I’m still trying to decide what to name this paranormal suspense historical (set in 1968) novel. Here’s an excerpt:
Mitch Meets Corrie
I trailed Corrie across the foyer, trying to think of an ice-breaker.
She led me past the stairs and then turned right, through a door and into a sort of area or vestibule with a door in the opposite wall.
I closed the door behind us, expecting Corrie to open the other one, but she turned to me instead, raising her gray eyes to mine.
“Should I call you ‘Mitch’?” she asked in a near-whisper.
I’d been asked before what I preferred to be called, but it had always been a casual request. “Sure. Everybody calls me Mitch.”
She laughed, and I saw she had dimples on either side of her mouth. “Whatever you say, ‘Mitch.'” She raised her hands and toyed with the collar of my shirt. “Mary said you were rude to her.”
“Oh,” I said, thinking about other things than conversation. “Did she?”
Corrie’s mouth was slightly open, as if she were breathless. I know I was.
“Maybe a little bit.”
“I knew it!” She put her hands flat on my chest and rubbed. I wondered dizzily what she’d do if I told her I’d spit in the old bat’s eye.
Then, again, what was so stimulating about my being rude to The Dragon Lady? What was this chick – an anarchist or something? This didn’t make sense. Much as I’d like to muffle it, a tiny little alarm bell started dinging in the far recesses of my mind.
“When she told me about that, I was so happy. A letter came from Grant today. It was to Miss Amelia, but I knew it was a Sign. And then Miss Amelia brings you home…. And she’s putting you in the Honduras Room….”
“…So?” This was some kind of gag, right? New kid at school, and all that. What else could it be?
Corrie laughed as if I’d made a sly joke. “Don’t say anything to Sandy or Ava. They still don’t believe, and they never would. We gave up on them.”
“Right,” I said. “Some people sure are stubborn.” I was getting a chilly feeling at the base of my spine.
Funny thing about chemistry: One second it’s running strong and the next, it just clicks off. I could feel the toggle switches flipping as we spoke.
Then Corrie did something that, two minutes earlier, I would have given my right eye for. She threw her arms around my neck and pressed herself against me. But now, I didn’t like it as much as I might have. And the reason I didn’t like it so much is what she whispered to me:
“You’re back! Oh, Albert, you came back to me, just like you said!”
Well, something had broken the ice.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character meets someone who mistakes him or her for someone else.