BAD TO WORSE

candle in jar

It was supposed to be easy and painless. Slip in, steal the good stuff and slip out. Our burglars let caution take a place at the back of the line but, as they soon would discover, good fortune followed.

From my recently released novel, SIDE SLIP:

The search for a hidden key did not go well. All the usual spots came up empty. Dickie went down the steps to the garage, but still no luck and then back up to where Ray stood next to the front door and sighed, “Well, ain’t no key. Let’s get it over with.”

The pry bar didn’t get it done. Ray had to whack the deadbolt a couple of hard hits with the sledge before the door flew inward. Dickie started in and stopped short. He smelled cinnamon. Ray almost ran into his back. Dickie thought, Probably one a them plug in thingys.

Dickie held up his hand and then swiveled his head back and forth, trying to adjust to the slightly brighter light inside. Dickie heard nothing except the clicking of a wall clock somewhere. He shrugged and crossed to the kitchen door at the other side of the living room. Ray split to the right and did a quick walk through of the downstairs.

They met at the foot of the stairs and Ray pointed to a metal cabinet next to the cold fireplace, “I’ll start on that, give me the bar, eh?” It wasn’t a real gun safe, just a thin metal locker meant to keep kids away from the guns.

Dickie handed the pry bar to Ray and started up the stairs shining the flashlight as he moved out of the light cast by the lamp. The cash and handguns were usually in the bedrooms. There seemed to be three upstairs and a bathroom. Dickie had to piss by now and stopped to go. He started and almost pissed on his hand when he realized there was a candle in a glass jar burning on the tub rim. That appeared to be the source of the cinnamon odor and was certainly the source of big trouble.

Ray was pounding loudly on the metal cabinet downstairs and Dickie almost shit his pants as the figure of a small woman in a bathrobe passed by in the hall just outside of the bathroom. Dickie didn’t even zip up his jeans and stuck his head out of the bathroom and looked down the hall. The small woman was there leaning out to try to get a look at what was making all the noise downstairs. Dickie’s blood turned to ice when she turned toward him and he saw the black automatic in her left hand.

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