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Hidden Things Excerpt

Hidden Things Excerpt

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Published by Dana Trombley

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Published by: Dana Trombley on Aug 21, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/21/2012

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1
A ringing pHone
jerked Calliope Jenkins out o a soundsleep. She umbled or the source o the noise, startled andtrying to blink her eyes into ocus. The blocky red alarm clock LED hovered in the darkness like a bad memory, reading 1:43
.On the third ring, she managed to nd the handset and rollit o the cradle into her palm. “H’lo?“Calli,” said the voice on the other end o the line. “It’s me.”She smiled and pushed hersel arther underneath thecomorter. “
Hey 
. I thought you’d be home and asleep by now.The strange, hiccuped silence o an interrupted cellularconnection broke through the call or a moment. “A ewthings came up; I’m still out on the road, actually.”“Cripes, really? When
 — 
 ” A murmur drited rom the oppo-site side o the bed. Calliope hal glanced in that direction andlowered her voice. “Hang on a sec.” She got up and paddedtoward the door to the bedroom, snagging her robe as shestepped into the hallway. “When do you think you’re going toget back?“I don’t . . . Everything’s pretty complicated.
 
2
Doyce Testerman
“Complicated how?” Yawning, Calliope shufed into thekitchen and pulled open the rerigerator door.“Can’t. Too late to get into any o it, anyway. You going to beall right?”She shrugged, still staring blankly into the rerigerator. “I’mne, except it’s two in the morning.”She could hear him smile on the other end o the line.“Cranky. You should take a shower and wake up.She pushed hair out o her ace. “See, this’s your main con-usion. I don’t
want
to wake up. I wasn’t actually lying inbed thinking, ‘Oh, I wish someone would call and give mea reason to get up.’ I wasn’t thinking anything. I was
asleep
.I was enjoying it. I’d like to get back to it sometime tonight.”“So . . .” She could hear the smile broaden in his voice. “Noshower?”She smiled. “Freak.“Hardly.”“We could use that or the new ads: ‘Joshua White: wheremind and gutter meet.’ You’d be very popular.”“Wrong kind o clientele.”“Because our current client base is so normal.” She rownedat the open rerigerator. “What
are
you working on right now?“It’s a new one, kind o. I shouldn’t have taken it.”“Obviously.”Another pause on the other end o the line. “Yeah. Say, I washoping you could . . . I know it would be a huge hassle or you,but I was wondering i you could talk to Lauren or me andexplain what’s going on.”Calliope’s eyebrows drew together; she pushed the rerigeratordoor shut. “You can’t call her?”“It’s really all I could manage to call you.
 
3
Hidden THings
“Whatever. They only allow you one call beore they put youback in with
 — 
 “Seriously.”She nudged at the raised edge between the dining roomcarpet and kitchen tile with her toe. “Can we go back to talkingabout me in the shower?“It’s all right i you don’t want to. I’ll understand.”“You’re going to owe me.”She elt the relie on the other end o the line. “I’m going toowe you huge, Calli. Huge.”“Yeah . . .” She wrapped an arm across her midsection, pull-ing the robe close. “That all you needed to wake me up at twoin the morning or?“That and the shower thing. You’re the best, Cal, I swear. Goback to sleep. Tell your guy I’m sorry about the call.”’Kay.” She glanced out the kitchen window at the palestreetlights. “Just be sae.”“Don’t worry about me. I’m ne.”“Sure.”“Sae as houses. Go to bed. Watch out or the hidden things.”Her attention came back to the phone. “The hidden thingswhat?”The line was already dead. Calliope turned her gaze back tothe window, the phone orgotten in her hand. Seconds passedbeore she shivered inside the olds o the robe, set the phonedown on the counter, and headed back to the bedroom. The redLED o the clock read 1:48
.The clawed thing took the phone rom Joshua. “She sounds . . .nice.”
O

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