Friday, November 29, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL, 1931-1933: Chapter 51 (UNEDITED)

Chapter 51 is finally here (all of it)!

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 50 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.  :)

I'm also set up on Smashwords and Wattpad now and I'll be posting those links soon. :)


CHAPTER 51

Linda rushed to the closet to grab some clothes for her and Dorothy. It was difficult to find clothes that would be appropriate for where they needed to go and what needed to be done. Linda sifted through the many skirts and dresses in search for only two pairs of slacks.  She finally was able to find them and grabbed two blouses. But then she had to look for a pair of flat shoes among all her pairs of high heels.
As Linda searched her closet, Dorothy took the candle and went over to the mirror, studying her reflection. The more she stared, the more distorted her features became. The reflection wavered and there seemed to be a portal of sorts forming.
“Dorothy…”
Dorothy’s concentration was broken at the sound of Linda’s voice. She turned and saw her friend looking from the mirror to her, wide-eyed and holding two pairs of slacks, two blouses, and what apparently was Linda’s only pair of flat shoes. Without saying another word, Linda handed her one of the slacks and a blouse.
“You saw that?” Dorothy asked, taking the clothes from Linda.
Linda nodded and the two girls dressed as quickly as they were able to.
Dorothy sifted through the notes and toward the end of Maxine’s diary. “I do believe that there is an underground labyrinth or tunnels that the Flemings knew of…Maxine spoke of it quite a bit in the latter parts of her diary.  I also think that many of Lawrence Livingston’s essays and stories stem from all these things that occurred here.”
“What does that have to do with Jimmy and me?” Linda asked.
“It could have more to do with you than you both think,” Dorothy said. A vision of Jimmy flashed before her. In the background, she saw the little gypsy boy. An image of Anton Alexandrescu towered over them. It was the first time Dorothy noticed small resemblances between Jimmy and the little boy, and Jimmy and Anton. Dorothy gasped.
“Dorothy, what is it?” she heard Linda say.
The image faded and Dorothy turned to see Linda’s questioning eyes. It all made sense now, why Linda was given the dagger. The dagger that once belonged to Nicolae. The dagger that Nicolae had given to Teresa to protect herself when she went alone to the rivers to take a bath. The dagger that Teresa used to lock and bind herself to the bloodline that only ended in tragedy for her in the end.
Jimmy is bound for the same hell she was in…Dorothy could hear the elements outside calling to her the way they had to her great grandmother Kimimela the day she met Jonathan. The flame on the candle burned brighter and Dorothy could feel its heat coursing through her veins.
“Dorothy…”
“We have to find Jimmy…”
Linda’s eyes grew wide with alarm. “Why?! Oh, please tell me nothing bad has happened to him! I don’t know what I’ll do! I’ll die!”
“Linda, please,” Dorothy said. “Don’t say that.”
“But Jimmy is my life!”
In the light of the candle, Dorothy could see her friend on the verge of tears. “Listen, Linda. If Jimmy is in some sort of trouble, getting worked up isn’t going to help. No matter what, we have to remain in control.”
Linda nodded though Dorothy could see that her friend wasn’t completely convinced. In fact, Dorothy wasn’t sure of how much control she would have over her emotions if it had been Carl. But the fire that burned in the candle was telling her that it was time. Time for her to do what she needed to do.
With more glance at Linda, Dorothy set the candle on the vanity table next to the full length mirror. She could hear the voices of her ancestors, all those from Sioux, Ojibwe, and ancient Ireland. She could hear them whispering as she focused her energy with theirs, drawing in the fire element from the flame. She heard Linda say her name again, but Dorothy maintained her stance. The energy she felt was intoxicating and made her feel invincible, as though nothing could touch her. She heard herself whisper something in a language she had never spoken before (Gaelic?). It was after that the energy calmed to a more tranquil state and Dorothy opened her eyes.
A stunned Linda looked from Dorothy to the full-length mirror that was now an open tunnel or portal. The room was now dark as the flame of the candle had burned down to a dying ember. Dorothy extended her hand to Linda who slowly accepted it. As the two girls joined hands, their energies combined and for an instant, Linda could feel the strength and energy that Dorothy felt and it was comforting and gave her more confidence in what they were about to do. As Dorothy felt the spirit of her ancestors, so did Linda. She felt the winds from the ocean as a ship from Norway carried her Viking ancestors.
Dorothy tried to share that energy with Linda, giving her just enough without completely diminishing her own and what she would need. But as they stepped up to the portal, Dorothy could feel something else. Another presence that was attached to Linda. Just before they stepped into the portal, Dorothy had brief glimpse of a tiny human body beginning to form itself inside its mother’s womb. She looked at Linda and then ahead into the portal as the two stepped through.

~~~~~~~

The two girls closed in on both sides of Jimmy, rubbing themselves up on him. The black of his eyes glistened as he felt himself harden at their caresses on his now shirtless chest. Lust and a rabid hunger consumed him as the girl in front of him (Did Gavril say her name was Ivanka?) slid her tongue down his front, stopping where the waistline of his pants were and pulling them down to allow his arousal loose. The girl behind him stroked his chest as Ivanka took him into her mouth. Jimmy let out a pleasured groan at the sensation as she began to feverishly suck.
Did Linda ever do this to you? A voice asked.
Jimmy couldn’t help snickering at the question. Never…

Somewhere far back, he felt a small twinge of guilt but that was quickly overshadowed by Ivanka quickening her pace as she took him deep into her mouth, almost touching her throat. He could hear the faint voices of everyone outside the room he and the two girls were in. The euphoria Ivanka brought him to drowned out those voices to mere droning in the background as Jimmy was brought to a near heartstopping climax. Ivanka swallowed every part of Jimmy’s release and looked up at him, running her forked tongue up his shaft. Normally Jimmy would have needed a rest after winding down from a climax, but this time, all he felt was more energy and a strong desire for even more. Ivanka read his desire and pulled him toward the bed with the other girl right behind them.

~~~~~~~

Dorothy and Linda exited the portal and ended up in the edge of a forest. There was a thick oppression in the air as the girls surveyed the woods that surrounded them.
“Where are we?” Linda asked.
Dorothy looked ahead to see a clearing not far from them. A clearing that led out to a field. She motioned for Linda to follow.
The girls made their way to the clearing and both could sense a presence looming nearby. One that was ominous and malevolent. Dorothy took Linda’s wrist so they wouldn’t somehow lose eachother.
That always happens in the ghost stories…someone gets separated or lost…
Dorothy also saw the tiny being that was just passed an embrionic phase as she held Linda by the wrist. She resisted the urge to look at Linda and reveal her concern. If Linda was pregnant, there was no doubt that Jimmy was the father. She recalled Linda’s words to her only a few short months ago:
If that happens, Jimmy and I will just get married sooner.

