Monday, August 12, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 29 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 29.

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 28 before proceeding to the Chapter 29.

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

Otherwise, read from the word go :)


Matthew and Tahatan left shortly after the table was cleared.  As he waited outside for Matthew, Tahatan could see his cousin speaking with some intensity at the door to Liz.  He saw Liz nod before Matthew leaned in to kiss her.  Matthew then descended down the porch steps and headed toward the car.  Tahatan climbed into the passenger’s seat as Matthew started the car up.  They could both see Liz standing on the porch with a shawl wrapped around herself as Matthew backed the car out of the driveway.
Carl was still inside with Dorothy.  He had overheard Matthew and Tahatan making their arrangements and expressed interest in going with them.  But Tahatan had insisted that it was better for just him and Matthew to go that time.
“We’ll talk again tomorrow,” Tahatan told Carl and Dorothy.  Then he added, “Dorothy gave me the two books she had taken from the property.  If there are any other items in your or any of your friends’ possession, I would highly suggest bringing them tomorrow.”
Now Matthew and Tahatan were in the car, passing the rows of houses and heading toward the hill that would take them up to the buildings on the Fleming property.
“So can you tell me a little more about what you found?” Matthew asked.
“Well it turns out that the affair between Maxine and Jared did not begin when he came to take over the business of Cedric and Margaret,” Tahatan replied.  “When Cedric had sent Maxine to a relative’s house throughout the duration of carrying the child she and Christian Andrews and conceived, they had sent her to live with Jared’s mother and father.  Jared was still in his early twenties at the time and was apparently taken by Maxine despite her condition which was considered less than favorable by many.
“Jared took pity on her and began to court her, in a way.  He couldn’t do it out in the open or even in front of his parents.  At least not until Maxine would have the baby.  Maxine was a charmer.  She knew how to appeal to a man’s needs and heartstrings.  Not to say that she didn’t have help.”
“What do you mean she had help?” Matthew asked.
“Well, one thing that seems to be an ongoing theme in Maxine’s writings is her telling of her spirit friends.  Voices, if you will.  And sometimes she would even see them manifest for a second or two only to disappear.  One in particular was her brother Nathaniel.  Another was one she claimed to be one of her lovers.”
“Her lover was a spirit?” Matthew asked frowning.
“At least that’s what the journals said,” Tahatan answered.  “That was between her time with Christian and the time Jared came up to stay with her after her parents died.  So she would basically meet up with this young man from another world, the spirit world down in the bottom level of the Fleming place.  And, mind you, this was also as she and Jared wrote to one another proclaiming their love.”
“Damn,” Matthew said.  “Little Maxine was busy.  But of course, she also could have just been nuts.”
Tahatan nodded.  “Perhaps.  But perhaps not.  Stranger things have happened.”
There was silence in the car before Tahatan spoke up again.  “Matthew, there is one area in particular that I would like to check out when we are there.”
“Really?  What is that?” Matthew asked.
“Well, in reading Maxine’s writings and even seeing some of the old blueprints of the Fleming property this morning, I have reason to believe that the Fleming property is a lot larger than it appears to be.”
“Come again?” Matthew said.
“Underground,” Tahatan said.  “I’m not even sure if James Livingston knew about it.”
“But didn’t he oversee the place being built?”
“He oversaw many things being built,” Tahatan replied.  “I’m surprised the man found time to sleep.  Livingston had handed that property completely over to Cedric to do with it what he pleased.  In reading the entries of the final years of his life, there seemed to be a touch of regret in the tone of his writing.  Of course, one could say that the demise of his dear friends the Flemings on the property could have been what prompted that regret.  But I think it was much more.  If you look closely, Livingston seems to offer some subtle clues without telling what it is.  Something that had to do with his second son, Samuel and someone named Hector.  I know that the journals in the library don’t include everything that James Livingston kept.  Both Dorothy and the librarian, Carol, told me that the family chose to keep some of them following his death.  One can only imagine what may be in there.  Maybe a lot more needed information.”
“And you said that you saw that Alexandrescu Castle in Romania interchanging with the Fleming place earlier?” Matthew asked.
