Late at Night

Opportunity comes to those who hunt the weak and use the cover of darkness to hide what daylight would expose.  A quick shake of a head and seekers follow a seedy character into an alley. Money changes hands. Sweaty palms meet, swapping green for clear vials filled with powder or plastic envelopes filled with nameless tablets.

The strike of a match briefly illuminates a rough face exposing a hawk-like eyes. A burst of raucous laughter accompanies the acrid smell of stale booze as a man stumbles out of a bar. He wraps his arms around the woman at his side and calls goodbyes to his friends behind him as he weaves his way down the sidewalk. The woman provides both ballast and anchor. The watcher falls in behind him, taking discrete photos with his phone as the pair stop outside a door. She fumbles for a key while he covers her in sloppy kisses. The stranger walks on past. Night covering his face, unable to cover their indiscretions.

Late at night three people sit in a car. They are waiting for 1:10 AM. That’s when the last security light goes out in the targeted McMansion. Facebook told them the owners were on a cruise. At 1:15 they pick up the tools of their trade, slide through the fence gate and pick the back-door lock. Fifteen minutes before the police arrive. Fifteen minutes, enough time to empty the house of electronics and good stuff. Thanks Facebook, for the pictures and for the renovationdetails.

Night is yeast for the criminal mind. The blurring of reality, the uncertainly of detail. The fear of the witness wondering if someone they didn’t see was watching them.

Hunters love the dark for the advantages it gives. The hunted… not so much.

Night raises the stakes without description or dialogue. For the writer and the reader, it increases tension and conflict. Midnight, the clock strikes twelve.


Author: kaitcarson

I write mysteries set in South Florida. The Hayden Kent series is set in the Florida Keys. Hayden is a SCUBA diving paralegal who keeps finding bodies. Underwater, no one can hear you scream! Catherine Swope is a Miami Realtor with a penchant for finding bodies in the darndest places. I live in an airpark in Fort Denaud, FL with my husband, five cats, and a flock of conures. And oh yes, a Piper Cherokee 6 in the hangar!

19 thoughts on “Late at Night”

    1. So true, Sue. I wonder how many of us have been unwitting accomplices to burglars. We feel so safe on social media talking to our tribe. We forget that there can be lurkers out there.


  1. Ah yes — night — my”cop” family members agree that night is the “time” for crime, and that is why swing-shifts and graveyard shifts are always where the action is. Day shifts pale when compared to the “action” of the night.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And nights of full moons are really interesting from what I’ve been told. But every cop I’ve known has preferred to work the action shifts. Understandable on one level–from a family member standpoint. It takes a special person. Thank you for being that person.


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