Dial ‘H’ for Heist

  • 02 Jan - 08 Jan, 2021
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

The caller from the other line said,

“There is no time for question answers now; they will be there at your location, any moment.”

Steve stood up and said,

“Mr Harold, I think we should leave this place immediately.”

Harold who was so double minded at that moment said,

“Alright, there’s a place nearby. We’ll go there and hide.”

“Okay. We’ll leave through the usual route, right?”

“Yes, but before leaving I have to press this special button.”

“Special button?” Steve asked curiously.

Harold walked towards another room and while he was walking he said,

“I cannot let them enter inside my house; I’ll have to hide this place first.”

“Hide the entire house? How?”

“You’ll get to see.”

After one minute, Harold returned from the room and said,

“Alright, let’s go!”

The two of them walked towards the exit. While they were walking, Steve asked him,

“How exactly is this place going to disappear?”

A minute later, while the two of them were standing outside at some distance, Harold pointed towards the entrance door. Steve saw that some wall was descending down on the entrance as if making it almost appearing like a plain wall.

“Wow!” Steve uttered.

“The cops will never know that there’s a house behind.”

They both started walking. Steve suggested,

“You know, if you would have taken off this mask and would have replaced it with some face then it would have been easier.”

“My mask might be of a lion, but the real face inside is that of a jackal.”

“What? Why are you degrading yourself so much?”

“My appearance is that of a lion, but in reality I am just a jackal.”

The darkness got even darker and they both started walking quickly. They heard the voice of a police siren.

“Oh, my God! They are here,” Steve uttered.

“Relax, just walk with me.”

They walked very quickly and as they both stepped outside the road, the two police vehicles entered under the basement that very moment.

As the two were at some distance, Steve gasped,

“Oh boy, that was close!”

“Just follow me.”

“Where are we headed?”

“To that building.”

Harold started running, Steve followed his speed and they reached somewhere closer to the building.

Harold said to him,

“We have to reach to the eighth floor.”


“We’ll use the stairs.”

“Okay, is there no elevator here?”

Harold did not reply to this and simply kept on running. Steve said,

“I think we are safe now. They can’t see us.”

“They can’t, but we have to. We should be able to see them.”

“See them? Why?”

Harold stopped running for a while and said,

“Okay, let’s stop here. Let the crowd clear, we’ll go then.”

“Okay, I want to know why we are going here. Why do we have to keep our eyes on them?”

“Obviously, so we would know where they are. As soon as they leave, we will go back.”

“Oh, yeah!”

They both slowly started walking inside the building. Harold opened the glass door and Steve asked,

“Tell me something. Has this ever happened to you before?”

“No, not like this.”

“So, you are sure that cops won’t find your house?”

“I’m being positive.”

As the two reached the stairway, Steve saw that there was an elevator and it was available for use. He suggested,

“Mr Harold, let’s go through this.”

“No,” Harold responded pointing towards the stairs, “we’ll use the stairs.”

“But it’s the eighth floor that we are headed to.”

Harold did not respond and started climbing the stairs. Steve had no option but to follow him, so he ran after him.

Meanwhile inside the underground basement, one of the police constables came and said to the police officer,

“There is nothing here. We have searched thoroughly.”

Several minutes later, as Harold and Steve reached the eighth floor, Harold walked towards a specific window through where he could easily see the road leading underground.

Steve said to Harold,

“You’re so secretive.”

Harold did not respond to this and kept on looking at the road. He was expecting that the cops would leave any moment.

Steve walked around at the place and wondered,

I don’t know what’s going on with him, but what I did enjoy for sure is that I got this chance to flee with Harold. It was nothing less than an adventure.

Harold then called him,

“Hey Steve, look.”

Steve came and peaked through the window. They saw that the police vehicles were leaving.

“See?” Harold said.

“So, does this mean there is no danger now?”

“Yes, we can go back now.”

Steve said to him,

“Can I share my feeling of the moment with you?”


“Well, the thing is that I really enjoyed this escape with you.”

“Oh, that I see,” Harold chuckled, “well, I’m glad for you.”

Harold turned and started walking back towards the stairs. Steve followed him and asked,

“Where are we going?”

“Back home. Come along.”

Steve got excited as usual and followed him. He got surprised seeing how Harold wasn’t using the elevator.

Several minutes later, as the two of them stepped outside the building; they saw some old woman who could hardly walk moving ahead. She was holding her handbag and was walking very slowly. Steve and Harold were looking at her until they got shocked when they saw how two criminals on a single bike rode by and snatched her bag. The old woman fell ahead as her bag got snatched away.

Harold immediately read the bike’s number plate, meanwhile Steve uttered,

“Oh, my God! Did you see that?”

Harold memorised the vehicle’s number, while Steve rushed to help the old lady.

Harold ran after the bikers and said to Steve,

“Stay here with the lady, I’ll be right back.”

Harold surprisingly ran so fast that he got very close to the bike and as he made a huge dive, he caught hold of the gangster who was sitting behind. Since, he held him quite tightly and so was the criminal holding his partner, the bike took a half flip and fell.

