First Draft

Page 19

She looked up at Benjamin as he closed out of the web pages she’d opened, and then glanced down at the papers that lay disheveled in front of her. It was a solid minute before Benjamin had noticed the quiet scribbling of the pen in her hand, on the sheet of paper which contained the details for the project that he was working on. In a blank portion of the page, she had drawn a rudimentary floor plan of what looked to be some sort of stone house or castle. Thick, shaded-in walls formed the outer-perimeter, with a thick, black column – likely a fireplace – in the center of the room. At each of the four corners of the structure stood what looked like a tower, or a turret, with even thicker black, shaded in walls. A small side room with hairline-thin walls – presumably a greenhouse – hung off of the rear of the structure, and dashed lines wound their way in repeating patterns throughout the floors of the entire structure, and into the landscape outside of the perimeter walls – obviously a geothermal system. Ben amusedly scanned the floor plan, trying to figure out how the Germanic pagan band might fit into the mix. Perhaps the fireplace would be built from bones, as a nod to the photographs of the Portuguese ossuary that she’d pulled up in one of last week’s outbursts.

Mara gave Benjamin a momentary sheepish look, as he authoritatively took the pen from her hand and turned the page over, without studying it any further. Quickly, she withdrew her hand, and the look in her obsidian eyes move on once again to disgruntled malice. Benjamin set back to work, adjusting the sizes of the cabinets which he’d already drawn, as Mara slowly and silently lowered her eyes and head below the surface of the desk.

Ben took a moment, and rolled his eyes up towards the ceiling, breathing in a deep sigh. It would only be a matter of time now. He continued his work, patiently awaiting the inevitable…

…the desk jolted violently. Mara let out a shrill yowl. Benjamin attempted to pay her no mind, and continued clicking about his screen. He did take note in that moment that, actually, she was fairly docile today. It was a full minute before she launched another, more aggressive assault. The desk vibrated again, this time from side to side, as Mara shook the underside with her claws. She hissed and spit like a cat, or a brat. Ben narrowed his eyes, further attempting to center his focus on his work. He spotted her strange, gangly form flit from beneath the desk to beneath his chair, and he felt her weight as she clicked up the back rest, over his shoulder, and began clawing her way down his chest towards his lap.

He winced as her claws dug in, and in one fluid motion, took hold of both of her forearms and then stood from his chair to hurl her across the room. In a fit of convulsive rage, Mara tried her best to scramble her way back towards Benjamin’s desk, though her claws struggled to gain any meaningful traction on the smooth vinyl flooring. She clawed furiously in place, as Ben sighed and walked into the neighboring room to make himself some coffee.

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