Segment Two: Reunion of Yin and Yang
The stark environment mystified her and she took several steps backward. Not a chair or a table. No furniture at all. She turned. Not even a coat rack in sight. When she’d looked through the window ten minutes ago, the room had been fully decorated. The tiny hairs on her neck tingled. Her heart thudded. She was already an emotional wreck. This interview was going to be a bust.
Heavy footfalls echoed from the rear of the cavernous room, the sound indicating a fast approach. A man, she presumed the one who’d unlocked the door, stopped in front of her. Katherine stared, her dripping raincoat suspended from her trembling fingers.
He scowled, the action bringing together a set of thick black brows.
“Sorry,” he said. He waved his hand in a circle indicating the empty space. Within that heartbeat, the area manifested a tasteful array of overstuffed furniture. She blinked. Her eyes wouldn’t have lied. What had just happened? She squeezed her free hand against her thigh to still the jitters racing along her nerve endings. A well laid table displayed a morning repast. She edged back and her shoulder bumped an ornate coat tree. The man lifted the rain slicker from her fingertips and slipped it onto an empty hook.
He gestured toward the table. “Shall we, Katherine?”
He knew her name? She wiped her damp palms on her skirt. She had to get a grip. There wasn’t any reason to believe malice of intent. After all, maybe he’d been introduced to her while she’d been too new in town to remember names and faces. As for the room.... She clamped her teeth on the delicate skin inside her lower lip. Her nerves refused to calm.
“You are hungry?” He raised a brow.
The quizzical expression demanded a response she wasn’t prepared to give. How had he known she’d been too keyed up to eat or even swallow more than a drop of tea this morning? Her stomach clenched in protest, whether from fear or hunger she wasn’t sure.
So the guy knew her name and offered common hospitality. Would that make a normal person jumpy? Perhaps the mental fatigue had taken a toll, and the insidious appearance of insanity had reared its ugly head.
It could happen. Identity change could make someone lose a grasp on reality. Years of professional training, and then to never work in her field of expertise again certainly added to the anxiety. No family. No friends. She swallowed back the growing knot at the base of her throat. She needed a job. Something to bring order to her life. A tangible reason to get up every morning. Gutting fish wasn’t going to do it.
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