Julia’s bright red nails reflected the small dots of sunlight that shined through the screen. Her fingers rested on top of a shiny brass doorknob, which also reflected the light in small slivers. The whole image looked surreal, like a painting. She could only stare. At the moment, she was grappling with shock.
She tried the knob again.
“Locked,” she said plainly.
“What?” asked Jason, fully aware of the answer but unable to respond in any other way.
“Tell me you left the front door unlocked.”
“Why would I do that?” he whispered sarcastically, half to himself and... well, mostly to himself.
The state of panic rose quickly. Jason tried to think of every possible way into the house without a key. The best idea he had was through the chimney, which was not only stupid, but of course impossible.
“Should I break a window?” he asked, but Julia calmly pointed out that there was no use getting cut on glass if they were trying to keep their divine secret. Spilled blood led to questions, which led to idle comments during explanations, which led to slips of the tongue that didn’t taste very good once they’d been burped out...not to mention Julia’s white pullover would stain for good if blood got on it. (By now she was very good at covering all the angles when it came to not getting caught.)
“What do I do?” Jason cried out, high on fear.
“Stop,” Julia reasoned. “Sit down.”
“Now... let’s think. It’s only about two in the afternoon. Marianne’s not due for at least three hours, so we have a little time to think this through.”
Jason agreed, but shivered as if the sun had set. Julia felt a chill too, but tried to remain composed. Apparently she was the stronger of the two in rough circumstances. Despite herself and the situation, a part of her relished the satisfaction of possibilities. Wouldn’t it be lovely, she thought, if Marianne came home and saw her, Julia, sitting pretty as she pleased on Jason’s back porch? At least he’d be forced to confront the problem. But Julia knew she was in this as deep as Jason was. So she tried to imagine what to do next.
"Let’s see... nobody to call... nowhere to find another key, because you don’t keep a spare outside... not even a pair of slippers or sandals to make a run for it..."
"So, no options at all. Dammit!"
The sound of a car pulling up killed their repartee.
A door opened, and someone stepped out onto the gravel driveway. Jason was suddenly plagued by images of Julia’s whole “meter reader” scenario coming true, but tried to remain calm. Whoever it was would probably ring the doorbell once or twice, wait a few seconds, then leave.
...Best case scenario, anyway.
End, pt. VII