Next moment, the three of them were lying on the road. Steve ran towards them, Harold however, stopped him through the gesture of his hand and instructed,

“Go back! Go and stay with the lady.”

Harold however, stood up and that very moment the two gangsters also stood up. Harold was on one side and the two criminals were on the opposite side ready to fight. One of the criminals said,

“Oh dear, isn’t this that mysterious thief’s mask?”

“Don’t worry; it must be someone else probably. The mask is not his identity.”

Harold raised his hands as judo fighters and got closer to the criminals. One of the criminals took out a large chain from his pocket and tied it around his hand. However, Harold was so quick that within five seconds, he hit that guy with his left elbow on his face; and he kicked the other guy straight on his knee causing it to break.

Next moment, he picked up the lady’s handbag and handed it over to Steve who was standing behind him at some distance. As he walked towards Steve, Steve said while holding the handbag,

“Wow Harold, you saved the day.”

Steve got distracted as he heard the voice of dog barking.

Harold set the position of the mask on his face and walked with Steve towards the old lady.

People who were watching the entire scene also showed some appreciation. Steve handed the handbag back to Harold and said,

“You are the one who deserves this appreciation; you should give it to her. You’ll get her blessings.”

“It’s getting dark,” Harold said borrowing it from him. “Let’s just go after this.”


The two of them walked towards and stood in front of the old lady who was smiling. Before Harold could do anything further, he saw a black dog that was staring at him. Harold kept on looking at him. The woman raised her hand as if politely asking him to hand over the bag to her. Harold’s attention was caught by the black dog that was standing still.

“Uh…Sir Harold,” Steve said trying to bring him back.

Quite unexpectedly, one of the two criminals rushed from behind and grabbed the handbag pushing Steve over Harold. They both fell on the ground and saw that the criminal sat over his bike alone and rode away.

“Oh, my God!” Steve uttered.

“Damn it!” Harold said with regret.

“What happened Mr Harold?” Steve asked raising his voice.

Harold looked at the biker escaping away leaving away his partner. Harold was seriously upset on this. He stood up anyway and said,

“Okay, I’m going home now.”

“Mr Harold,” Steve said touching his arm, “are you alright?”

Everyone was looking at Harold with astonishment. Harold however, looked at the dog and then walked towards his house. Steve followed him and asked,

“Is there anything I can do for you?”

“Yes, please just make sure that nobody follows me. They must be thinking that I live around here somewhere.”


“Just spread out the word that I am headed towards some corner of the city where I live.”

“I understood. But can I ask you what just happened with you?”

“Maybe some other day, I want to be alone right now.”

Steve stopped walking and looked at Harold with curiosity.

Meanwhile inside Lieutenant Bradshaw’s house, he was seated in his guest room by himself and he heard his cell phone ringing. He answered the call and turned on the loudspeaker,


“Lieutenant, there was no house. We searched the place thoroughly but there was no sign of Harold’s house there.”

“You’re sure about this?”

“Yes sir.”

“I knew it. I knew that guy was lying while we were interrogating him.”

Bradshaw disconnected the call and sat straight thinking what should be done next.

Around 11 o’clock during the night, Harold who was sitting without the mask on his face heard his house’ door knocking. He immediately put on the mask and stood up.

It must be Steve. He guessed.

He then walked slowly to answer the gate. As he opened the door, he saw his young friend Steve.

“I have spread the word,” Steve said to him.

“Thank you.”

“Can I come in?”

No, please don’t. I want to be alone. Harold said in his thoughts.

But Harold left the way for him to enter inside, even though he didn’t want him to come.

“Are you feeling well?” Steve asked while entering inside.

Harold just nodded his head as he wasn’t in the mood to talk. Harold walked towards another room increasing his speed. Steve looked at him go and wondered,

What is it that he is hiding? I am sure that there is something serious about his past that he is not willing to share.

Harold came back from the other room and said,

“Look kid, it’s my time to sleep now. If you want to stay then you’ll have to be here all by yourself.”

“Mr Harold, look I know this won’t please you, but I have to ask what is it about your past that is really bothering you.”

Harold got irritated and said,

“Look Steve, you cannot undo your past. I did something really terrible two years back, and I don’t want to discuss that, with anyone.”

“But you cannot disagree with the fact that your past is ruining your future.”

“So, be it.”

“So, be it? An old woman lost her purse, you’re saying let it be?”

“Maybe, I shouldn’t have been a hero. Maybe I should have noticed that there was a dog around.”

“A dog, Mr Harold what is it that a brave person like you is terrified of dogs and elevators? Look, I want to help you…”

“…Please Steve!” Harold interrupted him getting angry. “Please, just leave.

I am not bound to share my secrets with you. That woman must be traumatised,

I am guilty.

I want to be alone.”

Steve remained silent for a while, but after a few seconds he said,

“I want to help you. I just know that something happened two years ago that caused you to give up your profession. I can sense that you are extremely guilty of a crime or something, isn’t that true?”

“Yes, you are sensing it correctly. I am guilty, but it cannot be undone.”

“I would be honoured if you share that with me.”

“Alright, I’ll tell you what happened. But I want this to remain extremely confidential, forever.”

to be continued...