The Prank Call

Oct 31st, 2009 | By | Category: Short Stories

It was the best of plans. Lucky, Aksh, and Abhi had worked on it for days until they could find no flaw with it. They were sure it would work. All they had to do now was execute it, and the day, or night in this case, to do that had arrived.

Silently, they reached the designated spot. They didn’t talk much. There was no need to. Each knew where they were headed to, and how they would get there. Their destination was the top floor of a four storey house, which was occupied by a family of four – husband, wife and two sons, aged 14 and 8. The husband, they knew, would not be home as he had left for a nearby town – on business – that very morning.

There was a flight of stairs that ran up to the top floor. The three, however, did not intend to use them, especiallyThePrankCall since taking them would entail passing by the front door of each of the six apartments on the floors below. Though it was 12 in the night, and the chance of anyone seeing them was negligible, they did not want to take any unnecessary risks.

It was towards the back of the building that they crept silently – three figures, almost invisible, camouflaged in their black dresses against the dark night. There was a drain pipe at the back that ran up all the way up to the fourth storey, and that is what the three were going to climb.

The drain pipe would take the three to the bathroom window, and from there on it would be a cake walk. The one area of concern was that the drain pipe was made a bit loose, and oft and again it would clang against the wall making a noise that someone might notice. But that was a risk they were willing to take. Once they entered the house they were confident that three young, able bodied men would easily be able to overpower a woman and two kids. But, if there plan went as intended there wouldn’t be any need for overpowering.

Lucky, Aksh and Abhi quickly slithered up the drain pipe, and soon they were at the window. They had made a few sounds climbing up, and they were hoping that the sounds were low enough not to wake anyone. But the time to worry had past.

With a determined glance – that meant action – the three entered the house. From his pocket, Lucky drew a bottle that held some clear, transparent liquid. Lucky seemed to be the leader of the group, and the other two seemed to be following his lead. With a quick shove Lucky opened the door to what, the three knew, was the living room of the house.

Aksh frowned. This was not in the plan, and that was a little unnerving. The family did not own a dog, or any other pet for that matter. What was this?

The three drew near to the source of the sound, and then it happened.

“Aaaaaaa….,” a scream loud, but not loud enough to go a long distance, rented the air of the house. It was shrill and eerie, and it made the three intruders jump in their skins.

As often happens in life, the best laid plan had suddenly gone all wrong. Lucky, Aksh, and Abhi had meant to rob the house quietly and get out without anyone finding out about the robbery, until they were far and away. But now they were not sure what was going on here.

They stood frozen in the dark.

Difficult times, they say, bring out the hero hidden inside us. It was Aksh, and not Lucky, was the first to get out of his daze. He quickly approached the bundles lying in the corner. To his astonishment the bundles were no bundles, and they were no pets either, but what he found there instead was the wife and the younger son, bound and gagged. Fear was writ all across their faces, and their eyes were pleading for help.

“This is them,” Aksh whispered.

“Them who?” Lucky growled back, regaining some of his confidence.

Aksh did not answer, but soon Lucky saw for himself, and his face clouded with an expression of bewilderment. Abhi had also reached them by now. The three did not know what to do next, but they realized that the wife was desperately trying to tell them something.

They looked at each other, and unspoken words passed between them. Abhi reached out to un-gag the wife.

“Don’t scream!” He said menacingly.

“Help us!” were the first words that came out of her mouth, and “Wh… Who are you?” came next.

“We are here to rob your house!” Abhi said foolishly.

“So you are with the other six too?”

“Six!” the three cried in unison, almost forgetting the need to be silent. At the same time there was a loud clang from the other room as if a steel cupboard had just been torn open.

“…the ones with the guns…the ones in the other room?”

It was their turn to sweat now. Lucky, Aksh, and Abhi were final year engineering students and tonight was just a quick way to get their hands on a few quick bucks, and have an adventure at the same time. They never meant to hurt anyone, nor did they intend to loot the family out of everything they had. They had chosen this family because they seemed to have a lot of money, and would not be hurt too much by losing some of it. Also, more than the money, there was this charm of carrying out the perfect crime. Too many Hollywood movies can have strange effects on young and impressionable minds

Be it as it may be, the three were in a fix now. They had to deal with real thugs with real guns, and they were not sure whether they were capable of doing that. A woman, and two kids, was manageable, but six men with guns was a different story altogether.

“We should get out of here,” Lucky said.

“No! Help us.” The wife pleaded.

“We can’t leave them like this,” Abhi said, and Aksh nodded in agreement.

“What are we going to do? Use your little kitchen knife against the guns?” Lucky said, “Don’t try to be a Don Quixote.”

By this time Abhi had untied the wife and the son, and they were clinging to Abhi and Aksh, begging them to help them.

Lucky was not so sure. His good sense told him to run out of this place as fast as he could, and put the idea of any robbery behind him, once and for all. But , in his heart, he knew his friends were not wrong. They could not leave the wife and the son at the mercy of the robbers…and then there was the other son who was being beaten mercilessly by the robbers in the next room.

Suddenly he thought of plan. He was quick at coming up with plans.

“Let’s get out of here and call the police,” he said in a quite whisper.

It sounded like a good plan, but at these words the wife and the son started sobbing.

“Help my son please!” the wife pleaded. Every now and then they could hear a low moan form the other room. “They have taken him to show them the house, and tell them where things are!”

“Look woman,” Lucky said, “We can’t help you or ourselves by staying here. Let us get out of here and call the police, they should be here soon. I know there is a police post not very far from here. We will call them as soon as we get out of here.”

Reluctantly, the wife agreed. Her face had an expression of resignation. If this was how it was going to be, then so be it. Soon, the three had climbed down the drain pipe and had called the police.

When the police arrived 15 minutes later, they found the wife merrily having a late snack with her two sons. The police man told them about the call about a robbery that they had just received.

“Must be a prank call,” The 14 year old son said, with a twinkle in his eye. It was not without reason that he was the head of the amateur drama club at school.


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Neo is an engineering professional by day who takes on the mantle of a writer during the night. He started writing his first book at the age of fifteen. That book never saw the light of day, but, he says, writing that book made him realise that writing is something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He hopes that one day he is able to quit his day job, and become a full time writer. If you like this post, you can follow Neo on Twitter

Neo has written 37 articles on The MAG. View all articles by


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  1. enjoyable story

  2. wow………… amazing story………………

  3. haha..nice one..njoyed it 🙂

  4. Good one.. ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? ???? ??? ?? ???

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