in a rich man’s house the walls could be painfully thin. Rachel sat in Dr.
Sartorius’s living room which was directly below the bedroom and could hear
every grunt and blasphemy going on upstairs. The contempt in the man’s voice
when he said ‘don’t touch anything’ killed her―the arrogance that denied others
the right to touch, yet gave him license to fondle everything. Rachel hoped she
didn’t hate all men before she learned to love one.
she was at the Forty Second Street Library and stroked Patience and
Fortitude―the lions which guard the entrance. Those were precisely the
qualities she was running out of as this charade went on. At what point would
she tell Sonia that she’s not really on the streets? Was that a betrayal? She’d
never betrayed anyone. Rachel had to remember what she was really here for: to
was plenty to touch. Aside from medical books, there were many others about
fly-fishing and skeet shooting and sporting clays. There was a catalog of rare
shotguns from Sotheby’s. The man was eclectic all right. Rachel searched
through every drawer and cabinet. In one she found cognac that was dated 1921,
never opened. Proceeding to the closets, she went through every pocket of every
piece of clothing.
doctor was a meticulous man. Everything was neat and categorized. National
Geographics with National Geographics. American Journals of Medicine with
American Journals of Medicine. The grass and shrubbery outside were maintained
with clinical attention. The house spotless. The fish, colorful and happy. It
was as if this exaggerated outer order was needed to counterbalance an unseen
house was immense. Rachel proceeded from one room to the next, rifling through
drawers, opening coffee tables, sticking her hand down sofa seats. There had to
be an office and she prayed it was downstairs. She wandered barefoot until she
found the study. There was a PC under the desk, powered on. She quickly reached
into her pocket and removed the flash drive.
was dark back there. Damn, she should have brought a flashlight. In order to be
sure she was plugging the drive into an active port, she followed the mouse
cord to the chassis and pulled it out. After some work, the flash drive went
in. She stopped breathing and listened to the sounds on the second floor. There
was nothing. One minute. God, hurry. Kneeling in the darkness, she would have
no excuse if he walked in on her. Two minutes finally passed and she pulled out
the flash drive and held her finger on the USB port in order to guide the mouse
cable back in. Done. She put the plastic cap back on the flash drive and
slipped it in her pocket. Silently, she padded out the study, then downstairs
to the guest bedroom.
About The Book
The Verb First Chapter Contest–First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show–Second Prize best first chapter of a novel.
Second Prize–16th Annual International Latino Book Awards
Publisher website: http://curiosityquills.com/