Jessie sank down on the sofa. It was so hot. She would have a rest then check the back door before taking her tablets and going to bed. She reached for her knitting then froze. There was a muffled thud from upstairs. Someone was in the house. Jessie's blood ran cold. She felt as if an icy hand had grabbed her round the throat and was crushing her. She fell back against the cushions clutching her chest. Her heart was pounding, her breath coming in shallow fluttering gasps.
Upstairs the prowler tilted his head and listened intently. He was an opportunist. A door left ajar, or a window not quite shut, was an invitation. He was used to doing what he wanted, going where he wanted. Today he'd been careless and knocked over an ornament, but he had nothing to fear from a feeble old woman. If she appeared he wouldn't think twice about tripping her up at the top of the stairs and watching her tumble down to the hallway below.
Downstairs Jessie's panicked heart gave up its struggle. It would look like natural causes, just a frail old lady fading away.
Upstairs on the bedside rug the handsome tabby yawned and licked his paws. Nobody was coming to disturb him. Maybe he would jump onto the bed in a minute and get more comfortable. He could stay as long as he liked.