Monday, November 15, 2010

Black Letter Law - an Origin Story. Episode 10. Maryanne M. Wells

“Are you okay?” Nick asked.

I rolled over gingerly and sat up. “No, you idiot,” I spat back. “I was hit by a flying book.”

“So was I. And you shouldn't call me an idiot; my IQ is far above the cut off level for that label.”

I found the book that had hit my back lying next to me and considered throwing it at Nick. I settled for glaring at him. “Okay, you're not an idiot. You're a twit.” I waited for a witty retort that never came. Nick was staring past me and he was deathly pale.

“What?” I demanded, starting to panic. “What is it?”

“Look,” he whispered, pointing.

I looked.

The force and effect of the bookcase had faded away, but the outlines remained. I could see another bookcase through the image of the first, like an image in a gray mirror. And...people. A man and a woman, moving around in a room that looked like the mirror image of the one Nick and I were in.

“They look like law students,” Nick whispered, crawling over to where I was sitting.

“No one I know,” I whispered back. “Wait a minute...look at their clothes. Are those bellbottoms?”

We watched as the man said something to the woman and walked over to the bookcase. The woman caught the man's arm, like she was trying to hold him back. He shook her hand off and she stepped back, hiding her head in her hands. The man grabbed a book off the bookcase.

“What is he doing? That's not the way someone holds a book when they're conducting research,” Nick said.

The man took a piece of paper out of his pocket and put it into the book.

I grinned. “He isn't taking information out. He's putting information in. I have part of that paper, Nick. It's a list of names.”

The man replaced the book in the bookcase. He looked back at the woman, who was shaking her head and gesturing frantically with her hands.

“She kind of looks like you,” Nick said. I looked at the woman more carefully, but didn't see the resemblance.

Suddenly both people froze and looked towards the entrance. The woman moved closer to the man and took his hand. He placed a comforting hand on her shoulder and moved towards the entrance. As he moved he tripped over a bookbag leaning against a chair. He caught himself, but stepped on his own shoelace. He glanced down absently at his shoe then kept moving. He looked back once at the woman, said something, then disappeared.

The woman moved quickly to the bookcase and pulled out a book. She flipped through the pages and tossed the book down with a disgusted expression. She grabbed another book off the shelf.

The man ran back into the room. He snagged the strap of the bag with one hand and grabbed the woman's arm with the other, pulling her out of the room.

“I don't suppose that you were able to read their lips,” Nick said.

“No, but like I said before, I have part of the list.” I reached into my jeans pocket and pulled out the scrap of paper.

The scene before us dissolved. A great wind blew us towards the bookcase.

“What is happening,” Nick shouted.

I opened my mouth to answer and saw a book flying at my head. I ducked. “Head for the door,” I screamed.

We made it out of the room crawling and gasping.

“Unreal,” Nick said, pulling himself upright with the help of the railing.

I got to my feet and listened. “It's quiet.”

“And still. Do we...check the room?”

I did not want to check the room. “Yes,” I said.

We moved forward slowly, but we still got there. I touched the wood frame around the opening with a shaking hand. It was ice cold. We looked in the room.

“It's...perfect. Everything is back in place. It's like none of the weirdness happened,” I said, looking towards the bookcase.

“Uh...Maryanne,” Nick said, poking in my arm in a very annoying fashion.

I turned towards Nick and that's when I saw it. I mean him. It.

Whatever. Point is – we've got a ghost.