Deadly Secrets. Part 17.

Ariadne wasn’t sure what time it was, it was bright outside, but there was no noise throughout the rest of the house. Her stomach grumbled, she was hungry and she needed to use the bathroom. She stood up from the couch and stretched, then yawned. She wasn’t sure if it was her exhaustion or not but the couch seemed extremely comfortable. She listened for a little longer and concluded that there was no one awake. She scanned the room and saw a small clock on the mantel, after a second she realised it was broken.

She took a few breaths, trying to calm herself, she left the sitting room and went to the bathroom, walking carefully and trying to make as little noise as possible. She felt as though she was invading the house. She used the bathroom as quickly as possible, trying to reassure herself it was fine, they had said so. Going into others houses in The Lambs commune was forbidden unless invited, even then it was rare to enter another’s home. The only person who had full run of the place was Mary and her main people, who could enter where ever they pleased at any time. When she was done in the bathroom Ariadne returned to the sitting room, her stomach grumbled but she couldn’t bring herself to go through their cupboards trying to find things. She had always been that way, ever since she was a child, once inside a house that wasn’t hers, she didn’t like getting things for herself without permission. She turned on the television, keeping the sound low and after a few moments, found a morning show, according to the clock, it was just coming up to 8 A.M. No wonder they were not up yet. She watched the news, trying to catch up on what had happened in the world, not much was different it seemed. They were mostly referencing people she barely knew, or those whom she had never heard of, famous actresses or singers. She tried to find something watch-able and eventually settled on some chat show. It made her feel a little better, watching people who were so dysfunctional, assuring her she wasn’t the only one. At half eight she heard stirring upstairs. She waited until who ever it was came down, and gave them a few moments, then she left the sitting room and went into the kitchen, it was Patrick. “Good Morning” “Morning, do you want coffee or anything?” “No, I’m fine thanks.” “What do you want for breakfast? I’m just going to have some cereal, but I can throw on some bacon or something if you want?” “No, cereal is good.” he grabbed out bowls and milk, then handed her the box. They ate in silence, Patrick eating quickly. Once they were done, he cleared away the bowls, “Thanks” “No bother. I’ve to go into work today, but I figure we can sort some stuff out now, before I go, I have a bit of time.” “Ok, like what?” “Well, we’re going to have to figure out where you can go and what to do about your parents. I’m assuming that The Lambs took everything of yours?” Her face reddened, “Yes, I gave them everything.” “There might be something you can do about that, but usually people like The Lambs don’t do well with lawsuits, they’ll either throw lawyers at you, move, or constantly shift the blame around.” “So what should we do?” “Well, I suggest we let your parents know that you are ok, they will be able to help too. I understand if you don’t want to meet them, but we really have to let them know.” She nodded slowly. “I don’t want to see them.” “I understand if you’re worried about how they’ll react or of The Lambs targeting them, but trust me when I say they want to see you, and I will do my best to prevent The Lambs going after them…Do you think they’re dangerous?” “I don’t know. I didn’t think so before, but I’m not sure. People who leave have a tendency to die, at least that’s what Mary tells us. Told us.” “Ok. I’ll let them know today, if that is ok with you, and I’ll explain to them that it isn’t safe at the moment.” “Thank you.” Patrick nodded, “When we do arrange a meeting with them we can do it in a hotel or restaurant if you want, it will be public and they can go a different route to get there and to leave. We could also arrange a meeting in my office if you prefer. We can worry about it when we get there. I was thinking that you might need a little time alone to…readjust to being outside, maybe a little freedom. If you want I can get you a hotel room for a day or two, give you time to think, you don’t have to leave the place if you don’t want, you’ll be safe there” She took a breath, then released it slowly. “I suppose. It might be good.” “I think that it might help you get over some fears, if you need anything or if it becomes too much you can ring me and I will come get you or keep you company for a little while until you feel ok again. We can try in a few days, but for now you can stay on the couch if you want.” “Ok.” “I’m going to have to go into work for a little bit, I’ll be back in a while, Diane should be down in a few minutes, she suggested going to get some clothes for you if you were up for it.” “Oh, um thank you.” Patrick stood, “I’ll see you later.” He left the room, she heard him call out to his wife, she felt as though she was eavesdropping. A few moments after the door closed, Diane came into the kitchen. “Hi, we didn’t really get a chance to talk last night, did you have something for breakfast?” “Yeah, I had some cereal.” “Do you want anything else? I’m gonna make something for myself.” “No, I’m ok.” “Are you sure you don’t want tea or coffee or something?” “No, thanks. Could I have a glass of water?” “Sure.” Diane filled the kettle and a glass, after giving it to Ariadne, she spent a few moments deciding what she’d eat for breakfast. She put some bread into the toaster, it would do. She sat down at the table. “I was thinking maybe we could go shopping today, if that’s ok? Get some clothes for you.” “I don’t, I don’t have any money.” “That’s ok, consider it a gift.” “I couldn’t, I mean I’m already sleeping here, it’d be too much.” “Nonsense. You need clothes, but if you’re too tired today, that’s ok, we can go tomorrow.” “No. Today’s fine.” Ariadne was still tired and a little sore, but she wanted to get out into the world as soon as possible. “Ok, well, we’ll take it easy anyway. There’s a shopping centre nearby, we can go there and pick up a few things, maybe get some lunch.” “Ok.” The toaster popped.

Diane ate quickly, then put away her plate. “C’mon, we’ll get you some clothes for the moment.” They went upstairs, Ariadne trailing after wards, feeling useless. Diane quickly found some clothes and Ariadne dressed. After, they went to the car, Diane put on the radio and they drove in silence. Despite the silence, it wasn’t as awkward as both had feared. Diane wasn’t sure what to say to Ariadne, afraid of asking her questions that were too probing and Ariadne had no idea what to say to make small talk.

The shopping went well enough, Ariadne bought a few things, not much, she claimed she didn’t like most of the clothes, but the truth was they were fine, she just didn’t want to rack up a giant bill for Diane. After they were done, they had lunch. Diane noticed that Ariadne kept looking around, eyeing the people suspiciously. Ariadne at slowly, enjoying the food, it was so flavourful and fresh. When they got back into the car Ariadne felt as though she could go back asleep, it was only 2 P.M. “I have a few other things I have to get done today, you can come with me if you want or I can drop you back to the house?” “I‘m kinda tired.” “That’s ok, I’ll drop you back to the house.”

Ariadne changed into her new clothes, enjoying how clean they felt, how soft they were. She felt much better. While Diane was gone, she found a book and started reading it, she found that there was only so much television she could watch. After reading for a while her eyes began to get heavy and sore, her head tilting down, she put the book on the ground and decided that she needed a nap, she curled up on the couch and closed her eyes, quickly falling into a deep sleep.

When Patrick arrived home, Diane was still gone, he popped his head into the sitting room and saw that Ariadne was asleep, he stepped out of the room and closed the door gently, leaving her sleep. He had not yet rung her parents, despite his intention, the day had been stressful, he had more work than he had thought, he decided it was better that they didn’t know just yet, not before Ariadne knew what she wanted. Once that was done, it would make things easier for everyone. He sighed and went into the kitchen, pulling off his tie as he went. He hoped he hadn’t misjudged Ariadne, after all he had let her into their home, what if she was crazy, or a plant? He’d ask Diane what she thought of her, that might ease his mind a little. Diane was always good at reading people.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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