reading / Short story / Story

The seven chairs

The Seven Chairs

            The room was foggy, like in dreams. It was dark but the gold around shone like lights. They were secured in glass cases. There was the black of night ringing out behind the glass doors and windows. The walls were dark where the light of the gold did not reach. A woman sat on a floating golden chair. She got up. She wanted the gold. The chair landed gently in the middle of the room. She stood up. She had a hammer, a flashlight, and a bag. Working quickly, she smashed the glass and grabbed the gold. A loud sound rang at the smashing of the glass, like a thousand wailing children. She did not mind the alarm, and like a gorilla she smashed all of the glass around her, grabbing all of the gold. Even after the bag was full she continued to grab gold and jewels, slipping it into pockets. She took three bracelets and slipped them on her wrist. Some small voice suggested stopping. This is enough it said. It was silenced by the voice crying out “More More More.”

The doors opened and men wearing uniforms grabbed her. She didn’t stop struggling and even continued grabbing jewelry. Then everything faded out.

Ginny awoke to the sound of her alarm clock. She got up to shut it off. Then she noticed it. The bracelet she wore on her arm. She had never seen it before, except in her dream.

*****

Walking down Finch Avenue was Tom Herz, a senior year student.  Unlike his pals, Tom didn’t own a car. It would have been nice to own a car and not have to carry his backpack around.

“Bam!” shouted a voice, and Tom felt someone jump him from behind. “Hey, wassup!”

Tom turned to see the familiar face of Virginia Gesture, or Ginny as he called her. She was in the same year as he was and they bonded over being two of the only students who walked to school.

“Don’t do that, I have my laptop in my bag,” Tom said.

“Sorry.” Ginny said. She walked up next to him.

“Hey, want to hear a weird story?” Ginny said, poking Tom’s wrist with her finger.

“Not now, Ginny. It’s too cold for that,”

“Tough! I’m telling it anyway,” Ginny said. “So, I was dreaming that I was on a floating chair, and it was floating me down into this Jewelry store, right? And it was night time and closed but the store shelves were still stocked. So, I have this flashlight and hammer and I start smashing glass, and looting. I can’t stop looting gold and jewelry, even when the bag’s full, oh yeah, I have a bag too. Then there are people everywhere, grabbing me, but I still kept grabbing at jewels!”

“Huh, real crazy,” Tom yawned. “Well, I dreamed-”

“And the craziest thing is when I woke up, look what I was wearing!” Ginny showed Tom the bracelet on her wrist. “It’s exactly like the one I stole in my dream! I didn’t own it before tonight and my folks swear they didn’t slip it on me. Weird, huh?”

“Seriously? Get real, Ginny,” Tom said.

“Seriously! Look! It’s made of real gold! There’s no way my family would buy something like this just to prank me with. It’s got Egyptian writing too!”

“Uh-huh.” Tom said. “Right.”

“Tom, you know I don’t lie! You’ve known me for four years, and when have I ever lied?”

“Let me see that bracelet,” Tom said. Ginny removed it from her hand and handed it over to Tom. He looked at the gold engravings. They did look like genuine Egyptian hieroglyphs. The gold was real. “Yep, you’re right. No way you’re family did this just to prank you.”

“Oh my God, if my family didn’t put it on me, who did? You think it came from the dream itself?”

“No. Maybe somebody broke into your house and left it here? I hear there’s been a chain of robberies in the neighborhood.”

“Somebody broke into my house and left me a solid gold bracelet? I doubt it.”

They discussed the bracelet until they made it to school and went to their separate classes. Tom didn’t think much of Ginny’s story. It was at lunch that he remembered it again when Ginny brought it up.

“Hey, Tom,” Ginny said holding a plastic bag, “Remember what I told you this morning?”

“Yeah.” Tom said biting into his sandwich.

“I told my friends, but I doubt they believe me,” Ginny said, sadly. “How were World Histories and English?”

“Fine. Are you sure you didn’t just get it sometime ago and forgot?” Tom suggested.

“Yeah, if I ever had a bracelet like this one before in my life I would never forget about it. Ever.” Ginny said.

“Maybe it really is just a joke. Maybe your brothers and sisters had it for a while, and put it on your arm when you were sleeping, and you dreamt about putting it on because you felt it on your hand when they did.” Tom suggested.

“No! Besides, even if that’s the case, how did I know what the bracelet looked like in my dream! And don’t say I remembered it in my dream differently because I saw it when I woke up, I remember every detail of that dream as clearly as day.”

