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.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

PART 2: THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 38 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 38.  Everything else will be coming asap.  

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Part 2's Fifth Interlude before proceeding to the Chapter 38.

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 38

That afternoon, Gerard came in from working out in the garage when Violet came out to tell him that lunch was ready.  Cyril and Alice had gone out that day and the three Blakes couldn’t help feeling relieved to have them out of the house.  Dorothy had been able to make it down the stairs to join her grandparents.  The conversation was stilted but more pleasant than the night before.  Dorothy was also able to help her grandmother clean up the table.  Gerard had gone back outside to finish raking the leaves.  Dorothy looked out the kitchen window, watching her grandfather.  She noticed that her grandma Violet was watching her and giving her a small nod.
“I haven’t been outside in a couple weeks,” Dorothy said.
Violet gave her granddaughter a faint smile.  Dorothy went to the coat closet in the foyer and got her jacket out, slowly sliding it on.  The pain in her side was almost gone.
Dorothy opened up the front door and stepped outside.  The crisp, autumn air felt wonderful after weeks of being between a hospital room and inside the house.
The wind rustled the dark waves of her hair that brushed just below her shoulders.  She had thought about starting to style it again as she had only been brushing it out since the first time she had gotten out of the hospital.  The scent of the fallen leaves brought back memories of that night at the Fleming place.
Will I ever be able to just enjoy autumn again without being reminded of that? Dorothy thought.
Dorothy walked toward her grandfather who was raking at the side of the house.  The drying grass and leaves crunched beneath her shoes.
Gerard looked up as his granddaughter approached him.  In his seventies, he appeared about ten years younger with his build still strong, similar to his own father’s build.  His hair that had been black in his younger years was now a dark gray and his ruddy complexion set off the grayish-blue eyes he inherited from his father, Jonathan and grandfather, Charles.
Gerard gave his granddaughter a small smile.  “What do I owe this pleasure?” he asked.
Dorothy smiled back at him.  “Oh, I don’t know.  I just wanted to come outside for a little while.”
”Cabin fever?” Gerard asked.
“You can say that,” Dorothy replied.  She was able to kneel down and pick up a pile of leaves her grandfather had just raked.
“Oh be careful, sweetheart,” Gerard said and Dorothy stood back up and put the leaf pile into the garbage can Gerard was filling up.  “Don’t overdo it.  You’re still healing, remember.”
Dorothy sighed and looked over to the backyard that had been cleared of leaves.  She could see a heaping pile in the corner by the fence and immediately thought back to her childhood when Matthew would rake leaves into a pile that she, Linda, and Gail would take flying leaps into.  When her Uncle Ronald and Aunt Eunice would visit with their three sons, Dorothy and Cletus would have fun playing for hours in the large leaf piles.  For a moment, the world around her seemed to fade and she could see her father raking all the leaves in the yard into a large pile.  The aroma of pumpkin pie flowed out from the kitchen window as her mother prepared it for dessert.  Watching Matthew eagerly as he raked the last of the leaves where three little girls about six years old.  The little girls were Linda, Gail, and Dorothy.
Mr. Blake can we jump in now?!” a very impatient Gail cried.
Matthew’s handsome face looked at the three anxious girls and grinned.  “In a minute, Gail.  Have a little patience.”
Gail sighed and began pacing the yard.  Linda stood in her pink wool coat that matched the cap her blond curls poked out from.  She turned to the six year old Dorothy.
“Dorothy,” Linda said, “I really want to go in there but Betty Ann Smith told me that George and Carl said that there are a lot of snakes and spiders that hide in the leaves.  Is that true?”
Dorothy saw her six-year-old self shrug and then Matthew announced that the leaf pile was now ready for the girls to jump into.  Gail cheered and ran back over to her two friends.  Dorothy watched as the three little girls joined hands and ran over to the pile, diving in.
“Dorothy…” a voice called to her.
The aroma of pumpkin pie disappeared along with the images of her father standing watch as the three little girls jumped into the leaf pile.  The fragrance of the autumn leaves returned and the leaf pile at the corner of the fence now stood alone.
Dorothy turned back to see her grandfather looking at her with deep concern.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
Dorothy turned to look at the leaf pile once more and then turned back to her grandfather.  “I'm okay,” she said.  “Just had a memory, that’s all.”
Gerard nodded, his expression saying he understood.
Dorothy stood, racking her brain as she tried to figure out how to approach questioning her grandfather about their family’s history, remembering that her grandmother had said that it was a very sensitive subject for him.  But there were things she needed to know.
Dorothy took in a breath and said, “I was talking to grandma last night.  She came to see me in my room after supper.”
“I know,” Gerard said.  “She told me.  She mentioned you might want to talk.”
Relief went through Dorothy.  She was grateful that her grandmother had taken the first step of breaking the ice for her.  .  “Grandpa…I know it’s difficult for you to talk about some things,” Dorothy began.
“Dorothy,” Gerard said, “I agree that we should talk.  It won’t be easy, but there are things that…given what’s happening…you should definitely know.  I don’t know if it will help, but if anything maybe it will shed some light.”
Dorothy swallowed.  She wasn’t sure how much more she could handle.  She was still coming to terms with what she read in Maxine’s diary the night before.  That Hugh and Melinda Singleton aren’t my real great-grandparents…
Dorothy pushed the thought from her mind as she needed to focus on what her grandpa Blake was about to tell her.  Gerard motioned for his granddaughter to follow him to the back porch.  There were chairs and a small table they sat at.  As if on cue, Violet appeared in the doorway with hot coffee.
“Thought you too may want something to warm you up while you’re out here,” she said.
“Thanks grandma,” Dorothy said.
“Thanks, dearest,” Gerard told her.  Dorothy watched as her grandparents gave one another a quick kiss before Violet retreated back into the house.  She could see the love her grandparents still had for one another even after all these years of marriage.  At that moment, Dorothy hoped that decades from that day, that would be her and Carl.
But will he still want to be with me after he knows everything?  Should I tell him anything at all?
“So Carl called this morning, I see,” Gerard said interrupting her thoughts.
Dorothy took a sip of her coffee.  “Yes,” she said.
“He seems very concerned about you.”
Dorothy smiled but it evaporated when she began thinking of her parents and Tahatan missing along with her new discoveries.  She decided to be direct.
“Grandpa,” she said, “if you can…what exactly is it with our family?  The Blake side?”
Gerard stared down at his coffee cup and Dorothy could see his thoughts racing as though he were trying to figure out where exactly to begin.
Finally he said, “Dorothy, my parents and grandparents were amazing people and loved their children and grandchildren very much.  There was nothing any of them wouldn’t do for eachother, friends, and other family.  May parents…I still have yet to see a relationship that even came close to theirs.  What they went through and how devoted they remained to eachother after all of that…it would have broken most couples.  I’m sure they had their moments of low points where their relationship was stretched pretty thin, but in the end…they deeply loved eachother and that’s all there was to it.”
Gerard paused to take a sip of his coffee before continuing.
“I was a small child when I lost my grandfather Charles and then a little later, my grandfather Howahkan and my sister Willow.  My mother had been strong for my father after Charles’s death.  But Willow’s disappearance followed by Howahkan’s sudden death really shook her.  Even as a kid I could see a change in her though she tried to conceal it.  Shortly after they gave Willow a headstone, it was discovered that my mother was pregnant again.  Of course, she and my father were happy and perhaps that was what everyone needed to move on with their lives.  My grandmother Emma was over a lot to check on my mother while my father was at work and for maybe a month everything was fine.”
Gerard stared up at the clouds that rolled by.  “But that wouldn’t last.  One morning when us kids were all at the schoolhouse and dad was at work, Grandma Emma went over to the house as she always did to help my mother with the washing and preparing supper.  She went into the house and found my mother on the kitchen floor, passed out and bleeding.  Thankfully, the town doctor wasn’t far away and he was able to get there quickly.  It turned out that mom had miscarried the baby and lost blood to the point of passing out.  By the time we all got home from school, my father had already rushed home.  Mom was going to be alright, but of course…losing a child is always tragic and difficult to deal with.”
Dorothy watched her grandfather’s expression.  She could tell by his eyes that he was also thinking of her parents.  In more ways than one, that last part applied to them.
Gerard closed in his eyes for a moment, opening them again before continuing.
