It was falling hard now. Heavy and loud and sudden. The sort of rain that feels like an attack from above, every drop like a bullet on bare skin. The crisp, frozen leaves at our feet sink into the mud. Water begins to seep through the hole in my boot, freezing cold invading the dry and warm, soaking through the soft fabric of my sock. Mike crouches next to me behind the tree, low and still, his face lit a sickly yellow by the light from the window. He faces the house, unblinking, watching what has become our prey. She stands at the sink washing dishes, talking on a phone held at an awkward angle between her shoulder and ear, expensive glossy hair falling around her shoulders. Smiling. Always smiling. 'She'll move to the living room soon. Once she's done with the dishes, she'll pour a glass of wine and go and watch tv. She always does. That's when we move'. I nodded though he couldn't see me. My heart rate quickened.
Not long now.
We had been watching the house for days and knew her routine, the way she moved through the rooms, when she would be out of ear shot of the breaking glass on the kitchen floor. When she was alone. It was so easy, the blinds were always open and the place was lit up like a Christmas tree. All the houses were on this side of town, illuminated like show pieces for all to see, look at what we have, look at all our shiny things. Look, but don't touch.
I reached into my pocket and fingered the blade. It was just for show, just so she wouldn't make a fuss and get cocky and think we were just kids and it was only a dare. It was the biggest one we had and my mother wouldn't miss it, just for this one night. I only saw her use it once and that was when she was shaking it in my father's stupid, drunken face Christmas eve two weeks ago. Screaming at him to get out, again, the spittle from her angry, curled lips lightly spraying the handle. I remember thinking, that would do nicely. No-one argues with a knife like that. My father didn't.
The phone is gone now. She takes off the gloves covered in suds, leans back and yawns wide. She looks untouchable, safe and warm in her kitchen bigger than my house. She faces the window and looks down at a town where for most, when it rains the water drips through your leaking, battered roof. When it rains it comes through the hole in your boot. She turns, walks across the room and opens the fridge, the white light casting an icy shadow behind her. She reaches in and pulls out the wine. Freezing water saturates my foot, numbing the flesh. Mike turns to me, his eyes dull and fixed. 'You ready?'.