In their own houses, the other three were thinking of their own gift ideas.
Except for Charles.
He had already thought of a gift, and was occupied with more important matters. He stayed up long into the night with a floor plan of Claire’s house. An observer would have seen him drawing lines through the house, erasing them, and trying again. He was planning out potential escape routes.
The next morning, all four went out shopping. None wanted the others to know what they were buying, but most of the stores in town were in the same general location.
Kelvin, had just pulled out of a parking lot, when he saw Claire’s car on the other side of the road. It was coming straight for him. He quickly turned on to an alley, avoiding detection. He waited for a minute or two, making sure that Claire was well and truly gone, and moved on. He did not see Claire’s car pulling out of an alley on the other side of the street.
Dominica had been out of town to get her gift, and when she returned, she headed to a grocery store to get some wrapping paper. She pulled into the parking lot, got out of her car, locked it, and walked in. There were Christmas signs, and countdowns to Christmas, and long strings of plastic greenery hung from the ceiling, and an enormous stand-up cardboard Christmas tree, 20 feet tall, 10 feet wide, and four millimeters thick. The employees were all dressed up as Christmas elves. All looked exceedingly irritated at the world in general.