“It was the fourth loss for my parents in such a short time and the second time they had to deal with the loss of a child.  Dad tried to be a pillar of strength for mom and for all of us children.  Emma was there for us all too and I can even remember James and Samantha Livingston paying us a visit.  Jesse Livingston and his wife Heather would also periodically visit my parents and bring their kids to play with us.  But mom…she changed…”
Gerard’s voice trailed off and a faraway look formed in his eyes.  He poured himself some more coffee.  Dorothy could see the pain that still lingered after all these years.
“How had she changed?” Dorothy asked cautiously.
Gerard looked intently at his granddaughter and said, “Her mood changed.  It darkened.  She no longer seemed interested in taking care of us kids or even being with my father.  Grandma Emma seemed to be doing more to care for all of us than she was and my father…you can tell it was wearing him out.  Mom wouldn’t eat, she lost a lot of weight.  And I know you’ve seen pictures of Kimimela Blake so you would know that she was a small woman to begin with.  She couldn’t really afford to lose much without looking emaciated, which she did.  Her appearance almost frightend us children as we thought she was starting to look like a skeleton.  Dad would try to get her to eat but had little success.  And then one night when we were all at supper…dad was trying to get her to eat, even if it was just a little.  And then…she turned and glared at him.  With the most hateful expression I had ever seen and then she threw her bowl of hot soup at him.  She then screamed at him to never tell her what to do again.  Even as a kid…when I saw her eyes in that moment…it was like it wasn’t even her in there.  Her voice was different too.  It was deeper.  More throaty.  And as she yelled at my father, the water pitched fell to the floor…from the center of the table and smashed.”
Dorothy felt her heart lurch into her throat as she remembered the hairbrush and the broken water glass from supper the previous night.
“Thankfully, Emma was there and was able to calm her down but my mother even lashed out at her,” Gerard said.  “My poor father…I could see the helplessness he felt.  My brother Chaska saw it too and to this day, we would both be able to swear that we saw a large shadow on the far wall…sort of human but not quite.
“Anyway, I know dad was hesitant about telling others outside the family about what was happening.  He even made all of us kids promise to not say anything.  I think that was because he was afraid of the authorities locking her away somewhere and we would all learn later that that was far from what she needed.  And even though by that particular time the whole witch-hunting thing had become outdated, there were still those out for blood and I think that my father also feared…well, he didn’t want to lose his wife and I’ll leave it at that.
“At the time, the house felt different.  Strange, though I didn’t quite understand what it was back then.  All I knew was that home no longer felt as safe as it did before and my parents, who for as long as I could remember could hardly stand to be apart for even the time dad would go to work, were now so distant from eachother.  Dad still tried to care for her but I could see his apprehension.  Not because he didn’t love her but, well, she just wasn’t her anymore if that makes any sense.”
Gerard took a sip of coffee.  “Well, mom was deteriorating and getting worse.  There were times when, despite her frail state, she would demonstrate a lot of physical strength.  More than a woman her size typically should and that frightened all of us.  Dad wasn’t sleeping and there were times I think he was afraid of going into their bedroom alone with her.  He would go to work and then come home and try to care for our mother.  I really became frightened when I noticed dad hiding all of our pistols and shotguns.  He was also leary of us having kitchen knives, sharp objects, rope, anything that tied within easy reach.  I didn’t quite understand it then, but later I realized it was because dad was afraid of mom doing herself in.  Apparently, she had gotten that bad.  Thank God that Emma was there but something needed to be done about mom.
“I don’t know what all happened.  Remember, I was just a kid then.  But somehow, my father and grandmother came to the conclusion that mom needed…well…an exorcism.”
“An exorcism?” Dorothy asked.  Chills prickled her skin.
Gerard nodded.  “I know it seems drastic and don’t ask me how they came to that.  To this day, I don’t know.  But apparently something happened and it was enough for them to think it was necessary.  Chaska and I were very nebby kids and during that time, we snuck out of our bedrooms a lot to eavesdrop on my father and grandmother while mom slept.  There was one night when we caught pieces of a conversation that dad and grandma were having with the priest of our parish.  That was the first and only time I ever heard my father cry.  I could tell me was in shambles as grandma tried to be strong for him.  There was talk of possession and our priest mentioning how there might be a waiting period before the Church could do anything.  Of course, my father protested that he couldn’t wait and my mother needed help that very moment.  And you know what?  Neither my grandmother nor the priest disagreed with him.
“That was when the priest suggested that there might be another way.  We could hear Father Marcus telling them about some group that was outside of the Church that performed exorcisms.”
Dorothy frowned.  “An independent group of exorcists?”
Gerard shrugged.  “That’s what it seemed like.  All I know is that two days later, us kids were sent to stay at Grandma Emma’s.  I remember looking out the window and seeing Father Marcus enter our house with a group of people I had never seen before and would never see again after that but that was the extent of it.  Though I do remember…that night…having a strange dream where I saw Father Marcus and these people standing around my parents’ bed where my mother laid.  Now, I’m no expert on foreign languages, but what I heard these people reciting seemed to be some old Aramaic language.  Possibly ancient Hebrew, maybe.  Not Latin like one would normally expect.  I saw my mother, thrashing and then she began to levitate and that was when I woke up.
“It was the middle of the night and when I looked out the window to our house, I could see strange lights flickering in the window of my parents’ bedroom.  I don’t know how I went to sleep, but I was somehow able to.
“It was another two days before we were able to return home and when we did, the house did seem different.  More peaceful.  Like the house itself had awoken from a horrific nightmare and the remnants were fading out.  The house smelled of sage as I assume my father did a smudging ritual to cleanse anything that might have been lingering.  My father looked like he hadn’t slept in those days and apparently, he had been able to convince the Blacksmith he worked for to let him off for those needed three days.  But as exhausted as he was, I immediately noticed relief in his eyes.  I never saw that group of exorcists again after that and Father Marcus never mentioned them again either.  Neither did dad, come to think of it.  But whatever happened, it worked.
“Mom slept for two days straight after that but even in her sleep she seemed more at peace than she had recently at that time.  Grandma looked after us while dad went back to work.  Finally, mom woke up when Grandma was there.  All of us kids were in school and dad was at work.  According to Emma, mom was immediately asking for all of us, especially dad.  We all came home from school to find our mother awake and back to normal even if she was still emaciated from eating poorly.
“I’ll never forget my father coming home and seeing my mother for the first time again since Father Marcus brought that group.  Even as a kid at the age of thinking that seeing dad and mom kiss is repulsive, I was pretty choked up at watching them together again in that moment.”
Dorothy stared down at her near empty coffee cup feeling overwhelmed all over again.  Finally, she managed to ask, “Did Kimimela remember anything?”
Gerard shook his head.  “She couldn’t recall much of anything, especially what had occurred with the exorcism.  In fact, she seemed terribly upset when she found out and apologized profusely to my father and grandmother.  She cried when she did remember throwing the hot soup at dad.  But my father never showed any anger with her over it.
“Mom began eating again and slowly began looking healthy again.  She was able to resume being a wife and mother and that Christmas, dad and mom renewed their wedding vows.  They even stayed at the same hotel my Grandpa Charles had put them up at thirteen years prior when they were first married.
“After that, everything did return to I suppose what we would consider normal.  But…I could always sense something lingering off in the distance.  Biding its’ time…”
Gerard turned back and looked at his granddaughter.  “Dorothy, that creature that attacked you…do you remember it?”
Dorothy froze, feeling her heart pound as she nodded.
Gerard took in a breath.  “Did your father ever tell you what happened to him when he was a little boy?”
Dorothy slowly shook her head.
“Well, when he was ten…he was attacked in our barn.  I hoped to God that it was nothing more than a wild animal…but when I got out to that barn and saw the animals all frozen with fear…I could feel that presence again…”
“What are you saying, Grandpa?”
Just then, the door opened and Violet stepped out onto the porch.  She looked from her husband to her granddaughter with a knowing expression.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but Dorothy has a visitor,” she said.
Violet stepped aside and allowed Bernice out onto the porch.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

