Terri swore silently, her co-worker just called in sick. She’d closed the store alone before. I can do it again
“Coming,” Terri called out to the couple looking at rings.
She was wrapping up the sale when a red-haired girl came out from the staffroom. Terri frowned. The girl wore a thin gray sweater, her shoulders were hunched, and she held her arms across her chest.
“Thanks, come again.” Terri then turned to ask the girl what she was doing but didn’t get the chance.
The girl dipped her head shyly. “Hi, I’m Amelia West.”
“So, Todd hired you and neglected to tell me huh?” She held out her hand. “I’m Terri.” The girl’s touch was gentle and cold. Terri released her hand uncomfortably. “Well it’s usually busy on Friday nights, so here,” she gave Amelia some keys, “show people the jewelry and if anyone wants to buy, I’ll help.”
The night got busy, as Terri predicted and she assisted her customers while keeping one eye on the quiet girl. At 8:45 they had a lull. Amelia stood hunched near Terri. “What’s your tattoo?”
“The clocks from artist Escher.” Terri could tell that Amelia was clueless. “Google him sometime, you’ll like his stuff.”
Amelia grinned, her blue eyes unblinking, holding her arms across her chest again.
Terri shivered and took a step away. “Do you have any tattoos?”
Amelia’s smile grew wider, she moved her hair aside, and exposed her shoulder.
Terri pulled the girl’s shirt down to see the tattoo, a large Parrot. “That’s beautiful, you need a tan.” She adjusted Amelia’s shirt back and felt how cold her skin was and shivered.
Abruptly Amelia turned, walked to the front door, and clicked the deadbolt.
Terri was about to say, you can’t do that yet when a man dressed in black appeared. His face was hidden in the shadows of his hoody. He yanked at the locked door. It rattled against the frame, and Terri took two steps back, while Amelia stood watching him. His head moved closer to the window, he peered in, then just walked away.
“Creepy! Good thing you locked the door early.”
Amelia hadn’t moved, nodded, and stared out the door.
Terri went into the staff room to retrieve her coat, when she came back out, Amelia was gone. Terri shook her head, strange girl. Her boyfriend pulled up, and she left for the night.
“Morning Todd.” Terri greeted her boss. “I met Amelia last night. A bit kooky, but nice.”
“You met who?”
“Amelia West. Young, pale, red hair.”
“If this is your idea of a joke Terri, I’m not laughing.”
“Why on earth would I joke about hiring a new girl?”
“Amelia West worked here eight years ago, and was stabbed to death just inside the door,” his eyes flashed to the front. “They never caught the guy.”
Terri froze, recalling the cold porcelain skin. Ghost girl may have saved her life.
*In Memory of Amber Wise. 1994 -2017 R.I.P