#226 Mousetrap Thievery

by Chelsea Resnick

He wonders what it means, the image before him: phosphorescent licks of color behind a sheet of splintered glass. He’s in the museum, isn’t he? In the new wing where the modern art is displayed.

But the museum was Saturday night; and in the far recesses of his mind, he knows it’s Sunday morning, knows he’s actually sitting at the kitchen table, staring at the pink insides of his eyeballs. Nearby, the cell rings, and Lulu thwacks her tail against the floor. Her cheerful breathing has that early-morning, ravenous quality: Feed me. Feed me.

He raises his head from his hands as the phone launches into a fresh set of rings. He’s glad there’s no landline, no way to hear the amassing voicemails build into a crescendo: Carter, where are you? Carter, answer your phone.

It’s not long before someone pounds at the back door, a hard, jarring tempo. They know he’s in there—his car’s down the street. Lulu barks.

“Open up!” a voice says. “Come on now.”

He can’t block out the rising din: the phone, the dog, the door.

His chair scrapes against the floor as he scoots backward and stands tall in this house that isn’t his. When he’d broken through the window last night, he hadn’t expected anyone to be home. Carter was still supposed to be at the museum. Easy money. That was it.

And yet stroboscopic police lights flash in the windows, and Carter McDowell’s body lies prostrate on the floor.


Flutterby said...

Love how you made me think it was one thing and it turned out to be something else. Great job.

Rachel Green said...

Super piece.

Catherine Vibert said...

Great twist!