Monday, August 12, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL 1931-1933: Chapter 28 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 28.  I'll be giving you guys a few chapters tonight since I didn't update Friday due to being on vacation where I didn't have internet.  But I did get alot of writing done :)

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 27 before proceeding to the Chapter 28.

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 28

Dorothy stood in the washroom across the hall from her bedroom, her hands clutching both sides of the sink.  She stared into the basin as she steadied herself, taking deep breaths.
“Almost to where I can move by myself again,” she said aloud.
Between hearing a voice that sounded like her mother’s to her conversation with Carl to the hairbrush incident to what had happened with Tahatan earlier, she was completely spent of most of her energy.  But in a way, she had found an odd sense of comfort in what had occurred with Tahatan and Linda’s story of the dagger.  They definitely made her feel less alone in what she was going through and less like someone who was losing her mind.
Dorothy noticed the bandage around the finger where the nail had snapped off.  It was beginning to grow back for which Dorothy was relieved.  A lot of the cuts and bruises she endured were also fading and healing but she wasn’t thrilled with the fact that she was now permanently scarred twice.  They would always be a grotesque reminder of what had happened to her up at the Fleming property.  No matter how she would try to forget, the scars would taunt her for the rest of her life.
And Carl…what would he think of them?
Dorothy believed Carl when he told her that he loved her.  He had proposed to her in the hospital when she was at her worst in every way she could possibly be but she still couldn’t help wondering if he would have a change of heart if he were to ever see the rather large scars on the side of her thigh and on her chest hear where her heart was.
Something actually tried to rip my heart out, apparently…
Dorothy swallowed, almost growing faint at the thought.  She tightened her grasp on the wash basin.  She thought of the memories of Carl with her on her bed, caressing her nearly naked torso and telling her how beautiful she was and she wondered if they could ever have a moment like that again.  The scars were puckering up on her skin and turning a purplish color, which the surgeon had warned would happen before they would heal into a flesh tone.  Dorothy did take some comfort in knowing that the ugly purple color of the scars would very soon begin to match her skin tone more closely, but that also didn’t change the fact that they would always be there.
I’m disfigured for life, Dorothy thought sullenly.
Part of her felt ashamed for feeling that way as the outcome could have been much worse.  She knew she should be thankful that it was only the two scars that she would have.
Dorothy sighed and turned her face up to look at her reflection.  She still looked tired but changing into normal clothes and putting a little makeup on gave her a much needed improvement in how she looked and felt at the time.  Carl staying for dinner also helped to lift her mood.
Dorothy combed her fingers through her hair, fixing it as best she could for that moment.  As she looked more intently at her reflection, she began to feel lightheaded as she had at the Fleming place prior to passing out.  Dorothy reached down and grasped the sides of the basin again.
“Please don’t let me pass out,” Dorothy said aloud.
She regarded her mirror image in the bathroom’s light as her face seemed to take on another form.  It was subtle but it was enough to make her freeze with fright.  And just as quickly as it came, it was gone.

~~~~~~~

Matthew stood staring at the inscription that was written by Maxine’s own delicate handwriting.
“I will warn you that should you decide to read it, Maxine recorded almost every sordid detail of her affair with Christian,” Tahatan said.
“And Jared?” Matthew asked.
“Well, that is an interesting and twisted story in itself,” Tahatan replied.  “You see, after Maxine gave up her child she stopped writing for a while.  It wasn’t until after her parents passed on that she began writing again.  Recording every sordid detail of her and Jared, then.”
Matthew shook his head.  “In that case, I guess whoever said that women of the Victorian era were more lady-like hadn’t met Maxine Fleming.”
Tahatan chuckled.  “I’m sure if anyone wanted to publish and sell it would make a nice fortune.  But the thing with that is people tend to look back on other times through rose-colored glasses.  Different times have different morals that are encouraged, but in the end, people are people.”
“That’s true,” Matthew said.  “I remember some things I did as a boy.  Things we both did as boys that would have sent our mothers to a sanitarium if they knew.”  Matthew then paused and grew serious.  “That’s why I worry about Dorothy.  I mean, I like Carl.  I do.  But you hear of kids going up to that hilltop…”
“I understand where you are concerned for that would be a concern of mine as well if Dorothy were my daughter,” Tahatan said.  “But I do want to reassure you that Carl has nothing but good intentions for Dorothy.  When I met him for the first time at the hospital I had the opportunity to peer right into his soul, which I did.  He may not be perfect but I could see that his feelings for Dorothy are genuine.  And besides, who really is perfect?”
