Whilst reading through Goodreads I stumbled across a great short story called The Diamond written by Vincent Lowry. I contacted Vincent and he was nice enough to say I could post it here so…..my first Wordy Wednesday post is Vincent’s story, please enjoy:
Davy Banks surreptitiously scaled the ivy-laden stucco wall, careful not to alarm any unsuspecting ears. He landed softly on a patch of ankle-high grass—which was spongy and heavy with sprinkler water—and studied the rear of Sara Clemmon’s house as it stood under the dim, sleepy glow of a moon one quarter from full.
Small patio. Two floors with two square windows apiece. One door with a worn wicker chair sitting indolently at the guard.
The lights were off, but that didn’t mean Sara wasn’t home…Davy had made that mistake once before, on a cat-fire night not unlike the one currently looming over the city of Sawyer.
He checked his bearings and located the satchel he’d thrown over just minutes earlier. He retrieved it, checked its contents, and accounted for all items.
Good, he thought. That was important. Not quite as critical as the diamond, not even close, but important nonetheless.
He inched forward slowly, sidestepping as if he were an elite Delta soldier, exhaling out of his nose in soft, measured breaths. His heart began to beat against his ribcage like a frightened animal. His forehead, though cold from the crisp evening air, was beaded with sweat as warm and slick as oil.
It took two minutes to reach the back door. He was overdoing it, without a doubt, but it was better than the alternative. The job had to be done perfectly or not done at all.
He reached into his bag and removed a key that felt as frozen as his lawn-drenched fingers. It slid into the deadbolt lock easily, effortlessly, and turned with a hushed grating sound. His heart raced faster and his ears, somehow charged by the pressure of the moment, honed in on the softest of sounds: the forlorn baying of a distant dog, the steady whistle of a late-night incoming train, the whisper of his own breath, which was spilling out clouds of white vapor. He could have tried the front entrance, but that was just too risky.
The door opened to Sara’s den. It was dark and cold (not as bitter as outside, but chilly enough to indicate no one had run the furnace in several hours). He knew the layout of the house perfectly, but he entered with an uneasy feeling he’d stumble upon something (or someone) that wasn’t supposed to be in his path. A misplaced chair. A new shopping bag.
Choosing his steps carefully, he threaded between a pullout sofa and a pine coffee table littered with magazines. A blue digital DVD clock beside him read 11:03. If he had his timing right, he’d have half an hour to do the job.
He entered a long and narrow hallway that was surprisingly darker than the den. It was completely black, like being inside a closed closet, and his only sense of direction came from feeling the number of doors he passed. The first on the left was the bathroom. The second, again on the left, was the linen closet (it had a small doorknob in the shape of a J). Further down, this time on his right, was Sara’s room. It was closed. That might have seemed odd to most intruders, but Davy knew more about Sara than he knew about his own mother. Her house had an insulation problem. The master bedroom was the only room that seemed to retain heat, and she purposely kept the door closed when away to seal in as much of the warmth as possible.
He wrapped his fingers around the doorknob (this one was not in the shape of J but a perfect oval), and turned it, half expecting Sara to be waiting for him with a knife in her hands and a freakish grin carved on her face.
He peered inside. Gray moonlight fingered through partially drawn blinds, revealing a queen-sized bed that was neatly tucked and stacked with fluffy, oversized pillows. Perfume permeated air, which was noticeably warmer than the rest of the house, splashed his face like a feminine ghost passing through him. The bedroom was clean, orderly, and—best of all—devoid of any living occupants save the person standing at the door.
Great! Now he could finally get to work.
Sara Clemmons pulled her shabby ’88 Oldsmobile inside her two-car garage (the brakes crying out in protest) and killed the engine. It was late. Eleven-thirty according to the watch Davy Banks had given to her for her 25th birthday. She normally didn’t like to stay out past ten unless Davy was with her, but Crissy Peterson, her college friend and former roommate, had called unexpectedly and arranged a catch-up dinner at a local Mexican restaurant about fifteen miles from Sara’s house.
She grabbed her purse off the passenger seat, checked her cell messages—none from her Davy—and propped the Olds door open with a loud, reverberating groan. A gust of cold air fell over her like an icy blanket, an immediate reminder that the sweater over her evening dress was far too skimpy on a autumn Sawyer night such as this.
She hurriedly exited the car, goose bumps breaking out over her body like surfacing landmines, cupped her palms under her elbows, and bolted toward the door, which led into the kitchen.
Something was wrong. She hadn’t flipped the lights yet, and she hadn’t seen or heard anything out of the ordinary, but a surreal feeling inside her chest—a type of telepathic channeling—told her she was not alone.
Her thoughts returned to Davy. Why couldn’t he be with her at this moment and not clear across the town of Sawyer? Why did she always have to be alone? A scared spinster?
She held her breath and ran her hand over the wall, feeling for the light switch. She’d flipped the damn thing on every evening for the past three years, yet, on this particular night, she couldn’t find it to save her skin. Her heart raced inside her throat. The hairs on the nape of her neck stood out like cactus needles.
Someone was definitely with her. She swore she now heard swelling footsteps.
“I know you’re in here!” she yelled out, the sound of her voice frightening her even more. “I have a cell phone. I can call the cops.”
It was a pathetic threat. At best, the police would take at least thirty minutes to reach her house, and by that time…
She was torn between bolting back into the garage and continuing with her search for the switch. She chose the latter, now on the verge of panicking, and finally found the elusive button.
White light bathed the kitchen.
Davy watched from across the kitchen as she shielded her face from the glare. She looked sweet, standing in her burgundy dress and matching red sweater, almost as cute as when he had first met her while waiting in a movie line. He could tell she was shivering and frightened, but that would all change in a few minutes.
She lowered her hand, spotted him, and exhaled a long breath of relief.
“Davy… God. It’s just you.”
Sara stood still for a second, gathering herself, then pursed her lips. Pissed.
“Just what the hell are you doing here? Sneaking around like some thief? I tell you, if I had a can of pepper spray or mace I would have…”
“Shhh,” Davy said, taking her by the hand and leading her into the den.
Sparkling confetti littered their path, winking back the dull light of a single candle that sat with a rose atop the coffee table. Following the confetti trail, Davy took her into the hallway, passing the bathroom (lit by another candle), the linen closet (a rose hanging by the J-shaped handle), and then into her bedroom, where five roses were strewn about her bed in a circle, surrounding a small black box.
She stared at the sight, speechless, mouth agape, hazel eyes as wide as silver dollars. Her head swiveled like she had just stepped off a spinning carnival ride. Her heart raced on pure adrenaline, beating faster than it had while she’d been searching in the dark.
She grabbed the box, opened it, and saw a beautiful diamond.
Shimmering. Brilliant. A stone set atop a gorgeous platinum ring.
She raised her gaze to Davy, no longer alone or scared, her eyes validating every part of his insane surprise proposal.
The job had to be done perfectly or not done at all.
(C) 2006 by Vincent Lowry
Vincent has created a site Goodreads Authors Readers where readers can connect with authors and authors can connect with readers.
He has also created a blog where readers and authors can watch and review book videos/trailers called Rate my Book Video
You can order his book “Constellation Chronicles” by clicking here
And check him out on Goodreads by clicking here
Thank you very much, Vincent, for letting me post your short story, a story I really enjoyed!
I hope all the readers enjoyed it also 🙂
Please check back next Wednesday to see what word(s) I have decided to share next time.