“That’s right,” Tahatan said.  “But there is one other thing that James mentioned in his journal.  He wrote of being haunted by a small dark-haired girl who played the piano.  It started when he had visited the property just before its’ opening.  He had seen the girl take her own life, hanging herself.  Maxine, who was ten-years-old at the time, had claimed that she had seen the girl too and referred to the girl as the witch who haunted the room.”
“But the orphanage was brand new at the time.  It didn’t have time to have its’ ghosts yet,” Matthew said.  “Unless it was built on some burial grounds.  That’s always a possibility.”
“Well, being an Agnostic and a scientific man, this troubled James terribly,” Tahatan said.  “Of course he tried to find a logical explanation and it would come back to either he was losing his mind or the quantum physics theories that perhaps there are other worlds and planes around us.  However that was the only thing that troubled him.”
“What else was there?” Matthew asked.
“The girl that James saw,” Tahatan said.  “James claimed that the girl was a relative of his.  One that hadn’t even been born yet at the time.  He described her as being of a small build with long ebony hair, dark clothing, and that she looked too thin even for her small frame.  He even went as far to say that she had ‘his Samantha’s nose.’  He actually tried to save her, but she turned out to be nothing more than an apparition.  It left him distraught.  That I could definitely tell.”
“I don’t even know what to make of that,” Matthew said.  “I mean, I’ve heard of ghosts from the past coming back and haunting a place, but from the future?  Are you sure the Fleming Place isn’t on some burial ground and maybe James just thought he saw family resemblance of the girl?”
Tahatan shrugged.  “I can only tell you what I’ve read.  Unfortunately James isn’t here to tell his side of things.”
“I just…can’t even…” Matthew stammered.
“Well then you can only imagine how James felt when he experienced it,” Tahatan replied.  “His son, Lawrence, wrote an interesting story that Dorothy showed me passages from.  The Child with the Black Eyes.  Have you ever read it?”
“In college,” Matthew said, his blood running cold over the memory of seeing a child with black eyes in the barn when he was ten.  Nathaniel Fleming...or at least something that looked like him.  “That’s actually something I don’t like revisiting given what happened to me when I was a boy.”
“I understand,” Tahatan said.  “But sometimes you must confront your demons in order to win over them.”
Matthew and Tahatan were both silent as they finally approached the stone sign that stood at the bottom of the hill of the Fleming property.  Matthew turned the car and began making its’ way up the hill.
Tahatan spoke up again. “Matthew, there is one other thing.  It concerns Dorothy.”
“What is it?” Matthew asked immediately concerned.
“Before you came home,” Tahatan said, “I was in the study and I heard Dorothy speaking to someone.  The phone had rung so I didn’t think anything of it at first though I had an uneasy feeling.  I went upstairs to make sure everything was alright.  It turns out that she had thought she heard her mother coming home and calling up to her but the only ones in the house were Dorothy and myself at the time.”
“Oh God,” Matthew said beginning to feel sick.
“That’s not all,” Tahatan said.  “Dorothy got upset after that and when she did, the brush on her dressing table flew from its’ surface and onto the floor with no one or nothing physical there to move it.  At first I thought of a poltergeist and that is still a strong possibility.  That phenomenon usually occurs in young people who are going through some form of angst or trauma and I think it’s safe to say that Dorothy fits that.  But then I also found out that the dagger her friend Linda had, Dorothy had cut herself on it when they were all up here on Halloween before everything really started to happen.  And I know that is not your ordinary dagger.  I think we can all attest to that.”
Matthew remained silent, bringing the car up toward the top of the hill as he processed what had just been said to him.
“I’m not trying to upset you,” Tahatan said.  “Only to make you aware so that we can know what precautions to take.  That’s one of the reasons I wanted to come up here.  Dorothy also said that she was taken to Alexandrescu Castle after she had passed out.”
Matthew brought the car up to the top of the hill.
“Looks like we’re not alone here,” Tahatan said.
It was true.  Another car was parked near the front of the main building.
“God dammit, Carl!” Matthew exclaimed.  “He came up here by himself again!  I know he wants to help Dorothy but I told him specifically not to come up here!”
But the closer they got, the more Matthew was able to see that it wasn’t the car that belonged to Carl.  When the pulled up beside the car and put it in park, the emblem of the Our Lady of Fatima Church was on the hood of the car.
“It’s Father Louis’s car,” Matthew said.  “You said he was here this morning.”
“He was,” Tahatan replied.

“And his car is still here?” Matthew asked and got out of the car before Tahatan could even begin to reply.

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