I'm working very hard to get this finished by the deadline. There will be a lot of MISS LONELYHEARTS releases this week, a couple a day, so stay tuned. As always you can find the compiled version on my blog.
Greta heard movement behind the frame; a shuffling of feet and then an audible pause as the person behind the door weighed her from behind the peephole. It had been a week since she’d seen Jack, or almost a week. The days had gone by slowly and blurry. Everything about that night had seemed surreal, like she was Alice on the other side of the looking glass. What Greta didn’t acknowledge, is that the night only seemed surreal in the daylight of the morning after.
“I know you’re there, Jack. What gives?” She shifted her feet and played with the hem of her shirt, trying to act as though his silence didn’t bother her. It did. The door opened. Jack stood, his face heavy and sleep deprived. His long, silky black hair was tangled and knotted. The skin around his dark eyes were shadowed and his mouth was grim. “I was going to ask where you’ve been… but you don’t look very good.” Greta took a step forward. Jack held her at bay.
“Why are you here?” He growled, mouth barely moving.
“Why am I—are you serious? You’ve been missing for almost four days. I thought you’d died…” Greta slowed her speech, examining Jack. Perhaps she wasn’t so far off. He looked livid and smelled rotting. The only things missing were the maggots.
“I told you I wouldn’t be over in a week,” he growled again. Greta stared, wide-eyed and nonplussed. Jack shook his head, laughing. “I listen to you every day and don’t ask for much except that maybe you listen to me once. That’s too much for neurotic, delusional, dependent Greta, though. Isn’t it?” Greta blinked. Unmoving her head, she absorbed his words like snake’s venom in to the blood stream, letting it change and become her. She nodded without word and slowly walked away.
Greta stopped. “I’m coming in.”
“No, you’re not.” Ignoring Jack, Greta attempted to push her way in to the apartment. Jack stopped her breach with little effort.
“Just let me…” Greta attempted again, rushing his defenses. She pushed him to the side slightly and caught a glimpse of what lay beyond. The curtains were drawn and the apartment was dark, only eerie beams of light shone like misguided spotlights. Steel tables were set up in various fashions and atop them were beakers, bottles, and other scientific things. Greta didn’t get a good look.
She stepped away on her own volition. Though she didn’t see everything, she saw enough.
“Yeah, okay. Fine. I just want… my game back because you said you only wanted to borrow it and now you’ve had it for months and I’ve been wanting to play it. Go buy your own game, Jack, stop stealing my shit!” Jack furrowed his brow, contemplating Greta’s sudden change in temperament. Nonetheless, he turned around to get it.
With Jack’s back turned, Greta darted in to the apartment.