Monday, June 17, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 22 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 22 in it's entirety. :)  And just in time for the Super Moon!

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: FIRST INTERLUDE before proceeding to Chapter 22
 
Otherwise, read from the word go :)





CHAPTER 22

It was still early when Tahatan set out the next morning for the Fleming property.  He had risen even before Liz would get up to fix breakfast before Matthew would wake up to get ready for work.  He had wanted to be back in time for breakfast and only intended to spend an hour, at the longest, on the Fleming property that morning.  His intention was to simply to get an idea of what exactly he would be facing when he returned that night.
Tahatan stepped out into the early morning.  His surroundings were gray as the early morning rays were beginning to rise in the East.  Early morning was Tahatan’s favorite time.  It was a privilege and a treat to experience the earth waking and the shifts in energy.  Tahatan walked down the quiet sidewalk, armed with a satchel that carried a few essential items that he knew he would need while up on the property.  He recalled the energy he had felt when he had passed the Fleming property as Paul Turner drove him from the train station to the hospital.  Tahatan was no stranger to dark energy and had felt it before, but this energy was different even from the other dark matter he had experienced, though he couldn’t quite place what exactly it was.  By visiting the property this morning, he hoped to convey a better understanding of what exactly that was and hopefully, get a better understanding of why it was targeting Dorothy.
Tahatan arrived at the entrance to the orphanage just as the morning light was beginning to grow brighter.  He stood, gazing up at the long, stone pathway beneath a tunnel of trees that wound up the hill.  Tahatan closed his eyes as he felt the vibrations and energies of the property, along with the shifting of the Earth’s natural energy from day to night.  Of course, the police tape stretched across the entrance.  Tahatan took a quick look around to make sure no one was in view and ducked underneath the tape.  The grounds of the Fleming property were vast and extensive, covered with evergreens, oaks, and other brush, so there were plenty of areas to hide in or escape off of if needed.
Tahatan hurried up the hill as quickly as he was able.  As he walked, he could feel the magnetic surges around him.  He could feel the land up on the hill breathing.  Tahatan began heading for the main building, but something was pulling him toward the woods.  He stepped into the brush, hearing the sounds of his shoes crunching.  Around him, all was still as it seemed not a breeze nor a woodland creature was there to stir anything.  He walked further, allowing whatever force was here to guide him.  Tahatan kept his hand near his satchel, ready to use the protection he brought with him if needed.  As he ventured in deeper, the brush seemed to get thicker and a nervous panic began to rise inside of him.
What if I won’t be able to find my way out?
Tahatan pushed those thoughts from his mind.  He knew how to navigate the forest.  After all, he lived in one. 
“Please guide me to where I need to be,” Tahatan prayed.  It was after that that he heard what sounded like water running in a not too far off distance. He could feel that it was the direction he needed to go in.  As he began to take steps toward the sound of the water, Tahatan thought he heard what sounded like child’s laughter and humming laced on top of it.  That was when Tahatan let out a prayer in his tribe’s language, calling upon the spirit of the wolf to be his protector.  It seemed to work as after he had done that, the brush seemed to part for him, clearing a path as he walked toward the running body of water in a clearing.  The laughter and humming also ceased. 
When Tahatan approached the clearing, he could see that the running water came from a stream that got it’s source from a small waterfall above it.  What caught Tahatan’s eye was what appeared to be a mist that gathered just below the waterfall and crawled out to the stream below it.  Most would likely have taken it as early morning mist above a body of water and the temperature of the morning was right for it.  But there was almost a pattern to this mist, an intended movement that was not like the more randomness of a regular mist.  Tahatan ventured closer, feeling it’s pull.
Almost like that of a whirlpool…
He stopped when he began to see shapes inside of the mist.  Shapes that began to form a clear picture.  A break in the mist that formed a tunnel.
Tahatan stood, staring into the tunnel as he tried to see what the shapes inside were.
“So you’ve decided to come here as well?”
The voice behind Tahatan startled him, making his insides lurch as he whirled around to see a priest, not much older than he was, standing behind him.
“Father Louis,” the priest said, extending his hand to Tahatan.  “I’m the priest from the church that the Blakes attend.”
Tahatan looked at the dark-haired priest, took his hand and said, “Tahatan.”
