She stepped in the back door and locked it. There was plenty of time to sort through the mail and handle a little paperwork for the office before bed. She opened the electric bill.
“I’m not home enough to pay this much for electricity.” The difference in her utility bill from a two-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom house had put a bite in her fun money. She was due to have her roots touched up but they’d have to wait a couple more weeks. Money hadn’t been an issue before the house. She stacked the bills back into a pile and plopped them in the wire basket.
“They’re not going away.” She snatched them back up and went to her desk drawer to get her checkbook. She hadn’t seen a balance this low since she was in college. The electric bill was more than the insurance on her car was this month.
“What in the world?” Why was she getting a bill from Outdoorsman magazine?
She picked up all the envelopes and walked to the front of the house. The sun was completely gone with the slightest bit of purple lingering above the trees. Houses had porch lights on and those that didn’t had their curtains drawn. Life in a fishbowl.
She unhooked the chain, turned the deadbolt, slid the wedge out from the bottom of the door and opened it. Her mailbox was a long rectangle against the house just outside her door. Usually she dropped her letters off at the big blue mailbox on the way to work. Too many people were getting things stolen, like their identity, from people invading mailboxes. She figured this should be safe.
She lifted the lid of the mailbox but was sideways and couldn’t keep it open and stick the letter out. She stepped down on the porch. The door clapped shut behind her. The breeze was cool this evening. It made her shiver. Twice she looked over her shoulder in the few seconds on the porch. Someone could slink out of the darkness and on to the porch before she knew they were there.
She lifted the lid and saw the rose almost immediately.
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at http://www.writingcareercoach.com/
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This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
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