A NIGHT ON THE
moon shone down from its designated position in
the starry night sky as I perched upon the roof
of a nondescript house. It was wholly an
unremarkable house, but for the fact that all the
occupants had been knocked unconscious and all
their valuables taken. The police would find no
sign of a breakin. They never do.
me, the street was orange lit by streetlamps, but
even in the moonlight I was completely invisible
from my position. I was waiting for my prey.
was a chilly night indeed. I pulled my cloak
around my shoulders and enveloped myself in its
silky warmth. My cowl was pulled down, my scarf
covered the lower half of my face as always. Even
if I was silhouetted against the moon passers-by
would think me only a roof decoration, or a
chimney, or perhaps just the owner of the house
sitting on their roof and all dressed in black.
lot of my work relies on the naivety of the
me, I heard three sets of footsteps, and my heart
quickened. But it soon faded, and I could see
they belonged only to a young lady walking her
dog was an Afghan hound.
had a green collar.
was just admiring the creature's pedigree when my
ears pricked up to the sound I had been waiting
for - a playful tune, jingling out an up-tempo
version of Greensleeves. It had come.
ice cream van always chose this route, I knew. My
contacts in the underworld had been most
instrumental in sending me maps of the most
popular routes for this particular fleet of ice
cream van. This was a curiosity indeed - an ice
cream van that operated at night to fill a
previously unexplored niche - but in my business
you don't question your good fortune.
stood and struck a pose as I threw my grappling
hook onto the power lines overhead, but both the
hook and the rope was lined in rubber so I did
not receive a shock this time. I timed my moment
perfectly, leapt off the roof, threw myself at
the source of the tinny music, and smacked
heavily into the pavement just behind it.
as I had intended to.
ran along behind it until it reached a T-junction
and paused, whereupon I leapt onto the rear and
clambered up onto the roof. I had needed the
exercise, I said to myself as I checked for
flattened myself against the roof of the van in
case any curious nightwalkers felt the need to
inspect what occupies the space directly above
ice cream vans, and clung on tightly until the
van had reached the destination I required -
Lloyd's Bank. The security system was described
as completely impenetrable by the bank blurb, but
the installers had never met me. It should
provide the backdrop for an enjoyable evening's
dangled down by the driver's side window and
knocked on it cheerily. The driver made a
double-take, and distractedly rolled down the
your mother sew?" I asked back.
she's a championship wrestler."
supposed to say 'yes'."
get her to stitch this one."
socked the man in the jaw, and he slumped in his
seat. Job done, I leapt off the van and rolled as
I hit the pavement, evading injury once again. I
stood up to take in the bank building.
was just in time to watch the ice cream van, now
wildly out of control, plough straight into it,
demolishing the front wall, setting off numerous
alarms and finally coming to rest in the middle
of the cashier area. When I removed my hands from
my face, I smiled thinly. Everything was going
exactly to plan. Now I could sneak in the back
while everyone was watching the front and -
nasty little hissing noise I had perceived
suddenly evolved into an ear-splitting explosion
as the ice cream van was destroyed in a shower of
flames, twisted metal and raspberry sauce. The
bang took out what remained of the first floor, a
hefty chunk of the second, lit the whole building
on fire and sent an enormous toxic mushroom cloud
smiled again. Everything was still going exactly
according to plan. I hadn't actually intended to
raid the bank at all tonight. I had actually
intended to destroy the bank as a distraction so
that I could loot -
looked around hurriedly -
that hot dog vendor stand further up the road.
so, my pockets loaded with lightly toasted buns
and uncooked sausages, I hefted my emergency rope
and grappling hook and took to the rooftops once
again. From the top of a small travel agency I
watched, unseen, as the fire engines and
ambulances arrived to deal with my expertly
crafted distraction. I allowed myself another
little smile as I knew I had once again defeated
the law enforcement agencies, evading them once
stood up from my alert crouch -
and hit my head on the ceiling.
what on earth are you doing?"
looked down at the person who had just entered
this room, which I now realised was my bedroom.
"I know not this 'Ben'," I said
haughtily. "I answer only to the name of
Yahtzee Shadow-Creeper, master infiltrator and
Yahtzee Shadow-Creeper, why -"
Shadow-Creeper, master infiltrator and gentleman
Why are you perched on the wardrobe?"
examined the wardrobe guiltily. "It was
lonely," I tried.
what have you done to that towel?"
one of our best bath towels that you've dipped in
can't exactly infiltrate the houses of the rich
and noble wearing a cloak of magnolia, can
was treated to a look which was a mixture of
confusion and pity. "I don't think I should
let you play Thief II anymore."
... but I'm on a mission and there's all these
really cool robots ..."
off that wardrobe."
fine. Right after I send a homing pigeon to my
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