Monday, September 30, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL: 1931-1933: Chapter 39 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 39. 

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 38 before proceeding to Chapter 39.

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

Otherwise, read from the word go :)  More coming soon :)

CHAPTER 39

Bernice entered the back porch looking more timid than Doroth was used to seeing her.
“Thank you, Mrs. Blake,” she said rather awkwardly.  Then she turned to look at Dorothy and Gerard who got up from his seat.
“I’ll leave you two girls alone,” he said.  “Dorothy, if you would like to continue later, we can.”
There’s more…? Dorothy thought looking up at her grandfather’s serious expression.
In fact, we should, came the urgent thought radiating from Gerard.  Dorothy nearly jumped back in her seat at being able to hear her grandfather’s thoughts in that moment.  But she managed to contain herself and nodded.  Then Gerard turned and gave Bernice a polite greeting before re-entering the house, leaving the two girls alone on the porch.
Dorothy looked up at Carl’s former steady, feeling her stomach flip.  What is she doing here?
Bernice’s dark eyes shifted to the floor at her red stiletto-covered feet.  “So…how are you feeling?”
Dorothy could see the other girl shifting her weight from one foot to the other.  She couldn’t help the slightly delightful feeling she got at seeing Bernice so uncomfortable in front of her.  It gave her a sense of power that she never felt before.  But as great as it felt, having in almost didn’t feel right.
Why do I need to feel hateful toward Bernice? Dorothy thought.  She never really did anything to me…except go steady with Carl last year…but she didn’t know I liked him.  No one knew at that time…
“Should I leave?” Bernice asked, interrupting Dorothy’s thoughts.
“No,” Dorothy quickly said.  “No.  I’m sorry.  Have a seat if you’d like.”
Bernice gave Dorothy a small smile and sat down at the table across from Dorothy and crossed her long, stockinged legs.  As usual, she was perfectly made up to look like a pinup from her dark eyeshadow down to her red lips.  Her black knee-length coat complemented her hourglass shape almost perfectly.
No wonder Carl was attracted to her, Dorothy thought glumly.  She couldn’t help feeling terribly plain in that moment.  She glanced down at her own brown slacks and powder blue sweater and her gray jacket that covered them.  She had put on some makeup that day but not to the extent of the girl in front of her (I don’t even know if I can ever pull something like that off…) and unlike Bernice, the only styling Dorothy had done to her hair in recent days was brushing it.
“Um, would you like some coffee?” Dorothy asked.
“Oh, no thank you,” Bernice answered.
The two girls were silent for another moment before Bernice spoke up again.  “Dorothy, I know you don’t think very much of me.”
Dorothy jolted at the remark.  “Why would you say that?”
“It’s alright.  A lot of girls in school don’t.”
“Well, I’m sorry if I made you feel that way,” Dorothy stammered.
Bernice looked at her wryly.  “Come on.  Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean.  Whenever we all go out as a group you barely say two words to me or even acknowledge that I’m even there.”
Dorothy stared at her, finding it hard to believe that Bernice would even care that they never really talked.  They had only been acquaintances at best before Dorothy had begun to go with Carl.  But what Bernice said was true.  Dorothy hadn’t made any effort to really talk to Bernice and didn’t really see any need to.  She remembered last year, trying to fight the feelings of resentment and jealousy she had toward Bernice as she watched her go with Carl for that entire schoolyear.  She remembered the pangs she felt, trying to look in the other direction when she would come across Carl and Bernice together.  Sometimes Carl would have his arm around her shoulders, sometimes she would be sitting in his lap, and other times they would be walking hand in hand.  Dorothy also remembered the time she had turned a corner as she headed to her next class and caught a glimpse of them necking in a secluded corner of the hall which was the most unpleasant encounter of them all.  Then there were the rumors and talk of Carl and Bernice having gone all the way.
Something Carl pretty much confirmed to me last week…
“Dorothy, forgive me for being blunt,” Bernice said, “but is this about Carl?  Because you do know I’m going with Evan now.”
Dorothy decided to be just as forward as Bernice was being.  “Well Bernice, I’m going to be honest too.  How many girls do you know are falling all over themselves to be chummy with their boyfriend’s former steady?”
Bernice nodded.  “Alright.  You do have a point.  I’ll agree that not many do.  But Dorothy, I do want you to know that I think you and Carl are good together.”
“You do?”
“Yeah, of course!  His favorite subject at school right now is anticipating you coming back.  I would actually like for us to be friends, Dorothy.  And I’m also glad to see Carl happy.  He’s a good guy and he deserves to be.”
Dorothy relaxed back in her seat, feeling silly all over again for feeling any sort of resentment toward Bernice.  And even if Bernice was after Carl again, I should trust him enough to not want to give in to her.
Dorothy sighed.  “I’m sorry, Bernice.  I would like for us to be friends too.  It would be nice to not have an awkward barrier when we are all out together.”
“I would too,” Bernice said.  “By the way, I’ve seen how Carl looks at you and how he is when he talks of you.  I can definitely tell you he’s smitten.”
Dorothy couldn’t help smiling at that thought.  “So, is there anything I should know about him?” she asked.
Bernice grinned and raised a beautifully tweased eyebrow.  “Oh, where to start.  Though I’m sure you know what you need to by now anyway.  Carl’s not exactly subtle.”
Dorothy laughed as Carl came out onto the backporch.
“Hey honey!” he said.  “Your grandmother said you’d be out here.”  He stopped when he saw Bernice, obviously surprised to see his former girlfriend there.
“Hey, Bernice,” Carl said.  “I didn’t know you were coming.”
“I just wanted to stop and see how Dorothy was,” Bernice said standing up.  “I’m actually going to get going and leave you two alone.  I told Evan I’d meet him at the soda fountain.  Thank God they’ve let up a little on the curfew.”  Bernice flinched at her last statement.  The reason the town’s municipality had loosened the curfew by another hour was because the cases in Dorothy’s attacks and the disappearance of her family and Father Louis were beginning to run cold.
“Sorry…” Bernice stammered.
Dorothy shook her head.  “It’s alright, Bernice,” she said feeling Carl’s hand on her shoulder.  “I’m not expecting everyone to put their lives on hold for my account.  Eventually we all have to move on, right?”
Silence fell over the three when Violet came out onto the backporch.  “Well it looks like what’s left of this coffee is getting cold,” she said.  “Can I get you all anything else?”
“No thanks, Mrs. Blake,” Carl said.
“Yeah I actually have to go meet someone,” Bernice said.
“I’m alright too, Grandma,” Dorothy added.
“Well then, I’ll just take this back into the kitchen then,” Violet replied picking up the coffee tray.
Dorothy and Carl saw Bernice to the door before Dorothy informed her grandmother that she and Carl would be headed upstairs.
“That’s fine, dear,” Violet said.  “Just keep the door open.”
“Gail and Linda will also be over soon,” Dorothy said.
Violet smiled.  “Well then I’ll send them up when they arrive.

