diamond out of his coat pocket and held it in his hands. It shimmered radiantly in the soft moonlight. He smiled to himself. Yes, he couldn’t have done it without them.


Just then, the owl that was circling him swooped down and snatched the gem from his hand and took it up to his nest, thinking it was something to eat. It had been hungry all night and thought it had finally found something to eat. It needed something for its babies. Steve yelled in frustration. He was furious. Luck had let him down. There he was, alone… just another man in the shadow of a tree.




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