This is a sort of companion-piece for an original series I've been working on for a while now, called Concrete Versus Empyreal. A fill-in-the-blanks sort of thing. Anyone interested in reading the other stuff in the series, email me
It doesn't really have a title yet.
The sun went down, and she watched.
She was alone, and even though no one could see her, she sat back in the shadow of the roof, avoiding the lingering light. The stone overhang jutted out over her window, casting a shadow halfway across the room. Four floors up, she sighed, chin in hand, staring down at the last few people traversing campus on their way back from supper.
People streamed out of the dining hall just across the way as the last meal ended and students and faculty alike were rudely ushered outside. Moving in streams through the church pass-through, down the stairs onto lower campus where the trees on the hill overshadowed everything, further out to where the apartment-style residences shone their lights dolefully into the evening dim. They jostled one another in a friendly manner on their way to wherever they were going, splitting off into smaller groups, into ones and twos, then spreading out and disappearing indoors, one by one, or out of sight.
Something was out there. Something that, by all logic, should have been totally impossible within the boundaries of the peaceful University campus. Something that, defying all logic, was there anyway.
She could feel it.
She could feel that she was not alone, after all.
Something was watching her. Something big.
::So much for Movie Night,:: she thought, with a bitter, purely mental sigh, and slipped out of sight.
"What?" The voice on the other end of the line was shrill and obviously trying not to sound put out. It was failing.
Theryl sighed, holding the receiver slightly away from her mouth as she did so, to keep the girl on the other end from hearing it. "I'm sorry, Mel, but I've got to cancel. I've got a paper due Monday, and I haven't even started it yet."
"It's only Friday!" Melanie shrilled. "You've got all weekend, and besides, when did you start writing papers before the night before they're due?"
"When it's PoliSci, and I haven't even researched yet, is when," Theryl told her.
"But if you don't even come, there *is* no Movie Night! I can't grab the lounge on my own, and--"
"You've got Kim," Theryl pointed out.
She could almost see Melanie scowling on the other end of the line. "Kim's really annoying, and she only hangs around me so she can subtly yet sweetly point out why I'm a moral reprobate."
"You're being paranoid."
"No, I'm not. And when you're not there, she's like a thousand times worse. It's like you're the log wall between her and Alesia, and I'm Vercingetorix."
Theryl rolled her eyes, smiling. She and Melanie were Celtic Studies majors, and while Theryl found the subject matter deeply interesting, Mel was a great deal more attentive in class, possibly by nature. Possibly, Theryl often reflected, because of the other considerations in her life that Theryl had to deal with, ones that tended to supercede the importance of class. In any case, Mel was the only one of the two of them that regularly quoted Celt historical tidbits.
"She's not Julius Caesar, Mel. She's just a slightly overblown Catholic who really enjoys being right. You'll survive one night."
She heard Melanie expell a loud sigh. "Maybe I'll say I'm sick or something."
Theryl shrugged. "Whatever makes you happy, Mel."
"What would make me happy is if you showed up," Melanie said pointedly.
"Look, I'll make it up to you, I promise. Pizza, tomorrow, okay?"
There was a contemplative silence on the other end of the line, and then: "I don't believe you. Why are you really bailing on me?"
Theryl sighed, and this time let it be audible. "Seriously, Mel; I've got work to do. Really."
There was a frown in Melanie's voice as she finally capitulated. "All right. But... I'll expect that pizza. And no bailing again."
"Deal," Theryl agreed, and hung up with a little twinge of guilt.
It was swept quickly away, though, when she looked out the window and felt that same feeling of Something wash over her again.
Something was out there. And it was... waiting for her?
::This isn't bloody fair,:: she thought, picking up her coat on the way out the door.