Copyright 2016 Drew Mackay
Published by Drew Mackay at Shakespir
Shakespir Edition License Notes
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Title Page Copyrights
The Kabuki cover page is solely created by the author from a photograph with exception to the mask and its design. The mask sticker can be found here, with its design credited to the original artist.
He had always admired this side of town, the lights were brighter, the streets were nice and lively and no one was afraid to come out at night. Caleb walked down one of the busier streets of Baldur, a suburb where the sun shines on the wealthy.
He realized that he was out of place, coming from one of the much poorer suburbs. His t-shirt, jeans and small backpack, did not match the fancy business shirts and dresses of the people around him. Nobody minded or were too busy to pay him any attention as he left the busy market street and continued up a road to the top of the hill.
He looked around at all the modern looking mansions, some of them hidden behind bushes or hedges lining their sizable estate. Caleb let out a brief sigh as he saw lights on in each of the homes around him. It was not what he was hoping for.
The city and police had come up with a name for him, Kabuki. A thief that entered people’s homes while they were gone, took their valuables and disappeared without a trace. He had only been spotted once as he ran, wearing a traditional Japanese kabuki mask to hide his face.
He continued up the street until he saw a quiet house without the lights on. The house was relatively large, very modern with windows and a balcony overlooking the whole valley and the city below. Caleb looked at it and its surroundings, scouting it before he went in. He saw no security cameras or lights, but saw an alarm attached to the side of the house. It was rare to see them in this suburb, a lot of the residents relied on the private security that patrolled regularly.
He walked up to the front gate, looking around for any potential witnesses before he climbed the gate and flipped over the top, landing in the property. He crouched and silently wandered into the bushes to get his gear ready to enter the house. He opened his small backpack and removed his gloves, lock picks, a black turtleneck sweater and the mask which earnt him his name. He put on all his gear, before he set off towards the house, sticking to the shadows cast by the moonlight.
He circled the house looking for a fuse box, eventually finding it by the garage door. He picked the padlock and opened the box to find a ton of switches and fuses. He used his knowledge from the other houses and his brief but informative job as an apprentice electrician, he located the right fuse to shut off the alarm.
Without the threat of discovery, he silently skulked upstairs to the balcony looking in to one of the window sliding doors for any signs of life. Not seeing anyone, he picked the lock and ventured into the house. He walked silently and began to look around for valuables. Not finding anything that he could carry in his small backpack, Caleb moved further upstairs.
He silently looked around as he snuck past doors, he assumed were bedrooms. An open door at the end of the hall presented an opportunity. The room was quite large by Caleb’s standards, it looked like a study with a desk in the centre of the room. A wall of bookcases along the right wall and picture on the left. The back of the room was a full glass window looking out onto the balcony and the view below.
Caleb looked around the room, there were a lot of books, some old and tattered, others relatively new. Reaching the desk, he looked underneath it, a small safe sat in the corner. Smiling to himself, Caleb got under the desk to begin working on it. Suddenly a small sound made him freeze.
Caleb lightly banged his head on the underside of the desk as he came out to look. He found a young blonde haired girl standing there in her pajamas. Her calmness made Caleb a bit on edge, he responded a moment later.
“Hiiii.” He whispered. Thoughts ran through his head at a million miles per hour, his worst realization come true.
“What are you doing?” The little girl asked looking at him, her eyes squinted like she had just woken up.
“I’m doing nothing, I was looking for something, something important to me.” Caleb tried to think of an excuse, he had not expected anyone home.
“What are you wearing on your face?” she asked as she got a good look at his mask.
“It’s a mask, something I wear like a costume.” He explained tapping the wooden mask lightly.
“Why are you here?” the girl asked as she moved further into the room, Caleb began to stand up and slowly back around the desk.
“I’m here to get something.” Caleb answered straight forwardly, but he began to think otherwise.
“You are going to… take it?” The girl asked, yawning at the same time.
“Maybe, I’m not sure.” Caleb looked back at the safe, he knew he wouldn’t have the chance to see what was inside anymore.
“Why?” she asked, curious as to why he had changed his mind. She was now near the bookshelves; Caleb was on the opposite side backing slowly towards the door.
“Because you’ve seen me, I have to go now.” Caleb turned slowly and began to walk out.
“Is it my fault? If I go back to bed, will it be alright?” The girl replied.
Caleb froze in his place. “You don’t know who or what I am?” He asked turning his head back to the girl.
“My dad says that you can’t tell who a person is unless they tell you themselves.” The girl lifted herself onto the desk and sat on the side of it looking at Caleb.
“Your dad sounds very smart.” He answered, turning around again to face the girl.
“I think he is; he says he is smart because he has learnt from a lot of people.”
“That sounds quite humble.”
“He helps quite a lot of people, and he enjoys it as well. I’m going to try to be like him when I grow up.” She answered, with a slight bragging tone to her voice, ignoring Caleb’s comment.
“Why do that? You’re young, you can try to be anything you want.” Caleb became invested in the conversation. He couldn’t understand why; his father was someone he definitely didn’t want to become.
“Well… he says that helping someone, who hasn’t got as much luck as you, feels so rewarding. I want to know what it feels like, don’t you?”
“I guess, but I need to think more about myself.”
“Because- I’m someone who doesn’t have luck, I have to make it on my own.”
“My dad talks a lot about kar-karna?”
“That’s it! He says do good deeds and good deeds happen to you. Why do you take something that belongs to someone else? That’s bad.”
He sighed quietly. “I don’t know anymore, I started to survive.” Caleb thought to himself, when he started, he had nothing, no money for food or a place to live, he believed he had no other choice. After a while he regained his footing, got a small job and found a small place to live with a couple of friends. It wasn’t much, but it was more than he had at the beginning.
“Why?” the little girl asked.
“I don’t know; I enjoy it I think?” Caleb replied, rubbing his head.
“It’s a strange thing to enjoy, why don’t you try to do good things for people instead?”
Caleb was definitely feeling uncomfortable by the conversation; he didn’t have answers to the questions she was asking. He used to take things, but now he just wanted to know secrets and what people much richer than himself had, dreaming of a life like this. He did small helpful things within his daily life, but he didn’t go out of his way to volunteer for something special.
“I do good things for people.” he replied under his breath.
“Really? How does it feel?” she asked smiling at him.
He snickered slightly, smiling under his mask. “It feels good, it makes me smile.” he answered.
“See? It’s called a good thing for a reason!” The girl said brightly, Caleb chuckled. “I guess it is.”
He looked back at the girl who smiled back at him. “See ya kid, you can and will do a lot of good and helpful things. Thank you.” He started to walk away silently through the door behind him.
“Good bye, I hope you will do a lot of good things as well.” The girl replied, swinging her legs back and forth on the desk. Caleb stopped and turned around with his finger to his lips.
“By the way, Me being here needs to be a secret, ok?” He told the girl, she only replied with her finger on her lips as well.
When Caleb reached the door he stopped, he looked back at the stairs he just came down from, lost in thought. After a couple of minutes, he snapped back to reality smiling. He turned away opening the sliding door silently, and left without a trace.
The following morning, the father opened the front door of the house to leave and tapped something with his shoe. He looked down to find a small kabuki mask looking back up at him, abandoned, like the lifestyle it helped its owner play.
About the Author
Drew Mackay is an Accounting and Political Science student currently studying at Edith Cowan University. An interest in writing has lead him into plotting several novels and writing short stories during his spare time. While he focuses in creating novels, he occasionally creates short stories for clients or assists other authors with editing their online stories. He currently resides in Perth, Western Australia, continuing his studies and working on his novel.