“Look, I really don't think it's a good time.”
White pushed past into the kitchen. It was surprising how warm it was. He hadn't noticed how cold it was outside until now. Funny how sunshine always made him feel warm even when it was going down. He rubbed the circulation back into his hands. “Good evening ladies. I hope we're not disturbing you too much. We'll be as quick as we can. In and out before you've even noticed we're here.”
“That can't be right.” The little girl's face twisted as she worked through his words. “We've already noticed you were here because you're speaking to us.”
“Oh!” White squatted to be on her eye level. “You're a bright one, aren't you? What's your name?”
“Lucy.” She pointed to the chair next to her. “And this is Mister Ash.”
There was nothing on the chair but White responded accordingly. Lucy wasn't the fist child he'd ever me who had an invisible friend. “Pleased to meet you, Mr Ash.” He stood again and reached across the table to shake Mrs Waterman's hang. “Nice to see you again, Mrs Waterman.” Finally the woman in black. “I'm sorry, I don't think we've met before.”
“Le June.” She held out her hand, fingers down as if she expected him to kiss it. As he bent to do so, Lucy slipped her hand into his left. He hadn't even noticed her get off her chair. He brushed his lips across the strangers hand which felt curiously clammy, not the dry, papery skin he associated with elderly French women.
“I'll take you to my bedroom.” Lucy dragged him away from the table “You can investigate it first. There's probably a monster under the bed you can arrest.”