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I must say, when I was told crime doesn’t pay, I didn’t think this is what they meant.
It’s a trivial expression, it's one of those short simple phrases that have jammed down your throat ever since you were able to comprehend them (remember the DARE program? etc. etc.). I remember sitting through what seemed to be days of some guy in a jumpsuit and a shiny badge showing picture after picture of first a normal guy. Next would be some form of drug (something you as a kid, might never have even known of until that moment).
Next they would show the same man from picture one, but he would be in the act of stealing a purse (or some other petty crime), and doing this for drug money, as he is now poor and a scorn on society. But no matter who the person was, the final picture was always the same, some feature of a prison. No matter who the guy was, what he did, where he did it, they always ended with the perpetrator caught, crime doesn’t pay. Well, I can assure you, crime doesn’t pay, but boy, you don’t know what I would give to have made it to jail.
I didn’t grow up poor, not by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I'd be willing to bet that many of you would scoff at me for complaining about how I grew up. I've got two parents who are still together, a part time job (though as a pizza delivery driver), and was going to college without dropping a dime on classes (thanks Obama!).
I know some of you would kill for what I had, however, it's not so much as I grew up. For those of you who don’t know, Naples, Florida has both an overwhelming number of old and rich people. And I don’t mean a little rich, I mean so rich that if you didn’t drive a Bentley or a Porsche, you might as well have been driving a Miata (needless to say, my 95 corolla with half the paint missing might as well have been putting sirens playing ice cream truck music through a pink Miata).
It was this, it was the constant flandering that everyone around me had better things then me, watches, phones, shoes, hats, clothes, no matter what I did, they were always screaming in my face that they were better than me. This is where the hate came from, it simmered for a long time, slowing bubbling inside my heart like sticky black tar, every day festering and growing a little hotter, a little darker. It was this hate that finally compelled me that I had to find a way to get even, and it was then that I realized what I had to do. I had to steal from them.
It's not nearly as hard as you probably think it is (as I said, from a very early age we are brainwashed into thinking that the law wins, every time, no matter what you do). It also doesn’t help that most criminals are, to put it nicely, dumber than rocks. The key is you need to be patient, observant, and above all blend in.
The gated community is the greatest false sense of security ever conceived to grant the illusion of safety. Those gates with the “secret passwords” on the phone dials, we have them, all of them, they are available to anyone online. And your gate guards? If you think they really care about not letting people through, your sadly mistaken. Couple this with a population that doesn’t even live in these houses sixth months out of the year, and you can see how easy these things were for the taking.
So my first year of being a thief, I waited, and watched. I learned when the owners were around, who set their alarms and what kinds they used, who liked to take trips out for special occasions, whenever they were out of town. I learned their names and social networking info and studied their life like a textbook. And let me tell you, my research paid off. My second year of being a thief, I made out with over $50,000 worth of gold.
It's in my third year of being a thief where my ego exceeded my abilities, though to think back upon all that has happened since, I still have trouble believing it happened, that is until the scab begins to itch where that goddamn… I digress.
Over the summer of my third year, I decided I would be much more efficient to hit one mansion while the owner was on vacation, than to risk multiple exposures at smaller targets. Just south of downtown Naples is the richest part of the town (to give you an idea, the land costs more than the houses, and all of the houses cost millions). I ended up choosing the house of David Davidson, a retired investor, who had a net worth of over 67.8 million dollars, and was known as a hoarder of precious metals. After a few weeks of research I discovered that Mr. David would be in Europe for an extended vacation. It was then I made the decision, it was time to pull off a big one.
It was a brisk October evening the night I decided to pull the heist, and to be honest with you, I was this close to chickening out and just abandoning the whole plan. I went over to my friend Maynard's house to drink a few beers, and talk over the plan a few more times with him to try to work up the guts to do it (always good to bounce ideas about entry points off construction workers), when, and whether it be forces beyond my control, or just plain bad luck, I find out that Maynard had been on the construction team that had built that very house!
Not only that, he told me that when they built it, they were instructed to dig down over 60 feet, and that some sort of “pod” was lowered into the hole, and the entrance to the tunnel that lead downstairs was somewhere in the billiards room (fucking rich assholes). This pod has to be his vault! Now knowing this (plus a little bit of liquid courage), I decided to ignore that gnawing in the back of my mind that this was a bad idea, and headed out to the house.
There was a full moon out that night, though normally not the best for jobs, the thick cloud cover negated it, and added a proper ambiance for the whole night, complete with a stiff breeze sending a constant chill up my spine. A quick snip of a security cord and one open window and I'm inside. I know what you're thinking, and open window? Really? Like I said, I'm not sure whether I was unlucky, or just being bated along like a fish on a hook, but at the time I just thanked my lucky stars it was that smooth.
Now that I'm inside, I relax a little and look around to see the most extravagant living room I've ever seen, Caesar himself would have felt spoiled. Billowing drapes lead from a 30 foot ceiling, the TV was a miniature movie screen. complete with rows and rows of plush, comfortable furniture. But I wasn’t there for stuff, I was there for gold, so I decided to head out to try and find the billiards room.
