The night was full of sounds. In the darkened room a figure lay slumped over a small oak desk in troubled slumber with the cacophony of crickets and drone of natterjack toads filling the night air. The noble grandfather clock standing quiet watch reminded the denizens of the old house that the time was gone quarter past five, its familiar four bells of the Westminster chimes echoing throughout the darkness. But no one was listening, or were they? Without warning the night was split and the sleeping form was jolted to muddled wakefulness by an owl’s piercing screech and a vixen’s scream. The house was lit only by the glow of an icy blue moon and twinkling starlight.
Something moved furtively about in the shadows of the pitch-black manor stopping now and then as if stalking its prey. The faint shuffling sounds of tentative steps were drawing ever closer. There was nowhere to hide. The assassin was so close he could hear his measured breathing. He must hurry now. He must not let him find it. Sliding silently from his chair behind the desk he crept quietly about the dimly lit room looking feverishly for just the right place to conceal the vital package. Finally, seizing upon what he hoped was the perfect hiding place he concealed the bundle and then moving as quickly and noiselessly as possible away and toward escape.
Suddenly, out of the darkness, a gloved hand shot forward. Moonlight glinted off of something in its hand. He felt the cold steel at his throat.
A low menacing voice spoke close to his ear, “Where is it?”
A VERY timely read.