Eny drew a long breath. “It’s like this,” she said.
And then, without omitting a single detail, she proceeded to fill him in on all the strange things that had been happening to her since she’d moved to Hollywood.
She told him about the lanky homeless man on the bus and the quirky little pianist at the Lord’s Lighthouse. She recounted her conversation with the mysterious pawn shop proprietor and described her amazement at seeing Simon Brach’s fiddle in the window. She spoke of her frightening encounter with the crow and her discovery of the little square hole high up in the wall under the freeway overpass.
At last she came to the events of that sultry October night when her mother went out to pick up Aunt Grania and there came an unexpected knock at the apartment door.
“That was the best evening I’d had in a long time,” she said. “I spent it writing poetry and getting reacquainted with my fiddle. I rediscovered my music. I felt happy and confident and really, really good inside for the first time in months. So when that knock came—well, it’s hard to explain, but somehow opening the door seemed like the right thing to do. It just felt right. Even though my mom had warned me so many times not to do it.”
“Who did you expect to see on the doorstep?” asked Morgan.
She tucked a strand of coppery hair behind her ear and looked thoughtful. “I’m not sure. I had been hearing a voice that night. A voice from the past. Don’t look at me like that—I’m not crazy! It was a good voice. A safe voice. It called to me from outside my window. Maybe I thought my dad would be standing at the door. Maybe I was hoping you might be with him. I don’t really know. Perhaps I wasn’t thinking anything. Maybe it was intuition.”
“So you opened the door. What then?”
“Nobody was there. At least I didn’t see anybody. But then, as I was looking around, I felt someone grab me from behind. I tried to scream but couldn’t because there was a hand over my mouth. After that I must have fainted because I don’t remember anything at all except blackness until I woke up and saw who it was that had grabbed me.”
Morgan was on the edge of his seat. “And?”
“You’re not going to believe this, Morgan. Then again, maybe you will. After all, we’re in the Sidhe.”
“Well—” she bent close to him—“it was Eochy! Eochy of the Fir Bolg! He was the little piano player I’d seen at the soup kitchen and in the pawn shop!”
“Yes. And boy was I glad to see him! I wanted to ask him where he was taking me, but he frowned and put a finger to his lips. So I kept quiet and let him lead the way.
“The next thing I knew, we were underneath that big, dirty, echoey freeway overpass. Quick as a cat, Eochy scrambled up onto the ledge. Then he reached down, pulled me up beside him, and led me to the little square door in the wall. I knew then that I hadn’t been mistaken: he had disappeared inside that hole the day I followed him from the pawn shop. But I didn’t have time to think about it just then, because as soon as we reached the door, he gripped me by the shoulders and pushed me through.
“It was very dark inside—darker than I would have believed possible. I looked back to see if the little man was following me, but everything was pitch black. I couldn’t even see the square opening I’d just stepped through. It was gone—completely gone. I was surrounded by thick gloom. But when I turned around and faced forward again, I heard a voice at my ear saying, ‘This is the way. Walk in it.’ So that’s what I did.
(To be continued …)