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“Come back,” it beckoned. “Come back and play with me.”
The deck of cards sneered at her. “You know you want this. I demand it.”
It grew eyebrows and furrowed them at her. It grew teeth and flaunted them.
It knocked over everything in the maze. She hadn’t even realized she was in the maze. The maze had just appeared. Like the gambling addiction and the drinking. She ran.
She ran and ran and ran and ran.
Wesley appeared. He appeared while she was panting for breath. Running but standing still. He carried a bouquet of roses. And chrysanthemums. “For you, my love,” he drawled. The deck of cards tottered over to them. She wanted to run but she was glued to the ground. Wes didn’t run either. “I got it,” he said.
“You’re looking at the new president of Carmichael Industries.”
The deck of cards was behind her. She could feel its breath. Caressing the back of her head. “Baby, I made it,” were the last words out of Wes’s mouth. Then he vanished. Just as he’d appeared. Just like the knight who had saved her life.
Vanished like the man she had danced with. Vanished like tears once they flew freely.
Vanished like her father. Vanished like James, Kyle, Richard and Edwin. Vanished. Vanished. Vanished. It all vanished. But it was okay. Because when they vanished, she appeared.
The crash awoke her. She sat up in bed, breathing like she’d just finished a joust. Something had fallen; something had broken. She glanced around, her eyes resting on the shattered pieces. She gasped, inhaling. On the carpet, lay a broken vase. From it’s maw spilled a ballad of roses and chrysanthemums.