Tahatan paused, remembering Carl voicing his intentions of a marriage proposal for Dorothy and considered telling Matthew.  But Tahatan stopped himself.
That is Carl’s responsibility, he thought.
Relief overcame Matthew but there was still something that troubled him.
“What is it?” Tahatan asked.
Matthew sighed.  “I fear losing Dorothy.  She’s the only child Liz and I were able to have.  She’s my baby.  I mean, I really did almost lose her.  How did she get up to the Fleming place that night?  Please, Tahatan.  It’s going to drive me crazy.  I need to know how to not allow it to happen again.”
“She was taken there, no doubt,” Tahatan said.  “How, I’m not entirely sure.  But I’m certain it has to do with the swirling fog Father Louis and I saw over the stream in the back of the woods this morning.”
“Swirling fog?” Matthew asked.
Tahatan nodded.  “Yes.  There were shapes in there…other beings, I believe.  And when I was sent outside of my body after taking hold of the dagger just now, I was taken to mid 19th Century Romania.  I saw the previous owners of the dagger.  It was owned by a Rom family, or gypsies as many like to call them these days.  I saw a father and his very young son…a boy named Nicolae.  They had a very close relationship, but I have the feeling that it ended abruptly and tragically.  Then, I saw a large stone structure in the distance.  One that I had seen many times in photos.  Alexanderescu Castle.  And then I saw…”
“You saw what?” Matthew asked.
“The Fleming property…I saw the Fleming property.  It kept interchanging with the castle until you brought me back into my body.  And with our great great grandmother’s Ojibwe prayer, no less.”
“I’m sorry,” Matthew said.  “I know you would have wanted to stay and find out more…but you were starting to look the way your grandfather did the night he left his body and never came back.  That was something that always haunted my grandmother.  The twin bond, you know?”
Tahatan was silent.  He also remembered that night his grandfather Sunkwa had left his body to never return again.  His soul lost to where Tahatan couldn’t locate it.
“Tell me something,” Tahatan said.  “Was there another presence here?”
Matthew paused and slowly nodded.  “I could feel it entering, yes.  And it didn’t have any good intentions, I could tell you that.”
Tahatan regarded his cousin thoughtfully.  Matthew may have settled into a typical routine expected of most Americans, but when he allowed himself, Matthew could exercise his gifts and was quite intuitive and aware of the netherworld.  Tahatan knew that Matthew did try to block it most of the time and he couldn’t blame him.  Matthew experienced some scary things growing up and then what had happened with Dorothy ten years ago didn’t help matters either.  The latter was also something Tahatan was trying to figure out.
Perhaps I’ll have to enter Dorothy’s mind, travel into her subconscious after all…maybe see what happened and how it can be stopped from affecting her and the family much further.
Tahatan hated the idea of invading someone else’s mind as it was invasive and reserved for only extreme cases.  But Dorothy was still haunted and it seemed to be getting worse.  Perhaps if Matthew fully embraced the gifts that had been passed onto him, he would be able to help his daughter a lot more.  And perhaps even his wife.
Tahatan remembered Liz earlier, distraught and confused over everything.  Marrying into such a family was not easy and while Tahatan understood Matthew’s good intentions of protecting Liz from certain malevolence, sometimes it’s what you don’t tell someone is what does the most damage.
With that last thought in mind, Tahatan turned to Matthew and said, “I think you should talk to Liz.”
Matthew felt his stomach jolt.  He knew he had been closed off from her ever since Dorothy was in the hospital.  They had stayed together in the same hotel room at the bottom of the hill from the hospital, but the idea of talking to Liz about the things that have occurred in his family for about a century now—possibly longer—intimidated him.  He actually didn’t know how she had been able to stay married to him for as long as she had.
“I feel she would understand better than you think,” Tahatan said as though he were reading Matthew’s thoughts.  “She’s a strong woman but this is starting to break her.”
Matthew looked at Tahatan and said, “Liz told you that?”
“She didn’t have to,” Tahatan said.  “I can see it.  In some ways, she could be worse off than Dorothy is right now.”
Matthew ran a hand over his face.  “You’re right.  I guess after being married to someone for so long you just…you tend to take for granted that they are always going to be there for you.  But in order to do that, you need to allow them that.”
At that moment, Carl came up the stairs and stood in the doorway to Dorothy’s bedroom.
“Mrs. Blake wanted me to let everyone up here know that dinner is ready,” he said.
“Thanks Carl,” Matthew replied.  “Does she need help with setting the table?”
