Book Four: Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter 37
1224 Clearfield Street – 12:30 p.m.
Lee found a nice duplex and had it partially furnished. One bed, one chair, one table, one computer and several notebooks.
His Uncle Jack and Aunt Peggy tried to talk him out of moving, but Lee simply explained that after what happened, he would need some time alone, but that he would come back and visit often.
Two days ago, he had a satellite connection and immediately started the track down the elusive Frederick Uri Kristen.
Lee not only found him elusive, but extremely dangerous. Freddy was never in a country very long. Switches identities often. Though not proven; only because he has never been caught, he is suspected of at least forty-three murders, two of those being Ricky and Carol Anne. Of the forty-three, twenty-eight were sanctioned kills for pay. The rest were personal. The man was a psychopath that needed to be stopped.
With his training and background, and a few Contacts in the states; he believed he could be put on the right track to get Freddy before Freddy even knew he was got.
His doorbell rang.
Walking to the door, he looked out from behind a window shade and saw a UPS truck. Opening the door, the delivery driver asked, “Sir, are you Lee Austin?”
“Sign here, please. You have a total of six boxes. I still have to get the remaining three for you.”
Lee took the electronic pen, signed a plastic cover and immediately, a receipt printed out.
In that short amount of time, the delivery driver was back with the remaining 3 boxes. he grabbed electronic box and said, “Those last three are really heavy. You building something?”
“You could say that.”
When the driver left and was out of sight, Lee either picked up, or swung each box into the living room. five boxes and one crate. On time.
The first box he opened had a set of luggage inside. Each one lead-lined to prevent x-ray scanning in airports to see beyond any clothes inside. There was also a silver metallic briefcase, also lead-lined, which would prevent airport security from seeing anything beyond notebooks, pads, pens, folders, a calculator, and perhaps an iPod and sunglasses.
In another box were six handguns and two cases of hand grenades. Two Colt .44’s, another Colt 1911 semi-automatic, a Styler 9mm semi-automatic (lightweight and never jams), a Desert Eagle .50 Caliber, and a .32 caliber hideaway for his ankle.
In the crate, stacked on top of each other, or three stainless steel trunks, about a foot taller and wider than most. they too were lead-lined. Just like the suitcases and briefcase, the sides, top and bottom panels were easily removed to keep things hidden you didn't want seen.
In the remaining boxes you would find about 10,000 rounds of ammunition for each specific weapon he had. There were also smoke bombs, gas masks, flak-jackets, night-vision goggles and two other weapons. An AR-15 that fires 5.56 rounds and the AK-47 which fires 7.62 rounds; both can do extensive damage to a human body. there were also twenty, twenty-round clips for each, as well as ten, fifty-round clips. Finally, there was the short-barrel .30-30 shotgun.
Weapons wise, Lee felt he had all he would need, besides his own Bowie knife. How odd would fate be, Lee thought, if he and Freddy came down to Bowie knives, and Freddy lost. Lee wouldn't let it get that close. With all the firepower he possessed, there would be no way Freddy would escape him once he found him.
And find him, he would.
Baker's Office – 2:45 p.m.
“This whole thing has been a mess from start to finish.”
Satchell and Dianne sat around her desk.
“How, Baker? You Did all you could from the beginning. The chain of events what as they were supposed to,” said Satchell.
“Plus,” said Dianne\, “we did somehow manage to save two lives.”
“We didn't save anyone. We were lucky. But we could have saved Lydia. We had that chance, but I blew it. I overlooked—no, I purposely struck down several possibilities because of a man's record and personal situation.
“Freddy said it in the fax. Braveheart’s fair maiden. You and I were at their house, Dianne; and we just let her go.”
“You couldn’t have known,” said Satchell. “Hell, a boy in a wheelchair? A lush for a mother? And a cop with an impeccable record? No one would have thought of looking their way.”
“At least part of this is over, The rest will be up to Jimmy and Blake.”
“And that is where it begins, too. Time is the only answer between them and how they deal with each other after losing Lydia.”
Baker looked at Satchell.
“At Least time doesn't discriminate. It treats us all equally.” Looking over to Dianne, she said, “Go ahead and go home, Dianne. I'm going to finish this report and then I'm out of here.”
“See you two on Monday. Have a good weekend. Oh, and Baker? For what it's worth; you're a hell of a good cop.”
Just as her door closed behind Dianne, Baker looked across at Satchell.
“Calling it a day?”
“In a few minutes. I have a call or two to make and a package in my desk to give two a … friend. After which, I'll take a trip over the weekend to the Apple. Haven’t been there in a while. Think I'll just walk around, spend a little money on the nightlife.”
“I don't know about the nightlife, but I know it's going to feel good to be home with a couple of guys that know how to make me smile and laugh. And after all this; Lord knows, I need it.”
Satchell stood and headed out the door saying, “Take care, Baker. See you Monday.”
“You too, Satchell.”
“One other thing. Dianne is right. You are a hell of a cop.”
Another Weekend in Montie
There would be plenty of news coverage of the tragic events which led to the suicide of Lydia Brewster.
Jennifer Ralston and her cameraman were on the scene thirty minutes after everything was over. She was able to get a few comments from Captain Page, and a brief statement from Jimmy Brewster. As requested by Baker, Jennifer didn’t attempt to interview Blake. But Jennifer would close out the news report with a positive.
“Here at Channel 08, on behalf of our Producers and Director; our utmost and deepest condolences for the Brewster family during this terribly sad and tragic event. We hope the time that passes helps to heal the hurt and pain. This is Jennifer Ralston, Channel 08 news, reporting live.”
Lee had spent a good portion of his day with the return trip from DMV, and was able to get his driver’s license easy enough, and twenty minutes after that, he was at the Licensing Bureau to pay for the application fee for his private investigators permit to carry a registered weapon in his name. Everything was time-dated and stamped with the state of New York's seal. For all outward appearances, Lee Austin is legal.