Dorothy bit her lip as she remembered the visions she had of Jimmy and the sensation she got of him that was dark and almost evil. She remembered Linda’s words earlier of how she would die without Jimmy.
Oh God please…don’t let any of that be…maybe my visions were wrong as I’ve just recently tapped into them…
But something in her said otherwise.
“Dorothy, is everything alright?” she heard Linda ask.
Dorothy turned back to her friend, seeing her blue eyes filled with worry. How could she answer her? There was no real gentle way of doing so.
“Linda,” Dorothy began, “I just want you to be prepared for the possibility of things not turning out the way you would have liked. The way any of us would have liked.”
“What do you mean?” Linda asked, the worry becoming more apparent.
Dorothy struggled with finding what to say next.
“Not Jimmy,” Linda said, her voice shaking. “Please nothing happening to Jimmy.”
Dorothy began an effort to answer her friend when images filled her mind. She saw Jimmy, his eyes glistening like two black onyx stones. He was on a bed with two girls who also had the black eyes…
Dorothy shut her eyes and forced the image from her mind. The image angered her. How could he do that Linda? She also felt the presence of Jimmy and the two girls not being far from them.
“Dorothy!” Linda cried. “Please tell me! What’s wrong? It is Jimmy, isn’t it?”
Dorothy swallowed and nodded.
“Oh God!” Linda exclaimed. “What is it?! Is he still alive? Did they hurt him? Please!”
Dorothy drew in a breath. “Jimmy…may not be himself now…”
Linda frowned. “What are you talking about?”
Dorothy looked ahead in the direction she felt the presence of Jimmy and the two girls. She motioned to Linda to follow her toward the clearing. “I think he’s nearby,” Dorothy said.
“Where?!” Linda asked.
“I don’t know. But we should probably keep our voices down until we know where we’re at.”
The two girls walked the short distance to the forest’s edge with Dorothy’s mind swimming. Jimmy did have a slight resemblance to the little gypsy boy and even a little to Anton Alexandrescu. But the question was, how was he related them if he was?
Dorothy and Linda reached the edge of the forest and looked out to see the Alexandrescu castle ahead of them.
Linda gasped. “Do you think Jimmy’s in there?”
Dorothy shook her head. “I don’t know. I just know he’s nearby…”
“What are we going to do?”
Dorothy felt the warm, powerful sensation in her veins again. She also noticed the pain in her side was almost non-existent. Normally by now, there would have been a tight soreness where her stitches were, but whatever was taking over her seemed to alleviate that. Her body began to pulse with energy and she could hear the elements around her whispering. Telling her to be aware and prepared.
“Just stay close and don’t let your guard down,” Dorothy said as the two girls began walking toward the castle.
They hadn’t gone very far when Dorothy saw a dark figure emerge from behind a tree. She turned to see Jimmy standing there staring at them. Staring with black, glistening eyes.
“Jimmy!” Linda said, her eyes widening. “Jimmy, you’re alright!”
Jimmy moved toward them. His lips were quirked into a rather strange half-smile. There was a chill to the way he regarded them.
Linda shifted, uneasy at the site of her boyfriend. “Jimmy, what’s wrong? Why are you acting like this?”
Jimmy shrugged when he came to a stop only a few feet away from them. “I don’t what you’re talking about. I’ve never been better.”
Linda flinched at the callous manner he answered her in. “Jimmy…why are you talking to me that way? You’ve never done that? And what’s wrong with your eyes.”
A dark hatred filled Jimmy. “Nothing’s wrong you stupid bitch!”
Linda’s face fell and her eyes began tearing up. “Jimmy…please…I love you…why are you doing this? They have you trapped…”
The girls saw the glistening black of Jimmy’s eyes spread to the rest of his eyes and his face become angular and almost inhuman. “One more word out of you and I’ll fucking choke that pretty little neck of yours.”
Dorothy stared angrily at Jimmy as Linda’s mouth began to quiver. “Jimmy, how can you say that to her? Linda loves you. You want to marry her, remember?”
Jimmy turned to Dorothy. “Oh, by the way Dorothy. There are several who wish for an audience with you.”
Before Dorothy could reply, the two girls she saw Jimmy with appeared out of nowhere beside him. Linda watched in horror as he welcomed their rubbing on him.
“Jimmy, we miss you. You said you wouldn’t be long,” one of them said with a pout on her face.
Linda’s body began to tremble. “Jimmy…”
“Linda,” Dorothy said, taking hold of her friend’s arm. “Linda, come on.” In a way, it sounded asinine as she wasn’t sure where she and Linda could go here. But it didn’t matter as Linda seemed to have not even heard her. Horror filled her face as she watched the girl turn Jimmy’s face to her, stuck out her forked tongue and kissed him deeply. The other girl slipped her arms around his waist from behind, moving her hand to his groin.
“Jimmy,” Dorothy said, trying to get through to him again. But Linda had already leapt at the girl kissing Jimmy, grabbing her by the hair and yanking her head back. The girl hissed with anger and her face transformed into the angular, demonic shape. She turned on Linda, throwing her to the ground before lunging on top of her. The other girl began to follow but Dorothy was able to quickly summon a small amount of energy, just enough to throw the second girl back from attacking Linda.
Linda fought the girl, yelling out for Jimmy to help her. The anger and disgust that welled up inside of Dorothy was channeled to summon the elements and ancestral spirits. Dorothy could feel them coming as the wind picked up, howling around them. The wind held the second girl back from retailiating and threw the first girl off from Linda. A scraped and disheveled Linda scrambled back to Dorothy’s side. Jimmy began fighting back with power of his own. Dark storm clouds formed in the sky, sending lighting down through Jimmy who began excreting out toward Dorothy and Linda. The two girls jumped out of the way as the lighting hit the ground, lighting the grass up with fire. Dorothy communicated with the fire, speaking in Gaelic before using it to form a protective wall in front of her and Linda.
“Come on Linda,” Dorothy said, tugging at her friend and getting another glimpse at tiny fetus growing inside her friend. “Let’s go while there’s still time.”
But Linda wasn’t about to leave Jimmy despite everything that had just happened. “Jimmy, I love you! And I know you love me.”
Jimmy’s sillouhette could be seen through the fire as he laughed. “If you believe that you’re more stupid than I thought you were,” he said, his voice almost a deep guttural tone that was unlike his own. “An easy, good time is all you ever were to me and you were nothing compared to what I have now.”
Dorothy watched Linda crumble in front of her and something inside her snapped. She felt all five elements pulsing in her, threatening to erupt. The fire blazed higher, towering over the castle as the stormclouds let out rain. The wind circled and blew the two elements, causing the fire to blaze hotter despite the water that fell from the clouds. Then she heard them. The sounds of war cries off in the distance. They grew closer by the second until they emerged from the woods. The wind carried the American Native and Celtic Warriors from a time passed. They were ghostly and translucent, but their strength was present. On the opposite end, a small group of strong, Scandanavian men were also coming toward them and working with the American Native and Celtic warriors to curb the elements and form a protective barrier in front of Dorothy and Linda. But they only brought the protective circle to block Jimmy as two white wolves emerged from the woods, teeth bared and eyes that were ravenous. The wolves leapt through the air toward the two girls Jimmy was with and before they could react, the wolves had knocked them to the ground, devouring the two girls while Dorothy watched with a deep satisfaction and Linda watched horrified and shaken. They heard and angry yell from where Jimmy was.
The wolves turned from the torn carcasses of the other two girls and came toward Dorothy and Linda. Linda jumped backward, but Dorothy kept her stance. There was something in the way the wolves looked at her, they were speaking to her, telling her to follow them. As Dorothy’s fury died down, she thought she saw her great great grandfather Howahkan standing off in the distance by an entrance to the woods. But as quickly as he appeared, he vanished. The elements and ancestral spirits continued keeping their protective around Jimmy, who was trying to use what he had to release himself.
Go now. We will not be able to hold him back for much longer. Your guides will take you to where you need to be.
The voice spoke earnestly but urgently. Dorothy looked back down at the two wolves whose eyes confirmed what the voice had told them. Without questioning any further, Dorothy grabbed a simpering Linda’s arm. The wolves turned and began heading in the direction Howahkan had been standing in. Linda protested, wanting to stay with Jimmy but Dorothy kept a firm grip on her friend, pulling her along as they followed the wolves. The baby growing inside Linda appeared before Dorothy again and she wondered how she could tell Linda in the state her friend was in. What would that do? Would it send Linda off the edge with no returning? Would she risk her and her unborn child's life and try running back to Jimmy now?
They entered the woods with Dorothy maintaing her firm grasp on Linda. The wolves led them toward what sounded like a running creek. They had just approached the running water when Linda collapsed, breaking down into hysterical sobbing. The wolves paused, turning back to the two girls. Dorothy looked at her friend and her anger was replaced with empathy for the girl. She knelt down beside Linda and embraced her, allowing Linda to cry on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry.." she stammered. There were no words to say. Nothing that could heal Linda’s wounds and make her forget what she had seen and heard.
As Dorothy continued comforting Linda, the two wolves positioned themselves on both sides of the girls.


