The only thing the burglar loved more than money was murder. The feeling left him with a certain euphoria he’d never managed to replicate through any other means, and since he’d finished his prison sentence he’d been yearning to take another shot at it.
He looked at the picture frame, and it left little doubt as to whom the apartment belonged to – a short girl with brown hair and freckles. An easy kill, if he had to do it. He put the picture frame back down, and continued to look for more jewelry, pulling out one drawer after another. To his surprise, the door knob began to turn. The burglar picked up his handgun and rushed to find a hiding spot.
* * *
Sylvia finished turning the handle and entered her apartment. “Kiki, I’m home!”
Kiki was the name of her cat. It was the coolest of kitties, never one to startle in the face of stranger danger. It’s primary interest was to sleep, so Sylvia did not find it the least bit surprising when her cat didn’t run up to her right away.
What did catch her off guard, however, was that much of her furniture had been displaced. It appeared as though her apartment had been ransacked. After some more inspection, Sylvia found her favorite articles of jewelry were missing, including one special necklace given to her by her grandmother.
Sylvia slipped her phone from her pocket and began to dial 911. Before pressing send, however, a burdening thought got the better of her. Sylvia dialed her grandmother instead.
“Yes dear, what is it?”
There was a noise, someone or something in the room had moved. Sylvia thought she heard it coming from her windowsill, behind the curtains. She slowly and cautiously began creeping towards it.
“Grandma, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“What is it dear?”
“Your necklace. The one you wore on your wedding day, the one that you gave me for my birthday?”
“Yes, I remember. What of it?”
Sylvia began to cry. As she continued forward, she could swear the curtains were more bloated than usual. Tears filled her eyes. “Grandma, somebody stole it! I kept it hidden in my top drawer, and hardly ever wore it except on special-“
“Oh, don’t think twice about it,” said her grandmother, followed by a weary chuckle. “Let it be not the least of your concern… Tell me you contacted the authorities already though, right dear?”
Sylvia held the curtain with one hand, then stopped short of flapping it open. “No. I feel really guilty… I thought I should call you first.”
“Dear!” shouted her grandmother. “Are you crazy? If somebody broke into your apartment, for the love of God, call the police!”
“I was going to next!”
Something moved behind the curtain. Sylvia was sure of it.
“What if the burglar is still in there, darling? Call the authorities!”
“Ok,” Sylvia said, meekly. She pressed the red ‘end’ button on her smart phone. Rather than dial 911, she was too taken in by whatever waited for her on the other side of that curtain.
Sylvia slowly set the phone down on the nearby table, then held her breath as she prepared to uncover whatever waited behind that curtain. She knew deep down that grabbing a weapon or even a blunt instrument would be the smartest thing to do, but she was too impulsive a person to take precautions, even in the most dire of situations.
Sylvia gulped, then pulled away the curtain.
“Ahh!” She screamed, then fell back.
Her cat, Kiki, had just pounced out at her. She smiled and breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, thank God… It’s just you, Kiki.”
Sylvia turned, but it was already too late. The burglar fired the bullet, and the last image Sylvia saw before she passed was his handgun pointed down at her.
- Thomas M. Watt