For of course he would lose it. Mrs. Genevieve wouldn’t dare help him sell it, and even though it was Reuben who had found the watch – a discover that had seemed so fated- he couldn’t even keep it. Because what sort of fool would hold on to something he knew The Smoke wanted?
The track leading up to their house is always littered with things that should be inside. Clothes, or a chair, or a boot. They’re like secret signs to follow, to get to the front door. Someone must pick them up eventually, as they change every time.
Everyone knew, you see, that there was a Talent running in my family. My mother had seen ghosts in her youth, while two of my sisters had sufficient Sight to get jobs with the night watch in the city of Newcastle, thirty miles away. None of them, however, had actually been agency material.
“Oh.” That is when I looked at the clock, over his head, marking this moment forever. The culmination of all those badminton matches and volleyball serves, of laps run around the gym in circles. This was what I’d been waiting for. “Okay. I’ll be there.”
“What’s there to eat in this kitchen that’s not on my person?” Caitlyn yells over the music, adjusting the Saran Wrap keeping her wild-honey-and-chamomile-tea-soaked hair from falling into her oatmeal-and-yogurt face mask.
“What’s on my person.” I run my finger across my jawline for some mashed banana to offer her.
Some more yells were heard, but a few moments later, the two boys emerged, each leading a dog, and looking rather red in the face. Daisy had the remains of what looked like a long white glove in her mouth. Lucky, meanwhile, was dragging a chewed boa behind her, wriggling her little tail in pride and delight.
Poppy glanced around the room again. The orphans’ memories still clung to her skin, like the muck of the river. She had to leave this room now – she couldn’t bear the lingering claustrophobia of the water.
“Did you hear that noise a second ago?” Fairday blurted out.
“What noise, honey? Are you okay?” Mrs. Morrow reached out and lifted Fairday’s chin tenderly.
“I thought I heard… Um, I guess it was nothing.” Fairday shrugged, biting her thumbnail, worried that it was all in her head.
“Are you sure? You seem shaken.”
“Yeah, I ‘m okay.”