Thursday, August 1, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 27 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 27 in its' entirety.

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Second Prologue before proceeding to the Chapter 27.

Also, check out some further character development in some excerpts from the second draft in the SAMPLES section. 

Otherwise, read from the word go :)


CHAPTER 27

Matthew had returned home from work to hear Dorothy yelling for her mother.  Matthew barely had time to give Liz a kiss hello when they were both running up the stairs following Dorothy’s yells.  They stopped in the doorway when they saw an alarmed Dorothy leaning in toward Tahatan who sat stone faced and his gaze fixed and staring.  Carl and the others also wore the same alarmed and bewildered expression that Dorothy did.
“Mr. Blake, we should call a doctor,” Carl said.
Matthew went over to Tahatan leaving Liz in the doorway.  Matthew took his cousin gently by the shoulders and studied him for a second before saying, “There’s nothing to worry about.  Yet, at least.”
“What do you mean there’s nothing to worry about, Mr. Blake?” Jimmy asked.
“I’ve seen this before with several of my relatives,” Matthew answered.
“You’ve seen this before?” Reginald asked looking from Dorothy to Matthew to Tahatan and then back at Matthew again.
“Yes,” Matthew said.
“Well what’s going on?” Linda asked.
“I’ll explain a little later,” Matthew said.  “Right now, we need to watch Tahatan and see that he makes in safely back.”
“Back from where?” Gail asked.
Matthew inhaled deeply and said, “I don’t know.”  His eyes fell to the dagger as Liz stood gripping the doorframe.  She had known Matthew’s family since the age of sixteen and knew of the abilities many of them possessed.  She just wished she were able to understand and empathize better.  She wished Matthew would be more open with her about things, regardless of what it was, instead of trying to protect her from what he thought she wouldn’t be able to handle.  Liz’s focus went from the dagger Tahatan still held to the hairbrush that had slid from Dorothy’s dresser only hours ago.  Liz let go of her grip on the doorframe and tightly crossed her arms over herself.  She worried for her daughter and worried for her husband.  And she honestly didn’t know how much more she would be able to take.

~~~~~~~

Little Nicolae swung his legs, hitting the heels of his shoes against the stump he sat on as he watched his father work.  Tahatan studied the features of the boy, taking in his energy and feeling somehow close to him and the entire family.  The energy that Tahatan got from Nicolae was one that was loyal and devoted once a person gained his trust.  He willingly helped his father where it was needed and Tahatan could tell that the boy and his father had a very strong bond with each other.  The world around Tahatan began to waver and he was then taken to a nightscene in a field not too far away from the slave village the family lived in.  He saw Nicolae walking with his father again beneath a sky that was almost completely covered in stars.  Nicolae jogged along happily beside his father.  For that moment, the boy was oblivious to the fact that he and many of his kind were destined to remain slaves in captivity until death would take them.  Their kind had been persecuted, something that Tahatan and his ancestors understood very well.
Tahatan could hear conversation between the boy and his father.  He tried to listen hoping that perhaps the spirits or whatever had brought him here would allow him to understand.  And they did.
“Papa!  There are so many out tonight!” Nicolae cried.
“God painted night with many stars tonight.  Just for you,” the father said, kneeling down to his son’s level.
Nicolae smiled and looked back up.  “I see Capricorn, papa!”
“Is that all?” Nicolae’s father grinned at him.
“No,” Nicolae replied.  “Orion, Sirius, and the Gemini Twins are out tonight too! Oh and there’s Scorpio.”
Nicolae broke into a run, his small legs pumping through the tall grass in the field as he kept his eyes up to the sky.  Tahatan watched as Nicolae’s father watched his son run through the field.  Tahatan concentrated and was able to get that the father’s name was Luiz.  Luiz’s wife was named Anabel and their children were fraternal twin sons Emilian and Lucas followed by Nicolae.  Their two daughters were named Carmina and Cristina.  The precocious baby was a son named Sebastian.  Tahatan saw the weariness in Luiz’s eyes, the weariness he tried to keep from his young son.  Luiz tried to keep the hopelessness he felt from all his children, but Nicolae was particularly sensitive to such things.  Tahatan could read the man’s thoughts.
This isn’t a life I want for you, son.  You were not born to be a slave.  None of us were…
Tahatan could see thoughts of wanting to escape and give his children a life of freedom filling Luiz’s mind.  Those thoughts were halted when little Nicolae yelled, “Papa, come on!”
Luiz was shaken from his thoughts, put on a smile and ran up to join his son.  Tahatan watched, his heart feeling heavy as Luiz scooped his son up into his arms.
“Papa!” Nicolae exclaimed.  “I just turned eight!  I’m too old for you to pick me up.”
Luiz looked his son in the eyes and said, “You’re right.  You’re growing up.  It won’t be long before you’re a man.”

Tahatan turned away from the scene as it was heartbreaking to behold.  He didn’t know why, but a feeling of dread began to pulse through him.  Tahatan could feel danger on the horizon.  He also knew that he had to preserve his energy as much as he could so that he would be able to make it back to his body before it was too late.

