He stood before the bowl, unbuttoned his johnnies, and had just let loose a stream of water when a small voice asked, “Who are you?”
Trace flinched. Hot piss pattered the floor, and then the whole flow just dried up. “Damnation,” he breathed, and cautiously turned his head to see the little dead girl standing behind him. The black pits of her eyesockets seemed to look into the back of her skull. She held her doll by the hair and tilted her head curiously at him.
Just ignore it, he told himself. It’ll go away in a minute; they usually do. Although “usual” didn’t strictly apply to this situation. He’d always had a firm if untested suspicion that they wouldn’t bother him while he was answering nature’s call.
But nature was no longer calling. His genitals had retreated into his fly, which was damned uncomfortable on his bladder. No matter how control he imposed over his mind and emotions, being brave was not the same as being not scared, and his body insisted on reminding him how near he stood to stark terror.
“You don’t really work for Mereck, do you?” the little girl asked.
He glanced at her again, from the corner of his eye. She was very solid, not transparent at all, and if it weren’t for the crawling of his skin—and pecker—he might not have known she was dead. “I don’t know any Mereck,” he said. “You run along, now.”
“I don’t have to leave. It’s my house.”
“Who are you, then?” He rebuttoned his johnnies, trying not to think about what he was talking to, figuring he’d go outside and do his business behind the barn.
“I’m Lisette DuPres.”
Trace turned full around, startled, but she was gone.
We are making progress, Trace and I.