DARK SECRET is a short story about what happens when everyone wants what they want. But, no one considers the consequences. DARK SECRET is in the realm of my books in The Ripple Series—suspense and intrigue. I’ll bring all the parts of DARK SECRET to you in the next week, or so. I’ll introduce you to some interesting characters, to my writing and to one of the many stories that I will bring you. Enjoy Part 3 of DARK SECRET.
DARREN PARKED DOWN THE street and waited. His giant Ford pickup truck was backed into the woods down a narrow dirt path. It was around twenty feet back from the woodline. Passing vehicles on the road would not notice him sitting there and waiting.
He discovered where to park in the neighborhood on one of his dry runs. He checked his watch one more time. It was exactly one-thirty a.m. It was time. In and out, he thought. This was not new to him. He wiped his hand over his mouth and exhaled. Why was he nervous then? What he was about to do was not new to him. But, the way he was about to do it was.
He picked up the black gloves from the passenger’s seat and put them on. He pulled them on tight and wiggled his fingers. He then opened the door, got out and eased it shut. Nothing had better go wrong, he thought.
He leaned over and hurried across the road. Not sure why he had leaned over. Except that it made him feel as if he was sneaky. He stopped at a telephone pole and stood beside it. Even though his body was turned sideways the pole did not hide it. He looked the area over and checked near the cream colored stucco house. Everything looked okay.
He rushed across the yard and got tired. It was steeper than it looked. At six feet, four inches, and close to three hundred pounds, he was not made for running up hills. His large muscles were not a benefit to him at the moment. Beads of sweat on his forehead had become lines of sweat running down his face. He leaned over and put his hands on his knees to catch his breath and rest.
Noises came from behind him. He looked over his shoulder and stared hard into the night. Nothing was there. He then realized he was standing in the middle of the yard. Taking giant steps he got to the house.
At the corner of the house he stopped to catch his breath. Tall, thick, manicured shrubs ran down the side of the house. He sidestepped between the shrubs and the house and stood there. This gave him the cover he needed to fully recuperate. He exhaled loudly and quickly put his hand over his mouth.
So far, this was not what he expected. Getting up to the house was not supposed to be a challenge. Things had to get easier from here, he thought.
He turned and walked between the shrubs and the house to the backyard. It was darker in the backyard than it was in the front. Still he peeked around the corner.
Convinced it was all clear he walked up to the steps that led to the back door. Branches breaking and wings flapping froze him in place. His heart was ready to explode. Silhouettes of birds shot up toward the sky. “Damn it,” he whispered, looking up at them.
Damn suburbs, he thought.
He walked up the steps and stopped in front of the doormat. He looked around and leaned over and lifted the side of the doormat. The key under it gave off a dull shine. He picked it up and looked over his shoulders and back at the door. He then touched the key lightly against the lock several times before he found the keyhole and eased the key inside it.
He grabbed the doorknob and pulled back on it and turned the key. He doubted the door would open. Compared to how things had gone so far, why would it?
The dead bolt slid back. He was shocked.
He slowly turned the doorknob and pushed the door open. He stepped inside and eased the door shut. He then quietly turned the dead bolt to lock. He found himself in the kitchen.
The kitchen was small with lots of windows. Pots and pans hung from the ceiling above an island in the middle of the floor. A large stainless steel refrigerator sat in the corner. A matching dishwasher was next to it.
The clock on the wall ticked and ticked and ticked. It was one forty-three. He was good for time. But he was thirsty. What was in that refrigerator?
He walked over and opened the refrigerator door. Light poured from it. He closed it quickly, stood still and listened. The house was quiet.
He had seen a large bottle of orange juice inside the refrigerator. He silently counted to three and opened it again. Light poured out again. He grabbed the orange juice. Snatched it out and closed the door.
He waited and listened before taking the top off. He sniffed inside the bottle. It smelled okay. He brought the bottle to his lips and took a large gulp. That was good. He quietly smacked his lips and took another drink. Then he set the bottle on the table. He would put it away on his way back through. Now he had to take care of business.