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Resonance: Chapter Ten

       Last updated: Thursday, July 14, 2005 21:04 EDT



    Annalise retrieved her coffee cup and held it out to him. “This is definitely a two cup story.”

    Graham took it from her and made a fresh cup. Just the one this time, he knew he’d be up all night if he drank any more.

    Annalise was standing over his jigsaw when he returned.

    “I still can’t get over this jigsaw of yours. It’s gotta be like - wow - the biggest jigsaw I’ve ever seen. You must be a real patient kinda guy.”

    Graham held out her coffee.

    “You’re not having one?”


    “This is definitely not how I pictured it,” she said, swinging her coffee cup to point around the room. “Your house, I mean. It’s not a guy house. It’s like normal in a spooky old-fashioned kinda way. Were you married?’

    Graham shook his head.

    “And no TV. Or do you like have one of those home entertainment rooms?”

    Graham shook his head again. “My parents had a TV but... “ He let the sentence end in a shrug.

    “But what?”

    “I never really liked TV.”

    “Wow, you really are weird.”

    “You were about to tell me what happened next,” said Graham, changing the subject.

    Annalise stared blankly.

    “The dead guy’s reply?”

    “Oh, right!” She looked around for somewhere to rest her cup and found the sideboard. Graham fought the impulse to rush over with a coaster.

    “It was a long one, can’t remember it all but it went something like, Census logs checked. Can’t see link but agree there must be one. Cross reference Crime and…“ She paused, tapping her forehead. “Medical. That was it. Crime and Medical logs. Someone wants Graham Smith dead. Possibly same person behind Resonance project closures. Graham Smith under surveillance. Wealdstone Lane house searched, nothing found. Message out. 015 blah blah blah.’”

    “They searched my house?”

    “Everyone’s searched your house. Good guys, bad guys and dead guys. Did you see how many different types of listening devices you uncovered? Bet they weren’t all planted by the same people.”

    He shook his head in disbelief. “Why would the good guys want to bug my house?”

    “To find out what you know. You’re the key to this big mystery of theirs. This resonance thingy. Way I see it, they’re all working on these Resonance projects - some secret offshoot from ParaDim - but someone doesn’t want them to succeed.”


    “That’s what these guys are trying to find out. They don’t know either. All they know is that it’s gotta be someone high up in ParaDim or someone with real heavy connections. As soon as anyone gets close to an answer about this resonance wave - zap - the project gets closed down. So, lobster guy sneaks a peak at their logs and finds you. You’re like the last entry in all these dead guys’ diaries.“

    “They’re dead?”

    Annalise shrugged. ”No one’s said. But if they’re not, why doesn’t lobster guy just ask them. Way I see it, they’re either dead or locked up somewhere.”

    Graham felt the need to sit down. His head was swimming. How could his be the last name in the diaries of people he’d never met?

    He settled back on the arm of the sofa. Annalise scooped up her cup and bounced down into the armchair opposite.

    “But why me?” asked Graham. “I don’t know anything about resonance waves or ParaDim. I’ve never met any scientists.”

    “The dead guy thinks it must be something you know. He reckons you gotta be the key. Why else were all these people interested in you, why did it get them closed down and why’s someone trying to kill you?”

    Why did it always come back to that? People want you dead. Wasn’t there an Annalise with some good news?

    “And the more these guys uncover, the worse it looks for you. I’ve been channelling messages back and forth for three weeks now. But instead of protecting you, they’re way more interested in studying you. Crazy, ain’t it?”

    He couldn’t disagree with that. 

    Annalise set her cup down on the hearth and bounced forward onto the edge of the seat. “Which is where I come in. Lobster guy flew me over here - he works in London now and needed me close. I am the house medium, after all.” She smiled. “Naturally a girl can’t help being curious. I was in London, you were in London. You were like key guy and all alone.

