There’s no way she’ll get the information. Nope. No way. Yet something keeps her there.
|There’s no way she’ll get the information. Nope. No way. She’s just going to back out now, catch the ten o’clock bus, again pray that her mother has yet to awaken, to notice her absence. And yet something keeps her there, keeps her feet planted in the grass.
She’ll disappoint Misty if she turns tail.
The Misty who....how do they say it? Pwned the group of ruffians that had congregated about her locker on her first day. The Misty who took the shy neophyte under her wing without prejudice, guiding her through hallways and classes where everyone looked at the senior girl like she was a beloved monarch. Misty is bold. Misty is a fashionista; she’s helped Abby impress Robby Savich, the cutest boy to ever grace third period Trig, showing her where to purchase the most loud, flattering, modest clothing on the market. (He'd asked her out for next Saturday~!) Misty is outgoing, friendly, generous.....relatively selfless....
Misty has trusted her with this task, h e r, out of everyone else.
Oh, what does she have to lose? No one is home; Misty has given her the alarm system code and her spare key~ how could this go wrong?
In a plethora of ways. A. Plethora. Of. Ways. Still, she is already here, quivering under her clothes. Gripping the window pane with one tan hand and a cut-price flashlight in the other. Nothing on her frame but a XXL sweatshirt, jeans, and ballet flats. True James Bond gear, as Kristina, one of the few Misty-clones included in this plot, had said.
A chorus of insects sing as if in agreement with her.
(What is she even doing at the window? Oh, yeah, well, no entrance means no wrongdoing...right? When exactly was cowardice last in fashion?)
The house's exterior screams of a miser's touch. Two apartments stacked best describes perimeter, its shell and shutters whitewashed and utterly unaffected by the damp conditions surrounding them. Looks like one home contractor had it in his heart to build the embodiment of basic's definition. Clap for him; he most certainly can die a happy man. However, the furnishings, darker darkness in the unlit room, reveal themselves as polished and expensive to her flashlight’s probing finger. A bar longer than her mother’s car replaces any visible kitchen; embellished leather couches and a single walnut rocking chair reside in front of it.
Going to be a robber (Abby winces), got to think like a robber....
Hadn’t Misty mentioned that Duncan always leave his bedroom window unlatched? That the near-flat roof below helped him~ and that’s where Misty had rolled in her lips, leaving Abby bemused until she learned the motive for this "operation."
Alright, now she’s just stalling. The absence of a certain two Hoffer men will not last forever, nor her mother’s medicated sleep. In and out, grab and go, everything will.be.fine. Is that key still there? Yeah, right along with the code she can probably recite by heart, a favorite song.
And her gun. Her mother's small pistol.
Which, when she had slipped it out from the closet, had washed a wave of reassurance over her.
Not that she'll use it. Ever. Oh, hell no.
Okay. Here she goes. Breathe in. Breathe out. Ignore the humidity making the former action difficult. (What’s the maximum punishment for armed robbery? No, forget it; no regrets...)
The front door opens soundlessly, alarm blaring for all its money’s worth as she fumbles to punch in the code. Silence reigns. The scent of Yankee candle, cherry, rolling out the door in a faint trot, their small mothers pushed into the corners of the room where she wouldn’t have noticed them.
She’s in. She’s in and has yet to be struck down by lightning, no cops rushing out from the shadows with their ravenous dogs. False promises or~ never mind.
Frantically she ascends the stairs, not a creak or groan of protest from the lumber. Abby sucks her teeth, gropes the pale walls with her light. Without it, a gloved hand finds the switch pad, flips both options. Her eyes take their sweet time adjusting, then spotting the master bedroom by the pad, open wide. Anything worthy in there? Doubtful, but mayhap...nah, the other bedroom’s where it’s at.
The heating intensifies (or is she imagining it?) as feet pad delicately forward. From what she can tell, there’s another room about two yards from the master, same wall, and across from that is a door crisscrossed with yellow tape. "Yellow with black writing all over it," Misty's exact wording.
The room is what you’d expect from any teenaged male: Mess, posters, and music. The desk is overflowing with stacks of school impedimenta; the walls are plastered with autographed posters and newspaper clippings, bands varying from pop-punk to classical rock. But no trophies, not a single fleck of that fake silver or gold. Odd, whatever, she isn’t here for any of those anyway.
No nightstand, no bed frame. Apparently to the sport’s star, a rolling suitcase and a thin mattress on the floor is all you need (to which she simply rolls her eyes and focuses on). Now, what could be in the former?
....He~They look so happy. She stares at the picture for another full minute, it seems. Duncan Hoffer was clad in a wet, white tee and a pair of lemon swim trunks, hefting his girlfriend by the waist as he playfully nuzzled into her practically exposed breasts. Misty was laughing, grabbing his shoulders as though to either pull him closer or shove him away.
Hmph. Misty doesn’t look like a stallion when she’s laughing, even if the moment is stilled. Abby is about to scowl when she remembers why she’s here and instead her lips curl upwards. Happy. Two, beautiful, happy people with smothered men buried under their floorboards. How comforting a thought.
Placing the frame back betwixt a half-filled tube of jelly, a box of condoms, and a spaghetti sauce jar full of quarters and pence, she reconsiders snatching the laptop, figures nothing would be gained from searching the bureau and desk besides a floor full of accidentally spilt papers, goes to the closet instead. A small indent in the wall, sliding the door open reveals all the expected poorly-hung clothing. Check the top rack, come up with zip. Finger pockets, an equal amount of nada. The carpet is almost unnaturally fluffy; she feels it should be stained and sticky, at this point scooting around on her kneecaps with box after box passing from her lap and then back.
The one she strikes gold in is about the size of a toddlers’ tennies, marked with varicolored crayon streaks and gnawed on the edges of the lid. She pulls it out from underneath an unfurled sleeping bag, staring quizzically at the pile of age-varied notes now before her.
What is this? Look, try to make sense of all this numerical jabber:
1261/151525991/20 5113 101/1020161520115991/20.
And so on for about two paragraphs: skip a line, indent, skip a line like poesy. A Math Teacher’s Ode To Integers.. However, artists don’t simply blot out their clinchers. The last line is hit with pen so that the only thing you’ be able to read is the small blue dash in front of it. Nonetheless, Two in a row, I can play all night!
Abby doesn’t see the bar of light as it falls across the mattress. Doesn’t recall that in her haste to search she dropped her flashlight in the hall.
She hears the roar and growl of a car; she can’t hope to ever fully describe the panic.
How is this for a first chapter? (Well, there's more, though not much. For reasons of copyright I don't post entire chapters or novels online.) I'm still very wary of my writing style, so please leave any constructive criticisms! Most helpful reviews can take my children even though I'm just fourteen.
For the record, Abby is the dumb character. And is called out for it. Repeatedly. (What's the point of having an obvious flaw if the characters themselves don't notice it? Hmm.)