Shrouded in darkness, the street lay silent. Howling, the wind chased the clouds across the midnight sky. Frantically a rusty gate slammed back and forth – a metal wave beating against a weathered shore. Encased in shadows the houses were menacingly depicted by the moon as an owl glided on silent wings of velvet. Nobody saw or heard the owl – the owl saw and heard everything.

           The misty night enveloped her frail frame and once again the sound of hurried approaching footsteps could be heard. Leisurely the figure sauntered past untouched gardens moving further towards her destination. She shivered as the wind sighed, blowing the river into silent waves. The girl quickened her pace now, each step matching the pounding of her panic stricken heart and the feeling of dread in her soul. Hastily she rummaged through her bag, it was crammed with items not used to the confines of Italian leather.

              In her haste the contents spilled onto the floor – the noise like thunder in her ears causing her heart to skip a beat. She held her breath, anticipating detection. Gathering up her belongings she rose, leaning gently on the door handle to steady herself.

It opened.

              With relief she stumbled over the threshold, the door creaking uncertainly inwards. The eerie dark encased her and for a moment she felt the strange sense of false security. It left her as instantly as it came. She waited for her eyes to adjust to the charcoal grey of the hallway. Pushing the door back completely into it’s opening her every sense became alert. Should she turn on the hall light? Dare she risk detection for a better view? An instant decision of no flew into her mind. He had come after her before, this time he would definitely call others to help. What if he already had?

They were all looking for her.

Get a bag.

What should she take?

What would she need?

             Feeling her way around the room she collected photo frames, sentimental jewellery and a sliver trinket box. She would have to hide out for a while, disappear and leave no trace. Just take what you need. Travel light. She repeated the words like a mantra.

             She could sense that something was not right. She had to leave, now. Whatever she did not have now would be forgotten, she did not need it all anyway. Gathering her things she scurried along the hallway and made it out the doorway just in time to see the first police car turning into the street. Pressing the full length of her body she tried to control her hurried breathing.

              Once composed, and with a quick glance behind her t0 check for any uniformsshe disappeared into the blackness. Knowing where she was heading gave her a greater advantage over her law-enforcing counterparts, but she did not anticipate the chase that followed her decent into dark. Several sirens screeched as one whilst following her every movement. She knew she would have to take the long way round to home – she could never let them follow her there.

             Like clockwork she cursed herself for not kicking this habit sooner whilst leaping effortlessly across the rushing river. Just one more house, she had promised herself. After all, who wanted to date a cat burglar? Men are so competitive and there was no way they would be able to keep up with her current career choice. So fickle, boys and their toys. The always needed to be in control. The feminist rant over her logical side took over, reminding her she wanted to have someone to go home to, to share her vast (albeit stolen) wealth with. But the temptation of one final rush had been too much to ignore and like a lamb to the slaughter she took up the opportunity everytime.

               Awakening from her thoughts she realised she had arrived at the dockyard, she smiled slyly to herself. They had not expected her to take this route and she had regained the upper hand. Approaching sirens shattered her illusion of easy escape and she realised they were closing in on her. Frantically she searched in the darkness for the opening in the metal fence that penned her in. The sirens stopped and car doors slammed. They were behind her now. She was not getting caught, not like this, not now. Pouncing towards the fence she clawed her way up and over with every ounce of strength left in her body. Landing lightly on the other side she let out her first breath in what felt like an eternity.

               The police were puzzled, who was this woman? She had alluded capture too many times before and now she had evaded their teams again. They had no name, let alone a face to put to her. But they did know one thing, she had balls. From the other side of the fence she faced them and despite the darkness the officers knew she was smiling at their ineptitude.

              Looking back at the downtrodden police officers the woman was indeed smiling. She knew beating herself up over her mistake was not worth it, not at the moment. She turned and sprinted lithely into the night, and as the rain came down the spot where she had stood became flooded in darkness.


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