On my way home from court-mandated Santa-Clausing, I came up on Hidden Grove like always, but instead of driving past, I pulled in on a whim.
I parked between two spread-out houses and began trying back doors. I figured at least one family would leave a storm door unlocked. And why set their alarm when just the wind could trigger it?
On my third try, I hit pay dirt. Didn't need to pick the locks or break the glass on the inner door, either. The key was under the mat, as if they left it for me.
Also lucky, no one was up late baking cookies or making tea. A Frosty nightlight helped me through the kitchen to a TV room.
Skipping the sixty-inch flat panel, I stuffed a laptop and iPhone into my furry coat.
The tree was in the next room, glowing over a fort of presents. Again, I avoided the big stuff and took a box that might have held a ring or cuff links. I had just picked an envelope "From Santa" off the tree, when I heard the creeping of little feet.
The girl peered around the corner as I turned to look. Her mouth dropped open, and her eyes lit up.
Thinking fast, I put the envelope on the tree and put a gloved finger to my pasted-on beard.
The girl nodded and ran away, and I got the hell out of there, locking the back door behind me, leaving the key under the mat. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night.
GERALD SO currently edits The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly at http://poemsoncrime.blogspot.