ShadowSoul 2-Shifting Shadows

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Chapter 2: Shifting Shadows

I sat there in stunned silence, not really thinking, but trying on some level to absorb what I had just read.

Finally I snapped out of it and looked around the room again, as if seeing it for the first time.

Did I really want to do this?

I mean, I'm not into all that mystical stuff. Ghosts and vampires and all that stuff was just made up... right?

But, what if...

I mean, if it was just some junk that someone made up, then how did the stories last for centuries? And how did people all over the world have the same type of stories in their own folklore?

Decision time.

Stay or go. It was just that simple.

I could either stay and deal with this... whatever it is or walk out the door and lock it behind me and try to forget that I ever opened it.

I can't say I really had any 'reasons' for my decision, but somewhere inside me I knew that I'd already decided.

Good or bad, scary or not, this was going to be my room... my home.

I don't know if maybe there was something in the dust that effected my brain or if maybe with all the recent changes in my life I needed to believe in something... for whatever reason, I turned in the desk chair and began to speak.

"Enoch? I'm sorry if my being here is upsetting you. I promise that I'm not trying to take your room away from you. But I really like it here and I'd like to be your roommate if you'd let me." I said quietly.

A sound caught my attention and I turned to see the drapes lazily flopping by the open window.

I smiled to myself at my silliness, then said, "Besides, you've let it get a little dusty in here. It looks like you could use some help taking care of the place."

After a look around the room, I decided to move on to my next monumental task.

"I hope you don't have some kind of sentimental attachment to this mattress, because it's so dirty that I could grow radishes in it. I don't know of any way that I can clean it, so I'm going to swap it with a mattress from another room." I said cautiously.

I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a slamming door or a ghostly visage screaming, "Noooooooo!" But what I got was silence.

After another long silent moment waiting for some kind of omen or something, I finally said, "Thanks Enoch."

I wrestled the dirty, heavy mattress off the bedsprings and slowly dragged it toward the door.

"It would really help a lot if you could grab an end." I said as I struggled with the weight of the ancient mattress.

When I finally got the big awkward thing to the door, I said, "That's okay. I got it. Just watch after things while I'm gone."

* * * * *

When I stepped out into the hall, it was like the difference between day and night.

I didn't even realize it while I was in the room, but it's like... everything was different.

While I was in the room, I was in a safe place that was comfortable. As soon as I walked into the hall I was back in the bright, stark, cruel world where things didn't make sense and happened whether you wanted them to or not.

I quickly dragged the mattress down the hall to the next room past mine.

Suddenly it occurred to me that once I found my room I didn't even look at any of the others.

There was a whole wing of bedrooms up here that I hadn't even looked in.

So to correct that oversight, at least a little bit, I looked in the next room past mine.

I was happy to find that it had a bed that was just about the same size as mine.

When I pulled back the bedspread that was covering it, I was relieved to see that it was a mattress from this century.

I don't know what they put in mattresses a hundred or so years ago or however old this thing is, but whatever it was sure was heavy.

I swapped out the mattresses as quickly as I could and was almost running as I dragged the new mattress to my room.

Being away from my safe place was really bothering me.

* * * * *

"I hope you didn't miss me too much." I said with a smile as I pulled the mattress over to the bare bedsprings.

"Once we get everything set up in the house, I'm going to check into getting some boxed springs for this bed. They're a lot quieter." I said conversationally as I worked the new mattress into position.

The quiet in the room seemed heavier and I stopped to look around.

"Okay. I'll give this a try for a while and see if I get used to it. Don't worry, I don't want to change your room too much." I said, feeling a little concern at the different mood.

"Um, I don't know how you're going to like this, but I'm going to need a place to keep my clothes." I said hesitantly.

"From the amount of stuff I saw in the dresser, I could just move your stuff a little and make room for my stuff. I don't have that much." I said in a quieter voice.

The silence seemed even more pronounced and I had the feeling that my ghostly presence was not happy.

I took a seat on the bed and looked over at the full length oval mirror in the corner and said, "I'm sorry if I'm being a pest. But I really do want to be your roommate. If you'll just put up with me making a few little changes so I can have my stuff in here too, I think it's going to be great..."

The movement of the drapes flapping in the breeze from the evaporative cooler drew my eyes for a moment.

