Start the story here.

When she pulled into the driveway the silence of the neighborhood surrounded her. A light in the window of the neighbor’s house revealed they were home, but not a sound escaped the house. The clicking of her shoe was the only noise that interrupted the quiet evening. As she reached her door and slid the key in the lock she cursed to herself and starred at the key. It would not turn.

On closer inspection she smiled to herself. Wrong key, she thought, then calmly twisted the keys in her hand until she found the right one and opened the door. At first, not a sound could be heard inside either. No lights as well. The apartment was empty and cold.

She flicked on the light switch by the door and sighed.

“Bark!” Ray called from the back room.

The delighted noise and his pounding feet shook the table lamp with a pleasant jingle. Vera knelt down and snuck her fingers behind his ears, giving them a good scratch. But something was not right. From the corner of Vera’s eye she saw it. A pile of color jumbled about on the floor by the kitchen; trash actually. Coffee grounds spread across the carpet. A banana peel and an apple core were under the table. An half a loaf of bread lay in crumbles. The plastic bag was missing.

On her lunch break, Vera had gone through with her plan. Her feet had shuffled quickly to her car, her knees bent as if sneaking away and her eyes darting back and forth. It was not unusual to leave for lunch, but she worried that her thoughts were transparent and therefore that she would be stopped by Niles at any moment.

The locksmith’s was empty when she arrived at 12:45. She thanked her lucky stars. And he was able to complete the copy of the key in no time. When she arrived, Ray was excited to see her. It was only in trying to make it back to her apartment when she caught the hitch in her carefully orchestrated plan. The traffic clogged the highways and her heart beat with panic not knowing if she would make it back to work on time. The flashes from her thieving came back to her in that moment when she arrived back home and she remembered in an instant why she brought him here in the first place. That panting smile warmed her immediately.

Continue here.


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