First Series Synopsis and Other News

Hey everyone,

The first series synopsis is now up in the synopsis section.

Check it out here :)  There will be a couple others and one for each book.

I've also decided to do the first draft of Book 2 for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  I have the second book outlined and some of the scenes down and that is something you can have before beginning to write for nanowrimo (can't enter Book 1 as that would totally be cheating).  It takes place in November and you have to write at least 50,000 words.  But even if I don't reach that 50,000 word mark, I will post what I do get finished here.  So either way, you will get at least the first few thousand words of a first draft for Book 2.

There is also a new interview up with me at Idol Features.  I talk a little of how "Bloodlines" came about.  :)

This began as a writing experiment of sorts and I do like where it's going.  I don't want to set a release date for the finished product yet until I have it at least proofread, but it will be sometime in 2014.  I want the finished product to be as good as I can make it.  As far as how it will be available, I want to do physical books (as I still mainly read in paper form) but it looks like the ebook will be available first due to production, costs, and the like.  I have a great graphic designer to do the book cover and I'm excited about how the end product will turn out.

And last but not least, I will be putting up the rest of Chapter 38 up today (Thursday) and maybe one more chapter :)  Thanks for your patience on that.  I know that most who have been following along seem to be okay with me posting "whenever" but I do try to not keep you guys waiting too long.  I like to go through the chapters before posting.  Even though it is supposed to be the raw, undedited first draft I like to make sure there are too much horrendous errors which is what happened when I posted what used to be Chapter 14 (chapters have changed a bit in the second draft) without looking through it before posting.  I swear sometimes I think my brain falls out of my head.

Thanks all and I look forward to bringing more :)

Tiffany

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First part of chapter 38

Hey all,

Here is the first part of chapter 38 and I'll be posting the rest later on.  Had a busy weekend at Horror Realm and I have some more news to report as well.  But for now, here is the first paragraph of chapter 38.



CHAPTER 38

That afternoon, Gerard came in from working out in the garage when Violet came out to tell him that lunch was ready.  Cyril and Alice had gone out that day and the three Blakes couldn’t help feeling relieved to have them out of the house.  Dorothy had been able to make it down the stairs to join her grandparents.  The conversation was stilted but more pleasant than the night before.  Dorothy was also able to help her grandmother clean up the table.  Gerard had gone back outside to finish raking the leaves.  Dorothy looked out the kitchen window, watching her grandfather.  She noticed that her grandma Violet was watching her and giving her a small nod.
“I haven’t been outside in a couple weeks,” Dorothy said.
Violet gave her granddaughter a faint smile.  Dorothy went to the coat closet in the foyer and got her jacket out, slowly sliding it on.  The pain in her side was almost gone.

Dorothy opened up the front door and stepped outside.  The crisp, autumn air felt wonderful after weeks of being between a hospital room and inside the house.

Monday, September 16, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Fifth Interlude (UNEDITED)

Here is PART 2's Fifth Interlude.  Everything else will be coming asap.  

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 37 before proceeding to the Fifth Interlude.

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 :)




FIFTH INTERLUDE

Matthew looked around.
What happened?  How did I end up here?
He was standing in the middle of a bedroom but the more he observed his surroundings, he began to notice that it resembled a dormroom than a home bedroom.  The floors were wooden and there was a bed beneath the window with a nightstand beside it and a desk in the center of the small room.  The room was dimly lit by a lamp on the desk and there was noise that came from a music box.
At least I think that’s music, he thought.  What is that?  It sounds terrible!
He walked over to where the music box was and then discovered that it didn’t look at all like any music boxes he had seen in his life.  Matthew stood in awe of the device that was the music force.  It was about the size of most table radios he had seen, but it looked like something Matthew would describe as being a hybrid between a small cinema screen and a typewriter.  The screen glowed and the words ‘Switchblade Symphony-Chains’ was highlighted.  Matthew grimace again at the sounds coming out from the laptop.  He then noticed a wide array of books on the desk.  A couple of them looked like school textbooks but there were others that looked to be fiction works in both hard and softback.  Matthew wasn’t familiar with most of the titles or the authors, but he did notice Bram Stoker’s Dracula, HP Lovecraft, and Dante’s The Divine Comedy.  His eyes then fell onto a book he was very familiar with.  American Ghost Stories.  He also noticed what looked to be a printed photocopy of Lawrence Livingston’s The Child with the Black Eyes along with other copies of his essays on dreams and demonology.
Matthew eyes began adjusting to the dim light.  He looked around and noticed more features in the room.  He noticed an unmade bed with sheets that looked to be a wine color and a black bedspread.  Some dark colored clothing was strewn on the bed.  There were more books on the shelf that was at the foot of the bed along with what looked to be some cosmetics.
Well I guess that means this is a woman’s room, Matthew thought.
Before he was able to take a look at more, the door of the room opened.  Matthew jumped backward as a young woman walked into the room and shut the door.  There was no place for Matthew to hide and he felt his heart pound as he searched for an explanation to give the girl when she found him in her bedroom.
He cleared his throat and said, “Miss, I’m sorry.  I—“ but cut his voice off when he noticed something strange.  She hadn’t seemed to have heard him.
“Miss?” he tried again.
The girl looked right at him, but said nothing.  It was as if she couldn’t see him at all.  Matthew was able to get a good look at her.  She wasn’t very tall and had a rather petite but curvy build.  She looked to be around Dorothy’s age, perhaps a year or two older.  Her thick, long, straight black hair hung down to her waist and she seemed to have a lighter olive skin tone.  Her eyes were dark brown and surrounded by dark eyeshadows and eyeliners.  Her lips were coated in what looked to be red lipstick with a black tint.  She wore what looked like black pants of a denim material that had strategically placed distressed holes and fishnet stockings underneath them with black lace up boots on her feet.  She wore a fitted long-sleeve shirt that had an intricate design and letters that spelled The Cure on the front.  Three necklaces where around her neck:  a long chain that held a crucifix, a shorter one with an Egyptian Onk and a choker that had a 19th century cameo.
Matthew watched as the girl walked passed him to her bed and picked up a long, black velvet coat.  She slipped in on and put up the attached hood.  With her long, dark hair, dark makeup, and now the hooded coat, Matthew thought she looked like a witch right out of a gothic picture show.  The girl then picked up a bag that she slung over her shoulder before leaving the room again, shutting the door behind her.
Matthew could hear the girl locking the door on the other side before her footsteps disappeared down the hall.  That was when the music changed and it was something Matthew was grateful for.  The song that came on after the ‘Switchblade Symphony’ song (or whatever that was) was one that was familiar to Matthew.  A piece by the composer Paganini.
But why am I here?  And how do I get out if this young lady locked me in the room?
Matthew surveyed his surroundings again and he began to feel a familiarity with the room.  He returned to the desk and noticed something he hadn’t before.  It looked to be a typed essay that was maybe four or five pages long.  An essay for a theology class.  Matthew stared at the writer’s name and the date on which the essay was written.

