Monday, April 8, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 10 (UNEDITED)


If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: Chapter 9 before proceeding to reading PART 2: Chapter 10.
 
Otherwise, read from the jump :) 

And check out some new updates in the Sections Music of Bloodlines and Behind the Bloodlines!




CHAPTER 10

The following morning, Dorothy walked to the schoolgrounds with the chatter of Linda and Gail echoing in the back of her mind.  Dorothy had much to think about as she anticipating the possibility of seeing Carl again.  As promised, Linda had come over to help Dorothy decide on her attire, accessories, and makeup for the following morning.  Dorothy did feel a little better about herself, but the butterflies in her stomach began to scatter throughout her body as the three of them began to get closer to the high school.  Her heart began to race as Linda turned her attention back to Dorothy, trying to prepare her for seeing Carl.
“So.  You know Carl is always in the group of boys Jimmy and Reginald are always with in the morning,” Linda was saying, “so you are likely going to see him as soon as we are at the school grounds.  Are you ready?”
“I guess,” Dorothy said.
“Well that’s not a very positive attitude,” Linda said, “especially after all the work I did last night!”
Linda had come over after dinner the previous night with her powder blue makeup case, a bag of fashion magazines, and even a couple of her own blouses for Dorothy to try.  Linda was still in Dorothy’s room when Matthew and Liz Blake were ready to go to bed at 10 ‘o’ clock.  Linda’s mother had also called the Blake home asking for her daughter to come home.  Matthew drove Linda home as Dorothy slowly got ready for bed.  She had fallen into a restless sleep and had the type of dreams that were so bizarre that she couldn’t explain to anyone even if she tried.  The only thing that was explainable was that she saw herself with Carl in the dreams.  Of course, she chalked the dreams up to simply being the result of nerves.  Dorothy absently twirled a dark curl of her hair around her index finger as Linda continued on with her instructions.
“Now remember, you don’t want to look desperate,” Linda said, “men like to feel needed, but they don’t want to be smothered.  And honey, please leave your hair alone!  It looks perfect so don’t ruin it!”
Dorothy released the curl from her finger as Gail said, “Dorothy, try not to think about it too much.  Carl talked to you yesterday and I’m sure he will again.”
“Easier said than done,” Dorothy replied, “I may not even have a chance to talk to him.”
Despite the assurance that her friends were trying to give her, Dorothy could still feel anxiety brewing up inside of her.  What if she made a fool out of herself and this was all for nothing?  What if Carl decided she was such a knucklehead that he decided to not even speak to her again?
“Yes you will,” Linda said, “and I’m letting you borrow one of my best blouses so I don’t want to see you after school until you have spoken to Carl.”
The school grounds were up ahead and Dorothy could feel her heartrate begin to pick up speed.
“Almost there,” Gail whispered to Dorothy, giving her friend’s hand a squeeze as they approached the building.
Dorothy gave her friends a small smile, feigning confidence.  She looked ahead to the school grounds just across the street.  Then, she saw the group of boys at their usual spot underneath a tree near the front steps that led into the school.  Linda called to Jimmy as she, Gail and Dorothy crossed the street, heading to the schoolgrounds.  Jimmy turned in their direction and headed toward Linda with Reginald behind him to meet Gail.  The two boys happily greeted their girlfriends before turning to say hello to Dorothy.  Dorothy smiled back at both of them, though she was still a little embarrassed knowing that Jimmy and possibly even Reginald knew about her feelings for Carl.  