After stopping off at Burger King to grab something to eat, he would spend the rest of his Friday night searching the Internet for better than three dozen aliases and trying to pinpoint in advance where Freddy may strike.
Thanks to Baker’s computer with all the sensitive information she had on him, Lee had a working knowledge of how Freddy operated.
Killer or assassin for hire, take your pick. They we're all high to mid-level people and if it benefited him, if in the same region, he would take on a personal kill.
Freddy killed either drug dealers or suppliers who profited off unsuspecting kids. He also killed those who dealt in either underground trafficking of underage boys and girls (and sometimes young women 18-25) that would be sold off as prostitutes or brought into the porn trade (films). But the most graphic in nature that would make you vomit, were the underage snuff films.
Even though Lee hated Freddy for what he did to his brother and Carol Anne, he still held a microcosm of respect for what he was doing. If Freddy had never pulled the trigger that day, he wouldn’t be getting ready to do what he promised Ricky he would do.
Hunt Freddy down and kill him.
Before his weekend was over, he would find that Freddy, over the last seven months has used three names more than once, or so it would appear. these names surfaced in hotels around the country went into vicinity of a murder. as with Baker's computer, hacking other systems around the world is just as easy. But it appeared those would be the names he would track Freddy with and hopefully, get ahead of him.
Of course the weekend isn't all about anger, pain, death, and retribution. For some, it's more about enjoying one of the three weekends left before school started.
And if you were at Standing Room Lake, You would see Stevie and Ellie, along with her parents, Barry, and Jolene Whitmore, cruising up and down the Lake.
There or other boaters and water skiers out and about as well as a few swimmers enjoying an already hot day. The length of the beach was pretty much filled with hundreds of people out to get a tan, or get their tan darker. And the kids? Building sand castles or filling their plastic buckets with sand and burying a parent alive.
In other places, shoppers shopped. Parents looking for the best deals on those back to school items. New clothes, shoes, tennis shoes, backpacks, and other assorted school materials.
For some parents, it would be their last time buying school clothes for their son or daughter. Graduation would be coming. For the newbies, it was their first year.
As one parent said at a checkout line after paying $112.75 for her sons first year, “This is only the beginning. I’ll probably spend another $5,000 by the time my son graduates.”
She looked at the cashier and the lady behind her as she swiped her credit card to pay her bill said, ”It’s almost enough to make a parent want to run away from home!”
Those that weren't shopping, we're taking care of their yards, mowing lawns, or tending to their floral gardens. To them , they knew that in a few months everything would be gone until next spring when the ritual would start over. By November, the snow would start falling and staying around for too long like a friend who extends his stay far longer than you wanted. The only big difference is that the snow will leave when it's ready and not before.
Andre Devon invited J.W. to his house for another backyard cookout. By this time, J.W. had confided in Andre about Patrick, and that, “Although we really haven’t made a commitment to each other, it's slowly headed that way.”
So, there they were, Andre, his wife, Vanessa and daughter, Jenny, with J.W. and Patrick, a get-together of friends, just as it was meant to be.
There had been a brief point when Patrick lightly squeezed J.W.'s hand, and Jenny came up to him and said, “That’s nice. I have girlfriends that holds hands, too. We are the bestest of friends. J.W.? Are you and Patick bestest friends?”
J.W. looked over at Andre and Andre shrugged as if to say, “Poncho, you’re on your own.”
Kneeling down, J.W. stared into her bright green eyes, smiling, and said, “Jenny, we are the very best of friends.”
“And honey,” said Vanessa, “his name is Patrick, not Patick.”
“Oh. I’m sorry Pat-trick. I’m happy you have another friend like my daddy does.”
J.W. stood and winked at Andre.
“You know what she meant,” grinned Andre.
In another part of town, a couple were found sitting on the back porch of Dianne's home as she poured another glass of ice-tea for her and Johnathan.
He was getting stronger every day that went by. since the shooting July 12th, Jonathan had been lifting weights starting at ten pounds and now he was at 120. The rehab clinic was helping him restore his strength. He also took long walks and alternated that with short runs. Between that and Dianne's cooking, he put on a much needed twenty pounds. Another twenty wouldn't hurt.
after all, no married man wants to be tired on his wedding night.
The doctors had taken x-rays recently and we're pleased at how his progress was coming along. It was expected he could be back to work by mid-November.
Jonathan and Dianne were looking forward to a new life experience together and hopefully, a long one filled with rug-rats running around the house.
Then there was Baker and Ed. was Stevie gone for the day, It was just them, alone. Alone to enjoy each other’s company.
With all Baker had endured over the past several weeks, she had more nervous energy and tension wound up inside her than even she or Ed knew.
But they would find out.
Both lost count of the orgasm's that screamed from beneath the sheets held in a total disarray. Neither released their hold on one another. Later, just as Stevie announced he was home; would they let go their lovers bond and with a sly grin, Ed said to her in a soft voice, “Maybe I should get it replaced with some bionics, too.”
Baker laughed and punched him in his real shoulder.
“Don’t. You. Dare.”
Satchell. A man who swore he would never get involved with another woman again. A man who had called Samantha Saturday night and asked if he could stop by on Sunday. Samantha readily agreed.
Give Satchell a badge and a gun, and he knew what was expected of him. But four years has gone by since June was killed. Samantha was his first real contact, or date, and he was nervous. He still wasn't sure if this was the right thing to do.
But he was there, sitting on her front porch, talking small talk, before Samantha said, “John, you didn't ask to come out here to see me to talk about the weather or how well your precinct is doing. What’s really on your mind”
Satchell inhaled sharply, exhaled slowly.
“You. You are on my mind.”
“Really? That’s surprising coming from a man who doesn’t want to be involved.”
“That’s why I’m talking about the weather,” he grinned. “It’s easier than talking about emotions.”
“John, I know how much you loved June and,”
“No, Samantha, you don’t know. Even Don doesn't know how much I loved his sister. Her family doesn't know the depth of my feelings for her. But I can tell you it's a depth I don't know if I can ever reach again.