Father Louis gave Tahatan a half smile as they broke their handshake.  “You’re Matthew’s cousin.  Is that correct?”
“Yes.”
“Well, you know that any friend or family of Matthew’s is a friend or family of mine.”
“That’s very kind of you,” Tahatan said.
The two men stood silent for what seemed like a long time.  Tahatan thought he could hear a whispering and closed his eyes.
“Are you alright?” he heard Father Louis ask.
“Yes,” Tahatan said and opened his eyes.  “The ground here.  It speaks.”
Father Louis frowned.  “I beg your pardon?”
“It speaks,” Tahatan said intently.  “It’s telling us to look beyond the stream.”
Father Louis stepped forward, looked up to the waterfall and said, “Well the source comes from the Hudson which leads to a canal by the business district.  From what I understand, this particular body of water continues in various forms into Pennsylvania.”
Tahatan looked from the waterfall and down to where the stream continued, seemingly endless.  He looked back at the mist, which danced in front of the two men, swirling and creating it’s tunnels.  “Do you see that?” Tahatan asked, referring to the dark whirlpool forming inside the silvery white mist.
“I do,” Father Louis said simply.
Tahatan looked into the tunnels that the mist was creating.  He knew he had gotten all that he was going to get from the area that morning, but he had more answers than he had had the night before.  Tahatan knew that he still would have to return that night before he would be able to tell exactly what was being dealt with.
“I have to be going,” Tahatan said.  “It was nice to make your acquaintance.”
“Likewise,” Father Louis replied.
“Are you headed out?  Would you like me to walk with you?” Tahatan asked.
“No thank you,” Father Louis said.  “I think I’ll stay for just a little longer.”
Tahatan nodded and said, “Well, be safe.”
Father Louis gave Tahatan a faint smile and nodded his head.  With that, Tahatan turned and began to walk back toward the town, taking one final glance back to see the priest standing at at the stream, watching the mist dance and swirl in front of him.

~~~~~~

Father Louis stood staring out at the stream, following the patterns the mist was making in the air.  He barely heard Tahatan’s footsteps head back in the direction of the town.  The mist had an effect on the priest.  In all his years from studying in the seminary to being ordained by the diocese to his years ministering to his own congregation, he had never experienced anything like what he had in the last week since Dorothy Blake’s attack.  Much of his ministry as of late had involved venturing into the city to help with the soup lines.  There were many in need of some form of hope these days with so many being out of work and having families to take care of.  Father Louis would try his best to instill hope into those people, but it was difficult to do so when many of them had lost so much of it.  He was proud of those who lived in Plains as many of them also tried to help where they were able to.  One thing father Louis had learned in his years of ministry was that a person’s true character comes out during times of crisis. 
Father Louis had visited Dorothy in the hospital on the third day after she was admitted.  He understood the fear that was in her eyes along with that of her father and then, later when he came to visit, her boyfriend, Carl.  Father Louis understood the fear they felt because he too, felt it on the night of Dorothy’s abduction.
The middle-aged priest stood staring out to the swirling light and dark mist that hovered above the stream’s running water.  Like Tahatan, he was trying toget a glimpse into what was inside of them or where their source came from.  Even as a man of faith, he had always been instructed to try and seek out a logical explanation and cause for things before considering looking toward the supernatural.  If there was such a case that did turn out be something other than this world, one had to be very mindful of how it was approached. 
Father Louis grunted as a thought occurred to him.  He bent down to pick up a rock from the ground.  Stepping forward and aiming it, he hurled the rock into one of the dark openings of the misty air whirlpool.  He lurched backward as he watched the mist swallow up the rock, watching the solid substance disappear into the air.  He could feel the magnetic pull as the rock was consumed.  The priest stood, staring in amazement at what had just happened before he began to wonder just where the rock had gone.  Then, his mind returned of the things he had seen on the night Dorothy had been found and began to feel his skin chill until it reached the marrow of his bones.  He had seen Hell along with other things.  Familiar things.  Some of those things he knew why they were familiar.  Then there were others that he didn’t understand the familiarity too.
As Father Louis stood pondering these thoughts and trying to come to some kind of a conclusion, he heard something off in the distance.  Something that made him pause and look around.  It sounded almost like something vibrating…a bell?
