Part Nine “Strangers? Strangers are not something to be good at Amanthra Peterson. Piano, cooking, painting, math, taxidermy, gardening, these are things to be good at. Not strangers. Besides, what if one of these strangers you are so “good at” happen to be, um, well, psychotic, deranged, perverse, murderous stalkers? What would you do then? I am surprised you never thought about this before Amanthra Peterson? Take myself, for instance, what if I happen to be a psychotic, deranged, perverse, murderous stalker?"
Douglass sat schoolmarmishly erect in his chair fondling the left side of his mustache with his thumb and pinky finger. His cool gaze x-rayed through Amanthra as if he could see all her internal workings and molecular structure.
Thoughts of leaving-versus-staying wavered inside her brain. In the past, if anyone had said cruel and potentially harmful things to her, she would have left instantaneously, but something about Douglass’s dubious nature kept her seated, empty glass in hand, waiting for more.
“I suppose I don’t know what I would do if you happened to be a psychotic, deranged, perverse, murderous stalker. I've dealt with my fair share of eccentrics, and fortunately, have been successful at fending them off with a big smile.”
“ Maybe you are just a lucky loser.”
Amanthra flinched then rebounded.
“Maybe I am. I never know how someone is going to react to me knocking on their door, but that’s why I'm so drawn to it; I like not knowing what’s coming next.”
Douglass grabbed the empty glass from Amathra’s hand.
“Would you like another glass of orange juice Amanthra Peterson? I am having another.”
“No. I’m fine, thanks.”