Welcome to the third part of the current long story cycle (Cracked Windows). The links will be laid out in sections to cut down the total number we see on each post. You will be able to follow from week to week as needed when new sections appear.
Past the Breakfast Nook
In the Dying Light
Through the Blinds
Cars lined the sides of the small street of the cul-de-sac. Jerome had to slow and swerve, slow and swerve, to avoid them. By the look of it, they had come with the police cruiser parked in the Miller’s driveway. He parked in front of the garage door and noticed the mysterious neighbor standing in the living room window across the street. The curtains had parted just enough for the man’s face to be visible in the darkness beyond. Shadows had obscured it but Jerome had noticed a movement in the car’s mirror that called his attention to it. He entered the house through the garage and stepped into the living room. The man hadn’t moved, like a statue, he looked onto the street and didn’t move from his vigil.
“Would you please stop doing that.” Arial’s voice had come from the hall.
He jumped when he first heard her and tried to play it off when he glanced in her direction. “Look at this,” he said. “Doesn’t this look strange to you?”
A heavy sigh, and then she joined him at the window. “Doesn’t look any different than you,” she said. “Standing in the window like a loon and watching the neighborhood. Want me to get you some binoculars so you can spy better?”
“Don’t you think it’s a little weird. He’s just staring at the street.” He shook his head as he pulled away from the blinds again. “I take it back. He’s looking at the Miller’s house. Did you see all those cars? And the cops? What’s going on over there?”
“There was an ambulance when I came home,” she said. “But I haven’t heard anything. Maybe what got their dog got them too?”
Jerome’s head tilted to the side as he regarded her. “What do you mean, about the dog?”
“I told you,” she said. “Jessica had come by a while back looking for Rufus. It was never like him to run away, so I didn’t think too much about it. I thought he’d show up when he was hungry.”
“You never told me,” he said. “What do you think happened?” Jerome glanced back toward his neighbor across the street.
“Don’t be stupid. The dog disappeared before he moved into the neighborhood. Would you get away from the window?”
“He’s up to something over there, I’m sure of it.”
She joined Jerome at the window. “You’re imagining things,” she said. “How would you feel if the neighbors were nosing around our house and yard?”
“It was more than that,” he said. “You weren’t there. You didn’t see the things I saw.”
“All you saw were a few boxes in the garage, and you couldn’t even see into the house.”
“I said they looked like they could be boxes. Think about it. He could be hiding anything in those boxes.” Jerome spread the blinds apart and peered outside again. “He wouldn’t even tell me his name. Who doesn’t introduce themselves? There’s something going on over there.”
She placed a hand on his shoulder and caressed him away from the window. “C’mon, let’s clear a movie off our watch list.”
He glanced back at the window before he followed her to the couch.
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