The Plight of Lilith
An essay by Joanna Livingston
November 16, 2001



Joanna’s instructor had also given her a 94% on the essay.  And for a reason Matthew couldn't explain, this also made him think of his nephew Cletus.

AUTHOR'S SIDE NOTE:  I do like the band Switchblade Symphony.  However, I was imagining how a 40-year-old man from the year 1931 who was born ten years before the turn of the 20th century would feel if he heard it.  :)
Here is the Switchblade Symphony song that is featured in this scene:



Saturday, September 14, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL 1931-1933: Chapter 37 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 37.  Everything else will be coming asap.  

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Fourth Interlude before proceeding to Chapter 37.

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 :)

PS- A bit of trivia:  The red hallway dream that Dorothy has (which appears more in the final chapters) is based on a recurring dream I actually had a couple years ago).



CHAPTER 37

It was nearly one in the morning and Dorothy still hadn’t fallen asleep.  She lay awake in the dark looking up at the ceiling and hearing nothing but the silence around her.  She lie in bed, her brain swimming and trying to absorb what she had read in Maxine’s diary.
Hugh and Melinda Singleton…who lived in upstate New York…and had a baby girl named Alice Rosalyn…or Jared and Maxine had the baby girl and gave her up to Hugh and Melinda for a large sum of money…they named her Alice…Alice Singleton…Grandma Whitman’s name before she was married…
Dorothy sat up slowly, barely feeling any physical pain that still lingered from her recent attack.  She was numb.  Physically and emotionally.  She looked toward the window, the light from the moon filtered in through the blue and cream curtains.
All these years…I thought Hugh and Melinda Singleton were my great-grandparents.  I thought Grandma Alice was their daughter.  But they weren’t.  Jared and Maxine were Grandma Alice’s real parents.  I wonder if she knew…they were the real grandparents of my mother and Aunt Roxanne and my…
Dorothy halted her thoughts as admitting the truth, what she had read in Maxine’s own writing, was almost too much to handle.
Come to think of it, Grandma Alice really does resemble the two of them more than the Singleton’s.  How could I not have noticed that before?  Aunt Roxanne had Maxine’s light blue eyes and mom has the same hair color…
Dorothy stopped her thoughts from running away again.  She just couldn’t allow herself to think of it anymore.  At least not tonight.
Dorothy lay back down and stared up at the dreamcatcher.  Thoughts of her father and mother lost began to assault her mind and she began to have visions of her mother slicing open her throat again.  She focused on the warm memories she had with her father’s side of the family which was quite the opposite of what she had of her mother’s family.  She tried to picture her great grandparents, Jonathan and Kimimela, from the photographs she had seen.  She remembered Gerard and Violet being just down the hall.  She remembered her father and mother happy and together.  She thought of Carl and of seeing him sitting out on his backporch earlier.
The thoughts made her feel better, though she still felt very unsettled.  Staring up at the dreamcatcher above her, Dorothy fell into a restless sleep.  She found herself in a corridor that had red carpeting and red walls with intricate gold patterns.  It was familiar.  She had been there before.
Dorothy began to slowly walk down the corridor, her bare feet touching the velvety carpet.  The end of the corridor was not in site but the white doors that were widely spaced apart.  There was evil here.  She could feel it.  But where?  Behind one of the doors?  Dorothy stopped at one of the doors and slowly pushed it open…
Before she could see what was on the other side, her eyes opened to see that the moonlight had been replaced by the morning sunrise.  She was able to hear her grandma Violet in the kitchen and it was likely that her grandpa Gerard had also gotten up to go work in the yard.  The Blakes had always typically been a family of early risers as opposed to the Whitmans.  Dorothy didn’t even have to guess that Cyril and Alice where still in bed sleeping in.
Dorothy sighed.  She didn’t want to think about her grandma Alice or anything from the night before.  Her mind was still in shambles over everything that had occurred.  It all seemed surreal.  Like a terrible dream she hadn’t woken from.
A dream…
She could see the red and gold corridor and the white doors.  She remembered.  It had been part of the dream she had when she was seven.
The red corridor and that creature…
She remembered the creature who had attacked her when her parents disappeared being there.
Dorothy sat up.  Try as she might, she couldn’t recall anymore details of the dream that had terrified her as a child.  She wasn’t sure if she wanted to remember anymore as a feeling of both terror and excitement filled her.  Dorothy looked at the phone on her desk, purposely avoiding her history textbook and the notes on the Flemings and Alexandrescus.  Her thoughts went to Carl and how he very likely was prolonging getting up for school as much as he could.  Even Mark and Emily were usually up before he was.  Dorothy knew that it was normal for Gladys to have to go to Carl’s bedroom at least three times in an attempt to get Carl out of bed.  Then he would finally and very begrudgingly get out of bed.  The entire Turner family would be down at the breakfast table when as Carl descended the stairs still buttoning his shirt.
A small smile crept over Dorothy’s face.  Carl never failed to lift her spirits, even if he wasn’t there to do so.  But she wanted to talk to him.  She wanted to hear his voice.  She wanted to see him.  She wanted him to tell her that everything would be alright.  That after she recovered and was back at school, everything would be back to normal.
But it wouldn’t be…the thought was sinister but held plenty of water.
It’s true, she thought.  Mom, Dad, Tahatan, and Father Louis are still missing.
Dorothy felt her throat beginning to swell as tears formed in her eyes.
What if they’re never found?  Or what if they’re found but…

