Sneaking Out

This is a shorter piece than most I’m used to writing, about something I’m sure a lot of people can relate to (that is, sneaking around home at unseemly hours). Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

The son rose with the moon, using the dark night to protect him from the watchful eye of his mother who, knowing it was Friday, was likely awake, keeping watch over her domain for any attempt of escape.

Robby touched the handle of the door, treating it with all the delicacy of a bank combination to which he does not know the numbers. He turned the handle, bit by bit, until he felt all the tension and the slack. He pulled open the door, inch by inch, the light of the moon walking inside and resting on Robby, just like when a parrot shows up while it’s pirate owner is trying to intimidate information from a prisoner.

The spring of the door handle slowly loosed in his grip, lest it betray his presence. Then he crept out, only his toes touching the carpet so that he looked like one of those cartoon spies sneaking around the villain’s home. Only here, there was no slow-paced thriller music, but rather the sound of the ventilation. And Robby’s mind tuned that out as his ears focused on every insignificant noise that might be detected around him.

His hand reached back and took the door handle, turning it with the same straining sloth as he had used twice before. He steadied the frame with his free hand, and it soon touched back on its home ground, and it only took one last painful release of the handle to close the door more silently than the chase between a cat and a mouse.

He returned to his spy impersonation, creeping along the hallway until he came to the top of the stairs. Now came the hardest part of his journey. He stepped as though the floor were lava, and the only way to avoid it was to find the small stones that had inexplicably not melted in the deadly flow and were conveniently placed for the hero to cross. Unfortunately, Robby wasn’t just crossing the lava river – he was going downstream, and then crossing. The stairs creaked even more than the floorboards.

After what seemed nearly an hour and he was at last at the bottom of the stairs, Robby knew he could relax a little. His parents were in their room down the hall from his own, and he doubted they would really hear him on the first floor – though of course it would help to be cautious.

He crept to the coat closet, where he retrieved his shoes and jacket, before coming at last to the door. His hand reached forward, like Adam reaching for the finger of God. But it was not meant to be. For as his skin touched the cold handle, there was a soft click, and a light in the living room burst and bloomed to flood the room with light. Robby looked at the source of light. There, in a chair beside the table that held the lamp that lit the room, was his mother.

“Where do you think you’re going?” she asked, taking advantage of his surprise.

“Out.”

“Out where?”

“Just a party with some friends.”

“Will Tommy be there?”

Robby grimaced. Yes, Tommy would be there, with all sorts of things Robby’s mother disapproved of.

“I see,” his mother continued. “Well, you know what I think of him and the company he attracts. You ought to get some sleep anyway.”

He sighed dramatically. “Fine! But – how did you catch me?”

His mother stared at him perplexedly. “Well, with all the racket you were making coming down here, I wonder why you even thought you could get out and avoid me. You made about as much noise as a starving bear crashing through the woods for food – probably more. Go to bed.”

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