Dial ‘H’ for Heist

  • 12 Dec - 18 Dec, 2020
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

I’m fine!” Steve exclaimed who was standing nearby. “I don’t need to consult anyone.”

His parents turned and looked at him. His father said to him,

“Listen Steve, whatever we are doing here is for your benefit. We are your well-wishers. We want nothing more than your bliss.”

“If you want my bliss, then why don’t you both let me pursue my own dreams?”

His mother replied,

“Because we know what’s good for you. We know what can make you actually happy and happy for the entire life.”

“I don’t care. I want to become an expert like Harold, so I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“That man is a criminal.”

“No, you guys have him all wrong. He is not a criminal. He is a person who has made the poor and wronged people very happy. I consider him to be a saint.”

“Look Steve,” Mr Kingsley said to him, “we are not going to argue the concepts of right and wrong with you right now.”

“That’s your choice!”

“No Steve, by changing the labels you cannot change the reality of something that exists in the society.”

“And what actually exists in the society? These are just the thoughts and perceptions of people. Anyone can disagree with anybody.”

“Steve, no one disagrees with the fact that stealing is a crime. This man is a criminal who breaks the law. And he will, one day end up in jail.”

“May be, God forbid!”

“Sure, we can pray for you that the person you admire should be a changed man and must improve his lifestyle. But we cannot support any sort of crime.”

Steve got irritated and said,

“Alright, now this is enough. I am leaving and I do not want to argue anymore.”

Steve left them alone and walked back in his room.

As Steve entered inside his own room, he looked at the walls of his rooms. His walls were absolutely clean. There were no posters or frames of any sort. He wondered in his thoughts,

Why do people think that I’m a crazy fan?

He walked ahead and then said,

There are no posters of the person I admire the most, on my walls. Crazy fans hang posters and keep themselves obsessed wildly. I am doing nothing similar. No one has any right to call me a crazy fan.

He walked towards the computer in his room and said,

I am simply admiring Harold’s work and his expertise. All I want is to become like him. I believe that I am absolutely different from other fans and admirers.

He was convinced by his own words and so he finally said,

I am done with this argument, now I need to stay focused on my current mission.

He then sat on the computer chair, all the while looking at his computer. He continued to think in his thoughts,

My current objective is to find out where Harold Dawson is right now. He hasn’t showed up since the last two years. He is absolutely invisible. There’s no trace of him and I have to find him.

He opened an image file in his computer and looked at Harold’s picture. It was a picture where Harold was standing with his mask in his hand.

His mask was of white colour with the same moustache and beard as on his face. The mask resembled his real face quite a lot.

I have no idea Steve wondered. I have no idea about why he wore this.

Steve stopped for a moment and then said,

The current issue is that he is absolutely missing and I need to find him real soon.

He looked aside and then remembered his conversation with his parents and said,

As far as my admiration is concerned, I will only say that it is absolutely normal and I don’t need to change it.

He stood up and left his computer on standby mode.


At some distance in the same city, there was a large single storey apartment like house constructed underground. Harold Dawson was seated on the breakfast table inside that house and was reading the newspaper. His mask was on his face. He read the headlines,

Lieutenant Bradshaw has sworn that he will catch Harold Dawson and get him behind the bars.

Harold chuckled and responded,

What do you want me for now? I had retired quite a long time ago.

He however, continued reading the news and said after reading the first paragraph,

It doesn’t matter, what they think of me now. I know that I have changed and they will never again see a heist from my name.

He stood up and looked at the CCTV cameras of his room. He commented,

I need to stay here and keep an eye on myself.

As he walked a bit, he said out loud,

This is my life now, I will stay here for the rest of my life and I might rot in here while, nobody would know that I am gone.

His wall clock’s pendulum broke and fell on the ground. As Harold heard this, within just three seconds he picked up the knife from the table and threw it straight on the right direction. As he looked carefully he realised that it was just a pendulum that had broken. He however, calmed down himself and then said,

I have retired but my reflexes are still alive. And my skills are as sharp as they have always been.

He picked up the newspaper and walked towards another room of his house and all the while, while he was walking, he talked to himself,

I am so alone. I have no one to talk to but myself. Maybe this is what I deserve; maybe this is the punishment of my own sins.

He then switched on the television of the room he had entered inside and sat on the couch.


One Week Later

Steve was sitting at some coffee restaurant and was having black tea as usual. He was sitting all alone in the entire restaurant until he heard the sound of the door opening. Two aged men entered inside the same place and they sat on the table for two, somewhere closer to Steve.

Steve did not pay much attention to them and had his own coffee. The two friends who had just entered had their usual conversation but nothing caught Steve’s attention until he heard one of them saying,

“I really miss working for Harold Dawson.”

“Yeah, I do too.”