Tom shrugged. “Maybe you’re making all of this B S up,”

But he knew very well that Ginny wasn’t lying, not because she “doesn’t lie” like she said, but because he knew how she acted when she  did lie and this wasn’t it.

*****

That night, Ginny took off the bracelet. She looked at it and shrugged. She put it down on her desk beside her schoolbooks. She checked the lock on her window, confirming that it was locked. She then flopped onto her bed and threw the sheets over herself. A few minutes later, she was asleep.

*****

Tom was planning to stay up much later than Ginny. He had to read up for his World Religions test on Thursday, two days from now. Tom mostly attended courses like History and World Religions and Ancient Mythology. He was hoping to become a history teacher someday, not because History was his passion, but because he wasn’t much good at Sciences or Mathematics, and history had been his strong point since elementary school.

He didn’t mind his History class. Ancient Mythology was actually pretty interesting, mainly because it dabbled into fiction territory, with stories about Greek Gods, and Norse Myths. World Religions bored Tom half to death, though. He had to memorize Philosophical Ideas that didn’t matter to him. He didn’t really care of the Buddhist Teachings or the seven sins, or any of that. He only took the course for the credit.

After reading about Lust and staring in horror of a picture of a sculpture of a genitalia with a human head, Tom decided it was time to turn in. He got on his bed and got under the covers. He wondered briefly about his friend’s bracelet. Her story interested him.

Right as he was feeling the drowsiness of sleep, his cell phone rang.

“Tom!” said Ginny’s voice. Tom groaned. It didn’t interest him this much.

“What’s up Ginny,” Tom said sleepily.

“I had a dream where I was in a boat, and when I woke up the bed was wet!”

“…You woke me up to tell me this?”

“No! It was wet with sea water! It even smells the same as in my dream!”

“You’ve never been to an ocean, how do you know what it smells like?”

“Look. I called you because something really scary’s going on for me. My family swears nobody did this to me. My crying worried my hysterical mom, you know her psychotic neurosis with stress? And my siblings and dad wouldn’t continue a joke that scares her!”

“I think you’re over reacting a little,” Tom said.

“No. I didn’t call you to hear that I’m overreacting. I called so I could have somebody to panic to!”

“Okay, okay.” Tom sat down. It was difficult to tell if Ginny was faking it or not on the phone, but he couldn’t ignore her sounding so frightened. “Tell me about your dream.”

“Okay. So I was sitting on a flying chair, this one was blue, and It lowers me onto a boat. I see that the boat is sinking, right? So I think I should probably get swimming to a nearby island. But for some reason I feel like it would be too much trouble. So I stay in the boat as its sinking and water starts pouring in, and even though I know I’ll probably drown, I feel too tired to fight back. Then I woke up and the bed was completely wet with water!”

Tom sat on his bed. He listened to Ginny for a while, occasionally reassuring her that he was still there listening to her. She calmed down after a while, and told Tom she was going to sleep. Tom wished her good night and looked at his clock. It was either really late or really early. Tom groaned.

*****

The next day Tom was walking to school with a slow wobble. He was half asleep. He heard somebody call his name. It was Ginny.

“Hey,” Ginny said. Tom made a groaning noise that sounded like “Hi” if you listened closely enough. “I take it you didn’t sleep all that much.”

Tom gave Ginny a look that spelled out “Did you really just say that?”

“Yeah, sorry about last night. I was really scared last night. I’m really not doing this for a joke,” Ginny said.

“Don’t worry about it,” Tom mumbled. Even through foggy half awake eyes it was clear to Tom that Ginny was scared and honest. He didn’t completely believe anything supernatural was going on, but if there was a joke, Ginny wasn’t in on it.

“I thought about last night this morning, and I thought the roof might have been leaking. But there was no rain last night or anything. I still can’t explain the bracelet, either.”

“Maybe you’re really pulling stuff out of dreams,” Tom said.

“You really think so?” Ginny said.

“No, but it’s the most logical explanation I can think of right at this moment with my head all blurry.” Tom said.

“Huh? Really,” Ginny looked at the bracelet on her hand. Then she looked up at Tom. “Are you okay?”

“M’fine.”

*****

Tom was much less fine then he let on. He was pretty sure he failed his World Religions test. He only remembered six of the seven deadly sins, ironically he was too tired to bother remember that sloth was a sin as well.