“But there is something about you Sam, that I'm drawn to. Maybe it's the lilt in your voice, that sparkle in your eyes, your soothing voice, all those times when you touch me in a certain way. Maybe it's your resolve, your outlook on life. Even though I've tried to fight against it, I find myself drawn to you, and somehow, I'm not so afraid as I was four years ago, or a month ago, or even yesterday. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want to try again, with you.”
“John, You never have to be afraid of me. Honestly, I would very much love to no more about the men behind the badge. I said it once before; I find you a very intriguing man. And I would enjoy being anywhere you are as long as you wanted, and I say that without strings attached.
“John, let's work on the closeness of friends first, and take each step after that, not with a question or concern, but with an open mind to a future that is out there waiting to see what we'll do with it.”
Satchell smiled and stood up. For him, it was getting late. Then, recalling he almost forgot part of his reason for being with Samantha, he reached inside his coat pocket.
“Before I forget and I almost did, this is for you.”
“You didn't have to get me anything.”
“I know. I went into their specialty store the other day and the urge came over me. Please, Sam, take this as a gift, from … a friend. One who likes you very much.”
Satchell handed her the box. Samantha stood on her tip toes and kissed him lightly on his lips, then stood back and smiled.
“And that one didn't hurt either of us.”
“I’ll call you next week, say Wednesday. would you like to go out to dinner with me. Hell, I said that backwards.”
“I’d love to.”
“Look for my call then. I hope you enjoy the gift.”
“What’s your rush?”
“Monday’s come fast and early. Take care and be safe.”
Satchell walked down the steps, past her gated fence, into his car and was gone. He was smiling all the way home.
Samantha felt the warmness about her, then opened Satchell’s gift to her. Her eyes flew open in astonishment. It was a work of beauty, almost magical.
The silver holding the gemstones was intricately designed with two smaller hearts crossing over each other. But it was the moving picture of a night sky filled with stars and a full moon and two other things that took her breath away.
She looked up, but Satchell’s car was gone. As much as it would pain her to wait and tell Satchell he just captured her heart for good, but she would wait for the right time.
As she looked at the night sky and moon, on the right-hand side was an image of him and her. How he ever managed that, surprised her, but left her with huge smiles.
Of course Samantha looked at it again in the daylight and she would see a blue sky and billowing white clouds. Yes, it was magical.
And Satchell? He didn’t have a clue.
A Different Relationship
Prompt: “Write a description of Frankenstein as if you were writing a love story.”
I thought this could be humorous and decided to give it a shot XD Also thanks to my great friend GLD for for sharing this prompt with me!
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I saw a shadow move by a riverbank, the setting sun reflected the rippling water. The shadow was tall and seemed to take on a male form. It hid behind a large oak tree and peeked around, shyly studying me.
I walked over, curious to find who or what was hiding. As I crept over, the figure stepped out. He was a tall creature, not quite human, but handsome looking in the sunlight. His green-ish skin took on a glowing hue from the sun, his yellow eyes studied me. A mat, of what seemed to be hair, sat up top his uniquely shaped face. He opened his mouth, to reveal a set of white, straight teeth that shone in the golden lighting.“Ooh!” I giggled as he reached his green, largely shaped hand towards me. He uttered a few noises.
“I,” I patted my chest, excitment growing inside of me. “Am Angela.” The huge beast uttered more noises, a smile grew on his face. “An-ge-la.” I pronounced slowly.
He opened his mouth and tried to repeat the word I spoke. “Aaaanaaalaaa.” He deeply moaned.
I laughed softly. “Close, An-ge-la.” I tried again.
His brow furrowed and he uttered more sounds. “Aaaanaalaa.” He repeated.
I sighed, “That’s good enough.” His hand patted my golden curls. “Do you have a name?” I asked, not quite expecting an answer.
He pounded his chest with a hand and uttered a long string of sounds. I tilted my head. “Maybe.. I’ll call you Trenton.” I looked into his yellow eyes.
He nodded excitedly in agreement. “Tttteeeenonn” He moaned.
I laughed again. “Good!” I grabbed his hand. “Come on! Let me bring you home.” I smiled.
I led Trenton through the forest back onto the road and we walked into town. He uttered multiple, guttural noises as we walked by houses. Several mothers stared in shock as I walked hand in hand with my new found friend. Children hid behind their mother’s skirts. Men tipped their hats at me, then their jaws dropped in surprise at the sight of Trenton.
I walked him past all the stares and whispers. Trenton’s hand raised and he pointed at a group of young woman gathered together. Their gossiping whispers carried through the breeze and met my ears. “A.. monster?” One gasped.
“Some alien.” Another hissed, her eyes boring into my soul.
We walked briskly by, I ignored all the onlookers. Finally, we arrived to my home. I opened the gate and walked up to the door. Trenton looked at me with his yellow eyes, another smile grew on his face as I opened the door.
“I’m home!” I called through our home.
Trenton ducked through the doorway, and stumbled into our kitchen. He stood up straight, his coal black hair touching the ceiling.
My mother walked in, “Angela where have you-” A scream erupted from her throat. The plate in her hand fell and smashed on our tiled floor. “WHAT IS THAT?” She screamed, cowering by the stove. Her hand grabbed a pan and she raised it as a shield.
″His name is Trenton.” I smiled proudly. “He’s my new suitor.”
“YOU’RE WHAT?” My mother screeched, horrified.
Trenton smiled broadly and patted my head gently. “Aaaaanaaalaaaa.” He proudly stated.
“A-Angela.” My mother’s voice quivered. “W-what is that?”
“He’s my new suitor.” I repeated, patting Trenton’s hand.
“C-can we talk, privately?” She asked.
“Of course.” I turned to Trenton and motioned with my hands while speaking loudly. “You... stay... here..”
He nodded and made a few deep, uncomprehensible noises. I left him and joined my mother in our living room. "What on earth do you think you are doing, Angela?" My mother hissed at me. Her brown eyes smoldered with confusion, anger, and fear.
