Authors: Rose Pressey
We stepped out onto the porch and I locked the door behind us. At least the rain had held off, but I felt the storm brewing in the air.
“Are you going to tell me where we’re going yet?” I asked as I walked with Callahan toward his car.
He opened the door for me and I slipped inside. “You’ll see when we get there.”
“I hate surprises,” Marilyn said from the back seat.
Roger was back there already, too.
Callahan got behind the wheel. He paused with his hand on the ignition and studied my face. “Are you okay? It seems like something is bothering you. Is it still what occurred this morning?”
I hadn’t told him about what had happened to Mindy yet. I sighed and then recounted the incident.
“If it’s bothering you that much, then we should go check on her,” Callahan said.
“What about our plans? I don’t want to ruin the evening for you.”
He started engine. “As long as I’m with you nothing’s ruined ever.”
My stomach did a little dance. He always knew what to say.
He pulled out onto the street and headed toward her house. “What kind of things can happen when a spirit travels through you?”
“Their emotions can stay with you for quite a while. In some cases, the spirit actually takes possession of the body and they hang around for a while, waiting for a chance to take over the mind.” I watched him for a reaction.
Callahan flashed me a worried look. “Do you think this happened to Mindy?”
“I think the ghost left, but I suspect she’s still feeling the aftereffects of the spirit.” I leaned my head back against the seat.
“Kind of like a hangover?” he asked.
“Exactly,” I said.
After the short drive, we pulled up to her house. I was relieved to see Mindy’s car parked in her driveway. Callahan and I got out and walked up to the door. A few sprinkles of rain had started to fall. Marilyn and Roger came with us.
“I hope Mindy is okay,” Marilyn said.
“I hope she has the TV on,” Roger said. “I want to catch the last half of the game.”
I knocked on the door and called out, “Mindy, it’s Larue.”
There was a lot of noise on the other side of the door. Callahan and I exchanged a glance.
“What’s going on in there?” Roger asked.
I shook my head. “I don’t know.”
I was starting to really worry when she finally answered the door. Mindy stepped out onto the porch giving us a funny look. She had dark circles under her eyes and a blank stare in her eyes. Now I was more worried than ever. The attack really had an effect on her. I hoped it wouldn’t last much longer. Callahan looked at me worriedly. He could tell this wasn’t good.
“Mindy are you okay?” I asked.
At the sound of my voice, she seemed to snap out of it. Her eyes seemed to focus and she acknowledged me.
“Oh, Larue. I’m glad you’re here.”
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“I can’t shake this feeling. I keep getting angry and I don’t know why.” Mindy rubbed her arms.
She’d barely finished the sentence when the front door slammed shut. The force had made the wreath fall from the hanger. Mindy jumped and moved closer to us. With wide eyes, she reached out and held onto my arm.
“Cool,” Roger said.
This was certainly
cool. I wasn’t liking what was going on.
“How did that happen?” Marilyn asked.
“There’s obviously a ghost in my house,” Mindy said with fear in her voice.
“I don’t think Mindy should be alone until she recovers,” Callahan said.
He was right, she didn’t need to be by herself. As for a ghost in her house, I was about to find out.
Mindy wrapped her arms in front of her waist as if that would somehow make her safe. “I really don’t want to stay here right now.”
I looked to Callahan.
Callahan touched my arm. “Why don’t you all go back to your place, Larue? You can hang out until Mindy feels better.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” I asked.
He shook his head. “I have a lot of paperwork to do anyway. We can do this another night.”
I nodded. “If you’re sure.”
“Where were we going, by the way?” I whispered.
“I thought we’d go to that new restaurant in town,” Callahan said.
“Oh, I would have loved that,” I said.
“We’ll go soon. Just let me know when you want to go and we’re there.” Callahan touched my chin with his index finger.
Roger hurried down the steps. “Good, maybe if we hurry home I can catch the last of the game.”
I had news for him, Mindy and I were going to watch a good movie so she could take her mind off things. Maybe have some junk food and drinks, too.
Mindy twisted the doorknob and it opened. “I need to get a couple things.”
“I’ll be right behind you,” I said.
Callahan cradled my head with his hands, leaned down, and softly placed a kiss on my lips. I opened my eyes and looked at him. The warm imprint of his lips lingered on my mouth.
“Now that’s a kiss,” Marilyn said.
“Do you want me to drive you all to your house?” Callahan asked.
“That’s okay. We can take Mindy’s car. Everything will be fine,” I said.
He studied my face for a moment as if he was trying to see if I was being honest. “Call me if you need anything.”
I waved as Callahan climbed into his car and drove away. I walked inside to help Mindy gather her things. She emerged from the bedroom with a big bag packed.
“How long does she think this will take?” Marilyn asked.
I didn’t think it would take that long, but if it made Mindy feel better to bring half of her closet, then that was fine with me. She grabbed her car keys.
“You’re never getting her to leave your house,” Roger said.
I ignored him, and said, “Are you okay? I can drive your car if you want me to.”
She handed me the keys. “Maybe that’s a good idea.”
After Mindy locked the front door, we headed to her car. A few drops of rain still sputtered from the sky as if it was trying to downpour, but couldn’t get started. The wind had picked up making the tree branches sway. The rustling of the leaves sounded like the whisper of voices, only I couldn’t make out the words. I reached out to grab the door handle when suddenly the locks shut.
“Did you do that?” I whispered.
She shook her head. I punched the key fob again.
“Maybe I accidentally hit it,” I said.
