Twenty Four

143 37 5

I didn't stop running until I made it to Town Square. Since it was a bright, sunny day, the streets were lined with people, making it more difficult to get around. I dodged around the families who were strolling down the block, trying not to bump into anyone or raise suspicions. Finally getting to the corner, I turned and sprinted again. This street was almost empty and I dodged across the street. Madame Magnolia's was hard to see from across the street, almost hidden from view. I think that's what probably attracted Maggie to the location in the first place though. This hidden spot added to its mystery, I guess.

Ahead of me, I could see the Madame Magnolia's sign swinging slightly in the air. I gasped for air, taking only a minute to catch my breath before turning to go inside. I only hoped Maggie was there. I hadn't called ahead like the first time.

The door wouldn't budge as I tried to enter the shop. I gave it a few aggressive shoves before knocking loudly. Opening my hand, I banged on the door with a flat palm. The curtains were drawn over the front window, so I couldn't see in.

Please be here! My mind begged.

Finally, I heard the lock click and the door opened. Maggie stood before me, her face blotchy with red, puffy eyes. Her hair was wild, pulled up into a messy bun that was coming undone. She wore a long tie dyed skirt and purple tank top, but no jewelry.

"Maggie?!" I stared at her. "What's wrong?"

"Everly?" She looked so confused.

I nodded as we continued to stare at one another.
"Something happened. Something's been happening. I need your help-" I blurted.

She looked around outside before quickly ushering me inside, locking the door again behind us. The room was dimly lit, but even before my eyes fully adjusted, I saw it. It looked as though there had been a massive earthquake in there. Her shelves that had been lined with stacks of books and knick knacks were now barren, their contents spilled out all over the floor.

"Watch your step," Maggie warned in a soft monotone voice.

My feet crunched over broken glass as I took a few more steps inside. Candles, jewelry, and bottles had been smashed, littering the floor. I kept my head down and just looked back and forth over and over. Debris was everywhere I turned. My eyes filled with tears.

She stood silently, staring off at the empty shelves.

"Maggie," I whispered. "What happened?"

Her body didn't move, but her eyes blinked and vacantly stared at me.

"It was so quiet," she started. "All morning, it was quiet. And then...everything just shook. Like it was coming up from under the floor, pushing up. The walls..." Her eyes widened as she looked at the damage again.

"The walls seemed to bend. I mean, literally caving in," her voice cracked and she paused to wipe a tear away. "I didn't know what was happening. The shelves made this rumbling sound, I think the books were hitting against each other, and then everything just came tumbling down, all at once!"

She put her hands over her mouth. "Glass broke everywhere! Just shattered into millions of pieces. But like an explosion, you see? The glass broke but flew up. UP! I've never seen anything like it in my life! It just went up and twisted all around before slamming back down. Things just...crashed, all around me!"

Her voice broke into a tiny sob and she struggled to swallow it back.

"Oh, Maggie," I cried. "I'm so sorry. This is terrible. I'm so glad you weren't hurt! What can I do? I'll do any-"

'Til Death Do Us PartWhere stories live. Discover now