Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Mermaid House: Part Eleven

THE HOUR BETWEEN DUSK and evening now held secrets, a world where the dead walked and abandoned houses came alive.
    Leander returned home and found a message from his mom on the phone. He walked to his room, shut the door, and sat on the floor with his head on his knees.
    He woke in the dark, curled on the floor, and thought of the last time he'd spoken to his dad.
    The doctors hadn't helped. His mom, while dealing with it, had no time for him. He hadn't been able to say good-bye...he should go to the hospital. But he couldn't get up to do it. The world had become an ugly place.

He parked his car in the empty lot of the old neighborhood which hid the mermaid house. This time, he found the house without a problem. Its windows glowed with light, but its air of ordinariness was an illusion. He paused to gaze at the enormous stone head, now in its beautiful phase and spouting morning glories from its mouth.
    He trudged up the steps, until the light from beyond the mermaid door touched his skin. He raised one hand, to knock.
    Before his fist hit the glass, sanity struck. He went ice-cold to his bones and remembered Owen Thyme, the winter that radiated from his skin, the silvering of his eyes. A dead boy had spoken to him and he'd been about to knock on the door of a sometimes-house he'd been warned held monsters.  
    He whirled, to run--
    --and found the dark-eyed girl with the tattoo of something black and tentacled on her brow standing before him.

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