The Portrait With the Lazy Eye
A scary story
Susan startled from a dream in which her hands were turning into roses. The room was black, chilled with the absence of sun in the windows, and still. She scoured the shadows encircling her bed for any signs of life. Her cat Grimace was sprawled near the foot of the bed, tail twitching absently against her blanketed shin. Nothing else moved.
Pieces of furniture set along the edges of the walls, clothed in darkness like hunchbacked giants, not breathing.
Her heart raced out of unexplained fear, and a current of gooseflesh washed over her skin. The feeling was quickly fading, like the images from her dream, but when she woke, there had been an undeniable presence, as if someone was leaned over her, their lips nearly touching the flesh of her ear.
What had they whispered to her? The number five? That was a strange thing to dream.
Groggy, she turned over and checked the clock by the bed. The digital glow read 5:55 AM.
Holy crap, that is weird! she thought, her exhausted mind already trying to pull her back under the waves. The sun would be up soon, and work would come too early. She closed her eyes, and was asleep just in time to not hear the sigh, and light sounds of footsteps on the carpet, walking out of the room.
The painting was perhaps the ugliest thing Susan had ever seen. She couldn’t believe she was actually trying to find a place to hang it in her apartment, but she knew her mother, and if she visited, she would be disappointed to not find it on the wall. There was no other choice. She had, after all, accepted the gift.
It was a portrait of a woman from the 19th century, supposedly a deceased family member. The last person to own it had been her grandmother, who died last fall. She vaguely remembered it hanging in her grandmother’s bedroom, on the rare occasion that she went in there. Dust covered everything in that room, and it smelled funny, like unwashed clothes.
The woman in the painting was wearing a black dress, with a white frilled neckline. She wasn’t smiling; one of her eyes stared off to the left at an odd angle. In her hands was a bouquet of roses.
The background was a garden of sorts, painted with a less detailed flourish of strokes, to make the subject of the portrait seem more three-dimensional in the foreground. All of the colors seemed muted with age, except for the white around the woman’s eyes, which gave her a creepy stare. Just looking at it,
gave Susan the heeby-jeebies, but you can’t choose your family, just as you can’t change the past.
She decided to hang the painting in her own bedroom, out of view from any potential visitors, on the wall behind the door. This way, she would only have to look at it right before bed, or any other time she decided to shut her bedroom door. If her mother visited, she would just have to understand that the painting was hideous, but at least she hung it up.
As she positioned the nail, and hammered it into the drywall, she struck her left thumb on the third swing.
“Ow! Damn it!”
The pain was intense and immediate, a throbbing pulse of heat beneath her thumb nail, and she hopped in a circle with her eyes closed, thumb in her mouth like a toddler throwing a fit. The intensity subsided after a few seconds and she sat on the edge of the bed and looked at her thumb. It was red, and her nail was chipped.
Shit, she thought. I could never be a carpenter.
There was a small bead of blood coming from the quick of her nail, and she realized the coppery taste of it was in her mouth. She sucked on it some more, and wiped the spit on her jeans.
The things we do for love.
The nail was in the wall as she planned, so there was that. She picked the painting up and centered it over the wire that crisscrossed the back of the frame. Standing back, she was once again unnerved by how creepy the woman was. It felt like a cliche, but the woman seemed to be watching her, despite the lazy eye. She shivered and looked down. A surprised laugh
burst from her mouth, and she covered it with her right hand.
Grimace, as inquisitive as ever about new things in the apartment, was sitting on his hind legs in the floor near her feet. He seemed to be staring up at the new object on the wall, intently curious as to what its purpose might be.
“Hey, Grimace. Do you like the painting?”
The response was shocking and unexpected. The cat hissed, the fur on its back standing on end, and then it ran from the room.
“What the hell?”
Almost on cue, there was a knock at the door.
Susan strode to the door, looking around to make sure the cat would not try his usual escape antics, but he was nowhere to be seen, which was odd. He usually ran to the door anytime there was a knock, or she was about to leave. To hide was completely unlike him. She frowned. There was a strange feeling of unease creeping into her gut, and she couldn’t figure it out.
It’s just a weird painting, that’s all.
She opened the door. It was UPS, right on schedule.