BOOK 2 First Draft Excerpts

Welp, National Novel Writing Month is over tomorrow and I did make the 50,000 word goal. YAY!  While the first draft of Book 2 still has a LONG way to go before it's ready for public consumption, I will, as promised, give you a couple excerpts from the second book in the series.

THE First is a Prologue:


PROLOGUE
Book 2, Kindred

The year was 1880.  Her family had been in Quebec, Canada for almost twenty years.  She sat on the edge of her bed, her husband fast asleep in the bed beside her.  She had just finished rocking her newborn daughter, Jaelle, to sleep.  Jaelle now lay sleeping peacefully in her cradle.  As for herself, peace was something she had never known.  She sat up some nights after her husband had gone to sleep as it was the only escape she had from his emotional abuse.  He had only hit her a few times during the time they had been married, but two of those blows had resulted in the two miscarriages she had had.  But the voices had come to reassure her that she would not have to worry about that for much longer.
She couldn’t help envying Stefania.  She felt guilty for doing so, but she couldn’t help it.  Stefania’s husband, Emille Gravel, was a good man.  She even told Stefania so, hoping Stefania realized and appreciated it. 

She stood up, putting her hand on the cradle Jaelle slept in.  A tear escaped her eye and rolled down her cheek.  She couldn’t live like this anymore.  She was a terrible mother and her husband had told her so.  That’s why he found Cosette.  This was one of the few nights he was in early instead of stumbling in drunk the morning after a night with Cosette.  Then he would put her down and do so in front of their children.  She could never do anything right.  He would always remind her of how she had lost her looks.  How old and ugly she had gotten.  She knew she had gotten older and after seven children plus the two that had resulted in miscarriages, her body wasn’t what it used to be.  She still had her slender frame, but she had stretch marks and a little extra padding on her than when she had first gotten married.  Her breasts lost some of their fullness after having breastfed nine children.  He had all but lost interest in making love to her.  He had Cosette for that now.  And he let her know it.  He was able to do better than her and get a pretty, eighteen-year-old girl. 
She reached in, wanting to touch Jaelle one last time, but then held back to not dare wake the sleeping baby up.
“Good night, my sweet little one,” she whispered. 
She then walked over to the bedroom door and after one last look at her sleeping daughter, she picked up the candle by the door, providing the only source of light in the room, and walked out into the hall. 

