That Which Remains by Olivia Batker Pritzker

unnamed-7Vote on what Jasper, the fortune-teller sees at the end of this episode!

Previously… Roxy agrees to investigate Calvin and promises to be completely honest with Jasper. However, readers voted that she is hiding that she thinks Juliette knows where the jewels are.

Episode 9

“Thanks so much, Calvin.”

Roxy shook the restaurateur’s hand warmly and tied the thin black apron around her waist. She was to start that afternoon. Calvin had been quick to give her the job, surprised even that she hadn’t already asked. He had gotten used to seeing her around the restaurant, visiting Juliette or talking with the regulars at the bar. She would be a perfect addition to the group. Roxy pinned her blond hair up on top of her head, smiling to herself.

Juliette was delighted. Roxy was soon introduced to Dinah, the other waitress at The Mill. Dinah had long, vibrant red hair, perpetually red-painted lips, and mischievous green eyes. She could often be seen sitting on the bridge above the water mill playing an old harmonica and she always had a bottle of whiskey for the girls to share after particularly long shifts. Sometimes Calvin would join them, and Dinah would leave with him afterwards.

Almost a month passed. Roxy worked hard and enjoyed the company of Dinah and Juliette, and she grew accustomed to the dull, rhythmic clunk that told her Cal was approaching and the wry smile hidden under his thick black beard. Although she saw him frequently, Roxy had very little opportunity for one-on-one interaction and had learned only basic information about him. He had been in Anchester Falls for years, lived alone in an apartment attached to The Mill, was respected by most people and yet really known by almost no one. He was divorced with no children. One tipsy night when Cal wasn’t with them, Roxy had carefully interrogated Dinah about him.

“So you and Cal,” she had giggled, leaning close to Dinah and passing back the bottle. “What’s going on there?”

Dinah had smiled in that mysterious way of hers.

“He’s a good man.”

“Oh?” Roxy hadn’t been expecting that. “Why would anyone think differently?”

Dinah tossed her red hair back and looked at Roxy appraisingly. “People gossip. They don’t know much about him, so they make things up. His leg, his past, his ex-wife -” She broke off. “But I trust him,” she said finally. “No one knows him like I do.” Roxy didn’t press the issue. It was time, she decided, to hear some of this gossip and see for herself what the truth was.

***

Alone in his shop, Jasper retrieved the silver instrument from its dusty shelf and spread his hands across the engraved base. He fixated on Juliette as the images began to swim in front of his eyes – a bit blurry, but still clearer than they had been for anyone in a long time. The instrument began to quiver and hum, growing warmer, and the shapes became clearer as the small silver balls slid from side to side. Juliette at work, Calvin White watching her as she wiped down a table. Juliette at home, cooking spaghetti for her and her brother, laughing and drinking wine in the kitchen with Roxy. Juliette alone in her room, looking at an old photograph of her parents. Jasper adjusted the instrument, swinging the balance 90 degrees, and new images began to appear. Juliette yelling at Roxy in the alley outside The Mill, Juliette’s brother moving his stuff out of the house, Roxy and a young woman with bright red hair talking urgently on a windy street, the same red-haired woman screaming as she backed away from –

Jasper’s eyes widened and he wrenched his hands off the burning hot silver.

Vote below on what Jasper sees or if reading in email click Take our Poll.


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