Inside the House

    It must have been open only I didn't see it, she told herself, but she knew this wasn't true. She remembered it being shut, remembered thinking how unused it looked. It wasn't as if she could have forgotten, being it was only seconds ago. Yet someone had opened the door without her seeing or hearing anything. The wind? Yeah sure, what wind?

    She listened. Nothing; not even the voices now. Becca pushed the door gently. She assumed it would make a sound, a complaining creak. A door like that should make a sound. It swung open easily and quietly however, though she'd given it the lightest nudge.

    Inside was a dim hallway. Mildewed paper was peeling from the walls and a damp smell greeted her, maybe rising from the thin, sorry-looking carpet. A cheerful laugh floated down and gave her confidence. She knew they were in the house now, and it didn't sound like anything bad was going on. She'd assumed an affair. It worked out that way nine times out of ten. Still, bit of a weird place for a lovers meeting. Were all the hotels booked up?

    Becca knew she was close to crossing the line. The door was open, but it was still private property. If she was caught she could end up in court and Mrs Harman frowned on that sort of thing. At least, she frowned on it in public. I bet if she was here she'd be halfway up the stairs by now, Becca thought. I'll just have to make sure they don't catch me. She took the lens cap off her camera and stepped through the door.

    The sounds of voices came again, muffled, but there was the rising tone of a question and a softer, mumbling answer. Another laugh followed and a different noise, maybe a chair being pushed back.

    Becca chased the voices up the stairs, moving as softly as she knew how, testing each stair, rolling the weight on her feet to catch any creak and avoid it. Her heart was beating fast and her hands were sweaty on the camera, but she felt the thrill of being secret and undiscovered; of being where she wasn't supposed to be. It wasn't something she particularly admired about herself, but there it was. She liked to snoop. Why become a P.I. otherwise?

    The voices were coming from behind a partially closed door at the top of the stairs. There was no way to get a clear shot without being found out, she saw that at once. Instead she snuck into the next room, a small bedroom without a stick of furniture in it, bare floorboards and a tattered rag of lace hanging forgotten at the window. She quickly freed a small device like a stethoscope from its slim case and pressed it to the wall, turning up the amplification on the tiny mic to the half-way mark, and plugging in the tape-recorder output so she could record the conversation.












The End

21 comments about this story Feed