Once again the clatter stirred her out of a sound sleep.
This was now the third early morning disturbance in a row. She had had it with these pre-dawn visits and was dangerously close to her breaking point. She pulled on her robe, hastily tying it around her waist, as she sleep-lumbered down the stairs.
"The dead should have a little more respect for the living, just sayin' ", she grumbled semi-coherently.
"And Bob, this is more than a little unfair, I do have to go to work in the morning...
spirit world's open all night, why hang around here?", she chanted gruffly, pounding her bare feet across the narrow wooden floored hallway leading into the kitchen.
She expected to see him there, in his tattered wool sweater, teacup in hand, looking slightly amused by her rage against the dead rousing the living.
Haunting can be hilarious!
What she saw instead both startled her and left her speechless in the doorway.
He was new.
Uh-huh, Bob must have sent him, she thought. He did say that there was another "silent pen" that was interested in paying a visit. She just didn't think it would be so soon.
"This is flippin' fantastic, she huffed under her breath, does it look like I'm runnin' a Bide-A-Wee for insomniac dead poets around here?"
She stepped a bit farther into the kitchen and silently gasped, wide eyed and open mouthed.
The contents of her sewing basket were spilled all over the floor, over the counters and across the kitchen table. He was crouched in the middle of the floor searching. His long, pale, slender fingers sifting through a tangle of notions.
He was raven haired, pale complected and much younger than Bob.
From the looks of his clothing he appeared to be from royalty of an era long gone by, but from the looks of him, he just may have been a royal handful.
" I sooo don't have time for Casper The Royal Trainwreck, Bob", she sighed softly into the ether while surveying the colorful wreckage strewn about in front of her.
"Your kingdom for a pin?", she uttered a little bit louder now, yawning against the back of her hand.
He looked up quickly and froze immediately.
Startled by her?!
"Woman, leave me to my work!", he snapped, wild eyed and in the dismissive tone of rude aristocracy.
She closed her eyes, laughing silently to herself while slapping her palm against her forehead. She bit her lip hard, before she spoke.
"Look, Louis...or whatever your name is, I need to remind you that:
a) you are an uninvited guest in my home
b) it's three o'clock in the morning for us mortals
c) the name is Ellen, not Woman..and if your "work" is ransacking my home in the wee small hours of the morning, I'm calling Ghostbusters!"
He stood up slowly and walked over to her in silence, almost floating, the only sound being the spilled straight pins from the sewing basket crunching under his boots.
He was tall and dark eyed with a brow that indicated a stormy temperament.
He extended his hand to her left cheek, Ellen closed her eyes and braced herself, he then gently tucked a tendril of her hair behind her left ear.
"Dear Woman, Ellen, forgive me...I am new at this."
He spoke softly, with much contrition, greeting her eyes and smiling a lopsided smile.
"I am John".
Read the first part of this series here: Frost Calls Shotgun
I am also a featured writer on Indie Ink today. Stop by and say hello :)
Peace ~ Rene