Carl had carried Dorothy up to her bedroom despite her initial wanting to get up the stairs herself.
“I told you like carrying you,” he said grinning.  “I’d do it all the time if I could.”
Dorothy leaned her head on Carl’s shoulder.  “Well can I at least walk down the hall to my bedroom when we reach the top?”
“Mmm…I suppose,” Carl teased her.
When they reached her bedroom, Dorothy lit up the lamps on her desk and nightstand.  She could feel Carl’s hands on her waist as she made sure the light on the nightstand was bright enough and felt her heart beginning to pound at his touch.
“So how long before Linda and Gail get here?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” Dorothy said.  “Fifteen minutes maybe?  It depends on how long they take in parting with Jimmy and Reginald.”
The last sentence sent waves of regret through her.  “I wish everyone was able to just come over,” she said.  “Like they were back before…”  Her voice trailed off as a lump formed in her throat. 
“Baby,” Carl said, bringing his arms completely around to her front.  “I’m sure your parents, Tahatan, and Father Louis are alright.”
Of course, both knew the grim reality of the situation and the possibilities surrounding it.  What was even worse was that there was no real way to explain the situation.  Then there was what Dorothy now knew of her lineage on both sides, the truth of the Whitman side still hadn’t completely sunken in.  She just wanted to forget it all in that moment.
“I love you Carl,” she said.
“And I love you, Dorothy.”
She felt his lips on the top of her head and remembered the words they whispered to each other the night they had gone to the Fleming property.  When they had both unexpectedly asked the other to never leave.  Dorothy brought a hand up to her eyes as she tried to prevent tears from falling.
“Honey…” she heard Carl say.
“I’m alright,” Dorothy said, recovering.  “Just overwhelmed.”  She turned around and looked up into Carl’s concerened eyes before the tears fell from her own.
“I’m scared, Carl,” she said between sobs.  “I worry of what will happen if my parents are never found or…not found alive.  What will happen to me if they aren’t?!  My grandparents can’t stay here forever.  I guess I could go stay in Tennessee or Illinois with others on my father’s side of the family…but then that would mean leaving my friends and everything in the middle of my senior year.  Leaving you.  I also worry that Grandma Whitman will somehow insist that I go live with her and Grandpa Cyril.
“Carl, I’d rather die that go live with them.  I know that sounds horrible but its true!  I couldn’t live with Grandma Alice.  If she thinks she failed with bringing up mom and Aunt Roxanne, God only know how she’ll be with me…”
Carl held onto Dorothy as she thought, And you don’t even know the rest of what’s going on…you have no idea…
“Look, honey,” Carl said, “you know I meant it when I said I want to take care of you.  For the rest of my life.”
Dorothy looked at Carl, her heart thudding in her chest.  “You mean that?  No matter what?”
“Dorothy, of course!”
They were silent for another moment before Carl said, “Remember on December 1, only a couple weeks from now, you turn eighteen.”
Dorothy stared at him.  Of course!  With everything that had happened, she hadn’t given her pending birthday much thought.  You’ll also be the age Maxine was when she and Christian began their affair…and you know how that ended, a voice told her.  But Dorothy ignored it brought a hand to brush the side of Carl’s face before rising to softly kiss him, something that he very much welcomed.
“I’ve missed kissing you,” Carl said when they parted.  Then he paused and said, “And you can also get married when you turn eighteen without parental consent.  We can drive right down to Elkton, Maryland where there’s no waiting period either.”
Dorothy felt a rush of excitement at the idea before the reminder that the scenario involved her family not being there for the event set in.
“Honey, I’m sorry,” Carl said realizing his error.  “I know it would mean a lot to have your father give you away and have our families and our friends there and for Father Louis to officiate.”
Dorothy shook her head.  “You don’t need to apologize, Carl.  There’s nothing I would like more than to have both of our families present to see us get married.  But I also have to come to terms with the possibility of that never being able to be…”
