Sunday Scribblings ~ Thief
Lara sat crossed-legged, book in hand, on thick wool blankets that laid haphazardly in front of a large colonial style fireplace in her living room. The crackle of the bright orange and blue flames coming from the fireplace was the only sound in the room, besides her heavy rhythmic breathing. The silence was comforting yet at the same time a bit frightening. Lara had been coming to this cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Blacksburg, VA ever since her fiancé of two years had dumped her and gone off with someone else. She had fallen so in love with the time she spent here, that she made it a habit to come up every winter, for at least two weeks to get away from city life.
As stood up to go get a cup of tea from the kitchen, she noticed a shadow or what she though to be one by the window. Out of the half drawn curtains she peered cautiously. Bending over, she grabbed her glasses from the end table the sat directly next to the plush green velvet sofa. She put them on and then wandered to the other window in the room, where the angle looking outside, would perhaps be better. She slowly drew the curtain back and looked out onto the large acre of land on the side of the cabin. But she saw no one, just a vast area of land covered in a blanket of beautiful pure white snow. There were no signs of foot tracks. Only, the moonlight hitting the top of the snow, causing a glare.
“Maybe her mind had been playing with her,” she thought for a fleeting moment. She recalled the gunshots she had heard earlier that evening but had not paid much attention too. She glanced out of each window for a final time. Feeling secure again she headed to the kitchen to make the tea.
Directly underneath the window ledge of the living room where she had been peering from, laid a tall, thin man, with dark long hair and a gray overcoat, faced down in the snow. He was lying as still as a dead animal and breathing only as slightly as he could. “It’s best not to move,” he was thought to himself. He did not want her to become scared and call the police. But as he heard her footsteps make there way to the kitchen, on the other side of the cabin he stood up slowly, and headed towards the wood shed in the rear of the cabin. As he stumbled through the snow he left a trail of blood following him.
The man approached the door of the wooden shed with a stagger; he was tied and losing energy as the blood dripping from his left shoulder, continued. He reached his right hand out to pull the latch on the door and it opened. A strong smell of pine came from inside. He noticed that there was only a small portion of the shed that was available to him to hide, so he slipped inside and quietly shut the door, leaving a small gap for air to come through.
Lara finished making her tea and headed back to the living room, but instead of reading she decided to see if there was a movie on. She grabbed the remote control and flipped on the tube. Across the screen in big letters with a white background ran the words “Breaking News”. Lara turned up the volume and listened intently.
“There is a man on the loose who attempted to rob a small convenience store in town. His attempts were foiled however, when the owner, who just happened to be coming back to the store to pick up something that he had forgotten and discovered the man in the rear of the store and shot him,” the news reporter said.
Lara’s mouth dropped open and she became scared. She jumped up from the couch and checked all the doors to make sure they were locked. In the background she could hear the news reporter continue with the story.
“The owner of the store shot the man with a shotgun but he managed to escape and ran towards the mountains. The police are searching for him and he is not considered to be carrying a weapon. We still caution though, that he could be dangerous, should he cross your path. He is wearing jeans, a navy blue shirt and a grey overcoat. It is also known that he had a black ski mask over his head,” he continued.
Lara quickly changed the channel, stood up and turned on the lights. She was really frightened.
In a matter of minutes she could hear dogs barking outside and the sounds of sirens. Sounding as if they were getting closer and closer. She could visualize them going cabin-to-cabin looking for this man. Then she began to wonder just how far he had made it with a gunshot wound and if he would show up here.
Out in the wood shed the man was trying to force himself to stay awake but he was finally unable to and passed out, his last breath ever so slight. His body slumped in a ball on the floor, his head leaning against the pile of wood.
A few hours’ later police, their dogs and the EMT showed up on Lara’s front steps and rang the bell. She obliged them to have a look around. They searched the house, but found nothing. Lara stood in the open doorway and watched as the headed outside. As the officers walked out and heading towards the side of the house, the dogs began to bark loudly and pulled the officers towards the blood in the snow. The officers walked over to the blood trail land followed it to the shed.
Lara ran into the house and grabbed the blanket from the couch and put it over her shoulders, she slipped her bare feet into her boots by the door. Then followed them around to the back, where they all saw the trail of blood lead to the wood shed and the door stood slightly a jar. She felt an uncomfortable chill run through her body as the officers approached the door and opened it.
The look of surprise on everyone’s face shocked Lara, when she realized that they knew him and named him the son of the storeowner. It had been a long time since he had been in town. Word had it, that the store owner’s son was always getting into financial trouble due to gambling and drugs, but they had never suspected he would have robbed his own father for money.
The EMT walked over to him with their equipment and the stretcher. They checked his vitals and bandaged his shoulder, then took him out on the stretcher and into the ambulance. One of the officers jumped into the back of the ambulance with him, and it headed off down the hill into the night.
“My sincere apologies for the inconvenience, miss,” he said and walked to his car.
“I’m just glad you found him,” Lara responded.
As she stood in the doorway and watched them leave, she couldn’t help but wonder, the look on the store owner’s face when he found out it was his own son who he shot.
But she felt sorrier for the son, who was in her mind apparently too ashamed of himself to face his father like a man. She tried to imagine what the conversation between them was going to be like, but she couldn’t. So she walked back to the house and looked at the clock. Tired and drained, she ascended the stairs to her room and went to sleep.
more Sunday Scribblings here
more Sunday Scribblings here