Dial ‘H’ for Heist

  • 09 Jan - 15 Jan, 2021
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

Harold said,

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

“You have my word,” Steve answered, “I will keep this with myself as long as there is breath in my body.”

Harold walked towards another direction slowly and began,

“I don’t know if it was my mistake completely, but I do know that people have cried because of me.”

Steve was listening to him impatiently. Harold continued with the narration,

“Two years back, here in London, our target was to steal this scooty bike. There was this old lady. Not that much old aged to be exact. She was a single mother and was hardly making ends meet. Her scooty bike was stolen. She came to me, she was a very kind and polite woman. She kind of reminded me of my mother. Anyways, she came with her son and her daughter. Her son was paralysed and could hardly talk; her daughter seemed to be sophisticated like her mother. The three of them came, they sat inside my office. The mother told me her entire scenario. I was feeling upset about how hard her life was and how important her vehicle was for her… I then asked her ‘what’s your name?’ She answered: ‘you can call me Mrs Greenwood’. So I made my promise, I promised her that I would get her vehicle back soon.”

Harold stopped speaking for a while until Steve asked,

“Is everything alright?”

“Yes, it’s just that I’m not used to sharing this with anyone. It’s all coming before me.”

“Look, why don’t you sit down?”

Steve’s eyes then accidentally reached the dining table nearby and he saw a picture of an unknown person who had dark brown hair. He however diverted his attention and looked back at Harold.

Harold then turned towards him and continued,

“Anyways, this woman and her children had huge expectations from me. I was doing this from the bottom of my heart as I was thinking that I am doing this as compensation to my sins. So, I planned the entire act with my team and we were all ready to do it. The guy we were stealing it from was a small time thief who had kept this vehicle in his apartment on fifth floor. We caught him through CCTV cameras and all. We had a clear picture of the thief’s apartment, in fact of the entire buildings. Anyways, we were prepared and we were confident that we would be successful in this.”

Steve pictured the entire narration in his mind. Harold continued,

“I was in my computer room as usual. I had instructed those men about the positions and since that thief was not in his house, it was easy for my workers to break in and attain the bike. We had discovered earlier that the elevator was not working properly, and it could be hazardous. What happened unfortunately was that Mrs Greenwood along with her daughter went inside the building without even informing us. She however, sent me this text message that she was standing by the elevator on the ground floor. I did not read her text message, I should have. So what happened next was that my four workers safely landed the bike from building’s window to the bottom floor. The bike was safe. Now we had to get my four men out of the building, so we would leave no clue. It wasn’t an issue for us to leave a clue, but this woman specially asked us to make it look invisible, because she knew that the thief would suspect her. Two of my men escaped easily, the other two were trapped as they found out that the thief was returning home from the stairway, and he had a black dog. Elevator was something we were not even allowed to go near. So, even though we were not supposed to use it, I asked my two remaining men to use the elevator. What they did was that as they called up the elevator, the door opened but instead of elevator’s room, there was just that rope through which the elevator was connected. As I was told about this, I asked them to climb down through the rope. The elevator itself was two floors down. On the other side, Mrs’ Greenwood’s daughter had opened the door of the elevator and she had stepped inside. What happened next was most unfortunate, the elevator’s rope broke and my two workers along with the entire elevator fell down.”

Harold got silent. Steve asked eagerly,

“On that girl?”

“Yes, they with the lift fell on that girl.”

“Oh my God! What happened further?”

“The young girl died, my two men got injured and I was guilty forever. I heard Mrs Greenwood screaming. I heard her through the phone of my worker.”

“Oh dear, that was awful,” Steve uttered.

“It is since then, that I believe that I am responsible for that girl’s life.”

“But don’t you think Mrs Greenwood is responsible too? I mean why did she go in that building?”

“No, the thing is that she had texted me. I ignored her text message. If only I had read it, things could have been different. I would have asked her to leave immediately if I had known she was there.”

“Oh. What about your two workers?”

“They are fine, they recovered.”

“Wait, hang on, my objection is still there, why did she go there with her daughter? What were they doing by the elevator?”

“I really don’t know. I couldn’t ask her, I did not have the courage to face her.”

Harold started weeping.

Steve walked around in the room feeling upset for him. Harold also went and stood by the wall. Steve walked towards him and said,

“Look, whatever happened. Your intentions were

not dirty.”

“As I heard the screaming and all, I went there myself. I found the ambulance and I saw that thief’s black dog standing over the dead body.”

“Oh…So now I understand why you are traumatised by black dogs and elevators.”

“To this day, I can still hear the voice of Mrs Greenwood’s scream in my ears.”

“Look Mr Harold, I honestly don’t think that you are one hundred percent responsible for this. Miss Greenwood should have informed you earlier that day, or maybe should have called you.”