She signed for the package and dropped it off into the spare bedroom. Her latest shipment of makeup had arrived. Just one of her self-employment opportunities, that allowed her to work at home, and avoid the slave labor trade that so many of her friends seemed to be chained to. She liked living her life on her own terms. It allowed for a freedom that she hoped to never take for granted. Such as, drinking margaritas for lunch, which was what she planned to do in the next hour. She looked around again for Grimace. He was still hiding. She didn’t have enough time to worry about that right now. She had to make a few work-related calls to clients, and then get ready for lunch
with some friends. There would be time enough to worry about that when she was back from her date.
She stayed out later than planned, as can sometimes happen when you’re best friends with your “boss.” Her best friend Kyle owned his own independent publishing company, and when he started it, he had asked her to be the head editor.
When she got back to the apartment, she didn’t think anything of Grimace not coming to the door to greet her. She simply stumbled to the bedroom, stripped down to her underclothes, and fell into bed. If the cat wanted to join her, he would.
Dreams fell upon her, and swept her down the currents of rivers unseen.
The dream was vivid. As real as any dream she could remember. There was no sun, but the sky was filled with light.
An overwhelming scent of flowers flooded her senses, as if thousands of dried petals had been crushed and shoved into her nostrils. It was choking her. She reached out blindly, the light seemed to be everywhere, disorienting her, as there was no source. Something was holding her back. She couldn’t move her legs. There was pain, like spiders were biting her arms over and over. Looking down, she could see why, as thorny barbs were working their way out of her flesh, tearing through her sleeves around small red stains of her blood. Her hands collapsed on themselves before her, folding down like liquid, melting into different shapes, becoming rose blossoms. She tried to scream, but no sound could escape her throat. Instead, she vomited petals, which spread around her like a cloud of crimson bees, swallowing her into panic and madness.
Susan jerked out of bed. Her head felt like it was shoved full of cotton; the sheets were soaked with sweat. The bedside lamp was on. She must have forgotten to turn it off.
Something else was wrong, but what? She looked at the clock.
It read 4:44 AM.
“Jesus, I’m having some weird dreams.”
Trying to shake it off, she stumbled to the bathroom to empty her bladder, which felt like it was about to burst. She was just about to flush, when she heard Grimace. The sound froze her. It sounded like he was going crazy.
Unsure of what to expect, she crept back into the bedroom. The soft light from the lamp cast the room in an amber glow and long dark pools of shadow.
Grimace was crouched at the foot of the bed, growling deep within his chest,
fur standing at all ends, his tail as bushed out as it would get, a thing he only did when felt threatened, she knew, to try to look more imposing to predators. He sat, tense as a coiled spring, growling and hissing at nothing. His head moved vigilantly back and forth, as though he was watching something or
someone pace the floor between the bed and her dresser.
Watching this made her skin ripple with gooseflesh, the hair on the back of her neck rising as if to mimic the cat. The room was cold.
“Hey, Grimace,” her voice cracked, “what’s the matter, buddy? What are you scared of?”
The cat turned and looked at her for a moment, a tender expression of helplessness seeming to exude from its eyes, and then the deep rumble of aggression started again from his chest, and his ears laid back against his skull, as he turned back toward the foot of the bed and hissed. He swished his tail back and forth violently across the bed covers.
She didn’t know what to do. What the hell was happening here? She felt terrified but she didn’t know why.
Obviously, Grimace was reacting to something, but clearly there was nothing for him to react to.
“Is anyone there?” she asked, feeling like an idiot.
Of course, nothing answered. The room was silent except for Grimace’s disturbing growls.
“Okay, STOP IT!” she screamed, clapping her hands so hard they stung with pins and needles. “Get out of here!”
Grimace hissed at her and leapt from the bed, scurrying from the room. She jumped on the mattress, and pulled the covers over her as quick as she could. As if Grimace’s eery growling wasn’t bad enough, now the complete silence in the room was worse. She sat with the light on and listened for anything out of the ordinary, her eyes scanning the room for any clue as to what the cat could have seen. The room was a shadowy tomb of silence. Every creak and drip of ambience seemed amplified by a thousand. Her thoughts raced. It was a
long time before she fell asleep.
Three hours of sleep doesn’t quite cut it after a night of drinking. Daylight doesn’t wait for hangovers. Susan crawled out of bed and fetched herself a glass of water for her scratchy throat. As she was pouring the drink, she noticed her left thumb was really swollen. She took a sip of the water, savoring the coolness in her mouth, and she walked to the bathroom,
flipping on the lights.