Carl brought a hand back to her waist and felt the gauzed bandage that covered the large wound on her side through her sweater.
“How does your side feel, baby?” he asked.
Dorothy sighed.  “It’s getting better.  Still hurts a little.”
“Can I see?”
Dorothy paused before nodding and sitting down on the bed as Carl knelt in front of her.  Her breath hitched in her throat as Carl lifted her sweater to reveal the large piece of gauze and gingerly touched the bandage’s material.  The wound was still healing, taking longer to do so than the other ones.  There had been enough skin and tissue left on the area to be able to stitch up, but Dorothy still dreaded the large scar it would leave.  Yet another reminder of her attack.
Carl examined the bandage, shuddering as he saw the creature in his mind’s eye.  He drew in a breath and asked, “Baby, do you remember how this happened?”
The memories of that night flashed through her mind, from her mother’s disappearance to seeing the creature peer in at her from around the door.  She remembered standing by the phone on her desk, frozen with terror as she saw the thing crawl into the room, regarding her with such hate, yet there was almost a playful way to how it looked at her.  It even grinned at her, revealing its four rows of fangs.  The memories of the nightmare she had at the age of seven came back to her.  How that creature had devoured her and tore her seven-year-old body apart.  How she had woken up just in time before she had lost conciousness in dreamscape.  Don’t they say that if you die in your dream you die in real life…? a voice in the back of her mind taunted her.
Dorothy hid her face in her hands.  “It was horrible, Carl!”
“Honey,” Carl said gently, “I know its not easy to bring up…but I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.  When my dad shot at it…it didn’t even flinch!  It just escaped out the window down the hall!  And the way it looked at us…I’ll never forget it.”
Dorothy uncovered her face and looked toward the window.  She had heard the story of how Carl and his father had come across the creature overcoming her.  “And then my parents, Tahatan, and Father Louis went missing…and I at least know that my father, Tahatan, and Father Louis were up at the Fleming place.  But my mother…it’s as though she disappeared…and you know something?  I know next to nothing of how my Aunt Roxanne died.  Only that her husband had found her.  I hadn’t really given it much thought until now but with everything happening…”  Oh Carl…there’s so much I need to tell you…I just hope you won’t leave me once you know everything…
“Look, Dorothy.  Whatever you find out or need to talk about, I’m here.”
“I hope so,” Dorothy managed to say.
“Baby, of course!  Why would you even think otherwise?”
“I don’t know…you never know what you may find out about a person, I guess…”
“Dorothy, no matter what I love you.”
Dorothy looked at Carl and then shifted her eyes away.  She hoped Carl meant that and didn’t even want to think about revealing the things she knew to him only to have him turn away from her.
She was taken from her thoughts when she felt his lips on her stomach.  She let out a small gasp when she turned her eyes to see Carl moving his mouth to dip his tongue into her naval.
“Carl…”
“I want to make love to you, Dorothy.”
Dorothy felt a clinching between her legs as Carl’s lips traveled further up to where the scar in her chest began as he lifted her sweater.
She softly moaned and said, “But my grandparents are here…and Linda and Gail should be arriving any minute…”
Carl relented and placed her sweater back down.  “I just want to be alone with you.  Without any interruptions or distractions.”
“I do too,” Dorothy replied.
They both turned toward the door at the sound of a light tapping on the doorframe.  Violet was standing in the doorway with Gail and Linda.  The two girls entered the room with armloads of work for Dorothy and Violet retreated back downstairs.  Dorothy and Carl exchanged glances as the other two girls both began talking about the latest occurances at school.  There was much she needed to tell Carl before they could make any commitments in their relationship.  She looked at Tahatan’s notes and Maxine’s diary, praying he wouldn’t hold anything against her.


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