A Black Spectre Adventure
â€œGOOD-NIGHT, all!â€ Karil Grantham called out to the last of her guests as they left for the night. She locked the door securely, then by force of habit, checked it again to make certain it was bolted tight. Her mother was so worried about her moving into an apartment of her own, in Terminal City of all places. She had promised her many times over that she would be careful. Lately, there had been several break-ins in her South Village neighborhood, just on the outskirts of downtown, so careful she was.
As she turned back around to face her now empty apartment, she couldnâ€™t help but let out a sigh of disappointment. While sheâ€™d had a good time with all of her new friends at the art school where sheâ€™d been working as a secretary these past few months, the evening hadnâ€™t gone nearly as planned.
Among her invited guests was a young artist from the school, Cyrus Martin. Known at the school for his daring abstracts, heâ€™d always been very flirtatious with her. When he readily accepted her house-warming invitation, her heart leapt. Her mother would have called this behavior â€œmuch too forwardâ€ and â€œasking for trouble,â€ but she was a city girl now, she reasoned, and life was different there.
Much different, in fact, from sleepy little Prairieville where sheâ€™d grown up. All of her teenage years sheâ€™d dreamed of moving to the big city. After a couple of years of college, which included secretarial classes, she moved in with her Aunt Beatrice until she could finally afford a place of her own.
The moment Cyrus Martin had walked through her front door, she thought her life couldnâ€™t be any better. Sadly, though, he was accompanied by his benefactor and (she was quick to discover) paramour — beautiful and wealthy socialite Constance Van Broman.
Karilâ€™s heart sank. She knew she was pretty enough. But there was no competing with Constance Van Broman, who made Leonore Lamonteâ€™s society column virtually every week. They only stayed a short while, of course. It wouldnâ€™t do for someone of Constanceâ€™s standing to mingle with the â€œlittle peopleâ€ but for so long, even if they were members of the art community. Somehow, Karil maintained a smile throughout the night, doing her best to hide the deep disappointment she felt.
After putting on her nightgown, she set herself to the task of cleaning up. It quickly became evident, however, that she just didnâ€™t have the energy for it. She would take care of it in the morning.
She was about to call it a night when she groaned at the realization that her bed had no sheets, which were still in the laundry basket. Sheâ€™d washed them earlier in the day and taken them down from the line just prior to the start of her party.
Now feeling even more blue, she curled up on the living area couch. It was the weekend, after all. She had the whole city at her feet. That gave her two whole days to rid Cyrus Martin from her mind before she would have to face him again on Monday. That thought brought the first glimpse of a smile to her face before she fell fast asleep.