The priest wasn’t even sure of the direction it had come in or the source of it, but what he did know was that it was time to leave and quickly.  Every sensory in his body was going off, warning him to head back to town now.  Steeling himself, he began to walk swiftly in the direction he had come in, clutching a small crucifix in his coat pocket.  He began having visions of bloodspill onto the ground and he began to feel as though he were being followed in his trek through the woods.  He could feel it on his back. 
Forcing himself to focus and continue walking, he began to pray aloud.
“The Lord is My Shephard, I shall not want…”

~~~~~~~~

Dorothy sat at her desk trying to work on some of her assignments for History class.  It was nearly 10:00 in the late morning.  While she wasn’t yet strong enough to head downstairs to the breakfast table (Liz had brought Dorothy up breakfast again as she had also done the previous morning), Dorothy was able to make herself get out of bed and sit at her desk.  There were still a small amount of pain when she would stand, but she was able to relax her body enough, allowing enough of the pain to subside until she was at her desk.  She had felt much relief in sitting down and it took a moment to get comfortable, but she was proud of the fact that she had made the short distance to her desk without falling flat on her face.  Plus, it just was a good feeling to be out of bed. 
Dorothy sat, trying to read her lesson on, oddly enough, Romania and the rule of Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler.  Normally, such a historical event would hold much fascination for her, especially since one of her favorite novels was based on the infamous Vlad Dracula.  But the more she tried to read, the more the words seemed like insects crawling over the pages as her mind kept wandering to Alexanderescu Castle.  Dorothy knew that she would still be bothered until she was able to get to the library, which she hoped would be before she would return to school that following week. 
Dorothy flipped a few pages forward in her History book.  There was a small paragraph dedicated to Anton Alexanderescu III and the untimely death of his son, Dimitri, by the hand of one of their gypsy slaves, but not much else.  She stared down at the black and white pictures of the portraits of the Alexanderescu father and son, feeling slightly embarrassed about what she had seen Dimitri doing with his sister and another young man.  Dorothy noted that Anton and Dimitri both shared the same piercing, dark eyes and smug, arrogant expression.  She was staring so intently that she nearly fell out of her seat when the phone rang next to her.  Matthew and Liz had brought the phone from the sitting room into Dorothy’s bedroom for easier access in case her friends called, plugging it into the jack in the hallway just outside of her room. 
Dorothy let out a breath as the phone rang again.  On the third ring, she picked it up.
“Blake residence,” she said as she caught her breath.
“Hi baby, how are you feeling?”
“Hi, Carl,” Dorothy said beaming at the sound of her boyfriend’s voice.  She could hear the faint sounds of the other students at the school.  “I’m feeling okay.  Well enough to at least be able to sit at my desk as I try to catch up on assignments.”
“Well, don’t work too hard,” Carl said.
Dorothy smiled.  “So how’s your day going?  You’re not planning on getting into trouble again because of me, are you?”
Carl sighed.  “You’re never going to let me live that down.  No, because I want to be able to see you after school.”
“Good,” Dorothy said.  Then a thought occurred to her.  “Carl,” she said lowering her voice a little, “you haven’t told anyone about…you know.”
Carl knew she was talking of their engagement that was secret for the time being.  “No honey, I haven’t,” he said.
“Me neither,” Dorothy said.  “I will admit it was tough having Linda and Gail here last night and restraining myself from doing so.”
“Yeah, it was tough for me too, not saying anything about it to Jimmy and Reg.  Even sitting in detention yesterday with George, Evan, and Bernice, it was hard to not blurt it out.”
Dorothy felt a small stab in her gut at the sound of Bernice’s name.  She knew she had no real reason to be jealous of Carl’s former girlfriend and Evan’s current steady, but on the same note, Dorothy just didn’t like being reminded of Carl with another girl.  Sure, she was aware when Carl and Bernice were going together last schoolyear, and it did bother her a little when it was happening.  But that was also a time when Dorothy didn’t think she had a chance with Carl, so she just accepted the events as they were. 
Dorothy had thought about this and came to a few possible conclusions, one being her fear of disappointing Carl with her lack of experience.  While there were still plenty of girls at school who, this time, were less experienced than Dorothy, she had heard gossip around school last year of Carl and Bernice heavy petting.  There were also rumors that they had gone even further than that.  The thought of Carl and Bernice together like that gave Dorothy a feeling of queasiness in her stomach.  Looking over at her bed, her thoughts turned back to only a few nights ago when she and Carl were lying there as he unbuttoned her blouse.
