Wednesday, May 1, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 15 (UNEDITED)

Okay, sorry it took another day to post, but here it is:)

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: Chapter 14 before proceeding to PART 2: Chapter 15.
 
Otherwise, read from the word go :)





CHAPTER 15

The master bedroom was a close second to the sitting room as far as being the largest room in the fifth floor living quarters went.   The master bed was in the center, back against the wall with a nightstand on each side.  As it was in Maxine’s childhood room, the dressing table was against the side wall near the door with the closet on the other side of the door across from the foot of the bed.  A large mirror was near the closet and another bookshelf that had been emptied of it’s content and a picture window looking out onto the town of Plains completed the room.  On the wooden floors was a large, Persian rug that was likely imported when the Flemings had built the place.  The room had been dimly lit by Linda’s candles.  Linda had placed a candle on both nightstands and one on the dressing table to provide them with a little more light as she lit the rest of the candles.  Some of the candles she lined near the mirror and there three small candles she lit in front of the two paintings that she, Jimmy, Gail, and Reginald had found.  They had found the paintings inside of the closet by the foot of the bed, hidden behind a trap door.  As they had done in Maxine’s childhood room, they had searched closet for any old clothes, or anything that may have been left behind.  The closet itself had been stripped bare but they had seen the small, trap door in the corner thanks to Jimmy’s flashlight.  The door had slid to the side and the paintings had been resting upright.  Jimmy and Reginald had pulled them out and they were discovered to be paintings of Nathaniel and Maxine.  One painting was of Nathaniel and the other was of Maxine.  The two children appeared to be the same age they were in the painting that had been found in the sitting room.  The two 19th century children stared out with young, wide eyes to the 20th century teenagers who looked back at them through the windows of the frames and canvas.  The children in the paintings told a story, or at least wanted to, as the small flames from the candles danced and darted across their features.  Perhaps it was possible to communicate with a person or persons from another time, place, and era and plausible if one would allow it.  But like the Fleming family portrait that had been pushed behind the shelf in the sitting room, Linda, Reginald, and Gail wondered how these paintings of the children had been overlooked and left.  What was more disconcerting was that also like the sitting room painting, these two had been hidden. 
There was plenty of blank wall space in the room where the paintings could have hung, which also meant that there was other possible décor that had hung in the room and had been stripped upon closing the Fleming property down. 
Linda, Gail, and Reginald continued looking in amazement down at the two young children and how life-like the paintings were.
“Well, I’ll tell you one thing,” Reginald said, “the Flemings had found themselves one hell of an artist for their portraits.”
Gail and Linda both nodded in agreement.
“Do you know who did the portrait of James Livingston in the library?”  Gail asked.
Reginald shook his head.  “No.  But I would be interested in finding out.  I would think it was the same person who did the Flemings’ portraits.”
Before anyone could respond, the door opened and in walked Jimmy, moving rather stiffly.
“Hi sweetheart,” Linda greeted him and then saw that Carl and Dorothy weren’t with him.  “Where are Carl and Dorothy?”  Linda asked.
Jimmy put an arm around Linda, obviously trying too hard to be casual.  “They’ll be along,” he said.
But one look into Jimmy’s light brown eyes told Linda exactly what had just taken place.  Reginald and Gail noticed too, especially when they saw the wide smile crawl across Linda’s lips.
“Well now you know how the rest of us felt when we all heard you and Linda at the End of Summer party,” Reginald said, grinning slightly at Jimmy.
A laugh escaped from Gail’s mouth as Jimmy looked away from them and toward the closet.  Jimmy and Linda both tried to act as though they didn’t approve of Reginald’s remark, but small smiles played across both of their mouths.  Then, Jimmy relaxed and said, “What can I say?  Linda and I make each other happy.”
Linda’s smile was pure joy as Jimmy pulled her close to him.  He then surprised her by cupping her behind with one hand and giving it a squeeze.  Linda let out a delighted yelp before putting her arms around Jimmy’s shoulders and kissing him hard on the lips.  Reginald and Gail looked away.  Reginald took Gail’s hand and the two of them walked over to the picture window looking out onto the horizon that extended out beyond Plains.  The waning moon still hung in the sky, lighting up the town and the Appalachian Mountains in the distance.  It was a beautiful night and the glow of the moon made the town and it’s surroundings almost seem like another world.  As Jimmy and Linda occupied themselves with one another, Reginald put an arm around Gail and drew her close to him.  She shivered against him as a chill came in through the picture window glass.  She and Reginald had managed to block out the necking session of Jimmy and Linda (who had now moved against the wall by the door).  They had barely heard Jimmy’s whisper to Linda that said “you know I’ll be taking care of you later,” which was followed by a quiet giggle from Linda.  It was as though each couple had entered their own realm that was separated from what the other was in.  Gail leaned against Reginald.  She felt his lips on her forehead and felt a comforting warmth caress her.  It spread from her core and out to her limbs and she began to feel heavy and almost sleepy.  Gail allowed her eyes to scan the room.  The candles in the room made what had once been a dark, dreary area almost seem alive again.  Gail stared, fixated on the wavering flame of the candle on the nightstand to the left of the master bed.  The flame itself was alive.  Alive and dancing a dance that made Gail feel a tipsy giddiness.  She began to see shapes in the room.  Shapes of paintings on the wall, shapes of objects on the dressing table.  And the slightest outline of two people on the bed. 
She felt her arms slip around Reginald’s waist and he returned the gesture.  The air in the room began to waver about to the motion of the candle flames as the lips of Reginald and Gail joined together, their mouths parting so their tongues could explore one another’s mouths.  It was an act they had done before, but this time there was a heated frenzy to them they normally would come just shy of in previous times alone together. 
“So just how late are we for the orgy?” a male voice behind them asked.  The voice cut through the air, eliminating the intoxicating lasciviousness that had been present.  It was as though someone had opened the picture window, and let a burst of cold air into the room to wake the occupants out of their drunken state.
Gail and Reginald parted lips to find that both of them had shed their coats and that Gail’s blouse and Reginald’s shirt were both untucked with the top buttons undone.  Jimmy and Linda were even more disheveled and at some point, had made their way over to right beside the bed.  Jimmy’s coat and shirt were on the floor leaving Jimmy in his undershirt.  His belt was on the floor with his shirt and coat and his pants had been undone.  Linda also had her coat and blouse on the floor beside Jimmy’s.  Her hands were tangled in Jimmy’s hair.  Jimmy had one of his hand on the naked flesh of her back as he had just undid her brassiere and the other on the strap, taking one of the straps down off of her shoulder with the other.  Linda stood clinging to Jimmy and had one of her legs wrapped around the back of his thigh as their groins pressed together.  Linda’s head was tilted back as Jimmy’s mouth grazed her neck.  They too, broke out from their erotic frenzy.  The male voice they all had just heard behind them had been Carl’s.  He and Dorothy stood in the doorway to the master bedroom.  Jimmy, Linda, Reginald, and Gail all turned to see their two friends surveying the room with wide eyes. 
The four already in the room stood in shock before they reacted.  Reginald and Gail quickly picked their coats up from off the floor with Gail holding her coat against her frontside over her undone shirt and Reginald over the front of his pants.  Jimmy and Linda had even fewer options given their further state of undress.  Jimmy held a nearly topless Linda to him in an attempt to cover her and his own arousal.  Carl and Dorothy looked at one another, both at a loss for words at what to say next.  It wasn’t as though they hadn’t seen their friends kiss or even neck a little in front of them.  But this time was different.  Carl and Dorothy had both knocked a couple times on the bedroom door to no answer.  Thinking that their friends were playing a joke on them, Carl went ahead and tried the door.  At first, the knob wouldn’t budge.  But Carl tried a second time and that time, the door had opened with ease.  But when the door opened, the dusty, cool air from the hall seemed to stop, as though it had ran into a wall and been halted.  Carl and Dorothy were, instead, met by a burst of warmth and almost a sweet perfume that coated the air.  The air wavered along with the burning candles and their friends together, more intimate than they had ever been in front of one another.  Although Jimmy and Linda had--many times--reached the most complete form of intimacy that one could have with another, it always took place behind a closed door, in a room where only the two of them would be. 
As her friends looked to her and Carl in their state of shock, wondering how they all had gotten into their compromising positions, Dorothy’s eyes were drawn to the two paintings beside Reginald and Gail of little Nathaniel and Maxine.  The paintings were just as well done as the other two that had been found left behind.
Left behind…
The wide eyed children stared back at Dorothy.  There was a familiarity to them, as though she had seen them before and it was not because of her knowing the story and lore that surrounded the Fleming family and their property.  No…this was something different.  Dorothy took another look and then it hit her what it was.  She was starting to piece things together when she heard Linda say, “Can you all please let me get dressed?”
“Yeah I probably should…freshen up…” Gail said before she and Reginald walked swiftly to the door with their coats still in front of them.  It was then that Dorothy took her eyes away from the paintings and to her two approaching friends.
“You going to stay with Linda, Jim?” Reginald asked.
Jimmy nodded with still a protective hold on Linda.
“Hey, I didn’t know you two wore the same shade.  Isn’t that nice,” Carl teased Reginald, referring the red lipstick that smeared the lips of Gail and Reginald.
“Haha.  Very funny,” Reginald said taking his handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his mouth.
“Gail, there’s a washroom over there,” Dorothy said pointing across the hall, “if you want I can come help you.”
Gail nodded and headed over to the door that led to the washroom.  Dorothy leaned her head into the master bedroom and said, “Um…Jimmy?  Linda?  I’m just going to sneak in a grab a candle so Gail and I can see in that washroom?”
“Just take my flashlight,” Jimmy said, gesturing with his head toward the bag Linda used to carry her candles, matches, dagger, and now the items the boys had swiped from the lower floors.
Dorothy walked as quickly as she could over to the bag and peered in.  She pushed the two hymnals aside, and found the flashlight.  Next to the flashlight, she was met with the dagger.  She reached in to retrieve the flashlight when her hand brushed the blade and cutting her index finger.
“Ouch!” Dorothy flinched.
“You alright?” She heard Jimmy say.
“Yeah,” Dorothy said as she inspected her finger.  It was a shallow cut that only bled a little. “I brushed the wrong part of the dagger that’s all.”  A small, red droplet fell onto the wood floor.  Dorothy brought her index finger to her mouth to suck up the small amount of blood that remained.
“Sorry,” Dorothy heard Linda mutter.
“Baby, are you sure you’re alright?” Carl asked her.
“Yes, I’m fine,” Dorothy said, “I’ll take care of it in the washroom.”
Dorothy reached back into the bag, taking care to avoid the dagger and retrieve the flashlight.
“Thanks Jimmy,” Dorothy said as she rose and headed toward the door.
“No problem,” Jimmy answered still holding a stunned Linda.
Carl stepped aside, letting Dorothy out into the hallway.  He then placed his hand on the doorknob and said to Jimmy and Linda, “Come out when you’re decent.”
“Then we’re never seeing them again,” Reginald cracked.
“Alright, you clowns.  Can you just give Linda and me some privacy?” Jimmy said, trying to hide his amusement.
“Will you be giving us part 2 of the End of Summer party?” Reginald replied and Carl laughed.
Jimmy grinned slightly and gave Reginald and Carl the middle finger salute which, of course, made Reginald and Carl howl with laughter even more as they shut Jimmy and Linda in the master bedroom.

As the door shut them into the bedroom, Jimmy and Linda stood holding eachother for a few more seconds before they separated a little with their hands sliding to hold one another’s elbows.  Linda didn’t care as much of her brassiere being undone when it was only her and Jimmy in the room.
But it’s not just you and Jimmy in the room.  The thought was mocking.  Almost menacing.  Linda turned her head to look at where Nathaniel and Maxine Fleming sat looking out from behind the frame and canvas.
“You okay, baby?” Jimmy asked her.
Linda nodded.  “I’ll be fine.  But can you please turn the paintings around?  I feel like they’re staring at me.”
Jimmy immediately crossed the room to the paintings.  Linda kept her arms crossed over her front until the images of Nathanial and Maxine where turned to face the wall.  They do seem to follow you no matter where you are in the room.  Linda shuddered at the thought as Jimmy came back to her.
“Are you cold?” Jimmy asked, taking hold of her shoulders and rubbing the upper part of her arms.
Linda turned her eyes down and shook her head.  She didn’t feel cold.  Just...drained.
There was a brief pause before Jimmy said, “I’m sorry.”
Linda looked up at him.  “About what?”
“I honestly don’t know what happened.  One minute I’m giving you a kiss by the door and the next thing…we’re…”
“I know, Jimmy,” Linda simply said. 
Jimmy let Linda break away from him to go sit on the edge of the bed.  Neither could explain to the other what had just happened.  It was as though something had completely taken over their beings.  It was as though it wasn’t even them…
Jimmy watched Linda in the warm glow of the candlelight.  Despite the jokes made of their tryst at the End of Summer Party, Jimmy was rather protective of his and Linda’s sex life.  Sure he talked to Carl and Reginald about some of it and he knew that Linda talked to Gail and Dorothy.  But they were all trusted friends who would never broadcast such things to the entire school.  And making love while their friends were around to actually see?  While Jimmy wasn’t perfect, he could honestly say that he would sooner take a flying leap from the newly opened George Washington Bridge before he would exploit Linda and their relationship in that manner.  He had every intention of making a formal proposal to Linda at Christmas and getting married to her that following summer or autumn after they had graduated high school in early June.  Jimmy knew that Linda had already begun making plans even before a formal proposal from him and he couldn’t help the elated feeling he got from that thought.  And Jimmy knew he could stand there and watch Linda all night.  Her blonde curls where slightly messier and more touseled than before (something Jimmy always found sexy on her) and he could see the pink gloss she wore on her lips shimmering.  He self-consciously raised his fingers to his mouth to wipe off any that may have gotten on him.  But he kept his eyes on Linda, traveling down the graceful lines of her neck, to her shoulders and down to the rising mounds of her breasts, one of them being almost completely uncovered.  He felt his heart begin to race and burn with desire with her all over again.
Linda looked up at Jimmy and into his appreciative gaze.  The warmth and the shadows that were present from the candles played over his handsome features and dark hair.  There was something to how Jimmy would look at her, making her feel desired and beautiful.  She felt her heart beginning to race as she looked at the boy she loved more than anything.  The boy who was her life.  Linda returned Jimmy’s stare by giving him a small smile.
“What?” she asked.
Jimmy smiled and simply answered, “You.”  He knelt down in front of Linda and put his arms around her waist and his hand traveling up the velvety skin of her back.  He leaned into her and their lips found eachother.  Linda let out a soft moan into Jimmy’s mouth as their lips parted allowing the tips of their tongues to enter the other’s mouth and lightly massage the other.  Linda then felt Jimmy’s hands come to the straps of her brassiere and sliding them from her arms before they both allowed it to drop to the floor along with their tops and jackets.  Jimmy pulled Linda into him as his lips moved down her neck and to her collarbone.
“Jimmy,” Linda whispered.  She wanted him and now that they were alone and those dreadful paintings were turned around, she wouldn’t mind it at all if she and Jimmy were to finish what they had started a few moments ago.  But she also remembered there friends outside the door possibly waiting for them.
“Jimmy,” she said again, “what if they’re waiting for us out there?”
“Let them wait,” Jimmy said against her chest.
“But this bed is so dirty,” Linda said with a slight grimace.  She really didn’t want to lie back, naked or even partially naked, on the old, musty spread that God only knew what all had been crawling through there over the years.  In fact, it actually turned her stomache to think that that’s what they almost just did not too long ago.  Jimmy looked back up at her before he smiled, put his arms around her and hoisted her up to carry her to the dressing table.  He placed her down in front of it onto the rug.
“Do you feel okay about this?” Jimmy asked, referring to the dressing table.
Linda looked back at it and nodded.  They had dusted the surfaces of the dressing table and nightstand before placing the lit candles on them.  Linda waited while Jimmy moved the candles on the dressing table over to the nightstand.  The candles placed strategically around the room originally for a séance of sorts now served to create an atmosphere for romance. 
Jimmy went back over to Linda, placing a hand on the side of her face and moved it down to her neck and to her shoulders.
“You’re beautiful, Linda,” Jimmy said as his hand traveled down further and stopping to lightly cup her breast.  His other arm slipped around to her lower back as he reached for the buttons and zipper on her skirt, undoing each of them.  Linda let out a stifled, but pleasured, cry into Jimmy’s ear as he took her nipple between his thumb and index finger, moving them in a gentle, circular motion.  Linda clutched his shoulders as Jimmy moved his lips over to her ear and began to lightly take her earlobe between his lips and teeth.
“I love you, Jimmy,” Linda whispered.
“I love you, too,” Jimmy replied.
He came back to give her a kiss on her lips before he began to slide her skirt down her legs and removed her shoes as she stepped out of her skirt.  Jimmy ran his fingertips up her stocking covered legs before hooking his thumbs into the waistband and sliding them down her legs until Linda stood only in her white, lace trimmed panties.  Still kneeling and placing her stockings to the side, Jimmy’s blood rushed down his center as he placed a hand on the small of Linda’s back and pressed his lips against the inside of her right thigh, kissing just below where the undergarment ended just above mid-thigh.  He couldn’t wait anymore and he knew they didn’t have much time.  Jimmy slid Linda’s panties down her legs, removing them until she stood completely exposed to him.  He rose up to look at her, his eyes scanning her body.  He had seen her naked plenty of times, but it never got old or boring for him.  Linda gave him a sweet, but seductive smile and grabbed the hem of his undershirt, pulling it over his head.  She ran her hands over the skin on his torso before reaching her hands up to pull him down into a kiss. 
Jimmy’s pants were still undone from before and he could feel his arousal straining and threatening to emerge.  He lifted Linda up and placed her onto the dressing table, claiming her mouth with his once again as he made certain that she was ready for him.

Meanwhile, across the hall in the washroom, Dorothy tended to the cut on her finger, using one of her handkerchiefs to stop the bleeding before she would help Gail with straightening out her clothes.  The beam from Jimmy’s flashlight provided them with enough light to be able to see what they were doing.  Gail had been able to fix her lipstick while Dorothy ceased the bleeding from her injured finger.  Unfortunately, the place didn’t have running water—which they figured it would not—so the girls had to make do.  Dorothy watched as her friend looked in the mirror, dabbing her red, smeared lips with a handkerchief.  She still was mystified over what she had Carl had walked in on not too long ago.
“So,” Dorothy began, “what exactly happened in there?”
Gail froze.  By the light of the flashlight, Dorothy could see Gail’s eyes shifting as though she herself where searching for the right answer.  Finally, Gail answered by saying, “I’ve been trying to figure that out myself.  That’s just it, though.  I don’t know.”
“Well, when Carl and I came to the door, we had to try it a couple times,” Dorothy said.
Gail looked over at Dorothy.  “You couldn’t get the door open?”
Dorothy shook her head.  “No.  I mean we didn’t have to wait too long, but the door seemed like it was locked.”
“Hmm,” Gail said, her expression thoughtful.  She finished removing what she could of her smeared lipstick before folding the handkerchief back up, placing it back into her purse, and removing her red lipstick.  Dorothy watched as Gail prepared the bold color.  That was something she admired about Gail.  How Gail never seemed to really care too much about what people thought of her.  All throughout highschool, Dorothy couldn’t help feeling a little envious of Linda’s sophistication and Gail’s boldness.  But lately she had found herself coming into her own.  And it wasn’t necessarily dating Carl that had done that for her, but mustering up the courage to talk to him and take that first step.  She remembered Carl’s words to her in the other room and she could feel her heart flutter over the memory.
“Carl told me he loves me,” Dorothy blurted out.
Gail’s head snapped around to look at Dorothy.  “Are you serious?!”
Dorothy nodded, beaming from ear to ear.
“Dorothy, that’s wonderful!  I’m so happy for you!” Gail cried as she reached over to hug her friend. 
“Thanks,” Dorothy said as they held their embrace.
“When you two were alone in the other room?”
“Yeah,” Dorothy said, still excited over Carl.
“And you were practically on the verge of never speaking to Linda and me again when she spilled the beans to Jimmy,” Gail said, pulling away from Dorothy and turning back to her lipstick.
“I know,” Dorothy said.
“Well you know it’s going to drive Linda crazy that you told me first instead of waiting til the three of us were together.”
“I’m sure,” Dorothy replied.  She was then silent from a moment before she said, “Carl also said that he wants to spend tonight with me.  After we’re finished here.”
Gail nearly dropped her lipstick, causing it to smear again.  But she either didn’t notice or care.  “Oh my gosh.  Dorothy!  Are you going to?”
Dorothy nodded.  “I think so.  I mean, I don’t think we’re going to…you know…make love.  He did express his interest, at least that’s what it sounded like…but, he also said I don’t have to if I’m not ready.  Which, I don’t think I am.  But he said he’s alright with just sitting and listening to radio together all night.”
“Well, it is a good opportunity being that all our parents are at the Millers for probably the rest of the night,” Gail said.
“I think it is,” Dorothy said, “we’ll spend some more time together we wouldn’t otherwise get to spend.”
“Maybe get in some quality necking time,” Gail said with a wink before turning back to the mirror.
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” Dorothy said remembering Carl’s lips on her earlier.
“Oh hell’s bells!” Gail exclaimed when she noticed that her lipstick was smeared again.  She reached back into her bag, letting out a groan as she pulled her handkerchief back out.  When she found a clean area on it, she began carefully wiping at the smear.  
“You should try wearing red lipcolor sometime,” Gail said as she finished fixing the smear, “and I don’t mean the wimpy orange red.  Dark, bold red.”
“Do you really think I can pull it off?” Dorothy asked.
Gail shrugged before she began to touch up her lips.  “I think anyone can, really,” she replied, “I don’t know why people tend to shy away from it.”
“I suppose it’s because it’s a such bold color,” Dorothy said.  But with Gail, everything about her look was bold from her dark hair against her pale skin to the dark red she often wore in her clothing and makeup.
That shade of red is also associated with whores!  For scarlet women…
Dorothy was jolted by the words that had entered her mind.  My God!  Where did that come from?!  That’s not what I think of Gail!  Not even close!
“Dorothy…are you alright?”  Gail was asking her.
Dorothy looked over at Gail, feeling a terrible pang of guilt.  The words she had heard where but a tiny whisper, yet they had been loud and clear.  But Dorothy managed to nod and said, “Yes.  Yes, I’m alright.”
“You don’t look alright,” Gail said.
Dorothy looked at her friend’s concerned face in the glow being cast by Jimmy’s flashlight.
Then, another thought occurred to Dorothy.  “Gail, can I ask you something?”
“Anything,” Gail said.
“You said that when you snapped at Linda over in the other building…that you felt as though you weren’t even yourself.  Am I right?”
“Well yeah,” Gail answered, “I think we both know that Linda is high maintenance and can come across to some as self-absorbed.  But she does mean well.  Underneath it all, she is no different from us or other girls in school, really…”
But then Gail was silent and Dorothy could see a troubled expression on her friend’s face.
“Gail, what is it?”  Dorothy asked, taking a step closer to Gail.
Gail shook her head.  “You’re going to think I’ve completely lost my mind.”
“Gail!  I won’t! I swear,” Dorothy said, “in fact, whatever it is you’re going to say…I may understand better than you think.”
Gail took a step closer to Dorothy putting the two directly beside one another.  She then dropped her voice down to just above a whisper and said, “When you and Carl went to find Jimmy and Linda, I kept having these thoughts going through my head.  I kept fighting with them as Reginald held onto me.”
“What kind of thoughts?” Dorothy asked.
“Thoughts about Linda.  Horrible ones!  Things I would never even think of that were even worse than what I said aloud.  I don’t even want to say them out loud because I’m afraid…” Gail’s voice trailed off before she said, “It’s this place.  I know it sounds crazy.  But ever since we got here…I don’t know…I can understand where all the rumors surrounding the Flemings and the orphanage come from.  It’s like…a whole different world up here.”
Gail paused, gathering her thoughts before she continued.  “When I was looking out the picture window in the master bedroom earlier, I could see the town spread at the foot of the hill.  But it seemed so much further away than that…I’m sorry if I’m not making sense.  Go ahead.  Tell me I’m crazy.”
Dorothy sighed.  “That’s not crazy.  Not at all.  I’ve seen and heard things since we’ve gotten here too, though until a moment ago I just shrugged them off as being nothing more than moonlight and the creaking of old buildings.”
Dorothy watched as relief crossed Gail’s face and placed a reassuring hand on Gail’s arm.  But then Gail looked troubled again and she asked, “Dorothy…what did you see when you and Carl came back into the master bedroom?”
Dorothy looked at Gail’s expression and then looked away, peering into their shadowed reflections in the mirror. 
Probably too much…Dorothy thought.  She and Carl had opened the door to find their friends in compromising positions.  But that wasn’t necessarily what bothered Dorothy.  When Carl opened the door, her friends were not in there.  She could feel the presence of others in the room and it was not that of Jimmy, Linda, Gail, and Reginald. 
Linda’s face…that wasn’t her face I saw when she tilted her head back…
Dorothy knew that Carl had seen it too, even if he didn’t come out and say it.  The look in his eyes was enough to tell her that she wasn’t the only one witnessing such a spectacle.  She had been grateful when he had spoken and broken whatever spell they had all been under, for she was actually beginning to feel herself slipping and being taken over by the sweet, thick perfumed air.  There was a sound to the air.  A sound of revalry.  It was faint, but Dorothy had been able to hear it. 
Then there was the paintings that almost seemed to come to life…the eyes of Nathaniel and Maxine pitch black and their innocent expressions were twisted into almost sadistic grins.  They both seemed to grow older in the paintings.  It was when Carl interrupted the scene that the images of the Fleming children returned to their original, child-like state.  And it was then that the dream Dorothy had had when she was seven, pieces of it coming back to her.  The dream that had been so horrific, it had sent her parents bolting into her bedroom at the sound of her blood-curdling and hysterical shrieks.  She had sat in a catatonic state, being held by Matthew and Liz for at least an hour before she was able to tell them anything.  And even then, she wasn’t able to remember much…only that she had been so terrified that she refused to sleep with the light off for the next week.  Her father, Matthew, had taken the dreamcatcher that hung over her bed.  To this day, Dorothy wasn’t quite sure what he had done with it, but when he brought it back a day later, Dorothy had been able to sleep again and with the light off.  Over the years, she had forgotten, but it had remained buried in her subconscious, just waiting for the right time to emerge.
“Dorothy…?” she heard Gail say.
Dorothy turned to look at Gail and the concern on her friend’s face.  At the corner of her eye, she thought she saw a silvery glint flash for a brief second in the mirror.
The moonlight…
But one look out the window would tell anyone that it hadn’t been the case as the moon was not even visible with the washroom window facing the dark brush of the forest.  It was then that the room began to spin and, for Dorothy, everything went pitch black.

Read on to CHAPTER 16.

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