Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home Security

He was through the window to his waist when his elbow clipped the plate, causing a clank from the kitchen sink. He stopped with his legs dangling in open air, his face near a dish that reeked of asparagus.
It was quiet.
He slid the rest of the way through at an angle onto the counter and then stepped lightly to the floor. He tilted his head, waiting as his vision gradually adjusted to the dark.
Still quiet.
This wasn’t a bad part of town; it was on the fringe of a district with character, in fact. But three blocks down and you’d start thinking about iron grates on the windows. He supposed his presence tonight made a good case for iron grates here too.
The lawn had gone to seed, and the house needed some paint, but it was otherwise maintained. A man and a woman lived here. No kids. No dog. He’d monitored the house for a week.
The husband had a physique fit for a desk job. He dressed neatly and worked 8-5, and he drove a 15-year-old Accord with rust eating the bottom couple inches off the doors.

She stayed home and, judging by the condition of the kitchen his dim view afforded, didn’t do much housework. He had her pegged as a snack-food junkie. Their garbage had included half a dozen empty Cheetos bags and other wrappers. It also included an empty Dell laptop box.
That was precisely what he was looking for. The laptop alone would make the effort worthwhile, and it indicated they probably had other electronics in the house.
He tiptoed through the dining room and kept his eyes firmly locked in front of him. He didn’t want to be tempted by anything until he had secured his exit. He got to the front door, unlocked it, and left it open about an inch, in case he had to abandon the job in a hurry.
He turned now and retraced his steps. He scanned the dining room and saw a tiny white glow. Bingo. He walked over and picked the laptop off the table where it was recharging.
Next, he’d check the living room for the entertainment center. If it wasn’t there, he’d look in the basement.
He crossed the hall and peered around the corner of the stairwell.
Thwack! He was on the floor and rolled into the fetal position as the husband swung down again. Thwack! He felt ribs crack. The bat came down a third time. Thwack! He didn’t feel that one. It dented the back of his head.
The husband, in yellow boxers and a V-neck T, grunted as he swung a fourth time, then a fifth, and on. The thuds turned to squelches.
He slipped on the wet hardwood as he stepped over the burglar. He set down the bat, picked up the phone, and dialed 9-1-1.
For Three Word Wednesday. This week’s words were: abandon, gradual, precise.


  1. A pleasure to care is sight repair
    And a smile from I is high in the sky
    As happiness and joy toy are stare share
    So be cheerful in accompanient care!

    The more U go forth the better the get! Love Andrew.

  2. Wow, I understand the homeowner's temptation, but he's going to have trouble proving that he didn't use excessive force.

    Nice writing.

  3. Nice detail in this, good pacing, a great POV until the bat comes down. And wicked ending.

  4. That knocked him for six! As we say in cricket!!

  5. I liked the detail, the look into the mind of a burglar and wasn't expecting the ending at all. Loved that
    And thanks for your incredible comment

  6. Thanks all for reading and the great comments. I've been sticking to everyday conflicts so far, so I thought it was time to off someone!

    I appreciate the encouragement, especially on the detailing. I'm trying to look a little closer at the environment in my stories. I've been checking out your stuff as well, and it's really helpful.

  7. did not see that coming. very intriguing story.

  8. "...rust eating the bottom couple inches off the doors."

    Very nice. I'm particularly fond of the above touch, which set the story (for me anyway) in Massachusetts, where I lived for a time.

  9. Great story, pacing etc. I think the home owner was a little over zealous but nerves and adrenaline can do that.


  10. I like the pace, the cautious burgular and the tension of the situation. I don't think "happy ending" is really fitting... more of a "favorable outcome." Cannot blame the husband at all.

    Thanks for visiting my page and commenting as well!

  11. Yikes. I didn't see the bat until it hit me.

  12. the subtlety of the pace and characters is very strong...the caught unaware burglar.. intense violence portrayed in a few simple words...squish, squish..desk job physique yeah right!!!...possibly a closet baseball wannabe...

  13. The tiny details help this one feel real. The desk-job physique. Three blocks away as opposed to the district with character. Rusty accord... all place the reader in your story.

    Over zealous homeowner, but as someone else said, fear and adrenaline make this real too.

  14. we've been having a series of break-ins in town lately so this hit home. It's always those desk jockeys you have to watch out for! Loved the description of her as a stay at home wife too. I was sneaking through the house with him right up to the bat - then I yanked myself out of there!

  15. Goes to show you can't judge a book by the cover.