Upon closer inspection, her thumb was gross. The nail was cracked and oozing clear pus, some of which had already dried into a crusty scab around the bottom edge. Its color was reddish-pink, and turning blue along the
puffy sides. She frowned and rinsed it under the faucet in cold water. Funny that she didn’t remember hitting it that hard.
Surely she would have noticed her thumb nail being cracked, even though it had bled a little the day before. She wrapped it in a band-aid and went about the day. Maybe she slammed it in a door or something last night while she was drunk. It happens.
The day passed without much excitement. Grimace seemed to be over his weird episode, and wasn’t hiding like the day before. While she researched things on the internet, he actually crawled into her lap and purred until he fell asleep, which was normal cat behavior if she had ever seen it. She knew cats were weird about changes to their environment, but she didn’t understand how hanging a new painting on the wall could make one act how Grimace had acted the past day and a half. Nothing on the internet seemed to have any clues either.
One site had an account of a cat owner who thought her cat was reacting to a ghost that liked to turn on her kitchen faucet, but Susan thought that woman was probably an undiagnosed schizophrenic. She didn’t believe in ghosts. That was silly.
At lunch, she asked Kyle what he thought about it.
“So, you’ve never seen your cat behave like this? Not even when you’ve brought over strange gay men to your apartment?”
“No, never. Don’t be stupid,” Susan laughed. Kyle was gay and loved to poke fun at the fact that most of the people she hung out with felt uncomfortable around him. It wasn’t like he thought though. Her father acted weird once when they stopped by before going out, because Kyle had been dressed in
a skin tight belly shirt and glitter pants. He loved attention, and couldn’t understand why every man didn’t think he was sexy.
She loved him.
“I mean, what do you think? I read that one thing about animals being able to see ghosts. Do you think I could have brought a ghost into the apartment with that stupid painting? I don’t believe in ghosts, but I’m starting to get a little freaked out. Not to mention the dreams I’ve been having…”
“Girl, the only ghost I believe in is the ghost of Marilyn Monroe, and she’s only hanging around in Hollywood cause she’s still pissed at JFK for killing her.”
They both laughed.
This night the dream was different. She wasn’t alone. She could hear someone breathing, a loud raspy breath that seemed to fill the space around her with a cloying tension. It felt like they were standing behind her, watching, waiting, waiting for something to happen, but she couldn’t turn to see them. The stench of rotten roses suffocated her.
Not again, she thought, panic starting to swell in her chest like a helium balloon.
She reached out with her hands to find anything to grab onto in the white blindness. Her palms seemed to strike an invisible barrier, something that wasn’t there before. Trying to scream, she pounded her fists against it, even as the change began again, her fists swirling into thick liquid that splashed like bloody paint in the air against the unseen wall and forming into blossoms of red, her wrists starting to turn green even as the thorns started tearing their way out of her skin. Again she vomited a swirling cloud of petals that seemed like it would never stop.
The panic seized her like a bear trap through the heart, driving her senses into a fury of desperation, as the world itself started to come apart at the edges like wet paint splashed with water, and the breath behind her turned into a sinister laugh….
She screamed and was awake, gasping for breath in the darkness, sucking in air like someone who had been trapped under water. Someone had been in the room, whispered in her ear. She could still smell their perfume, a faint lingering odor of some flowery scent, or was that part of the dream that felt so
As if to answer her question, the bedside lamp clicked on.
She shrieked and jumped out of the bed, standing on the opposite side of the room from the lamp. She could see the clock by the bed, which read 3:33 in the morning. And then there was Grimace, who had been sleeping with her, and was now growling low and terrible, his ears back, as if he could see what she could not, something that wanted to hurt them. He crouched again at the foot of the bed, his head tracking something unseen, as it moved back and forth in the room.
“Whatever you are, I don’t know what you want, so leave us alone!”
Grimace hissed. The repeat of this scene was nauseating, filling her with a helpless terror that she could not understand, the hair on her arms standing at attention as the gooseflesh again rippled over her like a coat of forgotten
There was a loud SMACK! sound that seemed to have no source, sounding like two hands clapping together right next to her head, so unexpected that she jumped back into a CD stand next to her wall, causing a raucous noise as CD cases tumbled around her feet and crashed to the floor.
