Door – Image by KL Caley


By Neel Anil Panicker

Hut, house, apartment, condo, villa, palace…no dwelling was closed enough for Raja the Master Thief to break into.

In a career spanning three score years, the man in(famous) as the Master Thief had a cent per cent success rate. Add a break in a day (oops! make that night!), every single night (no leaves, no government or optional holidays) seven days a week, four weeks a months, 12 months a year, and you have an idea of the gargantuan nature of his thievery.

There wasn’t a single household he hadn’t graced in all of the entire Konkan Coast.
Egalitarian that he was, every person, every house, every and any place that had four walls  and a door was visited by him.
For once, for an entire span of sixty years, an entire populace, an entire race, be they rich, poor, or the in between, played host to this master ‘artist’s’ eclectic inventiveness.

But once  and only once, did he falter, and that too on his last heist, his grandest one, the one he had dreamt as would be his magnum opus.

It so happened that the septuagenarian had earmarked a new villa, a grand oval shaped three storeyed all white marbled structure that had sprung up almost overnight in the outskirts.

For days thereafter, talk of its opolunece and sherr grandeur seeped into his ears. Sitting in and roadside kiosks and single shed tea shanties as well as while sipping iced lemon juice in tony five star coffee shops, Raja heard breathless tales of the abundant wealth that lay locked inside the new abode.

Finally, giving in to the growing itch, one full moon night he climbed up its seven inch thick, 20 feet high walls, and found himself standing  in front of the massive all gold front door.
As he flushed out his until now reliable master key and inserted it into the keyhole, the whole vicinity lit up ala a Diwali night.
What followed was even more incredulous.
As a burst of alarms sounded piercing through the dark night, the main door opened.
Standing in front of Raja was a policeman, gun pointing towards him.

“I knew you would come one day. And I knew this would be your end”.

More than the words, the face that stared back at him struck him like a bolt of lightning.

For, a mere four feet away from him stood his only son, his own blood, a ‘prodigal’ who had supposedly turned a new leaf, and now was the new police captain of the entire district.

As Raja stood there utterly stupefied aka someone caught with his hands on the till, the wheels of justice turned full circle, for both father and son.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory #life #writephoto

2 thoughts on “neelwrites/flash/fiction/shortstory/writephoto/06/05/2022

  1. What goes around comes around 💜


  2. Wow, looks like Raja the Master Thief got what was coming to him. Great story Neel. KL ❤


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