PART 2: THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 23 (UNEDITED)
Here is Chapter 23. It's short so I'll be going through Chapter 24 to post asap. :)
If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: FIRST INTERLUDE before proceeding to Chapter 23.
Otherwise, read from the word go :)
Eariler that morning, after Tahatan had left the Fleming
property, he paid a visit to the library, passing the statue of James
Livingston on the way in.It was 8:30 in the morning and the library had just
Tahatan was met with the life-sized portrait of the Livingston
patriarch in the library’s entrance.Tahatan stopped to study it, recognizing that those who had said that
the painting was a step away from it being a living, breathing human certainly
wasn’t exaggerating.James’s eyes were
knowing and his thin smile held a secret and a mystery, almost in a way Da
Vinci’s Mona Lisa was said to have
done.Tahatan’s intuition had led him
here, despite the fact that he had planned to head back to the Blakes’ house
for breakfast.He had phoned the house
and Matthew had already left for work, but he was able to tell Liz that he
would be a little longer than expected.Liz told him to just help himself to whatever was in the refridgerator
when he got home.
As usual, Tahatan didn’t really know exactly what he was
looking for, nor was there any guarantee of actually finding something.But when he had a stab of intuition, he knew
better than to ignore it.
Tahatan stepped into the main area of the library and was
met with an area of tables that a couple people were already sitting and
reading at, the librarian’s front desk off to the right hand side, and staring
at Tahatan from across the room was another portrait, this one being of
President Herbert Hoover.The president
gazed back at Tahatan with a lot less taunting mystery than James
Livingston.The difference between the two
paintings was almost overwhelming.
The handful of library patrons looked up from their books or
periodicals as Tahatan entered, as did the librarian, a middle-aged woman in
her fifties by the name of Carol Stratton.Nobody bothered him, though.Nobody in this town really seemed to bother him.And Tahatan wasn’t sure if it was due to them
knowing that he was Matthew Blake’s relative or that people in this town just
accepted people as they were and didn’t trouble anyone so long as you didn’t
trouble them, as there were actually many areas in the country like that as
much as there were areas who would have had someone like Tahatan run out of
town regardless of whose relatve he was.One just had to choose their travel destinations carefully.
Tahatan figured it was both.The Blakes had many friends in this town and he remembered Father
Louis’s words to him from earlier:Any friend or family of Matthew Blake is a
friend or family of mine.
Plains also seemed like a town of good people.In some ways, it seemed as though the town
had chosen its residents, from James Livingston and the founders up to Matthew
and his peers.The Earth is alive, there is all sorts of activity around us…so that
just may be possible…
Tahatan certainly felt as though the small wooded area of
the Appalachians that he lived in had chosen him as much
as he had chosen it.
Tahatan gave Carol Stratten a small smile and nod.The librarian looked a little surprised, but
returned the greeting before going back to her filing.
Tahatan walked through the library, muttering a ‘good
morning’ as he passed Herbert Hoover’s portrait.The president continued staring out to the
library as Tahatan made his way toward the back shelves of the library.He could see James Livingston’s journals on
display on the side wall toward the front and the Plains town records were
there as well.But Tahatan was feeling
compelled to search the back first.
Tahatan searched the shelves, coming across some books that
looked interesting, but nothing that he knew would assist him in what he needed
to do.There were a couple books on the
history of the occult that might come in handy, but Tahatan felt he were being
led in a direction different from even those.
He had come to the end of the bookshelf empty handed and
stood wondering what he was supposed to be finding.As much experience as he had in listening to
the elements, there were times when even he was left baffled.Tahatan stood, shaking his head and wondering
what exactly it was he was supposed to find.His question would be answered when he would look down toward the floor
and see an object, a square object, sticking out from one of the shelves
against the wall.Tahatan knelt down and
took hold of it.It was a book of some
kind, one that looked to be rather old, and it seemed to have fallen behind the
shelf and gotten stuck there.
After a couple gentle tugs, he was able to pry it loose from
its place behind the shelf.The book was
leatherbound and without a title.It
appeared as though there may have been a lock on it at one time that had been
broken off.Tahatan frowned and opened
the book.Once he did that, he knew that
he had found what he needed.
