Friday, August 16, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 32 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 32.

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-PART 2: Third Interlude before proceeding to the Chapter 32.

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 32

Matthew’s eyes burned as he struggled with being able to see his surroundings as the thickness of the red and black smoke and fog began to dissipate leaving him lying in what appeared to be a black, empty void.  The last thing he remembered was being in the car with Tahatan.
But where had we been going?  And I could almost swear there was a third person with us?  Or maybe not…?
As Matthew slowly sat up, he could sense that he wasn’t alone.  He turned his head to see a little girl standing only a few feet away from him.  Matthew rose to standing as the small child walked toward him, staring up at him intently.  Her dark eyes told Matthew that she knew him, or at least thought she did.
“Are you my daddy?” she asked.  Her voice sounded disjointed, as though it weren’t coming from her but from the air that surrounded them.
Matthew’s voice caught in his throat at the question.  He had been told—especially when he was younger—that he resembled his grandfather Jonathan.  All Matthew could do at that moment was stare down in disbelief at his Aunt Willow.  His Aunt Willow who never grew up.  She stood in front of him as the precocious and well-spoken two-year-old that Matthew was told she was when the little girl had gone missing.
Willow had gotten a lot of her mother’s American Indian looks and wore a nightgown that was synonymous with the time she was born into.
The one she was likely wearing when she disappeared…
Matthew swallowed back the tears that threatened to spill down his face and shook his head.
“No, sweetheart,” he managed to utter out, his voice with the same disembodied quality.  There was so much of Willow’s mannerisms that reminded Matthew of Dorothy at that age.
Dorothy…that’s why we were in the car…driving to the Fleming place…
Everything that had occurred earlier that evening began coming back to Matthew and he remembered why he was there.  Suddenly, Willow began to cry as she said, “I can’t find my mommy and daddy…”
Matthew’s fatherly instincts began to take over as Willow’s small body shook with quiet sobs.
“There, there, honey,” Matthew said kneeling in front of the child as she brought her tiny balled up fists to her eyes.  He then gently took her and held her the way he had held Dorothy as a small child.  His heart broke for the little girl.  Had she really been wandering in this dark void for all those many years as her parents and siblings grew older and some of whom had passed on?
Matthew held onto the child, staring ahead as a rogue tear escaped down the side of his face.  That was when he heard his disembodied voice say, “I’ll get you out of here…”
Matthew was taken out from his thoughts as he heard two other disjointed voices calling out to him.

~~~~~~~

Dorothy awoke once again to unfamiliar surroundings, her head throbbing and her vision blurry.  As her eyes adjusted, she was able to see the early morning rays peering in through the windows of a hospital bedroom.  The same hospital she had woken up in after her abduction at the Fleming Place.  Dorothy shuddered at the memory.  She was sore.  Her side ached and it hurt to turn over.
What happened? she thought as she struggled to sit up.  How long have I been here?
Dorothy turned her head toward the door as it opened and in walked a nurse who looked at Dorothy with wide eyes.
“You’re finally awake!” the nurse cried.  There was relief in the young woman’s voice, but there was also a tinge of something else there too…
“How long have I been here?” Dorothy asked, taken a little aback at how scratchy her voice was.
“Three days,” the nurse said pouring Dorothy a cup of water and handing it to her.
Dorothy gratefully took the water and looked at the calendar on the wall by her bed to see that it had been three days.  “I was supposed to go back to school on Monday!” Dorothy cried.
“Well I think the doctor’s going to recommend staying put for another week,” the nurse said.
“Another week?!” Dorothy moaned.  “How am I going to catch up?”
Thanksgiving break was only a week and a half away and then everyone would be preparing for that semester’s finals.  The plan Dorothy had had in her mind was that she and Gail would both take a year off to work after graduation before attending University in Northeastern Pennsylvania (either Wilkes-Barre or Philadelphia) together that following year.
Of course that was also before I met Carl.  But I’m sure Carl wouldn’t expect me to give up my plans.  Maybe he can come too.  Get a job in the area.  We’ll probably be married by then anyway.  And many colleges have on campus housing for married couples.