Since Dorothy was recovering, either Matthew or Tahatan would set up the table while Liz made the final preparations on the supper.
Carl dropped his eyes to the floor sheepishly and said, “Oh, I did that.  After I called my parents.”
Tahatan and Matthew looked at one another.  Tahatan’s eyes confirmed what he had said about Carl earlier.
Matthew turned back to Carl and said, “Thank you, Carl.”
Carl looked up and both men could see relief setting in on Carl’s face.
“Where’s Dorothy?” Carl asked.  “Is she in the washroom?”
“She is,” Matthew said.
Just then, the door opened to reveal Dorothy on the other side.  Her color was a little ashen.
“Are you alright?” Carl asked as Matthew and Tahatan stepped behind Carl, observing Dorothy.
“I’m fine,” Dorothy said quietly.  “Just trying to get myself moving again.  I’m starting to hate being confined to my room.  I’d like to eat dinner with everyone else this time.”
“Sure,” Matthew said.  “I can help you get down the stairs.”
“I can do that if you want, Mr. Blake,” Carl said.
“Can he, dad?” Dorothy asked.
Matthew tried to hide the wrenching he felt in his heart at the idea of Dorothy turning to Carl for help instead of him.  Matthew turned his gaze over to Tahatan who gave Matthew a subtle nod.
“Sure Carl,” Matthew said.  “Thank you.”
Matthew watched as Carl and Dorothy headed to the top of the stairs.  It was there he saw Carl pick Dorothy up and carry her in the same way Matthew had once carried Liz over the threshold when they had first moved into their home in Plains as a young married couple.  It was also then that Matthew had a brief vision of Jonathan and Kimimela as a young couple only married a few months, Jonathan carrying Kimimela up the porch and into the front door of the home they lived in for over sixty years.  Matthew saw his grandparents as young adults, regarding one another with such love in their eyes.  It was at that moment that he thought again of Tahatan’s words regarding Liz.  If there was anything someone could learn of the marriage between Jonathan and Kimimela Blake was that marriage really is for better or for worse and Jonathan and Kimimela definitely had their share of ups and downs, things that would have likely broken a lot of couples, but through it all they found ways of staying devoted to one another and each being the other’s rock.  Matthew knew he had been shutting Liz out, telling him that he was protecting her.  But the truth was that the only person he was looking out for was himself.  Tahatan was right.  Liz was a strong woman.  She had come out from three miscarriages, a high risk pregnancy with Dorothy, and still managed to be the best wife she could be to Matthew and the best mother she could be to Dorothy.  In many ways, she had been the glue that held the family together.
The vision of Jonathan and Kimimela faded and there was Carl and Dorothy once again.  As the two of them descended the stairs, Matthew heard Dorothy say, “Carl, when we get to the middle step, can you put me down?  I want to see if I can get down them myself.”
“Sure, honey,” Carl said.  “And of course I’ll be here to catch you if you need it.”
“You’re going to have to let her go,” Tahatan said gently, breaking Matthew from his thoughts.
“I know,” Matthew said.  “I’m just not looking forward to it.”
“But Matthew,” Tahatan said, “I cannot stress the importance of you and Liz sitting down together and talking.  I’m getting another feeling and it’s urgent that you talk to Liz.”
“What do you mean?” Matthew asked.
“I don’t know,” Tahatan said.  “It’s a feeling I just got now.  But please.  Do as I say.”
Matthew regarded Tahatan intently and said, “I will.  And I will inform Liz that I want to sit down and have a talk with her right after we return from the Fleming place.”
“Good,” Tahatan said.
The two men went down to the dining area.  There was much more that Tahatan wanted to tell Matthew about his findings and more detail of what had occurred with Dorothy earlier that day, but he decided that he would wait until they were in the car and on the way to the Fleming place.
Tahatan watched as Matthew reached beside him to enclose his hand over Liz’s.  Liz looked over at Matthew who gave her a reassuring look.  Liz gave Matthew a small smile but her eyes were terribly troubled.  Tahatan hadn’t been completely honest with Matthew.  He did know why it was so urgent for Matthew to sit down and be open with his wife.  Tahatan hoped that Matthew would listen to him and everything would work itself out as he did not want what he had seen to actually happen.  He had seen Liz take her own life.  He had felt her anguish and feeling less than important, even though Tahatan knew that was not at all how Matthew felt about her.  He knew that Matthew loved his wife.
You just need to show her that you know she has the worth that I know you recognize in her.

Tahatan hoped that Matthew would heed his warning and that it wouldn’t be too late.

No comments:

Post a Comment