As the World Falls Down
The sky was gray, casting an eerie shadow over the two-story Victorian style house. Elizabeth Weir gave an involuntary shudder as she walked up the porch steps to the front door; it had been nearly fifteen years since she’d stepped foot in the place, and still it had the power to unnerve her.
However, she had grown quite a bit in those years; she was no longer an ungainly youth, unsure of her place in the world. And her father had died. She deserved to be here as much as they did.
Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she knocked rapidly on the door and weighted. The woman who opened it was definitely showing signs of her age; however, Karen still had the same elegant arrogance that had marked her in her younger age.
“I’m surprised you decided to show up. I know how important your…work…is.”
Elizabeth fought to keep her fists from curling into fists at the snide words, reminding herself that she had dealt with people—and aliens—worse than her stepmother. She was a diplomat, and she could handle two days without going at the woman’s throat. Even if her words had struck a nerve.
Had she not already been on Earth for a debriefing, she wouldn’t have been able to come to her father’s funeral.
“How’s Toby?” she asked to distract herself from doing something rash.
“You never send letters, never call, never visit, and now you want to know how your brother is doing?” Karen apparently didn’t want to let it go.
Then again, Elizabeth thought wryly, she never had. “I’ve never missed even one of his birthdays,” she replied. Until recently, came the guilty thought, but she quickly repressed it. She had sent him a letter explaining that she might not get a chance to correspond with him for a while because of extreme security measures for the job she had.
The older woman’s mouth twisted into a grimace, but she left it without further comment, motioning her stepdaughter into the house.
Nostalgia washed over Elizabeth as she walked past her stepmother; nothing seemed to have really changed about the place. The same paintings lined the walls, the same carpet—maybe a little newer—covered the floors. And the staircase that she had stomped up in a snit as a teenager was still the most prominent feature.
Permitting herself a small smile, she ran her hands along the wood of the banner as she passed it.
That had all changed after a dream she’d had one night. A strange, yet realistic seeming dream.
Should I continue working on this?