As I stood there looking at my new home, I replayed the events of the last 24 hours. It had all started back in Sunset Valley, when I was working a job for a criminal mastermind, called Mister Boss. I had gotten a name for myself as a master thief, I was hired to steal data from the Mayor’s personal computer.

I had climbed up a tree round the back of the house to gain entry into the mayor’s home. It was easier than it should have been. I remember thinking that I was just getting better at my job, that’s why no-one had noticed me. I had already researched the building and knew the route I would have to take from my current location, so I exited the room I was in and made my way towards the study, staying to the shadows as much as I could.

When I entered the room, I was shocked to see three police officers waiting for me.

“Well if it isn’t the stray cat we have been waiting for,” chuckled the officer sitting behind the desk, “Looks like Mr Boss doesn’t need you anymore”, they were obviously dirty copes also working for Mr. Boss.

“Stray Cat? Oh, I get it, it’s because you think I’m a cat burglar, well you’re wrong, I’m a Master Thief and here’s me thinking the police were intelligent people and they couldn’t even figure that one out”.

The guys' smile quickly faded, “well, we are intelligent enough to catch you” the police officer replied quickly and sharply. He stopped when I clapped my hands sarcastically and walked forward.

“Think again.” I said, quickly grabbing the laptop before running out of the room.

My car was parked outside, so I jumped in and threw the laptop into the back seat before driving off. The police were right on my tail, but this wasn’t my first highspeed chase, thankfully there were lots of turns and twists in Sunset Valley so I lost them quickly. I abandoned the car in an ally way before running away on foot.

Once I had gotten far enough I looked through the laptop but couldn’t find anything important so I decided to look through the messages, one in-particular caught my eye, so I opened it. I was shocked to see the sender was Mr Boss; he had set up the whole thing, he had ratted me out.

I dumped the laptop in the nearest bin, hotwired a car, then drove to the abandoned warehouse, the base of operations for Mr Boss. I knew I was stupid for doing it, I was just so angry, and I had to know why he’d done it. I entered the code to get in and went through the secret door and went down the steps leading to the underground control room.

I burst in screaming my head off, “How could you? You slime-ball, I hope you rot in hell.”

After I finished yelling at him, he calmly spoke back, “Miss Smith...” he started.

“Oh, screw the formalities, jerk” I shouted interrupting him.

“Very well. You see I want to run this town and I need people to be on my side when the day comes; I ran a background check on you and because of it I cannot be certain that I could rely on you so I planned to have you removed”, He said.

I stood there in shock. Was he being serious? The guy was mad on power.

He stood up and left, followed by his body guard. “Oh, and Miss Jane Smith, we don’t want anything to slip. I hope you understand.” He looked at the two guys working the computers, and as he walked through the door, he gestured them to kill me. I turned around and saw the two men rise from their chairs and approach me. I had to shake off the shock and fight for my life. I won the battle, I wasn’t as innocent or weak as my figure would suggest. I whipped off my mask and put it on the table.

“I quit” I said.

I exited the building and noticed the stolen car had been taken. I had to admit there was nothing I could do.

"Just go home..." I thought to myself "they don’t know where you live, and tomorrow you’ll disappear."

When I had gotten home, my heart almost broke; my home was on fire. I cried at how quickly they had managed to do it. Mr Boss’ car was still in the driveway, he was watching me. I ignored him and ran into the house. My passport! My money! I kept them hidden in a drawer in my spare bedroom. I bucked up my courage and ran inside. My home, my possessions, proof of my existence was all being burnt before my eyes.

I ran up the stairs and into the spare room, I pulled open the top draw and took my passport, and my savings. When I saw the name on my passport I froze, ‘Charice Temple’. It had been so long since I had used my real name, I’m still trying to get used to it now. Before this ‘little’ incident everyone in Sunset Valley had known me as Jane Smith, a persona I made up to hide my true identity. I pulled myself back to reality, when I heard calling from on the other side of the door; it was Mr X, Mr Boss’ body guard.

Mr Boss must have sent Mr X in after me, probably to finish me off. Luckily, I had a secret escape route leading to the back of my house that only my builder and I knew about, but seeing as I murdered him the day after finishing my house, I doubt anyone else knew.

I opened the secret door and went in, the thick stone cooled the air by stopping the heat from getting in; a design feature just in case something like this happened. I escaped out the back and ran across to my neighbours' house, a perky annoying person called ‘Fay’, oh I prayed she wouldn’t be in, I wasn’t in the mood for her high pitched voice and happy-go-lucky attitude.

I jumped the fence and sneaked in the back-door. I often came here if I needed a place to escape, or had to steal some coffee. I saw her asleep in her room, so I had to sneak in and hope not to wake her. I looked at my hands, they were covered in smoke and ash from the fire.

I decided to make a quick visit to Fay’s bathroom to wash my hands. I guess the tap water must haven woken her up because when I looked up into the mirror I saw her standing there, I almost jumped out of my skin when she spoke.

“Hi-ya” she said gleaming. Seeing my reaction, she gave a quick sigh before continuing to speak, “You must be shook up, huh? Don’t worry I saw the fire and called the fire brigade, all those hot firefighters will be here soon. I knew you’d be ok, it’s like we’re twins I could totally sense you were safe. What’s with the black outfit? Were you at a party? I was gonna go out, but I was like Fay, you need your beauty sleep, you’ve been busy all week and now you’ve got bags under your eyes, so I listed to myself and went to sleep.”

