CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR
Panting from the pain, she rested her cheek on the cool floors. Cleo jumped off the bed to lie next to Sandy.
“I’ll just lay here until I can catch my breath,” Sandy said.
Minutes turned into a half-hour.
“If I’m going to do this, I’d better get going,” Sandy said.
It was only then that she realized — she had no idea how to get up from this spot.
She tried moving her leg, but her braced leg couldn’t move like that and her other leg was tucked under her from the fall. She tried to press up, but after a few moments of sheer, mind searing pain, she lay back down on the floor.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a woman’s bare foot. Sandy turned her head toward the foot but it walked out of her sight. The woman was walking around her.
“If you are some fucking fairy coming to kill me, you should know that I have the full protection of Olympia,” Sandy said as loud as she could muster.
The woman knelt down to Sandy.
“Good thing I am not a fairy, then,” the woman said.
The woman’s accent was familiar — possibly British, maybe Mediterranean. Her accent reminded her of someone but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Sandy looked into the woman’s face. She was also oddly familiar, but Sandy was sure she’d never seen her before.
But then she had also been really sick.
“Remind me,” the woman said, “why should I care what Olympia says?”
Sandy’s heart began to pound in her chest. She was in blinding pain and utterly helpless on this cold wood floor. She cursed herself for being so stupid as to try this.
“Are… are… are you going to kill me?” Sandy asked.
Laughing, the woman sat cross legged on the floor near Sandy’s head. Cleo hopped onto the woman’s lap.
“You don’t remember me,” the woman said.
“No,” Sandy said. “You look familiar.”
“I am Hecate,” the woman said.
Relief coursed through Sandy’s veins. She let out a heavy breath.
“You are Sandy, am I right?” Hecate asked. “My sister’s best friend?”
Sandy had to do some fast calculations before she came up with the fact that Jill and Hecate were sisters.
“Yes,” Sandy said. “But Hedone and Tanesha’s too.”
“I understand,” Hecate said.
Neither one said anything for a few minutes. Hecate was petting Cleo and making soft sounds to the cat.
“Listen…” Sandy said at the same time Hecate asked, “What are you…”
They laughed uncomfortably.
“Go ahead,” Sandy said.
“My mother tells me that you wanted to walk,” Hecate said.
“Stupidly,” Sandy said her self-rage coming through her words.
“Ah,” Hecate said. “Here I thought that you were doing some kind of human exercise.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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