Sunday, August 25, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 35 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 35.  As I said in the previous post, 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 34 before proceeding to the Chapter 35.

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 beginning to happen so stay tuned :)




CHAPTER 35

After supper, Dorothy sat at her desk trying to concentrate on Biology.  She was determined to catch up and be able to easily take the final exam for the end of the semester along with everyone else in her class.  And Biology was a nice break from everything else.  She had certainly had enough of History for a while.
Dinner had been terrible and that’s all there was to it.  Dorothy was surprised at how much strength she had actually recovered when she made her way down the stairs to the dining room.  Both of her grandfathers had been there to help her, but Dorothy was proud of herself that she was able to make it on her own for the most part.  The uplifting feeling was short lived when she sat down at the table and she was also surprised that she was able to keep her food down.  Of course Grandma Violet had made supper and her cooking was always superb.  But sitting at a table where her grandmother Alice sat with her prim posture and icy stare was torture.  Even with her side still in pain Dorothy managed to slouch just because she knew that it would make Alice crazy.  Dorothy had always been one to respect her elders, but there was something that had shifted in her when her grandmother had treated her in such an infantile fashion in front of her friends and boyfriend.  She was suddenly to a point at where she almost just didn’t care anymore.
Sure enough, Alice scolded Dorothy for her purposely bad posture.
“Good heavens, didn’t my daughter and her husband ever teach you that you are to sit like a lady at the table?” Alice had scolded while she ever so properly cut her Chicken Marsala.
“Gee grandmother.  I’m sorry.  I shall try to be more lady-like from now on,” Dorothy had replied.  There had been the slightest tinge of sarcasm in her voice that had gotten a glare from Alice.  Cyril turned his eyes downward as he chewed his food and even Gerard and Violet couldn’t help raising an eyebrow at their granddaugher’s tone.  Dorothy stared back at Alice as if she were challenging her to say something more.  Alice shifted her gaze and took a bit of her chicken, chewing and swallowing before saying, “It’s appalling how the young people today behave.  In my day, we had more respect for our elders.  And we certainly did not go traipsing about town looking like cheap floozies.  Like that Gretchen girl you are friends with.  She looks like she belongs in those awful jazz clubs.”
“Her name is Gail,” Dorothy stated as she began to cut her chicken more forcibly.
“Whatever,” Alice said reaching for her water glass.  “I don’t think you should be around a girl like that.  Girls like her are a very bad influence.  And that other girl.  That blonde?  She looks like she barely has two brain cells to rub together.  And don’t even get me started on that…boyfriend.  He looks like a hoodlum if I ever saw one.”
Dorothy dropped her fork on to her plate in anger as Gerard spoke up.
Alice, I think Dorothy is sensible enough to choose her friends wisely,” Gerard said.  “They all seem like very nice kids to me.”
“They would to you,” Alice said.
“And, pray tell, is that supposed to mean?” Violet demanded.
“I think you and Gerard are smart enough to figure that out, Violet,” Alice said coolly.  “You both raised your children less than favorably and it could only be expected that you would find a hoodlum, a harlot, and a bimbo appealing.  Of course you can’t be blamed.  You probably learned it from your parents.”
Gerard fumed but he managed to maintain his composure.  “My parents taught us all to think for ourselves and that was something Violet and I passed on to our children.”
Dorothy could feel anger she never felt before begin to boil inside of her.  She tried to focus on her chicken.
“And look at where it got you!  Your parents couldn’t look after their youngest daughter and now my Elizabeth is missing probably because of something that husband of hers did,” Alice retorted.
That did it for Gerard.  “Listen, Alice,” he said standing up.  “My parents were the best any child could have.  And furthermore.  When Violet and I met Liz for the first time she was timid and barely able to look us or anyone in the eye.  If anything, it was our Matthew who helped bring her out from her shell and helped her to grow as a person.”
Dorothy stared at her water glass.  She placed her hand upon it and could feel it vibrating.
“How dare you!” Alice yelled standing to face Gerard from across the table.  “Elizabeth was a respectable young lady until that son of yours got to her.  Dorothy still has potential to be one but who knows how long that will last now that she’s with that no good hood.”
Alice,” Cyril tried to interject.
“I can handle this, Cyril!” Alice shouted.
“WILL YOU STOP IT?!” Dorothy exploded.
All eyes turned to Dorothy as her water glass shattered.  The lights of the dining room flickered as Dorothy tried to regain control over herself.  She turned to look at Alice with an almost brooding hate piercing into her grandmother.  Dorothy thought she could see Alice flinch backward but manage to maintain her composure.