~~~~~~~

Everyone present in Dorothy’s bedroom was silent as Tahatan remained in what appeared to be a trance.  Finally, Linda spoke up.  “It happened right after he took the dagger from me,” she said.  Her voice was shaky and full of guilt.
“Linda, honey,” Jimmy said, “that may not be what caused it and even if it was, how were you supposed to know?”
“Because of what I experienced when I bought it!” Linda snapped.  Jimmy flinched backward as that was the first time Linda had ever spoken to him that way.
“Oh…Jimmy, I’m sorry!” Linda said.  She was almost in tears.  Jimmy quietly got up, sat with Linda on the bed and brought her to him.
Matthew looked at the dagger and reached out, gingerly touching it.  He drew his hand backward as he felt a strong, heated energy pulsing from it.  In that moment, Matthew had a brief vision of Tahatan near a small village somewhere in Eastern Europe, but that was all he was able to tell.
The vision left Matthew as quickly as it had come.  He could feel everyone’s eyes on him, expecting him to answer many of their unspoken questions.  He thought of Halloween night when he had talked to Carl.  Matthew had hoped that Tahatan would come back and quickly.  He knew that Tahatan was experienced in these out of body journeys as was his grandmother Kimimela, his great uncle Sunkwa, his great grandfather Howahkan and probably many before them.  As familiar as Matthew was with such things occurring, he needed Tahatan to aid him in explaining more about the family, especially to Carl.  Such a necessity had begun with Jonathan and Kimimela when Jonathan and Howahkan had had a second audience with one another following the meeting of the two families.  Howahkan had felt that Jonathan loved Kimimela unconditionally, but he also wanted his soon to be son-in-law prepared for the things that would likely begin to occur once Kimimela turned eighteen.  Now, Matthew found himself in that same position with Carl when it came to Dorothy.
I suppose that’s something every father with a daughter goes through eventually, Matthew thought.
Matthew wished with all his heart that he had the same strength his great grandfather had had when he spoke with Jonathan.  Matthew could see that Carl seemed to care for Dorothy and could even feel love coming from the young man.  As Howahkan had initial reservations about Jonathan, Matthew had them about Carl at first.  He was very much aware of Carl’s reputation of being something of a wild child.  But Matthew did like the Turner family and considered Paul and Gladys to be good friends.  Because of that, he was willing to give Carl a chance.
Matthew looked over at Carl and Dorothy together, him standing with his arms around her shoulders.  There was something about the two of them that reminded Matthew of his grandparents.  Matthew wasn’t sure if Dorothy knew it or not, but his daughter did inherit much of Kimimela in Dorothy and while Jonathan didn’t have the reckless nature that Carl seemed to have, they both possessed and adventurous spirit.  Matthew also remembered Carl’s father, Paul, telling a story of how his biological grandfather had been a seaman who had met and had a fling with his grandmother at a port in England.  Paul’s grandmother had married Jack Turner while she was pregnant and the child, Paul’s father, had been passed off as Jack’s.  It wasn’t until Paul turned eighteen that he found out the truth of his heritage.
“Grandma said that the seaman’s name was Liam,” Paul had said to Matthew one time two years ago after Carl and some other boys had been given a three day suspension for sneaking into the girl’s locker room at school.  “While I never met him, I get the feeling that there is a lot him in Carl.  Carl’s his own man.”
So Carl was a descendent of an Irish seaman who had had a fling with a young woman at a port and then left on another sea adventure, never knowing that he had fathered her child.  Matthew didn’t know Liam’s story or what made him the way he was, but Carl seemed determined to stay with Dorothy and it was the way he held Dorothy that reminded Matthew of how he had seen Jonathan hold Kimimela even in their old age.

Matthew turned and looked back at Tahatan who still sat in his stoic silence.  He remembered his grandfather recounting the first time he saw it happen to Kimimela.  Jonathan’s greatest fear had been that he would be out of the house when it would happen and what if Kimimela wouldn’t find her way back?  Matthew looked at Liz who still stood in the doorway leaning against the frame.  With his eyes on Tahatan, praying that his cousin would return safely, Matthew got up, went over to the door, and slipped his arms around his wife’s shoulders.  Liz placed her head on Matthew’s shoulder and placed her arms around his waist.

~~~~~~~~

Tahatan could barely stand to watch the father and his young son any further.  Impending doom and sorrow pierced its way through the air.  In the distance, Tahatan could see a large, stone castle illuminated by the light of the celestial bodies that hung in the sky.  He began to walk forward, moving toward the castle and the closer he got, the more he could see that the structure looked very much like the Alexanderescu Castle from Dorothy’s textbook.  There was something about the castle.  Something that held the answers to what was going on.
As Tahatan continued forward, the castle began to waver and he could see glimpses of another building structure.  He squinted his eyes, straining for a better look.  Tahatan’s energy was waning and he knew that he would have to make his way back to his physical body soon.
But if I could just get a glimpse of what that other structure is…
An electrical static began to prickle Tahatan as he began to figure out what the intertwining building was.  Then he had the sensation of falling into a neverending abyss.

