By Matthew H.
While Slick was having ''wonderful'' dreams, the owner of the orphanage was headed to the bank.
That morning he had gotten a check for caring for what he thought of as ''unruly brats.'' He entered the bank located in the middle of town with a look of disdain--as if he smelt something unbearable.
In line, there were two people ahead of him. A homely looking woman with a small dog and a man wearing overalls, who could've been a farmer. The woman seemed to be having some trouble with a young teller.
''I don't understand it,''said the teller.
''Well I know for a fact I am not some, some, Eron Smith,'' the flustered woman said.
The owner of the orphanage was barely listening up until he heard the name Eron.'I know that name,' he thought to himself.'But where have I heard it?'
''Aha!'' he exclaimed out-loud. The farmer glanced at the owner of the orphanage in confusion. 'Of course!' said the owner, this time only in his thoughts. 'It's that boy. It's been a few years, but I still remember. Eron was that boy who ran away.'
When it was finally his turn in line, he asked the teller where he might find the boy, Eron.
''Im sorry sir it's our policy not to give out personal information,'' he answered.
The owner, thinking fast, came up with a lie.''Oh but, please!'' said the owner, putting on his most pained face.''You see Eron was the name of my only son-- he went missing a few years ago.''
The bank teller had opened an account for Eron not long ago. Thinking he would be doing a good deed, he told the man exactly where Eron was.
Slick had walked into town in hopes of getting some breakfast. He went to the cafe where he had recently taken a wallet. He ordered some pancakes and orange juice. It just so happens he had the same waitress as the fat man the other day. After he got done, he left a good tip and went on his way.
All he had to until he robbed the mansion was pick up some supplies: a lock-pick kit, a flashlight, and gloves. It doesn't seem like much, but breaking into a house is fairly easy. The best place to get these items was the pawnshop.
Slick walked across town to the pawnshop pulling his coat a bit closer. Last night's rain made it a bit chilly. He accidentally stepped in a puddle as he walked into the shop. The woman behind the counter started to say a warm welcome, but stopped when she saw who it was.
''Oh, it's only you,'' she said coldly.
''Aw, aren't you glad to see me?'' Slick countered sarcastically.
''Not after our last deal.''
''What, I thought it was real gold.''
''Yeah right, but it's too late now, so what do you want?''
''A lock pick kit, flashlight, and some gloves.''
''What kind of junk you got to trade this time?''
''No junk this time, just cash.''
Slick ended up getting a pair of blue gloves, the most expensive brand of lock pick kits and a cheap flashlight. All and all, it was a pretty good deal. The rest of the day he watched the mansion.
The stakeout was pretty uneventful. Nothing even moved. By late in the evening he hadn't even seen a light on. Slick wouldn't have been surprised to see the man in the obituaries. From what Slick knew, the man was quite old and didn't have an active security system. The only thing standing in Slick's way was his own fear.
Night fell. Slick almost fell asleep waiting for midnight. He wasn't sure why he chose then, maybe because of the mystery. He looked down at his pocket watch, 11:59. Slick was dripping with sweat.
'Five, four, three, two, one,' Slick counted down until midnight. It was time.
Slick walked carefully up to the backdoor and, just out of curiosity, he turned the knob...of course it wasn't open.
Slick decided to go with plan B. He climbed up an old tree and made it to the second floor. From there, he opened up one of the windows. No one ever locks anything on the second floor.
Creeping into the house like a shadow, Slick quietly closed the window behind him. He assumed the man must be asleep. Silently, he went down the hall. From outside it looked like the large painting he was after was in the middle of the hallway. There were five doors, all identical, and any one of them could've been the man's bedroom. Slick went with his gut and walked through the third door.
His courage was rewarded with the sight of the painting. But it was brightly lit by a roaring fire with a large chair in front of it with the back facing Slick. Panic-stricken, he shut the door, leaving him out in the darkness of the hall.
Sticking his ear to the door Slick listened for movement...nothing. Absolutely no sound came from the little room. Gathering all his strength, he opened the door once again. Slowly he approached the chair.
Surely his racing heart would give him away. But his worries were washed away when he saw that the chair had no occupant. The only soul in the room was his own. Slick looked down at his watch, its monotonous sound comforting him. It read 12:30 a.m.
The thirty minutes he had been in the house felt like a lifetime. Only a few more steps and he could get out of there. He approached the painting. Just as he started to lift the corner, the fire suddenly roared. Slick fell back onto the floor for fear of being burned.
Looking up, he saw that the painting had become a sign that read:
ALL WHO ENTER HECK SHALL BE CURSED WITH SIGHT FOREVER!
Then the floor rotated beneath him. Suddenly, Slick was on the other side of the wall. At his feet he saw a winding staircase. Slick looked behind him, panic filling his body. There was no way out! The only option was to go down.
