Snick, the sound barely audible above my hoarse breathing. I slide the CREDIT CARD between the sticker plate and the faceplate pushing the latch bolt back into the latch unit releasing the door.
Quickly I glance down the corridor, first to the right then to the left. The view hasn’t changed any, three doors, a kid’s plastic PARACHUTE TOY lying beside a potted plant on a table, and the elevator.
With a gentle push, the door slowly swings open. I step inside, close the door and stare into the darkness.
Kaboom! The thunder-crack shakes the building. The storm must be right overhead. LIGHTENING illuminates the room, for an instant like a SHOOTING STAR flashing before my eyes. I freeze and look toward the closed bedroom door, waiting to see a sliver of light shine out from inside telling me that someone is awake and getting up.
Nothing moves. I release my held breath and relax, a little.
OK, I start silently talking to myself, like I have a SPEECH BUBBLE above my head. It’s in the carved wooden box, on the 3rd shelf of the bookcase to the left of the living room doorway, straight ahead.
I am so nervous my feet are sweating and I leave moist FOOTPRINTS behind me.
Standing in front of the cabinet I reach out and touch the box. I feel the carving of the SCARAB with my fingers as I lift the lid. I pat around inside the box exploring for the rounded edges of the HONEY BEE figurine. I make contact; the gold is smooth and cool to the touch. Ouch! I prick my finger on the stinger. Serves me right for taking it this way, I could have just asked for it. I am sure she would have given it to me gladly. But no, I want to make her wonder, to think, how long was it been missing, when was the last time she saw it. Did she lose it or did someone take it? I wanted to leave her wondering what happened to it.
Resetting the lid I turn around. Smiling I retrace my footsteps; quietly close the door behind me. Whoosh. As the elevator doors close, I can practically see the HAPPY FACE floating above my head.
Cheryle – June 25, 2018