But if you don't believe in superstitions...they can't come true. That's what she's always believed.
She ran into the park, the dark street giving away to a parking lot, the parking lot giving away to grassy field. Lucy was sniffing at a figure sitting on long bench - the type of bench made for soccer or baseball players to sit on.
"Lucy, come here!" She tried to speak authoritatively, but her voice betrayed her; it was weak and begging.
Lucy, of course, did not listen, instead, she was whining like she did when she wanted another dog to play with her.
Lola had no choice but to walk toward the figure, and as she got closer, the figure came into a focus. A young man, about her age, smoking a cigarette. He didn't look harmful, but then again, neither did Ted Bundy, a serial killer her grandmother talked about anytime should could. Ethel claimed she saw him hitchhiking back in 1975 while she was on a ski vacation in Colorado, almost stopped to pick him up, but, though he was clean cut and good looking, something in her gut made her keep driving. Soon after that, a girl went missing from that area and was found weeks later, naked, dead.
"You're knew here, aren't you?" The young man asked her.
"How did you know? Is it that small of a town?" Lola inched toward Lucy, ready with the leash.
"Nah, it's your accent. I hear an accent. I'm Asa, by the way."
"I'm from the midwest. Illinois. That's the accent you're hearing. I came here to be the head baker at the church they are turning into a restaurant. I'm Lola, and this is..."
"Lucy," Asa grinned.
He had such a relaxed face, a relaxed manor, that Lola felt the tension melt away from her shoulders. She quickly clipped Lucy to her leash.
"Well, it was nice meeting you. I have to get back home." A gust of wind sent dehydrated brittle leaves scurrying across the blacktop behind them.
"Lola," Asa took a long drag on his cigarette.
|St. James Church and graveyard Chalfont Pa|
"You must be mistaken," Lola said. "Or confused. I'm certain of it. The company paid for me to relocate here. They paid for my apartment for six months."
Asa's face suddenly softened. "Maybe I am wrong. Things in this town change so quickly lately. Call your company first thing in the morning, I hope I am wrong. We need some good, honest, people like you and your grandmother in this town. Not that there are bad people. Most people are good, they are just tired of the walls."
A loud wail pierced through the night. Lola jumped and Lucy howled.
"Fire siren," Asa said. "You'll get used to it. And you'll get used to the train whistle around 2am every night."
"I better go." Lola gave Lucy a quick pull and started to back away. How did Asa know about her grandmother? She was sure she hadn't mentioned it. Or had she? Either way, she was starting to feel itchy and wanted to hop in the shower and throw her clothes in the laundry and make sure all traces of the spider and spider web were gone.
And he had to be wrong about the restaurant. Surely they wouldn't have allowed her pull up her roots and leave the only place she had ever known to travel from the Midwest to the East Coast?
"Nice meeting you!" Asa called at her retreating figure.
"You too," Lola called back, the words somehow managed to work their way around the lump in her throat.
"Mom, Dad, please give me a sign that we've made the right choice." Though she said she didn't believe in signs, she never gave up hoping that somehow her parents would be able to communicate with her somehow.
The sky was black velvet now. The only light came from the front windows of the homes along the road. The air was still, yet, leaves scurried around her ankles.
She made sure to walk in the middle of the street, afraid of running into any more spider webs.
Just as the parking lot of the Patriot Station apartments came into view, the lights tall and welcoming, two bats flew so close in front of her, she could feel the wind of their wings across her face.
A scream pierced the air - but it wasn't her. It was coming from the apartments.
"Grandma!" She thought - and the spider web, Asa's warning, and the bats disappeared from her mind as she and Lucy ran towards the screaming.