And then it was over. Grimace stopped growling and looked at her, as though nothing had even happened. He licked his paw and started turning in circles on the bed, already looking for a spot to lie back down. She collapsed to the floor and cried. Grimace yawned, unsympathetic. This was crazy.
What had she done to deserve this? She just was too nice when her mother offered her an ugly painting that belonged to her dead grandma. And now, it felt like she was losing her mind.
She pulled a blanket from the bed and a pillow, spilling Grimace to the floor with mild discontent, and she moved to the living room couch. There would be no more sleep this night.
When the sun was out, forcing the eerie shadows of night to hide under the furniture, she went back into the bedroom. She had to get that painting out of there. Her mother would never forgive her if she threw it away, which she was
tempted to do, but hopefully just getting it out of her room would alleviate the problem, if she was right about everything stemming from bringing this item into her life.
She pushed the door closed, so she could see it. She had almost forgotten just
how ugly it was. The woman stared from the frame, with her one true eye seeming to look right at her, the unnatural white amid the other faded colors giving her a demonic sneer, a hint at some evil that didn’t seem to be there before.
Susan stepped closer and scrutinized the artwork, looking for any clue that
might lead her to understand what had been happening. She realized that she could not see the woman’s hands in the painting, as if the artist had been too lazy to paint them around the bouquet, and had just sort of turned them into the ends of her arms. Seeing that made her throat go dry as a shiver racked
through her. She wasn’t sure why, but that seemed oddly familiar to her, giving her that world-shifting inertia sensation accompanied with déjà vu.
Okay, she thought, this is just fucking weird.
She grabbed the painting off the wall, noticing some pain in her thumb as she grasped it around the edges of the frame, walked it into the other bedroom, and slid it under the bed.
“Now, leave me the fuck alone,” she said as she shut the door.
She grimaced. Her thumb was throbbing now, seeming to flare with pain in rhythm with her heartbeat. Maybe it had swollen some more, and the band-aid was on too tight.
She went into the bathroom, and pulled the bandage off her thumb. The pain worsened as she worked the adhesive strip free of the swollen flesh. She pulled in a breath through her teeth.
“Jesus,” she sighed. It had not gotten better. In fact, it looked worse, like maybe it was getting infected. Susan decided some antibiotic ointment was in order, and pulled out a tube of Neosporin from the drawer by the sink. Biting her lip
with the pain of working her thumb, she squeezed out a small glob of the ointment onto her right index finger. Gingerly, she applied it to the thumb, smearing it over the crack in her nail.
As she did so, she gasped as the pain intensified when she reached the center of the nail, like her index finger was hooking into a splinter of her thumb nail and trying to pull that whole side of the thing off, although it was still connected to the tender skin underneath. She gritted her teeth together and
raised up her hand closer to the overhead vanity lights, so she could see it better.
The crack in the nail had seemed to get worse, spreading from the base all the way to the end. She could see the end of the jagged edge her finger had caught on, and it looked darker than the rest of her nail. Looking closer, it
looked like an actual splinter of wood, that had somehow gotten into the crack of her nail, by some sort of obscene miracle, as it had been bandaged all day. Susan fished around in the drawer and found her tweezers. The best way to deal with a splinter, was to get it out.
She sat her hand on the sink, with the thumb stretched sideways, and leaned in with the tweezers. Preparing herself for pain, she grasped the end of the black splinter, being sure not to accidentally brush her sensitive nail, and pulled at it. The pain was unbelievable, and sharp, stabbing right through her
consciousness like a white hot blade. She cried out and fell to one knee for a moment, dropping the tweezers into the sink.
Holy shit, she thought. Maybe I should see a doctor.
She looked at her thumb, tears welling up in her eyes, and she could see that she had brought the splinter up some, but not all the way out. Instead of a small thin piece of wood, this thing actually seemed to get a little thicker beneath the surface. Where had this come from? She decided she had to get
it out, pain or no pain.
Reaffirming her will to succeed, she stood back up, taking the tweezers from the sink with a scrape of metal against porcelain, and leaned back over her thumb, which was bleeding again. She grasped the end of the splinter with the tips of the tweezers, and bit down on her lip as she pulled. The pain was
overwhelming, but this time she was ready for it, and didn’t let go, sweat standing out on her brow as she started to whine a guttural whine from the depths of her throat. The splinter was pulling free, getting thicker as it emerged from her flesh, actually pulling apart the edges of the crack in her nail, like an uprooted tree may pull apart the ground around it. She screamed as she pulled it the rest of the way from her thumb, a pain so vivid it seemed to make the rest of the world two- dimensional, blood dripping out around her thumb and sliding down into the wash basin, but also a scream of triumph, as she held the splinter firmly in the tweezers and raised it up into the light.
