Breaking and Entering

The scene: Like many, 2020 led to job loss and relocation for us. Our rental which I dubbed the “campsite” due to its lack of working appliances and talent for springing leaks was meant to be a stopover. Because of the scorching housing market, we’ve been here three years. Ninety percent of our possessions remain in boxes which are blocked by furniture, dust, and more surprise hairballs from my cats than I care to admit. (Best invention ever: Spot Shot.) If you’ve found yourself in an attic, basement, or spare room, bracing your feet on one box while rooting through another for some off-season item, you get me.

The crime: The keys to my filing cabinet remain lost. A cabinet that holds my series’ hard research (maps, brochures, notes on napkins) from my travels to the settings.

The protagonist’s goal: Break into the cabinet. I need that material for my WIP. How hard could it be? The YouTube videos make it look easy. I’m a mystery writer. Resourceful. Empowered by the strange trivia I’ve amassed after writing 20+ years. YouTube taught me how to pick handcuffs with a bobby pin. What was one cabinet?

The antagonist: My husband. Who was traveling that week and found the whole endeavor amusing. He challenged me to open the cabinet before he returned.

The conflict: The lock won’t freakin’ cooperate! I tried all the methods—paperclip, safety pin, coat hanger—No justice!

The resolution: I had to admit defeat in one of its lowest forms—Ask my husband for help. Who sprung the lock in thirty seconds with a screwdriver.

Lesson learned: Sometimes the good guys don’t win. But when you pit the goals of the protagonist and antagonist against each other it makes for a more interesting read. If not, marital bliss.

I suppose there’s always the sequel.

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