The howling wind and the door slamming shut woke me up instantly. Heavy footsteps alerted me to Smythe’s presence, the floor almost vibrating with his footsteps coming towards me. The room was dark, and I realized that I had slept most of the day away. The unfinished cloak was rumpled on the ground next to me, and I gathered it into my lap.
I found Smythe has left his wet boots on, and the room’s floor was sodden. I watched him with slit eyes; he was watching me. His dark hair was wet and hung in ropes. His facial hair was also wet, and had some sort of food caught in it, I I noted with disgust. His small, piggy eyes gazed at me from head to toe and I fought the urge to shudder. I could smell his unwashed body, and the odor grew as he neared me. My stomach dropped when he licked his lips and started to crough down before me.
I made a show of waking up and acting surprised to see him.
“Smythe,” I greeted him coldly, watching his face carefully. I stood up and edged along the wall to get around him and gathered my thoughts.
“I have a stew in the pot if you’re hungry. Chicken.”
He merely grunted and stood, crossing again to the fire and lifting the lid of the pot. The aroma leaked out and my stomach grumbled with hunger.
From the bed, and sickly sweet voice called out.
“Darling,” my mother purred. “Where have you been all day?”