Chapter 2

Written by: Sumanda Maritz

Scott stood frozen with his eyes on the stunning dark beauty with the sparkling fire in her almond-shaped eyes. That wasn’t Tom’s voice and he knew that she wouldn’t believe him if he told her it was. His thoughts raced as he tried to think of what to say. Go with the truth or an exceptionally believable lie? Up until the bang he was sure he had her convinced of their normality, now her expression had turned to horror and he didn’t know if he would be able to fix this.

A cramp in his hand made him realise why she wasn’t staring him in the eye. It took a tremendous effort to relax his grip around the hilt until the knife fell with a clatter on the ground.

“What the..?” he trailed off with his most convincing incredulous look that he spent hours perfecting. Right now he wasn’t sure but the feeling might even be real.

 

***

 

Agatha jerked with surprise as the knife hit the floor. Her eyes flashed to his face at the incredulity in his voice. The icy fear slipped out of her when she saw his expression. 

“Who was that?” her voice shook with the adrenaline that still coursed through her body.

“To tell you the truth, I have no idea,” he said with sincerity as he started towards the stairs. No amount of protestation was going to keep Agatha from following him up those stairs. So she didn’t ask for permission and just did it. Between Thomas’s story and Scott’s explanations, she didn’t know what to believe. But she was going to find out. Come hell or high water.

She caught up to him on the second step of the staircase. His legs might be longer, but Agatha had learned years ago to walk fast enough to keep up with anyone. Stairs, however, were a slightly different matter. He reached the landing two steps ahead of her and she scrambled to catch up again.

“Honey, do you mind making me a cup of tea?” a woman’s voice sounded from the closed door on the left. Agatha caught a microsecond of panic on Scott’s face at the request. The door on the left swung open and a smartly dressed woman that looked about the same age as Scott walked out. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t know we had company.” With a broad smile, she stepped forward and offered Agatha her hand. 

“I’m Melanie, welcome to our home. I hope my guys haven’t been treating you to their method acting?” she smiled with patent love at her husband.

Agatha gaped at the brown-haired woman for a moment before taking Melanie’s soft hand for a shake. “I’m …er... Agatha, good to meet you. You’re Thomas’s mom?” She frantically tried to appear calm and collected.

Comments

The early stages of a serial are where we meet the characters who will carry the story forward. It's always nice when this part of the storytelling is not rushed, as is the case in this serial. Sumanda has introduced another interesting character and some intriguing little details for the following writers to pick up on. The writing is subtle and smooth and above all, so engaging.
Very interesting plot development as Donna has also pointed out. Let's see which way this goes next!
A really good follow-on from the last chapter and in this chapter the emphasis is on the descriptive feeling of both characters. Developing a character is really important and Sumanda has done this. In Agatha we see her in a positive mood at the outset and then by the end of this piece she is getting confused. This is so well done that it's almost an invisible crossover from one feeling to another. Loved it, Sumanda.
Thanks everyone, there are so many directions this serial could go, that I tried to keep as many of those options open as possible.
Oh that chapter is stunning. Still ambiguous so it could go anywhere but still kept continuity and made sense. Loved the characterisation.