Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 418) Swings Open

For some reason, the simplest things mean so much to Stephen when it is coming from Zsofia. Her tenderness gives him strength and a sense of self that he has never had before. Yet, he hesitates with this confession. They start to walk again but as soon as they approach the run of buildings that houses Klara’s shop, Stephen realizes it is now or never to tell his side of the story. Unfortunately, the door to Klara’s shop slowly swings open with a loud squeak.

Stopping, they both look at the opening and then each other. The gap of the door to the door frame is only a few inches wide and Stephen believes the wind must have nudged it open, for no one has stepped out. However, soon he hears a crackling dry voice from just inside the door.

“Come in, Istvan.” The old woman says. “I’ve been expecting you.”

A bit shocked in hearing these words, he looks at Zsofia to catch her reaction. At first, she too seems a bit worried but then simply smiles at him as if to say, “have fun.” Slowly she pulls away from his protective hold and acknowledges Klara.

“Good afternoon, Klara.” She says as she passes but no reply is given and with a quick glance back at Stephen, Zsofia continues on to the teahouse.


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