When I looked back at the mirror, something seemed to be different. A shadow, the dust on the glass... I don't know. Something just seemed to have changed.

"Enoch, I'm really sorry. Please give me a chance." I said, hoping that if there was a spirit present, that he could tell that I really meant it.

"By the way, I'm Mark. I guess I should have told you that first." I said as I looked around.

A faint 'click' caught my attention and I turned to see where it came from.

There was a large cabinet with two doors that I hadn't opened yet. As I watched, one of the doors opened very slowly as it made a low, creaking sound.

The hairs stood up on my neck as a shiver ran all the way up my spine.

I had stopped breathing as I watched the door finally stop moving when it was about an inch opened.

I don't know how long I sat there looking at that cabinet. But I finally decided that Enoch was giving me a message. Whatever was inside the cabinet was probably his answer of whether he wanted me to be his roommate or not.

I swear to God. If there's a body in there I'm gonna freak.

Slowly I got up off the bed and walked toward the cabinet.

As I raised my hand to open the door I noticed that my hand was shaking.

I took in a deep breath to brace myself for what I was about to do and opened the door.

* * * * *

There were clothes hanging in the cabinet.

I opened the other door to find that there were drawers.

After a moment of just staring at the clothes hanging before me, I turned away and looked around the room in confusion.

No closet.

There was no closet in this room.

After another long silent moment just staring off into space, I came back to myself and realized what it might mean.

"Thanks Enoch. I'll really try not to mess with your stuff too much." I said into the air.

All of a sudden one of the pieces of clothes, a dark suit jacket, fell off it's hanger and into the bottom of the cabinet.

I think I jumped about a foot in the air and might have even screamed a little.

One more scare like that and I'll have to go wipe.

After a moment to get my breathing under control, I reached down to pick up the jacket and noticed the shape that it held.

"Oh, I see what you mean. You've got some serious hanger wings here." I said, then looked at the jacket more closely.

"I hope you don't mind, but... this looks like it's about my size." I said, then looked around to make sure I wasn't missing some big glaring sign telling me not to try it on.

After another second of looking around, I hesitantly put my arm in the sleeve of the jacket.

I continued to watch as I pulled the jacket on and settled it into place.

"Wow. It fits perfectly." I said with a smile as I started to button it up.

One of the buttons came off in my hand and I froze.

"Sorry about that. I'll get it fixed. I don't know how you clean clothes that are this old, but I'm pretty sure if I threw this in the washer I'd just have a pile of rags left when it's done." I said as I carefully unbuttoned the jacket and took it off.

"But, since we're the same size, we could share clothes if you want. I mean, your stuff will all need to be washed and some of it won't be any good anymore. But, well, I don't know if you need clothes, but if you do, you'll be welcomed to share mine." I said quickly.

There wasn't any sound or movement in the room to tell me that he liked the idea, but somehow I got the feeling that he did.

I thought for a moment, then said, "How about I get your stuff together and put it into the next room until it's time to do laundry. I'll go ahead and move my stuff in now and when yours is washed, I'll put it all together."

After a moment, I nodded as if he had agreed with me, then got to work.

* * * * *

"I'm back!" I said with a smile as I carried my backpack into the room and actually felt welcomed as I made my way to the bed.

Clearing out Enoch's clothes hadn't taken too long, then I got back to the business of cleaning the room to make it livable.

I opened the top of my backpack and pulled out my laptop computer.

When I looked at the wall by the desk, I noticed that there wasn't an outlet.

As I looked around the walls of the room, I soon discovered that there were 'no' outlets.

"You don't have electricity?" I asked in a reluctant voice.

I hesitantly looked up at the ceiling to see that there was no light fixture.

The lamp on the desk was an oil lamp and the light fixtures on the walls appeared to be gas.

I thought for a moment, then said, "I'll be right back. I just have to check on something."

I carried my laptop and the charger cord with me into the study and looked around the desk.

"Cool." I said with relief as I found an outlet beside the desk.

I plugged in the laptop and left it to charge, then went back to my room.

* * * * *

"No problem. I'll just leave the laptop in there to charge and bring it in here when I need to use it..." I trailed off as I thought of something.

"Don't worry about it Enoch. When it's charged up, I'll bring it in here and you'll see what it is and what I can do with it." I said as I somehow felt his confusion.

"Later, I promise. Right now I need to figure out how I'm going to be able to see in here after dark... it does get dark here doesn't it?" I finished uncertainly.