I exit the living room into what appeared to be at the time an almost comically long hallway, like something you would see in Scooby Doo, with doors stretching on for forever (it was only 6 in retrospect, adrenaline plus nerves can play tricks on your mind) I walk down, quickly checking in each room, looking for a pool table. Strike, strike, strike, then, I glance in the next door and see what I've been looking for, though the first thing I notice is the books. Every visible square inch of wall space was covered, floor to ceiling, wall to wall with shelving, and crammed onto each shelf were thousands and thousands of books.
As I entered the room I felt just the faintest cool breeze kiss my body, I was only for a second, but it made that voice that I had been suppressing suddenly seen much louder. I muffled it down once again and stepped into the room, and to my dismay, saw no door, just a cold fireplace, a billiards table, and a few lavishly overstuffed leather chairs next to the fireplace.
I sat in one of those padded chairs, 50% just out of frustration, though I will admit, I did want to feel how soft they really were(orgasmic). It was there I thought and brooded, had I been tricked? Why would Maynard give me bad information? What should I do? It was pondering that one when I felt it again, that cool ethereal kiss, just for a second from the left. I shine my flashlight in the direction of the breeze and see nothing at first. I walk over, slowly (I'm terrified of this I don’t know why my heart is beating faster its in my head) toward the bookcase and see one of them is slightly further extended out past the others.
I run my fingers along the gap, and feel cool air feathering out of the crack. Bingo. I start ripping books off the shelves, like a dog digging for a bone. And suddenly, one sticks. I push it in confusion, and the book slides seamlessly into the back of the shelf, leaving no hole or any trace of ever existing. Stepping back, startled, I saw the whole shelf suddenly seem to melt into the floor, revealing a wrought iron tight spiral staircase into blackness.
My fear is overwhelmed by excitement as visions of riches and jewels flash through my head, even though that same cold is billowing out from the portal (doorway). I check my flashlight, and start down the staircase. At first I'm hauling ass down the stairs, like a kid on Christmas. But as I descended, I felt the darkness getting thicker and thicker all around me, as my quick pace suddenly becomes a labored wheeze before it was almost a lepric lurch. At first I thought it was only my imagination, but I could feel it.
It was in my lungs, clogged my throat, and burrowed into every pore, with ever increasing pressure (and I swear, the flashlight beam of light seemed weaker and weaker as if the darkness was somehow gaining solidity, and resisting the light). After, and I swear, I climbed down over 9000 steps (and almost in a sheer panic the deeper I went). My legs jolt up into my chest, as happens to someone when they think there is one less step then there really is, I finally hit the bottom, and see a black metal door at the end of short hallway with a bright red knob.
It is at this point in the story, my friends, that I must apologize for you is impossibly difficult to accurately describe with the words of this language, or any language (at least that you could speak). I will do my best though to render an accurate description of what happened.
As I approached the door, I found myself mesmerized by the knob. As drew closer, I could see I had a slight (sickly) glow to it and even seemed to be pulsing (fresh hot blood in a new heart). I could feel my hands trembling as I reached it forward. As I did, my mind was flooded with visions of all those I have stolen from, their ghost swarmed my mind, and as I grabbed the knob I felt a white I hot pain shoot up my arm and hit my dead in the heart (blood transfusion lightning bolt). I jumped back in sheer pain and swore loudly, my arm felt like I just stuck it in liquid napalm. I looked up and saw the door slowly opening inward, as if the darkness itself was inviting me in. Having gone too far to turn back now, I winced in pain with each step (the right half of my body throbbed with each pulse of the light), and limped inside.
And what I saw was something straight out of a cult film.
The wall, the floor, and the ceiling were all made out black glass, which seemed to have smoke(tendrils) reaching out and permeating the air. The only light source in the room was a beam projecting from the ceiling, pointing on a platform about 5 feet from the center of the room, and on the platform, a glowing handprint, the same bloody red color of the doorknob.
I step cautiously inside, the second my foot touches the floor, a path illuminates on the floor, straight to the platform with the hand, with that same red (live blood) glow. And once again, my fear is evaporated by a sense of curiosity (and thoughts and early retirement). From the glow of the floor I see that the black glass behind the (handscaner life drainer) was slightly elevated, about a foot off the ground in a 5’x5’ square, with pillars of the black glass extending to the ceiling on each corner. I reach the scanner and look cautiously flexing my hand in anticipation of what awaited me.
“Are you ready for your big prize?” I hear whispered into my ear
“Yes” I whisper back, and cover the glowing hand with my own.
Once my hand brushes the surface of the smooth glass the light flashes once and the scanner melts into the floor, as columns that reach to the ceiling on the corners of the elevated square illuminate with that same red glow as, and god, the image still gives me terror. The box ascended right out of the blackness.
