Back at her apartment Wren paced the living room. Kai had seemed as normal as ever when he had come over on Thursday. What had happened in the few hours since she had seen him that drove him into the waters of the frigid lake? She wished her mother had given her more information. Was it an attempt at suicide?
She combed over every moment she could of his visit. The only odd thing she could recall was his suspicion that she’d been playing his online game without telling him. She tried to think what it was that he’d mentioned. Something about an email address. He’d worried that she’d picked up a virus.
She flipped open her laptop at the dining room table and hunted around in her applications folder until she found the game he played. She’d never played it or any other online game; not even Farmville back when that had been huge. She double-clicked the program and a launcher popped up with a field for an account name and a field for a password. There was an unfamiliar email address in the account name field; not one of hers and not one she recognized as being Kai’s. The local-part was ‘apanchomena’; nothing she’d ever seen before. There was a little box marked ‘remember account name’ that was checked so it had to be his since he’d used it last.
It occurred to her that he probably used a different email address for his online games than he did for personal use. She did a variation of the same thing with websites that required an email address to join in an effort to avoid excess spam.
She closed the laptop, attempting to dredge up anything else that had seemed odd the night before. After their conversation about their mother they’d lapsed back into a comfortable silence and Wren had ended up reading a book while he watched television. She’d refrained from reading his thoughts or mind at all after the interrupted attempt she’d made. The events during her walk had driven off all thoughts of him and his visit until her mother’s call the next day.
Guilt wracked her further. She’d always brushed off the distance between them as a matter of not having enough in common. Now, though, she wondered if she’d been too aloof for too long. She’d thought him shiftless, lazy and undisciplined and while she hadn’t said as much he could have picked up on it more than she’d known. If they’d been closer she might know what ‘apanchomena’ meant.
She frowned and once more opened the laptop, plugging the term into Google. Strangled Lady. One of the many and varied names of the Greek goddess Artemis.
Wren stared at the screen. This was the second reference to a goddess in less than a week. She thought hard for a few long moments until her screen darkened to put itself to sleep. She sat for a few seconds until her eyes registered her reflection in the screen and she saw what she was unconsciously doing; rubbing the small fox pendant between the finger and thumb of her right hand as she pondered.
She took off the necklace with shaking hands and stalked over to the balcony doors, opening them and leaning far over the railings. “Leave me alone!” she shrieked as she flung the necklace on its cord as hard as she could out and away from the building. She didn’t even look to see where it fell; just turned her back and stalked inside, closing the glass doors behind her as firmly as she dared.
Tags: Chapter Four