“I like your red hair by the way, it means you’re a fighter. You can take life when things

are rough.” Then he slipped out the door. He felt so familiar when I touched him. Like I was

someone else. A shatter from the back made her spin around. Lisa grabbed the broom and

dustpan then entered the back to find a small snow globe in pieces on the floor with a

small painting that was inside. As she picked up the pieces she glanced at the mother

talking to the girl, who apologized to Maggie. Next to the girl Lisa saw a glowing cloud of

an orb. It vanished instantly. Lisa stared in awe, then shook her head. Coming out of her

trance, she finished cleaning up the mess, thinking that she had never seen anything like

that. A few minutes later the customers gave Maggie some money and left.

Lisa dusted off the artwork in the store. “So, um, about that girl…” Did you see anything

strange?–she wanted to say. “I mean globe, at least we have more, right?”

“Of course,” Maggie said.

“The painting inside the globe is a popular item by a local artist, isn’t it?” Lisa asked.

“Yeah. He’s gotten huge everywhere.”

Lisa’s heart raced. I would love to be like that someday.

At midday, Lisa called Kristy on her cell phone to see if she needed a ride home but she

said she’d walk. Hanging up the phone, something caused her heart to stop cold. From the

store’s doorway, someone in a black hooded-robe stood, gazing at her. She hadn’t heard

the door chime at all. The few customers in the gallery did not seem to see the robed figure

either. She looked back at the spot but the figure was gone. Had she really seen the ghostly

image? Maybe it was stress from everything. Not getting her painting sold, her sister

leaving her with Kristy and all on top of starting this new job.

After work, she headed to her car. Stepping outside, a chill crawled up Lisa’s spine, and it

wasn’t the cool air. Four men emerged from the darkness.

6  8