Monday, November 18, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 50 (UNEDITED)

Chapter 50!

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section or scroll to previous posts (in case I don't update the CHAPTERS section right away) to read the Prologue-Chapter 49 before proceeding.

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

Otherwise, read from the word go :)

As I said before, we are in the home stretch here and Book 1 will be wrapping here soon!  I'm also on some other cool book projects too so stay tuned for those as well. :)

Remember as you read: NOTHING in here is filler.  Everything experienced by the characters has a purpose whether we see that purpose immediately or later on in the book or series.  :)



CHAPTER 50

Carl and Gail followed Daniel to the small cottage that was on a hill further up from the ocean.  Carl looked over at Gail to see that a lot of the color had drained from her face.  He gently touched her elbow and said, “Are you alright?”
Gail nodded but it was obvious that her body was reacting negatively to the injury in her shoulder.
Daniel turned to look back at them as he placed a key into the lock on the cottage’s front door.  “Not to worry,” he said.  “Mother can fix you up.  And your suitor is here too.”
Carl and Gail looked at one another as Daniel pushed the door open.  The interior of the cottage was warm and comfortable, the complete opposite from where they had just been.  Sitting at a small table was a woman of African descent who appeared to be in her late 40s or early 50s.  She still had a fairly youthful appearance despite some gray that peppered her black hair.  Across from her sat Reginald, drinking something out of a large, wooden cup and looking rather anxious.
The woman looked at the group entering her home and a knowing look crossed her eyes as the three entered.  Relief crossed Reginald’s face but then turned to concern when he saw the odd angle of Gail’s shoulder.
“Carl!  Oh Gail, baby, what happened?! Are you alright?” he exclaimed rushing over.
“Mephastofoles’ puppy was feeling a little too playful,” Gail replied.
“Daniel, you found them down there.  Thank Heaven!” the woman said.
Daniel turned back to Carl and Gail.  “This is my mother.”
“Call me Winifred,” she said.  “Daniel can keep calling me mother, though.”
Daniel smirked at his mother’s quip and the exchange put Carl and Gail at ease.
“Very nice to meet you, Winifred,” Carl said.  “I’m Carl and this is Gail.”
Gail winced as she gave Winifred a small polite wave while holding onto her injured shoulder.
“Now what happened to you, honey?” Winifered asked eyeing Gail. “Come on, sit down. We need to get you fixed.”
Winifred stood as Reginald, Daniel and Carl helped Gail to sit at the table.  Reginald knelt down beside Gail as she looked around wondering exactly how Winifred was going to help her shoulder.  There doesn’t seem to be any supplies here…
She glanced over at Carl who shrugged and Daniel gave her an encouraging nod.  She felt Reginald give her knee a small squeeze.  She looked down and returned the small smile he gave her.
Winifred returned to the table holding a bowl with a warm liquid and two small towels.  She set the bowl and towels on the table beside Gail.  The liquid content from the bowl smelled heavenly like a blend of several essential oils.
“I’m going to have to ask the young men to step into one of the other rooms or outside,” Winifred said.
Daniel and Carl nodded in agreement.  “Of course, mother,” Daniel said.  “I can take them outside for a little while.”
Reginald spoke up.  “Actually if you don’t mind, I’d like to stay with Gail.”
Daniel seemed a little surprised at Reginald’s request, unlike Carl.  Winifred narrowed her eyes at Reginald as if she were considering whether or not to allow that of him.  Finally, she relented.  “I’ll allow it,” she said.  “I suppose times really have changed since I was last in your world.”
Daniel and Carl excused themselves and exited the cottage.  Once they were out, Winifred turned to Gail and said, “Alright honey I’m going to have to ask you undo the top half of your nightwear.”  Winifred’s mouth pressed into a line making it clear that the idea of an unmarried woman being partially undressed in front of her suitor didn’t sit well with her but her focus was on resetting Gail’s shoulder and Reginald seemed to put Gail at ease.  As Gail slowly undid her top with the arm that was uninjured, Winifred handed her a towel to put over her front.  Gail glanced over at Reginald who still sat on the floor beside her as she placed the towel to cover her bare front.  The look in his eyes made her heart swell.  She was never one of those girls who could easily be swayed by hearts and flowers, but what made her fall for Reginald was his support of her.  In a world where a female having a love for reading and wanting to go to college for a higher eductation that involved classes other than home economics was still frowned upon in many areas of the world, Reginald had only wanted her to do what made her happy.  Sure, he’d love to have a family one day but when that would happen, would be something that both he and Gail wanted and were ready for.  Not because it was expected of them.