“I’m so tired of you talking to Grandpa and Grandma Blake like that,” Dorothy said.  “They have never done anything to you.  And don’t you dare say one more terrible thing about my father.  You are the most selfish person I’ve ever met!  Everything is always somebody else’s fault with you.  Well perhaps next time things aren’t going your way, look in a goddamn mirror!”
Alice stared at her granddaughter with a combination of anger, horror, and even some humility.  There was something else that Dorothy thought she saw.  A touch of sadness.  But in that moment, Dorothy didn’t care.  She was tired of Grandma Whitman pushing everyone around and while Gerard and Violet Blake would stand up to her, they could never be as vile in their words as Alice was to them.  No matter how many terrible things Alice accused them and their family of, the hearts of Gerard and Violet were too large to even consider bringing up Roxanne.
The remainder of supper was eaten in silence after Cyril and Gerard helped Dorothy clean up the broken glass and got her another glass of water.  After dinner was over, Dorothy managed to help Gerard and Violet clean up.  She moved through any pains that threatened to erupt, doing her best to push them back.  Dorothy was determined now more than ever to be back to completely functioning again.  And the sooner the better.
Cyril had retreated to Matthew’s study to read and Alice shut herself in the master bedroom.  Of course, Cyril and Alice had moved into the bedroom of Matthew and Liz while Gerard and Violet took the guest room at the end of the hall.  Dorothy could hear Gerard and Violet talking in the kitchen though she couldn’t hear what was being said.  She thought about going to the door and listening but decided against it.
Dorothy decided that she had enough of Biology.  Thinking about dinner had broken her concentration.  She turned to look at the phone that was still on her desk, grateful that Gerard and Violet had won the argument against Alice of allowing Dorothy to keep it in her room until she was well enough.  Dorothy was grateful as it was her only connection to the outside world.  Then there was the glass that had shattered when she stood up to Alice.  Dorothy looked at her dressing table at the hairbrush that had slid to the floor by itself only the previous week.
When I snapped at my mother…
Guilt began to overcome Dorothy as she wondered what her Grandma Whitman was doing in the master bedroom.  There was part of her that felt bad for Alice.  Dorothy was only ten when her Aunt Roxanne had passed away.  All she remembered of that was her mother being upset and going to stay at Gail’s while her parents went away upstate for the viewing and funeral service.  Sleeping over at Gail’s for a few days had been fun.  They had both stayed in Gail’s bedroom and Gail’s mother, Janine, had gotten them both along with Gail’s two older brothers up for school that first Thursday and Friday morning.  That Saturday, Linda had also come to stay over and the three of them had had a sleepover.  Dorothy had gone back home that Monday after school when her parents had returned home and Dorothy had actually at the time wished she could stay with Gail and her family.  There was still a lot of sadness in the Blake house that remained in the week following Roxanne’s funeral and burial.
Roxanne had been Liz’s older sister and was only 33 when she passed away.  Roxanne had been survived by her husband, Stewart Hawthorne.  Dorothy never knew Roxanne’s husband very well and had only met him a few times in her childhood, mainly on holidays.  But he seemed like a nice enough man and also seemed very shaken by his wife’s passing.  They had never had children as they were a couple who seemed to like to travel quite a bit and led a very active lifestyle that didn’t seem to involve children.  According to some who had known the Whitman girls growing up, Roxanne had been the more brazen out of her and Liz but Alice still managed to keep both of her daughters on a tight leash.
Over the years, the family had moved on and Roxanne’s death along with the cause was never outwardly discussed.  Dorothy had been to her aunt’s gravesite only once during a Thanksgiving Holiday.  She remembered standing and looking at the elaborate grave marker that had

Roxanne Ellen Whitman Hawthorne
1889-1923
“beloved daughter and wife”

etched into it.  It seemed that Alice had been pleased that Roxanne had married well as her husband Stewart had come from a well to do family.  This also pleased Cyril because as long as Alice was satisfied so was he.  Five years after Roxanne’s death, Stewart had gotten remarried and apparently stayed in touch with Cyril and Alice.
The more Dorothy thought about it, the more she realized how little she knew of her mother’s upbringing.  Although there were a few mysteries about the Blake family, Dorothy new her father’s side of the family very well and visits with them had always been open and warm, quite the opposite of the visits with the Whitman side.  She was definitely thankful to have her Grandpa and Grandma Blake there at this time.
I honestly don’t know what I would do if it was just me with Grandpa and Grandma Whitman.
The thought frightened Dorothy.  What would she have done if Gerard and Violet hadn’t come and kept things at least a little sane and normal for her?  Dorothy shuddered and shut her textbook.  She looked at the phone that still sat on her desk as she remembered Carl’s words to her the first time in the hospital:

“I want to marry you, Dorothy.”

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