Chris was tall, but not too tall, slender with dark hair, and sharp features. He was a millionaire. Though not like the kind you see on T.V., he was unknown. He had never worked a day in his life, instead inherited everything. Maybe that's why he turned out sick.
Not his body, no. He was in seemingly perfect health. It was his mind. The twisted, demented fellow had everything and yet nothing.
Maybe it was because he was alone, utterly and truly alone. He had no family, and no friends. Only his pets... if you could call them pets.
Chris never left his house. His massive mansion. White marble pillars stretching as if for miles, supporting the high ceilings. Carvings and engravings, a robust show of modern architecture, and yet no one in the outside world could attest to its existence. With almost 100 rooms in the mock palace, he goes in only two. One of which, a messy, dusty office.
The office is large, yet furnished only with a desk, bookshelf, and a window. That’s if you exclude the thousands of pages, maps, and mad theories scribbled on every spare page strewn across the room.
A simple window is beside his desk. The only thing he ever does is stare outside. That and feed his pets. He watches the silent workings of nature, the minuscule dewdrops on blades of grass, slipping down, wetting the Earth. He watches love birds tweeting and singing for each other in harmony, with passion. He watches when the sun hits its highest peak, and the rays provide food for all the beautiful flowers grounded in soil. He watches big bears fight for their territory, ripping into each other's flesh to stake their claim, brown fur matted with blood. Maybe he saw himself in a bear, proud, large, easily overpowering all others. Maybe that's where he was inspired. Maybe that's why he went crazy.
Two days earlier, he noticed the office was colder than normal, and came to the conclusion that the window seal had worn away. He called an unemployed repairman, knowing only someone desperate for a paycheck would go so out of his way to travel somewhere far and unknown. He was supposed to arrive today, sometime between 11 and 3.
Chris sits at his desk, staring through the clear, cool glass of the gold framed window until noon. He has to rise from his seat. It’s time to feed his pets. He lets them stew, hungry, for the first few hours of the day before he graces them with nourishment. It’s one of the games he plays.
He walks out of his office and makes his way to the grand, open rise staircase, letting his feet fall down the holes before dragging them up, taking great care to make sure they hit the step below on their way out. He knows he needs to be punished for refusing to release his pets, but he can't bring himself to do it. He can’t risk it.
He travels down 4 flights of stairs before he reaches the dungeon door, the second of the two rooms he inhabits. He feels the rust of the metal, flaking over his fingers, knuckles turning white with pressure, as he opens the door.
The dungeon is poorly lit, damp, and cold. There are 40 cages in total, standing in two rows. Beside the staircase, a luxurious oak table and a high backed, black leather throne. There’s a single edition of Vogue magazine, splayed open to a random article, lying on the table. It’s the only hint of another world, the only thing tethering this medieval room to the present.
Let us out,
they seemed to say. They couldn’t actually speak, Chris made sure to remove their tongues, thereby ruining any chance they had of escape.
“I know you’re out to get me. I know you’re spies, all of you. Tell me who you’re working for, and I’ll let you go.”
Chris pauses a moment,
“You won’t succeed. You can’t take it, it’s mine.”
He’s forgotten they can’t speak.
“Ok, fine, I guess you’ll remain here. Locked up.”
His eyes are bloodshot, filled with insanity.
His pets gurgle, as they try to communicate. Chris has long since lost his empathy, so he has no idea what they’re trying to say. If only he knew, maybe he wouldn’t have gotten carried away, maybe he wouldn’t be senseless.
“Come on, tell me, I won’t get mad.” He screeches as he walks by each cell, rattling on the doors with his outstretched talons.
Suddenly a loud DING DONG reverberates throughout the home. The pets eyes go wide with sorrow, for they know the events about to unfold.
Chris had told them of their visitor earlier.
“Well, well, it seems as if we have a guest. We’ll all be good hosts, now won’t we? Don’t worry, I won’t keep him long. You’ll soon have another friend.”
Chris takes the gleaming, razor-sharp knife on the table beside him and hides it in his back pocket. His face contorts into a hideous smile as he skips up the steps.
The pets try to let the visitor know his fate, communicating through thoughts, wishing for a miracle, knowing it was in vain.
Turn back now.
Leave and never return!
The unsuspecting repairman shakes Chris’ hand and foolishly, and lets Chris lead him in.
“What a nice home you have.”
Chris simply nods, however inside he’s angered.
How dare this man pretend he’s here to help? He thinks.
Chris shows him to the office and watches him work.
“I’m sure you’re a busy man, you can attend to something else and I’ll call you when I’m done,”
To this, Chris lets out a maniacal laugh,
“You think I’ll leave you alone with everything.”
“What do you mean?”
Chris spits at the repairman’s shoes,
“Hey, watch it! -"
the repairman backs up, hands raised in defence
"-I’m not a thief. What would I even steal anyways, your sheets of paper?”
“Sheets of paper. These are sheets of truth, of fact. These ‘sheets of paper’ provide me with your true intentions. Dear boy, you are not fooling anyone. I know you’re here to steal everything.”
“Everything? What’s everything”
“Everything, my house, my money, my fortune. This is mine, all mine.”
The repairman backs away, stumbling over his feet, stomach filling with dread, feeling events about to escalate,
“Woah, woah. I’m no thief. I can leave if you’re not comfortable with me here.”
“Oh no, you think I’m going to let you leave. You’ve seen it, you’ve seen my house. You know where everything is”
“Wha, what do you mean?” The repairman trembles, knees shaking.
“I’m afraid, you’ll just have to stay here.”
The repairman’s eyes widen in horror as Chris uncovers his knife,