Excerpt from "Read My Lipstick" by Joyce oroz

I entered a dark room and managed to knock my sore foot into a bed post. Clumsily, I felt my way along the walls, located a closet and ducked inside. I pushed some hanging jackets and slacks in front of me, and tried not to breathe. I cowered in the corner of the closet, sitting on the briefcase, wondering if I could plead insanity if I were discovered. A female laughed sarcastically.
“Look at this. He left his microwave open. Men!” I recognized Deputy Lund’s voice.
Someone turned on lights in the living room, sending a weak light under the closet door. I panicked, pulled some shirts off their hangers and draped the clothing over my head and body. I curled myself onto a tight ball, hoping to look like a pile of laundry. I heard heavy steps in the living room.
“It’s a big old briefcase. You can’t miss it,” a man said, clearing his throat.
I heard the search, the moving of furniture, books hitting the floor and lots of mumbling and swearing from two males. But the worst was when I heard footsteps near the closet door. Someone was in the room. There was more shuffling of stuff, a big sigh, silence and then, “ah-hah”.
Oh no! Not the clos … I thought to myself.
The closet door opened and light streamed in. I held my breath as I sat paralyzed, unable to think or even blink. The toe of one shoe stuck out. I pulled it back under a shirt sleeve as my heart thundered in my ears. It seemed loud enough to wake the whole neighborhood, but the searcher didn’t hear it and left the room. Streams of perspiration ran down my forehead. My mouth felt dry and time stood still as I waited an eternity for the lights to go out.


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