"Mother, please." I smiled at her sweetly, "You said I am old enough to find a suitor, so I did."
"Angela Freanna Nadia Grasswood!" Mother stamped her foot and rose her voice, "I don't want you finding random..." She huffed under her breath for a moment. "Not that this-this- thing is human." Her brown eyes bore right into me. "I don't want you looking for suitors off the streets! I expected better from you, Angela."
"Mother," I sweetened my voice again. "Please, he is so kind, and gentle! He won't harm a fly. Besides... he's different. That is what I want in a man." I felt my cheeks warming slightly.
Mother narrowed her eyes. "There will be no such relationship, with this... creature-like-thing, under this household. We will see what your father has to say about this!" She stormed away from me and peeked into the kitchen.
I strode into the kitchen and nodded at Trenton. He smiled broadly once again when he saw me. "Aaaaanaaaallaaaa." He greeted me.
Before I said anything, my father waltzed into the kitchen. His glasses sat on his nose as he held a newspaper under his arm. "Angela, you have been-" His blue-gray eyes fell on Trenton and he froze. His voice grew low and deadly."Get behind me now, Angela."
"Oh Father!" I giggled and walked right up to Trenton. "This is Trenton, my new suitor."
Father's jaw dropped."You-your-" He spattered unable to finish his sentence.
"My suitor." I smiled happily.
"Angela Feanna Nadia Grasswood, there will be-" He started, then stopped when Trenton reached his hand to greet him. He slowly reached his hand out and shook Trenton's hand. "Well, I suppose I was wrong about you." He smiled.
"See?" I giggled again. "Trenton, is the nicest and most polite man."
"Trenton.. nice to meet you." My father greeted him.
"Tttteeeennooooonnn." Trenton moaned and patted my father's arm gently. He pointed to Father and opened his mouth, making numerous noises.
"Oh, he wants to know your name!" I translated.
"Ah! I am Frederick." He called out for Mother. "Dianna, have you met Angela's new friend?"
"Freeeerrreerrriiccckk." Trenton proudly said. Then said my mother's name. "Diiiaaaannnaaa."
My mother appeared at the doorway, her face pale. "Y-yes, Frederick?"
"I believe Angela has found her suitor, my dear." My father grabbed a glass of water and offered it to Trenton.
A dull thud sounded, we all turned around and my mother laid on the floor, passed out.
"Aaaaanaaaalaaaaa." Trenton happily stated and patted my head endearingly.
I had found just the man I was looking for; someone...different.
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# 5: Just How Big or Small Is It
For years so it seems,the age-old question "Does size matter" actually comes into play this time around. And no, this has nothing to do with sex. Let us proceed.
Encompassing an estimated 1,218.37 acres (1,904 square miles), the Grand Canyon is capable of holding 1 – 2 quadrillion gallons of water. If you poured all the river water on Earth into the Grand Canyon, it would still only be about half full.
The smallest thing that we can see with a 'light' microscope is about 500 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth (that's 1,000,000,000th) of a meter. So the smallest thing that you can see with a light microscope is about 200 times smaller than the width of a hair. Bacteria are about 1000 nanometers in size.
The Michigan Micro Mote is currently the world’s smallest computer at just 2mm x 4mm and requires an average of just 500 pico watts in operation and just 35 pico watts in standby or about a millionth of the power of a mobile phone on standby.
For a computer to be classed truly as a computer it must have an input, a processor to handle the data from the input and then output the results somehow. The Michigan Micro Mote has a processor, a radio for wifi communications, a solar cell and battery for power, a photocell for communications and can have a variety of sensors like pressure, temperature, imaging etc making the Micro Mote a fully self-contained computer that can run on just the normal lighting in a room.
With the largest telescope ever, The Arecibo Observatory should look familiar even if you’re not an internationally renowned scientist. It’s appeared in a handful of fairly popular movies, most famously in Golden-Eye and Contact. In the real world, it’s located in Puerto Rico and is the largest radio telescope on Earth. In fact, it’s so big it was easier to turn an existing limestone sinkhole into a telescope than to build one completely from scratch. The telescope’s main function is to track planets and asteroids passing Earth, with the latter focusing on those that could potentially damage our planet, though it’s also been used as a broadcasting station. In 1974, scientists used the facility to translate and send pictures to M13, a cluster of stars 21,000 light years away.
Sequoia trees are the biggest living things on this planet (by volume). They can grow up to 275 feet tall and 26 feet in diameter.
Manmade, Three Gorges Dam, this dam spans the Yangtze River in China and was built at the cost of $37 billion (U.S.). Considered the biggest hydroelectric dam ever built, it displaced 1.3 million people. It even has the capacity to slow the very rotation of the earth by strategically shifting significant masses of water.
The Women of Abelard Wood
Mother was raped in the village of Abelard seventeen years ago. Three village men took her during one of her rare ventures into town, herding her into an abandoned barn where they took turns at her. For hours, long after the men were physically capable of intercourse, they restrained and abused her, sodomizing her with the rough, splintered handles of farm implements when they could find nothing else. In their drunken revelry they even gave a goat a try, the three of them standing back and laughing as it’s cloven hooves gripped at her hips so that it might more voraciously hump her, an indignation whose penetrations her battered and bloodied body no longer contained the strength to prevent. Well I knew the story. It was this story that blackened my heart, having heard it my life long.
Surley and dark lie Abelard’s Wood, damp and fetid it’s soil. Stagnant ponds and bayou swamps create a crooked maze of unexplored fingers of land which stretch tentatively forth through the black water, into the putrid air, and on up to the dank canopy above. After that day in the barn it was here that Mother crawled, finding in the solitude of The Abelard Wood a refuge, a sanctuary, and a home, and so have I made it my home as well.
