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The Red-Hot Poker

By Todd Maguire on August 29, 2013 in Other

Dorothy lived in a beautifully gracious home in Double Bay. The old widow was a lovely lady and she was very popular, and not just because she was loaded up to the eyeballs. Dorothy was a genuine person. But the old duck had also been around a while and she still had quite a few tricks up her sleeve.

Over winter a lovely young couple moved into the small home next door. The pair couldn’t do enough for Dorothy. The wife helped with her shopping and the husband thrived on lending a hand in the garden along with any other minor chores.

Dorothy was thankful for her friendly neighbours’ gestures, but she could pick people and thought something odd of the husband’s generosity – he just seemed a bit too willing to offer help. Maybe she was just being an old stick and a touch too paranoid, Dorothy thought. He had just mowed her park-like lawn and it was now good enough for a game of bowls. For that, she was extremely thankful. But as she shared a cup of tea with the husband she made a mental note to keep an eye on this fellow.

One evening when the temperature dropped to a remarkable low, Dorothy built a large fire in her lounge room fireplace. Her late husband had taught her well. As she enjoyed a post dinner glass of port she neglected to remove the hot metal poker from the fire. Suddenly a loud knock at the front door startled her. Dorothy cautiously unlocked the door but did not release the safety chain, as it was late. Standing outside the door in the shadows was a man in a balaclava.

“I have a gun, you old bag,” he grumbled. “Let me in!”

Poor Dorothy was very frightened to say the least.

“You can’t come in, but I will get you something valuable if you take it and leave me be,” Dorothy cried, offering to get a diamond bracelet to satisfy the brazen thief. Hopefully this would keep him at bay.

He thrust his hand through the door opening in waiting.

“It had better be worth it or I’ll kick your door in and shoot!” he threatened. His demeanor was now very irate.

Dorothy thought quickly. She hurried to the lounge room and carefully retrieved the red-hot poker from the fireplace. She then returned to the front door and thrust the glowing metal rod into the thief’s outstretched palm.

The sound of the thief’s chilling scream mingled with the sickly aroma of his burning flesh. It was not pleasant. As the thief bolted into the night Dorothy slammed the door and deadlocked it shut.

Back in front of the fire Dorothy poured herself another glass of port and phoned her neighbours for some comfort. “The most horrible thing just happened. Could you possibly come over?” she pleaded.

“I’m sorry Dorothy,” the neighbor’s replied. “My poor husband has just come back home and he is sporting a very nasty burn on his hand. I have to take him to the hospital.”

In a state of shock Dorothy made another phone call. It was to a number she saved for such an occasion.

When the neighbours returned from their ordeal at the hospital emergency room, they found a few things askew back at their home. The laptop and iPad were submerged in their tropical fish tank and the oversized plasma television was sitting on the bottom of the backyard pool.

Dorothy might have been an old duck, but she had been around a while and proved she still had a few good tricks up her sleeve. A month or so later, the lovely young couple moved on.