She walked to each of her children’s rooms:  first to the room where her four daughters slept: thirteen-year-old Tsura, the nine-year-old twins, Nuri and Mirela, and four-year-old Francisca.  Then the room of her three sons: eleven-year-old Andrzej, six-year-old Boldo, and two-year-old Guaril.  Her children were the only joy she had in her life and even that she was a failure at.  Her husband had told her that they would be better off without her, and maybe he was right. 
She made her way down to the front door where she put her candle out.  She left her note on the table under the candle and with another deep, breath she went outside.  The night air felt good as it blew through her long, dark hair.  She was leaving tonight.
She walked following the sound of the ocean, stopping when she reached her destination.  She stood at the edge of the cliff and stood looking out to the sea that stretched out forever.  The wind came in from the ocean, whipping her hair around her face and pulsing through the material of her flannel nightgown. 
She knew Stefania and Emille would take wonderful care of her children.  She had specifically written in her note that she wanted Emille and Stefania to adopt her children.  And she knew her children would love being able to live with their children.  They could hear Stefania sing the drunken sailor song to them whenever they wanted.  Emille and Stefania had done a wonderful job so far with raising their sons Emilian, Luca, Stefan, and their daughter Rosa.  She trusted them with her children.  She did not want them with her husband and that awful tramp, Cosette.
Tears began spilling down her face.  He had disgraced her.  Dishonored her.  Tossed her aside for a younger girl.  All she had ever tried to do was be a good wife and mother.
She stood looking down at the churning current of the ocean slamming against the rocks. 
She looked out to the distance.  She imagined she would be flying over this ocean to another world where she wouldn’t feel the torment and pain she felt anymore.  The night sky was beautiful and the sound of the waves was soothing.  The waves churned and rose higher.  A patch of dark clouds rolled passed the moon.  But the clouds appeared to almost take on a shape.  They seemed to dissipate and come toward her with the wind blowing.  Then she heard them. 
The voices.
They were telling her it was time.  They were as soothing as the ocean breeze.  They were telling her they would help her to fly. 
She could feel them guiding her, pulling her along to the ledge.  The voices would often come to her in the night, telling her what her husband was doing when he wasn’t with her.  It was through them that she had found out about Cosette.  It was then that she had questioned her husband.  Of course, he had slapped her and then told her that she had led him to it.  But never again.  Never again would she have to endure him again.  And her children would be safe.  The voices assured her that they would.
It was time, they told her.  Time to fly.   She felt a small push and tipped forward.  She closed her eyes.  She was flying.  Really flying.  Ever since she was a little girl, she wished she had the power to fly.  The feeling brought tears of joy to her eyes.  But the euphoria would last only a few seconds before she would hit the rocks.  Pain and immediate shock pulsed through her body.  She lay there astonished, gasping for air as she felt a warm fluid gushing out of her mouth and nose.  She began to choke on the gushing fluid.
The voices came again, but this time they were laughing at her and taking pleasure in her pain.  She hardly recognized them.  They were so warm and soothing and now they were menacing.  She lay there, once again broken and beyond humiliated.  But then, she felt light headed and her body began to convulse and go numb. 
She welcomed the numb feeling as it was the best thing she ever felt.  The waves continued to crash against the rocks, soaking her broken body through the flannel material of her nightgown.  She knew she couldn’t undo what she had done.  As she gave into sleep, she took the only comfort she had left.  That Stefania would look after her children.  The hours of the early morning wore on as the final remnants of life drained from her body.  As her heart stopped, a giant wave crashed onto the rock she had fallen on, knocking her light body into the waters of the ocean.


She had awoken from the dream at least once a week for the passed fifty-four years.  The images would dance through her head, haunting her, taunting her nights.  She sat up in bed as the morning sun’s rays filtered in through the red curtains draped over the window.  The changes in the air, the shift between worlds, they were coming…

The Second Excerpt is the first exchange between Everett Blake and Joanna Livingston. They are seven-years-old in this excerpt. Enjoy!

PS- At the end of the scene, Everett's brother Ronnie is grounded which is why he can't attend the He Man Woman Hater's club meeting.


