“I’m telling you, I saw something!” Erica protested the following morning.
“I think you smoked too much pot…” Brett smirked, Ettie was sat on his knee feeding him her toast.
Erica rolled her eyes, “Whatever, it’s not like you’d have seen anything with your face in between Ettie’s tits all night…”
“Hell yeah,” Brett guffawed and Ettie giggled.
Kane entered the kitchen, his hair wet from the shower he’d had. “Hey hey!” Brett cheered.
Kane saluted him before sitting down and grabbing a slice of toast. “Hi.”
“What’s up with you?” Brett asked, head cocked to one side quizzically.
“He’s pissed because he just found out Hollie is gay and he wanted to get in her pants…” Ettie smirked.
“What?” Brett scowled, “Hollie is gay… when did that happen?”
“Haha, it happened ages ago,” Ettie replied.
“How did I not know?!” Brett asked in wide eyed shock.
“Pft, well it’s not exactly something you broadcast, is it? The same way you wouldn’t say “Hey, my name is Brett and I’m into tits and pussy.”
Brett shrugged. “I guess… just thought I’d have known…”
Kane said nothing and Erica picked at her toast. “Where is Hollie?” she enquired.
“I don’t know,” Kane answered, “She went upstairs shortly after you guys, haven’t seen her since. Probably got up early or something.”
“Where did you sleep?” Erica asked.
“So whose up for some exploring today?” Ewen said, “It’s Halloween, we’re in Midnight Hollow – might as well make the most of it.”
“I’m up for that,” Erica smiled his way.
“Sure,” Brett nodded, “You gonna come, babe?”
“Kane?” Erica asked.
“Nah, I’m gonna stay here…”
“You sure?” Brett said, “There might be some tail out there, we’ll have you laid before the end of the weekend…”
Kane shook his head, eyes intent on the wooden table before him. “Nah. I’ll probably go for a walk later or something.”
Thankful that the rain had stopped the foursome donned their coats and headed out into Midnight Hollow. The streets were alive with the residents, clearly unaccustomed to visitors they stopped their conversations and starred at the four students as they walked down the street.
“Hey,” Brett murmured occasionally.
“This is weird,” Ettie whispered to Erica who couldn’t help but agree.
“What is there to do in this town?” Brett asked Ewen, many shops were boarded up with “For Let” and “For Lease” scrawled on them.
“Um, not a lot…” Ewen frowned, “By the looks of things even less than when I used to live here.”
As they rounded the corner a huge building invaded most of their line of vision, it’s dark brickwork glistening with wet moss and other debris.
“Wow, what’s that place?” Erica asked in wide eyed wonder.
“The Library,” Ewen smiled at her, “It’s pretty immense in there, wanna check it out?”
Erica nodded enthusiastically.
Inside was as quiet as you’d expect, the occasional cough broke the silence together with the stamping of books.
“I say we find some ghost stories to tell tonight, we’ll have another sesh and freak each other out…” Brett suggested.
“Um, are you sure?” Ewen gestured towards Erica, “Erica had bad dreams last night…”
Erica starred at the floor, she wanted to insist it hadn’t been a dream but she knew how utterly ridiculous that sounded. In any case, how did she know it wasn’t just a dream? Erica had had vivid dreams like that before…
“I’ll be fine,” Erica smiled at him, “Brett’s probably right, it was just a mixture of too much drink and pot…”
“Shh,” Ettie hissed, eyes wide. The librarian stopped stamping her books glanced over at them, Erica smiled weakly.
“Come on, let’s see what we can find,” Ewen grabbed Erica’s hand and pulled her in between the bookcases.
“I don’t think we’ll find anything in the history section…” Erica glanced around her at the huge bookshelves.
“Erica…” Ewen pulled her arm and she turned to face him, “Aren’t we going to talk about last night?”
Erica frowned, turning her gaze to the floor. “I don’t know what to say about it,” she whispered.
“Was it a mistake?”
Erica starred up at him, “No.” she whispered. It hadn’t been a mistake, but it was just all so confusing. Erica had come to Midnight Hollow with the intention of getting with Kane… and now, here she was with Ewen? He was the last person she’d have expected to get with – and she still wasn’t sure if she should.
“You have no idea how glad I am to hear you say that,” Ewen smiled at her, reaching forward to stroke her cheek, “I know you like Kane…”
“What?” Erica was surprised, was it that obvious?
“Who doesn’t…” Ewen offered, “It’s OK, I get that you need to think about stuff – like I said yesterday, I’ve waited this long.”
Erica could hardly believe her ears, she was half mortified that her crush on Kane was so apparent but also there was a new feeling of warmth towards Ewen and his obvious respect for her.
“Quiet please…” a voice called to them from the check-in desk and Erica smiled apologetically, as Ewen headed around the corner she pulled a book down from the shelf and browsed it’s pages, unaware really of what it was she was looking at.
“Road will be clear tomorrow,” a voice hissed in her ear, raising goose bumps on her arms and sending shivers down her spine.
Turning to her left she saw Officer Amos looming over her, his bright blue eyes sparkling. “Sorry if I scared you,” he smiled.
“It’s OK, thanks for letting me know,” Erica responded, she could feel the warmth of his body next to her arm. He smelt musky and clean, like the woodland after rain.
“What are you reading?” As he turned the cover his hand brushed her own and she felt a warm prickle travel up her arm and down towards her abdomen, “Ah, Ancient World…”
As he opened the cover once more, displaying the page inside Erica frowned – the page was titled, Roman Superstitions.
“That’s nice…” Soren pointed to a crudely drawn picture of a woman eating a man’s nose, her hunched up body looming over his limp form.
“Gross,” Erica whispered.
“This bit is particularly interesting,” he pointed towards a picture of a face in a mirror, “Did you know that the Romans believed that souls were drawn to mirrors?”
Erica shook her head. “Well,” Soren continued, “The Roman’s believed that a mirror could capture part of your soul, that if you broke a mirror, you were actually breaking part of yourself.”
Erica felt her goose bumps return. “I heard once of a couple who found a mirror in a skip… they brought it into their house and after two days they’d both vanished. No one saw or heard anything of them again, the mirror though – well it’s out there somewhere, and at night it scratches…”
“Huh? It scratches?”
“Well, not the mirror,” Soren explained, a half smile upon his lips, “The people trapped inside – their souls, you see, they use their nails – they scratch to get out.”