The dimness of the passageway that Keane was hurriedly making his way through was punctuated every now and then by a dust-laden sunbeam, trying in vain to pierce the murk. It did illuminate the numerous spider webs, and Keane was glad he had a strong constitution.
Nevertheless the perspiration dripping down from the top of his head into his eyes made it harder to see.
“Let's see. It's this door – no, this one.”
Keane glanced nervously behind him, straining in the dark to see. It had sounded like footsteps were following. He heard and saw nothing. His imagination was toying with him.
And why wouldn't it? What he'd heard was juicy; sordid and momentous deeds were about to be afoot in the city, and here he was, deliciously privy to the plans.
After a long pause during which he cocked his rather large ears back and forth - something he'd learned to do when he was very young – he satisfied himself that no-one was following. Scuttling into the room he missed the next footfall, just a short distance away.
The room shared the dank unoccupied feel of the passageway. More spider webs clung to the corners and high cornices here as well. He scurried about quickly. Where were they; something to write on and something to write with?
“In 'ere”, whispered the rough voice, answered by “Yeah, we got 'im boxed in now. Le's jus' wait. 'E cain't go nowhere's – we got the only way out.”
“Wha' d'ya tink 'e 'eard dat got de ole man so steamed, anyways?”
“Aw, ain't my bid'ness, long as 'e pays me, see.”
“I gotta' say, gave me the shivers, what I 'eard.”
“Ow! Wha'd you do dat fer?”
“Keep yer yap shut an' yer nose in yer own bid'ness an' nobody gets hurt, see? Why da ya tink we's afta dis guy, anyways? He done stuck 'is nose in where it don't be-long, see. We're 'ere to p'rtect de ole man's bid'ness, see.”
Meanwhile, unaware of the goons waiting at the door, Keane had come upon the items for which he was looking in the drawer of a massive oak desk that someone had shoved against a wall sometime in past ages. It too was bedecked with spider webs, some of who's creators had gone years before.
With some effort, Keane dragged the writing implements, one by one, onto the desktop and sat before the blank, yellowed page. He contemplated it for some time, thinking of what he'd heard and how someone needed to know about it. If he didn't make it out of here, he wanted to leave something he hoped someone would find.
A sudden sound from the hallway startled him and he darted quickly behind the desk, the only hiding place in the room.
“I tawt we was waitin' fer 'im to come out.”
“I ain't waitin' fer all eternity, see. There's two of us an' one a 'im.”
The hinges squealed as the door swung open.
The room was filled with a light so bright that it made Keane blink rather rapidly to adjust his eyes.
At the same time someone said “Whoa! Did'ya see that?”
“Course I seen it dummy! Shut up, see.”
“Oh, Lord, hide me, please”, whispered Keane as he shook behind the desk with the footsteps closing in.
“I am with you small one”, came a quiet voice. “Does that comfort you?”
Strangely, it did.
“I don't see n...nuthin'!” came a high pitched squeal all of a sudden.
“Yeah, needer do I, see. Let's skeedadle – nuttin 'ere!”
The hinges squealed once more and the door slammed.
The light remained.
“Say, Lord, about those opposable thumbs I've been asking for? I've just been itching to write, you know.”
“Little mouse, you're just as I made you; all you require is yours.”
“But what about what I heard; those bad guys are going to hurt a lot of good people, and someone needs to know...”
Sirens could be heard in the distance, coming closer.
“Small one, you must trust Me. There are no secrets that will not be brought to light, and nothing is impossible with Me.”
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