Lavender scents wafted through the air as steam rose from my mug. A tea of serenity, it’s a calming concoction to soothe my inner chaos. I unfurled myself from the couch and lazily reached for my book, ‘The Cocoa Conspiracy’. I’ve always loved a good detective story. I settled in to read about Sleuth Holly’s latest adventures,
‘Holly sipped on her coffee in small cafe in Bristol, all the while eyeing the man in the green overcoat. Never once did she take her eyes from the newspaper she pretended to read. She looked like any other young, blonde businesswoman enjoying her lunch break. From her peripheral vision she watched as the man-‘
A crash from outside diverted my attention. Sitting up with a start, I peeked through the blinds. Neighborhood strays. Again. There were so many cats roaming the alleys around here, it’s a miracle they haven’t organized and demanded lower taxes. Rolling my eyes, I return to my novel,
‘…peripheral vision, she watched as the man spoke in hushed, angry whispers to a middle-aged woman with a short, brown bob. She wore a beige uniform identifying her as an employee of the local Cocoa Crisp factory.
“Blimey, Rebecca! Couldn’t you be a lit-“‘
Another crash. Those damn cats! I flip my book over onto the side table, open the window behind me and shout, “Skat! Go on! Shoo!” To my surprise, it wasn’t the cats this time.
“Hullo! Erm – could you point me in the direction of the nearest police station, please? I seem to have… lost my way.”
Blonde hair. Thick, British accent, and smartly dressed like a successful businesswoman, yet holding a small notepad and pencil. And, what was that in her hands? A newspaper? From… Bristol?!
“Are- are you, Holly? The detective chick?”
She glanced at me, narrowing her blue eyes, “I might be… why do you ask?”
I swung around, ready to grab my book from the table. It was gone! I scanned the room. Nothing. It had disappeared! Whipping my head back to the random girl standing in my driveway, I motioned for her to wait there, “I’ll be right back!”
I hoped she listened. I rushed to my room, my eyes scanning the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for my detective series. They weren’t there, either! In a panic, now, I flew to my front door, yanked it open, and ran outside. “I don’t know what is hap-” Holly was gone. There was nobody there, where I was certain a flesh-and-blood human being had just stood.
Confused and slightly dazed, I went back inside and sat on the couch. Out of habit, I reached forward to pick up my book, surprised when my fingers slid over a worn, paperback cover. I picked it up, flipping to the cover, and there was Holly, just as I had seen her outside my window. I’m not sure if I’ll ever know what happened, but I know for sure – the characters we love exist in more ways than we know.