She was real and not just a dream.  He was seeing her, with his own eyes, wide awake and not asleep.  She stood there, looking back at him with her dark eyes.  She was wearing blue jeans, which was rather rare for a girl, and had on black boots that were nothing like anything he had seen the girls in town wearing.  She had also worn an oversized light grey sweatshirt with a group of older boys and letters that spelled New Kids on the Block (Everett had no idea what that was and had never heard of such a thing).  The boys on her shirt had a rather odd look to them that Everett hadn’t seen before.  A black knit hat topped her dark, wavy hair that reached just below her shoulders.  She had looked back at him, looking almost frightened and confused.  Everett didn’t want her to be frightened. 
“Hello!”  he called to her brightly.
He stepped toward her and she flinched, taking a couple steps back.  She looked like she wanted to run away, but didn’t know where to run to.
“My name is Everett,” Everett offered, “I’m not going to hurt you.”
The girl had looked back at him and finally spoke.  “Where am I?”
“Pinewoods,” Everett answered.
The girl looked around, unsure of the answer.  “This doesn’t look like Pinewoods.  I’ve been to Pinewoods a few times with my dad.  And this doesn’t look like it.”
“Of course it’s Pinewoods,” Everett answered.
The girl looked around, still suspicious, but seemed to decide not to argue with Everett.
“If you say so,” she said, not seeming at all convinced.
“Where are you from?” Everett asked.
“Stone Creek,” she answered.
“Oh, are you here with your parents?”
“No that’s just it,” the girl answered getting upset again, “I was playing hide n seek with my friends.  We were in the woods and I went to hide.  Somehow I ended up here and I don’t know how.  And you look like somebody out of my grandparents pictures from when they were kids!  And this doesn’t look like Pinewoods!  I know what Pinewoods looks like!  I’m not stupid!”
Everett stood puzzled as the girl began to cry.  He took a step forward as the girl brought a hand up to dry the tears from her eyes.  Everett noticed that she also had on purple nail polish. Another rare thing to see on a girl.  She almost seemed more grown-up than the girls he knew from town.
“I didn’t say you were stupid,” Everett said, trying to be a comfort to her, “I just want to help you.  Really.”
The girl looked at him, wiping away another tear with a purple fingernailed hand. 
“So you’re from Stone Creek?” Everett asked.
The girl nodded.
“What’s your name?” Everett asked.
“Joanna,” the girl answered slowly, “and your name is Everett?”
Everett smiled.  “Yeah.”
Joanna smiled back.  “That’s a funny name.”
Everett felt his face turning red.  “Blame my parents for that one.”
Joanna relaxed and laughed at Everett’s little joke.
“I think you have a pretty name,” Everett said, looking down at the ground.
“Thanks,” Joanna said, “but I hate it.  It’s so old-fashioned.  It sounds like something from my grandparents’ time.  I wish my parents named me something cool like Jerricha from Jem and the Holograms.  Well, you’re a boy so you probably don’t watch that show anyway.”
Everett gave her a small smile.  “So, what does your shirt mean?  I’ve never seen that before.”
Joanna frowned.  “You don’t know New Kids on the Block?!  Geez!  What planet are you from?”
Well, you sound like Ronnie, Everett thought.
“No,” Everett stammered, “what are they?”
“A singing group,” Joanna said, “they’re very famous.  Don’t you watch MTV?”
“No…” Everett said slowly.  He didn’t even know what that was either.  Joanna raised her eyebrows.
“So what do you do if you don’t watch MTV?”
“I like to read,” Everett said, “and my dad and cousin Jerome are teaching my brother Ronnie and I guitar.”
“You play guitar?”  Joanna seemed to have forgotten about the whole MTV thing.  For this, Everett was relieved.
“Yes,” Everett said, “well, sort of.  I’m not as good as Jerome or Hank Williams.”
“Hank Williams?” Joanna asked.
“Yes.  He’s my favorite.”
“You mean Hank Williams Jr.” Joanna said.
“No,” Everett said, confused.  “I mean Hank Williams from the Drifting Cowboys Band.  He doesn’t have kids so how can there be a Hank Williams Jr.?”
“Shows how much you know,” Joanna snorted, “Hank Williams is dead too.”
“He is not!” Everett cried, “take that back!”
“Why?” Joanna said, “it’s true.  I know because my grandparents listen to him!”
“Maybe Ronnie and Jay are right.  Girls are stupid,” Everett said.
“And you’re weird,” Joanna retorted.
“I am not! You’re weird!  Weird and stupid!”
“You’re the one who’s stupid.  You don’t even know that Hank Williams is dead.  You’re either stupid or delusional.  Or probably both.”
“Shut up!” Everett said.
“You shut up!”  Joanna said.
The two children stood glaring at one another.  Suddenly, something dawned on Everett.  Joanna was dressed completely different than other girls from town he knew.  In fact, even her personality was different.  And despite Joanna’s insisting on this New Kids on the Block being a famous singing group, Everett paid enough attention to music to where he would have surely heard about them.  And then there was this MTV thing…Everett’s stare at Joanna, his gaze turning from anger to curiosity.
“What?! Why are you looking at me like that?” Joanna demanded.
Everett tried to think of how to approach this.  Perhaps he had read one too many science fiction stories, but…
“Do you know who the president is?” Everett asked.
Joanna rolled her eyes and turned back toward the woods where she came from.  “I’ll find my own way back.”
“No! Wait, just answer my question,” Everett said.
Joanna stopped and turned around, rather irritated.  “Fine!  Bush is president.  Reagan was just president and now Bush became president.  What kind of a dumb question is that?”
Everett’s voice caught in his throat.  He drew in a breath. 
“What?!”  Joanna exclaimed.
“What year is it,” Everett asked slowly.
Joanna’s eyes narrowed.  “1989.  Now can I please go?  I don’t know how I ended up in Pinewoods-if that’s what this is-but I’m sure I’ll find my way back.”
Everett stood frozen as he took in her answer.
1989!
“Wait,” Everett said, “you’re not going to find your way back.  Not by yourself, at least.”
“What are you talking about?!  You’re nuts!”
Everett scrambled for how to tell her she was in the year 1944 and not 1989.  If he told her straight out, he was afraid she would just run from him into the woods and probably get lost.  He didn’t want that to happen.  Then, he thought of something.
“Come with me,” Everett said.
“Where,” Joanna asked with a skeptical tone.
“Just over there to my house,” Everett said pointing.
“Why should I?”
“Because, there’s something really important I want you to see,” Everett said.
“You’re not going to pull down your pants or anything gross like that, are you?”
Everett flinched at Joanna’s question.  “No!  Why would I do that?”
Joanna looked at him, still skeptical, but relented.  “Ok, fine.  But only for five minutes, ok?  My friends are all going to be wondering where I’m at.”
Joanna followed Everett through the back door and into the kitchen.  Joanna looked around, in awe of the setup of the kitchen.
“Does your mom like old-fashioned stuff?” Joanna asked.
Everett didn’t answer and instead went and stood next to the wall calendar. 
“So what is it you wanted to show me?” Joanna asked as she continued looking around.  Her eyes fell on Everett and then traveled to the wall calendar.  She stared at the calendar above Everett’s head in confusion at the year the calendar stated.  1944.  Joanna looked from the calendar, then to Everett.
“That calendar is just a decoration, right?” Joanna asked.
Everett shook his head.  “Come on.”
Everett began walking to the foyer followed by a confused Joanna.  He pulled the curtain back from the side window by the door.  He then stepped aside for Joanna to look out.  Joanna stepped forward, pressing her forehead against the glass as she peered out.  It was Pinewoods, alright, but not as she knew it.  And all the old-fashioned cars in the driveways of the houses.  Joanna also noticed some people walking down the sidewalk, dressed like people from the old movies.  She pulled back from the window, looking from the window to Everett and then back again.  Her eyes widened as she backed away, a terrified look on her face.
“Please don’t be afraid,” Everett said, “I want to help you.”
“No,” Joanna cried, “you’re lying.  You’re playing a trick.  A very mean trick!”
She turned and ran toward the back door.
“Joanna! Wait!” Everett called after her.  Joanna pushed the door open, bursting out onto the porch and bounding down the steps.  “Joanna!” Everett called running after her.  Joanna ran across the field toward the woods.
“Joanna!  Please!  You’ll get lost!” Everett called again. 
Joanna stopped running, looking defeated.  Everett caught up to her and he could see that she had tears streaming down her face.

