“Untie me right now!”
Her expression says ‘duh, no.’ Instead she leans into my face and pulls the rope a little tighter.
“Well at least tell me who you are!”
“My name’s Audrey and I’m your biggest fan, sort of.”
“How can I have a fan? Don’t I have to be famous for something?”
“Wanda, Wanda. It is Wanda, right?”
“Of course it’s me! Who else would I be?”
“Eric is my brother!”
“Your brother? The one you’re never seen with? The one with the same student number and computer account as you? I’ve been watching you for months; I even cracked your psychologist’s files!”
At least now I know what’s going on. Doc Reinholdt thinks that Eric is a symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder, kind of like the Two Faces of Eve. Doc Reinholdt is stupid.
“That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.”
“Oh? What about Andy?”
Andy. The guy who broke into Eric’s account and wrote dirty sex scenes into his Creative Writing project. Scenes I still remember. Scenes nobody else should know about because I deleted them.
“That got you. Where is Andy now?”
“I don’t know.” I don’t really care, either, after what he did to me and Eric.
“He’s in hospital after that stunt you pulled, writing him into an evil game show. That’s when I figured out what you can do. You write, you change reality around you.”
“That’s crazy!” How the hell did she figure that out? I only realized it myself recently.
’There are some things you can’t cover up with lipstick and powder…’
That’s my phone; it’s Jen. She arranged the book signing for Eric today and … oh no, she’s with Eric right now. They’re supposed to come down later, after I’ve got everything set up.
“You’re going to answer and pretend everything’s normal. You’re good at that. Now do it!” She accepts the call and holds the phone to my ear.
“Hi Wanda. Where’s Eric?”
But… Eric’s supposed to be in the apartment! With her! I mean they were… last night. I need an answer that will arouse her. Her suspicions! Without alerting Audrey. What was that? God, I’m starting to think like Eric; eww.
“He’s probably on the way down here to help me set up for the signing.” Eric never does that sort of thing, and Jen knows it. Hopefully she gets the hint.
“Uh-huh. See you later!” The sooner later the better. Please get the hint! Audrey disconnects the phone.
“Now, I want Eric!” She opens up her shirt and shows off her… upper torso.
“Yuck! Put those away, God knows where they’ve been!”
Her hand drops down and goes someplace it shouldn’t. I scream inside. Why on earth would she…
Some half-naked bitch has me tied up in a chair and is groping me. Interesting, but not right now. I head-butt her and slip the bonds.
“You wish. My name’s Sapphire, and you’re in big trouble.”
Meanwhile, and Wanda and Eric's apartment...
Eric rushes into the kitchen buck naked and grabs my hand. My borrowed bathrobe falls open as he tows me toward the bedroom.
“Come on Jen, we have to get busy.”
This is a change, considering he was halfway between tentative and terrified last night.
“Eric? Is now the right time?”
“Of course it is. Wanda’s in trouble!”
“And you want to…”
“Save her. Yeah.”
He hands me some clothes and starts grabbing his; in just over a minute we’re both dressed, if a little unkempt.
“I assume we’re going to the bookshop?”
“How’d you know?”
“That’s where Wanda was when I called her a few minutes ago looking for you. Where were you?”
He takes my hand and tows me to the elevator. It’s weird to see him like this; Wanda’s usually the take-charge type.
As we ride down he clings to me nervously. I can smell the lavender-scented body wash they both use; in these close quarters it’s kind of a turn-on. Focus, girl.
“What kind of trouble is Wanda in?”
“No, the wizard girl. Wanda got really scared and Sapphire came out; I’m afraid she’s going to kill someone.”
“Came out? Like a multiple personality thing?”
“Yes. No. It’s complicated.”
We’re interrupted by arriving at the parkade level. I parked in Wanda’s spot last night so now it’s my turn to tow him to the car. Pretty soon we’re on the way to the bookstore, which is luckily a very short drive.
“We have some time now, Eric. You keep saying things are complicated; simplify them for me.”
“Okay, I’ll try. Wanda’s special. Really special. Like, in the movies special. She can make things by writing about them: stuff, places, animals, …people.”
This had gone to strangeland pretty quickly, but I guess I asked for it.
“How does she do it?”
“I don’t know. She just does it. But people are hard to make: sometimes they’re separate from her, but sometimes she just sort of turns into them.”
“So she turned into this Sapphire, then?”
“No, it’s more complicated than that.”
“Stop saying that!”
He’s saved by our arrival at the store. We park in the loading zone and head inside; luckily for us Wanda didn’t lock the door when she came in.
They’re in the back room. There’s a brown-haired girl hogtied with her boobs hanging out and a blue-haired girl in Wanda’s clothes watching her. Blue looks up as we burst in.
“Does either of you have a knife?”
Eric answers her, “Sapphire! We don’t do that here, remember?”
“She threatened Wanda. Touched her.”
“We don’t kill people for that. We turn them over to the police.”
“Oh yes, the town guard. Security and stupidity hand in hand.”
“They’re not like that, Sapphire.”
Brown-hair interrupts, “Eric! How is that possible? You’re Wanda’s other personality; how can you and the other girl be here?”
He glances over at me with an impish half-smile, then turns back toward brown-hair.