Tom didn’t fare much better in his second period class either and by lunch he was completely tired. Ginny sat down next to him.

“Hey. How are you?” she asked.

“Fine. You?”

“I’ve been thinking. You really think I’m taking things out of my dreams?” Ginny said. Tom shrugged. “Wow. Of all the jewels and diamonds I could have taken, I chose this one.” She fiddled with the bracelet. “Still, it’s pretty nice compared to hers.

Tom stared at the “her” Ginny was talking about. A tall, short haired punk girl sitting a few tables away. Ginny’s mortal enemy, and at one point best friend, Amanda Lowes. Ginny hated everything about Amanda and she claimed anything she had was ugly. However, Tom knew Ginny didn’t always mean what she said. He looked at Amanda’s bracelet, a purple one with a skull on it. Ginny didn’t look it, but she had a big obsession with skulls and the shade of purple was perfect for her. He smiled.

“You like it, don’t you?”

“No. It’s ugly. Anyway, I was thinking,” Ginny said. She leaned over to Tom and whispered in his ear. “Don’t get the wrong idea, but do you think you could come over tonight?”

*****

It was eight thirty. Tom and Ginny were in Ginny’s room. They told her parents and siblings that Tom was helping Ginny study. Tom, still suffering from sleep deprivation, wished dearly that he was the one lying comfortably in the bed instead of Ginny.

“Okay, so just watch me sleep, okay? No funny business.” Ginny said. “If mom comes in, tell her I’m just napping or something.”

“Yeah, that’ll work. Are you sure about this?” Tom couldn’t see how this wasn’t a complete waste of time.

“Positive.

Fifteen minutes passed before Ginny fell asleep. Tom was annoyed but kept watching her like he was told. He felt ridiculous. What was he suppose to look out for? Ghosts? Devils? Was he waiting for her to start floating around like the girl in Exorcist?

But it was only five minutes later that his question was answered. It happened literally in a blink of an eye. Tom was staring at Ginny’s arm, determined that his gaze should not stray to any other body part. Then he blinked and it appeared. A bracelet. Amanda’s bracelet. Immediately Tom shook Ginny awake. He didn’t doubt Ginny’s story anymore.

“Oh my God, Tom!” Ginny was panicky, hardly keeping her voice down. She stared at the bracelet. “I dreamed I was in Amanda’s room. I…I took her bracelet. I was going to grab some of her other stuff before you woke me up…I couldn’t control myself!” Tom gingerly rubbed Ginny’s back, comforting her.

“Should we tell your folks?” he asked.

“No. It would worry mom too much, and father wouldn’t believe us anyway. My siblings are horrible liars, they couldn’t keep it to themselves,” she said.

Neither can you, Tom said. He could always tell when she was lying. And then it hit him. He started muttering in thought.

“Envy. Sloth…Greed…”

“What?

“It was on the test today,” Tom said quietly. “The seven sins. You stole a bunch of jewels, more than practical. You couldn’t bring yourself to save yourself from drowning. Now, you envy Amanda’s stuff, and took her bracelet.” Tom looked down at Ginny. Her eyes were wide open.

“The seven sins…I remember…I sat on some chairs…” Ginny said. “I was shopping with mom this summer and we went in this antique store…there were these chairs, with each of the seven sins labelled on them. There was a warning not to sit on them, but I did anyway…” Ginny was quiet again. Then she looked up at Tom. She looked so afraid. “They’re the same ones in my dream.”

“Then we’ll go to that store and find a way to fix this mess.” Tom said determinedly.

“We can’t…” Ginny’s voice was almost a whisper.

“We have to!”

“No, Tom. The store…it’s not there anymore. It disappeared less than three days after we visited,” Ginny said. “Nobody around remembered it being there.”

“What? But…then…” Tom sat on the bed, wiping his hair in deep, desperate thought. “Then…then what do we do?”

Tom sat on the bed, deep in thought. Ginny looked at him, sitting on her bed, doing all of the thinking for her. Mixing with her fears was a great wave of gratitude to Tom and sadness in her own uselessness. There was something that he said earlier that didn’t quite hit home with her immediately at the time, but now that she was thinking this…

“Tom…did you say you had a test today?”

“Yes, but what does that have to do with anything.”

“Uh…how did you do?”

“I failed it. Ginny, why does it matter?”

“You failed…oh my God. You were up comforting me.” Ginny got up. She paced the room in thought. Tom watched her worriedly. Tom was doing a lot for her, but was it really helping her to make him worry?

