Old Man Lester

The handle rattled as the trespassers tried to find a way in. They obviously assumed the occupant was an idiot. As if he’d leave the door unlocked.

He rolled his eyes.
They tried the living room window next, luckily he always secured the windows.
The group of four continued working their way around the perimeter of the house. He smirked as their grumblings increased. they were getting more and more frustrated at each failed attempt.
They’d completed a full lap of the house. He listened at the front door as they discussed giving up. The group seemed to be made up of two couples, Jack and Kate, and Darren and Sarah.
Sarah was clearly the ringleader. Declaring the others to be cowards for giving up so easily. Looking longingly at his cosy armchair by the fireplace with his favourite book sitting enticingly on the arm,. he really hoped they ignored her.
“We haven’t even checked for a way into the basement yet.”
Damn, he’d forgotten the basement.
He sighed in irritation as he heard a window smash. His book would have to wait.
Based on the noises coming from the basement, all four of the trespassers had decided to climb in through the window.
“Maybe we’ll bump into Old Man Lester.”
“Shut up Sarah. That’s not funny.” Snapped Jack.
Interesting. They knew his name.
He grinned. His plans for a cosy evening reading, forgotten.
Lester had work to do.

* * *

Kate nervously looked around the basement. She couldn’t believe she’d let Sarah bully her into this. Breaking into someone’s house was completely out of character for her. She never broke the rules.
Darren and Jack were investigating the basement.
They didn’t find anything of interest. The shelves were filled with junk. Old tools, rusted over time, tatty photo albums and other unidentifiable curiosities.
“Let’s explore the rest of the house.” Suggested Sarah.
Darren and Jack shared a glance. It was one thing to talk about breaking into Old Man Lester’s house, but now they were actually doing it, the doubt was settling in.
“I dont know, Sarah. We should probably leave before we get caught.”
Sarah laughed. “Don’t be such wimps. Come on!” She began climbing the stairs that led up to the ground floor.
Darren and Jack shared another look before following Sarah.
Kate sighed and trudged up behind them.
Maybe the door leading to the rest of the house would be locked, then they could leave. She sighed again as she heard the door creak open. Kate wished she was brave enough to stand up for herself and walk away.
The door opened into a large kitchen that looked like a time capsule from the 50s. Everything in there looked like it needed upgrading or replacing.
The group looked around. Kate was unimpressed. She couldn’t believe she was breaking the law for this.
Sarah was already bored of the unimpressive kitchen. She swiftly ushered the group out into the hallway. They still had the rest of the house to explore.
They walked into the next room. There was a cosy armchair overlooking the fireplace, a book resting on the arm.
“That’s weird. It looks like someone’s been here recently.” Kate agreed with Jack.
This was unexpected.
“We should go. Come on guys, we’ve been here long enough.”
“You’re such a coward.” Sarah sneered.
Jack stared at his shoes, avoiding Kate’s gaze.
“Whatever. I don’t care what you think. Im going home.” Kate headed back to the basement to climb back out the window.
Jack watched her go. A look of guilt spreading over his face. He shook it off as he turned to look at Darren. His friend had settled into the armchair
“Ugh Im bored. You guys go explore. I’ll wait here for you.”
Sarah had been looking at old photos on the wall.
“Alright then. Let’s go check out the rooms upstairs Jack. Maybe there’s something more interesting up there.”
Darren gave them a wave as they left the room. He then idly picked up the book next to him, flipping it open he began to read. He became so engrossed in the story, he failed to notice the figure sneaking up behind him. He did, however, notice the poker as it plunged through his chest.
Darren’s eyes briefly widened in surprise as he saw his attacker. He released a final breath of surprise then slumped down into the chair.
Well now, that didn’t exactly go to plan, but it was certainly entertaining. Lester chuckled to himself.

Sarah and Jack snuck into the first room they reached at the top of the stairs. It was a large bedroom. Against the far wall sat an impressive four poster bed, complete with curtains.
“I didn’t know people actually owned beds like this!” Exclaimed Jack. He went over to the bed to get a better look at it.
Sarah laughed at his awestruck expression, watching him as he played with the
Curtains. Growing restless, she left the room to continue exploring.
Jack soon lost interest in the bed, he attention moved onto the many doors in the room. Two of them opened into large closets. The third lead to an ensuite dominated by a claw foot bath tub in the centre of the room.
He was rudely interrupted by a blow to the back of his head. He must have briefly lost consciousness because he suddenly became aware that he was soaking wet and struggling to breath. Too late, Jack realised he was being held under the water in the bathtub. The blow to his head left him confused and disoriented. Leaving him unable to fight back. Catching a distorted glimpse of his attacker through the refracting water he gasped in shock. The water flooded his lungs. Stars appeared in his vision before everything went black.
Lester was delighted. This was the most fun he’d had in years.
* * *
Only one left now.
Sarah found herself in a library, it contained little to interest her except for a realistic suit of armour in the far corner. She wondered if it was genuine or just a replica, moving closer she realised it had a sword strapped to it’s waist.
Finally, this house had been so disapointing.
Until now. Sarah had been hoping for a trophy as proof of their adventure. She walked towards the sword to claim her prize. It was a shame she hadn’t noticed the crossbow mounted by the door. Sarah flinched as she felt something hit her in the back. She felt us though she’d been punched. odd, her shirt felt damp.
The ring leader glanced down. Her eyes widening in surprise at the arrow sticking out of her chest. Turning around to face her attacker, struggling to comprehend the sight in front of her.
“Kate?” Sarah collapsed to the floor.
Kate lowered the crossbow. That had been easier than she’d expected. Wiping down the crossbow as she had the polar, Kate left the room. Time to go home. So focused on her own activities, Kate hadn’t noticed the haze following her around the house.
Lester grinned as he watched the murderer climb out the basement window. Usually when intruders entered his home, he ensured that none of them left. However she had provided him with wonderful entertainment and allowed him to fully enjoy the experience, for once. He felt she deserved to leave unhindered.
Lester floated back upstairs to his armchair.
Glancing at his wall clock, he picked up his book. He still had a few hours left before the sun came up.
It was weeks before the bodies were found. Despite plenty of publicity, the case went nowhere. Unexplained deaths weren’t unusual at Old Man Lester’s place. Every few years a group of curious teenagers would learn about the haunted house, breaking in. They rarely walked back out.

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