Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Mermaid House: Part Seven

Owen Thyme, who was dead, had spoken to Leander on an ocean boulevard. Leander had been allowed to see a veiled world no one else around him would ever believe in.
    He returned to an empty house and another note from his mom. He tossed a frozen meal into the microwave and walked to the kitchen window, gazed out at the backyard, a narrow tangle of trees and weeds. He was alone. He had nothing to lose.
    As the microwave beeped behind him, he went out the back door and strode toward the nest of trees in the far corner of the yard. The stained-glass window of the church behind his house glowed as he pushed aside ivy and spiderwebs and found a circle of gray stone with a board aross it in the grass. He stepped back. The sight of the well made him sick. This was where Owen Thyme had died, fallen into the well, his neck broken.
    He crouched down and pushed aside the board. He saw a black pit, fungus sliming the stone rim. His bones went cold as he peered down, saw a glisten of dark water. The smell of earth and water was not so innocent here.
    There was a glopping sound, as if something had emerged from the water below. He couldn't move, staring down at the darkness which began to take shape with something silvery gleaming in the center...
    An eye? Was it--
    He jumped and a slim hand grabbed his before he tipped into the well. He was almost shocked when Violet from the mermaid house crouched beside him. She looked down into the well, up at him. She said sweetly, "What are you doing?"

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