“Ginny? Are you okay?” Tom said. Ginny looked at him. Tom looked really scared for her. Ginny stared at Tom for a long time. Then she put up a smile. Somehow, this just unnerved Tom even more.

“Look, Tom. I have an idea. Why don’t you go home. We can deal with this during the day, or even weekdays! I’ll ask my brother to watch over me while I sleep from now on.”

“I thought you couldn’t trust your brother to not let your mother know?”

“They’ll be fine. I just don;t want my parents getting concerned about why there’s a boy coming in to my house every night watching me sleep,” Ginny said. “I’ll have my brother watch me and wake me up if something happens.”

Ginny could see that Tom wasn’t fully convinced. She could also see that he was really tired and overstretched. She half expected him to start spouting grey hairs. “Look,” she continued, “What’s the worst that could happen if I dream a few things and pull stuff out of it?”

“Ginny, one of the sins is wrath, you know,” Tom pointed out.

“Which is why I’ll ask my brother to look after me. Look, Tom, I’ll be fine,” Ginny assured him. The conversation continued this way for a while until Tom conceded and agreed to go home. If Tom was not so tired, he would have noticed something wrong.

*****

For the next few days Tom only knew what Ginny had told him. Two days later, on the walk to school, Ginny told him about another dream she had: The fourth chair brought her over to somewhere hot, in the middle of a war zone. She craved food. Despite protests of the people next to her she gobbled down her rations and bottled water. She then fought off the companions near her and ate their portions too. She noticed an abandoned fruit cart out in the open full of pomegranates, eggplants, cabbages and squashes. In the middle of the open, and guns could be heard firing, Ginny could not resist the fruits and walked towards it. Then she woke up. She had been holding, to her horror, a machine gun. She hid it in under her bed.

Tom, who had nothing constructive to add, gave a grim smile and said “You sure love pomegranates, huh?”

Ginny gave a humorless smile. “My favourite fruit ever. Did you get enough sleep last night?”

“Plenty, why?”  Tom said.

“Oh, just curious,” she said. Then she looked at Tom. “Do you think I got somebody killed last night?”

“They’re just dreams, Ginny. They aren’t real.”

Later that day, Tom heard that Amanda Lowes’s house had been robbed two nights before. One of the things stolen from her house was her skull bracelet. Tom could tell Ginny had heard too by her expression in the lunchroom.

*****

The dreams kept coming. The fifth one appeared in France, where a golden and jeweled chair brought into a Catholic Church of some sort. She was a nun, or a priestess, or something of the sort. She was serving soup and water to a large group of people along with many other nuns. The people she was serving them to seemed so disgusting to her. They made dirty jokes even though they were in a church, they were covered in dirt. Why was she, a servant of God who had taken up the solemn vows and disciplines, serving food to these indignant leeches? The unfairness made her tremble with anger.

“Then what?” Tom asked.

“Then…my brother woke me up.” Ginny said. She looked away from Tom who was always too good at telling when she lied.

*****

It was Saturday. Tom woke up to her mother knocking at his door.

“Tom, somebody on the phone wants to talk to you,” his mother said from behind the door. Tom opened the door and grabbed the phone. The voice on the other end belonged to a hysterical woman.

“Hello?” he said.

“Is this Tom? It’s about my baby, Ginny,” the woman said. She seemed to be at the brink of bursting into tears, ” She’s crying in her room and won’t come out or let anyone in. She keeps asking for you to come over. Please come over, Tom!”

Tom was quiet for a small second, then immediately said, “Mrs. Gesture, I am coming. I’m coming to make it all better. Please, don’t worry.” He heard Mrs. Gesture say something unintelligible over the phone before hanging up.

He hung up and rushed down stairs, grabbed his coat and shoes and left the house, not even answering his mother’s protests. Despite what he said to Ginny’s mother, Tom was just as scared.

*****

Tom knocked on the door. Ginny’s little brothers opened it. They looked at him suspiciously.

“Why does my sister want with you?” they asked.

“Uh, well, it must be about something from school. I’m her friend.” He said.

“What’s going on, then?” they demanded.

“Uh, look. I’ll go upstairs and comfort her. Look, you’ll have to trust me, for Ginny’s sake.” Tom leaned closer and whispered, “And also for your mother.”

They were silent for a moment. Then the two brothers let him in. They lead him up the stairs to Ginny’s room. Ginny’s mom was sitting next to the door, crying. Her husband was consoling her. He saw Tom and approached him.

