I opened my eyes and looked up at a very unfamiliar ceiling; it took me a few moments to remember where I was and why. I groaned softly. Lifting my head and looking around I found my self alone. Morragon's bed looked almost completely untouched, and there was no sign of her in the room or of her ever having been there. At the foot of my bed my suit was clean, ironed and folded neatly, waiting for me.
I stood up and picked up my suit, it looked brand new. You couldn't tell the day before happened by looking at it. On the floor beside me were my shoes, in similar shape. That woman was truly talented. I don't know how she did it but I wasn't going to complain.
By the time I had shaved, using the pink shaving cream and a razor left behind my Morragon, and gotten dressed she returned from where ever she went, which by looking at what she was carrying was McDonalds. She walked over to the table and set down a large bag as well as two giant sodas.
"Breakfast is served." She smiled and motions proudly to the "meal" before her.
"What did you get?" I walked over to open the bag.
"Just some breakfast foods, or the processed version there of." She shrugged and sat down, brushing my hands aside and grabbing her portion of the food. I sat as well and joined her in the feast of fast foods.
After breakfast I called up the lawyer and explained to him what happened. Luckily he was very sympathetic and said he'd go back to my uncle's house and meet me there. I thanked him and looked over at Morragon who's feet were propped up on the small table that our breakfast was served on and watching me.
"I guess this is where we part ways." I sighed a little sad to be leaving her already.
"How exactly are you going to get there?" She smirked at me. I shrugged.
"Hitch-hike I guess." I looked at her. "Why do you ask?"
"Just thought that you might like some company." She shrugged and stood, pulling on her coat and bags. "But I guess you've had your fill of me." She walked over to the door and opened it.
"I would enjoy it if you came, but I don't want to take you away from what ever it is you do." I wonder what it is she does anyway.
Morragon laughed softly. "Then get moving, were wasting day light." She pulled on a beat up old black leather cowboy hat and walked out of the room. I quickly followed her down the stairs to the lobby of the hotel.
We checked out and headed down the road to my uncles house. There were only a few miles to go before we got there, so we had plenty of time before my meeting with the lawyer. We talked while we walked, about the usual things.
"So, what do you do for a living?" I was the first to try at a conversation. She glanced at me and looked ahead.
"I'm a professional psychic." She was very casual about saying such a thing. I was more than a little caught off guard.
"What does that mean?" I watched her closely, and nearly tripped over a rock. "Watch where you're walking Edgar." She chuckled and caught my elbow.
"What it means is that I do psychic stuff, read people's fortunes, help them find things, you know the usual." I took her advice and tried to watch her and where I was stepping at the same time.
"I wouldn't really know what the usual is; I've never met a psychic before." She laughed softly.
"Not surprising, there aren't many people in my field. It's a tough job. Hard to make real money and you meet a lot of skeptics." She shrugged. "But I do what I'm good at. Besides, I would go insane in a normal nine to five job. I can't handle being tied down, unable to just pick up and leave. I need freedom." A smile crossed her face for a moment. "Besides, I suck at normal work. I tend to try to overthrow the boss."
I laughed, getting a mental picture of her in full battle gear leading a mutiny against some buttoned down stiff colored boss. Oddly enough I could see her doing such a thing. But every thing about this woman was strange.
"What about you? What do you do for a living?"
I sighed; I knew she was going to ask that. "I used to be in Technical Support. People had a problem with their computer and they'd call me."
Morragon raised an eyebrow. "Used to? What you quit?"
"No I got fired. I was late three times, so they got rid of me. Its company policy." She got a thinking look.
"Why were you late this last time?"
"A brown out caused my alarm clock die. So I had a perfectly valid excuse. He just didn't believe me. So he fired me on the spot. The guy was an asshole anyway. That was yesterday morning by the way." She flinched.
"Wow, you had a ruff day." I just grunted in response, not really wanting to talk about it.
We kept walking in silence for a while. A soft breeze sprung up, it smelled of rain and chilled me to the bone. Morragon glanced at me and stopped walking.
"Your cold." She shrugged off her bags and large coat. "Here take my coat." I looked at the coat she held out to me.
"I can't take that, you'll get cold." I tried to push it away but she shoved it into my chest.
"Don't play the white knight, you such at it. Just take the damned coat, I'll be perfectly fine." With such lovely logic as that who could say no. I took the coat with a sigh and pulled it on. It was much lighter once you put it on, though the thing had to way over twenty pounds.
She smiled a little. "Now don't you feel much better?"
I didn't say anything to that and just pulled the coat tightly around me, the breeze was getting even stronger. Even more dark clouds rolled in, fitting in with my current luck getting rained on again would just be too perfect.
The eerie nebulous heavens quickly darkened with the new found layer of storm clouds. A distant peal of thunder warned us of what was to soon come. We moved from the bland flat lands that dominated that area into what appeared to be a dead forest.
Huge ancient trees stood in silent procession, lined up in near perfection and disappearing into the distance. Not a single one had a leaf attached to their branches, and since it wasn't fall or winter it seemed a little uncharacteristic of most types of trees. Debris and broken sticks covered the surreal forests floor, no animals moved around and even the breeze had died. If it wasn't for my own loud breath and foot falls we'd be surrounded in complete silence.
