Thursday, August 22, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 34 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 34.  I'm going to try to post the rest of the first draft of Book 1 as quickly as possible.  Still Chapter by Chapter, but as quickly as possible :)

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 33 before proceeding to the Chapter 34.

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

Otherwise, read from the word go :)  Alot begins to happen in Chapter 35 so stay tuned :)




CHAPTER 34

“And sit on this, Alice,” Gail said as she stuck a middle finger up in the direction of closed front door.  “It can keep the pole you already have stuck up there company.”
Carl burst out laughing and Linda’s jaw dropped at her friend’s obscenity.
“Gail!” Linda scolded.
“Well, I couldn’t do it while we were in there,” Gail said.  “Anyway, why are you so upset about it?  Alice deserves that and a lot more.”
“I have to agree with Gail,” Carl said.  “Yes, she’s Dorothy’s grandmother and I know I should have more respect for her.  But you heard how she spoke to not only us but Dorothy’s grandma and grandpa Blake.  Alice practically treats Mr. and Mrs. Blake as though they are the hired help around here.  And then Cyril just lets her have run of the house.  And for her to just barge in and treat Dorothy like that…”
The three of them were down at the end of the small walkway the led up to the porch of the Blake house.  They ceased their conversation when Gerard came around the corner of the house holding a large bag of leaves in one hand and a rake in the other as he headed toward the garage.  Gerard stopped when he saw the kids at the end of the walkway.  He gave them a smile and small wave, lifting two fingers from the rake.  Linda, Gail, and Carl returned Gerard’s smile and wave back.
“Have a good night,” Gerard said.  His tone was much more gentle than it had been when he was speaking to Alice earlier.
“Thanks, you too Mr. Blake,” Carl called back.
Gail and Linda nodded in agreement with Carl and with another friendly but forlorn smile, Gerard disappeared into the side door of the garage.
“I can only imagine how hard this must be on him,” Carl said as he walked between the two girls on the sidewalk leaving the Blake house.
“Yeah,” Gail said.
“Well that’s why I thought Gail went a little too far with Alice just now,” Linda said.  “I mean…yeah, she wasn’t exactly nice to us and I would be beyond humiliated if my dad or mom talked to me that way in front of Jimmy and my friends.  But remember, she also has her daughter missing.  She may not really be that bad if you were able to catch her in a more normal situation.”
“I guess,” Gail said.  “But I always went with the notion that people reveal their true selves in a time of crisis.  I mean, you don’t see Dorothy’s grandma Blake being a major bitch and grandpa Blake still behaves like a human being.  I mean they’re obviously troubled.  Who wouldn’t be?  But they also have enough sense to realize that Dorothy does need to be with her friends now.  I get the feeling that if it where just Cyril and Alice here, Dorothy really would be locked up in her room.”
Linda sighed.  She had to agree that Gail did have a point even if she dealt with it in a less than lady-like fashion.
After a brief pause, Gail said, “You know, I hate to cause anyone more need to worry, but I am concerned about Dorothy.  Did anyone else see how she looked when we left?”
“You mean when Alice wouldn’t let me give Dorothy even a small kiss goodbye,” Carl replied.  “Yeah I saw.  Dorothy looked so beaten down.  I hate seeing her like that.  If you ask me, Alice makes the Gorgon Medusa seem appealing.”
“Dorothy said that Mrs. Whitman was also hard on her mother and Aunt Roxanne when they were growing up,” Linda added.
“Yeah,” Gail said.  “The Aunt Roxanne who died.  Remember?  When we were ten?”
The trio was silent for the rest of the walk home, each person deep in his or her own thoughts.  Carl saw Gail and Linda home before heading back to his own house for dinner.  The sun was setting and curfew would be in another hour.  Plains had certainly changed quite a bit, especially in the last week.  Normally, Carl would have been going out with Dorothy and their other friends to the soda fountain or some other hang out popular with the kids of Plains High School.  Now the town seemed so empty.  Desolate.  Carl chuckled to himself, amused at a thought he had about expecting to see a ball or two of tumbleweed bouncing down the road everything was so deserted.  It was one of those thoughts that reflect the seriousness of a situation yet is light enough to find enough humor to create an at least small feeling of solice.  Then his thoughts turned to Dorothy.  He really was concerned for her well-being.  For a reason Carl couldn’t explain even to himself, this situation was far graver than even the first time Dorothy had ended up in the hospital.  He knew he would never forget coming upon the creature as it was eating Dorothy alive for as long as he would be alive.  His heart still ached over seeing that large purple scar near the left side of her chest and he felt the anger begin to boil up inside of him all over again.
“Why are you doing this?” Carl asked whatever unseen dark force that might be out there listening.  “Why can’t you leave Dorothy alone?  Just leave us all alone.”
Carl then realized that he was standing in front of the Blakes’ house again.  It towered over him, outlined by the red and orange sky.  The house that only a week ago had been a warm, inviting place for him was now cold and unwelcoming even with Matthew’s parents and their apparent kindness present.  Carl could easily admit to himself that he hoped that whatever happened with Matthew and Liz Blake, it would be resolved and in a positive way.  Even in the short amount of time that he had known Tahatan, Carl had really grown to like him.  He also hoped that the Blakes’ priest would also return safely.
Carl thought about what was said of Dorothy’s Aunt Roxanne and her untimely death.  He remembered the way Dorothy had looked at him before he, Gail, and Linda had left.  He had never seen Dorothy look like that.  That sudden cold hopelessness that had come over her.  Carl shuddered as a feeling of dread came over him.
“Oh God, please not Dorothy,” he said.  “Please don’t let anything happen to her.  I really don’t know what I would do…”
Carl’s voice trailed off as he tried not to think of it.
I can’t dwell on the worst possible scenarios, he thought.  For Dorothy’s sake I can’t.  She’s depending on me to be strong for her.
Carl wasn’t sure just how much strength he would be able to have given everything that had happened.  But for Dorothy, he was willing to do anything.
Kill if I have to.
Carl stopped at the sudden thought that had entered his mind.  He hoped with every ounce of his being that it would never have to come to such a thing.  His hand when to the jacket pocket that carried the pocket knife that his father had given him.  Carl usually had it on him, even at school.  It was good to pick locks with if needed.  He remembered that he hadn’t had it with him the night they had all gone up to the Fleming place.
I wonder why I left it, Carl thought.
Carl was moved from his thoughts when he thought he saw a shadow move at the corner of his eyes.  The way he had in the sitting room at the Fleming place.  He turned his head to see the sidewalk empty.

Carl turned back to head home when he saw something move in his peripheral and then stop.  With his hand on his pocket knife, he turned in the direction of the figure and stopped short.  Staring back at him from across the street was the cemetery caretaker.  He had a rather strange look on his face and his eyes seemed to glow a bright red in the light of the sunset.  Carl’s heart began to pound in his chest as his grip tightened around his knife.  The caretaker seemed to peer right into him and almost seemed amused.  Keeping his eyes on the other man, Carl quickly began to walk away from the Blake house toward home.  As he broke into a run, he would almost be able to swear that he heard the caretaker laughing as he watched Carl run down the block.  And Carl didn’t stop running until the front door of his house had shut behind him.

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