"Sorry. I'm new here and it's just so different..." I trailed off as I looked at the oil lamp on the desk and tried to figure out how the thing worked.

The bottom of it was like a jug made out of colored glass and I could see that it was empty.

"I saw some lamp oil in the mud room. I'll be right back." I said as I hurried out the door.

* * * * *

I came back into the room with a bottle of lamp oil and a box of wooden matches.

"I hope that these wick things don't spoil or rot or anything because I don't know where I'd find one of them." I said as I unscrewed the little decorative cap on the side of the oil lamp, then began to slowly pour the oil.

"This would be a lot easier if you could help me. I've never done this before." I said intently as I held the bottle of lamp oil steady, being careful not to pour it too quickly.

After a moment of silence, I stopped pouring and looked toward the clothes cabinet.

I thought for a moment, then said, "I'm sorry. I know you can't help it. I was just saying that it would be nice."

After a pause, I went back to pouring the oil into the lamp.

"You'll slam a door or something if I'm about to do something that's going to burn my face off won't you?" I asked as I put the bottle of lamp oil aside and put the cap on it.

I screwed the decorative cap on the side of the oil lamp, then looked over my shoulder and said, "You're taking an awfully long time to think about it."

I smiled and chuckled to myself, as I adjusted the wick down a little, then back up to try and get it wet.

I fiddled with the little lever on the side of the lamp which raised the glass chimney up so I could get to the wick with the match.

"Cool." I said with a smile, then reached for the matches.

"Remember, I've never done this before so it's your job to protect me. If I'm about to do something stupid, you give me a sign or something to let me know. Got it?" I said seriously.

I waited for a second, then heard the door of the clothes cabinet creak a little.

"Good. Alright. Then I'm going to try to light this thing." I said, then struck the match on the side of the box.

The match flared to life in a burst, then settled into a timid flame.

I carefully moved the match under the glass chimney and touched it to the wick.

It didn't seem to catch at first, but after a few seconds, the edge of the wick that was closest to me started to flicker and spit.

"I guess that this will prove that I am a wussy city kid if I can't even light an oil lamp." I said in concentration as I watched the tiny flame struggle to catch on.

The flame finally started to spread across the wick and I quickly pulled the match back so I could put it out before it burnt my fingers.

I blew out the flame of the match and dropped it into a little metal cup by the side of the lamp. Next I moved the glass shade down over the wick and the flame grew brighter.

After a moment of adjusting the wick to a comfortable level of flame, I looked back around the room and said, "Well, now I have a bed. I have light and I have a place to put my things. I can't think of anything else that I'll need for me to be able to stay here. I just have to finish up the cleaning and find some sheets and stuff, then get my things out of the car."

I looked away from the lamp and around the room. I settled my gaze on the full length mirror and said, "I'll be a good roommate. I promise. If you'll just let me know if you need me to do something, I promise that I'll try to do it."

I concentrated, trying to imagine what needs a ghost might have. Finally I said in a quieter voice, "That's okay. I'm going to be around for a while, you can tell me whenever you're ready."

I smiled with contentment, then cupped my hand around the top of the glass chimney of the oil lamp and gently blew out the flame.

* * * * *

"I think I'm done." I said as I stopped at the doorway and put the mop into the bucket.

"It shouldn't take very long for the floor to dry as hot as it is." I said with accomplishment.

"I think I'll go down and get my suitcase out of the car then get a shower. It appears that sweat plus dust equals mud." I said as I looked down at my filthy arms.

I looked around the room and smiled, then said, "Your room is really nice. I hope you like it all cleaned up like this."

I stood for a minute, just soaking in the peaceful feeling, then reluctantly squatted down and picked up the mop bucket.

"I won't be gone too long. Just relax for a while, you've had a hard day too." I said as I turned to leave.

* * * * *

I stepped out the front door of the house and was once again overwhelmed by the heat.

Shit! Grandpa was right! It got hotter!

I wonder if you're supposed to wear an oxygen mask or radiation suit or something when you go outside here. I mean, it just feels like you should have something like that.

By the time I got my big suitcase out of the car, I was dripping wet with sweat.

The corner of a Doritos bag caught my eye and I grabbed the bag of snacks it was in before closing the car door.

