Suzanne tried to be calm and sensible. The police had told her that a car would pass down the street about every hour – they had added the rider – ‘if possible’. A bobby had double-checked all the locks on the doors and windows. She had agreed to call a security firm the next day to see about fitting cameras.

None of this was nice. She had lived in and around the same area all her life. Okay, there were problems here and there. Where was there in the world without problems? She had claimed on her insurance for a repainting job when her car had been keyed all down the side once. She never found out why. The woman next door had a robbery and lost some jewellery. Small things, distressing at the time. But it felt now as though she was under siege. The worst thing about it as far as she was concerned was that she didn’t know who it was she was building a barricade against and there was a distinct impression that the police had no idea and didn’t really expect to.

There had been no sign of a forced entry. The damage in the bathroom was minimal when you really thought about it. Horrible, scary and inexplicable, but minimal. A shredded shower curtain was nothing in the great scheme of things The thing with the chilli and the bread was just unsettling and odd. DI Tripp had insinuated that maybe a rough sleeper had found a way in and taken advantage. That was all very well but how? No open windows, no broken glass or door with a damaged lock. Apart from that people without somewhere to live didn’t stroll around the quiet streets of semi-detached houses. They were at the shops. In the city, anywhere there was the chance of a little kindness from passing strangers.

Scene of crime people were going to come in the morning to examine the kitchen and the bathroom and DI Tripp had warned her that they would need her fingerprints. She wasn’t surprised. She watched the same police programs as everyone else and knew about elimination prints. She wondered if they would want DNA. That made her feel a little uncomfortable.

She washed in the little cloakroom under the stairs. Her toothbrush was in the bathroom, but there was no way she could ever use it again anyway. Tripp had suggested just putting a new head on the electronic handle, but it wouldn’t do.

Robbery is treated as a lesser crime. It isn’t murder, bodily harm, or domestic abuse it isn’t a mugging, but the effects of someone invading your space and disrespecting your privacy are devastating.

It was no good, she tried to settle in the bedroom, but even with the lights left on in the hall and landing, she couldn’t rest. Every creak and snap of the house settling startled her to a sitting position. Her limbs were stiff with tension and her eyes stung, staring into the gloom. After an hour she gave up and dragged the duvet down to the living room. The couch was long enough for her to stretch out; the cushions were firm, and she began to dose. No sound woke her, nothing disturbed her until she woke with a start. The shadow in the corner moved towards her.


Filed under Serials, Shorts and Stuff

2 responses to “Missing

  1. Now here’s a classic cliffhanger!


  2. Hahaha I know – I’m a devil for a cliff hanger/ That’s the thing with a blog serial you can indulge yourself much more than if you are going to have to submit it somewhere.


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