James was hiding behind a tree at the edge of the forest behind his sister’s cottage. He wondered how he was going to do it now. His sister had told him that Tony would be in bed by now and fast asleep, but here he was, planning a break-in, and there were lights on in the cottage. He could see the figure of a man sitting at his desk writing, under a desklamp.
His task was to break in and steal the documents in the writing desk drawer. They would be in an envelope addressed to a solicitor, Michael Whittaker. James wasn’t used to being a burglar, but he would do anything for his younger sister, and she had told him that this envelope contained crucial evidence to be used against her in her divorce. Janice and Tony had been arguing about divorcing the night before. They were always arguing, but this was different. Tony now had positive proof that Janice was having an affair, which he had mockingly waved under her nose before locking the envelope in the top left hand drawer of his desk. He had told her he would be handing it to his solicitor the next day.
Tony was very drunk at the time, and Janice had fled the house during the argument, in fear of her life, when Tony had taken his letter opener and threatened her with it. She had turned up on James’ doorstep asking if she could stay with him for the night until Tony calmed down. But then she remembered the evidence in the drawer which Tony was going to use against her. James had volunteered to get it. Janice had been drinking herself by this time, and couldn’t risk driving back to her house.
James had the keys to the house, but couldn’t use them while Tony was still up and awake. James needed to think his strategy through more. He would have to go back to his car and wait until Tony had gone to bed. It was past midnight, and he had work in the morning, so he wouldn’t stay up much longer, surely. He walked the footpath back to his car parked at the edge of the village and rang Janice.
10 minute Flash Fiction task using the words Burglar, Envelope, Forest and Desklamp during May Creative Writing Group meeting adapted to suit my serial “The Cottage”.