Part Nine of You Will Find Your Way
While packing up the house, and Giselle unearths one of Dallas’ biggest skeletons.
Blythe, Some Years Later
Packing is done best with copious amounts of alcohol.
Dallas sits crosslegged on the floor of her and Giselle’s room with two bottles of wine by her hip. She’s surrounded by the clothes they’ve both accumulated during the last two years of living in the isolated desert oasis, and somehow, there’s more than she can fit in the two duffel bags and one oversized suitcase they had when they first bought the tiny house.
Who knew it was possible to buy so much from the one and only Kmart in town?
“Giselle! We’re going to need to steal more boxes from Albertson’s tomorrow.”
She hears a muffled thump, the sound of something falling from a moderate height, and then the sounds of Giselle scrambling after something, “Okay!”
Blinking once, she pauses, waits for more sounds to echo throughout the bungalow, but nothing happens. Dallas drops the t-shirt she was trying to fold and moves to get up, but there’s really no way to get through the maze of clothing without actually putting it all away, so she just drops back down and calls out, “How goes packing the kitchen?”
Another thump follows her question, and then more shuffling, “Fine!”
Taking another drink, Dallas narrows her eyes at the doorway, “Are you even in the kitchen?”
They’ve been living here long enough that Dallas knows full well how sound carries and the differences that the vibrations make depending on where the speaker is, “Liar! Didn’t you say that the movers were coming like, first thing Tuesday?”
A series of light footsteps patter across the house before she hears the thumping cascade of a pile of books landing in one of the many boxes Dallas left in the living room after their first trip to the alley behind the Albertson’s, “See?” Giselle shouts, pointed. “Packing!”
Dallas shakes her head, but goes back to the pile of clothes spread out across her lap, folds a pair of mismatched socks together, because life is too short to put so much effort into garments people won’t see. She banks them into the plastic laundry basket full of their mixed undergarments and goes to the next pair.
Everything save the heat of the day and the whooshing sounds from the ceiling fan fades away as Dallas gets into a rhythm, so she barely notices the tapping of sandals on the floor and getting closer until Giselle clears her throat from the doorway.
When Dallas looks up, her blood goes cold at the leather-bound book that makes her hands look so small, “I realized I was using it as a coffee coaster in the bathroom,” Giselle says as she leaves it on the dresser when Dallas doesn’t make any more to get up. “Sorry.”
“That’s more than the thing deserves,” Dallas mutters, glaring at it while one of her shaking hands goes for her back where she knows her blade isn’t resting anymore.
It’s under the bed.
She hasn’t needed to wear it full-time for—well, years.
Eventually, Dallas pushes the rest of the clothes off her lap and steps through the maze to it, reaches out, but when her fingertips are inches away from the inscription on the leather cover, she snatches it back and presses it to her right shoulder instead, “Thanks for bringing it back.”
“I figured you’d want to keep an eye on it when we get to Tate,” Giselle sounds apologetic, a wince in her voice, and Dallas favors her with a shaky smile that they both know doesn’t reach her eyes. “For safekeeping. I thought about giving it back to the library, but, well, we know better than that.”
Dallas’ smile slips because she can’t hold it, nor does she really want to, so she glares at it instead, “I wish I could just set it on fire.”
Giselle crosses her arms over her chest and leans against the doorframe, “Maybe once I finish answering all the questions of the universe, I can work on that.”
A snort catches Dallas by surprise, made worse when it devolves into a choked-off giggle, “Much appreciated.”
You Will Find Your Way continues with Part Ten
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