Steve stopped drinking for a while and paid his complete attention as to what the two men were talking about.

Their conversation continued,

“I was not a smart person, but I do know that my mentor Harold changed me entirely.”

“There’s no argument on that. This man was literally the greatest teacher a person could ever have.”

“Undoubtedly, he was the best of all. But now he is all alone.”

“Yes, since that incident he hasn’t talked to anyone.”

“No, it’s not exactly like that. He is in touch. He remains in contact with some people.”

“I know. He greeted me on last Thanksgiving. But I’m really upset about him. The way he has been lately and the kind of lifestyle he has chosen.”

“What do you say; we should go and greet him personally?”

Steve got even more interested now, so he paid complete attention but kept his face and eyes on the other direction, so they wouldn’t know that he was listening.

Anyways, one of them said,

“I know where he lives. But I don’t think it would please him if he would see the two of us visiting him together.”

“Come on, let’s give it a try. We’ll pick up a bouquet and some sweets. He always appreciates such formalities.”

“That’s true. So, how about tomorrow evening?”

“Yes, we can go then.”

“Alright, it’s done then.”

Steve picked up his bike’s keys and got ready. He spoke to himself,

Stay vigilante. I have to follow them to Harold’s home. This is a golden opportunity. I cannot miss this.

A minute later, the two friends stood up. One of them asked the other,

“So, we are meeting Harold tomorrow?”

“Yes, tomorrow evening.”


The two started walking towards the exit of the hotel. Steve followed them desperately yet smartly. As Steve reached the exit door, the waiter came and stopped him by saying,

“Sir, you haven’t paid your bill.”

Steve got really tensed as he was worried that the two were about to get away soon. He said to the waiter,

“I’m in a hurry. I’ll give you tomorrow. You know me, I always come here.”

Steve tried to run after the two men but the waiter held him by his arm and said,

“Sorry sir, rules are rules for everyone.”

Angry Steve took out his wallet and without even checking properly, he took out hundred bucks and handed over to the waiter. The waiter let go off him. Steve rushed outside the restaurant. The waiter said to him,

“Get the change!”

Outside, Steve was running as his eyes were still on those two men. He couldn’t let go off them as he had to follow them to Harold’s house by all means.

The two friends sat inside their car. Fortunately, Steve’s bike wasn’t quite far from them. Steve sat and turned on the engine. As their car left slowly, Steve followed them on his bike.

Steve followed their car for half an hour until they stopped at a signal. There was red light but the road was quite empty. The two men in the car broke the law and crossed the signal. Steve followed them by breaking the signal but another car from the left showed and stopped turning a bit. Steve also turned to save himself from the crash and a loud screeching voice was generated.

Steve heard the driver yelling over him but he did not care and kept his eyes on the car that he was following and it was about to get away.

Next minute, he was riding his bike as usual in moderate speed as the other car was quite close. He prayed in his heart,

Please, I do not want to miss this opportunity. Please grant me success.

More than fifteen minutes later, the car that Steve was following stopped and parked outside some building. One of the men, who was sitting on the passenger’s seat stepped outside and walked towards the building after shutting the door.

I hope they haven’t changed their plan about tomorrow.

A moment later, as he saw that the driver was accelerating the vehicle slowly and was about to leave, he got alert and started following him again. He said to himself,

He owns the car, I should know his residence.

While he was following him, he said in his thoughts,

I might sleep outside his house for one night, if that’s what it takes to meet my superstar.

After several minutes, the driver stopped outside some small pent house and turned off the engine. He stepped outside and walked towards the main gate of his house.

Steve stopped behind him and said,

So, this is it. This is where I have to spend the night tonight. It doesn’t matter how tough my night is going to be. What matters is my tomorrow.

He took out his cell phone and said,

I better inform my mother that I won’t be back soon.

After the sunset when it was quite dark, Steve walked towards the main gate of the house and wondered,

This guy is so lucky that he has worked for Harold. I, on the other hand have no experience regarding heists and actions. I envy these people. All I have to do is to convince Harold that I can be a better member of his team. But the question is why he has quitted.


Next morning, Steve was lying on the garden and he had fallen asleep. He woke up when he heard the sound of the car. As he got up and gained clear consciousness, he saw that the driver was leaving. He turned the bike’s engine on and followed him immediately.

Next hour, the two men were in the car and Steve was following them with no difficulty at all, except that his heart was beating really fast. He however, followed them with persistence until the two of them stopped their vehicle and after stepping outside, walked inside the basement.

Steve parked his bike and followed them after jumping out of the vehicle.

Quite unexpectedly, the two men and Steve saw Harold standing on their route with the mask on his face.

Steve wasn’t sure if he was seeing what he believed that he saw. He uttered, Oh, my God! Is that Harold?

to be continued...