CHAPTER TWO HUNDRED and TWELVE
Friday early morning — 4:15 a.m.
Yvonne’s eyes opened the moment the bathroom door closed. Sitting up in bed, she looked around the room. She scanned the bedside table for her book. She got up and walked to the door for her book. She always left her book either right beside her or next to the door. Her eyes flicked from table to dresser to mantle.
Her book was not in this room.
Where was she?
She heard a sound in the bathroom. Someone was taking a shower.
Feeling a tightness on her left hand, she looked at her hand and gasped. She was wearing her wedding ring.
The spider tried to cut her finger off the last time she was wearing this ring. He would surely kill her if he saw her wearing her wedding ring again.
Was it Saturday?
Her heart pounded in her chest.
Where was her book?
Who was in the bathroom?
How did this ring get on her finger? She’d given it to… someone. Delphie? No, Maresol put it in one of those safes at Seth’s house. And…
There was light knock at the door. She opened the door a crack and peeked out.
A small woman with enormous hazel eyes and long black hair was standing at the door. The elfin looking woman was holding a tiny sleeping baby, possibly a newborn. Yvonne blinked. The woman gave Yvonne a radiant smile.
“Good morning,” the woman said.
Yvonne lifted the corners of her mouth in a slight smile.
“You don’t remember me,” the woman said. “I keep thinking you will but…”
“I’m Celia’s daughter, Valerie,” the woman said. “You used to babysit me and my brother Jake when we were little. You told me that because I was pretty, it meant that I had to work extra hard to be…”
“Smart and kind,” Yvonne smiled. “Because pretty women…”
“Are underestimated,” Valerie beamed. “We have to work harder and be twice as great as they expect.”
“I remember babysitting this tiny little rat,” Yvonne said. “Was that you?”
“I’m no rat,” Valerie said with the same indignation she had when Yvonne had said that to her as a child. They laughed. Yvonne leaned out the door.
“Where am I?” Yvonne whispered.
“You’re at the Castle,” Valerie said. “Or we call it the Castle. Mom bought this house for Delphie and Jake fixed it up. We all live here.”
“I know you don’t have your book because you left it when we were trying on dresses. Don’t worry, though. It’s safe. It just doesn’t have your morning information. That’s why I’m here.”
“Why were we trying on dresses?” Yvonne asked.
“I need a dress for a movie premiere,” Valerie said. “And you are getting married.”
“I’m already married.” Yvonne’s words came out automatically. Then panic slashed through her heart. Yvonne gasped. Her hand went to her mouth in horror. Her face fell with sorrow. She began to cry.
“What did I say? What happened?” Valerie said.
“Rodney’s dead,“ Yvonne said. “I have to marry the spider.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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