Tall rosebay willow herb and nettles blocked the path to No 52 Morton Way and the key still in the lock of the blistering door was disintegrating with rust. The late afternoon traffic surged its busy path past the old relic. Above the din, a sharp crack like a twig breaking announced the back window of the house giving way to the violent attention of two men intent on entering and plundering its contents or at least finding refuge.
The housebreaker’s name was Calico, fat and brutish, his only natural ability one of violence. He pushed his great body through the gaping mouth of the shattered window, unimpaired by glass brushing his clothing. His companion watched nervously and only relaxed when he could see that no glass remained in the window frame. Only then did he venture his bone thin body through the window and drop onto the floor like a rat dropping from a pipe.
On hearing the soft thud behind him Calico turned.
“You happy now?
“It doesn’t smell good Calico.”
“You and your smells, we need somewhere to hide. No one will think of this old stink hole.”
“What’s that noise?
“For God sake Piper give it a rest.”
The fat man rummaged about the room, which appeared to be a kitchen, but turning out cupboards revealed nothing edible.
“Check the rest of the house.”
“Do as I say or I’ll have the hide off you.”
Piper, dry mouthed, began to make his way through the house. A dark smelly corridor opened out into a large hallway showing five ground floor rooms and a long staircase winding its way up through the house. As Piper stood at the base of the stair he became aware of how bright the hall was and looking up saw that the ceiling many floors up was made from colour glass showing some scene which he could not quite make out. As he began to climb the staircase he realized that none of the doors on the ground floor were open. He thought this strange in such an old house. Who would bother to close the doors? Here he was on second landing and again the doors were all closed.
He looked up but still could not make out the picture above him. He could hear Calico entering the hall below and looking down called.
“Have you seen the ceiling?”
At the sound of his voice the big man looked up and frowned.
“What the hell is that?”
He stood his face frozen a pudgy hand pointing up.
“That was what I wondering.”
As he spoke Piper leaned out over the banister and looked up again. Suddenly the kaleidoscope of colors became crystal clear. The colored scene was an eye, a great red eye looking down at him, burning into head. He leaned further unaware of his friend calling below. As he fell he glimpsed the first of many doors opening.
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