a short story by Tom Sheehan
([email]tomsheehan [at] attbi [dot] com[/email])
For nearly a month, from a cliff shoulder on Pressburn Hill, August rain and sun taking turns at him, birds accepting him, Brisque Validarn watched the house on Bretton Heights, watched every movement, change of light, visit and departure. From his post the house, on the very summit of Bretton Heights, was about half a mile distant, sitting there the crown jewel of targets, its parapets breaching the skyline. One precious stone, slipped with dark ease from that crown, would last him for a year; Nice, Bordeaux in the old country, any beach without reservation in the New World. He watched, he clocked, he measured, he posted entries in a burgeoning logbook. When a light went on or off, he bent over his logbook and marked the time, the quadrant of the big house, calculated routines. When a FedEx truck crawled up the long driveway, Brisque swore he could hear the gears at work, both coming and going, as the drive back down the hill could prove challenging.