The scream died in her throat, her mouth gaping open in shock as she observed what she had done. It wasn’t a splinter she had removed. It was a thorn.
The world filled with white specks that flooded her vision, that seemed to coagulate around her like cancer cells in a microscope, the black around their edges swelling like a reversed eclipse as the world went dark.
There were no dreams this time. Just a sense of breath by her ear, and that faint odor of flowery perfume, as she awoke in the bathroom floor. She pulled herself into a sitting position and looked around. Her back was stiff. The phone was ringing.
She walked to the bedroom and snatched her cell phone from the nightstand.
Before she answered, she saw that the time was 2:22 PM. It was Kyle calling.
“Hey, where’ve you been, I’ve been calling you all morning,” Kyle sounded worried.
“Hey, sorry, I guess I passed out. I haven’t been sleeping well.”
She looked at her thumb. The blood had dried into a disgusting scab around the crack and base of the nail.
“Not the painting thing?”
“The painting thing. It’s getting really weird, Kyle. I don’t feel safe here by myself.”
“Why don’t you just get rid of it?”
“I can’t. I told you, my mom gave it to me. It was my grandmother’s.”
She sighed and rubbed her eyes.
“Jesus, Susan, you’re the only one I know who would rather be haunted than offend someone,” he laughed in his high pitched laugh.
“Yeah, well, how about you stay with me tonight? Maybe this ghost will be a homophobe and decide to leave.” She smiled.
“Okay, that sounds like fun. I’ll bring some holy water, and by that I mean Bacardi.”
Nothing can make you forget that a ghost is trying to kill you faster than a few shots of 151. It was good to relax for a minute. Susan told Kyle about pulling the thorn from her thumb that she thought was a splinter, and how the woman in the painting didn’t have any hands. He wanted to see the thorn, but she hadn’t been able to find it in the bathroom floor, just the tweezers. The bloody scab on her thumb was real enough though to make her sure she hadn’t dreamed it. Kyle wasn’t so sure. He wanted to see the painting.
They went into the spare bedroom, and she pulled it out from under the bed, and set it on the mattress for him to look at.
“Huh, you’re right about her not having any hands, just that bouquet, almost like her hands are the bouquet.”
“I know, it’s weird right?”
“Yeah, but you know what else is weird is the lazy eye. I didn’t want to say anything earlier because I didn’t want to piss you off, but I’ve never noticed your lazy eye before.”
“What? I don’t have a lazy eye!” she laughed, a little uncertain.
“Uh, honey, yeah you do. Your left eye looks like it just applied for government funding,” he said, pointing at her sarcastically. He took a drink from his glass, ice clinking around in an odd moment of silence between them.
She turned and looked in a mirror on the wall. He was right. Her left eye was beginning to drift off a little from center, not as exaggerated as the woman’s in the painting, but it was definitely happening. For a moment, she felt like the room was spinning. She felt like her feet had lost all sense of the ground.
She felt like a ghost.
“Well, fuck this,” she said, “my mom’s just going to have to be offended.”
She grabbed the painting from the bed so fast she nearly made Kyle spill his drink, and he laughed wildly at her, as she practically ran to the door and set the piece of art outside for the valet trash collector. They had already been there for the night, it was after ten, but by tomorrow, when they picked up
the trash, it would be gone from her life for good. At least now it would be out of the house, and maybe she could sleep a whole night through.
She lay in bed for a while, wondering if she would sleep. Kyle was in the other room, so there should be some comfort in the fact that knowing she had more than a cat to protect her, although it did occur to her that a skinny gay man
with a preference for glitter accessories may not be that much protection from the spirit world. Grimace did seem more at ease with the painting out of the house. He was already stretched out near her feet, tail twitching as if he were
dreaming. She wondered if cats truly dreamed. If so, she hoped they didn’t have nightmares.
She looked at the clock. It was four past midnight.
Suddenly, a feeling of relief swept through her. If there was going to be an incident tonight, she felt sure it would have happened around midnight, because in her mind, she had grown very paranoid that the entity, whatever it was, had been counting down to something. Besides, midnight was supposedly when scary things happened, at least in the movies.