    “So, I tracked you down. They said you lived in Wealdstone Lane. I bought an A-Z. There was only one Wealdstone Lane, so how many Graham Smiths could there be? Swung by early one morning and asked the mailman. Pointed me right to you. Then it was just a matter of keeping tabs. Believe me,” she smiled. “you are way easy to follow. You have a routine you could set a clock by.”

    She slid back in the armchair and brought her legs up beneath her. “Then I called in the girls. They’re not all here yet. But they’re coming. You’re gonna be the safest guy on the planet.”

    Two hundred Annalises. He tried to remember how many he’d already met. And then froze. How could he have met them? They were all dead. Unless…

    “Are any of your Annalises from Boston?”

    “Let me see.” She put her head on one side and screwed up her eyes. “Two of them are. Why?”

    “Any of them ever live at …” He couldn’t remember the address. “Fairburn or Fairchild Street?”

    “Not as far as I know. Though that’s not saying much. A lot of the girls think they live with me.”

    “They do?”

    “Spooky, right? Way I see it, when you die your memory gets wiped. But it doesn’t always work. Some memories stick. Others start to resurface after a time. But the mind can’t wait so it starts filling in the gaps by borrowing stuff from wherever it can.

    “My girls fastened onto me. Probably because I’m a medium. They liked my name so they took it. They liked my house so they took that as well. And they borrowed other stuff. Like chunks from my life. I say I had an uncle Louie in Minneapolis and some of the girls say, ‘hey, I had an uncle Louie in Minneapolis too.’ But not all the girls, some still had memories of their real families so they didn’t need mine. That’s cool,” she shrugged, “I’m a sharing person.“

    Graham could see another possibility. Something he’d never dreamed of. Something he could barely imagine.

    What happened to all those threads that unravelled? Could they still exist somewhere, independent of the world they’d been pulled from but somehow still coherent, still able to support life?

    And was that where Annalise’s spirit guides lived? Were the dead and the unravelled somehow mixed together?

    His mind felt heavy and slow. So much was happening all around him. The dead, the unravelled, two hundred Annalises popping in and out like Cheshire cats. Why hadn’t fate picked someone brighter? Someone used to thinking on their feet? Not someone mired in inactivity, someone who took five minutes to lock a door and couldn’t sleep if he thought a picture was hanging crooked.

    Here was a chance to discover so much and yet he could feel the opportunity slipping through his fingers. He wanted everything written down. Something solid he could put down and come back to, like a jigsaw puzzle, something he could walk around and study for days or weeks, dipping into and out of whenever he felt like it. Not something he had to react to immediately. The spoken word was like water cascading through his fingers - he was drowning one minute and dry the next.

    “Of course, you could stop this any time you like,” said Annalise.


    “You’re the key. Somehow you can stop this resonance wave. So, go ahead and do it. Once you do, it’s over. No resonance wave, no reason to kill you, right?”

    Graham shook his head. If only it could be that simple.

    “How can I stop something I don’t understand?”

    “Beats me,” Annalise shrugged. “I’m a medium, not a psychic.”

    She looked at her watch. “Time to go. My B&B locks its doors at eleven thirty. Can you believe that?”

    “You’re going?”

    “Why Graham,” she put her hands on her hips. “What kinda girl do you think I am?”

    Graham reddened and hurriedly looked away. Annalise grinned and punched him playfully on the shoulder.

    “But what about the people who planted the bugs? What if they send someone round tonight to find out what’s happened?”

    “No problemo. Annalise Twelve’s outside watching the front door. If anyone starts anything she’ll stop them.”

    Graham glanced towards the drawn curtains and wondered what on earth was on the other side.

      “How?” he asked, turning back to Annalise.

    “She’s got it worked out real good. Anyone so much as walks though your gate, she’s gonna start heaving bricks through your neighbour’s windows. The street’ll be crawling in neighbours and cops within a minute flat. Who’s gonna dare touch you with that many witnesses?“

    “She can do that?”

    “You ever see Poltergeist?”

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