Home > Harvest Web (Moonshadow Bay #4)(9)

Harvest Web (Moonshadow Bay #4)(9)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn

As if in answer, the toaster on the counter started to slide across the counter. I still had my phone in hand, so I hit the video button and took footage as the toaster continued its journey till it toppled over the edge to the floor. Great. Just what I needed.

“I’ll be back, and you’d better be gone, or I swear, I’ll chase your ghostly ass into oblivion.” With my threat ringing in my ears, I gathered the cat carriers. Less than twenty minutes later, I had Xi and Klaus safely tucked away back at Killian’s house. He kept a litter box there for them and I filled it, set out their food, then headed back to my house.

the cats are back at your house. will explain later, I texted, not expecting to hear back from him for a while, given he was probably in the middle of surgery by now.

Once I reentered my house, I stomped back into the kitchen, still irritated. I picked up the toaster and glanced around, looking for more signs of mayhem, but everything seemed quiet. I decided to take a jaunt through the house to see if anything else was out of place. But nothing else seemed amiss, so I headed back downstairs.

I flipped on the espresso machine. I probably didn’t need coffee but I wanted it. As I waited for it to heat up, I opened the fridge and peeked in. There was nothing that looked good, so I decided to go out to eat. On the way, I could think about my little poltergeist problem. I turned the machine off—I’d buy coffee while I was out, too—and, gathering my purse and jacket, I headed to my car, easing out into the street before I took off for Lucky’s Diner.

 

 

Chapter Four

 

 

Lucky’s Diner was one of those retro diners that had a 1950s feel, but was updated to the modern era. The food was plentiful and good, and the music in the digital jukebox was a mix of oldies and new tunes provided by Soundbox, a music app. The waiters and waitresses wore clothing that was styled for comfort, black swing skirts and trousers with white shirts. Across the back of the shirts, LUCKY’S was printed in green letters, with a shamrock in place of the apostrophe.

I settled into one of the booths. While I was waiting for a waitress, I put in a text to my aunt. i seem to have picked up a poltergeist, I said.

Within seconds, she texted me back. you need help?

yeah, but i’m down at lucky’s right now. if you could meet me at the house in an hour?

will do. by then I should be done with the curriculum i’m creating for my next gardening class. see you then.

I set my phone down as the waitress appeared.

“Hey Dita, how are you?”

Dita Jones—named for Dita von Teese—was a college student whose father had run off. Her mother was a lounge singer out at Freddy’s Jam, a nightclub on the edge of town. Going by the stage name of Flourish, Ona Jones also worked as the bartender for the club when she wasn’t performing. She had dropped out of high school to have Dita—Ona had been in my class when I was a junior—but she was savvy enough that even without her high school diploma, Ona had managed to buy a small house on the outside of town. Now, she was in the process of buying the diner from the owner.

“Hi, Ms. Jaxson.” Dita had been brought up to use “ma’am” and “sir,” and to call adults by their surnames rather than their first names. Even though she was now an adult, she continued the practice.

“How’s school? You’re in your senior year, aren’t you? At WWU?”

WWU, short for Western Washington University, was a college close by in Bellingham, with a range of available degrees. I had gone there, and that was where I’d met Ellison.

A smile spread over her face. “Yeah, I graduate with my BS in biochemistry next June. I’m set to graduate with honors, if I manage to keep my grades up this year.”

“Are you going on for your master’s?”

Again, she nodded. “I’ve applied for the biology grad program. I want to focus on molecular biology.” She glanced up as another person entered the diner. She poised her pencil over her pad. “So, what can I get you?”

I glanced at the menu again. “Fried chicken, mashed potatoes. A chocolate milkshake.”

She wrote my order down and then headed off to other tables. I settled back in the booth, waiting for my food to arrive.

 

 

By the time I reached the house, Teran was there. Her truck was parked out front, and I headed inside, figuring she was waiting for me. I was right. She was in the living room, watching TV.

Aunt Teran was an enigma. She was a strong, active sixty-eight years old. Most recently she had been sporting blue hair—mermaid hair, actually. A few weeks back she had gotten tired of the upkeep, so she dyed it all a lavender-silver, and now it swung in a braid that reached her ass, a gorgeous hematite color. Aunt Teran was gun-shy about marriage, but she still dated. She wore retro granny glasses and tie-dye shirts with either jeans or long gauze skirts. Tonight, she was wearing jeans and a blouse, a burgundy pattern with autumn leaves printed on the cream-colored material.

As I entered the room, she jumped, dropping the remote.

“You spooked me, girl.”

“Sorry. Killian’s wrapped up tonight with an emergency surgery. I took the cats back to his place, then headed out for a bite to eat.” I shrugged off my jacket. “Has anything happened?”

Teran frowned, her lips twisting. “Yeah, you might say that. Whatever visitor you have going on here tried to scare me. I walked into the bathroom and glanced in the mirror and saw a skull staring back at me. And then, when I reached to open the door, the handle wouldn’t turn. I was trapped in your hall bath for ten minutes before it let me out.”

“Fuck. This is the last thing I need,” I said, sitting down on the sofa beside her. “I wonder if the renovations stirred up anything.”

“That’s very possible. They took down several walls, didn’t they?”

I nodded. “Yes, they did, and that reminds me—they found a door in the library that Mom and Dad drywalled over. I assume it’s a closet. Actually, I don’t even know if it’s an actual closet. When I finally remembered it, I realized that they never let me in there. They told me that it was a storage space filled with spiders. The door was always locked, so I never saw inside.”

Teran frowned. “I don’t remember it. Where is it?”

“In the library.” I led her in and pointed to the door. “I remember it being there when I was a kid, though I had forgotten about it until the contractors found it. They had to take care of some of the wiring in here, and that’s how they ran across it.”

Teran examined it. “The lock isn’t standard. You’ll need a locksmith if you can’t find the key. I wonder if the key’s around here anywhere?”

I stared at the door for a moment. “Let me go look. I have Mom’s and Dad’s keys in my armoire. I’ll be right back.”

Hurriedly, I headed upstairs and pulled open the drawer to my jewelry armoire. My mother’s good jewelry was locked away with my own, but some of her costume choices hadn’t been my taste. But I didn’t want to give them away.

I sorted through the tangle until I found their key rings. I had taken the housekeys off, but the rest of them were a mystery to me. Now, I carried them down to the library. “Here’s what I found.” I showed Teran the keys.

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