He certainly seemed to know what he was doing…a voice in the back of her mind told her.  And he probably got a lot of practice with Bernice…and before Bernice, Juliette Simmons…
Dorothy began to see herself grabbing Bernice by the throat, strangling her until she was dead.  She could hear Bernice’s choked screams…
“Dorothy…?”  Carl’s voice wrenched Dorothy back to the surroundings of her bedroom.  “Baby, are you alright?” Carl asked her.
“Yes…” Dorothy said, absolutely stunned with her spontaneous fantasy of homicide.  Where did that come from?
“Are you sure?” Carl asked, his voice dripping with hesitance. 
“Yes,” Dorothy said, trying to recover herself.  “Just tired.  Carl, I think I’m going to rest for a while.”
“Alright, honey,” Carl replied.  From the sound of Carl’s voice, Dorothy could tell her sudden change of tone concerned him.  “Um, I’ll be by right after school to see you.”
“Sure,” Dorothy replied.
“And just to let you know,” Carl continued, regaining his normal, light-hearted tone, “I do give really good spongebaths.”
Dorothy couldn’t help laughing at that. “Yeah, I’m sure my parents would be perfectly fine with that.”
“Just throwing it out there for future reference,” Carl replied.  Dorothy could almost hear the grin in his voice as her entire body began to flush.  Just then, she heard several male voices in the background call out Carl’s name along with the first warning bell, signaling for the students to begin getting to their next class.
“Baby, I have to run.  As much as I don’t want to,” Carl said.
“I know,” Dorothy said.
“I miss seeing you in school.  I really mean that, Dorothy,” Carl told her.  She noticed that he made it a point to emphasize his last sentence.
Before Dorothy could reply, she heard George shout in the background, “Hey Carl!  Wrap it up with your wife and get over here!”
“Just a second!” Carl called back, sounding slightly irritated.  “I’m sorry about that,” Carl said returning to Dorothy.
“No, it’s alright,” Dorothy said, feeling her voice waver a little.  She was suddenly beginning to feel very emotional and couldn’t understand why.
“I’ll see you right after school, okay?”
“Yes.”
“I love you, Dorothy.”
“I love you, too,” Dorothy answered, her voice cracking.  She then hung up the phone before Carl could say anything else to her and before he would be able to hear the sobbing that threatened to rise from her throat.

~~~~~~~

Carl stood dumbfounded at the click on the other end of the phone as Dorothy had hung up before he even had the chance to tell her goodbye.  He stood wondering why she suddenly seemed upset.
What did I say? he wondered as he tried to go over their conversation in his head.
“Hey, Carl!”
Carl turned to see George standing in their large group, beckoning to him.  He wasn’t thrilled about the comment George had made at Dorothy, even if it was meant in jest.  He planned to talk to George about that later.  With one more glance at the phone, he walked over to where their group was. 
By that time, Jimmy, Linda, Reginald, and Gail had joined all of them.  Evan stood with his arm around Bernice’s shoulders.  Carl remembered mentioning Bernice in his conversation with Dorothy.
Could that be what set Dorothy off?  That was when she began to seem a little different...
Carl shook his head as he couldn’t understand any reason for Dorothy feeling even remotely threatened by Bernice, simply because there was nothing to be threatened of.  All Carl knew was that he would very much anticipate the bell that would signal the end of that class day.
When the final warning bell rang, Carl and the rest of the group dispersed as they headed off to their respected classes.

~~~~~~~

Dorothy sat, clutching the phone receiver, gripping it tightly as she fought to catch her breath.
What is wrong with me? she thought, thinking of how she had just hung up on Carl.  He must think I’m crazy.
“Dorothy?!” 
Dorothy’s head snapped in the direction of her doorway at the sound of her mother’s voice.
“Yes, mom?” Dorothy called back, trying to keep her voice from shaking.
“Oh, just letting you know that I’ve gotten back from the market.  Tahatan just stepped out again.  Were you just on the phone?”
“Yes, it was Carl calling from school,” Dorothy replied.
“Well that’s nice.  Is he stopping over later?”
“Yes.  Linda and Gail might bring more of my schoolwork today too.”
“Alright,” Liz said, “well if you need anything, just yell down.”