“I just want to go home!” Joanna sobbed, “I don’t want to be here!”
Everett felt a small stab of hurt at Joanna saying she didn’t want to be there.  He didn’t know why or where it came from.  He tried to push it aside so he could help Joanna.  Part of him wanted her to stay, but he knew that couldn’t happen.  Everett slowly put a hand on her shoulder and was relieved when she didn’t flinch or back away.  She turned and looked at him.  Her eyes were dark, pools of tears, rimmed red.  Everett reached into his pocket, pulled out a handkerchief and handed it to Joanna.  Joanna muttered a thanks and began drying her eyes with it.  Everett stood with Joanna as her sobs calmed into small hiccups. 
“Are you going to be ok?” Everett asked.
“I guess,” Joanna said.
“Well, where were you when you realized you weren’t in Stone Creek?  I know these woods pretty well.  My friends and I play here a lot.”
“Ok,” Joanna said, “I went by the creek to hide behind a bunch of trees.  Then I couldn’t hear anyone anymore and it seemed like a long time and no one found me.  Then, I stepped out from the trees and…the creek was gone and I was by the river or stream back there.”
Everett brightened.  “I know exactly where that is.  Come on!”
Everett headed toward the woods and Joanna followed.  They entered the woods.  It was spring, so the brush was becoming thick again.
“Here, hold my hand,” Everett said, “it gets thick back here and I don’t want you getting lost.”
Joanna hesitated before taking Everett’s hand.  Their small hands joined together and both felt their hearts skip a beat, though neither understood the feeling.  They walked through the woods without saying anything at first.  Then, Joanna broke the silence.
“So who’s president here?” 
“Roosevelt,” Everett answered, “FDR.  We’re fighting in Germany now, too.  Germany, and pretty much everywhere else.”
Joanna nodded.  “World War II?”
“Yeah,” Everett answered.
“Woah,” Joanna said, “I just read two books about that.  Number the Stars and The Diary of Anne Frank.”
“You like to read too?” Everett asked.  He hadn’t heard of the books Joanna mentioned, but it excited him to hear her talk about one of his favorite things to do.
“Yeah,” Joanna said slightly embarrassed, “the library is one of my favorite places.”
“Hey me too,” Everett said. 
They continued walking through the woods, they could hear birds chirping through the trees.  Everett turned his eyes downward, looking at his hand in Joanna’s.  He knew he was being a traitor to everything the He-Man Woman Haters Club stood for.  But at that moment, he didn’t care.  He liked Joanna.  She was interesting…and pretty.  And she liked to read and seemed very smart.  Besides, he couldn’t abandon her and let her get lost.
“What books do you like to read?”  Joanna asked, breaking the silence between them.
“I just finished The Black Stallion,” Everett answered, “but I really like Jack London.”
“I’m actually reading White Fang now,” Joanna said.

“I’ve read that!” Everett said, “it’s very good.  But I still liked Call of the Wild better.”
“I haven’t read that yet,” Joanna said, “I’ll have to check that out.  You said you play the guitar?”
“Yeah,” Everett answered, “do you play instruments?”
“Piano,” Joanna answered. 
Everett turned his head, smiling to himself.  But then it bothered him as to why she was so sad in the dream he had of her.
It was then that they had come to the stream.  They stood on the bank, still hand in hand, listening to the stream running and the sounds of spring in the air.  Everett looked at Joanna for a brief moment.  He didn’t want her to leave.  There was so much more he wanted to know about her.  But he knew she had to.  She had family and friends who would be worried about her if she didn’t go back.
“So, where did you come out from when you ended up here?” Everett asked reluctantly.
“Over there,” Joanna pointed to a cluster of pine trees. 
“Okay,” Everett said, still holding her hand and leading her to the pine trees.  They reached the cluster of pine trees and Joanna turned to Everett.
“Thank you,” she said, “and I’m sorry I called you weird.”
Everett looked down.  “It’s alright.  I’m sorry I called you stupid.”
“It’s okay,” Joanna said, “well, I better go. Oh, do you want your handkerchief?”
Everett looked at her.  “No thank you.  I have two others.”
“Okay,” Joanna giggled, “you’re the first boy I know my age who carries a handkerchief.  The only other person I know who does that is my Grandpa Livingston.”
Everett felt his face flushing, but he regained his composure.  “Um, maybe you can come back.”
Joanna stared at him.  “Really?”
“Well yeah,” Everett said, “I mean, maybe you can come back the same way.  I’d like to know more about 1989.  Maybe you can even meet my cousin, Jerome.  He’s a lot of fun.”
“Okay,” Joanna said slowly, “maybe…”
“Maybe I can play my guitar for you,” Everett said, his face growing hotter at the thought.  He looked at the ground.  When he looked back up, he saw Joanna giving him and almost knowing look.
“I have to go,” she said.
“Okay,” Everett said.  The silence between them was rather awkward.  Then, with a final wave, Joanna walked toward the pine tree cluster.  She turned around once more to look back at EverettEverett started to wave to her, but she was walking quickly back toward him.  Everett started to speak, but before he could, Joanna had thrown her arms around him.  Everett gasped and stood staring at her, stunned.  Joanna looked back at him, her cheeks beginning to flush red.  She turned to run back to the trees. 
Everett wanted so much to call to her.  Please stay, he wanted to say, I’m sure my parents will let you live with us!  He didn’t care if Ronnie and the rest of the He-Man Woman Haters Club thought he was a sissy.  He liked Joanna…and she held his hand and hugged him…and he didn’t think it was gross!  But she had disappeared into the brush. 
Everett stood waiting to make sure she wouldn’t come back out.  He stood alone in the woods for a few seconds.  He then walked toward the pine tree cluster.  Everett walked around it, but no sign of Joanna.  He parted the brush, peering into it.  She was gone.  Everett stepped back, sighing.  He was a little surprised at how disappointed and empty he felt.  He said a silent prayer that she would have returned to her time okay and not ended up in a scary time, like with the dinosaurs.  Everett pushed that thought from his mind. 
“No, she made it back.  I know she did,” he said aloud.  The imagination could go to some very dark places if one wasn’t careful.
Everett closed his eyes and concentrated.  Sometimes, if he did that he could see things.  He focused on Joanna and he saw her.  He saw her at the creek in Stone Creek.  He saw a small group of kids come running to her.  They were dressed in a similar fashion to how she was.
“Joanna!” a little red-haired girl cried, “damn that was a good hiding place!  We’ve been looking everywhere for you!”
The picture began to fade, but it was enough for Everett to feel relieved that she had made it back.  He opened his eyes back up, breathing a sigh of relief.  But he felt a little melancholy.  He stood looking at the pine brush. 
Please come back…someday…
He looked over toward the stream.  He had been standing there watching it with Joanna only a moment ago.  He was confused about the feelings he was having. 
Everett was then shaken from his thoughts when he heard a branch snap.  Everett looked around as he heard another.  He stood trying to place where the sound was coming from.  It sounded like it was coming from somewhere in the trees.  Everett got the urgent feeling to leave.  He turned and began running.  It sounded as though something was chasing him through the trees.  He turned his head to look back, but couldn’t see what was after him.  He pushed forward, until he saw the edge and the field in back of his house up ahead.  Everett burst through the edge of the woods and kept running across the field.  He was at the toolshed when he turned around to see if he could catch a glimpse of what may have been chasing him.  He saw nothing, but heard the distant cry of a crow.  It sent a shiver down his body and he was glad he had gotten Joanna back to where she came from.