We learned the woods, Mother and I, and came to love them, over time. They sheltered us, fed us, and clothed us. From it’s depths we lived day to day, gathering herbs, mushrooms, snakes, lizards, frogs, and even small mammals, adding each to a stew which boils ceaselessly to this day; a stew endlessly changing in flavors, and textures, odors and powers, but which never, ever cools. That was our law of the forest, Mother’s and mine, that the fire must always burn, else the dark and the wet take everything given us back.
Mother is gone now, her pain over, destroyed by her very home. Like everything in the swamp, it eventually took her, too; rotting away her skin, molding it to a green cast with poisonous boils leeching from the most uncomfortable places, but she bore it well, even as it bent and racked her. She would reassure me as I applied poultices dipped from the hallucinogenic stew. “It is nothing,” she would say, “to the pain inflicted by man.”
To that end, we gained her revenge. Many is the lost child, the wandering maid, the wood-cutter gone missing from the village, ne’er to be seen again. Many is the time that the stew changed in texture, and smell, and flavor. Many is the night we stood over the pot, adding fuel to it’s fire while singing the old songs, the barely remembered songs, the songs that change like the stew, growing ever stronger as we tasted.
I am alone now; young, and painfully different. Though consumed with hatred for the village men, they have something I need, something I long for, and can get nowhere else. I need a seed, and must take one from between the legs of one who lives there, so I lurk now at the wood’s edge, a shadow watching the village road, and waiting.
That I have the bait to lure, I know. There is beauty in my face, despite it’s jaded hue. I have seen it in the eyes of those destined for the pot. I have seen it in their drugged lusts, but their erections fail upon sight of the cloven hooves on my lower half. But I will catch some unwary one, as the black widow catches one. I will lure him with what he wants, allowing him to see only that. I will give him his moment of ecstasy. I will hide the truth in potions and robes until it is too late, and he has given what I need from him... and then I will devour him, saving his loins to nourish the child that he leaves, but it is not easy. Many have I lured, and many have I lost, a few of them at the very moment of passion, when the seed was bubbling, and the blood boiling. Something tips them at the very end as to their fate, though I know not what? But I will know. I am young, and there is time. Their are other men, and more will come. I will call to those men with songs they long to hear. I will tease them, and toy with them, and feed them the broth. I will lie atop them with the nails of my fingers digging into their skin, and my hooves clinging to their waists. I will bite their necks, and pump their groins until one of them gives me what it is I need...
Chapter Ten: Prosperity and the Panic
Everything had been amazing for Will and Flower. Now that he had returned home, Flower found herself happier than she had been in a long time. When the Panic of 1819 hit, they were barely affected.
Flower received an almost endless amount of business, having built a reputation as one of the best, if not the best, seamstresses in America, skillfully fulfilling each customer’s order in an unbelievably fast amount of time. Will, who had been hard at work ever since he returned, kept a farm large enough to feed his entire family. When he had picked his share of the produce to feed the family, he sold the leftovers. Though once the children were older he would not be able to sell as much, he made a remarkable amount of money selling what he produced.
When the Panic hit, Flower dropped the prices and began accepting different forms of payment. The dress she was wearing now was a gift from one of the kind old ladies from the church not far from where she lived. She told Flower that it had been her daughter’s before she died of pneumonia last winter. The dress was beautiful. The fabric was softer and more comfortable than anything Flower had ever worn.
Just last week, one of the town’s teachers brought Flower a pie that his wife had baked. A nurse paid in first-aid supplies. And an old man gave her his cane. Not wanting to be rude, she refused the kind offer and, instead, accepted a piece of cotton he claimed was magic.
Will began donating the extra food to those who were hit the hardest. He could not give everyone three meals a day, and his farm was not extensive enough to share food on a daily basis, but he gave as much as he could.
With the exception of some of the strange forms of payment Flower received, life was normal. A dream. Every day was a constant reminder of the love Will and Flower had for each other. Their children only made their love for each other grow.
One cold night, as the wind and snow whistled vehemently outside, Flower and Will sat in the living room, enjoying conversation about the events of the week. Though the fireplace warmed the house substantially, they sat on the couch, snuggling with a blanket on their laps. Right as Flower was about to fall asleep in Will’s arms, frantic knocking made the couple shoot upward in alarm. Neither knew who could possibly be at their door at such a late hour.
The knocking became faster and harder, from a regular knock to dual-fisted, incessant banging on the door. Grabbing the fire iron, Will swung open the door. A black man fell to the floor, snow clinging to his beard, ice hanging from his nose and eyes.
“I n-need, help, sir. It-it’s my son, s-sir,” the slave said, exiting the house and picking up his son who had been lying on the porch, wrapped in a blanket.
At the mention of a son, Flower ran to the man and helped him bring his son inside, lying him on the floor in front of the fireplace. “What’s wrong with him?” she asked.
“He was shot, ma’am,” the slave said, moving the blanket away from his son’s stomach.
“Oh, no,” Flower gasped. “If only Rosie were here…I would do anything to have her here now.”
Flower retrieved her medical supplies and raced back to the living room, where she disinfected the wound and put a bandage over it. “We will have to get him to a doctor tomorrow. For now, the best I can do is bandage him up and leave him in front of the fire.”
“They ain’t gon’ do nothin’ for us,” the man said sorrowfully.
Though she did not want to admit it, she knew that what he was saying was true. Not many people liked black men. They were considered animals, sub-human. Flower was glad her father had raised her to see and treat everyone equally.
“Gretta,” Will said with an expression that cried Eureka! “She adopted a black boy, and she’s a nurse!”
“It’s our only shot at your son’s survival,” Flower said.
“Thank the Lord fo’ leadin’ me to you! I ain’t never been so fortunate in my life. There ain’t many like you, you know. Helpin’, ‘stead of kickin’ me out in the cold.”
“What happened?” Flower asked.
“’S a long story, ma’am,” he said, and began to tell his story.
February 21st, 1819
I hope you have been faring well in these dark times. Will and I have been blessed with the presence of Job and his son Cain. Job arrived at our house on a stormy winter night in January, fleeing from his master who had shot Cain after he tried to protect a child from being beaten over something that may as well have been nothing.
