29 November 2007

A Wager of Blood II
(working title)
(c) jwc 2007


Frankie was in the middle of writing down the measurements when she heard a gasp behind her. She looked back to see Meg standing with her own tape measure extended and a shocked look on her face. “You ok?”


The shocked expression turned to one of irritation. “Don’t do that! That’s not funny!”


“Do what?”


“You know what you did! Don’t do that!”


Frankie tilted her head in her confusion. “Meg, I have no clue what you’re talking about.”


“Never mind,” she huffed.


Meg turned back around and began to measure the floor area. Frankie watched her for a few seconds, then shook her head. Meg was probably still nervous, despite what she’d said about burying the fears. That would make me freak a bit, too, she thought. She wrote the measurements for the window, for drapes and sheers, then turned toward the bed frame. It was shaped a bit differently than the standard queen or king size. More like a full; but that didn’t seem quite right either. And it was taller from the floor too, it seemed.


“Frankie! Stop it!”


Frankie wheeled around. “Meighan, I have no frigging idea what you’re talking about. I’m measuring a bed, nothing more.”


It was Meg’s turn to look confused. “You didn’t just push me?”


“Push you? Hell no. I wasn’t even facing you.”


“Look, Frankie, I’m not in the mood for this. Not now when I’m…I mean….”


“What?”


“Doesn’t matter. You didn’t push me?”


“Meg, I swear,” Frankie tried to assure her. “I’ve been measuring the window and now the bed. I’ve not come near you.”


“Frankie….”


“What is it, honey?”


“I swear; I was pushed. Not hard, not really. But I felt someone push me.”


Frankie felt the fingers of dread reaching into her chest. “You’re sure it’s not…I mean….”


“I didn’t imagine it.”


“Meg, there’s nothing up here anymore.”


“I’m not so sure.”


“I am. Come on; let’s go measure the other rooms. I’m done in here.”


She took Meg by the shoulders, steering her out the door. Her friend gave no resistance, merely going along. But she was looking everywhere in the room.


It’s over! I t was over and done when we fought the demon and beat him. When they all came home. It’s over. There’s nothing here. Nothing, goddamn it! Nothing!


Frankie escorted Meg out into the hall before turning to close the door. This room was finished.


“You take the next room and I’ll get the one at the end, then we’ll get the other three tomorrow. Okay?”


Meg gave her a tentative look before heading next door. Frankie flashed what she hoped was a reassuring smile and watched Meg go inside. She turned and pulled the door towards her, to shut it again, when something flashed in front of her. She froze.


It was so quick, she wasn’t sure if she’d seen anything at all. But there had definitely been a flash of white. She looked over her shoulder; Meg had gone into the other room. Frankie stepped back in and waited, her heart pounding again. This time, she couldn’t breathe at all. She waited, as silent as she could be and watching around the room. All was still. She took another step, turning around in a circle to see every inch of the walls, the floors—


It was barely perceptible but she felt it nonetheless; a hand against the small of her back, gently pushing. She felt as if an unseen someone wanted her to go!


She left the room quickly, shutting the door without looking in again. Whatever she had told Meg, that room still held bad memories. She forced herself to calm down again and pasted a cheery smile on her face.


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