A Light Repast
This is the next installment in the current story cycle. As we dig in a bit deeper it gets stranger and stranger.
You can reacquaint yourself or catch up to where we are now with these links. They are listed in story order.
Outside the Dairy Queen
Along the Forest Path
A Light Repast
Fear and Confrontation
The Next Room
Rat in a Cage
A Light Repast
When he next awoke things had changed, at least for what he could see at any rate. Dim light had hit his face and lightened his eyelids. He opened his eyes and could make out a few shapes in the room and as his sight adjusted he could see more detail. It was early morning.
He was sure of it through the feel in the air. It had a different weight than the presence of early evening. The cool of the night had broken only slightly with the rising sun. He was alone in the small room.
A pitcher of water with a glass beside it, sat on a the top of a dresser near the room’s only window. The curtains covered the window but they were light and allowed the morning light around the edges and their gossamer cloth. At first he thought he might not be able to reach the glass and pitcher but his limbs had regained some of their strength.
The room spun when he sat up and set his feet to the ground beside the bed. It took a moment or two before he adjusted again to the world of the living and was able to stand. The first thing he did, he pulled back the curtain and let the full light of morning into the room.
The small space had little room beyond the single bed and dresser beside it. Where ever he had been taken, he had been placed in a guest room that had seen little use. Dust had settled across the curtain top and along the edges of the ceiling, an odd place for someone to convalesce.
He filled the glass with the water, still cold, colder than he had expected. It wasn’t until the water began to flow down his throat that he realized just how thirsty he had been. Its cool embrace filled the cracks in his throat in a way he had never thought possible. He guzzled the glass like he hadn’t quenched his thirst in weeks, and immediately filled another glass.
Eddie jumped at the soft knock at the door. He had frozen in place, unsure of what to expect. It unlocked with a click and the scrape of metal as the handle turned. He thought it odd at the time that there wasn’t a button on this side of the handle to unlock it. He hadn’t even registered that he might be locked in.
A woman backed into the room, pulling a wheeled cart behind her. He couldn’t see her face but there was something familiar about her. Long soft blond hair cascaded down her back. She wore it loose. It seemed odd to him that this is what stuck out about the situation. And then she turned around.
He couldn’t help but stare. Mira was more lovely than he had ever thought possible. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen her with her hair down, couldn’t remember the last time he had thought of her as anything but the daughter of his mom’s friend.
“You’re awake,” she said. Her cheeks reddened under his gaze before she turned back to the cart she had pulled into the room. “I wasn’t sure you would be awake or even up and moving. I brought you some more broth just in case but I also made you a sandwich in hopes that you would be awake enough for it this time.”
“How did I get here? What day is it? Does my mother know about this?”
Her smile sent a chill down his spine. “It’s ok. We let your mom know we had found you in the woods the night my mother brought you here.”
“Why didn’t you take me home? She must be worried sick.”
She placed a hand on his shoulder and lightly pressed him back to the bed. “You’re going to disturb the stitches if you keep this up,” she said. “Try some of the broth first, but save some room for the sandwich. You need some more filling food if you are ever going to get your strength back.”
With her words, pain raced through his body once again. It wasn’t enough to knock him down but enough to stagger him. He dropped back to the bed without a fight at her insistence. “Where the hell are we?”
She glanced around the room and then toward the covered window. “That’s right, you never did come this far into our house, did you.” She smiled as she handed him the cup of broth. “They really knocked you for a loop. Your mother has been by a couple times to check on you, but she and my mom both agreed that it would be a bad idea to move you until you were more aware of your surroundings.”
Eddie poked at the sandwich when she handed him the plate that held it. Fried egg with a yellow cheese and mayo cut in half on the diagonal, not something he would have chosen for himself.
“You don’t like it?” She said. Mira reached for the plate as Eddie picked up a sandwich half.
He took a bite and chewed it down. “I never said that.” When she turned back toward the window he swished some broth around in his mouth to clear away the egg flavor. “Thank you, and tell your mom thanks as well.”
“She couldn’t leave you out there, not like that,” she said. Without a word she spun around and took the plate from him on her way out the door. The door was locked again with a loud click before he could move or say anything else.
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