She was suddenly very sure that things were going to be okay after all, and the heaviness of her eyelids grew more apparent by the second. She was quite drunk, and despite her nap earlier that day, was exhausted. Fighting attacks of the netherworld can be a very taxing experience on the mind and the body.
With the wave of calm coursing through her, she relaxed for the first time in days, and within minutes, sleep took her.
There was the light again, and the overpowering perfume-like scent of a rose garden worn like a mask over the face. The scent gagged her, choked her senses, and she immediately knew what it meant. This wasn’t over.
No, not again. Not again. Not again.
She tried to struggle forward, but knew her legs would be locked into place, and they were. The presence was with her again. Her heavy breathing was all around her, sounding like a giant freight car being pulled back and forth across the sky, through her mind.
No no no no no no no no…
She felt the pain in her arms as the thorns started to push up through the skin. She felt the blood start to trickle from the wounds. She felt her hands begin to change, and she reached forward again, because it was all she could do, pounding her fists of roses against the invisible barrier before her. There was no sound. There was no air. There was only the pain, and the breathing of the woman behind her. But she would not scream this time. She knew what happened if she screamed and she was determined to outlast the dream, to
defeat it, to make it through. She could not die in a dream.
But that was when she felt the hands on her shoulders, the fingers digging into her flesh like hooks and twisting her body around, turning her face to face with the woman from the painting, the woman with the lazy eye.
Her eyes glowed with a fierce whiteness, the rest of her face a running mess of skin turning into liquid, her mouth opening to reveal a tongue-less hole coming toward her as if to kiss her, or to swallow her.
And then she screamed, she screamed and the world was an avalanche of rose petals.
Susan jumped awake at exactly 1:11 with a scream dying in her throat, only to find the face from her dream inches from her own.
“Noo — ”
She tried to scream and found a vice clamped around her neck, cutting off her air. The face above her was smiling, barely visible in the blackness, almost a part of the blackness.
Susan thrashed about in the bed, trying to break free, but finding her swings only striking the blankets and the air, as if she were fighting against a shadow.
Insanely, she wondered where Grimace was.
She knocked the bedside lamp and the alarm clock of the end table with a crash, her thrashing becoming more frenzied as the panic of dying really took hold of her. But the shadow above her gave her no room to even get a gasping
breath, holding her to the mattress with an unrelenting force, seeming to stare into her eyes and ask her to welcome this fate, to accept it. She refused, but could feel her arms growing heavier with every swing, as if her hands were changing again, only this time into twenty pound barbells, and then into fifty pound barbells, the black face above her seeming to grow until it filled the entire ceiling, its smiling mouth leaning in to kiss her goodnight…
She awoke after what seemed like a nap of a hundred years. The daylight filled the windows. The cat at her feet looked up at her and yawned, then licked its paw nonchalantly.
She turned over to get out of the bed, and found the lamp and alarm clock in the floor. Smiling, she set them back upright and in their usual place. The alarm clock was blinking 12:00, which meant the power had gone out sometime during the night. This didn’t really concern her.
She went into the living room to find a handwritten note on the bar. It read: Had a good night last night. Didn’t see any ghosts. You’re still sleeping, so I’ll let myself out. Call me later.
She smiled. He was such a cute boy. The cat had followed her into the living room, and brushed against her calf.
She smiled at that too.
There was a knock at the door.
Calmly, she opened it. There was a man there with a package. As soon as the door was open, the cat ran through it, and down the breezeway.
“Hey, damn, want me to try and catch your cat?” the delivery man asked.
“No, that’s okay, let him go.”
“Okay…is that your painting there?” He pointed to the portrait leaned against the outside of the building.
“Oh, yes, thank you for reminding me. I can’t believe I almost decided to throw this away. It’s been in my family for generations.”
She picked the painting up and looked it over. The woman in it was younger than she remembered, but her hands were still replaced with that disturbing bouquet of roses. For a moment this made her frown, and she absently rubbed the tips of her fingers against the back of the frame, remembering what textures were like.
“Ok, well, just sign here for this package, ma’am, and I’ll be on my way.”
She turned back to the man. His jacket said UPS.
“Oh, of course, are you sure that’s mine though? Who’s it addressed to?”
“Yes, ma’am, says right here, Susan Galbreath, this address.”
“Oh, yes. Susan Galbreath. That’s my name.”