At the Door

The third story printed with Fire in the Sky

 

Kris sat sideways in her favorite chair, reading a book and waiting for her visitor. The antique clock on the mantle showed 11:57pm. Kris turned the page and listened to the sound of the fire in the hearth, along with the quiet tick tock of the clock. A deck of tarot cards lay on the coffee table in front of her. She closed her book to glance at them. Just that morning they had confirmed the arrival of her guest, though they were not her first hint of his visit. That had come to her last night.

The dream had shown him in a white button-up shirt and pants under black trench coat, with dark red glasses. His face was indescribable, empty of the characteristics that would make him human. He was beautiful as always, terrifying, lighter than a demon, darker than an angel. As they stood in the void he made it known to her that he was coming at the twenty-fourth hour. He was coming to take her away.

The clock was whispering to her: tick. tock. tick. He’s almost here, it whispered, he’s almost here. She had set aside her entire day to wait for him, to prepare for her departure. The cards, the runes, everything told her that he was coming for her, that they would finally be together. She touched her lips absentmindedly. He had always been a man of his word.

He had been watching her for a long time, noting her abilities. She was well known for her powers over fate. She could rewrite the future as one would sew a stitch into fabric. She could choose if a person lived or died, if she so wished. Just a little tug here and there on the natural flow, and it could all come crumbling around her feet. The inhuman gift had won her a life of solitude, for all feared her wrath. No one ever bothered her. No one ever met her eyes.

Kris felt a small smile tug at her mouth. Everything would change now, everything would be better. He was finally coming for her. He was coming to take her away, to make her his bride. The clock still whispered to her: Tick. Tock. Tick. The fire crackled, slowly dying. It was 11:59, and he was almost there.

She set her book on the coffee table, turning to face the fire; the flame was almost down to embers. The constant thought that she would be so much happier once she left this dismal existence behind ran through her mind. She wouldn’t be taking anything with her, for she didn’t think any possession of hers would be worth much where she was going, not with the knowledge so readily at her fingertips. The clock struck midnight and the tiny chime began ringing. Excitement swelled up in her and she stared hopefully at the door. When the chimes stopped, so did her enthusiasm. He’s late, she though, and he’s never been late before. The house fell quiet. Even the tick tock tick had stopped and the fire had died completely. The house gained an unearthly resonance when a knock came at the door.

After a shocked moment Kris stood and drifted across the living room, her soft footsteps echoing in the silence. He wasn’t late, he was never late. He had come for her, and she was ready. She grasped the handle of the door, undid the lock, and opened the door to her fate.

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