Reginald gave her hand a small squeeze, letting her know that he was there for her.  Gail gave him a small smile, appreciative of his being there.
As Winifred finished preparing her treatment for Gail’s shoulder, she caught a glimpse of the way the two regarded one another.  For a moment, she felt a swelling in her throat as tears threatened to spill.
Oh Jerimiah…
She was able to steel herself and head back over to tend to Gail.
“This isn’t going to hurt her, is it?” Reginald asked.
Gail rolled her eyes despite appreciating Reginald’s concern. “I’m not a delicate flower,” she said.  Though she had to admit she was a little nervous not knowing what exactly it was that Winifred planned on doing.
“I know, honey,” Reginald said.
“It shouldn’t hurt,” Winifred said.  “You may feel and hear a small crunching, though.  But other than that, all you should feel is heat.”
Winifred pulled up a chair next to Gail and began to soak the clothes into the water and oils, spreading them of Gail’s bare shoulder.  She then placed a firm hold on the shoulder and closed her eyes.  Reginald and Gail watched the older woman who is a deep concentration.  Gail gasped as she felt heat being transferred into the injured area.  The heat produced a relaxing, almost numbing, sensastion before she heard a crunch.  Gail froze.  Was that just my shoulder?
She could see Reginald wondered the same thing.  She looked at her shoulder as Winifred opened her eyes.
“That’s it?” Gail asked.
Winifred nodded.  “That is it.”
Gail moved her shoulder with caution and was elated to find it being able to move with ease even if it was a little sore.
“Don’t move it too much, though,” Winifred said.  “Not yet.  You’ll want to rest for a little longer before you use it again. Lie down over here.” She motioned to a cot over in the corner.
Gail adjusted her clothing while maintaining a respectful sense of modesty with Winifred around.  After Gail was situated on the cot, she asked, “Alright, so can I ask what’s going on here?  Why were we all brought here?”
Winifred’s face darkened as she brought a chair over to sit across from Reginald and Gail.  “There is much happening right now,” she said.  “And I’m afraid you all are in the line of fire.”
Reginald began to ask a question when he was interrupted by a knock at the door.  It opened a crack and they heard Daniel’s voice.  “Is it alright for us to come back in?”
“Yes, Daniel,” Winifred called back.
Daniel entered with Carl who looked troubled but he forced a smile.  “Daniel showed me the hot springs.”
“Is that why your feet no longer look like they were attacked by a weedwhacker?” Gail asked.
“The hot springs are healing,” Winifred said.
“How are you feeling, Gail?” Carl asked.  Gail looked up at her friend.  She could see the concern in his eyes along with something else that was very troubling.  Did Daniel tell him something about what is going on?  How bad is it?
“Much better,” Gail answered.  “Winifred fixed me up.”
She looked over to Winifred whose face grew serious.  “Carl, pull up a chair,” Winifred said.  “Now that you’re all here, I would like to speak with you about what’s happening.  At least what all I know.”
“Yeah, what’s going on?” Reginald asked.  “And why aren’t Jimmy, Linda, and Dorothy here?”
Winifred surveyed the group and drew in a breath.  “I’ll explain everything as best I could.  It’s just where to start as there is so much to tell and so little time to tell it.  Well, I suppose I should start from the beginning and explain what Daniel and I are.  And others like us.” She turned her head to look at Carl whose troubled expression grew.  There was a glint of pity and concern in her eyes before she continued.  “In this world…and I’m not simply talking of yours.  I’m talking of the world as an entirety.  There are different realms, different species, races, genuses, and all of us together are intertwined.  Some have even intermingled with one another, creating hybrids.  Things such as this date as far back as the first humans on the earth.  The veils between the worlds were easier to pass through and many non-human species and entities took advantage of that.  Many of them especially loved human males and females.  Their descendants are everywhere.  You can know one and not even realize it.”
