I checked behind me. Sean was still following, although he seemed overwhelmed by the powerful beams lighting up the church from above.
‘Are you sure no one’s around?’ he asked anxiously, his thin face screwed up with worry.
‘No way. I’ve told you three times, Sean. No one comes here after midnight.
‘What about the lights?’ he persisted
‘What about them?’
‘Won’t someone see us?’
‘Look, stupid, the lights are only here to make dummies like you nervous. Forget the lights, and get a move on.’
We crept around the side of the main building and found the office door. Security was weak, just as I had expected. Someone had gone to the trouble of fitting bars over the windows, but no bar could hide the bleeping lights of several computers spread evenly across the desks. Nor would they stop anyone with even a half-serious ability in breaking and entering. This would be a simple job. There would be no ugly surprises tonight, not for me, anyway. I went to work on the office door, and in a few minutes we were inside.
We weren’t stupid enough to bring flashlights. Besides, the church was lit up like a Christmas tree; there was plenty of light for our purposes. I whispered to Sean to start on one of the newer machines. This was Sean’s reason for being here. His arms were skinnier than rakes, but he was quick. We’d have the two computers out of here in a flash. According to a reliable source, those computers were brand new. The church had invested quite a lot of money in them. Money they were about to uninvest into my pockets.
For a short while, all that could be heard was the sound of our fingers at work, the occasional creak of plastic being shifted, and Sean’s muttered undertones.
His voice was like a tack in my foot. ‘Will you shut up,’ I whispered in an angry tone
‘Huh, what are you talking about, Derek?’
‘Shut up, Sean.’
‘Look,’ he said between his teeth, pushing his face into mine. ‘The only one talking here is you. Got it.’
For a skinny guy he was kind of nuts.
I shut up, but he didn’t. I could still hear the sounds of his mutterings sneaking around the office.
‘For the last time, Sean, shut up,’ I said, losing all of my patience.
‘It’s not me, alright.’ His words hit me full in the face. If it wasn’t Sean speaking, then who was it?
I put my fingers to my lips, begging him to be silent. Pointing to an inner door, I crept over to it, and leant my ear against the wood. Someone was definitely there.
There was something familiar in the voice. I listened for several minutes, trying to find a second person in what seemed to be just a one person conversation. I grabbed hold of the occasional word: Lord…. blessed….. help…. Then suddenly, I heard my own name, Derek, and I realised who was on the other side of the door.
I grabbed Sean by the arm and pulled him towards the doorway to escape; too slow by just a few seconds. The door behind me opened. We were trapped.
‘Hi dad,’ I said with a grin. ‘We were just visiting.’
Of course, even he could tell we weren’t. After all, what pastor’s kid breaks into the church office at three am and dismembers computers just for a visit. Not even he was going to believe that one. We had really stuffed up this time.
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