I knew that I hadn’t though.
Something was playing tricks with us.
“I don’t think he wants you to leave,” Marilyn said.
“Who?” I looked at her.
She pointed toward Mindy’s house. I peered up, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“Who was it?” I asked.
“It was the same man,” she whispered.
Her words sent a chill down my spine. Why was the man here? I thought we’d left him on the sidewalk in front of the bookstore. I didn’t think he’d actually follow Mindy home. I pushed to unlock the doors again, but nothing would happen.
“Maybe it needs a new battery,” Mindy said.
“Do you have the other one?” I asked.
“I think it’s in the kitchen.” She peered back at the house and I knew she didn’t want to go in there alone.
“If you tell me where it is, I can go get it,” I said.
“It’s in the top drawer by the refrigerator.” She pointed.
“Okay, I’ll be right back.” I hurried up the path and to the front door.
I shoved the key in and unlocked the door. I wanted to get the key fob and get out. The house was silent and the sensation of being watched followed me with every step. I could have brushed it off as my imagination, but it was never my imagination. Something or someone was observing me.
When I reached the kitchen, I gasped when I saw that all the cabinet doors and drawers were open. There was no way Mindy had left them like that. What reason would she have to leave them open? I needed to check out the drawers as quickly as possible and then get out of there. One thing was for sure, I had a spirit problem on my hands.
I inched into the kitchen, praying nothing would happen while I was there. The room was a lot bigger than I realized. It seemed like forever before I reached the cabinets. Peering into the opened the drawer by the refrigerator, I spotted the key fob right away. I shoved my hand in to grab it, but the drawer slammed shut. It almost took my hand off.
I whipped around expecting to see the spirit behind me, but there was no one there. After releasing a deep breath, I grabbed the drawer handle and yanked it open again. I’d expected it not to open, but much to my surprise it did. Now, I had to stick my hand in there again. Once I’d shoved my hand in, I grabbed the key fob, and then rushed out of the kitchen back to the front door. Footfalls echoed behind me. I didn’t have time to turn around to see who or what was there.
Panting as if I was losing a marathon, I rushed out of the house and over to the car. Mindy stared at me with wide eyes as I ran toward her. I slowed down long enough to finally peek over my shoulder. I’d been confident something was behind me, but nothing was there.
“Is everything okay?” A frown snapped between Mindy’s eyebrows.
After catching my breath, I held up the key fob like it was a trophy, and said, “I’m fine.”
Not wanting to worry her any more than she already was, I decided not to share the cabinet door fiasco with her. I pushed the key fob and it still didn’t work. I cursed under my breath, but Mindy released an expletive that the neighbors probably heard. I didn’t know what to do to get in the car.
“This one isn’t working either,” I said.
The words had barely left my lips when suddenly the doors unlocked. Mindy and I exchanged a look of shock. I was at a loss for words. Marilyn and Roger stood in silence, too.
I didn’t want to risk being locked out again, so we hurried into the car. The thought crossed my mind that the same thing could happen again. What if next time the doors wouldn’t unlock and we were in the car? What if the doors wouldn’t unlock and we were stuck in the car like sardines in a tin can. Okay, I needed to calm down and not panic. I had to be strong for Mindy. After starting the car, I backed out of the driveway.
“What do you think is going on?” Mindy asked.
“I guess there might be something wrong with your locks.” I kept my eyes on the road.
I knew if Mindy looked in my eyes, she would know I didn’t believe what I’d just said.
“I guess I’ll have to get it checked out,” she said.
Everyone was silent for the short drive to my house. I guess we were all thinking about what had happened. At least I knew we could relax a little at my place. After parking Mindy’s car behind mine, we all climbed out of the car and hurried inside before the rain came down harder. The drops were falling at a steady pace now.
When I stepped into the living room, Roger was already waiting by the TV. Without saying a word, I grabbed the remote and flicked it on to his favorite channel. At least it kept him entertained.
“For Roger,” I said to Mindy when I noticed her surprise.
“He watches TV?” Mindy asked.
I shook my head. “It’s better than him talking.”
Mindy laughed. “Is Marilyn here?”
I gestured beside me. “She helped me get ready for my date.”
Mindy eyed me up and down. “You look great by the way. I feel bad about messing up your evening.”
“Thank you, and don’t worry about it.” I waved my hand. “We’ll go out another night.”
“Will Callahan be upset?” she asked.
“You know Callahan is a sweetie pie. He just wants to know you’re not upset. Now how about we go into the kitchen?” I said, trying to talk over Roger’s yelling at the TV.
“Good idea,” Mindy said.
Now it was just the girls hanging out.
“How about we have strawberry daiquiris?” I wiggled my eyebrows.
“You get the mix and I’ll find the vodka,” Mindy marched toward the cabinet.
“I haven’t done this for years.” Marilyn leaned against the counter.
Mindy and I exchanged a look.
“I’m going to change into my sweats. I’ll be right back. Marilyn, you can keep Mindy company? Why don’t you tell her about your movie
Some Like It Hot
,” I said with a smile.
I hurried into my room to change out of the blue dress. I would have to save it for another day. When I passed through the living room again, Roger was still in the same spot on the sofa.
Mindy had already made the drinks and was pouring them into my favorite glasses. The ones with the swirly stems and red, yellow, and blues stripes around the top. I plopped down in the chair across from Marilyn and took a big gulp. This day seemed to have twenty-five hours and it wasn’t even bed time yet.