The rivalry between Andy and Kevbe had always been old.
Both burglars of reknown, their conflict had led to mild sabotage, reputation-bashing and creative belittling. Their jousts had created juicy entertainment for the burglar community, thieves regaling each other with the exploits of both criminals.
That was, until matters took a dark turn. Slowly, the rivalry had grown unhealthy and the pranks more vicious, until, it was said, Andy had gone as far as setting Kevbe up for a fall. Caught unawares, he had walked right into a trap, was arrested by the police and slammed with a sentence of a few years behind bars. Appalled, thieves all over the country shunned Andy, despite his unconvincing protests of innocence, and his popularity waned.
Now, years later, the burglar folk were agog with the news of Kevbe’s release. Rumor had it that Andy had been going around, beating his chest and declaring himself equal to any pitfalls Kevbe might set for him; but the newly-released thief was keeping a low profile. He was barely seen, and seemed to have taken a brief hiatus from the home invasion business.
Then the challenges began to be issued. High-end homes in Lagos were fingered for competitive burgling. Most of these homes had strident security measures in place, so only the most accomplished thieves took up the gauntlet. Those who succeeded in mapping out and executing a successful home invasion were rewarded with bragging rights and, of course, a juicy haul.
Andy, perhaps a bit stung by the burgling community’s mild sanction, refused to participate. Until, that is, Chief Ajayi Smith’s home was selected for the next dare.
An eccentric paranoid, Chief Smith had installed almost infallible security measures in his palatial mansion. Ranging from vicious Rottweillers to round-the-clock surveillance, attempted breaches on his homestead had claimed and maimed many an ambitious thief. And now, some sadist had put it up in the burglary challenge.
All right-thinking thieves, nursing a healthy respect for the famed house, declined the invitation to almost-certain capture, but Andy stepped up, amazing everyone. Then even more astonishing, Kevbe materialized from the shadows where he had been skulking, and calmly declared his intention to take up the challenge as well.
The excitement level amongst the thieves went through the roof. Bets were placed and breaths were held. Two of the top most formidable burglars, with a shared history of hate, going up against each other, in a bid to infiltrate one of the most fortified houses in the country! This was shaping up to be the home invasion to beat all home invasions!
Kevbe hunkered in the dark, watching Chief Smith’s home from a safe distance, through a pair of binoculars. He had scouted the place twice, once before Andy had carried out his own preliminary investigation and preparation, and a second time, after Andy had left.
He had mapped out a route for ingress, knowing Andy would use the same method to infiltrate the mansion. The route wasn’t as well-patrolled, as it was at the farthest reaches of Chief Smith’s plot of land, and slightly overgrown with shrubs left to grow wild. The only risk inherent was the presence of the guard dogs, who were mostly relied on to secure that section.
Just as Kevbe had expected, Andy had taken steps to neutralize that threat. Knowing the dogs had been trained to reject meat not proffered to them by their trainers, Andy had released a few tottering, heavily-dosed rodents into the vulnerable section, knowing the dogs would probably chase down and feed on the hapless critters. It was still risky, because the pets may have being trained to ignore their hunting instincts. But it was a smart solution, with high chances of success, and Kevbe had nodded in approval as he had watched Andy implement it.
Now, it was dark and Kevbe watched Andy vault expertly and safely over the electrified fence and make his way to the mansion through the wild shrubbery, having searched for and seen the entrails and ragged remains of the rodents. He smiled to himself, as he recalled how he had painstakingly collected all the drugged rodents, replacing them with healthy ones. And then set a noisy metal trap, right in the paved path closest to where the dogs favored for their brief naps. One nudge, and the dogs, who were nowhere near sedated, would be up and viciously attacking.
Kevbe’s grinned widened as he watched Andy through his binoculars, now approaching the trap. Relishing the thought of finally getting payback, he waited with bated breath for Andy to kick the bucket…..