Christina Herp

Eggnog And Guests

Munroe had been at a Christmas bash that night, and came stumbling home around eleven. Reaching into the folds of her dress, fumbling, and finally producing a battered house key, the door clicked and she let herself in. She was already fantasizing about getting into bed, but still something caught her ear. A faint humming, like people talking, shaking out tablecloths. Pausing for a moment Munroe put her thumb and forefinger to the bridge of her nose, stroked it and dismissed the noise as an unusual aftereffect of the copious amount of eggnog she had consumed that night. A pair of scruffy, old Louboutins dangling from one hand, a banister clutched in the other, she proceeded to bed. Reaching the threshold to her room, Munroe managed one last observation before unconsciousness hit. One of her more ostentatious gowns was laid out on her bed, along with a glossy strand of pearls and a pair of heels she didn't recognize. Her usually inquiring mind was not in the mood, so she thrust the clothing onto the parquet flooring beneath her feet and melted into bed, sleep wrapping its arms around her at last. She awoke minutes later in a sort of groggy trance to the touch of someone's fingertips stroking her cheek. Munroe heard women murmuring, something about a poor girl having too much to drink. She brushed the supposed fingertips aside and went back to sleep. Upon awakening the next morning, head pounding like a heartbeat, she recalled being kept up all night by a rowdy party but couldn't figure why. There had been no party next door. All of her neighbors were pushing eighty-five, and she certainly hadn't hosted one. Probably just a realistic dream or yet another effect of the eggnog. Yet once she slipped a silken nightgown over her waif-like shoulders and padded downstairs into the kitchen, she realized with astonished confusion that there were mountains of fine china and silverware stacked in her sink! The rug beneath it was slightly agitated; the counters dusted with crumbs and wine-glass rings. What on earth had happened Munroe wasn't quite sure, but she was fairly sure that the eggnog couldn't explain this. She raised her eyebrows, shrugged her shoulders slightly and went off to take a quick bath. Munroe was just sinking into her dusty pink claw-foot tub, enjoying the sensation of the scalding water in contrast to the cool walls of the bath when she heard a slight tinkling noise. Dishes knocking against one another. Leaping up, and not bothering to towel, she dashed into the kitchen, dripping bathwater as she went. Skidding to a halt, and almost toppling over, she scanned the kitchen. Baffled, Munroe rimmed her mouth with a finger, an absentminded habit. The dishes were all in their proper places, the counters clean, a wet sponge lying on the floor.


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