Secrat blew out the flame of his match, bringing them both into the darkness.
The merchant didn’t notice Secrat Copé in his dreamy stupor, or at least, he didn’t do anything to suggest it. The man might have seen a light, but that was it, and as far as he knew, Copé was his wife. This was not one of the loveliest images, but it was a logical one. His dame either never came to bed or left and never came back. The merchant, curious about the whereabouts of his companion at such an ungodly hour, went looking for her.
This was only natural, but his reaction after finding her could be very bad for Copé. The footsteps of the merchant as his feet stamped the ground were loud. They hit with such oomph that they flattened whatever came in his path.
The idea of tripping wasn’t even brought into fruition.
Before long that skill would be handy, thought Secrat, thinking about all of the items that he threw on his living room rug. The thief moved haplessly in the blackened night, making good care not to step in-front of windows, or anywhere that could bring him in the view of the merchant.
He past the desk but kept close to it as he walked on the rug, knowing for sure where he threw nothing for him to trip on. At the end of the desk, he lowered himself to a crouched position and waited for the man to leave the hallway, and he did. “Jen, Jen,” he whispered a couple of times almost quiet enough to be under his breath. Secrat wondered why he was whispering, considering that it was his home, nobody was asleep, and it was Secrat that had to worry about being discovery. The girl didn’t reply. Odd, Secrat thought to himself sarcastically, remembering the smell of flowers on her nightgown. I wonder where she ran off to, Secrat jokingly said in his head, but then felt a certain reality enter the sanctity of his mind.
Where had she gotten off to? Or more accurately, where was it in the room Copé left her? His eyes followed the sound of the man’s breathing, if he continued in the direction he was heading, he would eventually come to his scullery, and thankfully, there were no dead bodies there. (to Copé’s knowledge.) “Lady, where did you run off to? Left us all hot and bothered like that, it’s not good manners.”
There was a snort that followed soon after from the man. He didn’t make it to the scullery. Not right away, of course, because there remained the pesky fact that almost all the merchant’s decorations had been scattered about his house. The man stumbled over something or another, and Copé could hear him falling and crushing whatever it was he fell on. It sounded like a mask, but it could have been the shiny diamond encrusted skull or the glass Copé remembered pushing that way. Whatever, it mattered not, unless it somehow sent the man out of consciousness, but Copé doubted that fate would be so kind to him. “Dammit, ah, Jen, what is this?” He yelled out, but there was only silence given to him as response.
Secrat worked to silence his breathing as he began to navigate past the desk, his sights set back toward the hallway. “Where the hell, what did I just fall on, so, help me, if it’s what I think it is, then, but, why would you even in the first place, dammit, light up a torch or something.” The merchant yammered on-and-on, a few mumbled words while he tried to return to his feet, and in that time, Secrat scurried quietly off through the hallway, hoping the merchant’s confusion would be enough to buy him some time.
Once passing the door with the number lock on it, Secrat lit another pine stick and hurried more toward the master bedroom. The combination would most certainly be in there, under his bed, perhaps, or his pillow, maybe in a noticeable item of sentiment, it mattered not where, just if Copé would be able to find it in the merchant’s absence.
He grabbed the handle of the door and twisted, trying to be as quiet as he could. The door squeaked a bit, so he opened it slower. It was densely lit in this room. That was the first thing Copé noticed. A lot of candles spread sporadic around the area.
Once his eyes were allotted the means to adjust, they beheld a more appealing series of ornaments. Not one, not even two, but three broads resting, unclothed and naked atop the merchant’s fine, violet-colored blanket. They were marvelous and seemed to be endless with creases and crevices that couldn’t be described by words alone. The cover looked nice as well.
“Uh,” is the only thing that Secrat could muster the strength to speak.
They were asleep. That was good, but it didn’t change the fact they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. The merchant, … the merchant,
Azlak Temps, that was his name, was married and (while Secrat didn’t share their idea of the word) happily so, but happily married men didn’t usually fuck random whores. There was a hole in the plot, but Copé couldn’t find a way to fill it. All that he cared about was finding the numbers, getting some gold, and getting out of sight. That was The Red Flux’s mantra, or at least, it would be if
the Red Flux was conspicuous enough to have one.
He crept quietly into the bedroom, waking the whores would bring nothing good. He admired their bodies from afar but tried his best not to get mesmerized in their lustrous figures.
The bed was large. Big enough for all three sluts, one more slut, and of course, the merchant, but the ladies were being spacious with their limbs. This made it difficult to see whether there was anything hiding beneath a pillow. And so, with a heavy heart, Secrat began to wander more feverishly about the room; a decent size, the room, that is, enough that a bed made for a king would only take about one-third the room. Otherwise though, there wasn’t a whole lot else to see.
Merchants oftentimes migrated from city to city. It all depended on where would pay more for whatever product they had in abundance. It made sense why his abode would be empty. Except Temps took the time to take out all his stupid souvenirs and set them all-over his hallway and even rolled out his
Italinian rug. Why was this room so empty?
Secrat turned where he had shut the door behind him, and the loophole filled itself for him. On this side, the door had no handle. All it had was a large keyhole. The thief pushed at the door. He poked into the keyhole as if his index finger was part key. It was not. No windows in this room. Secrat couldn’t help but smile. He was screwed beyond restitution. It would have been easy to knock down the door; one or two kicks and it would be off its hinges. This couldn’t be seen as an option though. The merchant would be alerted, and he’d absolutely wake up all five of the ladies. As skilled as he was, Copé doubted he could fend off and fight naked ladies coming at him. He didn’t know if he wanted to fend them off either.
A small jolt of fear struck his chest. He washed it away shortly. Certain necessities had their way with being a thief, and one of them was the ability to act even when it seemed all was lost. He started around the room. If there was anything that could help him in the situation, he wanted to find it. He blew out the pine stick in his hand and threw it down on the ground. It wasn’t like he would need it. The only thing in the room was the bed, the sluts, and the candles.
Copé went closer to the bed, looking over the feminine tabbies. He expected for one of them to wake up and make a jump at him at any moment.
His left hand touched the hilt of a knife strapped to his waist. He dropped to his knees and looked beneath the bed. A wooden box sat about midway underneath the mattress. The box was barely close enough for him to grasp with his arms stretched as far as they could reach. No combinations and no keyholes, Copé took refuge in that one singular fact. The numbers to the vault would most definitely be here.
The thief readied himself to open it. Everything felt slower. The moment was being preserved as if it was some special occasion.
Secrat Copé heard the door handle turning behind him. He didn’t have to think about it. All he had to do was react. He shoved the box back down under the bed and joined it. Hiding like a small child from the boogeyman. Azlak Temps opened the door, his feet being the only thing Copé could see. They were bare, without shoes, and dirty. His ankles were thick as well. Temps was a heavier fellow. He walked in slow.
“You’ll have to excuse me, ladies. Our dearest Jen has taken it upon herself to stray out of my ever-so humble abode. I have to fetch her.” He followed his words with a laugh. A nasally laugh that sounded more obnoxious than joyous. Copé wondered how much the man had to pay these ladies for their company. He thought about how that wealth would soon belong to the Red Flux.
Azlak walked deeper into the room. And then, something happened.
The sound resembled a small twig breaking beneath the paws of a grizzly bear. Copé watched from the under the bed while Temps moved his foot. The pine-stick he had thrown down had shattered away into something like soot.
He could hear the loud groan from the large man.