She dreaded the thought of not being able to face any of her friends again if she blew it with Carl.  Dorothy’s eyes then fell to the group of boys that Jimmy and Reginald had just come from and that was when she saw him.  Carl was standing with the boys, but as he carried a conversation with his friends, Dorothy noticed that he was gazing in her direction.  As Linda and Gail headed off to an area on the schoolgrounds with their boyfriends, Dorothy got a wink from Linda and a reassuring smile from Gail.  She knew that Jimmy and Linda were going to go somewhere secluded neck until the morning bell rang and lately, it was very possible that Reginald and Gail may do the same.  Dorothy sighed, acknowledging to herself that she was, in fact, tired of being the fifth wheel to her friends.  She drew in a breath, telling herself that she was not going to avoid Carl.  As she got closer to the group Carl was in, she kept her face forward. 
Stay calm…he’s just a boy…
She managed to keep her pulse rate under control and even slowed her steps as she began to pass the group of boys.  It was then that she heard a voice call to her. 
Carl…
“Hey Dorothy!”
Dorothy stopped and turned to see Carl walking toward her, giving her the same warm smile he had given her the previous day.  She could also see that the other boys in the group were looking knowlingly as they watched Carl head toward Dorothy.
So apparently the whole school knows.  Thanks a lot, Linda.
But Dorothy was feeling more relaxed about the situation than she originally thought she would be. 
I suppose it’s now or never, Dorothy thought.  She put a smile onto her glossed lips and returned Carl’s greeting.
“Hello,” she said, only a little breathless.
The two of them stood, silent for a moment before one of the boys Carl had been with gave Carl an encouraging shout.
“Can it, George!” Carl called back. 
Dorothy could hear George and some of the other boys laughing at Carl’s response, but it didn’t really matter to her what they all thought.  Carl was here.  He was talking to her.  And that was all that mattered to Dorothy.
Finally, Carl spoke up.  “May I walk you into school?”
Dorothy could feel her heart swelling to twice it’s size.  She remembered Linda’s advice telling her to not appear desparate.  Dorothy was able to maintain her composure and answered Carl by saying that she would like that.  Carl would meet Dorothy and walk her to all of her classes that day and by the end of the day, as it always happens in high school, word about Carl and Dorothy’s newfound relationship had been spread throughout the school.  This was especially obvious when Dorothy and Carl met Jimmy, Linda, Gail, and Reginald at the soda shop later that day.  The soda shop was a favorite for high school students to go to after school.
Carl and Dorothy would have their first real date when they would go to see a picture with Jimmy and Linda the following Friday night.  During the first month of their relationship, Carl and Dorothy would often join their friends on dates, but by then end of Spetember, they had gone on a date with only themselves.  That was also the night Carl gave Dorothy a real kiss.  Up until then, he had only given her small pecks on the cheek.
Carl would also be the first person outside of her family who she would allow to hear her sing and play the guitar and to her relief, he had responded in an appreciative manner. 
Early October brought the first homecoming dance, which would be Dorothy’s first time attending a dance.  She liked Carl very much and couldn’t deny that she enjoyed dating a guy who had a reputation for being something of a rebel.  But despite his nature of being a carefree daredevil, he made sure to show Dorothy how he cared about her and was very much a gentleman.  Carl even managed to win over Matthew and Liz Blake, making them secure in his taking their daughter out.  Dorothy’s cousin, Cletus, also expressed his happiness for her in finding a seemingly decent guy in a letter to her.

