@ 27.105 MHz: No One Sees Or Hears That Much, This Far Away

He had surveilled the residence for several weeks---

what, in the parlance of his youth, had been called

"casing the joint,"; and had done so until he was

fully satisfied that the precision of his plan to

burgle the place was highly likely to succeed, with the

subsequent effect of a distinct change to his life.

He believed that burglary of this magnitude must

proceed rationally, calmly, and with unusual attention to

detail in order to obtain the maximum remuneration.  As

with some adolescent's high school report, or a

venerable scientist's life-crowning experiment, 

preparation was absolutely key to the process---a

focused plan in which a general intention begins to

clothe itself in specific application---the controlled,

focued main process, and an adequate anticipation of

both human foible and unforeseen circumstance; which

should result, when properly accomplished, in a

maximization of reward and a minimization of frustration.

Failure must be a consideration at every point in order to

prevent both its actualization, and its invitation to chaos.  An

example of his dilligence, discovered---unexpectedly---later, was

his careful, repetitive, recorded observation of the known

occupants (all of them accurately identified to his satisfaction)

habits of presence and absence---the latter being much more

prevalent.  Those people were, quite frankly, never home;

always gone somewhere---especially at night, for hours---

perhaps drinking, perhaps playing cards somewhere (he did

not believe they were merely carousing---as they always

left and returned together).  He was able to determine that

they were not owners; they were renters, and had leased the

property from the surviving relatives of the original 

proprietors and occupants.  Therefore, no "pride in home

"ownership" (to use a phrase once popular among 

appraisers and assessors) motivated their ordinary routines.

They lived with, and among, much of the original furnishings---

which would be, upon the completion of his effort, the

obect of his theft.  The library was said to contain several

rare volumes, the values of which---both to scholars and to

more superficial collectors---was staggering.  Certain portable

antiques---some dating back as far as statehood, or even

beyond to the revolution---would have feched a lifetime of

wages earned through the more customary occupations.  At the

particular hour of his final choosing, under a moonless darkness

that was soon enhanced by a thick, but rainless, cloud cover; and

having waited sufficiently to believe that he would not be

prematurely interrupted, he---masked, sheathed in dark clothing, and

keyed up to anticipate as much as possible of the unexpected,

he entered the building.  Its geographical isolation was, for purposes

like his, one of its most attractive features.  Situated on a huge

tract of flat plain, upon which little more than noxious weeds, thrived; and

fronting on a poorly constructed, and little traveled, township road (which

received only limited consideration---for inspection, for maintenance---

from the County Engineer).  Even the lights of the closest village---

which was not nearby at all (another advantage fpr those who wished to

profit illegally from it)---could not be seen from this location, this

perspective, not even on the clearest of nights.  Some might have

thought that the use of technology---primarily the infrared visor he

had put on---might have been a bit of "overkill"; and this opinion

would seem to be verified as the ghosts, the house's horrifically

malevolent and vengeful haunters, surrounded him just as he had

been reaching for the first item of his interest.  For all this

belonged to them; they existed, lingering, in this venue that had

been theirs and that, dying in their incessant hatred of the

smallminded people from whom they came, and by whom they

had been surrounded (even at the current distances)---and their

blasphemous refusal to release, or be parted from, the material

wealthy and luxury that they had acquired merely to be able to

say that it was theirs, and that not even death could wrest it from

them.  Their moans and groans, their creaks and rattles---the whole

array of the noises and disturbances by which they asserted their

existence (which they believed to be dominant within those walls, and

upon the full extent of the grounds)---compelled the frightened

renters to seek for any activity, offsite, that might, for a little while,

avoid this sort of concerted terror.  Shrieking manically, the

spectres gathered and surrounded the now hysterical intruder,

closing upon him as one might close upon a fly or gnat in order to

torment it the more cruelly. Even what little was left to him of his

soul, after nearly three decades of petty purloinings, would be taken

from him and compelled, through the monstrous metaphysics here

operative, to remain until the very atoms of the building's structure had

decayed and separated.  The rapidity of this had prevented him from

taking even a trinket from its assigned and customary place.  Only his

corpse excited any surprise or shock among those who---in the first and,

therefore, weakest light of dawn---had discovered it upon their

reluctant return.  They were particularly aghast at the strange

positions (with respect to his torso) into which his arms and legs had

been twisted---the terror in which his eyes had distended---and the

unforgettable disarray that had disfigured his face.


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saiom's picture

you had me cheering for the

you had me cheering for the thief..

i didn't think you would off your main character!!

what a wonderful narrative style



Starward's picture

Thanks for that.  I guess the

Thanks for that.  I guess the ghosts took matters into their own hands, which had been my intention for the poem all along.  But I am very glad for your comment; I do appreciate your words.

Enjoy effulgent days,exquisite nights, unto

the exultations of Heaven.