“What’s all of this? What does Ginny want with you, eh?” he demanded.

Tom thought fast. “I think it might have to do with school trouble. Private matters and the like. I…” Tom swallowed because what he was about to say was not very satisfactory or appropriate to say in the tense situation. “I would rather not discuss it until I have Ginny’s permission.”

There was a silence. Tom wondered if he was about to be punched or yelled at. After a tense silence, Ginny’s father walked over to Ginny’s mother and helped her up. He whispered some comforting words and led her away. Tom breathed a sigh of…not quite relief, but something of the sort. He turned to Ginny’s brothers, who were still there.

“You guys,” he pointed to them, “has Ginny…asked for your help in any way? Has she asked you for help in her…experiments?” They looked confused and shook their heads. “Yeah, I didn’t think so. Damn it.”

He knocked on the door gingerly, as if it were brittle and precious. “Ginny? It’s me. Tom. Can I come in?”

“Mm-hm,” he heard Ginny’s muffled approval. He heard her approach the door, unlock it, then hurriedly walked away. He opened the door. Ginny was wrapped in blankets beside the bed. Tom stepped in and looked back to see her brother’s suspicious and worried looks. He slowly closed the door.

“Lock it,” Ginny said. He did so. He walked up to her, and waited. He didn’t want to prompt her. Ginny lowered the sheets from her head. Her face was red and wet. She then pulled over Tom and hugged him, crying. Tom, surprised at first, wrapped his hands around her until she calmed down enough to show Tom what she was hiding from her family. Tom’s eyes widened with shock. There, on the bed, was a bloodstain. He looked at Ginny, trying desperately to sound as scared as he was. He wanted to ask about the dream, about what happened, but he could only say one thing.

“Wrath?” he whispered. Ginny shook her head. Then she cried. Tom held her. They didn’t talk for a long time.

It was seven minutes before Ginny spoke. “I…I’m sorry to bring you in this.”

“Don’t be silly,” Tom said. He then realized he said the wrong thing. Ginny began crying again.

“Silly. Yeah, I was silly. I thought I could do it on my own…I couldn’t do anything without you. I was too lazy to save myself from drowning. Somebody probably drowned thanks to me. I got somebody shot. If I asked for my brother’s help like I said I would, maybe I’d still be…maybe, I… I’m useless. I’m so useless…”

“No. Don’t say that. It was the chairs. It’s nobody’s fault but the chairs.” Tom said, embracing her. He didn’t know what else to say. He wanted to comfort her, he wanted to make everything better, or at least do something to help but could not think of anything else to say. It wasn’t just the chairs to blame, he thought. He should have known Ginny was lying when she said she would ask her brothers for help. He was always so confident that he could tell when she was lying, yet he failed the one time it was important.

“Tom,” Ginny said quietly. “Tonight’s the last one. Please, help me.”

Tom looked at her teary face. “Of course.”

*****

They changed the bed sheets discreetly. Tom explained that Ginny had broken up with her boyfriend yesterday, and that was why she was so upset. It felt so wrong to make Ginny’s trouble seem so shallow, like something out of a horrible teenaged drama, but it was Ginny’s wish. It was too late to prove anything. Hopefully, tonight would be the last time Ginny pulled things out of her dreams, and Tom was determined to make sure that even that would not happen.

*****

Tom sat next to Ginny, who was lying down on the bed. He had explained that he and Ginny were having a private “break up consolation party”.

“It’s like a break up party with girls. With Ice cream and comfort foods and all that. Only instead of girls, it’s, well, me,” was how he had explained it to Ginny’s parents. To say that her father was suspicious was an understatement, but her mother fully supported the idea and even gave them all the ice-cream in the fridge.

It was ten O’clock now.

“Good night.” Tom said. Ginny reached an arm to him. Tom held it with both hands. “I’m with you. Just remember that, wherever you go.”

Even with Tom beside her Ginny was scared yet somehow, almost supernaturally, Ginny fell sound asleep.

*****

The room was foggy, as always in dreams. It was black with night, dark as the taste of pepper powder. Ginny was lowered into the dark, powdery room on a spiky throne. It was the kind which War Gods and barbarian kings sat on, a fierce and bestial throne. Ginny stepped off the throne, which soon faded like breath on a mirror. She had a flashlight in one hand and a bag in the other. It was a small bag with a watch, some money, and an expensive looking gold necklace with strange writing in it. There was a gun in her hand. She was no longer Ginny, but somebody else. A thief. She sneaked through the house to the upstairs. She opened one of the doors. There was a young man in there, still awake! Shoot! Luckily he was too focused on something to notice her. She sneaked away to another room. There was a couple sound asleep on a king sized mattress.

