When No One Is Home

It was Friday night when Stephanie Miller was making plans to go away for the weekend. She got with some of her friends and they were going to go up to the mountain cabin which belongs to Christopher’s parents. Christopher was Stephanie’s best friend. They have been friends since elementary school when he put gum in her hair. Everything was set and plans completed. Now it was up to everyone to show up so they could head out.

Stephanie lived alone in a big tan three story house which her grandmother left her with her passing. It was her inheritance and she loved this old house and can remember all of the memories that came with it. The first day she went to see it after the funeral, she walked in and couldn’t resist touching the polished oak stair banister, and the smell of her grandmother’s perfume lingered in the house. As she walked through the house, she could see all of the old pictures on the wall and the beautiful furniture left behind. She removed the sheets from some of the furniture to expose the satin and plush upholstery on the very antique furniture.

She has lived in this house in the past two weeks after her grandmother’s death and her friends helped her move in. Stephanie has kept all of the furniture that belonged to her grandmother in the house and just added a few pieces of her own. The house was built back in the eighteen hundreds and has been in the family since. There are claw-footed tubs on each floor, a wood burning stove for heat on each floor, and the house sits on four acres of land that is just so gorgeous. There are trees surrounding the property and the nearest neighbor is three miles away. Anyone would be foolish to not want to live I this house. It has a history about it.

While Stephanie was waiting with her bags packed for the weekend, she did a final walk around the entire house to make sure everything was closed and locked up. She checked each floor and room for any open windows and made sure the back doors were closed. As she was coming back downstairs from the third floor, she tripped and fell down a few stairs hitting her head and knocking her unconscious. She laid there on the floor for hours while her friends had come and gone thinking she wasn’t home. There were a few missed calls on her phone and she wasn’t aware that she had missed them.

By the time Stephanie woke up, she figured out that she had a large lump on her head that was sore. She realized that she had fallen and when she got her composure, she looked around and found her phone noticing that she had missed a few calls. She managed to get up off of the floor and immediately felt dizzy and lightheaded. Grabbing the wall, she made her way to the nearest bedroom to lay down. Stephanie had no clue if she had a concussion or not but once she laid down the room started spinning. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.

Halfway through the night, Stephanie woke up to strange noises throughout the house. She laid in the bed for a few minutes listening, but only thought of it as the house creaking, critters running through the attic, or the wind blowing some of the shutters against the house. They didn’t seem to be really concerning so she tried to go back to sleep. Then, the noises seem to be coming from inside the house and she sat up startled that there might be someone in the house. Stephanie jumped up out of the bed and went to the doorway and crept to the stairs looking down at the first floor when she spotted the shadow of someone walking through the house.

In fear, she tried to sneak downstairs to see if she could identify the person inside her house. All there was to follow were shadows and that she could not get close enough to see who it was. While creeping around she bumped into a vase sitting on the floor causing it to crash against the floor and breaking. Startled, the shadow began walking towards the noise of the vase breaking and Stephanie did all she could to get out of sight. She hid in a nearby closet watching as the intruder walked by hoping that she would not be found. She listened as he stumbled through the dark house until she noticed that he, in fact, turned on one of the lights in an adjacent room.

At this point, Stephanie was now feeling anxiety because it felt like her skin was crawling and she could feel the sweat beading down her body. Her breathing became shallow as she wondered who the intruder was and what they were looking for in the other room. Did this person think no one was here? Could it have been someone who knew she would be going away for the weekend? These are all of the things that went through her mind as she clutched the closet door watching for her intruder. She closed her eyes briefly and prayed that her intruder would not find her.

She listened as the intruder fumbled through drawers in that room like they were looking for something. Stephanie could not even think about what they could possibly be looking for. She had not finished unpacking her belongings and there were still things of her grandmothers in the house that Stephanie had not cleaned out. She almost began to cry as she slipped down to the floor. The noises got louder as the intruder moved about the room. It was a bit curious how he was looking through a room that no one had lived in for years unless there was something in there that someone had hidden.

Stephanie’s mind began wondering until she heard the intruder come out of that room and go to the next. He was going from one room to another searching, but what could he be searching for? Stephanie gathered her thoughts and wits about her and slowly opened the closet door. She was being very careful as to not make any noise as she crept into another room looking for the phone to call the police. She fumbles around feeling for the telephone in the dark. When she finally finds it, she begins dialing nine-one-one, but before the operator answers, she hears the intruder coming outside of the room he was in. Stephanie quietly lays the telephone on the counter and within a split second is creeping to her next hiding place. She retreats to the pantry and slips inside closing the door behind her.

She quickly finds a few big bags of potatoes stacked up and retreats behind them. Stephanie hears her intruder come walking into the kitchen and then stops right outside the pantry door. Her heart almost skips a beat thinking he is going to find her until she hears him hang up the telephone. Now she is worried because that just told him that someone else is in the house. She waits to see what he is going to do and then hears him walk back up to the pantry door. Stephanie feels her eyes start to water and tears running down her cheeks afraid for her life. She sits and waits. Then, he opens the pantry door and steps inside. She gets herself together and places her hand over her firm pinkish lips trying to mask her fear. He walks around the pantry looking and does not take one step towards the potato stack where Stephanie was hiding.