And very soon, I’m sure you’ll find a nice girl who deserves you, Dorothy had written back to her cousin.  She also thought of the possibility of marrying Carl out of high school but would often stop such thoughts as she and Carl had barely been together for two months.  Still, she was really falling for him and found herself thinking more and more about what it may be like to experience the physical pleasure Linda spoke of having with Jimmy.  But it would be an experience up at the old Fleming Orphanage that Halloween that would change everything for the six Plains area high school students.

That Halloween night, the six of them had made plans to go out as a group.  They had all gone out in Jimmy’s car with Linda beside Jimmy in the front passenger’s seat.  Dorothy sat between Reginald and Carl in the backseat and Gail was on Reginald’s lap.  The first stop was at a party that George was having and stayed for about two hours before they would carry out their original plans of heading to Chuck’s Diner in town for a bite to eat.
They sat around their usual table with their dinner of steak sandwiches and potato chips (a dish Chuck’s Diner was famous for) and with it being Halloween, their conversation eventually turned to the sort of talk appropriate for that season.  As it always happened in the talk of local folklore, urban legends and ghost tales, Fleming Manor and Orphanage entered the conversation.  The table the kids sat around was next to a window that looked out to the hill where the old orphanage stood.  The dark sillouhette of the trees surrounding the silent old Victorian era buildings of the manor towered above them in the distance.  The stories of those claiming to have seen the ghosts of the Fleming family around the orphanage property and even in the Plains Cemetery had been brought up.  There were also the stranger stories about demons and werewolves haunting the surrounding woods.  The creatures had come from the hellmouth or vortex that was somewhere in the woods.  There were even tales of how Jared Fleming was actually a werewolf.
“Oh come on,” Jimmy said as he worked on his second steak sandwich, “if Jared Fleming was a werewolf than how was his body so mutilated?  Did he do it himself?”
“He could have gotten into a fight with another werewolf in the woods,” Carl said.
“But he was found hanging in the front hall of the living quarters,” Jimmy said, “and wasn’t Maxine was also walking around saying that her brother Nathaniel did it before she was taken to the nuthouse?”
“No,” Carl said, “she was saying that he was telling her to let him in.  There’s a difference.  Hey!  Maybe Nathaniel didn’t die of scarlet fever!  Maybe he became a werewolf!”
“What is it with you and werewolves?” Jimmy asked.
“Well don’t forget the documents that James Livingston kept,” Reginald added, “Livingston was a good friend of the Flemings and somehow convinced the coroner to hand over the documents that recorded the details of the deaths of Cedric, Margaret, and Maxine.  He spent a good portion of his final years studying them and making notes.  His journals are on display in the library.  I actually read through some of them.  They’re very fascinating.  Especially the entries he made close to the end of his life.
“Well, some of his journals are,” Gail said, “I think the family did take at least a couple of them after his death.  You know, to keep in the family.”
Dorothy sat eating the potatoe chips that remained on her plate as she listened to the conversation.  She had also read through some of James Livingston’s journals and agreed with the fascination that Reginald and Gail held for them.  She had seen a few entries that mentioned her great great grandparents, Charles and Emma Blake.  Growing up, she had heard stories of how her family and the Livingstons had been friends and the confirmation by James Livingston’s own handwriting was enough to give her chills, especially when she would walk by the statue of Livingston’s likeness outside of the library.  There was also an oil painting portrait of him in the library’s main room.  In this painting, James’s features were more pronounced on the strong but thoughtful expression he wore.  Dorothy found the painting to be so life-like, that it sometimes almost appeared as though Livingston were breathing, alive in the painting.  Dorothy had also read the published works of his son, Lawrence, under the name L.H. Livingston.  Lawrence had only published a few works in his lifetime, but those works could easily rival that of Poe, Stoker, and Lovecraft.  Dorothy had recently read one of his short stories, simply titled, The Child with the Black Eyes.  It had been one of the first works Lawrence had had published in a New York periodical and it was later published in an anthology book about American ghost stories.  The story told of the wild frontier of early America and sightings of a child with black eyes who would go cabin to cabin asking the occupants of the cabins if they would let him inside.  It was a simple story, but it was able to give Dorothy more of a scare than even the works of Poe could.  She could also see similarities between The Child with the Black Eyes and some of the final journal entries of James Livingston’s last journal in regards to the unexplainable deaths of Cedric, Margaret, and Jared Fleming.  It wasn’t nessecarily the incidents that were the same, but that they both had left the reader questioning everything.  Everything they had ever been taught about the word around them and how it worked and operated.  Your reality may not be someone else’s.  And is anyone really sane?  Truly?  And what of the perceptions of what we can see and touch?  Is it the same as someone else’s perception?  Did Maxine Fleming really go mad or was she simply seeing things, another reality that she had been opened up to but those around her weren’t?  If so, why was Maxine chosen to experience such things?  These were the questions that Lawrence’s story and James’s journal entries had sparked in Dorothy.