Dorothy’s heart fluttered a little at that last thought.  Her engagement to Carl was still a secret, but Dorothy hoped that wouldn’t last very long.  Reginald also planned to attend University with Gail or at least in the same area she was attending and surely they would also be married by then.
We’ll just have to be sure to stay in touch with Jimmy and Linda…
The nurse gave Dorothy a half smile and shrugged.  “Well, while you figure that out,” the nurse said shaking Dorothy from her thoughts on the future, “I’ll let everyone downstairs know you are awake.”
“My parents and Tahatan?” Dorothy asked with hope in her voice.
The nurse shifted her gaze away and went to open the drapes at the window.
“Actually I think it’s the Turners who are here,” the nurse replied.  “And your grandfathers.  A Gerard Blake and a Cyril Whitman.”
“Oh,” Dorothy said, not at all disappointed about the possibility of seeing Carl but also wondering why her parents weren’t down in the waiting room.
Surely they know I’m here…and why are Grandpa Blake and Grandpa Whitman both here?
“I’ll let them know you’re awake,” the nurse said and quickly left the room.
Dorothy frowned as she was once again shut into the hospital room alone.  She found the nurse’s behavior to be very odd.  In fact, everything about what was going on seemed strange.
Even more than last time, if that’s at all possible…
Dorothy sat in bed, racking her brain and searching for reasons why at least one of her parents or even just Tahatan wouldn’t be there.  And the more she sat there, the more she began to recall things.
The little gypsy boy…being inside the castle…the hooded figures…the wheel…and then seeing dad holding a little girl…
The pain in her side throbbed and she also began remembering something else…a creature.
Glowing red eyes…
The door to her hospital room opened, wrenching Dorothy from her thoughts.  Sure enough, in walked Paul and Gladys Turner with Carl.  Behind them were Gerard Blake and Cyril Whitman.  Dorothy’s eyes went immediately over to Carl who seemed relieved and grateful that she had woken up.  Everyone else seemed that way too, but there was something else in the way they all regarded her that was as disconcerting as the nurse’s behavior when Dorothy had asked of her parents and Tahatan.  Dread began to gnaw at Dorothy though she did not want even begin to fathom the worst of possibilities.
“How are you feeling, dear?” Gladys asked her cheerfully.
Perhaps a little too cheerful.
Dorothy managed a smile and said, “I’m as alright as I can be, I suppose.  Grandpa Blake, Grandpa Whitman.  I didn’t even know you were planning on coming into town.  That’s a long trip for both of you.”
Cyril gave his granddaughter a small smile and said, “Yes, well Violet and your Grandmother Alice are both at the house.  In fact, I’ll go phone them right now to let them know that you are awake.”  With that, Cyril gave Dorothy a kiss on her forehead and left the room to go use the telephone in the lobby.
Dorothy then watched as her grandfather Gerard walked over to her and stood at the foot of her bed.  All three of the men present left the chair next to the bed for Gladys to sit in.
“Maybe your grandma Violet could make her famous chicken soup when we get you home,” Gerard said.
“That would be nice,” Dorothy said as she tried to put on a more upbeat demeanor.  But then she saw that look in her grandfather’s grayish-blue eyes.  The eyes he had inherited from his father, Jonathan.  Gerard had gotten most of his looks from Kimimela’s side and the gray-blue eyes of the Blake heritage stood out among the rest of his darker features.  And at that moment, they also fed Dorothy’s suspicion of something not being right about the situation.  She then looked to Carl who had the same expression in his own hazel-green eyes.  The tension in the room was growing thicker by the second.
Just then, Cyril walked back into the room and said, “Both of your grandmothers send you their love.”
“Thank you,” Dorothy said.  “I send them my love right back.”  Then she took in a breath and said, “So are my parents and Tahatan coming or are they at the house?”
Dorothy watched as the faces of all five individuals in the room froze.  To one observing, it would seem that those surrounding Dorothy had expected her to ask the question yet they were all dreading having to answer it.
“What’s wrong?” Dorothy asked as she looked to everyone and their worried, reluctant expressions.  The panic that had already begun to brew inside of her now began to bubble over at a boiling point when even Carl shifted his eyes away from her.
“Will someone tell me what’s going on?” Dorothy cried, not meaning to raise her voice as much as she had.
Then, Paul spoke up.  “Do you remember anything that happened?”

Dorothy shook her head.  Her heart was pounding hard and she could hear the blood rushing in her ears.  She could feel her body going numb as she heard Paul say, “Dorothy, I wish I could give you better news…your parents, Tahatan, and Father Louis have all been missing since Carl and I found you three nights ago.”

No comments:

Post a Comment