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I hope you enjoy PART 1 of this suspense and thriller.  I hope you dream tonight and wake up wondering what woke you up.  And, in the far corner of your dark bedroom, maybe…just maybe…your eyes will adjust just enough to see a little movement.  Don’t go see what it is.

 

Description

 

A HOUSE OF SECRETS

 

Mitch broke into the house to rob it.  It was his last job.  In and out.  He would retire with a perfect record.  Seven years, over twenty-one burglaries and he had not come close to getting caught.  Planning and instinct had kept him off police radars.  So, why didn’t he leave this house when his instincts told him to?  Why had he kept going?  What had he stumbled into?

 

PART 1

 

MITCH MOVED CAREFULLY THROUGH the dark foyer.  It would have been pitch-black if not for the moonlight coming through the windows.  The house was larger than he thought it would be.  Six to seven thousand square feet was his guess.  It was a small mansion.  The air was damp and heavy.  It seemed to close in around him.  The atmosphere gave him chills.

 

He shined the red beam of his flashlight down the foyer.  The foyer was wide.  He paused and questioned himself again.  Should he go any further?  A glance over his shoulder at the back door had him standing in the open too long.  Anyone peeking in the windows would see his figure.

 

He moved against the wall and hid in the darkness.  His heart pounded.  He felt clammy.  You’re a professional.      What’s wrong with you?  There’s nothing wrong with this house?  It’s in your head.  It’s just a house.  He swallowed and exhaled.  Why are you nervous?  You’re a pro.  You’ve proved it.  You plan everything.  There’s no reason for you to be nervous.  You’re being silly.    

 

He slowed his breathing and tried to remove the dark thoughts he allowed to enter his mind.  Embarrassed at himself for being foolish, he told himself, The house was not alive.  It did not know he was there.  Houses do not feel or think.  Come on.  Stop screwing around and finish this.  You’re too wrapped up in everything.  It is just another job.  He nodded and moved down the foyer.

 

This was not how he expected the night to go.  Losing his confidence was not part of the plan.  This was to be a perfect night.  It was special.

 

The red beam of his flashlight led the way.  It moved across cracked marble floors, onto worn hardwood floors, up the torn cloth wallpaper and onto a designer ceiling.  The house was over one hundred years old.  It had to have lots of memories and secrets hiding inside it and a few ghost stories, too.  The house had seen grandeur times, he thought.

 

He looked to his right inside the kitchen.  Two large stoves, two refrigerators and a huge island in the center caught his attention.  He slowed but kept moving.

 

At the end of the foyer was a hardwood hallway.  A room was ten feet to the left.  A small table was by the room’s entrance.  He pointed the red beam at the table.  He could not believe what he was seeing.

 

A Faberge egg sat in a gold stand.  A Faberge egg is sitting in plain sight on a table in the foyer?  How insane.  It could not be real.  He laughed to himself.  Worthless toy.  He picked it up and examined it anyway.  He had seen a few.  Most were cheap.  But this one was different.  It was not one of the original fifty.  But, it was not worthless.  It could have been worth tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands.

 

He reached over his shoulder and eased it into the backpack he wore.

 

He went around the table into the room on the left.  A large oak table sat in the middle of the room.  Twelve large, heavy looking oak chairs were around the table.  On the wall was a long continuous shelf that went around the room.

 

The red beam moved along the shelf and stopped at the start of a row of ten trinkets.  He examined them for ten seconds and was sure they were real.  They were crystal.  Each cost around ten thousand.  He removed the backpack from his back and sat it on the table.  He reached into it and took out a stack of cloths.  He wrapped the egg and each trinket separately and put them in the backpack.

 

He slipped the backpack on, adjusted the straps, turned to leave, and stopped.  His head turned to the left and right.  Was it the wind he heard?  He stayed still and listened for a couple of minutes.  No one should have been home.  He had made sure of it.

 

He was extra cautious with this job.  Not out of fear.  This was his last job.  Getting cocky and making mistakes was easy to do in his position.  Seven years of burglarizing houses and he had not come close to getting caught.  It had been a smooth seven years.  He was set for retirement.  Even before he did this house, he was set.  But after finding this house, he could not pass it up.  He scoped the place out for three weeks and waited for the right time.  And when it came, he took advantage of it.

 

He walked out of the room and looked up the foyer and down the hallway.  A staircase was up ahead to the right.  He stood in the hallway and looked around the house.  The direction of the moonlight helped him see the place a little better.

 

It was a shame that a house like that was in such disrepair.  All it needed was a renovation.  The inside columns, the wide hallways, windows in the ceiling, the antique flooring, the old exterior, all it needed was some attention.  Through the room’s window he could see the greenhouse.  It was a large all-glass building.  What a place.

 

A loud “BAM” made Mitch jump.  He whirled around and stared down the foyer.

 

See you next Monday.  Come back, please.  You won’t be sorry.

 

Stephen Wallace