I shivered feeling a chill run up my spine. Coldness settled over me that had nothing to do with the temperature of the air around me. Morragon plodded along side me, seemingly unaffected by our surroundings. An unexpected roar of thunder made me jump; the sudden noise out of the silence was just too much.
Morragon stopped walking and looked at me. "You ok?"
I laughed nervously. "Yeah, I'm… just a little afraid of thunder." I felt my cheeks redden in embarrassment. "I've been afraid of it since I was a kid."
She smiled gently. "Its not big deal." She stepped back and nudged me with her elbow. "And I don't care if your afraid of it or not. I my self have some unreasonable fears."
"Like what?" I was more than a little curious what this seemingly unshakeable Amazon feared.
Morragon gave a light laugh. "Ok, you really want to know?" Her eyes sparkled slightly. "You'll get a kick out of this one. I'm terrified of needles."
I gave her an odd look. "That's it?"
She snorted slightly. "Not very impressed by my fear? Well how's about this, I once broke a nurses arm when she tried to give me a shot against my will."
That was more than a little surprising. "Why was she giving you a shot against your will?" She looked a little guilty for a second.
"I was only six at the time. It was a flu shot or something like that. I told her not to do it but she said it was not big deal and stuck the damned thing in my arm!" She shuddered. "I just lost it."
She quickly turned and walked away from me, and the conversation. In those few seconds before she turned away I got a small glimpse of what she hid behind her lovely mirror like eyes, and all I saw was a sea of pain and loneliness. I sighed and started walking again. Feeling a little bad about dredging up such memories.
The rest of the walk we spent in silence, luckily the sky didn't open up on us. At least until my uncle's house was with in view. Then all at once it broke apart, releasing all its fury on us. We ran quickly up to the iron gates that separated the house from the dead forest. I expected to find them locked but Morragon shoved them open with ease, though they creaked loudly in protest.
Once inside of the gates we moved towards the house. The house filled my vision and I had to stop. Memories flooded back to me. For years after seeing this house it had plagued my nightmares. It stretched upwards into the sky, all harsh angles and dark colors. It was made from some dull gray rock and seemed to bleed the colors of the world around it away. A long since dead lawn with a scattering of wind bent trees surrounded the dreary tired looking building. Huge windows gaped across its exterior, like open wounds. The darkened sky framed the house perfectly, adding to its lackluster tone.
I shuddered and forced my self up the drive way to the huge door. We stopped before the towering entry way and both of us took a moment to absorbed the images engraved on them. The doors were carved from some dark wood, and a pair of nights with swords upheld adorned them, hardly adding any cheer to the house. The rain pelting us drove us reluctantly inside. Morragon again took the lead and pulled open the ancient doors.
They silently swung outwards, moving with well timed ease, inside blackness greeted us. I stood frozen with fear, the images from my childhood still haunting my mind. I knew what exactly was waiting for us inside. I wasn't eager to see it all again.
With tentative steps we moved in as one, even the unflappable woman beside me seemed hesitant. Once fully inside I fumbled for the barely remembered light switch beside the doorway. Light blinded our unprepared eyes; I was left blinking and struggling to regain my lost sight. I felt more than heard Morragon move further inside. She whistled softly.
"Holy crap. This place is freaky."
I rubbed my eyes and looked around. The place seemed almost completely unchanged from when I last saw it. Directly before us a huge stair well greeted us, it gracefully sprawled upwards to the still darkened second floor. Flanking the banisters were a pair of angels, each a mirror image of the other. Similar to the knights that adorned the doors they also upheld a sword. They stood there in a frozen state of readiness, looking like they could come to life at any second and delve out holy justice.
A deep burgundy carpet led from where we stood in the door way up the stairs. The floors its self was made up of well cared for hardwood, despite its glossy appearance the floor groaned softly as we walked further inside. I looked upwards as we moved, and spied the magnificent crystal chandelier that lit the room. My uncle obviously was one for extravagance.
Morragon moved to the right and headed down a dimly lit hall. Not wanting to be left alone for a second in that house I quickly followed her. She moved slowly down the hall till she reached a door, with a gentle push it easily swung inward, revealing the kitchen. With out hesitation she moved inside looking around.
I wasn't too surprised to find it was very old fashioned; it even had an old fire burning stove set in the back wall. Unlike the rest of the house which was laden with tapestries and curtains to give a more comforting feel the walls in here were bare and cold. A long wooden table that more resembled a bench filled the center of the kitchen; under it were plenty of shelves full of cooking items. It was nice to see that there were still many of the modern comforts, such as an electric stove, refrigerator, and dish washer.
Morragon started to walks towards a door at the far side of the room I hadn't noticed before when a sudden crashing sound in the foyer made us both jump. Before our imaginations could take over a series of curses gave us a clue to who it was.
"It's the lawyer." I sighed and relaxed.
Morragon pushed past me. "Let's go greet him then and get this over with. This house gives me the creeps."
I chuckled and stepped up beside her. "Creepy vibes? Or just the creeps?"