By the time I got back up on the porch, I felt like I'd run a hundred miles.

As I walked into the house, I was so focused on the things I needed to do that I almost forgot to stop and cool off in front of the cool air blower.

I stood there with my suitcase at my side and the plastic shopping bag with the Doritos in it dangling from one finger as I felt the cool, moist air wash over me.

{I almost missed it.} I thought to myself with relief.

{At least after walking through the fire, there's a payoff.}

A series of things seemed to fall into order in my head, and I began to speculate if maybe after the fire of the past six months with mom and dad's divorce, that being here was a payoff. If I'll just stop and enjoy it.

It took a few minutes, but I finally cooled down enough that I could get back to my room.

* * * * *

"Sorry. That took longer than I thought it would." I said as I carried my suitcase into the bedroom.

"Back in Michigan I could have walked out to the car to grab something and it would have only taken a minute. This place is huge, the rooms are bigger, the ceilings are higher and the stairs seem to go on forever. Then when you get outside..." I trailed off, completely at a loss how to describe the West Texas desert.

The sound of a tap drew my attention and I saw Enoch's notebook on the desk where I had left it, except now it was open.

I sat my suitcase on the bed, then took a seat at the desk to try and see what Enoch wanted me to read.

After weeks of enduring the hardships of traveling to join my family in their new home, I have arrived in this place to find that I was told lies.

The ranch that my father described with pride in his letters was nothing more than a shanty in the middle of a wasteland. No fruit or vegetable could find purchase in this barren soil. No livestock could thrive and bear healthy young in this searing heat.

As a final insult, I arrived three days too late to be at the bedside of my mother who had fallen ill after being bitten by a venomous spider. Rather than being welcomed by her loving embrace, I was forced to stand in searing hot wind and stare at her crude dusty grave.

I have no money to arrange transport so I may return to live with my Aunt in Boston. My eldest brother has abandoned the family and moved further West to seek his own fortune. My father has sought to find the answers to his life's problems in the bottom of a whiskey bottle. Through his alcoholic haze, he sees this place as being paradise.

I think that I shall not survive this experience. This place killed my mother's body, my father's mind and my brother's morality.

The only question left to be answered is what diabolical way is this place going to destroy me. May God have mercy on me and allow my end to be swift. I do not have the willpower to endure an existence in this hellish wasteland.

Enoch Miller
July 10th, 1897

I sat and stared at the page for a few minutes in silence, then finally said, "Wow. That sucks."

I reached up to turn the page, but stopped in mid motion.

"Thanks for telling me Enoch. From the look of it, you've got a lot of your personal thoughts and feelings in this book so I'm not going to read more unless you want me to." I said as I closed the book.

"I don't know how things were back in the 1890's, but if you were here with me now, I'd want to give you a hug to let you know how sorry I am for everything you went through." I said quietly.

I turned as I sensed movement close to me, even though nothing had moved.

I slowly stood and faced where I thought he might be and held my arms out to him.

"I know this isn't a real hug, but maybe it will help a little." I said, then brought my arms up, mimicking the action of giving a hug.

"It's going to be better now. You've got someone here to keep you company. You don't have to face everything alone." I whispered as I carefully held the pose.

After another moment of the pseudo-hug, I let my arms drop to my sides and said, "If you can find a way to let me know when you need a hug, I'll always have one for you."

I felt an odd sensation that I couldn't identify, but it was quickly followed by a blush in my cheeks.

"Thanks Enoch. I'm not sure what you just did, but whatever it was, I liked it." I said softly.

I stood there a moment longer, then noticed my suitcase still laying on the bed.

"I'm just going to grab the stuff I need for a shower. I won't be gone long." I said as I started looking through my suitcase for some shorts and a T-shirt to change into.

"I'll be back before you know it." I said hesitantly, then walked out of the room with my clothes in hand.

* * * * *

Even though I hadn't been in all the rooms yet, finding the bathroom was easy.

It was the room at the end of the hall and the door was standing open.

I walked in and took inventory to see that I had soap, shampoo and towels.

Once I was assured that I had everything I needed, I started to get undressed.

I pulled my T-shirt over my head and got a strange sensation, like the one I had in my bedroom.

"Enoch?" I asked as I looked around.

I couldn't feel it as strongly as before, but I was more than fifty percent sure that he was in the bathroom with me.

