Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AS EASY AS PIE (12/01/16)
TITLE: Piece of Cake
By Holly Westefeld
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"What do ya think the old lady has that'd be worth our time, Pete? Most people don't exactly hide money under the mattress these days."
"C'mon, rich ol' ladies have the family silver, jewelry, maybe even some of those overpriced purses. I even "borrowed" my little brother's toy pistol. She won't know the difference."
"Alarm system, nosy neighbors, dog?"
"Nope. House across the street is empty. I seen a cat in the window, but ya know how they run and hide from strangers. I've watched her. It'll be like taking candy from a baby. She gets home about 8:45 every Wednesday night. We'll just follow her in."
"I don't know... I reached for one of my lil cuz's animal crackers and she howled like a werewolf."
"Sounds like you're just chicken."
"No, but I don't want to end up on one of them "stupid crook stories" lists either, or in jail."
"The way she drives and parks, I don't think she could ID us anyway."
Pete and I wait behind the bushes next to the porch. "Ya sure she never parks in the garage?"
"Never. ... There she is!"
Sure enough, the woman nearly clips her mailbox turning in to the driveway, parking with the back right tire on the grass. She's whistling as she shuffles toward the door, keys in one hand, a foil covered tray in the other.
Pete waits til she turns off the porch light, then jumps out waving the toy pistol. "Keep quiet and ya won't get hurt."
In the light of the lamp she'd left on, I see a shaky smile. "This is a lot of trouble to go to for some leftover cookies, young man. Did you want me to make cocoa to go with them?"
"Very funny, lady. Go sit down." He waves the pistol at a recliner.
"Please shut the door so Prince doesn't get out."
I follow them in, and shut the door.
"Where's the silver, crystal, jewelry...?"
"You've never had to polish silver, have you? I gave it to my daughter years ago. Never had crystal." She points at a miniature manger scene pin on her sweater. "And I really can't imagine what use you would have for my handful of costume jewelry. I parceled the good pieces Henry gave me out to our granddaughters a couple of years after he passed." She held the tray out. "Did you want some cookies?"
"I don't buy it, lady. Guess I'll have to look for myself."
Pete hands me the pistol. "You keep an eye on her."
I stand guard, but am quickly losing hope that this will be worth it.
She holds out the tray again. "Fresh baked pecan snowballs."
I shake my head, and she puts it on the end table and pats her lap. "Prince?"
A black and white cat darts from behind the curtains, jumps on her lap, turns around several times, and flops with his tummy up. She rubs it for a minute and he grabs at her hand. "You want to play?"
She picks up one of those laser things next to the cookies and starts moving its red dot across the floor. Prince springs after it. I am about to laugh, but howl instead as the whirl of black and white fur climbs my leg and starts clawing at a very sensitive spot. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the lady pick up the phone from the end table, but am too busy defending myself and getting my hands shredded to grab it.
Pete dashes in, empty handed. "What the...?"
"She just called 911!" I shout over my shoulder from the door.
We run in opposite directions as a siren approaches.
I am out of breath as I dive through the back door, and of course this has to be the night mom is home early from her waitressing job.
"Ya got zombies after ya?"
I show her my hands. "Na, just one crazy cat."
"Better get those hands washed up good."
I get the water as warm as it gets anymore and pump soap up to my elbows.
"I brought ya a piece of chocolate cake left at closing tonight. That should take your mind off that nasty cat."
"No thanks, Mom. No piece of cake for me tonight."
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