She tries to peek through the bags to get a glimpse of the intruder who has invaded her house. All she could see was a silhouette of a man. She could not get a good look at him as he turns to walk out of the pantry closing the door. Stephanie then sighs a sense of relief as she hears him start to climb the stairs. The minute she thinks he is upstairs, she slips out from behind the potato stack and walks slowly over to the pantry door. With her shaking hands, she reaches for the door and slowly opens it sneaking a peak outside to confirm that her intruder was nowhere in sight.

With no sight of him, she walks quickly but quietly steps outside of the pantry and walks back over to the phone. She picks it up and begins dialing nine-one-one again hoping that an operator will quickly pick up. Facing the cupboards with her back to the rest of the house she cups the telephone with her hand preparing to talk to an operator when suddenly a hand comes around from behind her putting a cloth to her face. His hands grip her arms as she tries to struggle and she quickly gives up as she starts to fall asleep. She had been chloroformed and taken hostage.

A few hours later, Stephanie had woken up to a blindfold on her face covering her eyes. She was not able to see her attacker which she knew to be her intruder. She could hear him breathing and walking around the room. She even smelled his musk cologne that was a bit strong for any man to wear. She heard him walk closer and sit down in a creaky chair. The sound of a switchblade opening makes her cringe and then the anxiety sets in as with a shaky voice she calls out to her intruder. “What do you want?”, and gets no reply. “Who are you, and why are you in my house?”, she cried out, and again no reply.

Suddenly, the man speaks in a low voice to Stephanie asking why she was home and not with her friends on their weekend getaway at the cabin? That right there made Stephanie aware of the fact that her attacker was close to her or her friends because he knew such vivid details. Again, he asked why she was home and the only thing Stephanie could say is that she fell and was knocked unconscious. As she spoke she could feel the coldness of the blade as he held it lightly against her neck. She was afraid to swallow that it might make the knife cut her.

The intruder began mumbling to himself where Stephanie was unable to make out his words. She could hear him pacing back and forth getting more frustrated. Then he turned to Stephanie and asked her where the money was. Stephanie was a little perplexed at the question and asked him, “What money?” which angered him and then he slapped her across the face. He again asked her “Where was the money?” and if she didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear he was going to hurt her. Stephanie became scared for her life and told him in a shaky fearful voice that she had no clue as to what money he was talking about. She informed him that she inherited the house and estate and was told that there was no money involved in the will.

As his anger grew, he told her that her grandmother had money hidden somewhere in this house. This was news to Stephanie and she again pleaded with him to let her go and that there was no money that she knew of. Her intruder began to laugh as he took the knife and sliced it across her forearm forcing Stephanie to scream in pain. She began to cry and pleading for her life. It was a never-ending argument that caused bodily harm to Stephanie. With each answer that was useless to him, he created a bloody mark on her body. She could feel the blood trickle down her arms and the sting where he had cut her. She eventually thought that he was going to kill her.

After hours of agonizing pain to her limbs and face, Stephanie started to give up hope and wished for death. The intruder was turning into a ranting lunatic as he paced back and forth across the room. Suddenly, Stephanie could hear the faint sounds of police sirens in the distance and surely hoped they were coming to rescue her. She listened very carefully for them to arrive but made no notice to the intruder that she could hear them as he was still commenting in his ranting and raving getting louder and louder that he, himself, could not hear them.

Then she heard the sirens stop and feared that they were not going to find her. The only thing she could sense of where he had her was the musky smell of mold and mildew and she then knew that he had her in the basement of the house. With the sirens stopped she wondered if they were outside looking for anyone to be home. Faintly she heard someone knock at the door but it wasn’t loud enough for the intruder to hear it. Then she heard another knock and a man announce they were the police. This time the intruder thought that he heard someone, but became enraged at the whole situation and began yelling loudly at Stephanie wanting the location of the money. Stephanie pleaded with the intruder to let her go.

She started to make the intruder yell more and louder at her in hopes that the police will hear him and know where she is being kept. Louder and louder he kept yelling at her wanting to know where the money is. Stephanie still had the blindfold on so all she could do is hear the sounds around her. She could sense when he was coming closer to her and again he slid the knife against her upper arm causing her to scream. Stephanie could tell her arm was in bad shape because she could feel a lot of blood running down her arm. She knew she had to be loud for the police to hear her screams.

Suddenly, the door flew open and the sound of men with guns yelling at the intruder to put down the knife and put his hands up. The intruder replied that he was not going to put the knife down and that they should leave. The police again yelled out for the intruder to drop the knife or they will shoot him. Stephanie heard the intruder step closer to the police and then a gunshot rang out. She heard the thump of a body hitting the floor and that it was her intruder who was swearing and moaning about being shot. She could hear him cursing at the police and that someone was walking closer to her.

She felt someone standing right next to her and that something was reaching around her. Was she being saved? Finally, a man had slowly taken the blindfold from her eyes and Stephanie squinted for a minute as to allow her eyes to focus. Once she could see, she looked up to the man standing in front of her. It was a young, tall police officer who had very hazel eyes. He asked her if she was okay and looked down to see her wounds. He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a handkerchief to which he began wiping and addressing her wounds.