She had been trying not to think in such a way but it was a reality she may have to face.  There were many realities just around the corner and Dorothy questioned whether she would be able to handle it.  Any of it.

~~~~~~

After breakfast, Dorothy sat at her desk trying to finish up a history assignment.  She had still managed to avoid looking at the notes and diary but her assignment on Romania also did not do too much to allow for forgetting the discovery in Maxine’s diary the previous night.  The Alexandrescus still looked out at her from their portraits printed in the pages of her textbook.
Dorothy did feel a little better as Carl had called her that morning after he had reached school.  The Blakes and Whitmans had finished a silent and rather awkward breakfast when the phone rang.  Luckily, Gerard had been the one to answer the phone.  Of course, Alice wore a look of disapproval when Carl was revealed to be the one calling but Gerard ignored her and handed Dorothy the phone.
Dorothy had tried to put up a cheerful front for Carl, but it wasn’t easy.  Facing her grandma Whitman after discovering what was written in Maxine’s diary was not easy and Dorothy’s emotions toward her maternal grandmother at that moment were a tangled mess.  On the one hand, she felt sorry for her.  She wondered if her grandmother knew and if she did know, just how much?  And how had she discovered the the truth of her parentage if she had?  And exactly how much did grandma Alice know about her birth parents?
Carl appeared to see through Dorothy’s facade of cheerfulness as he had asked her three times if she was sure everything was alright.  She had insisted that everything was fine and that she was just a little tired and sore.  Carl had said that he would call her that afternoon before he would be over to see her.
“And hopefully your grandmother will let me in,” Carl had said.
“I’ll let my grandpa and grandma Blake know that you’re coming,” Dorothy had replied while making sure Alice wasn’t in earshot.  “They’ll let you in.  Besides, Gail and Linda are also coming by to give me more schoolwork.”
“How’s that coming?” Carl asked.  “Are you getting caught up?”
“I think so,” she said.  “It’s just a lot to catch up on.  But I think I will be by the time I go back.  Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to being back at school.”
“Well I’m definitely looking forward to you being back in school,” he said.
Dorothy paused before she asked, “How are Evan and Bernice?”
“They’re good,” Carl said.  “Can’t keep their hands off eachother.  Like Jimmy and Linda.”
Dorothy felt a pain of nostalgia shoot through her at the mention of Jimmy and Linda.  All she wanted was for things to go back to the way they were before they all went up to the Fleming orphanage.
Dorothy finished the last of her history assignments and was relieved to be able to put them away.  Her eyes went over to the desk drawer where she had placed the diary and notes.  Her arm reached out and placed her hand on the drawer’s handle.

Pandora’s Box was opened on Halloween at the Fleming place, she thought.  And the six of us…we all contributed.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Some News and 2 or 3 Chapters to be Posted This Week Along with First Synopsis

Hey everyone,

I'll be posting 2 or 3 new chapters by the end of the week (Saturday).  We are getting down to the end of Book 1 and that's why I wanted to post the remainder of the first draft a bit quicker.  That way, I can allow the second draft (which I'm close to being done with) to properly "ferment" for a month or two before starting the third draft.

Also, after some considering and planning of the plots, I've decided that this is going to be a four or five book series.  I figure four main bloodlines so four books would be appropriate but for the time being, I'm leaving the possibility open for a fifth if needed :)

Also, I'll be compiling the first synopsis as well so that'll be here this week along with the next couple chapters to be posted.

So I should have the first synopsis/blurb ready soon and two-three more chapters should be posted by Saturday.

Have a fabulous week!
Tiffany


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Fourth Interlude (UNEDITED)

Here is Part 2's FOURTH INTERLUDE.  Everything else will be coming asap.  Still Chapter by Chapter but with more frequency than before.

If you are just catching up, see the CHAPTERS section to read the Prologue-Chapter 36 before proceeding to the Fourth Interlude.

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 :)




FOURTH INTERLUDE

Matthew held onto Willow, rocking her as he did Dorothy when she was the age Willow was at.
“How did you get here?” he absently asked her.  “Where did you go when you left?”
They were surrounded by mist and an open blackness.  Even the ground on which they stood didn’t seem to be an actual ground.  It seemed light, weightless.  Everything about there surroundings were.  But Willow was real.  Nearly eighty years after her disappearance she had been found.  Matthew thought about taking her back home, away from this…wherever this was.
Then he heard the other voices.  “Matthew!” they echoed.
They were just as disjointed and disembodied as his and Willow’s had been.  But Matthew recognized them as being the voices of Tahatan and Father Louis.  They were close by, or at least sounded as if they were.
Matthew set Willow down, holding onto her hand and yelling, “I’m here!”
“Stay where you are, Matthew!  We’re coming!  At least I think so.”  It was Father Louis.
Matthew stood, surveying the mist that swirled on the ground below the black sky.
“Keep talking, Matthew,” Tahatan yelled.
Matthew opened his mouth to speak but turned his head when he noticed something different.  The hand that was holding onto Willow’s was now empty.  Willow was gone.
Matthew turned his head and began to frantically search for the little girl.
WILLOW!” he yelled.
Matthew began to run into the mist.  WILLOW!!”
“MATTHEW!”  The frantic voice of Tahatan pulsed through the void.
Matthew paid no attention and carried on in search of Willow despite hearing the voices of Tahatan and Father Louis as they were in persuit of him.
Willow, come back.  Please!  I want to take you out of here,”  Matthew cried beginning to feel defeated.  He heard Tahatan and Father Louis converse with one another but their words were lost on him.
Matthew continued through the mist in search of Willow.  He was filled with anguish and the thought of finding Willow was all he could think about.  The mist grew thicker as he continued.  He wondered how long he had been in this place.  It only seemed like he had been in there for maybe a half hour.  Forty minutes at the most.
As he continued on, his surroundings grew darker and there was no sign of Willow.  The voices of Tahatan and Father Louis also began to sound as though they were further away now.  Matthew looked behind him, only seeing dense mist around him and the black void above him.  He began to feel foolish for running from Tahatan and Father Louis.
What came over me?
He began to think about how if perhaps he would have stayed put, they all could have found a way to help Willow and get back to Plains.  To his family.
My family!
For the first time, he thought about the situation he was in.  How the three of them had disappeared from Plains and how Liz and Dorothy would be if he didn’t return and soon.  And Willow.  I’m not helping her or anyone being lost here.
The initial cloudiness that had filled his head just moments earlier evaporated and solidarity began to set in.  He began calling for Tahatan and Father Louis but to no avail.  Matthew turned back in the direction he had come from and was suddenly assaulted by a bright white light.  He blocked the light from entering his eyes, bring his arm up for protection.

The overpowering brightness of the white light began to dim just enough for Matthew to uncover his eyes and when he did, he was mesmerized by what he saw.  He could not take his eyes away from what towered in front of him.  A prism of every color imagninable (and some unimaginable) swirled in a circular motion in front of him.  It was the most magnificent and offsetting thing Matthew had ever seen.  Staring into it was soothing, lulling him into a trance state.  He no longer had any sense of time or his surroundings and he was unaware of Tahatan and Father Louis approaching where he stood just in time to see the prism swallow Matthew up.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

PART 2, 1931-1933: THE FIRST EVIL: Chapter 36 (UNEDITED)

Here is Chapter 36.  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 35 before proceeding to the Chapter 36.

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 36

