The Reaping Chapter Five

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How dare the mist talk of its feelings for me! Rage rained down on me. How dare it profess anything while keeping me its prisoner? And what did it know of love?

A sobering thought struck me. "You were outside my window during the storm last night."

"Yes." A simple answer as if it had done nothing out of the ordinary.

"Why?" I shook my head in bewilderment.

It released another loud exhale. How could this substance breathe?

"It pleases me to observe you."

I let out a sharp breath. Stay calm. "How long...ah...have you been watching me?"

The mist turned and moved away from the table. I continued to sit there stunned. My head hurt and my leg kept cramping. The longing to be safe with my Nonnie or Nathan Alexander hit me so hard, I grew woozy.

The mist didn't answer my question as it coasted up to the bedroom. Soon after, it glided down with a costly, very elegant, iridescent-blue gown floating alongside it. My eyes widened over witnessing this levitating dress. The mist drifted back until it reached my side. The dress, hovering behind it like it was a normal everyday occurrence, suddenly landed on my lap.

"Put it on."

Do this, do that. It expected me to be fine with this whole situation and obey its dictates.

"Why should I?"

It jostled the dress. "Put it on."

I flinched as it moved in so close its chilly vapor grazed my lap.

"No." I crossed my arms and turned away. My heartbeat hammered in my ears again, and I bit my bottom lip to stop from crying out over the shooting pains in my leg.

The mist let out a loud screech then swept around the room in a chaotic and

frenzied motion.

I covered my ears, shutting out the mist's piercing echo. My hair flew around my face as the dishes on the table rattled and my chair rocked unsteadily.

I stood and slammed my palms on the table. "Stop it. I'll do what you want!"

The screeching stopped. My chest hurt and my whole body trembled. Sobs escaped my lips. The mist lifted the dress in its ghostly arms and held it out to me. Grabbing the garment, I grudgingly admired the exquisite fabric.

"May I change upstairs?"

"Yes," it whispered.

I limped my way up the stairs and in the privy to undress. My new garment was easy to lace up the front, requiring no help.

Thank the Almighty for small mercies.

After changing, I walked to the edge of the stairs while shaking out my cramped leg. The mist floated near the edge of the staircase.

"Come down." Its voice sounded harsh in my head.

I licked my lips, swallowed back the pain shooting up my leg, and shuffled down the steps. The music's loud and haunting melody pinched my nerves. Once I reached the bottom of the landing, the mist circled around and floated too close, making me recoil. It pressed against my back, although its ghostly extension surrounded my whole body and spanned the length of the room.

"You will dance."

The mist followed as I retreated in denial. When one of those arm-like tendrils brushed my own, I yelled and stumbled to the ground. Like a scared child, I crawled under the table, closing my eyes and rocking myself to safety.

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