A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

The Intruder
by Larry D. Foreman (Apr 2007)

The only member of the family allowed in Father’s den was the cat. I never could understand just what was so secret. Father spent endless hours in his den, and I yearned to be with him and share in his “secret” life. My father was a large man and had a deep, intimidating voice, especially coming down on the top of my head. I didn’t know him well because he was so reclusive in that secret den.

            One evening when Father and Mother were out to a social gathering, I decided to violate the sacred door and see for myself the “inner workings of the mystical chamber.” I suppose, being 12, I was like most young girls of my age - I thought I was smarter than most people, if not everyone, and especially my parents.

            Of course, the door wasn’t locked because Father’s commands were not disobeyed. Even though no one was home, I opened the door only a smidge and peered in carefully. The room was dark so I couldn’t see a thing. I opened the door slightly more, reached in and flicked on the light. The lit room appeared to be as uninteresting as the other rooms in the house - a desk with a swivel chair, two high-backed chairs, a bookcase, a file cabinet.

            Settling my eyes on the file cabinet, I decided that surely there were secrets hidden inside. Walking silently on tiptoes to the cabinet, I examined the drawers. The middle drawer seemed the most likely hiding place. I slowly opened the drawer and peered in at a hundred folders - each labeled at the top with a name. I pulled out the Ackerman folder and opened it. There was only one sheet of paper inside.

            Before I could examine the paper, I heard a sound in the house. “Oh, no, Mother and Father are home!” I quickly placed the folder back in the drawer and shut it silently. I tiptoed back to the door and swung it open. There stood Father glaring at me. I ran past him like a bullet and raced upstairs to my room. I was in great fear that he was in hot pursuit and my doom was at hand.

But, he never mentioned my intrusion - or anything else I can remember.

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