It was a yard in each direction, seeming to made entirely out of glowing pulsing red glass with millions of flecks of diamond swimming and shimmering with each labored throb.. As it raised up, it revealed fractalius images of torture (scenes of death making up scenes of death), like a mass of writhing worms arranged to make scenes of unimaginable suffering. The images seem to bleed and throb, move and breathe with every pulse of the red glow within it. These carvings decorated every inch of the box, such an ornate carving seems impossible to have been crafted by mortal hands. It came out to be well over 6 feet tall, each corner adorned with a mask of despair, that appeared to be crying some sort of black liquid that evaporated the second it was airborne. with a large slit running right down the middle, the divide that split the was the source of the pulsing I can feel it. I reach to open it, and feel that same chill from before say goodbye to me, as the box swings open and shows me its content.
My heart sank as I found myself seeing nothing but my reflection staring back at me, no gold, no riches, just a look of disappointment that seemed to flicker and pulse with every throb of the red light. Morose and lethargic, I walk up and start pressing against the mirror, hoping for some sort of secret lever or handle, I had gone so far, would have hated to have to leave empty handed after all this effort (terror).
The mirror was surprisingly warm, so warm (living flesh), and seemed to pulse ever so slightly wherever I touched on it, though It didn’t appear to move. I caught a glimpse of my face, the red pulsating bloodlight caused shadows to run across my face, seeming to shift and meld my features around into some horrible dark Picasso. It was then I first saw it.
Its composition is still a mystery, it was somehow both completely translucent, yet as solid and real as the blackened barrel of a war rifle. In the mirror, I saw, descending from the ceiling (from out of my point of view, alas) was a thick, black arm(tentacle) that was hanging from the ceiling and connected (fused) to the back of my head. I could see where it penetrated my skull, the wound was not clean, I could see my brain (black as death) through cracks in my skull. All the skin around the wound had fallen off, and the bit that was hanging on was tepid and festering, with every vein pulsing with that black filth.
What happened next, in reality, probably took about 2–3 seconds, but in my mind, the time feels dilated, making it feel like hours. Out of sheer horror at what I saw in the mirror, I first brought my head to the back of my head, to see if the reflection held true, while I pushed off (an effort to get myself away from whatever was in the mirror as fast as possible).. My hand to the back of my head wins the race, feeling relief flood over me as I felt nothing but my shaggy brown hair, no wound. Simultaneously, I felt the tips of my fingers finally leave the surface of that terrible mirror(portal). The instant I lose contact with it, a low deep (eternal) vibration (deepest earth subwoofer) flooded the room, penetrating to my core, shaking every organ I have, buzzing me to deep into to my very soul.
Then I saw, to my horror, the tentacle from my reflections head had dislodged itself, and my reflection was no longer mimicking my movements. It was just standing there, head cocked to the side in an almost mocking way, with a pitying smile on its(my) face. While transfixed staring at it(me)I didn’t even notice the shadow arm had friends, and they had snaked through the mirror(portal).
I've never felt an octopus, though I would imagine that their tentacles would have a very similar feel. The first one wraps around my wrist that’s closest to the mirror, it feels cold, strong, but most of all wrong, things of that composition just should not exist in our plane of existence. The second grabbed me around the waist, and instantly crushed the breath out of my body and filled it with what felt like dry ice. Things started to go fuzzy as a third wrapped around my neck. As they began to pull me in (so strong) my vision grew dimmer and darker, I embraced the blackness as the arms pull me into their home.
I came to with a jolt, like waking from a bad dream, as the events that have happened to me flood back into my mind, I steady myself, and slowly open my eyes. To my dismay, even though that tentacled thing was gone, I still see my reflection in the mirror, with that same smirk on its face, though the entire room is now coated with the dark red throbbing, though now it's like looking through tinted glasses, rather than from outside sources of illumination.
I saw myself move my hand in the mirror, and rub the back of my head, and to my horror, I felt my own arm, as if it were under someone else's control follow suit. I crept my hand up my neck and my skin felt dried, cracked and broken. Once my hand reached my skull I realized there wasn’t even any skin, and then I felt it, that being (monster, evil), had shoved its tentacle into the back of my own head. I tried to grab it, but to my horror I felt my arm move back down, and I turned to leave the room.
It is the strangest feeling ever, to be your own reflection, it's like my entire being was solely existing in my skin. I was being worn, like a fancy costume, I had no control of any of my actions, I was powerless against the force that held me captive. I couldn’t stop it when it headed back to my house. No matter how hard I struggled I couldn’t stop it when I picked up the kitchen knife, I couldn’t even wipe the smile of my face as I sank that knife deep into my mother's throat before disemboweling her.
Couldn’t even shed a tear as cut my father up in front of my baby sister, before I turned the blade to her. I couldn’t even stop it from calling the police, and turning myself in. During my entire trial I couldn’t say a single word, to explain what has happened as the words “guilty” and “electric chair” were sentenced upon me. I couldn’t cry, as I was about to die, strapped into a chair for a crime I didn’t commit, I just sat there with that same smile on my face. couldn't stop myself as when asked if I had any last words, I responded with “crime doesn't pay” and a slight chuckle escaped my lips as I saw the executioner walk to the switch that would end my life.
I felt that same deep bass vibration thundering in my head. It grew louder and louder and he placed his hand on the switch until it was a deafening cacophony of destructive sound, and right as he pulled the switch, I head, from the monster that held me hostage, a slight chuckle, and the tentacle drew me in.