Dorothy’s gaze was fixated on the phone and it was as though everything else around her had ceased to exist.  In that moment, all that mattered to her was that phone and what may come from just one phone call.  She thought about Carl and wondered what he was doing at that moment.  In any normal circumstances, he may be out somewhere with George, Evan, and possibly even Jimmy and Reginald would be with them if they weren’t already doing something with Linda and Gail.  But with the new town curfew, that wasn’t likely the case.
Dorothy closed her eyes.  For a quick moment, her mind seemed to leave her and travel the town.  A shimmering halo surrounded the picture she had.  She came to Carl’s house.  Dorothy could see her boyfriend sitting outside on his back porch smoking a cigarette and seeming to be very deep in thought.  Suddenly, Dorothy felt herself being pulled back and she opened her eyes back up with a start.  She sat at her desk breathing heavily.
Did I really see Carl just now or did I just imagine him as I think he would be?
Dorothy recalled Tahatan and his experience before he, her father, and Father Louis disappeared.  He had left his body and traveled somewhere else; that much had been apparent.  Dorothy knew that such abilities were not uncommon in the Obijwe-Sioux parts of her family but it was stressed that such things were not to be taken lightly if one should discover that he or she may possess such a gift.
Dorothy absently picked up her pen and began to write:
I felt like I was traveling…I know I did…and at the cemetery and then when I passed out in the washroom.  I know I didn’t just black out…but where did I go if I had left my body then?  And does this have anything to do with the disappearance of Willow?  And even that little gypsy boy I saw…and those two little demon children that attacked me on the Fleming property.
Dorothy turned the pages back to her notes on The Child with the Black Eyes and the passages Lawrence had written of on sleep and dreaming.  She had read of such things in the works of Poe and Lovecraft and she also knew that Lawrence Livingston had written several published essays on the dreamworld and even touched a little on demonology.  Dorothy shuddered at the idea of the latter.  She knew a little about the spirit world from her Catholic upbringing and Sioux-Ojibwe heritage.  The small amount she did know of demons was all she wanted to know.  She did find the parts about the dreamscape and some spirit travel in the Native American lore fascinating, but there was something about delving into the realm of the Fallen that made her nauseous to the point of wanting to vomit up every last content of her stomach before lying down on the floor drenched in a cold sweat.
Dorothy began to wonder if perhaps she just might have to enter a realm she had wanted to avoid.  Lawrence Livingston’s essays were also available at the library and Dorothy began to think on making a trip there as soon as she was able.
Or I can just call Carl right now and ask him to take me away from it all…
Dorothy’s thoughts where interrupted with a light tapping at her bedroom door.
“Yes?” Dorothy called tenatively, praying that her Grandma Whitman wasn’t on the other side.
“It’s only me, dear.”
Dorothy let out a relieved sigh at the sound of her Grandma Violet’s voice.
“Come in, grandma,” Dorothy said closing up her notebook.
The door opened and Violet Blake entered the room.  Violet was a woman in her sixties with gray hair that had once been a light brown.  Her light green eyes still had a youthful sparkle to them and while she may not have had access to all of the expensive anti-aging creams that Alice had, Violet’s complexion had barely a wrinkle.  Violet Hyland-Blake had been a striking beauty when she was younger and there were the photographs to confirm that.  Now in her old age, while she was still beautiful, she now carried a wisdom with that had replaced the girlish innocence of her younger years.
Dorothy could see the look of concern in her grandmother’s eyes as she shut the bedroom door.
“How do you feel, dear?” Violet asked.
Dorothy sighed.  “Alright, I guess.”
Violet sat down on the bed across from her granddaughter.  “You’ve been through a lot and I’m sorry you had to witness that spectacle at supper.  Your grandpa Gerard actually feels badly that he lost it with Alice in front of you.”
“Well everything he said was right,” Dorothy said.  “Grandma Whitman had no right to say those things.  Nothing’s ever right with her.  Even Grandpa Cyril.”
“To say she’s frustrating is an understatement, yes,” Violet said.  “But we all must remember that she too is going through the ordeal of having her child missing.”  Violet paused before continuing.  “Your grandfather Gerard is having quite a difficult time.”
Dorothy looked at her grandmother’s eyes.  Violet didn’t need to go any further than that as everyone in the family knew the story or at least part of it.
Gerard had only been five when he lost his grandfather Charles to falling from a roof.  Then two years later, his baby sister Willow disappeared and shortly after, his grandfather Howahkan died in his sleep.  Then there was Gerard’s first wife, Alicia, who died shortly after Joe was born.  It was two years after that he had met Violet.
Violet’s thoughts turned to her husband whom she had left downstairs in the sitting room.  Of course, there was much more to everything than what appeared on the surface when it came to the deaths and disappearances in the family and Gerard’s parents had also known that.  At the time, Jonathan and Kimimela had both tried to put on a strong exterior for their remaining children.  But Gerard had been as observant a child as his father had been.  Gerard’s older brother, Chaska, who was eleven at the time, also shared that trait.  Though they didn’t quite understand it as children, Chaska and Gerard could see the darkness threatening to overcome their mother and the fear their father had of such a thing occuring.  The two brothers could see that their father was very much aware that Kimimela was on the verge of being lost to him and the helplessness he was feeling of being unable to protect his wife.  There had been many nights when their grandmother Emma had come to the house.  On one of those particular nights, Chaska and Gerard had gotten out of bed and crept down the hall, passed the master bedroom where their mother lay sleeping (they had seen their father putting their very distressed mother to bed earlier as he tried his best to sooth her) and down to the study where their grandmother and father had sat talking in hushed voices behind a closed door.
From what Chaska and Gerard were able to hear, Jonathan was clearly upset and on the verge of tears as Emma worked at consoling him.  Chaska and Gerard had only been able to catch part of the conversation.

“I honestly don’t think I would be able to handle it if I lost her,” Jonathan said.  “If anything would break me to the point of no return, that would be it.  I’ve barely gotten through what happened to our little Willow…”
“Jonathan,” Emma said, “you need to have faith and stay strong.  Kimimela needs you.  Your children need you.  Trust me.  I grieved tremendously for your father and I still do.  But I keep going.  Why?  Because your father would never have wanted me to give up and I still have you children and the grandchildren here.  I have family and friends here.  I still have a life here that I need to live before I can go be with your father.”
“I feel like I’ve failed them.  As a husband and father I’m failing horribly,” Jonathan practically sobbed.
“Son, I know you’re going through a trying time and that does not mean you are a failure.  Nobody has it good all the time,” Emma said.  “I’ve seen you with Kimimela and the children enough to know that you are a wonderful husband and father.”
“I love her so much, mum.  I just want to keep her and our children safe.”
“I know.”
“There’s so much dark that’s surrounding us now.  I can feel it.  I can see it trying to take her!  There have been times recently where she hardly even seems like herself.  Sometimes she looks at me…it’s as though she doesn’t even recognize who I am!”
Emma paused before saying, “I can see that too.  But that’s why you must strengthen your faith and do what you promised Howahkan.  That you would look out for his daughter and love and cherish her.  Marriage is for better or for worse and you made those vows to Kimimela when you married her.  Of course I pray every night for you two and the children.  But maybe it would work better if you stopped wallowing in your own self-pity and did some praying yourself.”

As children, the idea of something dark trying to take their mother frightened and confused Chaska and Gerard.  They wondered if the dark thing their father and grandmother mentioned had anything to do with what happened to Willow.  And what of their grandfathers Charles and Howahkan?  As Gerard grew, he had developed a deeper understanding of what the dark things were, especially when his uncle Sunkwa would later leave his body on a spiritual quest and never return.