Something about his face ticked her off. Something about his sleeping face infuriated her. The thief had never met this person before, but Ginny had. This was the man she never told Tom about, despite telling him everything about mom and her brothers. This was the man who neglected her for her mother when she was young. This was the man who didn’t know how to deal with her neurotic mother and made things worse when she panicked. This man was the reason she was asking a friend to help her instead of her own family. Years of resentment and distrust was boiling up in Ginny. No, she was the thief. No, she was Ginny. No. She was neither. She was the throne. She was wrath.

With a loud shout of rage she dropped the flashlight and the bag of stolen goods. She grabbed the gun from her belt. The couple woke up and saw her. The woman gave a frightened shriek and embraced the man. The man was just as frightened and acted to shield the woman.

“Wait! Just take what you want! Please!” The man said. The mother cried out, hysterically.

*****

There was a shriek from Ginny’s parent’s room. Her father was shouting something. Tom made to get up, but looked down at Ginny. He could not leave. He had to stay for Ginny. Praying for her parents, Tom kept holding Ginny’s hands.

“I’m right here with you Ginny. I’m right here with you Ginny. I’m right here with you Ginny!” he chanted, growing from a whisper, louder and louder until he was practically singing.

*****

Ginny held the gun pointed at her father. She felt all the anger in the world pouring through her veins. She knew this wasn’t right. She knew that she didn’t really want to fire the bullet straight into her father’s ugly body. She knew she really did love her father. Stop, she cried, her voice so small. But it was drowned out by the roaring fury of the throne. She felt compelled by hatred, by swollen fury and a heightened rush of wrath. Ginny and the throne were fighting over the thief’s body, and the throne was winning. She looked over at her mother who was panicking in praying to God, then to her father, who she was aiming the barrel at. Tears were pouring down his face. The part that was Ginny wondered if he was thinking about his family. About Ginny.

Why couldn’t she put the gun down? Why wasn’t she strong enough to stop herself? Why was she so useless? Thinking these thoughts, she almost pulled the trigger.

Then she heard it. In the other room, a familiar voice was chanting something. Upon hearing it the voice that belonged to Ginny grew much louder than the roar of the throne. She dropped the gun.

*****

Ginny woke up. She got up. There was a shrieking and the pleading sound of her father. Ignoring Tom, she rushed out of bed and ran to her parent’s bedroom. Standing in front of her parents was a man dressed in black. It was the thief. He looked thoroughly confused as if he had no idea where he was or how he had gotten there. Not stopping to pick up his dropped gun, flashlight, or the bag of stolen goods, the thief bolted to the window, opened it, and leapt out.

Ginny looked at her father, who was unharmed. She ran up to him and hugged him.

“Ginny!” Tom came running in. “What happened?”

Ginny ran up to him and hugged him as well. “It’s alright,” she said quietly. “It’s okay now.”

*****

After that eventful night, Ginny stopped having strange dreams. Perhaps the curse had finished with the final chair. Tom and Ginny never told anyone about the dreams. Tom spent a lot of time with Ginny, who still had the occasional nightmare, but nothing came out of her dreams anymore.

On Tom’s insistence, Ginny started speaking with a councilor because of what happened in her penultimate dream. Tom listened to her as much as she could, but he was no expert and no therapist. They told the councilor a different story than what had actually happened, but Ginny remained honest when speaking about her deep feelings. How she was felt helpless when it happened and how she felt after.

The thief himself was caught soon after the incident. The flashlight and gun he left behind gave the police many clues to catch him with. It turns out that he was the person who had robbed Amanda Lowes, too. When questioned he couldn’t answer why he decided to rob Amanda’s or Ginny’s houses respectively. He also didn’t know why he suddenly pulled a gun on Ginny’s father. Ginny pleaded with her parents not to press charges of Criminal Threatening, but to no avail.

It was difficult, not being able to tell anyone about what had happened, but Tom remained optimistic.   Ginny was pretty shaken from the incident. Tom was too. The dreams would never become just one big happy memory for them, Tom knew. But they were moving on from it, slowly.

*****

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