Gretta, a kind young nurse who adopted a freed slave, helped us fully dress Cain’s wounds, and he is now almost completely recovered. It brings back memories of that night long ago. Back when I longed to be an adventurer as Chadwick was, then I took an arrow to the leg. He is very lucky to be alive. I am not a religious person, but this God that Job brings up frequently is beginning to sound more real with each passing day.
They now live with us. They are only required to help around the house and on the farm. This, of course, is not meant to be slavery. I made sure that he knew that.
Our three children now share one room, and he and his son sleep in our eldest’s old room. They have taught Will many things about his farm. Cain says to expect twice the amount of food that was produced this year!
It amazes me how many people despise black people. I have lost some of my social standing since I brought them into my house. Though I do not mind. We are all human, aren’t we?
If she is still with you, tell Rosie that I needed her when they arrived. Tell Owen I cannot wait to see him once more! I expect he has grown lots since I first saw him all those years ago. I would like to thank you for visiting me with him then. I was in a dark place when you happily handed me your not-quite-year-old son…I digress. I have never been happier!
I do hope you have not been affected by the state of our economy too poorly.
Your loving sister,
August 3rd, 1819
I have not heard from you in a long while. I do hope that you have been faring well. My wife and I plan to come visit you and Owen, now that our child has been born and I have set up what I believe to be an excellent hierarchy on my farm.
Not many understand my ways, but you would be amazed with how much more gets accomplished when you pay, feed, clothe, and house the black men who work for you. They built their homes, they grow the crops, so they live here and eat here freely. I paid a young woman to teach the children, and any adults who wished to have a better education. She is who I married.
They are a fun bunch, the men who work for me. Happily singing all day long as they labor for long hours under the scorching heat of the Georgia sun. Having a relationship with these men is fantastic. They are some of the kindest, happiest people I know.
When I leave, my farm will be in the magnificent care of my second-in-command, Paul. He is very charismatic, an excellent leader, and his work ethic never ceases to amaze me.
Hoping to see you soon,
Chadwick, Eleanor, and James
Owen raced through the house, playing with his favorite toys. It was October when the letter had finally arrived, and Diana smiled as she heard the news of her brother’s marriage and the birth of her nephew.
“What do you have there?” a man asked, sitting next to her.
“Oh, it is just a letter from my brother.”
“I wish my siblings sent letters as frequently as yours did,” he replied.
Diana kissed her husband, then explained, “When we left home, our parents told us to send letters frequently. We never fell out of the habit, and I am grateful for it.”
Her husband, Tyler, smiled thoughtfully. “Maybe I should write my brother and sisters. We have not spoken in years…”
“That is an outstanding idea, dear,” Diana said.
Diana had met Tyler Wilson at the newspaper company she worked for. He fell in love with her immediately, though she was skeptical at first due to memories of her time in Boston, of Owen’s father.
After months of him trying to woo her, and many letters to and from Rosie concerning him, she eventually caved in and allowed another man to enter her life. They married not long after. At first, she was worried about what Owen would think; but Owen immediately liked who would soon be his step-father.
Out of all the Kincade children, Diana was hit the hardest in the Panic.
Though the paper did not have any less to write about, it made significantly less than it had. With both Tyler and Diana in the newspaper business, Tyler was forced to get a second job. The Panic brought tough times on Diana and Tyler, but with their hard work and love for each other, they managed to make it through.
Diana had not heard from Rosie since telling her of her decision to marry Tyler. She could only hope that her sister was prospering through these difficult times.
Written By: CalebPinnow
Chapter 2: Camila, The Way Old Fairy Tree?
With Graham long behind me, I continue on my trail to the fairy tree. The closer I am, the more I realise how majestic she is. She stands like a queen-- firm on her roots upholding a trunk that stood the tests of time. She stands above everything else in her vicinity, with her branches wide like a queen on her citadel’s balcony. If she doesn’t know where Jo is, I don’t think anyone does.
I hover over the cold river, dark and deep, shielding a moon of its own. The moon underneath seems considerably closer to reach out to rather than the one in the sky. It makes me wonder why no one might have attempted the same. I hold myself from investigating the possibility right there, right then. It was bare and empty, after all. What will it change if I successfully reach out?
I am now only a few feet away from the fairy tree. And another few feet away from Jo. I bring myself to a halt when I reach a distance from where she could hear me, “Ma’am, have you seen a little girl?” The fairy tree doesn’t answer. She seems to be stargazing. I decide to ask a bit louder this time, “She is a young girl. She is missing.”
That gets her attention. Not much, though. She asks me something widely different, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I am unable to understand what she is trying to convey. “What is?” I ask. She is a wise lady. The ones with wisdom always make the simple things appear cryptic. Perhaps, it is what this is.
“The stars. The night sky. The cold wind. Look around. With your eyes open.” She says. Is this a riddle? Does she mean that I am not looking hard enough? But where is Jo? The tree continues, “Did you find what you are looking for?” Now, it’s a bit terrifying. Not terrifying. I am not terrified. But it feels weird, like a murderer asking whether their prey is happy tonight.
“I am Camila. And you?” Camila! What? Why? Camila literally means young. And she is old. Way old. Her barks seem to have wrinkles like that of Jo’s grandmother. This is hopeless. This psychic tree is not taking me anywhere. Why is everything so fruitless tonight?
I walk away from her. Some part of me still anticipates a call from behind, finally sharing the relevant details. But she doesn’t. She goes back to gazing at the blank sky the moment I take a few steps away from her. Hopeless. A small blade of grass is called Graham, and a too old fairy tree is called Camila! Who even names these people?
I know the chapter feels like a let-down after what might have seemed like a nice start. I wrote the beginning a few weeks ago, but I could never finish the chapter after that. So, this is much more of a rough effort to get things done rather than a well-written chapter. I hope you guys forgive me for that (: The chapter does follow the outline, just not good enough... I will try and make up to it with the next chapter ^-^ Hope you guys like it!
