|Ambrose Returns is a multi-part story, written "on the fly", as an exercise. I add a new part whenever the fancy takes me, and I give each part absolutely no thought before I write it. I write it directly into the HTML editor, and then post it without any rewriting or real editing. The only editing I do is to correct spelling mistakes and anything else that is obviously wrong. And I may even miss a few of those. Writing this way won't produce my greatest work, but that's not the point. The point is to exercise the creative muscles, and to practise. And to always remind myself to not be afraid to "get things out there". :)|
|Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7|
the worst that can happen? Famous last words. Right? Wrong. Famous first
words. And what happened after they were said? Lots of things. Lots of
I'd gotten bored of life. It was just one long drag of a day after another. Get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat. I had no family, and only one or two friends that I'd consider close. Life was just a big nothing. And I longed for it to be something. Anything.
Then one day, my friend Vee suggested that we go visit this guy that she knew. Apparently he was a medium. I kinda knew what that meant, but not entirely. Vee explained that it meant he could talk to the dead. Hilarious huh? A grown man "talking" to the dead. More like grown CON man CONNING the living. Vee insisted that this was not true however. She said that he never charged anyone a dime. Ever. Everything he did, he did because he could. To help people. I guess that alleviated my cynicism a little, but I was still doubtful as to his true motives. I decided to go visit him with her anyway. Just for the hell of it.
When we arrived at his place, I was immediately overcome with a strange feeling. A kind of feeling of not being completely in my body. I wasn't "looking down" on myself, or anything as silly as that, I just felt not quite with it. Maybe it was the two bottles of wine we'd drunk at Vee's place before coming here. Or maybe it was some weird voodoo magic that Anthony, the "medium," was spinning on us. I didn't know. I didn't care. I was drunk. And giddy.
"Ok, ladies," Anthony said as we took yet more wine from him, and sat on the couch, "who's first?"
I looked across to Vee, assuming that she'd go first, what with Anthony being her friend and all. But she just grinned, that stupid grin she did when she knew something funny was about to happen. Something funny to someone else, not her. I knew I would be going first.
I turned back to Anthony. "I guess that'll be me then," I said, trying not to sound as nervous as I was.
Anthony just smiled at me, as if he already knew something that I didn't. Jerk! I thought for no real reason. Then I laughed to myself, in my head. He was kinda cute. Were he not about to "read my mind" or talk to my dead rabbit from when I was 5, I might have considered asking him out. Meh. That could still happen, I thought, as he sat on the coffee table, facing me.
"Give me your hand," he said, the smile still present, and getting cuter by the minute. I shook my head slightly. Gotta shake it off girl. This aint gonna happen.
I gave him my hand. He gripped it tenderly in both of his, and stared intently into my eyes. "Ok Angela," he started, "let's see what we can see."
Let's see what we can see? Who says that? It sounded utterly ridiculous. I giggled to myself, in my head, unable to contain the smile that had erupted onto my face. Shit! Now he definitely thinks I like him. Stupid jerk! Damn, why did I keep calling him a jerk? I didn't even know him. Well, I knew why. But did he know why? Oh God, what if he did know why? What the hell was I even talking about? The wine was really fogging my brain now. I smiled again, inadvertently. A dopey smile. Like I was a teenage girl about to be asked to the prom by the star quarterback. I shook my head again. To clear it. But I shook it a little excessively, and my glasses flew off my face into the carpet.
"Sorry," I offered, smiling again - STOP WITH THE DAMN SMILING ANGE!!!
"No problem," he offered back, "I'll get them for you."
Awww, so sweet, I thought. Offering to get my glasses from the floor. I wonder what else he'd offer to get me? Oh dear. I really should not drink so much right before an important event like this. I was embarrassing myself.
"Want to try again?" he asked, handing me back my glasses, and holding out his hand for mine.
"Sure," I replied, "Just, be gentle with me. It's my first time."
