The Trap

  • 27 May - 02 Jun, 2023
  • Nadeem Alam
  • Fiction

The moonlight cascaded down on the quiet suburban neighbourhood as a chilling breeze rustled through the trees. It was a typical weekend night, with most of the residents tucked away in their cozy homes, blissfully unaware of the imminent intrusion that awaited them. However, in the shadows, a notorious thief was preparing to embark on his latest venture.

He was master of deception and stealth, had earned a fearsome reputation throughout the city. His success was unparalleled, leaving authorities and victims alike scratching their heads in bewilderment. Tonight, his target was an imposing Victorian house that stood at the end of a dimly lit street, seemingly untouched by time. The house was currently owned by a mysterious person who was rarely seen outside. He was an old man in his eighties. No one in the neighbourhood knew anything about him.

With gloved hands, the he picked the lock on the house's back entrance, slipping inside like a ghost. The creaking floorboards beneath him served as a constant reminder of the risks he took. During the surveillance, he had seen the only resident of the house leaving after the sunset. He knew that the house was empty yet he had to work swiftly and quietly to avoid awakening any unexpected inhabitants. His heart pounded in his chest as he navigated the labyrinth of rooms, searching for valuable artifacts to pilfer.

As the thief made his way through the house, he couldn't help but notice an eerie silence that permeated the air. There were no ticking clocks, no distant hum of electronics – just an unsettling stillness that raised the hair on the back of his neck. But the he dismissed it as mere nerves, reminding himself of the fortune he would amass with his ill-gotten gains.

Minutes turned into hours as the he meticulously combed through each room, searching for his prized possessions. He found an array of antiquities and treasures, their allure irresistible. As he greedily pocketed his loot, a sound suddenly shattered the silence – a soft, muffled sob that echoed through the halls.

Startled, he froze in his tracks, his senses heightened. He strained to locate the source of the sound. It seemed to be coming from the upper floor. Driven by curiosity, the thief ascended the grand staircase, each step a precarious gamble.

The sobbing grew louder as he approached a partially open door. He peered inside and gasped at the scene before him. A woman, bound and gagged, tears streaming down her face, pleaded for help with her eyes. He had stumbled upon a hidden horror – a captive held against her will within the confines of this house.

Compelled by a newfound sense of justice, he swiftly untied the woman, urging her to remain quiet. She trembled as he led her downstairs, toward the exit. But just as they reached the front door, an unexpected voice boomed through the house.

"Well, well, well. Look who we have here," said a menacing voice from behind them. He spun around to face owner of the house – an old man with piercing eyes that seemed to see through his very soul.

"You've made quite a mess of things, my dear," the owner sneered. "But don't worry, I have plans for you. You won't be leaving this house alive."

Fear coursed through his veins, but he refused to surrender to despair. With a surge of adrenaline, he lunged toward the old man, who was still standing at his spot with a broad smile on his face.

“Freeze,” he heard the woman’s shrieking sound. He suddenly looked back and saw the woman holding a gun pointed right at him. He had simply forgotten about her. She was the accomplice of the old man, probably a cop, he thought.

"Your little escapades end here," Old man taunted, his voice dripping with malice. "No more stealing."

Defiance burned in his eyes as he locked gazes with his captor. He refused to let his legacy be extinguished so easily by this old man. With a swift, unexpected movement, he reached into his pocket and retrieved a concealed gun. He pointed the gun at the old man and shouted at him to ask the woman to drop her weapon or else he will kill him. The old man replied back calmly, “let’s not make it more difficult for you. I know you are not a killer. You are just a thief who is now trapped and desperate to flee. So put down your weapon before anyone gets hurt.”

Caught in a tense standoff, the thief's mind raced. He weighed his options, realizing that the old man had seen through his bravado. He considered the risks of engaging in a deadly confrontation versus the slim chance of escape. Deep down, he knew the old man was right – he was no killer.

Reluctantly, he lowered his weapon, his shoulders slumping in defeat. The woman's eyes widened with a mixture of relief and disbelief as she cautiously lowered her gun as well.

The room fell into an eerie silence once again, the weight of their choices hanging heavily in the air.

The old man approached the thief with a cunning smile. "You made the wise choice, my friend," he said, his voice now devoid of malice. "Stealing may have been your talent, but there are always consequences."

Curiosity burned within the thief. He had to know why the old man had orchestrated this elaborate trap, and why the woman had played her part in it. He demanded answers.

The old man, revealing himself to be a retired detective, explained that he had been tracking the thief's movements for years, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to ensnare him. In past couple of weeks, he observed a particular car passing in front of his house many a times. He got curious and started observing more meticulously which led him to discover that a stranger is surveilling his house. So using his old links, he laid this trap with the help of local law enforcement agencies. The woman, a skilled undercover cop, had been planted as part of a larger operation to bring down a notorious criminal organisation linked to the thief's activities.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, the thief felt a strange mix of betrayal and respect for the old man's scrupulous plan. He realised that his days of thievery had finally caught up with him, and he had been outsmarted.

As the authorities arrived to apprehend the thief, he cast one last look at the old man – a mix of admiration and bitter defeat. It was a moment that would forever change the course of his life. He would serve his time, but in the depths of his soul, he vowed to use his unique skills for good once he had paid his debt to society.

And so, the notorious thief's story took an unexpected turn, as he transformed from a master of deception to an unlikely ally in the fight against crime.

The events of that fateful night lingered in his memory, serving as a constant reminder of the consequences of his past actions.

The moonlight continued to cascade over the quiet suburban neighbourhood, casting long shadows on the houses and streets below.

And amidst the darkness, a new chapter began for the former thief – one of redemption, justice, and a burning desire to make amends for his past transgressions.