They were surprised to see me.
Between them sat a large, old-fashioned ribbon microphone. I could not see what it was connected to.
The duo opened their mouths, and as one, they spoke. A deep guttural voice came from their throats as spittle gathered at the corners of their mouths, “You have made it this far.”
“But I’ll have to go no farther,” I returned.
“I’ll burn this house down to kill you!” they screamed.
“No you won’t,” I said. “Besides, we’re not finished with you yet.”
“We?” they demanded.
Picking up and speaking into the microphone, I answered, “Patience.”
“You can’t tell us to be patient!” they shouted.
I ignored them, pushing the heavy red velvet curtain aside, revealing a spiral staircase that I followed upward to a small, unadorned door at a recessed landing.
When I opened the door, I stepped into the parking lot. And as I walked up the hill, I heard their screams and Patience’s laughter as she set about her chores.
“Now, to figure out what to do about this head,” I said, though there was no one I was talking to.
Later, I would realize that I had forgotten to take even one photograph or a single note.