I eased feet first through the open window and dropped into a crouch when I landed on the carpet. I waited and listened at the window for any sign that I had been heard, then bent down and picked up my bag of tools - an assortment of pliers, lock picks, a crowbar, and other things that occasionally came in handy. After a final glance out the window I began to roam through the house to check out the rest of it.
Two weeks ago I had posed as a survey-taker so I could take a peek at the interior. From the entryway I had a good view of the living room with its knickknacks and paintings. I knew then I could get a nice haul from this place.
For several frustrating days, I had observed the comings and goings of the family to get an idea of their daily routine. At 7 o'clock precisely, the husband came out to retrieve the paper from wherever the paperboy had thrown it. At 7: 45 he and the two kids left in the station wagon, and ten minutes later the wife came out with her briefcase and drove off in her blue Mercedes. I knew, though, I couldn't risk a daylight break-in. My only option was to wait, hoping something would come up so they would go away for a few days.
My big break came two days ago when I overheard the wife talking to one of her neighbors. She was asking the friend to keep an eye on the house over the weekend while they were at her parents' home. I'd been hiding nearby in the relative safety of an abandoned tool shed at the time. So here I was, popping this and that into my black sack. This is too easy I thought as I journeyed through the house's two floors. I did leave the children's rooms alone. I have never liked the thought of taking some little kid's allowance.
When I finished with the master bedroom, I decided to go over the kitchen as well. Sometimes these richer types were foolish enough to stash their jewelry in the freezer, believing thieves only checked there in the movies.
By this time I was being rather careless in my haste and did not hear the clicking noises racing back and forth across the tiled floor of the kitchen. If I had, I would never have pushed open the swinging door and walked straight into the bared teeth of the family Doberman pinscher.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.