Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 109) Elevated
Running hot water into the bathtub causes the tiny room to swell with steam. The lavender scent is strong, just as Nadja likes it to be and slipping into the warmth causes her to smile with comfort. She adores this old antique tub for it is deeper and longer than the ones in newer homes. She slides down until the water is lapping at her chin and she closes her eyes.
Somewhere nearby during this early morning pleasure, is the constant tapping of a woodpecker on a tree. The wind is calm and aside from the periodic chip or tweet from a bird, all is quiet. Nadja’s goal is to keep her mind silent as well. She does not want to think about Aaron or the fear she felt when she called Carl for help on the trail. No, this morning she is keeping soft images in her thoughts. Memories like mixing scents and ingredients with her aunt until two or three in the morning, while telling stories and laughing the entire time. Off in the distance, barely audible, a train whistle blows.
“No.” Nadja says as she opens her eyes.
The bath water has cooled and her senses are elevated. For just a split second, she fell asleep but the whistle from the train pulled her back into reality.
“Aaron is here, I forgot he is in town and I know Viktor is with him.” She says quickly as she pulls the stopper out of the hole in the tub to drain it.
“I have to get out of here. They were probably in the cottage while I was sleeping!” Nadja says as she begins to shake with nervousness. “I need to pack my things. I have to go. I can stay at the soap shop, no one will know except Carl.”
In a hurried and stumbling rush, she gathers her things and stuffs as much as she can in her backpack. The sun has not risen above the landscape and the sky is deep purple in color. Reaching for her phone, she worries that a new message from Aaron will be there, and once she pushes the button to reveal any messages, it confirms her fear.
“You may think you have found a haven, but you know as well as I do that you can never be free of me. I will come for you and I expect you to be packed and ready to leave. If not, the woods you seek refuge in may very well go up in smoke.”
“Oh my god.” She says just under her breath. “I cannot let anyone get hurt, but I would rather die than to end up going back to him.” She begins to sob. “Aunt Josephine, I don’t know what to do!”
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