“I will mom,” Dorothy said.  “Thank you.” 
Dorothy heard her mom’s footsteps retreat back to the kitchen as she turned back toward her desk.  She sat thinking about the last two times that Carl had mentioned Bernice and the negative feeling she had gotten after each time.  She tried to think of when exactly she began to feel jealous or threatened by Carl’s former.  When she and Carl had gone out on their first date, there were the usual first date nerves, especially since that had been Dorothy’s first date ever.  But Dorothy hadn’t given Bernice much thought.  It wasn’t until after she had been in the hospital that all of this had started. 
Dorothy sighed and closed her history textbook.  Studying had become a lost cause at this point.  She looked to her open door and to the washroom across the hall.  A shower wasn’t all that many steps away from where she was and she had been able to wash up earlier that morning without much help.  Even if she was unable to stand for a long period of time, just rinsing off would feel great.  She also wanted to change out of her pajamas and into some real clothes, not only to look presentable for when Carl and possibly some of her other friends came over, but also just to feel like part of the human race again. 
Dorothy braced herself with one hand on her desk and the other on the back of her chair and began to rise to standing.  She tried to avoid applying pressure to the ring finger on her right hand, anticipating the finger returning to normal when the nail grew back.  On her index finger of the same hand, Dorothy also noticed the faded, small cut from when she accidently touched the blade of Linda’s dagger at the Fleming property.  Dorothy shuddered and memories of waking up on the main building’s porch swing came flooding back to her.  She pushed the thoughts from her mind and rose to standing.  She began walking slowly toward the washroom, which had gotten easier each time she did it.
Dorothy shut the door to the washroom and turned on the water to the standing shower. 
She removed her pajams and stepped in, feeling the water wash over her hair and skin.  Many of the bruises and gashes in her body were fading rather well and she was able to remove the bandages off of most of them, so long as they were kept clean.  She would have permanent scars, one on the outer side of her left thigh and the other just below her chest near her heart.  The scars would take some getting used to, but Dorothy knew that it all could have ended in being much worse.
Dorothy was able to wash off, but passed on washing her hair that time.  Dorothy then shut off the water and, realizing that she had forgotten to bring her robe, reached for a towel on the rack that she wrapped around herself.  She then changed the wet bandages on the ring finger of her right hand (grimacing at the site of the nailless fingertip) before heading back to her room.  On her way out, she passed by the bathtub and was instantly reminded of Carl’s playful offer earlier.  A small smile played across her lips as she hurried as much as she able to back to her room and shut the door.
Feeling short of breath, Dorothy sunk onto her bed after she took a comb from her dresser.  After resting for a short time, she undid her towel and began to use it to take the excess moisture out of her hair.  Holding the towel over her front with one hand, she took the comb and began to slowly remove any tangles from her hair.  Dorothy hadn’t done much with her hair in the passed almost week and a half other than wash it.  When it wasn’t styled in their loose curls, her hair reached just below her shoulders in thick waves.  She thought about Carl visiting later and how he would be seeing her without her hair styled, but then felt silly for doing worrying over such a thing.
He visited me in the hospital, she reminded herself.  He’s definitely seen me at my worst.
Dorothy stood and walked over to her dresser, pulling open the drawars.  She chose a red sweater and a pair of dark gray slacks (she didn’t feel like attempting stockings and a shirt at that time).  After dressing, she did feel better, both physically and emotionally.  Dorothy then decided to take it a step further and put a pale, nude color on her lips and some mascara on her lashes. 
Dorothy sat at her dresser, brushing out her nearly dry hair so that the dark brown waves tumbled over her shoulders.  She set the brush down and studied her reflection.  Her skin was getting it’s color back, which she was grateful for and she was surprised at how much she liked the way she looked in the color red.  Gail had given her the sweater in the hospital, reiterating that Dorothy should really try to wearing the bold color.  Dorothy was amazed at how right her friend was about the color.  Wearing it really did boost her confidence more.
Dorothy sighed, feeling guilty over how she had responded to the mention of Bernice.
“I have no reason to be jealous and even less reason to doubt Carl,” Dorothy told herself aloud.  She was very troubled over her reaction which went beyond just a small stab of jealousy over Carl’s former girlfriend.
‘Former’ is the key word.
