“Oh Sarah Easton —” A cold digital voice mocked her. “It’s about to begin. Send the virus.”
Cold horror washed over Dimity. She jabbed the phone’s off button and dropped it on the table.
A noise, the rough grate of wood on metal, startled her. Numbers curled across her mind as a migraine inched closer.
“It’s the stove.” She spoke out loud, to break the quiet.
Beau – the labrador – cozy and content at the base of the wood-burning stove, continued to sleep as if he’d spent the morning chasing rabbits.
Which he hadn’t.
Unless bacon was involved, Beau never ran.
The silence of the house closed back around her.
She scooped up the phone, hesitating, waiting, and hoping the suffocating dread would dissipate. It didn’t. Then she hooked the handset back into its base, flicked open the dishwasher and unloaded the dirty cups and glasses she’d stacked there in a rare burst of domesticity that morning.
Someone hammered on the front door. A thick white mug, with the faded words Nerd Girl on it, slipped from her fingers, bounced off the side of the dishwasher door and shattered into a thousand pieces on the floor.
Jake? It couldn’t be him. He had a key and was in the south of France. But no one ever came to visit, she made sure of it.
The person hammered again.
“Shit,” she muttered. “This stupid life.”