Episode 8 by C.A. Szarek
The feeling of warmth dissipated, leaving Sarah standing in the foyer of the old house—her house now. Alone. “Brant?” she whispered.
What just happened?
She looked around, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. To the left, the living room was open and sprawling—a mixture of her furniture and the old traditional pieces that were in the house when she’d moved in. In front of her, the door was still closed—thank God.
“Did I hallucinate?”
Of course I did.
There was no such thing as ghosts. Despite what the stupid lawyer had joked about, and what Mr. Sexy had…inferred? No, he’d come right out and said it.
Besides, how could Brant be the Prescott Ghost? He wasn’t a Prescott, and he’d never set foot in this house.
“Is everyone in this town crazy, or have I gone fucking nuts?” Either was a possibility.
Brant had said a killer was after her. He’d died in an accident. When she’d told the police about the man on the road, they had chalked it up to the fog. The detective insisted the wind often swirled the thick haze into odd shapes.
Now her husband had said he needed her to help him move on? She wasn’t the ghost whisperer.
She scoffed and shook her head. How had she come up with that shit? Because if she’d imagined him—and surely she had—she’d put the ideas in her own head. She didn’t watch horror movies, and she’d never really been a Halloween person, so why was she trying to play let’s-star-in-a-horror-flick?
Don’t go outside. Don’t answer the phone. Don’t have sex. All the clichés ran through her head, though she had to smirk at the last one. She didn’t have anyone to have sex with, and nosey neighbours aside, no man had piqued her interest since…
No, don’t think of him anymore.
No more tears. She’d cried enough tears to fill a lake since she’d lost him.
Sarah shivered. No, it was worse than that. Tremors chased each other down her spine and a cool air caressed her face. It was like a presence, but not warm and loving like when Brant had been with her moments before.
Wait. No. Brant hadn’t been with her. Her husband was in a cemetery in California, and she’d moved to podunk Samhain, Texas. A one-horse town, like her hot neighbor had said.
Hot? Sexy? Handsome? Words that should be so foreign to her grieving mind. And Saa-ween? Really? Like he was some Halloween guru. Or at least a grammar one. Weird for an E.M.T.
The air hit Sarah’s cheeks again and she jumped. She darted into the living room and turned on every light she could find.
She returned to the foyer and did the same, then hollered at herself as she continued her every-light-on quest into the library, and then back into the huge kitchen.
“You really have lost it. Talking to yourself proves that much.”
Sarah spared a glance at her still-needed-to-be-put-away groceries then her eye roved the wine bottle and two empty glasses. Her palm throbbed, as if she needed a reminder of the glass she’d broken. Damn, now she wouldn’t have a complete set.
She sighed for the hundredth time that evening, and her eyes landed on the corkboard Eric had mentioned. It hung by the fridge. A smattering of papers were tacked to it, but there was an order to it all she hadn’t noticed before.
Her feet closed the distance to it, and she studied the index card on the top left. Eric Singleton—Caretaker and two phone numbers, one labeled home, and the other cell, were written in neat block letters and uniform numbers.
Sarah’s heart skipped. Brant’s smiling face popped into her head. Guilt assailed her from her gut, rising in a slow burn that made her dizzy.
She braced herself on the counter. Maybe she’d consumed the wine too fast. So her imagined conversation with Brant had to be due to that. Her dinner had been early—more of a late lunch, so there really wasn’t anything in her stomach.
“You totally need to get it together.”
She crushed her eyes shut and refused to acknowledge hearing the voice again—the one she’d imagined when she’d been trying to find her keys.
It wasn’t Brant. But it couldn’t be something—someone—else, either. Right?
Why on earth was her first instinct to call the neighbor?