~~~~~~~

Liz, Dorothy, and everyone else present in the room watched in awe as Matthew recited an old Ojibwe prayer over Tahatan.  The body of Matthew’s second cousin had begun to slump over and his color beginning to grow pallid.  There was also a chill in the room and the sense of a presence entering that was not benevolent.  Dorothy and her friends watched, stunned as Tahatan’s body jolted forward, dropping the dagger to the ground.  Tahatan inhaled deeply and his eyes became focused again as he looked around the room.
“Tahatan,” Matthew said urgently.  “Tahatan, are you alright?”
Tahatan looked at Matthew as though he were a person who had amnesia and was just coming to remember his life prior to losing memory.  “Yes,” Tahatan said, still a little distant, as thought he were someone who had just woken from a deep sleep.
“I’ll get a glass of water,” Liz said.  “Dinner’s almost ready too.  Perhaps that will help.”
“Thank you, Liz,” Tahatan said.
“I actually have to get home for dinner,” Reginald said looking at the clock on Dorothy’s nightstand.
Everyone else agreed and began slowly getting up from their places on the floor and Dorothy’s bed.
“Linda,” Tahatan said, “would you object to leaving the dagger here with me?”
Linda shook her head.  “Not at all.”  She reached for the dagger at Tahatan’s feet, picked it up and placed it on the dressing table.
“Should we come back after dinner?” Reginald asked.  “I mean, we never got to hear what you needed to tell us.”
Tahatan shook his head.  “I have somewhere I need to go tonight.  How about tomorrow after school?”
The kids all agreed.  Then Jimmy, Linda, Gail, and Reginald said their goodbyes for the evening and left in somewhat of a stunned silence.
“Well, I guess I better be going baby,” Carl said to Dorothy.
“Actually Carl,” Matthew interjected, “if you would like to stay for dinner you’re welcome to.  I’ll have to make sure it’s alright with Liz if we set up another place at the table, but I’m sure it won’t be a problem.”
“Sure,” Carl said.  “Thank you, Mr. Blake.”
At that moment, Liz appeared in the doorway with a glass of water for Tahatan which he took gratefully.  Then Matthew asked Liz if it was alright if Carl stayed for dinner to which Liz consented.
“Thank you,” Carl said.  “I’ll phone my parents if it’s alright.”  He began reaching for the phone on Dorothy’s desk when Matthew stopped him.
“Actually if you don’t mind, Carl, would you use the phone down in the kitchen?”
“Certainly, Mr. Blake,” Carl said.  He gave Dorothy’s shoulder a light squeeze before he left the room.
Dorothy looked from her father to Tahatan and said, “I’ll go wash up.”
“Can you get to the washroom alright?” Matthew asked.
Dorothy nodded and stood up from her desk chair.
After he heard the door to the washroom shut, Matthew turned to Tahatan and said, “You’re not still thinking of going up to the Fleming place tonight, are you?”
“Absolutely,” Tahatan said still holding his glass of water.  “Right after dinner.  It’s urgent that I go.”
“Don’t you think you should rest tonight and go tomorrow night instead?”
Tahatan shook his head.  “No.  I have to go tonight.”
Matthew’s lips flattened into a line.  He knew how stubborn his cousin was as it was a trait shared by many in their family, including Matthew himself.
“Well then at least let me go too,” Matthew said.  “At least to provide a getaway car if you need it.”
Tahatan gave Matthew a wry smile.  “If you insist.  But Matthew, there is something I need to show you first.  It’s something I found this morning at the library and after seeing what I saw when I touched the dagger that Linda had, it’s all beginning to make a little more sense.”
Matthew frowned and questioned Tahatan of what he had found.  Tahatan then took up the small leather bound book that sat on top of a stack of papers filled with Tahatan’s notes.  He then handed it to Matthew and said, “Open it.”
Matthew did and his eyes widened in surprise at what he saw.  There was an inscription in the old, worn, and yellowing front page.

Maxine Rosalind Fleming
Age, 18
Year, 1850


“It’s the diary of Maxine Fleming,” Tahatan said.  “The one she began keeping at the beginning of her affair with that married man, Christian Andrews.”

More to come in Chapter 28.

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