Sarah pushed the button on the cell phone. One fifty-one. She’d waited long enough. She put the cell phone back in the fanny-pack and zipped it shut. She listened as hard as she could and didn’t hear a sound. She reached out and grabbed a hold of the glow-in-the-dark emergency latch.
On the one hand, she was grateful almost all the new cars had emergency latches that could pop the trunk open from the inside. On the other hand, she wondered how many people it had taken getting stuck in the trunks of their cars before the latches were added.
She pulled the latch. The trunk popped open a couple of inches. Sarah grabbed it before it could go any higher.
She looked out through the small opening and saw only darkness. She pushed the trunk door open all the way and looked around. Nothing but black.
Sarah reached up to the light on her forehead and turned it on. The hands-free LED light shined on the closed garage door in front of her.
She turned her head to the side and saw the red sports car next to her. She said a quick prayer of thanks he hadn’t taken that car out tonight because she would have had one hell of a time trying to squeeze into that trunk.
Sarah looked down and shined the light on the garage floor under her rear bumper. She took a long, awkward, first step out of the trunk, set her hands on the bumper for balance, and slowly pulled the second foot out of the trunk behind her.
Slamming the trunk would have made too much noise so she lowered it to just above the bottom before she pushed it down the rest of the way, barely making a thump when she shut it.
She shined the light on the floor and made her way to the door leading to the house. She put her hand on the doorknob, her head against the door, and listened. Nothing. She turned her light off.
Sarah stood still for a few seconds, then twisted the knob as slowly and as quietly as she could, nudging the door inward with her shoulder. She looked inside and saw nothing but blackness. She listened and didn’t hear a thing.
She stuck her head in the doorway and listened. More silence. Wherever the two of them might have gone to, it wasn’t anywhere near her.
Sarah reached up on her forehead and turned her LED light back on, shining it first on the tiled floor underneath her, then all around the empty hallway.
She came in through the doorway and pushed the door to the garage so that it was almost closed. She turned around and followed her light down the dark hallway.
Sarah reached the bottom of the staircase. She heard voices coming from upstairs and quickly turned her light off.
She stood there in complete darkness for a few seconds. When she realized no one was coming, she turned her LED light back on, spun around, and went back into the hallway behind her.
Step after silent step, she practically jogged through the hallway, glad she’d committed the fashion faux pas of black running shoes with her little black dress.
The hallway spilled into the kitchen. She stopped and turned her head, shining the light all around the room until she saw another hallway at the other end of the kitchen. She headed toward it.
Two steps into the second hallway, she came to a closed door. She turned her light off, pressed her head against the door, and listened. Silence.
She put one hand on the doorknob and kept the other one on her light. If someone was waiting for her, she would blast them in the eyes with the light, then punch them in the nose with her fist.
Sarah twisted the doorknob slowly and pulled the door open. Nothing but blackness. And a slight, musty, damp smell. She turned her light on. It shined on some stairs going down into the cellar. No, the book wouldn’t be there. She closed the door.
Her light led the way down the hall to another door. This one was open. She reached the doorway and shined her light inside the room.
The light landed on the lower part of a bookcase at the far end of the room. It was the library. She stepped in and closed the door behind her.
She shined her light down on the floor to make sure she wouldn’t trip over anything and headed for the giant bookcase up against the wall.
The books were in alphabetical order by author. She would have been impressed with the collection except she was certain at least one of the books was stolen. Her light shined on the Cs.
It wasn’t there. Sarah went from the left side of the bookcase to the right, to the Ts. She looked one book at a time and after four books, she found it. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
She took the leather bound book out, held its majesty in her hands, and opened it. First edition, signed by Sam Clemens, with the name Mark Twain in parenthesis underneath.
No true fanatic of American Literature could put a price on such a precious object. But the insurance company she worked for had; half a million dollars.
Sarah didn’t want to carry the timeless classic in her hands so she looked for something to put the book in. She walked to the desk on one side of the room. Nothing.
She looked around the room. A desk, a chair, a leather loveseat, a lamp. Nothing in which to carry a stolen masterpiece.
A sudden thump from the ceiling above her caused her to look straight up and shine the light on the ceiling. Another thump a couple feet away was quickly followed by a third, still further away. Someone big, probably the now confirmed thief, was walking above her.