Harold felt a bit relieved.

After two minutes of silence, Steve finally said standing in front of him,

“Mr Harold, I think you should move on now. There can be so much more in your life.”

“You think so?”

“Yes, one hundred percent.”

Steve again got distracted seeing the photo of another man, so he finally asked,

“By the way, who is this guy?”

“Oh, this is just my stunt double. He plays me, whenever I have to misdirect the cops.”

“I see. Anyways sir, your life should be different now. In fact, tomorrow onwards we should see you without the mask.”

Harold chuckled. Steve requested,

“Please, for me.”

“Okay, we’ll meet tomorrow on the road and as you want me to be.”


Next day, Steve was waiting for Harold to show up outside the entrance of the underground. There he was thinking about everything he heard the day before and said,

It was really disappointing, but my respect and admiration for Harold has not changed a bit.

He turned and looked at the spot on the footpath where the black dog was standing the night before.

He then said,

This is really hurtful for me too, but I’ll try and cheer him

up today.

He waited and for quite a while, since there was no sign of Harold, he wondered,

I really wish he comes the way I asked him to.

After a moment, Steve saw Harold coming up wearing black tuxedo and surprisingly without his mask.

“Oh, my God!” Steve said out loud.

Steve smiled as he was more than just happy seeing him. Harold smiled but gave him a gesture through hands asking him to keep his voice down.

“I am so happy,” Steve said avoiding his request.

As the two of them were standing close, Steve hugged him happily and said,

“I am so happy Mr Harold that you fulfilled my request. You are so promising.”

As Steve let him go, he asked Harold,

“Shall we go?”

Harold nodded and walked with him.

Meanwhile at some other corner of the city, Bruno was with his men inside the same building’s same room and he asked them,

“I’ve been told that one of you guys have spotted Harold’s whereabouts?”

“No,” one of the team members replied. “Yesterday, what happened was that a friend of mine saw him fighting two street criminals. He was trying to rescue some old lady or her possessions.”

“Where did this happen?”

“I have the address in text form but the issue is that we are not sure if he actually lives there. He was just spotted there.”

“How can you be so sure that it was him?” Bruno asked.

“My friend captured some photos; I have those photos in my email.”

“Alright good, show those to me.”

That moment Bruno’s phone began to ring. He answered the call,


“Sir, you are not going to believe it. I am seeing Harold right now in a hotel.”


“I swear,” the caller from the other line said, “he is here with some young boy and the best part is…”

“…Where are you right now?”

“I’ll text you the address of this place. But sir hear me out, the best part is that he is here without his mask.”

“Oh,” Bruno said getting excited inside. “Alright, that’s perfect. Keep your eye on this fellow and send me the address immediately.”

Bruno disconnected the call.

His team member who was now holding a laptop asked him,

“What happened?

Who was it?”

“Harold has been spotted. Our guy has seen him and he is following him right now.”

“Okay great, can I show you the pictures now?”

“No, show me the address.”

“Okay, it is here in the same email.”

Bruno received a text message on his phone. He checked that message and saw that it was an address sent from the guy who just talked to him. The team member holding the laptop showed him the address. Bruno read the address on the laptop and the address on his phone simultaneously.

“Perfect! Just perfect!” Bruno declared.

“You know this place?” he was asked.

“No, but that’s not the case. The good news is that the addresses are the same and this clearly means that he lives around there somewhere.”

“That’s possible!”

“And it is not difficult for our team to search him out in that place.”

There was an excitement in the room for a while until Bruno instructed his men,

“Alright you guys, now I want you all to put your weapons here and leave.”

“Leave our weapons? But why?” one of them asked.

“Because I cannot take any chances, under no circumstances I want him dead. I want to see him alive or else our plan will never be successful.”

“But why do you think that we would kill him? We would never do that.”

“Alright, that’s enough. I don’t want any arguments. I am just trying precautionary measures. If this guy dies or gets out of our hands, we will have nothing.”

All the team members took out their hand guns and placed them on the table

in front.

Meanwhile at the restaurant, near Harold’s residence, Steve and Harold were seated by the window. The view of the sea was visible and it was quite pleasing.

Steve said,

“Harold, I’m really glad that you came with your real face today. And I must tell you that you are not a jackal. You are still a lion on the inside.”

Harold did not respond to this and simply touched his moustache as if making sure it was free of food stains.

“So, shall we leave?” Harold asked after a while.

“Already? It’s just been thirty minutes.”

“I know, but I’m a wanted person. It’s not safe for me to stay outside like this for so long.”

“Oh…Okay, well, I’ll go and grab the bill.”

Steve stood up and walked towards another direction.

After a minute, as Steve returned he saw that Harold was not there where they were seated. He looked around thoroughly and there was no sign of him.

“Mr Harold?” he called out loud. “Where are you?”