Violet knew that her husband had specific fears of what might have happened to Matthew, Liz, and Tahatan.  He didn’t even need to voice it to her.  After nearly fifty years of marriage, she knew her husband well enough to be able to see such things.  Gerard had also heard the descriptions of the creature that had attacked Dorothy.  He had then compared it to the thing Matthew had said attacked him in their barn thirty years ago.  While it wasn’t exactly like what had attacked Matthew as a boy, there were definitely similarities.  At the time of a young Matthew’s attack, Gerard had wanted to believe that it was simply some rogue, wild animal that had somehow gotten into the barn.  But when he had gone out to the barn with his shotgun (as Violet consoled their near hysterical son), all he had to do was step inside to understand that wasn’t the case.  Though it was gone by the time Gerard had gotten out there, the essence of it had lingered.  It was the thing that had nearly taken his mother and Gerard felt it again in the house of his youngest son and family.  Then there was also Dorothy’s outburst at dinner…
“Grandma?”
Violet turned back to see her granddaugther’s inquisitive eyes.  She gave Dorothy a smile and said, “I’m alright, dear.  You know our family has been through quite a lot over the years.”
Dorothy nodded.
“And no matter what Alice says,” Violet continued, “I think you’ve found yourself a nice young man in Carl.  Even your parents think so based on what they’ve told your grandfather and me.”  Violet ended her sentence by closing her eyes at the thought of her missing son, daughter-in-law, and nephew.  Dorothy felt a touch of sadness fill her as Violet opened her eyes and regarded her granddaughter again.
“Thank you,” Dorothy said.  “That means a lot.  I do love Carl.  Very much.”
“I can tell he feels the same way about you,” Violet said.  “I’ve been around long enough to be able to see things like that.”
“Well I’m glad at least you can see it,” Dorothy replied.
“Your grandpa Gerard does too.  He has a very high opinion of Carl.  Though don’t tell him I told you that.  I think he wants Carl to sweat things out just a little longer.”
Dorothy smiled at her grandmother before growing serious at the thought she was having.  “Grandma…what do you think is going on with our family?  It seems to span at least back to Jonathan and Kimimela.”
Violet looked intently at her granddaughter and said, “I’m not sure.  I just know it isn’t good.”
Dorothy then drew in a breath and asked, “Why do think…that happened at dinner I got angry with Grandma Alice?  It happened before too.  Right before my parents, Tahatan, and Father Louis disappeared…I got angry and snapped at my mother.  I still feel horrible about it.  But when it happened…that brush slid from the dresser onto the floor.”  Dorothy pointed to the brush that now sat on her dressing table.
Violet’s eyes widened and then her face grew solemn.
“Please, tell me,” Dorothy begged.  “I know my great grandmother Kimimela went through a dark spiritual time, as some family members put it.  What happened?  Was it anything like what is happening to me?”
Violet sighed and shook her head.  “I’m afraid you’ll have to talk to your grandfather about it.  While his parents were truly wonderful people, those aren’t memories he likes to revisit so I can’t promise enthusiasm on his end to discuss it.  But, I think if you explain to him what you have been going through…I think he’ll be willing to tell you at least some of it.  Especially if you stress on how important it is that you know for your own well-being.”
“Thanks grandma,” Dorothy said.  “Maybe I’ll talk to him in the morning.  Would that be best?”
“That would be, yes,” Violet said.  “Your grandfather is pretty drained right now after what happened at dinner.”
Dorothy nodded.  “Okay.  I want to do some more research of my own anyway.  He’s not angry with me, is he?”
Violet drew in a breath.  “No.  But he is worried.  Very worried.”
“What do you think of all this, grandma?”
“I think…that there are things of this world that aren’t able to be explained or comprehended by the human mind.  I think there is evil and dark spirits that influence such evil.”
Dorothy could see how troubled her grandmother was and decided not to press the issue with her further.  At least for that time being.  Dorothy looked back down at her desk where her notes were.
“I think I’m going to finish up something I was working on,” Dorothy said.
“Alright,” Violet said with a faint smile.  “Remember if you need anything, your grandpa Gerard and I are right down the hall.”
“Thank you,” Dorothy said.
Violet gently hugged her granddaughter.  “Goodnight, dear.”
“Goodnight grandma.  And thank you again.”
After Violet left the room, Dorothy turned back to her desk and looked over what she had just written.  She knew that trying to do anymore schoolwork would be futile at this point.  She picked up the small packet of Tahatan’s notes and findings.  Then she looked to Maxine’s diary and shuddered at the site of it.
Dorothy re-opened the notebook with what she had written down on Alexandrescu Castle, the Fleming Orphanage, and Lawrence Livingston’s writings.  She knew from reading some of his essays that Lawrence came to want to study the dreamscape realm at the age of fourteen after having a disturbing dream of his father.  What had been even more disturbing than the dream itself was that all but the dream’s ending mirrored what had been happening at the moment Lawrence was having the dream.  In the dream before waking, Lawrence had seen his father James killed by a black eyed child.  It would be until a later essay that the child would be revealed as Nathaniel Fleming—who had been already deceased at the time—or at least something that resumed his image.  The incident had posed many questions for a young Lawrence.  Had he simply been dreaming with the entire thing in his head or had he actually left his body and saw an alternate ending of what could have happened to his father.  Had the dream been a warning?  After James Livingston had passed away, Lawrence revealed in another essay that his father had been about to answer the door when he had stopped him just in time.  Even James was mystified and amazed by the entire event as he had written in his own journal toward the end of his life.
Dorothy looked down at the passages she had highlighted from Lawrence Livingston’s The Child with the Black Eyes.  Everything Lawrence had written of seemed to be of a person’s senses being heightened when they reached a certain state.  He questioned whether a person deemed insane truly was insane or if their sense had just been heightened to be able to see another reality that everyone else could not.  What would truly happened if we allowed our brains to be completely turned on instead of only using portions of it?  What would we see or hear?  Lawrence also wrote of the possibilities of veils and portals that may allow for passage to other dimensions, realms, and even time periods.  Dorothy then recalled a quote made by her great great grandfather Howahkan.
‘Sleep is probably the closest to a physical death as one can get.’
Dorothy shuddered as every possibility of what could occur should that quote have truth to it, particularly in her case.  She turned back to her notes on The Child with the Black Eyes and remembered the two black-eyed children and also remembered Lawrence’s account of a black-eyed Nathaniel.
Who or what are these children?  Dorothy thought?  Demons?  Some sort of manifestation?  Or something from another world altogether that isn’t yet accounted for?  They said Maxine was crazy.  Was she?  Or did she just have her senses heightened to where she could see things other people couldn’t?  Maybe she really did see her deceased brother the night Jared was killed…
Dorothy then turned in her History textbook to the section on the Alexandrescus.  She sat recalling Linda’s claim of someone who looked identical to Anton selling her the dagger and the rest of the strange things that had occurred for her friend on the trip to Maine.  Dorothy then thought of Carl’s observation of the St. Michael statue that guarded the Fleming burial site.  While the Alexandrescus are interred at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Romania
Dorothy still considered that it could be a mere coincidence.  After all, in what way could the Flemings and the Alexandrescus possibly be connected?
Then something else occurred to Dorothy.
“In almost every dream I’ve had where I’ve been at Alexandrescu Castle, I somehow end up back at the Fleming property or vice versa…” she said to herself.  “And the gypsy boy I keep seeing there…”
Dorothy skimmed down the passage in her textbook on the Alexandrescu family stopping at the part that mentioned Dmitri’s death.  The passage glossed over it, only mentioning that the nineteen year old heir had been killed by one of their Rom or “gypsy” slaves.  The words of the little boy came back to her:  “I can’t find my brother.”
It jogged her memory of a few more obscure articles blatantly told of the male gypsy slave deeply slicing Dmitri’s throat to the point of nearly decapitating him.
