Should I stay or should I go? Fiona slumped onto the bottom step of the wide, oak staircase, leaned forward and hugged her knees. An untied shoelace on one of her black Oxfords needed attention. She ignored it, choosing instead to study the pattern of flecks in the marble-tiled floor. No answers there. She tilted her head and looked up at her favourite oil painting—Reni’s Archangel Michael.
The huge painting dominated the wall opposite the stairs. Fiona scrutinized the face of angel who was hovering, sword in hand, ready to slay the demon. She noticed the calmness, the certainty in his expression and wished she could feel that sure about her life.
What should I do, Lord? Tell me what I should do. No response. Sighing, she turned away from the painting and reached down to tie her dangling shoelace. Then she clutched the fluted newel post and pulled herself upright.
As she turned to head up the stairs, the doorbell chimed. She ignored it and climbed. One step, two steps. The chime sounded again. She continued climbing. “Dingdong!” Fiona paused, retraced her steps, trudged to the front door and pulled it open.
Morning sunlight gushed into the spotless foyer. She raised her hand to shield her eyes from the glare. Something—no, someone—stood at the centre of the light.
“The answers ya wants are in Heaven Cove, me darlin’ girl,” droned a raspy, female voice. “Tom Power’s taxi leaves from Water Street at four o’clock and he’ll be takin’ ya straight to the Hotel. Don’t be late now, Fiona.” The visitor turned, walked away and faded into the light. Fiona shrugged, shut the door and plodded toward the stairs. Halfway there, she stopped. How did she know my name?
She raced back to the door, opened it and looked around again. No one. Where had the visitor gone? Fiona shook her head, returned to sit on the step; she had enough to worry about. Should I go or should...
She leaped to her feet. “Maybe when I ask the Lord for answers and they show up on my doorstep, I should pay attention!”
Fiona flew up the stairs and along the second floor hallway to her room. She threw open the door, marched toward her bed and started to reach under it for her suitcase. She halted. A shiver of doubt slid down her spine. Is it wrong to go? No! She pulled out her suitcase and threw it on the bed.
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