Sandy couldn’t believe what she was hearing. The surreal trip to Fable was somehow more believable than Maxine’s story. Sandy’s face fell blank as Maxine explained her immediate situation in detail and that Sandy could be a part of her plans. Sandy felt hope surge within her, only bridled by the caution one should have in such a strange place. And this was one of the strangest days of her life.
Maxine’s deal was employment. She needed Sandy to run a cafe while Maxine herself ran her shop. It was apparently the only cafe in town and specifically the one Sandy had passed on the way here. Sandy’s memory of the ashen, burned out husk was still fresh in her mind and Maxine spoke of how Sandy was just what she needed to ‘turn it around’. Sandy felt her throat run dry and reached for her tea while waiting for the right time in Maxine’s explanation to say she wasn’t a carpenter and that she’d made a mistake thinking Sandy was more than she was.
Sandy had trouble finishing her meal. Sticky bits of sweet strawberry jam clung to her fingers while she fidgeted with her napkin. Her mind was racing so fast that her hands were shivering with anxiety. Maxine gave Sandy a little bit of room to think, refilling her tea and resting back calmly in her chair. Sandy couldn’t help but be reminded of Maxine’s content face when she’d seen her just a few hours ago. Would there ever be a day in which Sandy looked like that at work? A time where she could hear someone say her name from across the room and not feel fear? Sandy was able to compose herself with Maxine’s pause.
The door shook behind Sandy. Someone had tried the knob and because Maxine looked up with concern, Sandy had to turn around quickly. Maxine’s small side door lurched open with a loud bang against the wall. The first thing Sandy saw was an axe blade as broad as Sandy’s shoulders bob into the room. The eyes of its wielder gleamed in the moonlight.