While the officer was attending to her wounds she was trying to see around him to identify her intruder. As she switched back and forth to look the young officer was asking her to sit still so that he can get her bleeding wounds under control. She looked down and saw the tortuous wounds her intruder left. Her arms were covered in blood and some of the cuts needed stitches. The young officer helped her up and wrapped a blanket around her trying to comfort her. He began walking her towards the door and noticed the intruder from behind and that he was handcuffed. The further she walked towards the door, the closer she got to recognizing her intruder.

Once she could see his face, she identified him as her best friend. He was the boy she grew up with and then he looked at her. Stephanie could feel his icy stare on a blank face. She stopped walking and just looked at him. Stephanie was in shock that her lifelong best friend could be capable of such an act. She felt disappointment and crushed that her best friend could harm her like this. She walked up to him and with an open hand she reached up and slapped his face before spitting at him. He looked at her and them mumbled to her calling her a stupid bitch.

The young officer then took her up inside the house and out the front door where paramedics were waiting to tend to her wounds. While sitting on the back of the ambulance, Stephanie watched as the police escorted their prisoner out of the house and into the back of a police car. He looked back from inside the police car and gave Stephanie such an evil smile like he would be back. Then, an officer came over to Stephanie while paramedics were stitching her wounds up and asked if she would like to press charges. Stephanie could not take her eyes off of her best friend handcuffed and sitting in the back of a police car, but she did nod and say “Yes”. The officer then began taking her statement as to what transpired during the time of her captivity.

Once the report was done, Stephanie also asked if she could have a restraining order placed on her intruder in case he is released. The officer noted it in the report and then proceeded back to his patrol car and began driving away with her best friend in the back seat. As the paramedics were finishing her dressings on her arms, a car pulled up with one of her girlfriends in it. She had gotten out of her car and quickly walked over to Stephanie asking her what happened. Her friend was awe of all the bandages Stephanie had on her arms and face. She hugged her friend and stated that she was okay. Stephanie then told her what had happened and who her intruder was. Stephanie’s friend was there for support and stayed the night with Stephanie to make sure she was going to be alright.

The next day, Stephanie’s girlfriend had joined her for breakfast before leaving to run some errands. Stephanie could feel the pain from her wounds as she moved her arms around. Then, it finally hit her that the intruder could have been right about some money being hidden in the old house. After her friend had left, she began going from one room to another cleaning and searching for any lost treasure. Stephanie searched and searched but could not find anything. She searched the house from top to bottom finally ending up in the foyer where a picture of her grandmother hung. She stood there gazing at the picture of her grandmother whom she had admired all her life.

While gazing at the picture, Stephanie noticed a blemish in the picture. Upon further inspection of the picture, she noticed that there was a slice in it and traced it with her finger noticing that there was, in fact, a hole behind it. She slid her hand inside the slit of the picture and behind it, her fingers felt something. With all her might, Stephanie grabbed the picture and took it down from the wall. It was hiding a hole that was plastered over. When she couldn’t remove the plaster, Stephanie went into the kitchen and grabbed a small mallet from under the sink.

She went back into the foyer with the mallet in her hand and began beating the mallet on the plaster causing it to chip away. Once she had half of it removed, she used her hands to grab the other half and pulled the plaster from the hole. She looked inside the hole which was dark before reaching her hand inside. She pulled from the hole what looked to be a letter. She opened it up and saw that it was addressed to her. Stephanie began reading the letter which read that her grandmother had left Stephanie all her estate which included the house and everything in it. She looked at the letter and then looked up at the hole. She again reached her hand inside the hole pulling out a stack of money that was bundled with bank paper. Puzzled by this, she reached in again and pulled out another bundled stack. She did this several times each pulling a bundled stack.

Stephanie could not believe what was going on, but after the last bundle had been pulled out, she began reading the last of the letter. It told her that her grandmother loved her so much and that this money is hers to do what she pleases and that she wishes it could have been more. The letter also stated that there is enough money in total that it would take care of Stephanie for the rest of her life and then some. Stephanie quickly picked up all the bundles with the letter and headed for the living room. She placed all the money on the coffee table and sat on the couch.

Stephanie stared at the money for a bit and wondered how much there was. Her grandmother stated it would be enough to take care of her for the rest of her life. Curious, Stephanie began counting money. One stack was five-hundred thousand dollars and she then began counting another stack which totaled another five hundred thousand dollars. There were still another six stacks to count, but if they are all five-hundred thousand dollars, that would mean that there are four million dollars in total. Stephanie thought that she was about to faint. She had never seen so much money in her life, but the first thought that hit her mind was that the intruder was right about the money and now she sees why he was so anxious to find it.

Stephanie then ran upstairs to her room and grabbed a backpack. When she got back down to the living room, she packed all the money inside it. She was going to take it all to the bank in the morning and open an account. That way she knew it was safe and secure. Stephanie was now a millionaire and very thankful to her grandmother, and to her intruder for making her aware of the money. This is what happens when no one is home.