Dorothy sipped her soda as Jimmy and Carl continued their werewolf debate.
“Carl, there is nothing to back up the werewolf claims,” Jimmy said.
“There’s nothing to dispute it either,” Carl said, “it can go either way.”
“Well then I dare you to go into the woods by the Fleming property and find one,” Jimmy said.
Dorothy’s head snapped in Jimmy’s direction.  He should know better than to challenge Carl like that!  Because Carl would actually do it.  While Dorothy did find Carl’s rebellious streak appealing, she did worry about him taking on a dare that would go to far.
Carl shrugged.  “Hey, I’m willing.  Who wants to go with me?”  Then, in a spooky voice he added, “Maybe we’ll even find the vortex they come out of…”
Jimmy laughed and said, “Now you’re talking!  I say we do it.  It is Halloween and the night that Cedric, Margaret, and Jared were found.  And when Maxine was found rambling like a madwoman.  What about you, Reginald.  Are you in?”
“Sure, why not,” Reginald said.
“Now wait a minute,” Gail interrupted, “people really have died and went missing on that property.”
“Yeah, a long time ago,” Carl said, “Jared and Maxine were the last incidents up there.  That was, what, fifty years ago?”
“People have seen things up there, though,” Gail said.
“They claim to have,” Jimmy said, “look, we’ll go up there, have a couple of laughs, and leave.”
“Sounds good to me,” Linda said leaning against Jimmy who sat with his arm around her.  The rest of the group turned to look at Gail and Dorothy. 
Gail rolled her eyes at the group and Dorothy sat with her front teeth raking over her bottom lip.  Dorothy had to admit that what her boyfriend and other friends were suggesting sounded fun, even if the idea of going up to the old orphanage gave her a rather eerie feeling…the same feeling she had gotten when she read The Child with the Black Eyes…
“Well, maybe…” Dorothy said slowly.
“That’s my girl,” Carl said.
“Great,” Jimmy said, “so Dorothy’s in too.  Gail, come on.”
“Yeah,” Linda said, “it’ll only be fun if we all do it together!”
Gail sighed.  “Alright, fine.  I guess I’m outnumbered.  Far be it from me to want to respect the dead.”
“Babe, don’t worry,” Reginald told her, “we’re not doing anything wrong.  We’re just doing a little exploring up there.  Many have done it and have lived.”
Gail smiled at Reginald, but she didn’t seem very convinced.  Dorothy shared a little of Gail’s reservations, but being with Carl did have an influence over her.  She also didn’t want to be sitting worrying about Carl as he went up into what, according to legend, that been some pretty dangerous woods at one time.
“Well I think we should start at the cemetery,” Jimmy said.
“That’s right!” Reginald said, “they’re all buried there!  People have claimed to have seen their ghosts in the cemetery.  Including James Livingston’s!”
“I’m liking this plan so far,” Carl said grinning.
“I have candles in my room!” Linda chimed in, “we can stop at my house and I can grab them.  Maybe we can have a séance or something!”
“Hey, if we’re going to do it, we may as well do it right,” Jimmy said, “get the whole grand tour.”
By the end of their dinner, the plan had been laid out for them to stop by Linda’s house for the candles.  They would then visit the cemetery before heading up to the Fleming Orphanage.  The girls retreated into the ladies room to freshen up their makeup while the boys paid the bill.  Jimmy, Carl, and Reginald were waiting near the diner’s entrance when their girls came out from the restroom.  They thanked Chuck, the diner’s owner, before heading out into the night and piling into Jimmy’s car to begin their Halloween adventure.  One they would be excited to tell their schoolfriends about on Monday morning.  It was a Saturday night and perfect for staying out as late as they wanted to.

Chuck watched the six high schoolers leave his diner.  He liked when the kids came in as they always provided him with one form of entertainment or another.  Chuck looked around his diner.  Some of the tables were taken by patrons and some were empty.  He made his way over to the table were Jimmy, Reginald, Carl, and their girlfriends had sat.  Chuck began clearing off their plates as Jimmy’s car began to pull out of the parking lot.  As the tail lights of the car disappeared into the darkness, Chuck stopped to look out at the Fleming Orphanage.
“I wish they would just tear that eyesore down,” he muttered, “historical monument, my ass.”
He gave the Fleming property another glance before he would hear the bell at the door jingle, signaling more patrons entering his diner.

Read on to Chapter 11.

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