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The darkness of the room fought against his eyes, the suburban interior sinister in the sudden gloom. He shut the door with a click and smiled, this was what it was all about. He always enjoyed it, relishing how horrified the owners would be if they knew he was here. In their home, invading their cherished privacy.
Every few minutes an ambulance or police car would race passed the window, turning the room into a silent disco of red and blue. Whenever this happened the framed girl smiled at him from the wall. He traced her smile with his finger. She was on a boat and leaning into the camera, trapped in the moment. Her sunglasses prevented him from seeing her eyes. Shame, he liked the eyes, they can tell you a lot more than a smile.
The books were interesting too, stacked and sloping on top of the piano. All the classics jumbled up together, Keats leaning on Hardy, Hardy on Austen, all glossy and unread. Only one had the bent and cracked spine of a properly read book. Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess. Strange how sometimes the gory and twisted can appeal more than honeyed words and happy endings.
He replaced the book and continued to scan the room; it wasn’t that he needed the money; he had a fairly steady income. It was all for the thrill. For a few minutes he became the master, the sleepers didn’t know it, but that didn’t matter. All that mattered was he could if he wanted to, he could.
Another ambulance raced passed, and in the fleeting light he saw the cabinet tucked into the corner of the room. It was a dark reddish wood, perhaps mahogany, and simply decorated with a few ornate swirls at the feet and around the glass. Very nice although not too interesting, but its contents, now that was interesting. As he moved closer he could make out its inhabitants. Butterflies, all lined up beneath the glass, each one with a pin through its heart, holding its body to the paper. Even in the half light he could see the colours. The English cabbage whites and turtle shells sat with the more tropical species he didn’t know. They looked so alive, like their wings would give a faint flutter at any minute. To preserve this beauty, keep it trapped under glass for your own enjoyment seemed so wrong. Yet, they were beautiful. He gently lifted the lid and let his eyes settle on a small one at the back, the Common Blue, there was nothing common about its colour. It shimmered out of the darkness, it’s wings lifted as though poised for flight. He liked it’s Latin name too, Polyommatus Icarus. Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun, it felt good on his tongue, he whispered the name as he gently unpinned it, slid it into his pocket, and headed for the door.
In the morning the owner of the house came down the stairs as usual, made his toast, and almost sat on a small pink book. Funny, he could have sworn he’d left Clockwork Orange on the piano; in fact he hadn’t touched it for months. Puzzled, he turned it over in his hands and replaced it back on the piano. It was not until a few days later he noticed the empty space in his cabinet, beneath the neatly written label reading Common Blue, Polyommatus Icarus.




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PrometheanThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 9:16 am:
very descriptive, well excellent....
 
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