It was a bright and sunny day. The windchimes were ringing, the birds were singing, the achy rexes were groaning and the Very Slow Burglar was making his way into the apartment. Creeeeeaaak went the wall as he dug his way through it.
On a couch on the other side, two best friends were curled up watching a TV series about mobsters.
"Life's a very funny proposition after all... " sang a minor character. "When all things are coming easy, and when luck is with a man, why then life to him is sunshine everywhere..."
"What's that noise?" said Bleeding Heart. Creeeeeak, moaned the harried wall.
"It's just the pipes, dear," said Tiny Tempest.
"Then the fates blow rather breezy and they quite upset a plan, and he'll cry that life's a burden hard to bear..." Their favourite character walked alone along an iron-grey beach, looking pensive under the cloudy sky. He took a puff of his cigarette, his expression morose.
"I need a new job," muttered the Very Slow Burglar to himself as he patiently scraped at the wall with a dessert spoon.
Outside, an achy rex yowled. "Why are they always so achy?" asked Tempest. "Poor things. They're quite cute, the little buggers."
"I'd say it's because they're achy rexes," mused Heart, "but that only opens up the question of why they're achy rexes." Creeeeeeaaak, said the wall.
The credits rolled and Tempest switched off the television, got up and began peeling garlic cloves. "Your breath already smells," said Heart.
"What does it smell like?"
"Like a punk kid has been living in your mouth." Heart wrapped her arms around her with a wicked grin. "They said it was only for a few days, but you can't get them to leave."
The Very Slow Burglar wiped his brow. He shook some drywall off his spoon, adjusted his shirt.
Tempest chopped the garlic into crumb-sized bits, and threw it into the pot. "Grab my keys," she said. "Let's go hunting achy rexes."
And so they did.
The achy rex is a warm-blooded reptile common throughout Canada. It resembles a saddened, doe-eyed tyrannosaurus rex, but grows no taller than a large duck. Most notably, every specimen of the achy rex is in chronic pain and is known to whimper and squeal every time it moves. For this reason it is omnivorous, as it's always too tired and sore to hunt.
Above the heads of the two friends, a raven perched on the edge of his nest asked his wife: "Do you think they're upsetting the balance of nature, making achy rexes un-achy?"
Raven's wife preened a feather and said, "Who knows? Maybe they're maintaining it."
Heart and Tempest followed the cries of pain until they came to their quarry, a young adult specimen which was striped and miserable.
"Pass me the blanket," said Tempest.
Heart handed her the small fleece blanket which they had carried here for just this purpose. She was left holding a roll of crepe paper and a handfull of packing peanuts.
Tempest then advanced toward the achy rex, the blanket spread between her hands like a net. "Come here," she said, "Come to mama..." and pounced on the wholly-suspecting creature, bundling it in the blanket and straightening to her unimpressive full height.
The reptile howled and whined.
"It's okay, little achy rex," said Heart, drawing near to stroke their captive's jaw. "It's okay." The girls headed home over a field of spring flowers, toward the smell of garlic.
"Those humans," said the raven to his wife. "They make such a racket, with their cawing."
The Very Slow Burglar continued to scrape at the wall for an entire week. The author will leave how he managed this to the imagination, but it involved a lot of bottled water. There was, for a while, a very visible hole, but it was serendipitously covered by a large painting of a naked butterfly-winged woman.
During this time, the achy rex recieved the medical care of Tempest and Heart. Tempest wanted to give him a fitting Latin name, but Heart got him to respond to "Rawr" first, and so Rawr he became. Rawr the achy rex responded well to shelter, regular meals and consistent affection. The level of motivation it took him to move became less and less desperate, and sure enough he became a little less achy.
The Very Slow Burglar finally burst through the wall with a crash on that Saturday. Heart gaped in terror while Tempest jumped, noticeably startled at the sound. Very, very slowly, the Burglar began to pick himself up off the floor.
Tempest strode toward him, glancing behind her to ensure her friend was safe. The latter stood rooted to the spot, creeped out by the ominous appearance of such a slow lowlife. Why was he moving so slowly?
Then Tiny Tempest kicked him in the stomach, and he very slowly curled up to shield himself. By the time his knees had bent, she'd kicked him several more times.
"The fuck is this?" Tempest spat, "Some kind of fuckin' performance piece?"
Lifting him together, the girls pushed the Very Slow Burglar back into the hole. They hung the naked faerie back up to hide the damage and no longer heard strange sounds from the wall.
Elsewhere, the Very Slow Burglar was passing in job applications. At one office a tall man was sitting across from the interviewer when the Burglar fell through the wall. "I'm proficient with many small, easy-to-hide weapons," said the man. "And I'll work minimum wage. I don't need any vacation time."
"You're hired," said the interviewer, who then turned to see what the thumping sound was. He scrutinized the Very Slow Burglar for the entire time it took Very Slow to stand up. "So are you."
And that is how the Very Slow Burglar met his coworker, the Pushover Hitman.