It’s my week! Please please please leave a comment, include your email address, and you might just win my goody bag full of books, swag, and yummies.
Here is the continuation of my story – to recap, we meet Jayne two weeks ago, a writer with a text-based relationship with Josiah. She steps outside and recieves a message notifying her he might be in her error. Here she is taking off from there and dealing with the possible arrival of a man who wouldn’t have anyway of knowing who she is and where she is from. Enjoy!
For the briefest of seconds Jayne’s heart ceased to beat.
Did he mean that metaphorically? As in he was at one with the earth? Or maybe they were looking at the same great sky at the exactly the same time?
Or was he being literal? Was he here? Had he learned who she was and where she lived?
No. That was impossible. She’d not given out any identifying information. He knew her first name and that was all.
She glanced down at the phone. There on the screen were the perfectly typed letters. The back gate. The footprints on the steps. Me.
Jayne swallowed hard and began to chastise herself and her overactive imagination. Being a writer had its advantages but when it came to being alone in the dark, far away from anyone who could hear her scream, it was definitely a disadvantage.
She gathered the blanket tighter around her shoulders and cautiously shuffled toward the frozen railing of the deck. Her breath caught in the back of her throat as she peered at the back gate. It was half open. Almost as if someone had pushed it aside and meant to creep back out.
Immediately her eyes fell to the steps on her left. Five distinct footprints, one on each step, scared the frost covered wood.
A slice of fear knifed through her heart. Her fingers went numb and the phone clattered to the ground. She turned slow and cautious in a circle afraid that at any moment she’d come face to face with someone.
It didn’t happen.
No one stood behind her. No one was waiting in her deck chair or even leaning against the open door to her house.
Shit. She’d left the door open.
Was he inside? Was he waiting for her?
Should she go back in or should she just call for help.
The phone chirped drawing her attention from the door back to the ground. He was still texting her. Jayne shook her head to try and clear any irrational thoughts from her head. Perhaps she left the gate open the last time she used it. Maybe those footprints were just a play of light against the snow.
She swallowed hard and tried to dismiss her irrational fears. There was absolutely no way Josiah could know who or where she was located. This was just a misunderstanding and she was being stupid. It was all circumstantial – all her imagination.
Turning back to the house she mentally ticked off the things that would make her feel better. She’d start with a warm cup of hot chocolate with a little peppermint schnapps, a good book, a night away from work, and her boots in order to rescue her phone from the bed of snow where it had landed. Then she’d check her messages and clarify exactly what Josiah had met.
Consciously she shut and locked the sliding glass door, just for her own peace of mind. She dropped the blanket to the floor and immediately went to the stove to start warming up the milk to mix with an instant packet of hot chocolate.
As Jayne tooled around the kitchen she contemplated the very small possibility that Josiah had found her. It still seemed impossible but not entirely improbable.
He had been the contact person for the third episode of Ghost Shrink. Like any good writer she’d done her research before deciding on the ghosts she would help cross over to the promise land. She’d discovered the story of Adam Smith, a man who’d murdered his entire family in the small mining town of Redwood, Colorado.
Legend has it Smith was a drunk but for the most part a harmless man. He’d made a fortune by mining for gold and built his dream home into the side of the mountain. One day he had a psychotic break and cut the hand off of his eldest son for reaching across the table to reach for the salt. He later beat his daughter for not fastening the top most button of her nightgown. Over the course of only a few weeks his violence raged out of control. He eventually took the life of his family and then his own. It was rumored he haunted the family home.
She contacted Josiah, the caretaker of the home and a local historian for more information. They’d hit it off and she’d flirted a little. It was moments after the call had ended that he’d sent her his first strings of poetry by text. He’d been her addiction ever since. Granted she hadn’t done an ounce of research since then. Her focus had been on her novel and the other episodes.
Still she hadn’t really given him anything to lead him to her. As a television persona and a novelist her identity was kept tightly guarded. “Yes.” She said allowed to herself, “I’m just being silly. All work and no play makes Jayne a dull girl…”
Jayne’s phone chirped.
She put down the dark green coffee mug and turned toward the kitchen island behind her. She had taken only a step or two when she remembered her phone was not in the house. It has fallen in the snow.
Yet, there it sat on top of the island.
Her blanket was folded and draped over the back of one of the chairs.
She swallowed the fear that threatened to erupt from her mouth in a scream guaranteed to shatter her windows.
The phone chirped again.
Jayne scattered away from the phone until her back was against the far counter. Without even looking she slid her palm over the smooth granite surface until her fingers fumbled with the knife block. She extracted the meat cleaver and palmed it tight. “Hello?”
Her heart drummed in her ears and her vision shook. Her head felt light and feet heavy. Jayne cautiously edged toward the counter.
The phone chirped and Jayne jumped. Her left hand clapped to her chest and the right tightened on the end of the knife.
She pinched her eyes closed and gritted her teeth. Be strong. Don’t be scared. Fear is your enemy. Even as she lectured herself she doubted every word.
The phone chirped again and she reached for it, snatching it from the counter as it was the answer to her salvation. Her fingers automatically unlocked the phone and pressed the application for text messages.
Josiah: You forgot your phone.
Josiah: Are you scared?
Josiah: Have you figured out who I am?
Josiah: I finally found you and you are more beautiful than I remembered.
Josiah: I’m here.
The squeak of something rubbing against glass snapped her eyes away from the phone toward the back door. Frost covered the class and there as clear as day were letters. Words drew themselves in the glass where no one stood on either side. “Jayne. Be Mine.”
To Be Continued….
Until next week…