“Ms. Chambers, welcome! Come in, come in,” said a man as he opened up the door to his humble abode . This was Garret Calhoun, the man who sold Eunica her new home. He stood over her at 6’ 5” with dark hair salted with gray. Eunica assumed he was an older man, probably at least 50. “I didn’t know you wore glasses,” he said, shutting the front door behind them. That caught Eunica off guard; she had forgotten she put her gold-framed pince-nez glasses on during the ride to Calhoun’s house.
“I had just forgotten to put them on,” she answered.
“They make you look experienced.” Calhoun showed her to the living room, after letting Eunica hang her hat on the coat rack in the foyer. There was a flat-screen television mounted on the wall and a small set of furniture in the center of the room with a coffee table. Calhoun offered Eunica a seat on the dark red armchair closest to them. “Wine?”
They make me look older, you mean, thought Eunica. “No thank you.” She sat down on the and took out a notepad and pen. She took a quick look around. She spotted nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing magical, at least as far as her glasses would let her see. The lenses of her pince-nez were made of a special glass that let one see the unseen, or the true forms of the magically disguised. Although she saw nothing, she felt something strange in the living room.
“Taking notes?” Calhoun took a seat on an identical chair on the other side of the sofa.
“Yes.” She crossed her legs and put the notepad on her lap and flipped it open. “It helps me be organized with this sort of thing.”
“This ‘sort of thing?’”
Eunica brushed her hair behind her ear. Calhoun was asking more questions than she was; she doubted it was small-talk. “Asking questions regarding how something strange goes unmissed for so long,” she answered.
“You were very quick to find her, Ms. Chambers. This is about Aura, isn’t it?” Another question. This one actually answered the first one on her list: Did you know about someone in the house?
“Were others slower?”
“Let’s cut to the chase, then. Yes, they did meet her, but they are a problem no longer. Before you ask, no I am not a murderer, like you. I helped them forget, after they returned the house to me—complete with a refund. All are happily living somewhere else, now.”
“Murderer?” Eunica cast him a glare. “What are you talking about?”
“Well, it makes sense that Mordio would choose you to kill Aura,” he answered. “You don’t need to hide your secrets from me, Ms. Chambers. We’re both magi. Your familiar gave it away.”
“He’s oddly quiet for a dog. Is that his true form?” He shook his head. “Not that it matters. Are you telling me that Mr. Mordio did not send for you?” A hand went into his pocket.
This was bad. She was losing control. Quickly, she scribbled down what she had learned and then asked, “Why would Mordio want to kill his own daughter?”
“His daughter?” Calhoun chuckled. “Ms. Chambers, Mordio is not as heartless as you make him out to be.”
“Yes, abandoning a daughter for fifteen years and wanting her dead is just bursting at the seams with love,” she answered with a smirk, which then turned serious. “Why does he want her dead?”
“Would like dead, not want. He’s taking his time choosing, but are you saying he did not send you?” He retrieved his hand from his pocket, which was now holding a white glove.
“What if he did, I like to have justification for killing someone, first,” she replied. “Why would Mordio like to see Aura dead?”
“I’m only his apprentice; all he would say is that she is not really his daughter.”
“So, we have a sad-sack of a father, who won’t raise a b*****d.” She looked over and noticed Calhoun was now wearing the glove and was approaching her. “And now you won’t let me go?”
“Quite the contrary, Ms. Chambers,” he said. “I will, along with giving you a full refund on your home.” He extended his arm, reaching for Eunica’s head. She caught a glimpse of a sigil on the palm of his glove. She did not recognize it and did not have time to figure out. All she knew was that it would be a bad idea to let that hand near her. She grabbed his wrist with one hand and squeezed it as she kicked him back. The wind was knocked out of him Eunica got up, putting her notepad and pen back into her jacket and hurried for the door with Calhoun behind her. She tried to turn the knob to no avail. It was locked. She turned around and ducked out of the way of his hand and stepped to the side.
“You’ll need to give more than a refund to touch my face, Mr. Calhoun. She took her hat off the coat rack and put it on her head. “Thanks for delaying me, though. Couldn’t forget my hat. Now, I will take my leave.
“Alright, you win,” he said. Calhoun stepped aside. “It was… pleasant talking with you.”
“Let’s make that the story. I’ll pretend this never happened.”
“Yes, this never happened…”
Calhoun opened the door. Eunica stepped outside and reached into her pocket as she walked away. She heard the door shut behind her. She was in the clear, now. It was night and Aura had to be worried. Eunica had told her that she would be leaving for a bit. She could not help feeling a bit bad for leaving her all alone. Aura had been alone for 15 years; that was just very sad. And now her father wanted her dead and he did not even consider her his daughter? It was in the walkway from Calhoun’s house that Eunica decided to not tell Aura why her father abandoned her, or what he planned on doing. She would just drive home and—
“This never happened,” Calhoun said from behind her. His hand was on the back of her head.
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