The Crystal Ball
Ellyn stared into the crystal ball for a long time, but all she could see was the mist.
“Doesn’t seem to be working,” she said.
“Are you sure you’re doing it right?”
Ellyn scowled at the bald man leaning over the table. “Do you want to have a go yourself then?”
“I spent the last year learning to play the guitar so I could play you this.”
He smiled and sat down—uninvited—next to me.
“I don’t think…”
“Shh,” he said, strumming his guitar.
“But I don’t…”
“Nah, ah,” he said, wriggling the guitar on his lap, adjusting the position. “My turn.”
Anton grunted as he dropped the load we’d been carrying, almost tearing my shoulder out of its socket as he did. The section of tarp I’d been grasping tore out of my sweaty hand, pulling at fingernails and twisting my whole body as for an instant I bore the entire weight. I couldn’t, of course, so the load hit the ground—hard. I didn’t care. I’d helped lug it far enough.
“This is the spot,” he said.
There is no better weapon than a hot curling iron and a can-do attitude.
Okay, so that’s not completely true, but sometimes you have to adapt. Especially when there’s a stranger creeping around your home. I like a bit of excitement, but on the television or in a book, not in my house.
Gabi was on the run, hiding from the voice on the phone.
“Keep your mouth shut,” it had said, “or else.”
“What do you mean?” she’d asked.
“You know what I mean. Don’t talk to anyone. I’m watching you.”
She’d had no idea what he’d meant, but had promised silence anyway. When you’re being threatened, why wouldn’t you? But now, weeks later, she understood. And she ran.