Doors To Mirrors (Excerpt 188) Challenging

Looking at the window, Viktor gently pulls the curtain back to see if the hole, cut in such a precise manner in the glass, is still there. Just as he expected, it is. However, the stick that he placed to keep the window closed is crooked, as if someone tried to move it out of the way. Pushing it back in place, he is startled.

“What’s out there?” Nadja asks as she steps up behind him.

“Oh, nothing.” Viktor replies quickly as he pulls the curtain back over the hole to keep it hidden.

He does not want her to feel uncomfortable and up to this point, he believes she is not privy to the mysterious opening. His intricate mind is trying to find any rational reason why the stick could have moved, did someone reach inside and try to lift it? This concerns him for now there are two mysteries to solve, the prints in the snow and the possible attempt of entry of an intruder.

“Here, the glasses are in this cabinet.” Nadja states as she reaches over to the right.

This gives Viktor time to push the stick back into the window rail to secure it in the closed position. He glances outside but without lights to illuminate the surrounding area, he cannot see a thing, except his own reflection. This makes him think of his last dream, he was doing this very thing, looking through a window or a mirror and then it shattered. Stepping back quickly, he bumps into Nadja causing the glasses in her hands to tap together making a ringing sound.

“Oh I am so sorry.” He says as he helps steady her by placing his arm around her.

“Are you flirting with me?” Nadja quizzes in a sarcastic manner.

“Well now that you mention it, yes. . . I suppose I am.” Viktor grins.

“Come on, let’s go back to the living room where it is warm. It seems awfully cold in here.” She says softly then realizes how this sounds. “Oh, I didn’t mean because of our hug, or you. . . it is just noticeably colder in this room for some reason. I didn’t mean to be offensive.” She looks him in the eyes.

“No offence taken.” He assures her and in Viktor’s mind, he agrees with her statement about the temperature, but he also knows why.

The chill is due to a rather large circle of glass missing in the window allowing cold air in and heat to escape. Now feeling somewhat cautious, he looks around the dark room then slowly follows Nadja to the living room.

“If you had one place in the world to go that would rejuvenate your soul, where would it be?” Nadja questions as she hands Viktor the bottle of wine.

Without thinking for very long and while preparing the corkscrew for pulling the cork out of the wine bottle, he begins to smile.

“I know you’ll think I’m just saying this because of the current situation, but a cabin in the mountains, where everything is stocked nice and full.” He smiles. “I would have a big porch, with a swing and several chairs and it would face south.”

“Why south?” Nadja says in a serious tone.

“That way, no matter the season, we could see the sun rise and set from the porch.” He looks her in the eyes.

“We?” She asks sarcastically. “It does seem suspicious that you have the same dream I do, but I am living mine. How come you are not?”

“Oh, so now you’re going to challenge me.” Viktor smirks and Nadja begins to laugh.

“No no, not at all. I’m not a challenging kind of person.” She continues laughing.

“I don’t know about that, it was definitely challenging for me to get here.” Viktor replies and they both laugh at the thought of his long trip and near death experience. “It almost killed me!”


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