A Cup of Sugar

Arno inched the draw­er open, hard­ly dar­ing to breathe, hop­ing that some­how it would not squeak as it usu­al­ly did. The air in the kitchen felt thick, as though the pres­sure of it was dan­ger­ous­ly close to being able to crush him like a grape. He was sure he had seen a gun in this draw­er last time he was here; if it was still there, then he might still have a chance of get­ting out of this alive.

There was utter silence from the next room, but he strained try­ing to hear any­thing, any­thing at all, that might indi­cate the sleep­ers there were wak­ing. He had to get this draw­er open with­out wak­ing them, had to get the drop on them some­how. He was pret­ty sure he had heard three dis­tinct voic­es from his hid­ing place behind the refrig­er­a­tor. It might be more than he could han­dle if they were all packing.

But he had to han­dle this: the only way out of here was through that room, and Ronit was wait­ing for the sug­ar. He knew what a bad idea it was to keep her wait­ing, and excus­es like “home invaders killed the Ran­dolphs and I had to shoot my way out in the dark with a bor­rowed Smith & Wes­son” nev­er real­ly did much to mol­li­fy her. Next time we need a last-minute ingre­di­ent, he thought, I am just going to go to the store.

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