She gave me a quick glare to show she didn't appreciate my humor. "Both." I didn't really find that answer very comforting.
When we stepped back into the main hall the lawyer was shaking water off of his coat. Apparently he neglected to bring an umbrella. He looked up in surprise to see us.
"How did you two get in here?" He sounded angry.
"The door was unlocked." Morragon replied gruffly. Obviously not very happy at what his tone suggested.
The two glared at each other, I could almost see the tension they created. He was pretty young looking for a lawyer, I'd only put him just over twenty five. The suit he had one almost looked like it belonged to a large older man, giving me the impression of a child dressing up in his dad's suit and playing pretend. His once slicked back hair now fell over his eyes and furthered my impression of his lacking professionalism. I couldn't tell its color, since wet it looked black; his eyes though were a vivid amber brown color.
Morragon stepped forward and slightly in front of me. "Look, we only came here because you told him…" She gestured to me. "To come here so you could discuss some sort of paper work about his dead uncle."
He almost instantly relaxed. "Oh, I thought you two were thieves or something." I raised an eyebrow at him, then remembered that I was still wearing Morragon's coat and looked just as scruffy as she did.
"Well let's move to the library and discuss this matter in more comfortable surroundings." With out seeing if were agreed or even wanted to followed he briskly walked up the stairs and down a hall. So quickly that me and Morragon had to jog to catch up to him.
By the time we did catch up to him he was already seated at a desk rifling through papers and looking through his brief case. Morragon and I walked over to him and sat down in a pair of over stuff leather chairs. I was surprised at how comfortable they were.
"You do realize your uncle was a very rich man, so let's just get strait to it. He left every thing to you. The house, his properties, all of his fortune." He looked up at me and slide over some papers.
I started at him in surprised silence for a moment then picked up the offered papers. A quick glanced confirmed what I was thinking. It was my uncles will, declaring in all its legal mumbo-jumbo that he claimed me as his sole benefactor. It made no sense to me, my mother was still alive. Why didn't he leave it all to his sister? I only met him once, and very briefly at that. Heck, he even knew my father better than me.
"Do… you know why he left it all to me?" I looked up at the lawyer hopefully, he shrugged slightly.
"I didn't really ask many questions, I only worked for him for about a year. Though he did say that he knew his sister and her husband would only squander the money. Maybe he just chose you out of default." He gave me a slight smile and another shrug. "That's all I know. Sorry."
"Now you need to sign these papers." This time he handed me a whole stack of papers. I sighed and resigned my self to getting it done fast. I was starting to think I was either still asleep in some crappy hotel dreaming this whole thing up or going into shock. Both options seemed likely.
It took me nearly an hour to read and sign everything he shoved at me. Morragon just sad quietly beside me the whole time, I was happy to have her there. It was comforting to have a friend with me, especially in this house.
"Well, that's all of it. I'll mail you all the documents that you need. Congratulations on your new found wealth." He smiled and held out a hand to me. I stood as well and shook his hand.
Before I could say anything in response Morragon spoke up. "You just want him to hire you." She smirked at him darkly. It seemed like he as actually trying to formulate an argument with her comment but couldn't really come up with anything.
"I would enjoy continuing my work with his family…" She cut him off before he could finish.
He glared at her. She laughed. "Be honest. Your not bullshitting any one here." Morragon stood up and stretched out.
"Alright, fine. I would like the money involved with such a job." He looked like a cat that'd be rubbed the wrong way. "It was nice meeting you sir. I hope you have a good night in your new home." He left the room with out another word to Morragon.
"You're terrible you know." I looked at Morragon who only laughed softly. "He was an asshole and you know it."
"I didn't really get any sense of that from him." I smirked and nudge her. "You just don't like him because he thought you were a thief." She snorted and shrugged, but didn't say anything.
"Well…" I looked around us at the large library and sighed. "I now own this God forsaken place. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with it."
She laughed and walked out of the room, I trailed after her. "Enjoy it, it may be creepy but I'm sure its nice in the day light. Besides…" She paused and looked over her shoulder at me. "You now have plenty of money to buy a car." With a wink she descended the stairs.
"You're leaving?" I watched her walk away from me.
"Yeah, I'm going back to town and staying at the hotel. Like I said, I'm sure this place is nice in the light. But its night right now and I don't like it." She saluted me. "You're on your own tonight pal."
She moved over to the door and tugged it open, a wave of cold air flooded into the room, making the chandelier shake and ring softly. Her coat billowed behind her like a cape, even her braid lifted up in the strong breeze. I looked about me at the house that was now my home. She was right, in the day light it was beautiful. But then I remembered what it was like to sleep in it.
"Wait!" I ran down after her. She stopped in the door way and looked back at me grinning.
"I wouldn't mind your company for another night." I stopped and smiled at her.
"You read my mind." She laughed. "No, I just know you that well already."
"Come on; let's get going while this lull in the storm lasts. At least we might be able to make it a few miles before we get wet again." She winked and walked out into the night. Leaving the creepy old house behind. As always, I followed her, just as happy to leave it behind as well. At least for the night.