Mundane life continues for Cat and Roxi, but outside their tedium, something lurks. Edging its way into their quiet town. Although, it is not something new; it is very old…
Cat sat motionless, her hands resting on the computer keys. Head bowed, her mind was swimming through distant images and curious possibilities. She had dreamed strange dreams the night before and the feeling of something impending had stayed with her.
The supervisor had given her a box of old death certificates to be entered into the new computer system this morning, and it had done nothing to improve her mood. Her heart was clinching and unclinching with each breath. All she could focus on was the date 1835.
What did it mean? Why was the purchase date of that property from the previous day running around in her mind? She felt an association between it and the dream’s lingering feeling of change. The connection had not struck her until she heard from a friend in the police department that a woman’s body was discovered outside the Trade Winds apartment complex near the school campus. The friend was talking rather loudly about the fact that the corpse had been almost totally bloodless.
Cat was still puzzling over the way that strange property record had leaped to her mind upon hearing about the woman’s body. Then the dream returned to mind.
In her dream, the town was haunted, a deadly haunt that strikes the sleeping and the unsuspecting. Like fog or insects, creeping in through cracks and holes to devour the bodies of the living beings. She tried to scream to those who slept. She tried to leave her house. But, she had ended up running from room to room in a continuous circle with no door to exit through.
What was the connection?
The sound of a door shutting across the hall startled Cat out of her daze. She released a quiet yelp. The worker beside her, Arty, jumped at the sudden noise and glared. She simply shrugged and faced her screen again, not wanting to give Arty an explanation. She did not like Arty very much.
With a deep breath, Cat tried to finish her work .
“Roxi, before we leave, I’ve got to go down to the microfiche files and look for something.” Cat was writing the time on her time sheet and feeling a bit guilty for the fact that she had spent a good deal of the time daydreaming instead of working. She possessed a strange need to be paid for only the hours that she felt had been productive. But, this need was neither practical nor realistic in today’s workplace. She very rarely put in less than an excellent day’s work. But still, there was a little voice in her head that sounded a lot like her father saying that she could have done more.
Roxi was watching her friend’s hesitation over the timesheet, and knowing she had been rather distracted today, she nudged Cat.
“5:30. Go ahead and write 5:30, will you?” she said patiently. “They’re not going to get mad over three-fourths of a box. Heck, that’s better than a lot of these people do.”
“I know.” Cat laughed guiltily. Finishing, she handed the pen to Roxi.
As she bent over the table to fill in her slot, she asked, “What are you gonna look for in the files?”
Cat shrugged. “I don’t know for sure. Anything weird from the year 1835.”
“That dream still bugging you?”
“Yeah. You ready?”
Roxi straightened. “Yeah. I’ll help you look, okay?”
They headed down the stairs.