“How do you know if you know one?” Gail asked.
“Well long ago, after the Earth was flooded, many of the veils were closed, though some beings were still able to find ways of passing through, particularly during an equinox or solstice.  But never enough for them to continue co-habitating with humans.  Eventually, the human race took back over your world though there were still some remnants of the world that was and still pockets for some to pass through a veil or portal.  In other words, the lineage is so old you wouldn’t know you were in the presence of one unless he or she revealed it to you somehow.  And that’s assuming that person actually knows it is in their lineage.  But they do find out eventually.  At least most of the time. Those who are descendents usually find themselves with different abilities and even physical traits differnt from one who is completely human.  Many of us have longer life spans and tend to age and a much slower rate than an average human.  That partially explains how my son and I are still here despite both of us being around when James Livingston was alive. I worked for him as a housekeeper in his holiday home in Plains, New York.  I would go once a week to clean and make sure everything was in order, sometimes twice if he and his wife were having company over there.  One family he and Mrs. Livingston would have over were the Flemings, especially when they were building that orphanage.”
“Yeah, you can say we’re all familiar with that place,” Reginald said.
Winifred nodded.  “I have no bones about saying that I never trusted the Flemings.  Cedric, definitely.  But even Margaret…there was also something about her that just didn’t sit well with me.  And their poor little Maxine.  That child just didn’t have a chance.” Winifred closed her eyes for a moment.
“Well…why didn’t you trust the Flemings?” Gail asked.
Winifred opened her eyes.  “When you’ve been around as long as I have, you develop a good sense for people. In fact, some of us have the ability to read into the minds of others. That was my husband Jeremiah’s strongpoint and Daniel inherited a little of that too. Of course the death of Cedric’s and Margaret’s little Nathaniel was a tragedy and I wished and wanted to believe that building the orphanage was nothing but well-intended.  But, when we are sent to your world, it is never without reason and that land they were building on…it wasn’t any place to be building on.”
“James Livingston sold him the property,” Reginald said.
“He did,” Winifred said. “And his intentions were good.  But Mr. Livingston was very pragmatic, stubborn, and didn’t put stock in anything supernatural.  At least not at that time.  So you can only imagine the challenge I had in trying to reach him.”
As Winifred spoke, the three were all wondering the same thing: if she had been around to work for James Livingston, just how old was she and Daniel? And she mentioned a husband, Jeremiah. Where was he?
Gail looked at Carl whose troubled expression grew. “Carl, are you alright?” she asked.
Carl looked from Gail to everyone else present in the room, the troubled look in his eyes growing.
“Carl, what is it?” Reginald asked.
Carl opened his mouth to speak and then looked to Daniel who had a slight expression of guilt in his eyes.  Winifred looked back at her son.
“I’m sorry, mother,” Daniel said. “When I took Carl down to the hot springs, he and I got to talking and I might have said too much too soon.”
Winifred closed her eyes and turned back to Carl, gazing intently at him.
“What do you mean?” Reginald asked. “Carl, what’s going on?”
Winifred placed a hand on Carl’s wrist and turned back to where Gail and Reginald sat. “I was hoping to ease you all into this, but I may as well come out with it now.  Dorothy is one of us.”
Reginald frowned. “What do you mean ‘one of you’?”
“She descends from the line or race that Daniel, myself, my husband, and my daughter Rebekah did.  As did her mother and father and those before them. The trait our genetics carry of aging slowly and living for possibly hundreds of years is very active in Dorothy.”
Gail and Reginald were silent before turning their eyes to Carl who had his eyes turned toward the floor.
“Carl,” Daniel began, “this does not have to be the end of things. You can still be with Dorothy if you want to be.”
Carl looked up at Daniel. “You told me you’ve been married twice and you’ve had to watch both of your wives grow old and die.”
“I did not say it was easy,” Daniel replied.
Carl rose from his chair fuming. “All I want is a life with Dorothy where she and I don’t have to worry about all the bullshit that has been happening!  She’s attacked twice, then her parents are missing, and now this…we were supposed to get married on Friday…”