"It's okay Enoch. I don't mind." I said as I tried to get a sense of where he might be in the room.

Finally I turned to face the door and was almost certain that that's where he was.

"I don't know if it's because you've been alone for a long time, or if you, um... just want to see me... you know... naked. But either way, I'm okay with it." I said gently, then sat down on the edge of the large bath tub to undo my shoes.

"In fact, it's too bad I can't see you too... because it would be kinda cool if we could, you know, shower together." I said shyly as I kept my focus on taking off my shoes and socks.

I looked around the room again, then focused on the same place, just a foot or two in front of the door as I said, "Here it goes."

I unfastened my jeans and pulled down the zipper as I watched the spot for any reaction.

He seemed to be in the same place and I could sense him more strongly now.

I hooked my thumbs in the waistband of my briefs, then in one move, pulled my pants and underwear down together.

I stepped out of my pants and kicked them away, then stood with my arms outstretched.

"I hope I'm not going crazy and imagining all this because I think I like you." I said, then started to slowly turn so he could get a good look.

As I faced the door again, I felt his presence get closer, then I could feel that strange sensation that I felt earlier in the bedroom.

It was like a pulling in my stomach, just behind my navel.

"Thank you." I whispered as I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation of this insubstantial being somehow touching me.

I stood like that for a long minute, just relaxing in a mix of warm and cool sensations spreading over every part of my body as goosebumps started to raise on my arms.

"I just wish I could do something like that for you." I whispered while keeping my eyes closed.

The sensation slowly faded and I was alone, standing naked in the bathroom.

A feeling of concern came over me as I wondered if I might have said something wrong.

I looked around one more time to be sure that I was alone, then went about the business of getting showered.

The whole time I was showering, I was thinking about Enoch and wondering if he was okay.

* * * * *

I walked into the bedroom, feeling clean and refreshed.

After a moment to put my dirty clothes in the nylon bag that I had for just that purpose, I looked around the room to verify that Enoch was there.

"I was worried when you left, I'm glad you're here." I said as I started unpacking my clothes and putting them away.

I could feel something like apprehension or anxiety from Enoch and stopped what I was doing to try and find out what was wrong.

"It's okay. I'm sorry if what happened in the bathroom freaked you out a little. But it's really fine, I liked it and I hope that you did too." I said softly as I walked to stand in front of the mirror.

The feeling of apprehension seemed to change to one of fear and I felt tears welling up in my eyes.

"Oh Enoch. I wish I could hold you and make all the scary feelings go away." I said as I looked at the place where I imagined? his face to be.

I slowly raised my hand and held it where I thought his face should be.

After a moment of waiting, I felt a tingly sensation, like he was making contact with the palm of my hand.

"I need to tell you something." I said quietly.

I felt the tingly sensation stop abruptly.

"I thought I hated this place when I arrived. I thought it was hell on Earth. But if we can be together like this... I think it's going to be okay." I said as I stared into the open space before me.

The tingling sensation started in my palm again, then suddenly changed so it was covering the entire front of my body.

I carefully brought my hands up and held them before me until I could barely feel the tingle in my palms.

"As long as we can be like this for each other, it's going to be fine." I said as I rubbed what I imagined to be his back.

I felt a tingle wash across my lips for an instant.

I smiled slightly as I waited to see if he would do it again.

He didn't, but I could feel him all across my chest and in my arms.

"Enoch, the world is outside this room and it's pretty much the same cruel place that you remember. But in here, we're home." I said softly.

I stood like that for a few more minutes until my stomach growling interrupted the moment.

I smiled as I said, "Well, us people of the living variety need to eat. I've got some food downstairs. Give me a few minutes and I'll go get something and bring it up here. I know you can't share it with me, but just being here with you will make it kind of like having a picnic."

I felt the tingle wash across my lips again briefly, then I could feel all the tingles begin to subside.

I lowered my arms and watched the nothingness before me.

"I'll be back in just a few minutes." I said, then hurried out of the room.

* * * * *

While I was eating my meal in my room, I noticed that it was starting to get dark outside.

I took a minute to light the oil lamp on the desk, then went back to eating.

If tomorrow was going to be anywhere near as hot as today, then I should get our crap out of the car while it's dark.

When I had finished my meal, I quietly said, "I have to get the rest of our stuff out of the car. It's been out there all day."