Bernice was gorgeous.  She was the type whom many referred to as being ‘exotic’ in features, thanks to her Greek-Lebonese heritage.  Her dark hair was normally styled in a similar fashion to Joan Blondell and she wore her dark eye makeup in a way that made her look fairly similar to some depictions of Cleopatra.  Like Gail, Bernice seemed to have an affinity for the color red, wearing it often and, like Linda, she wore her clothes to hug the dangerous curves that were similar to the pinups.  Bernice was also one of the very few girls who wore stiletto heals to school (Linda was also among those few).  There were a few times Principle Langan had sent Bernice home to change for wearing something considered to be too risqué for school.  Bernice’s father traveled a lot for business and usually took her mother with him, leaving Bernice and her brother to do pretty much whatever they wanted.  While the Depression had slowed down the traveling of Bernice’s parents, they still kept the reigns on their children pretty loose.
Last schoolyear while Bernice was going with Carl, Dorothy had remained in the background, feeling horribly plain despite the many attempts Linda and Gail had made to convince her that she was attractive.  At that time, Dorothy’s two friends hadn’t known of her liking for Carl and that his being with someone like Bernice made her feel even worse about herself.  How could I ever compete with someone like her? Dorothy had thought glumly at the time.  At the time, she had loathed her slight frame a delicate features that were so different from what Bernice had.
She sat, thinking about the girl she used to be verses who she was becoming now.  She began to realize that the incident of her abduction to the Fleming orphanage and her survival of it could actually turn into something positive.  Dorothy decided she would apologize to Carl for her behavior over the phone.  Despite all that was experienced up at the Fleming property, it was obvious that no one really wanted to discuss anything connected to that, including Dorothy.  Although everyone had directly seen and experienced things that were, to say the least, out of the ordinary, none were really willing to outwardly discuss anything.  Dorothy remembered Father Louis visiting her in the hospital and how, as she had been with the police detectives, she was barely able to form words when it came to explaining what had happened to her.  She had also noticed the far off look her father had in his eyes ever since she had woken up in the hospital.  Dorothy’s attention turned to the small cut on her finger, courtesy of Linda’s dagger.  She began tracing over it with her thumb when there was a knock on her bedroom door, jarring her from her thoughts.
“Who is it?” Dorothy asked.
“Dorothy, it’s Tahatan,” the voice on the other side said.  “May I come in?”
“Oh, sure,” Dorothy replied.
She watched as the door opened.  Tahatan entered the room with the same solid, quiet, demeanor he always had, but Dorothy could see that he also wore an expression of one who was very troubled about something.  Tahatan managed a smile at her and said, “So I see you are starting to feel better.”
Dorothy smiled back at him and nodded.  “I am.  At least more so than I was in the hospital.”
“Good.  May I sit down?”
“Yes.  Absolutely.”
Tahatan pulled up the small chair from the far corner of Dorothy’s room and sat down.  He hadn’t made any attempts to question her in the hospital as he had wanted her to save as much of her strength as possible.  Tahatan could feel that although the police investigators meant well, they were draining his third cousin of precious energy she would need.  He wasn’t surprised that their search had, so far, rendered fruitless and based on the things he had seen and felt on the Fleming property that morning, he wasn’t sure if they would find a physical assailant.  Tahatan noticed how baffled the investigators were and while many were aware of the legends surrounding the property, police detectives were, of course, trained to only consider physical evidents.  Tahatan knew he would be wasting his time trying to tell the police otherwise.  He was also aware of what had happened to Matthew thirty years ago in his family’s barn and although he didn’t have all the answers yet, Tahatan did feel that the two instances were connected.  He felt he had to get as much of the story from Dorothy as possible before he went back up to the property that night.
“Dorothy,” Tahatan began, “can I ask you to tell me what happened up there?  At the Fleming property?”
Dorothy drew in a breath as chills covered her body.  “The night I just woke up on the porch swing up there?”  She could feel the initial terror of that moment coming back to her. 
“Well that, yes,” Tahatan said.  “But Matthew told me that you and your friends went up there before then.  On Samhain.”
Dorothy nodded.  “Yes.  Yes, we did.  We were just trying to have some fun.  You know, being Halloween and all…”  Her voice trailed off as Tahatan regareded her thoughtfully.
“Tell me about that night,” he replied.