Everett lay in bed later that night, tired but wide awake.  He looked toward the window above Ronnie’s bed.  He was confused about the range of emotions he was having.  He had Joanna on his mind.  He wanted to see her again and he could never let Ronnie or anyone else from the He-Man Woman Haters Club know about it.  But he hoped somehow, she would come back.  He wanted to know more about her:  her favorite food, her favorite movie, her favorite song (was it a New Kids on the Block song?), her last name.
“Joanna Blake,” Everett whispered into the darkness and then realized what he had just said.  He turned his head to Ronnie’s side of the room, hoping that Ronnie hadn’t somehow woken up and heard him.  Everett felt his breath quicken.  Was this what grown ups felt when they fell in love?  Is that what was going on?  Everett turned over on his side, facing the wall.  He wondered what Joanna was doing.  If she was in bed sleeping or if she was unable to sleep just like he was. 
Everett finally fell into an uneasy sleep and into a restless dream.  He saw Joanna standing in the field as he stood on the back porch, gazing out at her.  He felt he had to get out to her, but was unable to move.  A dozen crows circled in a dark, overcast sky screeching and almost unearthly sound.  The woods where a dark, gnarled outline in the distance.  The urgency to get to Joanna grew.  Terror filled him as he saw two large black dogs emerge from the woods, hungry with their teeth bared.  He could hear their growls and snarls and they were heading toward Joanna.
“Joanna!” He tried desperately to call out to her, but his voice was lost in the midst of the crows screeching.  He tried to run out to her, but his feet remained rooted to the ground.  He watched in horror as the dogs weighed in on Joanna, as they hungrily salivated. 
“JOANNA!!”  Everett’s last desperate cry was drowned out as the dogs pounced on Joanna. 

He was jolted awake, drenched in sweat and tangled in his sheets and blankets.  It was also morning.  Breathing hard, he glanced up and jumped when he saw Ronnie standing there staring at him, giving him an odd look.  Ronnie raised an eyebrow.
“Are you okay?” Ronnie asked.
“Yeah,” Everett said catching his breath, “yeah, I’m fine.”
“You sure?”
“Yeah.  Bad dream, that’s all,” Everett said, trying to sound more cheery.
“Okay, well momma said breakfast is ready and I’m going with dad again to Mr. Aurelio’s store.”
“Alright,” Everett said, “tell momma I’ll be down soon.”
“I will,” Ronnie said, “and remember the He-Man Woman Haters Club this afternoon.  I want a full report.”
“Sure,” Everett said as Ronnie left the room.  

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.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

PART 2, THE FIRST EVIL: 1931-1933: Chapter 49 (UNEDITED)

Chapter 49 is here!

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...I actually just caught it up) to read the Prologue-Chapter 48 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 49