“Dmitri must have done something really rotten to him,” Dorothy said dryly as she turned a page in her notebook and wrote down what she had just recalled.  From what she read on the Alexandrescu’s cruelty to their slaves, such a notion didn’t surprise her at all.
A lot of sources didn’t go into any detail of the gypsy who had committed the act, but there was one that Dorothy had read about a year ago that even had stated the young gypsy man’s name, though she could remember the name given at that moment.  But she did remember that the article had stated that the young man had been a slave of the Alexanderescu family since the age of 8 until age 19 when he would brake into the castle and murder Dimitri in his sleep.
Dorothy had also never been able to find any sources that explained why the young gypsy man had committed the act.  Surely there had to have been a good reason for such a heinous crime…at least one would think.  Most explanations offered simply put the young gypsy slave as being a murderous madman and while Dmitri’s father had put a handsome price on his head, the young gypsy man had never been caught.
“If I could only remember what that article said his name was!  Maybe I can even somehow help that little boy.”
Dorothy sighed and threw her pen down on top of the notebook page she had been writing on.  She took a short break to massage her temples.  She looked over at the still closed diary that Maxine Fleming once wrote in along with Tahatan’s notes.  She picked up the small stack with Tahatan’s handwriting.  What she saw at the top of the stack made her heart nearly stop.
Tahatan had labeled the top of the paper Blueprints for the Fleming Orphanage.  Dorothy continued to read.
There is something terribly not right about the Fleming property and the way it is built and set up.  It is very subtle in the blueprint, and one may not even notice it unless he or she were looking.  But there is reason to believe that the Fleming property is not what it appears to be at all.  Meaning that it is actually much larger than what we can see of its’ exterior.  Even James Livingston expressed his own suspicions on this in his writings.  The more one looks at that particular blueprint, the more it appears that there is a lower level somewhere on the property, possibly beginning at the main building.  It seems to stretch out for miles and doesn’t seem to have an end, at least from what I can see.
Where does it lead?  How did it get there?  Cedric Fleming was the one who put that blueprint together.  Apparantely he seemed to know something that everyone else, even potentially James Livingston, missed.  Why would James seem suspicious of it if there was nothing to worry about?  Are there connections between that lower level and all of their deaths?
The town lore states that the property could be on a hellmouth or some veil or vortex that leads to another dimension.  Well, there may be truth to the lore and sightings as I saw this morning, with Father Louis of Our Lady of Fatima Church as a witness, something over the stream in the woods conjoining the property that did NOT appear to be normal fog or mist.  In my own spiritual teachings and life experiences, I do believe in other planes and worlds with other beings that may be beyond human comprehension.
Dorothy stopped reading and turned to the next page.
Following her ended affair with Christian Andrews, Maxine writings in her diary were very limited.  But the one entry that she did write was about how she would take to the lower level for comfort (so it is true).  She wrote of a labyrinth that began beneath the main building and didn’t seem to have an end to it.  She never mentioned how it was there (at least from what I can see right now…that may change later) but she mentioned a young man she would meet up with down there and have relations with.  She simply called him Pierre and gave no real description of him other than the fact that she found him to be very handsome.  I wonder why she wouldn’t even describe him in her own diary.  Perhaps it could have been while she was carrying on a secret long distance romance with her cousin Jared.  But Jared wasn’t around to view it…so why even the secrecy there?  Maxine also mentioned someone from down in the labyrinth she called Lila but there was no other elaboration beyond that.  After that, there is a large time gap in her diary up until after the deaths of her parents and her relationship with Jared came into full bloom.  I have reason to believe that Maxine knew more about her parents’ deaths than she let on.  And then there’s the part about the child she had with Jared…
Dorothy stopped reading at the mention of a child that Maxine had had with Jared.
“There was never any mention of that before…”
Her heart pounded at the new find as she slowly reached for Maxine’s diary.
I have to see this in Maxine’s own handwriting.
Dorothy carefully opened it and turned passed the page with Maxine’s inscription to the first entry.  Sure enough, it was all about Christian Andrews and their affair.  Maxine wrote of their secret meetings around town and on her parents’ property.  In some ways, Dorothy felt sorry for her as Maxine seemed like a woman who was genuinely in love.  Then came the entries that described them being together in ‘the married way’ with a great amount of detail but even those had a sweetness to them.  Some of them actually made her think about Carl and anticipating being with him that way sometime in the not too far off future.
Dorothy paged through the rest of the ‘Christian Andrews’ entries, skimming them for any potentially useful information.  There were a couple entries where a distressed Maxine had written of her mother’s disapproval of the relationship with Christian and Dorothy could tell from the manner in which Maxine wrote that Margaret’s disapproval upset Maxine terribly.  Then came the inevitable of Maxine’s pregnancy and how she and Christian had been forced to end their relationship.  She had been sent to live with her relatives who also happened to be the parents of her cousin Jared.  Despite the fact that he had a ladyfriend, Jared was taken by Maxine and the two of them had actually been together a couple times during Maxine’s stay there.  Dorothy got the impression that at that time, Maxine had been vulnerable and was simply looking for love somewhere.
Then Maxine delivered her baby, a little boy.  Dorothy read of her sorrow of giving the baby up and how she wasn’t allowed to even see Christian one last time as they gave the child to Christian and his wife before the Andrews would move up to Vermont.
I’ve truly lost all I’ve ever wanted in this world.  I wonder if he will ever think about me the way I will of him.  For always, Maxine had written.  And that had been her last entry for about a year until came the odd entry about the underground labyrinth, Pierre, and Lila.
But then there was something that made Dorothy’s blood run cold.
Father and mother finally paid.  It was a one sentence entry that was made after the deaths of Cedric and Margaret and there was nothing further.
Dorothy took in a breath and tried to keep her hand from shaking as she turned the page.  Then came the Jared Fleming entries.  And Dorothy noticed a difference between the manner in which Maxine had written of Christian and Jared.  While Maxine had been candid about her and Christian, it was almost beautiful and poetic to read.  When it came to her time with Jared, it was as though Maxine had become a completely different woman.  She was vulgar, crass, and used the word ‘fuck’ to describe her and Jared being together more times than Dorothy cared to see.
I suppose considering all the things that happened to her…people can change after one of more traumatic events…
There were some other strange writings about how she and Jared met up with Pierre and Lila down in the labyrinth.
“Who in the world are Pierre and Lila?” Dorothy wondered aloud beginning to feel very frustrated.
Then she finally came to the entries about her pregnancy to Jared, paging through a lot of it as there wasn’t really anything she hadn’t already read.  They had managed to keep the pregnancy a secret.  They made up an excuse about going to stay with a sick relative and left for four months when Maxine began to show.  They stayed with the family that would be adopting the baby, and paying Jared and Maxine well for it.
The couple lived upstate and were quite wealthy but unable to conceive a child.  Maxine wrote of the Singletons.
Dorothy stopped short at the name but continued reading, getting to Maxine mentioning Hugh and Melinda Singleton and how wonderful they were.
Dorothy’s heart lurched into her throat.  Hugh and Melinda Singelton?  Who live in upstate New York?

Dorothy’s heart pounded as she slowly paged through the diary, taking care not to miss a single word.  Then came Maxine’s recount of giving birth to a baby girl on July 20, 1866.  Hugh and Melinda had named her Alice Rosalyn Singleton.