After removing the books and more fragile-looking objects, Zinnia dragged the cumbersome dark bookcase down the hallway from the bedroom, into the living area—and all the while, rain poured and pounded thunderously against the windows.
“Sheesh”, she said, breathlessly, “is this storm part of the deal, have you been holding it captive inside your bookcase?”
She grabbed a cold diet Coke from the fridge, pressed it to her cheek, and fell backward onto the lumpy couch she’d covered with a laundered 50’s-era-turquoise chenille bedspread.
Her eyes pricked with tears as she studied the looming shadow of the bookcase—“you’re not exactly a comforting ghost, if that’s what this scene’s about; making me feel I’m losing track of my last vestige of wandering sanity, while I haul your furniture around.”
She brushed roughly at her eyes, struggling to contain her emotions—“maybe you had a hard life of troubles and an uneasy death, but my life’s been no summer bar-b-q, just so you know.”
Shaking her head, she felt anxiety’s stallions galloping in the back-forty of her mind—then she heard a soft yet distinct sound, something fallen from a nook in the bookcase…there, on the flat gray carpet, lay a tiny brass key.
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