I had expected to feel something like longing or disappointment like the other times I had left the room, but this time I felt happiness.

I thought about what that might mean for a second, then broke into a smile as I said, "Yeah, that means I'm staying."

I felt the presence shift from the bed beside me to stand in front of me.

I slowly stood and waited.

I felt a brief tingle on my lips, then he seemed to move away.

I smiled as I said, "Yeah. I'll hurry back."

* * * * *

I pretty much stacked everything in the living room. I figured that mom would want to go through it and put the stuff away herself so she'd know where it was. I took my box of junk from my bedroom back in Michigan and carried it upstairs.

"Honey, I'm home." I said with a smile as I walked into the room.

I sensed confusion from the chair at the desk as I walked by.

"I guess you never got to watch 'I Love Lucy'. Well, don't worry about it." I said as I started pulling out my things and putting them away.

I heard a click and turned to see what was going on.

"Oh, that's my flute case. I guess since you haven't seen 'I Love Lucy' that probably means you haven't seen 'American Pie' either." I said as I picked up the case.

"I'll tell you all about it sometime, but for now, let's just say that every flute player in the world has had people making fun of them because of that movie." I said as I pulled the sections of my flute out and fit them together.

A feeling of expectation nearly vibrated from beside me.

"Sure. I'd love to play for you." I said as I finished, then worked all the valves to make sure nothing was sticking.

First I played 'Time In A Bottle' because I've always liked that song and it's become sort of my 'warm up' piece.

After that I decided to play my masterpiece.

I can read sheet music, but I did this arrangement all by myself. I took one of my all-time favorite songs and adapted it for the flute.

"Sit down Enoch. This is for you." I said, then waited until I sensed that he had taken a seat on the bed.

I started to play the slow, lilting melody of? Backstreet Boys '10,000 Promises'.

I kept my gaze on where I knew he was sitting as I let myself get lost in the song.

The light from the oil lamp was causing the shadows to shift and dance on the walls.

When I was finally finished, I couldn't tell what emotions I was sensing.

I sat my flute carefully on the bed and waited as I tried to sort through his feelings.

Finally I felt his presence stand before me and I felt a tingling on my arms.

I didn't understand what he wanted me to do, so I kept my arms at my sides and waited.

All of a sudden I felt it, not just the tingling sensation on my lips, but what I imagine a real kiss feels like.

It was solid and warm and firm and felt like it was trying to devour me.

By pure force of will I kept my arms at my sides and let Enoch do what he wanted, responding to his kisses only with my mouth.

It's funny how your perception of time can be thrown off by a certain thing.

Time seems to stop while you're waiting for water to boil.

But in a circumstance like this, time just seemed to have taken a vacation.

We might have been like that for thirty seconds or thirty minutes. I was so lost in the pure sensation that everything else in the world disappeared for me and all that existed for me was that kiss.

When the kiss ended, I stood there and stared into the empty space where he should have been standing.

"I wish I could see your eyes." I said in a whisper.

I felt a gentle peace radiating from him that made me smile.

"I need to get this stuff put away so I can go to bed." I said as I glanced at the box on the bed.

His mood and presence didn't waver.

"Will you be able to go to bed with me?" I asked hopefully.

The joy that radiated out from him was like fireworks lighting the night sky.

I broke into a full smile at the reaction, then picked up the box and sat it by the foot of the bed.

"I can go through that stuff in the morning." I said as I quickly broke down my flute and put it back in it's case.

As soon as I had the bed cleared off, I felt his presence move onto the bed and over by the wall.

"Good. Now I won't have to worry about trying to get out of bed in the morning without waking you." I said as I made sure that there was nothing else laying around that needed to be dealt with before I went to sleep.

Finally I walked over to the oil lamp on the desk and cupped my hand around the top of the glass chimney, then gently blew out the flame.

"Sweet dreams." I whispered as I climbed into the bed.

* * * * *

I opened my eyes and looked around at the complete blackness.

I remembered laying down in bed and getting comfortable. I closed my eyes and then...

I was here, standing up, wearing the clothes that I'd arrived in.

I looked down at my hands and could see myself clearly, but everything around me was dark. There was no light anywhere. It was like *I* was the light.

"Mark." A low voice said from behind me, startling me out of my confused thoughts.

I hesitantly turned, then smiled with relief as I said, "Enoch."

To Be Continued...