Sorry I didn’t get this up until so late, but I fell asleep early last night. I hope you guys like it. I’m pretty sure that I will probably change a few things in this chapter before I call it complete, but this is the “first draft.”
Elise saw the lightning flash and was sure she’d seen a man standing at the window in the instant the flash had lit the world beyond the window.
She wasn’t a weak-willed woman prone to fainting or screaming, but seeing what she thought was a naked man at her window definitely disturbed her.
As she stood, the blanket fell to the floor and she kicked it aside quickly to prevent herself from falling, which she was prone to do. Once she steadied her nerves a bit, she went to the closet near the dead-bolted front door and opened it. She groped in the dark for the eight-shot Mossberg 500 shotgun she had received as a gift from her grandfather on her sixteenth birthday. Most girls have a sweet-sixteen party and instead she had a camping trip with her grandfather as her parents were away on a trip to Europe for an impromptu vacation.
Elise had always cherished her time with her grandfather and had never been more grateful for the person that he had helped her become as she was at this very moment. In light of her fear, she was familiar with the Mossberg and was fully prepared to use it on the intruder, if he proved to her that it was necessary.
She pumped the shotgun to chamber a round and clicked the safety in case she needed to actually fire at the stranger in the window. She retrieved her rain slicker fully expecting to have to search the property to ensure his departure when she heard a knock at the door.
Elise was stunned that someone peering in a window would have the audacity to come to the door and knock after that type of introduction. Warily, she made her way to the door and her grip tightened on the stock of the Mossberg. She wasn’t scared but she was extremely tense, which was why she was in this cabin in the first place.
“I really don’t need this right now,” she thought. “But, I guess things don’t tend to happen when you’re good and ready for them.”
With her resolve renewed, she continued towards the front door ready to meet whatever was waiting for her behind the six-panel, glassless barrier to the outside world from which she was so desperately seeking refuge. She reached out with her free hand and her fingers curled around the worn brass knob, just as the knocking started again and she whipped the door open without realizing what she was doing.
There stood the baffled interloper in all his cut, bruised and wet glory; his soaked, brown hair clinging to his fore-head as the rain water streamed down his face causing him to squint. She wasn’t prepared for the sight of him and though she had the shotgun at the ready she felt no threat from him.
“Where the hell are your clothes?” she shouted at him with dismay.
He was taken aback by the question and looked down upon himself for the first time and realized he was uncovered.
“I’m not sure,” he said with an ever-growing sense of self-consciousness.
For reasons she didn’t understand, she motioned for him to come inside and he immediately followed her unspoken instructions. She shut the door behind him and he began to step off the mat onto the floor and she stopped him.
“Whoa, where do you think you’re going mister?” she asked as she raised the gun in front of him blocking his path.
“I thought you meant for me to come inside,” he said puzzled.
“I don’t give free range of my house to beaten and cut up naked men without a few questions, “ she said, “So hold on and let me get you a towel to dry off with first before you go making yourself at home.”
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he apologized.
“I’m not scared,” she snapped. “Just stay here.”
She went to bedroom that had long belonged to her grandfather’s, which had not been stayed in for years and was only cleaned during her occasional visits. She went to the closet hoping to find some of her grandfather’s old camping clothes and relieved to find a pair of worn khaki pants and a flannel shirt that wasn’t awful looking. After retrieving a towel from the bathroom, she returned to the room to find the stranger exactly where she had left him.
“That’s odd,” she thought.
“You didn’t have to stand stock-still like a statue, you know,” she told him.
“I’m sorry?” he asked.
“Here, take this,” she said handing him the towel.
“Just dry off quickly and put these on, they should fit you,” she said as she tossed the clothes on the little side table next to the door.
He accepted the towel quizzically, but immediately understood once he grasped it and proceeded to whisk away the rain from his saturated skin. Once he had dried himself and gotten the offered clothes on, which fit almost perfectly she motioned for him to take a seat at the small, hand-carved maple table in the cozy little kitchen.
As they settled into chairs across from one another, she made no attempt to hide the Mossberg that she had brought with her as she placed in on the table in front of her; she looked at him and sighed.
“What exactly were you doing wandering around these hills in the rain naked?” she asked him.
He sat contemplating his answer for a minute or more, opening his mouth a couple of times as though he was prepared to answer and nothing.
Finally, he looked into her light, brown eyes and said, “I have no idea.”