Continuing the serialization of an original novel I’ve written entitled SCARED.
The line went dead, and I drained the wine glass. God, what a fiasco! I should never have called them. I crushed out the cigarette and immediately lit another. Looking at the goblet, I knew I couldn’t place it with the other in the dishwasher. Opening the shiny black door, I retrieved the previous glass and quickly washed and dried both before replacing them in the rack. There. That would eliminate any of Chris’s questions … except for the dull thick odor of dead cigarette smoke. That I would handle.
I crossed the room, paused to rub Fred goodnight and then opened the French doors which led to the front of the house. In the entrance hall, everything was in shadow, illuminated only by the lights in the two curio cabinets and the upstairs hall light which fell softly down the staircase.
As quietly as possible, I climbed the stair, extinguished the hall light and entered out bedroom. Chris had fallen asleep, her book on her chest and her fine, blond hair spread over the pillow. The reading lamp still burned softly.
I slipped into the bathroom to undress, brush my teeth and relieve myself. Entering the bedroom again, I crossed to her side of the big, tapestry-hung bed and gently set her book on her night stand. She stirred and rolled over on her side. “Who was on the phone?”
“Wrong number, “ I lied. “Go to sleep.”
She did not reply, and I knew she would not remember the conversation in the morning.
Crossing to my side of the bed, I climbed the short ladder and fell into the cool comfort of the soft sheets. I pulled the heavy comforter over me, reached up and switched off the reading light. Darkness settled over the room. I closed my eyes and tried not to think of the fly … lying dead in the road. Except it hadn’t been dead. Had it flown away before the police arrived or simply limped off into the woods? Where was it now? What was I going to tell the police tomorrow … what could I tell them?
Panicked, I prayed my favorite litany. “Lord Jesus, Father God, Holy Spirit, abide with us this day and forever more. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom …”
NEXT: SCARED continues.