Reginald looked at Gail with questioning eyes. She gave him a small nod of confirmation.
“Love is never easy, Carl,” Winifred said. “And no life is perfect.”
Carl paused, calming down a little. “How much does Dorothy know? She never said anything about this to me. And I know she’ll tell me anything.”
“She doesn’t know all of it,” said Winifred. “But she is about to turn eighteen, is she not?”
Carl nodded.
“It is normally between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one when a person begins to come into who they are and realize it,” Winifred explained. “It is also the time when they can decide to take what they have to a dark side or to move toward the light. You can rest assured, though, that Dorothy seems more inclined toward the light. The darkness is trying to tempt her over, though…” Winifred’s voice trailed off and she appeared to be deep in thought, contemplating. Dorothy’s lineage was more complicated than even she could explain and things weren’t about to get easier.
“When does the aging begin to slow down?” Reginald asked.
“That can occur at anytime between the ages of eighteen and forty,” Winifred replied. “The trait is like any other gene. Take for example, red hair. A lineage can carry that gene for sometimes generations with the trait lying dormant. Then all of a sudden, there is a generation where the trait becomes dominant. In Dorothy, it has. As I said, because it’s so strong, I would say that both of her parents carried the gene and it goes far back. Now don’t mistake that for us being invincible. We are not and can be killed just like any other human, though we can sustain injuries better.”
She looked back over a Carl and could read his thoughts from the look in his eyes. Yes, Daniel had been married twice and had to watch both of his wives grow old and pass away while he retained his youth. She knew Carl worried over growing old while Dorothy remained youthful.  Would she lose interest in him while she would still be able to have her pick of young men as he became an old man? How would others view them? Surely they would see him as the creepy old man who went after younger women. And then he would pass away as she continued to live for at least a hundred years more. What about children they may have? He also worried over how all of this would affect their families.  Would they even be able to live in New York or any other state in the United States or would they have to live in an area such as the one they were in? And would Dorothy always be fighting darkness? What of her safety? What else came with the mentioned trait? Unfortunately, much more. Would this entire ordeal change how she felt about him?
Winifred had only met the Blake family a couple times. She remembered Charles and Emma and how Charles would give someone the shirt off his back. She remembered how family oriented they all were and what a beautiful couple she thought Jonathan and Kimimela were. Her daughter Rebekah had been among those who exorcised the demon who tried to take Kimimela over. Of course, they didn’t know Rebekah was Winifred’s daughter. Then of course there was James Livingston who was not exactly what one would call spiritual. She remembered that summer solstice night in 1844 when she had returned to the Livingston holiday home to hide some protection herbs in one of the rooms where he would be the least likely to find them.  Of course, she had to come up with the excuse of looking for her reading spectacles. She had seen the look in his eyes and could see that he had experienced something that was far outside of his comfort zone. He had seen his descendant, Joanna, come through from the year 2002. Why that happened, she still wasn’t sure other than he had witnessed a veil shift close to the summer solstice.
Winifred reached across the table to squeeze Carl’s hand. “I know Dorothy loves you,” she said. “She needs you and you need her. Especially now as she adjusts during a very dangerous time. In fact, we can’t linger here too much longer. I’m getting a sense that Dorothy and Linda are headed for trouble and Jimmy is not in a good place.”
Gail sat up. “What do you mean?”
“I mean we have to leave and soon. I’ll explain as much as I can along the way.”

There was more Winifred needed to explain. Jimmy was lost. She could feel it. There was still hope for Dorothy, though and still hope for her father, Tahatan, and the priest to return. But she also had a vision of Linda and the delicate condition she was in, unbeknownst to everyone, including Linda herself. She just hoped she could get to where they all needed to be before it was too late.

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