At that precise moment, a ragged, jaded old woman with a plume of matted, white hair clung to a trolley as it careered down a steep hill. She laughed hysterically to herself whilst muttering to the three dolls perched on the wire mesh. Each doll was dressed as an angel and gazed into the distance with crooked doll eyes. Onlookers gazed at the eccentric old woman.“You haven’t seen me, you’ll forget… I forgot... so will you.”The time had come. She had been called. She had a role to play; she just wished she knew the source of the knowledge.
Olivia pulled her knees into her chest and sat with her back against the white wall. Whenever she moved, she winced. Had she been beaten? Drugged?“What do you want from me?” she asked again.The intruder made a sideways glance, “I don’t want anything from you in particular.”“Look - stop playing games. I know you’re here to…” Olivia gestured at the dark shape.It waved the object like a toy. “Oh this... No, you have it all wrong. It’s not so much that I’m here to kill you - it’s a mere warning. There are powers at work of which you have no understanding. And it’s far better you know of such things now, before you make any discoveries.”Olivia gazed suspiciously at the person before her: had someone sent it? Chewing her lip, she frowned. Why warn an artist trying to make a comeback? Olivia glanced at the door. Could she get past?“I know what you’re thinking and I wouldn’t try it if I were you,” it said.
Max grabbed a white towel from the rack and admired his perfectly sculpted physique in the mirror. He spent hours at the gym pounding the machines for that very reason; he was attractive and knew it. He could have anyone, but he had become ‘stuck’ with Olivia. She was the deal, and he was attached to her until the exhibition was complete.He glanced at his mobile and huffed; he had to call her. Reluctantly he dialled and waited. After three rings, Olivia’s answering machine clicked on.“Good morning, darling. I hope everything is okay with the exhibition. I wish I could be there to support you but you know how these conferences go. Work, work, work! Anyway, good luck with the hanging – you know it will look fantastic. Anyway lo…ve you and see you when I get back.”He checked his watch seven-thirty am and frowned. He called her mobile. No answer.“Where are you Olivia? You hardly sleep so what are you doing? Get that bloody work up and get me my money!”
To listen to Labyrinthine on audible: