Saturday, June 15, 2013
PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 21 (UNEDITED)
Here is Chapter 21 in it's entirety and stay tuned for an Interlude and Chapter 22 next week. I did take what was originally the last section of Chapter 21 and moved it to 22 since the latter was alot short (now 21 and 22 are about even.
If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: Chapter 20before proceeding to PART 2: Chapter 21.Otherwise, read from the word go :)
Visiting hours at the hospital had ended and Dorothy now sat alone in her hospital bed. The nurse had come in to administer her pain medications, something Dorothy was very grateful for. Dorothy lay back against the pillows on her hospital bed, gazing out at the sunset that poured in through the window. She had asked the nurse to keep the drapes open so she could at least have that as a sort of connection to the outside world. She knew that her parents and Tahatan were staying at a hotel nearby and that her father’s employer allowed him to be off from work until she was able to go home that Friday. Carl had wanted to stay with Matthew, Liz, and Tahatan, but his parents wouldn’t allow him miss a week’s worth of school if he didn’t need to. Instead, Paul and Gladys had told their son that he may visit her after school. Carl had promised her that he would try is best to be there everyday.
Dorothy felt her heart soaring over Carl’s apparent concern for her. Dorothy felt as though she had been hit by a train and probably looked that way too. She had avoided looking in a mirror for that time being as she was afraid to face how she looked at that moment. Dorothy looked forward to recovery and returning home to her own room. She thought of her friends from school and how much she wished she could talk to one of them. She thought of her extended family and her cousin, Cletus. Dorothy knew that her father would be phoning his brothers and sister. She thought of Carl and their original plan of having a special date that coming Friday.
Well, I guess that’s not happening, Dorothy thought glumly. As thankful as she was to be alive with no permanent damage, she wished that was not in the state she was in at all. And how she had gotten here was even more upsetting.
Dorothy remembered waking up on the porch of the main building at the Fleming property. Her foot still throbbed from spraining it when it twisted underneath her after her fall. She remembered the soft humming of “All the Pretty Little Horses” and being dragged back into the building and seeming to fly backward up to the fifth floor to end up back in the Fleming’s master bedroom. She had blacked out only to wake up to seeing shadows swirling around her. She had tried to scream, but her efforts proved futile. She tried to get up from the bed, when a strong force brutally shoved her onto the floor and dragged her toward the closet. Dorothy had fought with all her strength, barely noticing the injuries that were being inflicted upon her. After struggling to try and make it to the door, she could feel them dragging her back until they had her shut into the closet. As she reached for the doorknob, she saw a light at the other end a few feet away. She turned her head to see two children, both appearing to be under the age of ten standing with a lantern staring at her. At first, the children appeared to resemble Nathaniel and Maxine Fleming, but as Dorothy looked at them their features began to morph. Both of the children had dark hair and features and Dorothy would never forget their eyes that appeared almost as two black onyx stones. They began to speak to her in a foreign language that sounded Eastern European and there was almost an air of a high pedigree to them.
“What do you want?” Dorothy had managed to ask them. But the children simply looked at one another and began whispering to each other as though they were getting ready to play a game of some kind. They both turned to look back at Dorothy and began laughing maniacally as their light went out. That was when Dorothy felt the attack again and the last thing she remembered occurring at the Fleming property was reaching up for the closet doorknob and snapping one of her fingernails completely off. Dorothy looked down at the ring finger on her right hand, a bandage wrapped around where her fingernail used to be.
The nurse had left a small lamp on in the hospital room at Dorothy’s request as Dorothy had no desire to be left sitting in the dark tonight. She shuddered as she thought of being petrified to the point of sleeping with the light on for a week when she was seven. Now here she was again, almost eighteen-years-old and afraid of sleeping with the light off. Carl had given her the small wolf figurine that had been on her dresser since she was a baby. She looked at it as it stood on the nightstand beside her hospital bed where Carl had placed it. It stood in a protective and watchful stance, ready to fight of any darkness that tried to overcome her.
Dorothy still couldn’t remember the details of the dream she had had at the age of seven, though it seemed to be lingering not too far away since their Halloween excavation to Fleming Orphanage. Though she remembered some details of where she had been after blacking out inside the closet in the Flemings’ master bedroom. She had been back at Alexanderescu Castle, standing right at the entrance door. She had gone inside, walking through the corridors and up every stairwell. Dorothy was surprised at how well she had been able to navigate herself around, almost as though she were being guided. She had read a little of the castle and had seen outdoor and indoor photos, but as far as being there to where she could easily know her way around…
Dorothy had come to a room and could feel the urge to open up the door. Without questioning, she reached out and pulled on the metal handle. She heard the loud creak echo through the castle as she pushed the door open. Inside was a bedroom, lavishly furnished. Dorothy could hear what sounded like a piano playing someplace nearby and as she listened, she was able to place the song as Paganini’s “La Campanella.” The playing was beautiful and Dorothy could feel the emotions of whoever was playing being transferred into the keys. Her eyes searched the room and she could see a small, dark-haired girl in dark clothing in the corner.
“Hello…” Dorothy had called to her. The girl had turned to look at her but didn’t say a word. Dorothy was able to get a good look at her features that were framed with her long, black hair. The girl looked to be between the ages of 18 and 21. Dorothy also noticed that the girl had some type of silver jewelry in her left eyebrow. Her skin was of an olive tone, but there was a slight sickliness to her and a few breakouts on her face. But the girl was very pretty and Dorothy couldn’t help feeling as though she had seen the girl before.
As Dorothy and the other girl regarded one another, a dense white fog filled the room, dissipating to reveal being back in Maxine’s old dormroom during her days as a classroom instructor. There was an almost unearthly noise filling the dimly lit room. She remembered watching in horror as the dark-haired girl she had just seen end her own life by hanging and she saw James Livingston race passed her to make a grab for the girl in an attempt to save her life. Dorothy was then taken to the Plains Cemetery where a funeral was taking place. She could see a picture of the girl on an easle beside a casket in front of a stone structure. Dorothy could see who appeared to be the girl’s mother and a brother. She also saw a tall, thin girl with short red hair and the greenest eyes she had ever seen. Dorothy looked up at the stone structure to see that the funeral was taking place in front of the Livingston mausoleum. Dorothy had looked back to the closed casket, the girl’s portrait, and then back up to the mausoleum. She then remembered James Livingston’s attempts to save the girl. Obviously she was a Livingston. But when in James Livingston’s life had that taken place and why did she see the girl at Alexanderescu Castle first?
Following the funeral procession, Dorothy had then found herself in a field behind what looked to be a two story farmhouse. She saw two children, a boy and a girl, who looked to be about ten. The boy had sandy hair and blue-green eyes and the girl had long dark hair and dark eyes. In fact the more Dorothy looked, the more the little girl appeared to be a younger version of the girl she had just seen take her life in Maxine’s old dormroom. The little boy also seemed familiar to Dorothy, reminding him a little of her cousin Cletus. She watched as the boy stared bashfully at the ground as he handed the little girl a flower. The little girl looked surprised, but accepted the flower and hesitated before she leaned in and kissed the boy on the cheek.
Dorothy had stood, watching the two children experiencing the innocence of their first childhood crush, she couldn’t help wondering what would happen to the little girl that would make want to…do such a thing when she grew into adulthood. She could feel the girl’s pain as a young woman. Dorothy also wondered about the familiarity of the boy and how much he reminded her of Cletus. But the girl was familiar too.
Before Dorothy could bring herself to the two children, she was taken back to Alexanderescu Castle. This time, she was back in a bedroom that was occupied by two people. Dorothy immediately recognized the man as Dimitri Alexanderescu. She had seen plenty of pictures of the portraits painted of him. He was seated on the bed as a young woman approached him. At first, Dorothy was only able to see her long, dark hair and fine dress, but as Dimitri rose to meet her, Dorothy walked around to get a better look at the woman’s face and then recognized Lucinda. There weren’t as many portraits of Lucinda as there were of her brother and father, but Dorothy had seen enough to recognize her. She watched as they regarded one another before Dimitri brought a hand up to her face to caress her cheek before he would bring his lips down to hers for a kiss. Lucinda responded by returning the kiss, holding it for what seemed like a long time. Then out of nowhere, another young man entered and stood beside Dimitri as he ended his kiss with Lucinda. Dimitri then turned to the other young man, placing his hands on the young man’s shoulders. The young man placed his hands on Dimitri’s waist before the two men brought their lips together and began a slow, passionate, kiss. Lucinda stood watching, obviously becoming aroused. When Dimitri and the other man parted their lips, the other young man kept a hand on Dimitri’s waist as he pulled Lucinda in with the other. Lucinda and the other young man then shared a slow kiss, indulging completely in one another.
Dorothy had turned away from the scene wanting to leave it immediately. She had always been one to try to keep an open mind about things, but she didn’t care to be present while Dimitri and Lucinda indulged in a sexual encounter together while sharing another young man between them. While most history books spoke in glowing terms of the Alexanderescus being the perfect and moral aristocratic family despite being slave owners, she had caught a couple of smaller articles that reported on Dimitri being a philanderer, reportedly enjoying both genders and occasionally indulging in multiple partners simultaneously, though she never read anywhere of him having an incestuous relationship with his sister.
While Dorothy felt that, for the most part, what a person did behind closed doors was a person’s private business, she wondered about the secret lives of the rich and famous and what they hid from the world. What really did go on behind the closed doors of the White House or Buckingham Palace? Where those families really as pristine as they wanted the rest of the world to think they were? And if they weren’t, why did they push the rest of the world they goverened to live that way?
After that, Dorothy had woken up in the hospital to see her parents sitting by her bed. She glanced again at the little wolf figurine on the nightstand. She could feel the pain medications relaxing her into falling asleep. As she drifted away, she thought she heard a whisper close to her ear. Someone whispering her name as she fell into a deep sleep.
Dorothy had continued to heal in the hospital over the next week. By the time Thursday had approached, she was still in some pain and the doctor had said that it would be another week before she could return to school. But she was improving and her injuries were healing. Linda and Gail had been getting Dorothy her missed schoolwork and Carl had brought them all to see Dorothy on Thursday after school. Carl had been up to see Dorothy everyday immediately after school and she could tell by the way he looked at her that something was different with their relationship and Dorothy would soon find out why on Friday when Carl would cut school to go see Dorothy on her last day in the hospital before she would return home.
On Friday morning, Carl entered the hospital’s lobby and headed up to Dorothy’s room, knowing exactly what he was going to do when he was alone with Dorothy. He found Tahatan waiting in the hall outside of Dorothy’s room. The door to Dorothy’s room was shut.
Tahatan greeted Carl with a warm smile. “Good morning, Carl,” he said.
“Good morning,” Carl said. He had seen Tahatan at the hospital everytime he had come and they always exchanged pleasantries. But this morning, Tahatan seemed to regard him more intensely making Carl feel slightly intimidated.
“Are, um, Mr. and Mrs. Blake in there with Dorothy?” Carl asked.
“They are,” Tahatan answered.
Carl nodded and Tahatan said, “Carl, while they’re in there, do you mind if you and I take a walk? I was hoping to speak with you and Matthew together, but while you are here, there are a few things I would like to fill you in on.”
“Sure,” Carl said.
Tahatan motioned for Carl to walk with him down the hallway and toward the stairs that led to the lobby. The two men were silent for the first few moments before Tahatan spoke up. “So you met Dorothy at school?” he asked.
“Yes,” Carl said, “we started going together at the beginning of the school year.”
Tahatan nodded. “Yes, that’s what Matthew told me.”
“Um, don’t take this the wrong way,” Carl said, “but how are you related to the Blakes? I mean, I know Dorothy has some Indian in her background…”
“No, it’s alright,” Tahatan said. “It’s good to ask questions. That shows you are willing to have an open mind and learn of things instead of just assuming you know it all. That shows a lot of your character, Carl.”
“Oh…thanks,” Carl said, he was beginning to feel more relaxed around Tahatan. While Carl knew a little of Dorothy’s heritage, this was the first time he had ever really been face to face with a Native American and part of him was afraid of saying something that may come out the wrong way. But Tahatan was putting him at ease.
“To answer your question,” Tahatan continued, “my grandfather was the twin brother of Matthew’s grandmother and Dorothy’s great-grandmother. Jonathan and Kimimela Blake were my great uncle and aunt. I am a second cousin to Matthew and his three older siblings.”
“I see,” Carl said.
The two of them had ventured into the lobby and exited out the front door to the hospital’s gardens.
“So how much do you know of Dorothy’s family?” Tahatan asked him.
“A little,” Carl answered, “I know her parents and I haven’t met her other relatives yet besides you. But I’m hoping that will change with the holidays approaching, and all.”
“And how much do you know of her Sioux heritage?”
“I know of her great-grandmother and now you. And wasn’t her great-great grandfather a Shaman?”
“A medicine man,” Tahatan said. “He was very much respected in their village. I like to think I’ve inherited some of his gifts. But he wasn’t a shaman in the way that many people imagine.”
“What do you mean?”
“Many people have a misconception of what Shamanism is so I’m glad you asked,” Tahatan replied. “My great grandfather, Dorothy’s great-great grandfather, was a medicine man or a healer. He did have gifts that put him in touch with the spirits which shamans are know for having, but shamanism is not the world religion among our people. That term actually originated among the natives of Siberia and was brought over here and applied to us and other religious practices where the individual embarks on spiritual journeys. But my great grandfather did have gifts when it came to healing and being in touch with the meta-physical world.”
“I see…” Carl said. It was all very interesting but overwhelming at the same time.
“So Carl,” Tahatan said, “I know I’m not Dorothy’s father, but can I ask what your intentions are with her?”
Carl drew in a breath and said, “To be honest…I do want spend my life with her. I feel connected to her in a way I never felt with anyone else. In fact…that’s why I cut school today. When I thought I was going to lose her…” Carl cut his words off but Tahatan understood.
“Have you asked Matthew yet?” Tahatan asked.
Carl shook his head. “I know I should, though.”
“That would be the wise thing to do,” Tahatan said. A breeze picked up, carrying a few strands of Tahatan’s shoulder-length hair. “The Earth speaks, you know,” he told Carl. “It is very much alive as you and I are.”
Carl nodded, unsure of how to respond. Tahatan continued, “Our bloodline and the bloodline of Jonathan and Kimimela Blake have been opened up to things that aren’t of this realm. Matthew told me of how you, Dorothy, and your friends went up to that Fleming property the other night.”
Shame began to fill Carl and he nodded sheepishly.
“Don’t feel badly,” Tahatan said. “How were you supposed to know?”
“I still feel guilty though,” Carl said. “I feel like a lot of this is my fault.”
“That entire area,” Tahatan replied, “I haven’t been up there, but when your father was driving me here from the train station, I got a lot of strong vibrations from that place. Most of it very dark energy.”
“Well, a lot of people say that that entire property is on a hellmouth or a vortex,” Carl said.
Tahatan nodded. “It’s possible, though I can’t know for sure unless I go up there.”
“It’s taped off,” Carl said, “only police investigators are allowed up there.”
“Yes and perhaps that is for the best. You kids had no idea what you were dealing with when you went up there. I can definitely say that much.”
Carl looked at Tahatan whose expression darkened. “My great-grandfather was a believer in dreams being more than simply our minds trying sort through our daily lives. They were portals where our spirits could travel to. But one always needs to make their spirits return to their body. Otherwise…”
“Otherwise what?” Carl asked frowning.
“The consequences can be great,” Tahatan said. He could see that the young man was already being overloaded with information. Tahatan decided that he had given Carl enough to think about for the time being. It would be best to let him maul what he had been told over. Tahatan was staying until the following Monday morning. Perhaps in that time, he would be able to talk with Matthew and Carl together.
Carl and Tahatan both turned to see Matthew jogging toward them. Matthew stopped and frowned when he saw Carl. “Shouldn’t you be in school?” Matthew asked him.
“Um…yes,” Carl said lowering his eyes to the ground, “but I wanted to see Dorothy.”
“Do your parents know you’re here?” Matthew asked.
“No,” Carl said. It hadn’t been the first time Carl had cut class, but of course that was before he was dating Matthew Blake’s daughter.
“Matthew, don’t be so hard on him,” Tahatan said. “He and I actually had a very nice talk.”
Matthew sighed. “Alright. I’ll let this go. This is between you and your parents should they find out. Liz and I are going to go grab something to eat. Tahatan, if you would like to join us. Of course you are welcome too, Carl, but I assume you’d rather go see Dorothy than hang out with us old folks.”
“I do want to see Dorothy,” Carl said, “but I don’t mind hanging out with you all. You’re Dorothy’s family.”
“You are a good kid Carl,” Matthew said after a pause, “and I do mean that.”
“Well, thanks Mr. Blake!” Carl said.
“Thank you for caring so much about Dorothy,” Matthew said. “That does mean more to me than you know.”
Carl entered Dorothy’s room after her parents and Tahatan left. Dorothy’s face lit up at the site of Carl and he was glad to see that much of her bruising and swelling had suppressed.
“Carl!” she said, smiling as much as she was able to.
“Hi baby,” he said, giving her a gentle kiss on her lips. “How are you feeling?”
“Still a little sore, but better. And glad that I get to go home tomorrow. Even if I can’t return to school for another week. It’ll be better than being stuck in a hospital room.”
“What is it honey?” Carl asked when Dorothy paused, her gaze becoming thoughtful.
“I was just thinking,” Dorothy said, “that I’d like to do some research at the library when I’m up for it.”
“What kind of research?”
“Well, more on the Fleming property and maybe read some more of James Livingston’s journals. I’d also like to see if I can find out more about the Alexanderescu family and castle in Romania.”
“Just because,” Dorothy said. “Actually, no. There is a reason. It could just be the medication, but I’ve been having some pretty crazy dreams about all three and I have no idea why. I still don’t know how I ended up on the Fleming property. The detectives have been in to see me three times and I still don’t know what to tell them…”
Dorothy’s voice cut off as she was on the verge of tears.
“Hey,” Carl said rubbing Dorothy’s arm, “baby, it’s alright.” Carl had thought of telling Dorothy about the dream he had prior to waking up and going to search for her at the Fleming property along with what Tahatan had told him at the end of their conversation, but seeing the state she was in he thought it best to wait. Carl tried to cheer her up by changing the subject.
“Baby, I did cut class today so I could see you,” he said.
Dorothy managed a small smile. “I noticed.”
“Well, you remember we were supposed to have a date tonight.”
“Yeah,” Dorothy said, “and our plans were thwarted a little.”
“That’s why I wanted to come see you all day today. I also talked with Tahatan for a little bit. I must say you have a very interesting family. And I mean that in a good way.”
“I’m glad,” Dorothy said as she leaned back against the pillows.
“In fact, Dorothy. There is something I wanted to say to you today.”
“What is it?” Dorothy asked. There was that look in Carl’s eyes again, telling her that he did have something on his mind that he wanted to be out in the open. She felt her heart beginning to pound faster.
“Dorothy…you know I love you and I really like your family. And I wouldn’t mind being a permanent member of it either.”
“Carl, what are you saying?” Dorothy asked.
“What I’m saying…or asking you is,” Carl paused before drawing in a breath and blurting out, “Dorothy, I want to spend my life with you. Please marry me.”
Dorothy thought she could feel her heart stopping as she sat in a stunned silence. “Carl, I…”
“Dorothy, please. I know it’s sudden but I love you and I never want to go a day without you in my life. I was going to wait for graduation before I asked, but when I almost lost you…I don’t know what I would do if anything happened to you.”
“Did you ask my father?”
“No,” Carl admitted, “but I will. And I should have enough saved up for a ring by Valentine’s Day.”
“You know you would have to get permission from my father before we would make any announcements.”
“Absolutely,” Carl said. “So, does this mean you’re saying yes?”
Dorothy looked into Carl’s eyes. She loved his eyes and right now they were filled with hope, and a fear of rejection. “Oh Carl,” she finally said, “of course it means I’m saying yes.”
Dorothy watched Carl’s eyes light up at her response. He wanted to scoop her up into his arms and spin her around, but of course her current condition would not allow that.
I’ll save that for being the first thing I do when she’s completely better, he thought.
“Dorothy, honey, you have no idea how happy you just made me!” Carl said.
“You make me happy too,” Dorothy said.
“And I promise that I will ask your father at the first opportunity I get.”
Over the next week as Dorothy recovered at home, Tahatan stayed in the guestroom at the Blake residence. He seemed intent on getting passed the police tape and onto the Fleming property at some point before he left to return to his home.
“I believe I’ll have a much better understanding og what is going on here if I can get up that orphanage,” Tahatan had told an uncertain Matthew on the Friday evening they had brought Dorothy home. Matthew of course, had reservations of any family members or friends going up to that property, but he also understood that if Tahatan felt that visiting the property was necessary, than it probably was. Tahatan was never one to take matters of a spiritual nature lightly.
During her home recovery, Dorothy would be visited everday after school by Linda and Gail bringing her missed schoolwork.
“We come bearing gifts,” Gail said with her usual dry, sarcastic tone as she and Linda entered the doorway to Dorothy’s bedroom that Monday afternoon. Dorothy had been seated upright in bed re-reading Lawrence Livingston’s short story, The Child with the Black Eyes in the American Ghost Stories anthology book. She had a few books piled on her nightstand (including a couple she hadn’t read yet) next to the flowers Carl had gotten for her, but it was Lawrence (L.H.) Livingston’s story that was seizing Dorothy’s curiousity and interest.
Dorothy looked up from the book and said, “Hi guys. Thanks.”
“They’re probably not the type of gifts you want, though,” Linda said with a slight grimace.
Dorothy sighed. “I still appreciate it. I’m going to have a lot of catching up to do. I know I’ll be missing two exams.”
“Jimmy and Reginald say hi,” Gail said. “They’ll probably be stopping over later this week.”
“I’m sorry Carl had to stay after school for detention,” Linda said. “But that was so sweet that he ditched school to see you in the hospital! That’s probably why Principle Langan went easier on him this time. You know, given the circumstances.”
It was true. When Carl had ditched classes in the past, it was normally a week of after school detention but this time Carl had only received one day. He had phoned Dorothy from a payphone on the school campus earlier that day to let her know why he wouldn’t be able to visit her after school.
“It’s not so bad, though,” Carl had told her. “It’s mainly us bad boys and girls making paper airplanes to sail across the room when the detention monitor isn’t looking. Besides, George and Evan were caught smoking in the boys’ lavatory again. And Bernice ditched her first class today, too. So we’ll all have a good time in there.”
Dorothy cringed a little at the sound of Bernice’s name. She knew that Bernice and Carl used to go together and that she was a bit of a ‘bad girl.’ But Dorothy did remind herself that she was the one Carl proposed marriage to and that Bernice was now going with Evan. Dorothy also couldn’t help being amused over Carl’s lighthearted attitude toward detention. George Kolinski and Evan Frasier were regular detention attendees with Carl. Jimmy had also been in a time or two, but tried to be careful due to being on the football team.
“But hey, at least my dad didn’t ground me this time. So I can come see you anytime after today” Carl said. Dorothy was also relieved about that as seeing Carl seemed to instantly make any pain she was still in disappear. She and Carl were also still the only ones aware of their new engagement.
With Linda and Gail now seated in front of her on the bed, there was part of Dorothy that did want to tell them the news. But the thought of it being something only she and Carl knew was something that she wanted to keep for the time being.
I’ll tell them soon, Dorothy thought, maybe in a couple days.
Dorothy placed a bookmark in a section of The Child with the Black Eyes that was of particular interest to her. A section she would return to and study a little further. But for now, Dorothy sat back and listened as Linda chattered on about the latest gossip in school.
“Linda, why do you insist on prying into everyone else’s lives?” Gail asked.
“I don’t!” Linda said defensively. “Caroline and Cassie are the ones who tell me and everyone else this stuff.”
“Caroline and Cassie. That figures,” Gail said rolling her eyes.
Dorothy smiled at the banter between her two friends. When she was feeling up for it, she had plans to visit the library to do more research and hopefully have more information on was going on with her. For the time being though, she was just going to enjoy the company of her girlfriends and enjoy just being a high school girl, even if it would only last for a short time.