Here’s a new snippet from The Collected. Why does it always seem like my favorite characters are the villians?
I take the stairs two at a time, but Dach still manages to stay ahead of me. “Dach, wait!” He doesn’t turn or waiver, just rounds the corner and barrels through the common room and down the hallway. “Wait!”
He stops in his tracks outside the body’s room. I nearly run into him at full speed. I grab his arm with both hands and pull, hard. “Don’t go in there,” I plead.
He takes a step forward, into the doorway, towing me along with him. I peek timidly over his shoulder and catch sight of the body. It sits on its bed, legs stretched out and crossed at the ankle. It almost looks… normal, with one hand propped behind its head, the other balancing a book on its stomach. Strands of its hair fall into one of its eyes and it blows at the strands in annoyance.
I realized since the body had been here, I’d never once gone near its room. That’s probably because I avoid it like the plague. The room looks plain, I’d expected a pentagram drawn in goat’s blood on the wall, or a black magic spell book strewn on the desk. For something as evil as it, the normality of the room in which it resides is more disturbing than the goat’s blood and spell book would have been.
“You.” The word leaves Dach’s mouth in a growl, full of heavy implications.
The body quirks an eyebrow over its book and I grasp Dach’s arm tighter. “Can’t you see I’m reading?”
Here’s another snippet from our current project The Collected. Erika isn’t too impressed with the orderlies.
“Maybe she’s one cranky bitch by now, being stuck here for years,” Jake jokes. I don’t find his joke funny.
“Yeah,” Tulu says. “She’s got to be one crotchety—“
He doesn’t get to finish before my angry boils over. I focus on the pen and it wretches from Jake’s hand and goes skidding down the hall.
Jake’s eyes pop open in shock and Tulu chuckles awkwardly. I circle them, hands on my hips, as I size them up.
“That was weird,” Jake says.
“I think you made the ghost angry,” Tulu grins.
“Got that right,” I snap. “You two idiots are blaming the wrong person. I would never…” I trail off realizing it’s pointless and head down the stairs.
Jake goes to collect his pen and I send it rolling further down the hallway. Asshole.
The lobby is a large cheery looking room with yellow walls and blue furniture. Blue chairs and couches for patients families to wait. A large white receptionist’s desk is set in the middle of the room with Ingle Creek’s name splashed across the front. There are several generic pieces of artwork that hang all over the place, all in muted shades of purple and grey. Those haven’t changed since I got here.
I wait by the front doors, shuffling my feet as I practice my moonwalk. The receptionist stationed at the desk takes two boring calls before I see a delivery man mounting the front steps. Finally.
The man carries a brown package under his arm as he grunts, fumbling with the doors.
“Damn arthritis,” he mumbles as he gets the doors open and shoulders his way through.
I slip through the doorway as soon as he clears it, the old hinges on the door slowing its movement. Outside, the afternoon sun is dipping lower like a sunflower head that’s too heavy. I sit on the steps and pull my knees up to my chin.