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In the small town of Whispering Hollow strange things are happening.
He comes to me in the night
I see her in my dreams
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It happened again. I went to sleep in my bed and awakened in the little closet I’d turned into a home office. But how did I get here? Again? I looked down at my naked self and blushed. Am I sleepwalking? But why now at the age of twenty-five when I’ve never done it before?
I shook my head as I got to my feet, the large numbers on the clock face said I had less than an hour to get dressed have breakfast and head out the door to get to my job as a librarian at the only library in the small town I now call home.
A quick shower and a granola bar later I was on my way to work, walking the few short blocks it would take me to get there. I forgot all about my midnight mystery as I took in the beauty of my surroundings.
Unlike in the city, snowfalls here tend to stay whiter longer on the front lawns of the little gingerbread houses in the sleepy neighborhood where my great aunt, a woman I hadn’t seen since childhood had left me her hundred-plus year old home.
I never would’ve chosen this place as my home had it not been for the most horrible breakup in the history of relationships. It came equipped with a conniving best friend, a whole slew of once trusted acquaintances who knew what was going on but found it more profitable not to say anything to me, and a fiancé who didn’t know which direction his zipper was supposed to be in while in the company of anything with a vagina.
Almost a year later I’m happy I made the move though, because had I not, I would’ve missed out on one of the most serene, peaceful life experiences, and that’s something I needed at the time and still do come to think of it.
I’d inherited my aunt’s menagerie of friends, most of whom were in their golden years, and were happy to have some young blood in the midst, as they like to tease, and I’d settled right in as if I belonged. In fact, I’d slipped right into life here as though I was born to it. Now I can’t imagine my life without my new home and friends and have no plans on going back.
As I reached the steps that lead up to the old library that was almost as old as the town’s two hundred years, I had a fleeting thought of the one thing that makes me feel a tad bit unsettled about the place. Garret Summerland.
Even thinking his name sent a shiver down my spine and made my flesh feel hot to the touch. I looked around surreptitiously, almost expecting to find him seated across the street in the old Bentley he’s fond of driving around the small town.
He’s such an odd mix of sexy reserve and mysterious bad boy, the kind your mom warns you about as soon as you get your first period. So far, he’s the only one in the small town that doesn’t seem to accept me. He’s never come right out and said it, but every time I’ve been in his presence, I get the feeling that he does not approve.
It could be because he’s the wealthiest guy in town, even though he’s one of the youngest. In fact, before I moved here, he was the only one in our age demographic, even though he’s ten years older than me at thirty-five.
Or maybe it’s because he’d only moved here the year before I did and had had the run of the place all to himself as the youngest citizen in the little town that was miles away from anywhere. I’m sure he used to be hot shit before I came into the picture and still is come to think of it, so I don’t really know what his problem is.
I shook thoughts of him out of my head, not pleased that they’ve been coming more and more frequently here of late. But as I opened the door with the old fashioned key that must be the only one left anywhere in the world, I still found myself looking back over my shoulder.
The rest of the day was without incident and I found myself getting anxious the closer it came time to lock up and go home. I’d seen the same regular faces I see every day, heard pretty much the same stories I always listen to, and laughed at all the right moments.
Now it was time to go home to my empty house and wait for the night to come. I felt my heart race at the thought and hurried my step through the melting snow that was fast becoming slush on the sidewalk.
By the time I reached the backdoor my mind had switched gears and I was thinking only of the stew I’d left cooking in the slow cooker this morning. The scent of it hit me as soon as I opened the door and my mouth watered. First things first!