Tahatan had sat at one of the tables with the book, a couple
of James Livingston’s journals, and some of the town’s record books making the
notes he needed.He ended up taking the
book he had found with him, which he felt guilty about, but he decided that he
would bring it back after it had had its use.
When Tahatan had returned back to the Blakes’ house, Liz had
been on her way out to market and had been waiting for Tahatan to return so
someone could stay with Dorothy.Tahatan
had been in Matthew’s study, going over his findings.That was when he had heard the phone ring and
Dorothy answer it.Figuring it was Carl
or one of her other school friends, Tahatan hadn’t bothered her.He had looked up, hearing her hollering to
someone and had gone to the door of the study but heard nothing.He had dismissed it and had figured that
perhaps he had simply heard part of Dorothy’s phone conversation.Tahatan returned to the desk and tried to
concentrate on reading everything over and searching for some type of missing
piece to the puzzle.But something wasn’t
right and he felt the air around him telling him that, telling him to check on
He had gone up the stairs toward Dorothy’s room, but heard
the shower running in the washroom.Tahatan had looked into Dorothy’s bedroom seeing that it was empty.Figuring that Dorothy was in the shower, Tahatan
went back downstairs, to wait and give her enough time to get out of the
washroom and dressed.
Now, he sat across from her in her bedroom, trying hard not
to stare too much at her alarmed face, but he couldn’t help the grave
expression of concern he regarded her with.
“Tahatan…” she stuttered out.“..what…”
Just then, they both heard the front door open and Liz call
up, “Dorothy!Tahatan!I’m back from the market!”
Tahatan looked at Dorothy, whose body began to tremble under
her red sweater and gray slacks.
“Hey, is anyone home?” Liz called again, this time from in
Dorothy looked tentatively at Tahatan and said, “Please tell
me you heard that.That is mom, isn’t
“We’re upstairs, Liz,” Tahatan called back.Then he turned back to Dorothy and said, “It’s
fine.Youre mother is home now.”
Dorothy appeared relieved, but there was still an expression
of fear in her eyes.
“Dorothy,” Tahatan began.There was much he needed to inform her of, but he was interrupted by Liz
appearing in the doorway.
“Hey, is everything alright?” Liz asked.Then, she saw her daughter’s pallid face that
wore an expression that she never wanted to see on her daughter’s face
again.Too similar to that night ten years ago…“Dorothy!What happened?” Liz went over to her daughter.
“I’m alright, mom,” Dorothy said.“Just a headache.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes!” Dorothy yelled.
“Dorothy…” Liz stepped back at her daughter’s tone.She then saw Dorothy’s grayish-blue eyes
flash with a hard anger that she had never seen in her daughter.They
almost seemed to glisten… They all
turned at the sound of something clattering to the floor.The three of them sat looking at Dorothy’s
hairbrush, which had fallen from the dresser.
Dorothy reached back to pick up the brush, wincing with
pain.Tahatan and Liz both began to
reach for the hairbrush before Dorothy stopped them.
“I can pick up my own brush,” Dorothy said with an edge of
tears in her voice. “Please, I’m not an
Liz stepped back and Tahatan returned to his seat as Dorothy
moved to pick up the fallen hairbrush and return it to its rightful place on
the dresser.It took her a little longer
than it would have under normal circumstances, but she did it.
Liz stood, visibly distraught over what had just occurred.But she managed to collect herself and ask, “Is
there anything you need, dear, before I go fix us something to eat and then
Dorothy could hardly bring herself to respond and put her
face in her hands, resting her elbows on the desk.
“I’ll stay with her,” Tahatan said.He could see the hurt expression in Liz’s
eyes and felt badly for that.Tahatan
tried to take away some of that by giving Liz a small, reassuring smile.Liz nodded and with a final glance at her
daughter, went back downstairs into the kitchen, to fix a snack for Dorothy and
Tahatan, fix dinner for her family, and act as though nothing was wrong.As usual.