The Price of Entanglement - Chapter 10, pt. 2

Transient

“Was that … did you just—”

“No,” she said, softly enough that he had to lean towards her to hear her over the rain. “No, not quite like the other times. It was almost like that, but there were no ‘ghosts’ this time. Let’s—let’s just get this over with,” she said with a shiver.

She’d explained about the … images, the scenes she’d witnessed, the encounters she’d had—she still didn’t know quite how to refer to them—as best she could, and it’d been clear that Mike didn’t really get it. To his credit, he also hadn’t dismissed her as insane. At least not yet.

The water was working its way through the gaps between her gloves and jacket again, and a subtle burning sensation was beginning to make itself known to her in a ring around her wrists. Eyes half-closed against stray water, she started to jog in roughly the direction of the entrance they’d planned on using.

The entrance was a recessed door at the bottom of a short flight of steps. The concrete steps were crumbling with age and acid, the heavy iron door rusted so badly she could barely make out the seam, despite the partial protection of the overhang above them.

Jo stood in the shelter of that overhang and shook off as much of the water as she could; Mike arrived moments later and did the same. “Now, what was that back there?” he asked, face slightly reddened by the rain.

“It felt like the other times, but this time there was nobody here except for us. It was like I was seeing this place at different times. It was here, just like it is now, ruined and crumbling—” she touched the surface of the door with her finger, dislodging a sheet of rust almost as large as her palm—”but at the same time, it was brand new, no more than a couple of years old, and also not even complete, just a construction yard with building material everywhere.”

He was looking at her funny, or maybe he was distracted by the burning on his face. Either way, he sounded dubious when he asked, “Are you sure you weren’t just letting your nerves get to you? This place can do funny things to your mind. I’ve been here a couple of times already—”

“No, that’s not it,” she exclaimed. “Yes, it sort of gets into your head, but it’s—it’s like I was actually there. Here. You know what I mean.” But she could see that he didn’t. He didn’t look like he was paying her much attention at all, in fact. He was going awfully pale everywhere he wasn’t burned, and his breathing seemed a bit labored. She was starting to feel a bit light-headed herself.