This Is What Happened
The entire time I was gone for the viewing and funeral, needless to say I was devastated over Kristie’s death. Of all of my cousins, she has always been my favorite.
What made this worse though, was how she died. In my other post, I didn’t go into any great detail but it wasn’t a car accident, heart attack or Cancer. It was three bullets. Two to her chest and on in her head.
For Kristie, it was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In Whiteville, where this happened, a small town of less than 6,000 people, this town is notorious for its crime rate. And its drug deals. No less than in front of a Piggly Wiggly Supermarket as she was pushing a cart of groceries to her pickup truck, a car drove by and opened fire. No, she wasn’t the target, as two other men were also killed. They were the target, so the police suspect. And I suspect the same thing, or at least one of them.
And as I write this, the ones who killed her had not yet been found and arrested. And that (pardon my French), pisses me off to no end. No one as in supposed witnesses remembered the make of the car the shooters were in or how many may have been in the car. I am hopeful the ones who destroyed her and her family’s life will be found soon. Jacob said the second he heard anything he would let me know.
In the last three years alone, there were 111 shootings resulting in death in a town less than six squares mile big.
Jacob, Kristie’s husband meantime, is doing what he can with the kids and both his mother and two sisters are helping him as much as they can. The girls are so damned confused and lost, but that same day Kristie was killed, she would normally take the youngest with her, but that day she had her stay home with Daddy.
It’s a sad affair to say the least.
I will end this with a talk Kristie and I had when she was twelve. I was thirty-eight then.
“Billy, I love you.”
“I love you too, pumpkin.” (she laughed)
“Can we get married someday.” ( laughed)
“No pumpkin, we are cousins and your daddy would probably kick my butt.”
“Can we pretend?”
“Nope. Let’s just love each other as we are.”
“But you’re so old!” (I laughed harder)
(Ignore the goofy face on the left in the photo.)
Book Four: Part 8 - Rhyming Evil - Chapter 36
Friday - August 10th
The Squad Room – 8:33 a.m.
“We are running out of time. Anyone have any ideas as to where our killer may be? Anyone?”
She looked around the room
“There is Something we're missing to all of this. Something that may be as obvious as the noses on our faces, something that could be so ordinary and we're just missing it. C’mon people\, think! What have you seen that isn't the way it should be?”
There was a stillness in the air before Damien Sorrenson spoke up.
“I don't know if this is anything or not, but my partner, Jack, stumble over a rapper from Taco’s Supreme. It was out there at Brewster's Gun Club. When he threw it in the trash, he noticed several more wrappers. Probably just kids hanging out; what with the place closed and all.”
Wrappers. Baker remembered.
“Anyone happen to know where the closest Billy Burger’s is?”
“Sure,” Jack Mallory said. “Same place as Taco’s Supreme. Palymera.”
“I found a bunch of wrapper’s there Wednesday, and now you two find taco wrappers. I don’t think kids would be out there two days in a row from Palymera. Doesn’t make sense to drive almost fifteen miles when they have better places to have a picnic or a party.”
Baker looked around the room.
“Devon and J.W., Mallory and Sorrenson, Lowery and Banyard, Clausen and Klugston, saddle up. We’re going to Brewster’s. Wear your flak-jackets and helmets.
“It’s now 8:46. I want all units approximately one-half mile away from the property by 9:15. Clinton and Davis? I want you at the entrance off Highway 60 to make sure no one other than us and emergency services go up that road.
“The rest of you run your routes. Be safe out there and keep our streets safe.”
She looked at Dianne.
“Come with me.”
She walked into Satchell’s office.
“Captain, you might want to get in your car and follow us to Brewster’s. I think we’ve found our potential killer.”
Satchell stood up, saying, “I’m right behind you.”
The wrapped package held in his hand, he put in his desk drawer.
Brewster’s Gun Club – 9:25 a.m.
“Mallory and Sorrenson, go around to the back side of the building, maintain your position there. Keep your radio, and this goes for all of you, to open channel 05, but keep it set on low.
“Devon and J.W., front side. Lowery and Banyard, left side, and Clausen and Klugston, right side.
“I’m going to try and talk whoever is in there into coming out without any possibility of someone getting injured or killed.
“Dianne, hand me the bull horn.”
“If nothing else,” said Satchell, “the bull horn will get their attention. Then we could call them on the phone.”
Baker nodded and brought the bull horn to her lips and flipped the on switch.
“This is to whoever is inside the building. This is the police. We have the building surrounded. There is no chance for escape. Step out of the building with your hands locked behind your head.”
Every officer in position were at the ready. Each man held a riot gun at port arms, ready to be used. Like them, Baker, Satchell, and Dianne had the safeties off on their own weapons and like everyone else; they were counting the passing seconds.
No one came out.
Baker wondered if anyone was really inside, but she kept at it.
“I repeat. Step out of the building. Place your hands behind your head. There is no chance for escape. Do not take lives of those you love. I promise you, come out, and there will be no violent repercussions.”
They heard a scream, then a shot was fired. Every weapon was now trained on the building entrance to the range rooms.
In the back of the building, Mallory radioed Baker.
“I found an opening back here. It’s a small crawlspace, but I’m sure I can fit through it.”
“Take it, but listen, Mallory. Before you take out the primary, check the situation first. A shot has been fired but that doesn’t mean anyone’s been hurt. Relay back to me what you can see.”
“Roger that, Baker.”
Satchell handed Baker his cell.
“Phone’s ringing. Take it.”
Baker grabbed and listened to it ring eight more times before someone picked up the landline.
“Help us! Please!”
It was a young voice, probably a child. A boy.
“There—there is a gun against my head, and—and I, I, I’m supposed to say I de-deserve to die! But I don’t want to die! Help me!”
Baker shouted loudly as she could into the phone.
