Cliff Hanger

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  • Published: 13 May 2015
  • Updated: 18 May 2015
  • Status: Complete
6307200 crimes are recorded in the UK every year. This is one every five seconds. They happen all over the country. From London to Cardiff; from Cornwall to Glasgow. Most are never solved. But what if they were all connected - what if there was something, someone, tying them together?

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5. Mathew

Mathew winced as the window pane smashed. Someone must have heard that! But no one came. He sighed and reached through the broken window to unlatch the kitchen door. The house was large and rich looking and had a kick ass security system. But this wasn’t Mathew’s first home burglary and he knew what he was doing.

            Mathew snuck into the kitchen and made a preliminary sweep. There were only two other doors in the kitchen; one that led to the pantry, another that led to the rest of the house. There were a few sets of silver cutlery sitting in a fine oak case, but there were lighter, more valuable goods to be had in the rest of the house. Mathew crept out of the door to the rest of the house and started to look around.  A small table by the wall housed photos of the family. He paused to see if any of the frames were worth anything. A picture of a pretty girl with dazzling blue eyes sat in a gold frame. But upon closer inspection, it was clear that the frame was not real gold and worth nothing. Mathew carried on to the hall.

 The hall was spectacular. Moonlight filtered through the stain glass above the front door causing a pool of light in the centre of the hall.  Mathew allowed himself a low whistle of appreciation. This was a nice house! The family was upstairs was asleep – hopefully. He huffed and walked into the room on his right.

 

            The living room! He had hit gold. Three phones were plugged in to charge and an iPad lay on the sofa. That was at least six hundred quid as it was. A little more digging around revealed a Rolex and several recent DVDs. Mathew continued to prowl the house, searching high and low for the hidden treasures of the wealthy.

 

***

 

            Mathew had been wondering about the house for over an hour when the sound came from upstairs. Mathew’s one rule in this business was to never go upstairs when a family was in a house. That way they won’t wake up – in theory. But now someone had woken up. It was time to go.

            Mathew padded quietly to the kitchen. The kitchen door was locked. A chill went down Mathew’s spine. Someone had been down here and locked the door. That was the only explanation. There was no time to waste. He had done a complete inventory of all the exits when he scoured the house and now intended to make good use of that information. Mathew ran from window to door to window. Nothing. They were all locked. Even the keys to the front door were missing. Mathew felt his heart jump from his chest to his throat. Someone had come down without him noticing and barred every way out. It was suddenly very cold in the hall. He rattled the front door one last time. There had to be a way out!

            Mathew gasped back a sob. Even if he found a way out, it would surely be so loud that it would summon the family – if the person who had locked the doors didn’t find him first that was. The family didn’t seem so scary now. Why lock the doors? Why not just call the police or confront him? Mathew had always known what awaited him if he continued down this road in life; he just hadn’t thought it would come so soon. A foot clicked on the stone floor behind him. Mathew froze. A member of the family? Or someone else?

 

            Mathew didn’t know why he was even thinking like this. Why would someone other than the family want to lock him in here? There probably wasn’t even anyone behind him. It was just his imagination running away from him. There was no one there. Mathew steeled himself and turned.

            The girl from the picture lounged against the kitchen door, silver keys glinting in her hand. The girl looked up at him under heavy lids with piercing blue eyes. She strolled over lazily. Mathew couldn’t move from terror. Why was he so scared of a girl half his age? The girl was now so close that he could feel her breath on his neck. She dangled the keys in front of his face.

 

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