Oh, for fuck's sake! It's my first time? What did I say that for? And with another stupid goofy smile? Ok, he officially now thinks I'm a freak. I managed to resist shaking my head again, and just stared ahead, past him, into his kitchen. Hmmm, nice kitchen, I thought. I hadn't noticed it before. Lots of cupboard space. And WOW, look at that oven. Think of the cakes I could bake in that thing.
"Ange?" I heard from somewhere, "ANGE!"
It was Vee, who I had almost forgotten was even there. "What?" I asked, a little harshly.
"You wanna get on with it? Or you want the tour?" she asked, no attempt to mask the sarcasm.
"Ok ok ok..." I began, looking at Anthony, "Sorry Anthony, let's do this."
He smiled again, wider this time. Ahhh, two perfect rows of shiny white teeth. Not a mark on them. Wonderful. I wondered if it was all natural, or a result of some quite aggressive brace work as a child. Not that it really mattered. They were perfect now. But, if we were to have kids obviously, then it could be a problem. Braces weren't exactly cool were they? What? Kids? OHMYGOD! I was already planning my future with this guy? I'd known him all of 5 minutes. Literally. I was pathetic. NO! Don't shake the head!
"Ok," Anthony started, his grip as gentle as the night breeze rustling fallen leaves in October. Ok, that was the point when I knew I'd read too many trashy romance novels. What hope was there for me? I mean, really?
He continued. "I'm getting something here. There's a man. Quite Tall. Pale. Bald. In a suit. Does that mean anything to you?"
I racked my brain for any memory of a man such as the one my future husband had described. I could think of plenty. My Great Uncle Gerry. He'd been tall, pale and bald. And he always wore a suit. Died 25 years ago. An accident with a meat slicer. My Grandad. He wasn't so tall, or bald, but he was pale, and always wore a suit. Well, more of a mix and match jacket/pants scenario, so maybe not him. Oh, what about my ex, Brian? He was tall, always wore a suit (he worked in the city), and he was bald. I didn't think he'd died though (unfortunately. Bastard!). I would have to have checked.
"Err, maybe." I simply said, hoping it was enough..
"Ok ok," Anthony said, nodding, as if I had given him some form of correct answer. "Now, what about the name Ambrose? Can you accept that?"
And that was when my world fell apart right in front of me. How, in the hell, could this guy know about Ambrose? Vee didn't even know about Ambrose, and she was my best friend. In fact NOBODY knew about Ambrose, except for me, and Ambrose. And it had been 15 years since I had even thought of him, let alone spoken to, or seen, him.
I instinctively pulled my hand away from Anthony's, all smiles now gone.
He knew something was wrong. "What's wrong?" he asked, still using that calming voice. It didn't register as cute now though. It registered as creepy. And scary. And dangerous.
"What? No, nothing," was all I could say, "I just, err, remembered, I, we, have to go. Right Vee?"
I glanced quickly over to Vee, hoping to God that she would see the look on my face, and take the hint. All the fun had gone from this event.
Luckily Vee knew exactly what I was getting at, and agreed that it was indeed time to go. We'd forgotten something, she told Anthony, something important. It couldn't be missed. Or helped. Sorry. Perhaps we could come back another evening? Sure, he said, that would be great.
I was already on my feet, and waiting by the door, ready to go. Vee was soon beside me. I grasped the door handle, opened it wide, and was about to step out, when Anthony called something that I will never ever forget.
"Oh, by the way," he called, "I don't know if you're interested, but Ambrose says he remembers what happened now. Remembers it as clear as day."
collapsed with panic. I began to shake. I began to sweat. I shivered,
Acid rose up into my throat and burned. I felt dizzy. I reached out
for the door frame. Gripped it tightly. Oh shit. Oh fuck. Oh Jesus Christ.
Could this be real? Could Ambrose really remember? I didn't even have
time to finish my train of thought. I crumpled to the floor, unconscious.
Nothing was ever going to be the same again.
|Copyright © 2015 Daniel Lee Peach|