Sunday, April 30, 2006

Another Episode

Brief.
Click on "Read more! Maybe." to see it.
Enjoy.

Gladys pressed the button for Number 4.

“Yes?” came a man’s voice through the tiny speaker by the door.

“Hello. Good morning. Is Karen there?”

“Who?”

“Or maybe Kathy,” Gladys added uncertainly.

“I think you’ve got he wrong apartment,” the man said gruffly.

“Oh. I’m terribly sorry. Thank you,” Gladys said.

Gladys pressed the button for Number 5 and waited. Receiving no reply, she pressed the button a couple more times until she was satisfied that there was no one home. You never knew: sometimes people slept in on Sundays.

She moved on to Number 6.

“Who is it?” asked a woman’s voice apprehensively.

“Gladys.”

“Gladys?” the woman exclaimed. “How did you find my apartment?”

Finally! Gladys thought, heaving a sigh of relief. There were only a couple of houses on the block left. Once they were exhausted she didn’t know what she would do.

Well, that wasn’t quite true. She was pretty certain that if it came down to it she would grab a cup of coffee to warm up and try the vacancies again in an hour or two.

It wasn’t easy being a knitter.

“I’ve been thinking about what you said,” Gladys said, which was somewhat of an understatement. Gladys had been up all night, tortured by the knowledge that the yarn that she had pursued for years as vigilantly as Jason had pursued the Golden Fleece was not only in the same city as her, but in the same neighborhood. “I’d like to take you up on that offer of a trade. Can I come up?”

“How did you know I live here?” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen asked anxiously.

“I asked around,” Gladys said simply, hoping to leave it at that.

“I didn’t think I was that well-known.”

“Oh, well, you’re not,” Gladys said. “I described your hat.”

“My hat?”

“It’s rather cold out here,” Gladys said hastily. “Shall I come up and we can discuss the trade?”

“Oh. Well. I wasn’t really expecting anybody,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said. “The place is a mess. I don’t suppose we could do this some other time?”

“I little mess doesn’t bother me. I live with a teenager,” Gladys said.

“Oh,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said flatly.

“Are you going to buzz me in?”

“To tell you the truth, Gladys, this really isn’t a very good time for me,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said in low voice, as if confiding a secret. “You see, I’m not alone up here.”

“Oh!” Gladys was surprised. But then, why should she be? Kathy – or was it Karen? – was a healthy young woman, and these days it wasn’t uncommon to entertain gentlemen at home. Even if it did seem cheap. “Why didn’t you just say so? Well, I guess I could come back later. When do you think you’ll be…um… free?”

“It’s hard to say. How about I give you a call?”

“Sure, sure! That would be fine. When?”

“Soon,” Kathy-or-maybe-Karen said. “I better go now. Bye!”

“Tonight?” Gladys asked anxiously, but there was no reply.

She sighed, her breath puffing out before her like a cloud in the icy air. Maybe she would grab that cup of coffee now.

Kathy-or-maybe-Karen watched anxiously from behind a curtain until Gladys had disappeared out of sight. She was still stunned that the old woman had found her. And through her hat!

She strode over the jumble of clothes by the bags of yarn she had slept on and picked up the offending hat. It was her favorite hat. It was of the finest merino wool, in a beautiful red-gold colorway.

“I need to make a new hat,” she said to the presence above the fridge. “Something without animal ears.”

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4 comments:

Jeanette said...

Another intriguing episode, still don't know if she is Kathy or Karen though.

Witchypooh Lynne said...

loving it :)

wenders said...

I am enjoying this! I like that the story lines aren't connecting yet. :) You know, parallel events and all of that.

Carrie K said...

I knew I should have waited until you were done! The suspense is killing me. I really like it so far.