Rani Ricked

He’d heard of the robberies but they’d never affected him. Sure Narrate Yolk down the road had lost her oh so precious jewels, but that was her fault. That’s the thing about today. People expected that whatever it was they had this morning would still be there this evening. It didn’t matter whether that was their car, their plasma television or their even their family. The thing is they never took the slightest precautions. Daft. The lot of them.

He entered the eight digit code into his alarm pad, closed the front door, locked it with two sets of keys and made his way into town. At the newsagents he picked up a paper and perused the headlines. After seeing that the news was as bad as yesterday he flicked to the back pages and caught up on what was new in football. Not being one to spend money where he didn’t need to he put the paper back and made his way to the library.

His route took him the best part of forty five minutes. Even an unfit person would have walked it in five. But that wasn’t the point. You see those that saw him presumed he was simply an old man who had learnt to savour each moment of life. They may even have been envious at his slow gait, a gentle amble which defied the frantic frenzy of the populace around him.

He entered the library, climbing the imposing steps one by one, walked through the turnstile and made his way to the reading section with a glint in his eye.

When he returned home later that night, after ensuring that none of his booby traps had sprung, he was surprised to see an envelope made out to him sitting on his door mat. You see he never used his real name, instead preferring the anagram Rani Ricked. But there it was. Addressed to him.

He put it behind the expensive looking clock on the marble mantelpiece and poured himself a cold beer. He’d usually check that it was exactly four degrees celsius but hadn’t needed to since he’d got his new fridge. Instead he sat back to ponder the enigma that was the letter. No matter how he tried he could not work it out, and so picked up the local freebie that had sat alongside the letter. It was purported to contain local news, though quite how what the local mayor was up to was considered news was beyond him.

He read with interest the Neighbourhood Watch report. Someone had claimed to have lost their very expensive one in a kind fridge that was guaranteed to keep it’s contents at precise temperatures. That brought a smile to his face. Fancy having your fridge stolen. The next report contained how a stupefied family had returned home from their holidays only to find that their swimming pool had gone. There was a somewhat predictable photo of a glum family standing at the side of what was indeed a very large hole. What was the world coming to?

He sat down at his newly updated server which he affectionately called Bunty. After it had powered up and he was connected to the internet at a speed the locals could only dream of, he spent the next thirty minutes googling. He muttered and tutted as he sipped his beer. “Well I never” he said looking at pictures of ladybirds, green leaves and other seemingly random pages. As he emptied his glass he powered down and padded into the kitchen.

After cooking himself some tea consisting of exotic ingredients he sat on the edge of his beautiful manicured garden overlooking the newly installed swimming pool. It was a beauty and he almost purred with delight. But still the letter bothered him. Who was it who both knew his real name, and also knew where he lived? He wouldn’t open the letter until he’d worked it out..

Rani Ricked

Mark Bateman

Joined August 2008

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Artist's Description

Chapter 1: A true story of an old man who walks with a gait. But who knows his real name? Careful reflection may reveal more than meets the eye..

Next chapter (2): Rani Ricked Visits Mama Whets-Town

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