He slowly descended the stairs. The closer he got to the bottom, the more the temperature rose. Halfway down, drenched with sweat, Slick switched off his flashlight because of an eerie light coming from the floor. Finally, he made it to the bottom.
He saw that the strange light was coming from what could only be described as a giant furnace. Suddenly, the furnace seemed to approach him.
Slick turned around to run away, but the stairs had disappeared. Then the door to the furnace swung open and all Slick could do was be engulfed by the flames.
Slick could see light through his eyelids. When he opened his eyes, he saw that the light was coming from the fireplace. Shifting slightly, he noticed he was soaked to the bone. The after-affects of sleeping in front of a hot fire. Taking out his pocket-watch, Slick saw that he had slept all night.
Walking out into the hall, he finally started remembering the events of the previous night. Questions clogged his head like: had the staircase and furnace been a dream and if he had been inside that room all night, why hadn't someone found him, who had started the fire in the first place? All these questions were giving him a migraine.
Across town, the owner of the orphanage was headed for Slick's home. angry for being held up by a government inspector. He thought it was a complete waste of time. If no one else wanted those brats why should they care? A whole day wasted! And in the end the inspector only said, 'Great job, keep up the good work!'
'Oh well,' thought the owner, 'I'm here now.' Bursting through the clearing, the owner saw the ramshackle library Slick was living in. He figured he could just snatch Slick up and take him back to the orphanage. He waited. And waited. And waited. The boy never came.
It was noon and the owner was tired and hungry. If he couldn't get the boy, why not just destroy his little hut? The owner tried to light the place up hoping to turn the place to ashes. But the place just wouldn't catch fire. So instead, he did what little he could. He broke a the windows, tore off boards and knocked over the bookshelves, making the place more unlivable than it had been.
Back at the mansion, Slick had just gotten done looking through every room in the house. Absolutely no one was around although, he had found some money in a suitcase and keys to the house. Slick was debating on whether to steal the painting.
Finally, he just decided the money was enough. There was so much in there he would be considered almost rich. Of course, he wished he could buy a real house. But that could never happen. No adult would sell him a house no matter how much money he had. So, with the suitcase, he climbed out the window once again so no one could see him.
He went around the town. Going through the woods all the way back to his library. Once he got there he was stricken with pain and sadness. His only home had been ransacked. Why would anyone do this?
He went inside. The door was hanging off its hinges, windows were broken, floorboards were pulled out and it looked like someone had tried to knock out a support beam. Not to mention it smelled like smoke. Slick hated to admit it, but he cried. He was heartbroken. The library had been his first real home since he left the orphanage. Now it was gone.
There was only one option. The only other unoccupied, off-to-itself place was the mansion.
This time, Slick went through town. He was in a hurry; something was making him nervous. Suddenly, he stumbled and fell to the ground.
Someone offered him a hand. Up until that point, Slick hadn't looked up. But when he grasped the man's hand and was brought to his feet, Slick looked at the man to thank him. What he saw was a pale green monster with two horns and a short beard. Slick screamed. He was terrified. The thing had been smiling, but now it frowned and looked just as shocked as Slick.
Then Slick broke off at a run and headed straight for the mansion. Behind him the monster muttered ''What's his problem?'' and went on his way.
Once he got inside he locked the door behind him. Slick got to the living room and took a seat in a comfy leather chair, thinking. He finally came to the conclusion that something must have happened when he tried to take the painting and it definitely hadn't been a dream.
Above him, Slick heard a noise. So he went into the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife. Then he ascended the stairs.
He stepped onto the main hallway of the second floor and heard a crash around the corner. ''Drat!'' Slick whispered, because he had not locked the very window he had entered through.
Slick swallowed his fear and ran around the corner waving his knife like a madman. He continued his crazed rampage until he noticed he wasn't hitting anything. He looked up and saw something similar to the thing in town. It was staring at him like he was some kind of an idiot.
Slick would have been embarrassed if it wasn't for the fact that the thing staring at him was blue and had a horn in the middle of its forehead.
''Are you insane? You could've hurt someone if you had had your eyes open!'' the monster said. His voice was low, but was plainly not much older than Slick, if at all. It didn't seem threatening and even looked sort of human, apart from the horn and it being blue. ''What's your problem?'' he asked.
''What's my problem? I was burnt alive by a furnace. I'm seeing monsters everywhere and you just broke into my house!'' Slick said angrily.
''Two things about what you just said: one, I'm a demon. Everybody knows there's no such thing as monsters,'' he said, this with a smirk.''Two, this isn't your house.''
''How do you know?''
''Because the man who owned this house was executed not long ago.''