Dorothy took in another breath before going into the story of how their night had begun at George’s party followed by grabbing a late dinner at Chuck’s Diner.  She then told him about how their conversation turned toward the local folklore spawning a debate between Jimmy and Carl, which led to Jimmy daring Carl to go the woods on the Fleming property.
“That was when everyone came to the idea for all of us to go up there and explore a little,” Dorothy continued.  “Then, Linda got the idea to bring some candles for a séance.”
“I see,” Tahatan said with a rather grave tone.  “So did you have your séance?”
Dorothy continued, telling Tahatan of them sneaking into the cemetery first and how she had passed out prior to their entering. 
“But when that happened,” Dorothy said, “I didn’t just black out.  I felt as though I was floating outside of my body and up toward the moon.”
Tahatan frowned, pausing as if he were mentally considering something.  Then he said, “So what happened next?”
“I came to and we went into the cemetery,” Dorothy replied.  “We went directly to the Flemings’ plot, but then we had to leave because we were nearly discovered by the groundskeeper.”
“And then you went up to the Fleming property,” Tahatan said.
“Yes,” Dorothy replied.
Tahatan listened, his gaze becoming more intent as Dorothy relayed the events up at the Fleming property.  He seemed the most stricken when she mentioned what had happened with Linda and Gail.  But Tahatan seemed the most troubled, even going so far as to interrupt Dorothy when she mentioned them all taking items from the property with them.
“What kind of items?”
“Well, the boys took a couple hymnals from the chapel and some items, like a paperweight from one of the offices.”
“I see,” Tahatan said nodding.  Then he looked at her and said, “Did you take anything?”
Dorothy froze as she remembered the copies of Geothe’s Faust and Christopher Marlow’s Dr. Faustus still in the handbag she had taken with her that night.
“I take your hesitance as being a yes,” Tahatan said.
Dorothy nodded, wincing a little as she reached to the other side of her dresser for her handbag.
“Here, let me,” Tahatan said, reaching over and handing the bag to Dorothy.  Dorothy then reached into the bag, pulled the two old hardcover copies, and handed them to Tahatan.
“Interesting choice of literature,” Tahatan said as he looked them over.
“Oh, I read all kinds of things,” Dorothy replied.
“I wasn’t criticizing,” Tahatan said.  “It’s just ironic that you would choose these of all things, given what has occurred.”
Dorothy sat, chilled by Tahatan’s last statement.  Then she asked him, “Did my father tell you about how I also passed out up at the Fleming property?”
“He did,” Tahatan replied.
“Well that was another incident where I didn’t just black out and come to,” Dorothy said and told him about the silver hazed forest that appeared to be the woods on the Fleming property and the little gypsy boy.
“Gypsy boy?” Tahatan asked.
“Yes.  And it’s strange…because I feel I should somehow know him…look,” Dorothy said as she reopened her history book to the small section on the Alexanderescus.  She pointed to the castle.  “I’ve been taken here.  In fact, it’s were I was after I was attacked at the Fleming property.  After I was knocked out.”
Tahatan took the book from Dorothy and studied the pictures of Anton, Dimitri, and their Castle.  “From what I understand, that castle still exists today,” Tahatan said.
“Yes,” Dorothy agreed.
“Carl and your friends are coming over later?”
“They are.  At least Linda and Gail will to bring me my missed schoolwork.”  Dorothy cringed at that last sentence as she still had a lot to catch up on.  Maybe the teachers will give me an extension…
“I would like to speak to them if that is alright,” Tahatan said.
“Sure,” Dorothy replied.  “I don’t see why not…”  Though she knew her friends wouldn’t be enthusiastic about discussing the Fleming property.  Then she added, “Well, since my mother is back rom the market, she’ll probably be fixing lunch soon.  I’m starving and I’m only too glad to not be eating hospital food.”
She watched as a rather strange expression crossed Tahatan’s face.  “What is it?” Dorothy asked.
Tahatan paused, looking as though he were deciding on whether or not to reveal something to her.
“Tahatan, what?”
“Dorothy, is that who you were calling to earlier?”
“Of course…” Dorothy said.  She watched Tahatan’s eyes grow darker.  “Tahatan, what is it?  You’re scaring me.  Is it my mother?  Is something wrong?”
“Dorothy,” Tahatan began slowly, “your mother isn’t home yet.”
 

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