Jimmy quietly shut the front door of his house after stepping out into the chilling night air.  He had decided not to take his car.  For one thing, he didn’t want to risk waking his parents and sister with starting up the engine.  Another reason was that he just needed to walk.  Walk and clear his mind.  Of course, he would need to make sure he was alert enough if a police car happened to approach wherever he would end up.
Jimmy took out one of the rolled up cigarettes Carl had given him earlier that day.  Thinking of Carl made him think of Dorothy and Anton’s final words to him.
Make certain that Dorothy does not leave town.
Why? Jimmy thought.  What does he want with Dorothy?
He remembered Anton mentioning a bloodline, one that Jimmy himself was apparently part of.  He wondered if somehow Dorothy was as well.
Jimmy brought the cigarette to his lips and fished a half-used book of matches out from his pocket.  He took out a match and went to strike it against the rough strip on the book it came out from.  But before he could even touch the tip of the match to the strip, the match lit up on its own, causing Jimmy to flinch in surprise.  He could feel his heart thudding inside his chest.  He threw match onto the stone walkway, stepping the flame out with his foot.  This occurred with three more matches until Jimmy finally caved in and touched the flame to the end of his cigarette.  He blew out the smoke and looked down the road in the direction the cemetery was in.  He felt a compelling urge to walk in that direction.  Taking another drag, he inhaled deeply, taking all the cigarette had to offer into his lungs.  He exhaled and began walking toward the Plains Cemetery.  It was as though his feet had a mind of their own and he was going to the old graveyard whether he liked it or not.
The entire encounter with Anton still felt surreal to him.  As though the whole thing had been nothing more than a dream.
Maybe it was.  Maybe it was all a dream and I’m jumpy over nothing…
But as bizarre as it all seemed, he knew better.  The remnants of the orgasmic euphoria he had felt not too long ago still lingered and while he hated to admit it, the feeling was something he would not have minded having again.  In fact, if he could feel that way all the time, life would be pretty good.
But that would also mean joining forces with Anton Alexandrescu…but would that really be a bad thing?  I know he’s considered a monster by some in history, especially when it came to his gypsy slaves…
He stopped his thoughts as they turned to the Romani slaves.  His great-grandfather had been one.  His great-grandfather had been a fugitive for killing Dmitri Alexandrescu in his sleep.
Jimmy recalled the events of the dream and feeling the rage that bordered on the edge of sanity.  Did the Alexandrescus really treat their slaves that badly?  So much that it made my great-grandfather kill?
He also wondered of his gypsy heritage and having one was still sinking in.  If his grandmother was a full-blooded Romani, that would make him a quarter.  He wondered where the rest of that family was and how his grandmother had ended up in Hungary if the family had been living in Spain.  All this time he just assumed his grandmother had been a Spanish baby who had somehow ended up in a Hungarian orphanage.
As Jimmy cut through a dark ally to better avoid being seen, a vivid image of Nicolae and the girl who was his lover entered his mind.  He saw them embrace one another again and could feel the strength of the love they shared, something that reminded him of what he felt for Linda and he knew Linda felt for him.
Pangs of guilt began shooting through him.  Linda…
Anton’s words of the other girls from the bloodline rang in his ears.  I would be betraying Linda…I wanted to formally propose to her this Christmas.
Linda was everything Jimmy wanted in a girl.  Beautiful, soft, feminine, a sweet disposition, and content just being with him.  But in the year and a half he had been going with her, he also fell in love with the genuine kindness that was in her heart.  He found Linda to have a beautiful soul to go with her beautiful exterior.  And she loved him.  Could I really leave Linda behind?
Ever since they started going together during their sophomore year, the idea of leaving her never was something he ever thought he would ever consider.  There relationship had become cemented together the night they gave themselves to one another that night up on the hill underneath the skyfull of stars.  And the atmosphere of Alexandrescu Castle…the black aura that seemed to engulf it…what all were they…and the bloodline really capable of?
Other thoughts began flooding him.  Even if they didn’t hurt her now, would they later?  Would they make him hurt her?  The very thought of hurting Linda made his stomach turn and the thought of someone else hurting Linda made him angry beyond any words could describe.  It was at that thought he had another image of Nicolae, violently attacking Dmitri for hurting Eloisa.  Jimmy stopped as the words tumbled through his mind.  Dmitri raped Eloisa and later killed her… a voice from somewhere far away whispered.
Jimmy stood in shock.  Eloisa…that wasn’t the name of my great-grandmother according to Anton…the name he gave was Teresa…
It was all starting to make sense as Jimmy began piecing the scenario together.  They could do that to Linda…to Amanda…and what about Amanda? If I’m part of the bloodline, so is she…so is dad…would they hurt Amanda or try to coax her in?  And why aren’t they also trying to bring in dad?  Why is their focus on me? And how does it all tie to Dorothy and what all is happening at the Fleming place?
Jimmy was taken out from his thoughts when he found himself standing in front of the gate to the Plains Cemetery.  Chills rose on his skin as he had no recollection of walking there from the ally.  The air was thick and pulsed with a life it hadn’t when he was there with his friends that Halloween.  One thought was in his mind.  Please don’t hurt Linda and please leave Amanda alone…
He jumped back as the gate began to tremble before it creaked open.  Jimmy to a slow step forward, looking around to see who may have opened the gate up to him.  He would almost swear to feeling invisible hands on his back pushing him forward into the entrance of the Cemetery as the gate shut behind him.  He stood alone in the dark among the tombstones, looking around.  He saw the Livingston Mausoleum off to the side and while that seemed to offer a sense of reassurance, it was overshadowed by the cold presence that was prevailing in that moment.  An image of a cradle flashed through his mind.  A baby girl lay sleeping in the crib as shadows engulfed her until she vanished from the cradle.  He saw a little girl, about ten, staring at the cradle as her family prepared for what seemed to be a permanent departure from their home.  The little girl morphed into an old woman who looked to be in her seventies.  The old woman’s eyes seemed to look through Jimmy.  This intimidated him but he also felt he should be afraid her.
“We are glad to see you have arrived.”
The image of the old woman faded and in her place stood the cemetery caretaker.  The elderly man was thin but towered over Jimmy in height.  Despite Jimmy being athletic and in great physical shape, the power that was sent out from the older man intimidated him.
After the initial shock, Jimmy found his voice.  “What are you talking about?”
A smile curled up on the caretaker’s lips, stretching the thin skin on his face.  “Just come with me.  I assure you, you will find everything you need to know for now.”
The old man turned and began walking toward the back of the graveyard.  Jimmy stood with his feet planted to the ground.  There’s no way I’m following you, he wanted to say.  But he could feel his defense slipping from him.
The caretaker paused and then turned around.  His eyes seemed to have a slight red glow in the darkness.  “By the way,” he said in his gruff tone.  “You may call be Jacob.”
The two stood regarding one another for another moment and Jimmy felt almost hypnotized by the older man’s stare.  He felt his legs walking over to where Jacob stood, as though an outer force was making him against his will.  Jacob then began to walk, leading Jimmy to the small shack he lived in.  Though the windows were covered with curtains, a soft light flickered from inside.
Jimmy was almost in a haze as Jacob opened the front door, spilling out some of the warm light from inside.
“You may enter,” Jacob said, holding the door open for Jimmy.  The last thing he wanted to do was go inside and everything inside him screamed to turn around and run home.  Run to Linda’s place…who cares if Mr. and Mrs. Parker get angry at you for calling at this hour…just make sure she’s okay…
But before he knew it, he was inside with Jacob closing the door behind them.  What he saw inside was enough to jolt him out of any hypnotic state.  Three individuals sat at a small table in the far corner of the room.  Jimmy recognized two of them as Dorothy’s Grandpa and Grandma Whitman.  The other was a man Jimmy had never seen before.  His clothing was that of an aristocrat from a bygone era.  His long, black hair was slicked back and his face was angular and almost inhuman.  At the man’s feet was a large, black dog.  Or at least Jimmy thought it was a dog.  The animal’s fur was matted and seem to be woven in with scales on it’s hide.  Its yellow eyes regarded Jimmy in a rather thoughtful way and the pointed years of the animal stood up straight to attention, taking in everything around it.  The animal seemed to be of a higher intelligence than a typical dog or cat.  Jimmy almost expected it to speak to him in a human fashion.
“Jacob!” Alice exclaimed.  “You’ve brought him! Wonderful.”
Jimmy watched as Alice rose to meet Jacob.  He watched the two embrace and engage in a long kiss and grimaced at the site.  Is this the same Mrs. Whitman who wouldn’t allow Reg and I to visit Dorothy…?
He looked over to Cyril who seemed unaffected by the action between his wife and the cemetery groundskeeper.  The other man at the table kept his eyes on Jimmy as did the animal that lay at the man’s feet.
Jimmy began to shift his eyes around seeking out an escape.  I have to get out of here…I have to get to Linda…then I have to—
“There is no escaping, Christopher,” the man said with an amused tone.  “And I don’t see why you would want to.” Jimmy noted that the man’s voice sounded eerily similar to Anton Alexandrescu’s as was his powerful build and black eyes.
“That’s right,” Cyril said as his wife carried on with Jacob.  “We officially bid you welcome into the family. By the way, meet Gavril.” Cyril gestured toward the the other man at the table.
Jimmy began to protest when he felt his defenses diminish again.  Gavril had raised his hand toward Jimmy and he could feel it beginning to pulse through his blood again and stir in through his core.  He fought with all he had but when he did, his insides felt as though they were going to explode out from him.
“There is much to tell you,” Gavril said in a deep, almost soothing tone.
“Why me?” Jimmy struggled to get the words out.
“Your blood is much stronger than your father’s,” Gavril answered.

Jimmy tried to speak but the cold darkness choked him at the throat.  The icy feeling traveled through his veins until they reached his eyes, coloring the entirety of them a glistening black.