According to Wikipedia, the eddimu were a type of utukku in Sumerian religion. They were envisioned as the ghosts of those who were not buried properly and were considered vengeful toward the living.
White shapes gathered under the moonlight. They floated effortlessly between the trees, reflecting the light as they moved. Arms outstretched, they hovered closer. They had no eyes but yet they seemed to see.
Maggie drew back from the window and yanked the heavy drapes closed. As usual, the old, drafty house was cold. No matter how much she turned up the heat or how many logs she added to the fireplace, she knew she would never feel warm here. It had been that way since Ethan died, only lately, it had been getting worse.
The ringing of the phone caught her off guard and made her stumble into an end table. With a stifled moan, she grabbed the receiver and brought it up to her mouth, breathless, she managed to hold back the string of curse words she’d wished to say.
“You’re never going to believe what he did this time.”
“What’s going on?” Maggie said, sinking into a rocking chair and eyeing the closed drapes warily. She listened to her friend, Kate, ramble about something completely unimportant while she contemplated how long those things would be out there tonight.
“Did you hear a word I said?” Kate asked, bringing Maggie out of her head and back to the conversation.
“Oh, of course I did.”
Kate made a sound that Maggie knew most likely meant she didn’t believe her but regardless, she continued to drone on. The latest boyfriend took up a lot of Kate’s time and energy and like or not, Maggie was going to get dragged into the saga.
“I’m sure he’ll come around,” Maggie said trying to offer support even though truly, she wasn’t sure of anything, least of all whether Kate’s recent romantic interest would finally see her friend for the brilliant person she clearly thought she was.
“Forget him,” Kate said suddenly, “What we need is a girl’s night out.”
Maggie sat straighter in her chair, “No! – I mean – it’s just that I’ve not been feeling very well lately and I’ve been so busy at work that -”
“Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, enough with the excuses already. Every time I suggest we get you out of that big, dreary house you have a dozen of them. I’m sorry but it’s time.”
“I’m not ready.”
“You’ll never be ready.”
“Some people don’t move on as quickly as you do, Kate.”
“That isn’t fair and you know it.”
“I’m sorry,” Maggie said resting her head back and letting the chair lull her gently back and forth, “You’re right.”
“I miss him, too.”
“Yeah, I know you do. I shouldn’t have said that.”
“But Maggie, you can’t sit around waiting for some magic moment when life finally feels normal again because I hate to break it to you but it’s never going to feel normal. You have to keep moving forward anyway. Ethan would have hated for you to sit around moping and feeling sorry for yourself all the time.”
“I don’t feel sorry for myself. Work really has been very busy. And things have been – weird lately.”
Maggie sighed and wished she hadn’t said anything. Now that the hint of it was out there, it would be unlikely for Kate to simply drop it without more of an explanation and Maggie had never been a very good liar.
“I don’t want to talk about it on the phone.”
“Good, then you have absolutely no excuse why you can’t join me for a girl’s night out tomorrow. I’ll meet you for drinks after work at the usual spot.”
“I haven’t been back there since -”
“Don’t worry, it hasn’t changed,” Kate said cutting her off, “Six thirty sound good?”
Kate gave her an exaggerated sigh over the phone and Maggie cringed at the thoughts that must be running through her friend’s head.
“Give me one good reason.”
Maggie took a deep breath and decided there was no reason not to just come out with the blunt truth. Kate needed to know.
“Because Ethan is back.”
There was silence on the other end of the receiver and Maggie started to think she’d lost the call. She leaned forward and rested her elbows on her knees listening intently to confirm the faint sound of Kate’s breathing on the other end.
“That isn’t funny.”
“It isn’t a joke.”
“Maggie, he isn’t coming back,” Kate said softly, patronizing, almost as though she were talking to a child.
Maggie gritted her teeth and tried to calm the racing of her heart. Of all the people who might believe such a crazy idea, it should have been Kate. Maggie wanted to scream at her for playing ignorant. She glanced toward the window again and for a split second, she was certain that the heavy material swayed as though someone had been watching her and dropped the drapes just in time to conceal his identity.
“You don’t have to believe me, Kate, but it’s true and I’m not going anywhere until I figure out what he is trying to tell me.”
“Goodness, Maggie, I had no idea how much all this affected you. I shouldn’t have left you alone so long.”
“I’m not crazy, Kate. You know that better than most.”
“If you’re referring to -”
“You know exactly what I’m referring to. Stop pretending like you didn’t see it too.”
“I don’t know what we saw, Maggie. Honest.”
“Never mind that,” Maggie said with a sigh, “Let’s have lunch on Saturday. Here, at my house. I have something I want you to see.”
Maggie could feel the hesitation. She knew that Kate hated the house and was probably debating suggesting an alternative location at the risk of making Maggie change her mind about getting together at all. Finally, she conceded.
“Fine. Saturday but I expect you to tell me everything.”
“Of course,” Maggie agreed.
“And I want you to promise me that after you do, you will get help.”
“I’m not crazy.”
“Fine. I promise. You will see for yourself though. I’m not crazy.”
After she hung up the phone, Maggie continued to sit in the rocking chair staring at the drapes, willing them to move. She didn’t dare get up and look out the window again. The chime of the clock in the hall alerted her to the fact that it was already eleven o’clock.
Only an hour until she faced him. She silently said a prayer that he’d be in a better mood than last night…
Thank you for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts. Each day I am posting a ‘snippet’ based on a paranormal creature that begins with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. I am using this as a fun writing exercise which I am hoping will also be enjoyable to read, but keep in mind that due to the fact that I must post a new snippet each day in April except Sundays, the posts may be a bit rough. I’ll do my best, however, in the limited time I have available to me. 🙂 Let me know your favorites or the posts you find most intriguing because I plan to develop those into a full story later in the year!
Check out the other participants in the A to Z Challenge.