That Which Remains by Olivia Batker Pritzker

unnamed-7Vote at the end of this episode!

Previously… Juliette looks up following an argument with her brother to see a woman sitting in the rafters of her house. Readers voted that Juliette has seen the woman around town, but has never spoken to her before.

Episode 3

Leaning against the counter, Calvin White drummed his fingers on its surface as he surveyed his restaurant. The Mill had grown into its cavernous former factory space nicely. The brick walls, high ceilings and enormous windows provided an excellent setting for an eatery, and at            

He shifted his weight slightly, transferring it onto his wooden leg. He was reminded every few years by his doctor that he would be more comfortable – not to mention blend in better – if he got a more natural-looking prosthetic leg, but Cal, perhaps because he had grown somewhat attached to the roughness of the leg, always declined. It made for a slightly eccentric image – Cal’s dark beard, startling blue eyes, broad frame and clunky, pirate-esque wooden leg. He was respected in Anchester Falls, and greeted most of his patrons like dear friends, however no one knew much about his past and no one could quite remember if they’d ever heard the story of how he lost that leg.

This particular evening, the dinner rush was just beginning to die down. The sun had set and Juliette was lighting the many tall candles that adorned the walls. It was a windy night. The windows were grand but less than perfectly insulated, and often the wind whistled through the cracks, causing the candles to flicker. Cal noticed that it was ruffling the hairpiece of an older, distinguished-looking gentleman at one of the tables and tried to signal Juliette but her attention was directed elsewhere, at a man who had just entered the restaurant.

Tall, thin, and impeccably close shaven, the man had beetle-black eyes hidden behind rectangular-framed glasses and wore a faded dark grey suit and long, skinny maroon tie. He cast his eyes around the space with interest. Cal was certain he’d never been in before, and therefore was either new in town or passing through. Anchester Falls didn’t get a lot of new inhabitants these days, and it was no wonder that many of the patrons had stopped eating and were openly staring at the newcomer.

Cal approached the man and greeted him, inquiring – “I haven’t seen you around before, just passing through?”

The man jumped, as if he hadn’t seen Cal standing right in front of him.

“Oh hello,” he said quickly. “No no, I just moved here. It seems like a beautiful town to make a fresh start in.”

Cal looked at the man in silence for a minute, and the man hastily continued.

“I think it will suit my particular…talents. I’m sure you’ll agree. Meanwhile I’m famished, and this looks like a splendid establishment in which to have a meal. Could I ask you to direct me to a table?”

Cal nodded, unsure what to make of this man, and raised a hand to summon Juliette who appeared instantly.

“Show our new resident to a table, would you?”

She nodded.

“By the way,” the man said suddenly, “my name is Jasper. It’s a pleasure to meet you..?”

“Calvin,” Cal shook the man’s hand. “Calvin White.”

Cal was an observant man, and he didn’t miss the fleeting look between the strange man and Juliette – not of recognition, but of instant connection – before she turned her back and he followed her to the table. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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