I quickly cut in before she could continue speaking, it took all my strength not to knock her out cold, “Hey Fay, I’m sorry I broke in, I had nowhere else to go, I hope you don’t mind”.

Sad thing was, as much as I disliked Fay, she was the closest thing to a friend I had when I was in Sunset Valley.

She smiled and took me to her spare room, “You must be tired, feel free to stay as long as you want”.

I started to undress, but she still hadn’t left. I climbed into the bed, and she leaned over and tucked me in.

“Sweet dreams”, she said with a broad smile on her face as she left.

As soon as I heard her bedroom door shut, I got out of bed. I had to disguise myself, so I went through her draws to get a new outfit. I took some other clothes as well, seeing as I didn’t have any now except my work clothes. I got dressed and left, making sure I was extra quiet with my sneaking; I didn’t know how quick Fay would fall asleep.

As I crept out of the house I noticed Fay was on her computer; she was sending an email, I thought it was strange, even for her. So, I picked up my pace and sneaked as fast and quietly as I could without distracting her. While sneaking out I noticed there was a motorbike in Fay’s driveway. It was that sickly hot pink one she always rode everywhere. I saw the keys were still in the engine and the helmet was on the side.

“This is just begging to be stolen” I chuckled to myself as I put on the matching helmet and turned on the ignition, “Thanks Fay”, I whispered as I sped out of her driveway and down the street.

I sped out of Sunset Valley ready for my new life. As I drove away I came across a highway motel, and using my real name for the first time in many years, I booked a room. In the morning, I woke up, looked out my window, and there was Fay! My eyes widened. “What’s she doing here?” I thought. My heart dropped when I saw her with Mr X. Fay was dressed in black and had a gun in her hand. As I watched them, I soon realized she had known who I was all along, and had not just happened to leave her door open the previous night, nor her key in the ignition of her bike.

“But how?” I asked myself, it must have been the bike; there must have been a tracker.

I hurriedly got dressed and grabbed my purse with my money and passport in it. I rushed out the room forgetting the bag of clothes I had stolen from Fay’s house. I searched the car park around the back and found a little shabby car, I inspected it and saw there was no alarm, so I broke the window and hot-wired it before speeding off. Neither Mr X or Fay suspected it to be me. I sped down the motorway taking random exits and turns, any route that I thought would throw them off my trace.

Luckily, I had a contingency plan encase I had to leave Sunset Valley, I had chosen to move a busy down-town neighbourhood called ‘Bridgeport’, with the high population it was the perfect place for someone like me to blend in. So, getting directions at a gas station, I drove for Bridgeport. Unfortunately, just as I crossed the town boarder, the shabby car broke down. I decided to ditch the car and walk the rest of the way; the car could be the local councils' problem now.

As I walked, I became intimidated with the view of the giant city and the big homes on the hill. “Obviously owned by some powerful or famous people”, I thought.

It wasn’t long before I got to a train station. It upset me to use my money again before I had even found somewhere to live. The motel I had stayed at wasn’t cheap. I looked at the map to find the City Hall, so I could qualify for a citizen of Bridgeport.

The City Hall was just as intimidating as the view of big homes back on the hill. As I entered, I asked for directions at the front desk. I was introduced to a posh red-headed woman, who helped me with the paperwork. After three gruelling hours, she smiled at me.

“Congratulations Miss Temple, you are now a fully-fledged member of Bridgeport’s community. Now I have to ask all new citizens, have you sorted out any accommodation?” She said.

My face expression just dropped, how had I not thought of that?

“Not to worry, we also help new citizens find a place to call home here in Bridgeport, how much is your budget?” she continued.

“Erm, about §16,500” I replied.

“Furnished or Unfurnished? Although I doubt you’ll get many decent places furnished on your budget”, she said snidely.

“Furnished”, I replied.

“Only three places available I’m afraid, two apartments, or a house in the hills.” She said.

 “I think the one in the hills will do me. These boots aren't made for walking up steps to any apartment.” I said, ‘The hills? The hills in which all the famous people live?’.

When I left, it had already gotten late, but the nice lady at the front desk in reception called a taxi for me. I sat in the back and happily looked out the window as we drove up the hill with all the big houses, wondering which one was mine. But as we passed them all, I started to worry. Where exactly was my new house? I hadn’t even checked. I felt so stupid! I was so caught up in the excitement that my house way on the hill with the other impressive homes.

My heart sank as the driver went off the main road onto some dirt trail. He pulled up in front some old stone shack with a giant metal mesh fence.

“Is this the place?” I asked the driver.

“Yes, I was a bit shocked when I heard someone bought it. It used to be a summer camp, but closed years ago. I remember coming here as a kid and thinking it was haunted” the driver replied.

I paid the driver and got out, I sighed, not only out of frustration, but also for relief. “At least I’m not dead” I said to myself.

I stopped to take it all in. I quickly thought back to how this had all happened, picked myself up and went inside. It was dusty and depressing. There was a little set of drawers and a bed in one corner, a kitchen in another corner, and a table and chair in a third corner. I put my stuff in the drawer and climbed into the bed. Hopefully tomorrow, the first day of my new life, would be better.

~End of Chapter~


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