“Whoever you are, answer me! If you kill those people with you, you will never see the light of day again. You will spend the rest of your life in prison! Is that what you want? In prison, reliving this moment the rest of your life? Is it?”
Baker heard cackling laughter.
“This is funny, honey!” The phone disconnected.
Baker heard a female voice. On her radio, she heard Mallory.
“Baker, my view is so-so, but what I see is Jimmy Brewster, and he’s down. He’s either been shot or suffered a brutal blow to his head. I can see blood.
“I can see a woman holding two hand guns. One looks to be a .45 semi-auto mag, and the other; not sure, but it might be a Lugar, vintage German style.”
“Okay, Mallory. Do you know if the woman is Jimmy’s wife, and can you see his son?”
“Never saw his wife before, and I can’t see the boy, but I can get a clean head or heart shot. Just say the word.”
“Hold, Mallory. Wait for my signal.”
She looked to Satchell and Dianne.
“It’s the Brewster’s. All three of them, I’m sure of it. Mallory did see Jimmy. Lydia is holding them hostage.”
“She’s been drinking for years, ever since Blake was born without legs. Now, she’s unstable. We have to stop her, Baker,” said Satchell.
“I know. Mallory says he has a clear shot, but I have to try once more to talk her down.”
She hit speed dial on Satchell’s cell. This time she got a response after the first ring.
“We all have to die. It’s the only way. I’m a terrible mother. Jimmy’s not a father, and Blake has been tortured by all of this. Don’t you see? It’s the only logical choice left. First is the man who helped me spawn my poor child. Then Blake, to end all his pain, suffering, and ridicule. Then me.
“Can’t you see? After that, we’ll be a real family, in heaven. It’s the only way!”
Baker could feel her anguish and listened to her voice as it was choked with a flood of tears.
“Lydia! Listen to me. If you kill Jimmy, you also kill a man who has been a friend to many people. You kill him, you kill a good and kind memory to many of us.
“And Blake. What about Blake? He’s made friends in school. He gets along in school with my son and his friends. My son, Stevie, has told me how funny and how much fun it is to be around Blake at school. A lot of kids like him. You would be killing—no, forget that; you would be robbing him of his chance to choose and make a difference with his own life. It’s what every mother wants for their child. To see them grow and make their generation a little bit better than the one before.
“Don’t take that away from him, Lydia. As a mother, you gave him life. Only God has the right to take Blake from you and Jimmy. Just come outside and let’s talk. Let’s end all this.”
“Jimmy’s already dead.”
Baker jumped, a startled look on her face as she stared at the cell.
She hit the talk button on her radio.
“Mallory! Tell me you did not just fire! What happened?”
“Never saw this happen before, Baker. I swear!”
“Dammit! What? Talk to me!”
“She just put the .45 in her mouth and pulled the trigger.”
Brewster’s Gun Club – Two Hours Later
Carl and his F-team were all over the place . The County morgue wagon arrived, and after Carl checked over Lydia Brewster's body, he signed a release form where the ME would cite the obvious cause of death.
Two ambulances pulled in. One for Jimmy, the other, Blake.
“I loaded the van to spend a week at the Pocono’s. The van’s in the barn. Things were all
right until after we got on 60. Lydia pulled a gun out of nowhere and started shouting orders at us.
“We came here. She had me carry Blake from the van to the range room. Then she threw handcuffs at me and had me handcuff Blake to one of metal legs. Then she smacked me in the head. When I came back around, I was cuffed to Blake's left hand with my right, and my left hand was cuffed to another metal leg.”
“Was, or did she give you any indication as to the what and why with all of this?” asked Baker.
“Prior to keeping us locked down, nothing I can think of. I’d leave the house every day like clockwork, and she’d either be dead drunk or almost there. Blake would comment sometimes she was passed out before he left for work.
“I know our marriage went to hell shortly after Blake was born, but I tried to keep us together. I guess I didn't try hard enough.” As a passing thought, he added, “The keys to the barn are in Lydia's pocket.”
One of the paramedics step forward saying they had to get Jimmy and Blake to the hospital.
Jimmy's head injury from the bullet, wasn't as bad as it first looked to Mallory. The bullet creased his scalp, but he would still have to have x-rays to make certain there wasn't any other damage.
As to Blake, the boy was traumatized by the events and would require several days in the hospital as well as professional counseling.
Driving back to the Twenty-Second, Dianne said, “Kind of amazing in a way, that Lydia could be so drunk and yet follow up on every riddle she ever wrote.”
“Dianne, it’s hard to tell which Lydia was doing that; the sober or the drunk one, but either way, she almost managed to do what she had planned. And now, it’s over.”
Lydia Brewster wouldn't be tormented any longer.
There can be no fool for me. Only a heartless wit will do.
By the dubious age of fifteen I’d already decided that “Ever Afters” were infantile pipe-dreams, “Happily” ones especially so.
After all, only a blind idiot could entertain the thought that a living soul might be happy in one paradise forever. And though I was quite clearly a sentimental idiot, I wasn’t blind.
The following quotes capture my applicable feelings of the time. The first sums up the more sober part of my own attitude, the second grasps the essence of the only passion I could have seriously respected in a man:
“If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for a mere 50 pounds a year, I should be very well pleased. But such a man could hardly be sensible, and you know I could never love a man who was out of his wits.” ~Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen.
“Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool; wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them.” ~Hamlet, William Shakespeare.
So, when I did meet a man who fluttered my precariously prudent heart, and who my pugnacious mind confirmed worthy of such vivacious esteem, it was a lost cause from the start, obviously.
I, feeble rationality fettered with excessive romance, but only towards the kind of man who could not (by the very nature I love in him) love me back in the same way.
He, requisite freedom placated by my importunate adoration, chained (against his better judgement) into a hapless monogamy.
Both of us have endured our predictable agonies with (barely) adequate dignity over the years.
Nevertheless, I’m still living my ever after. In happiness and despair, in boredom and desperation, in persiflage and diligence, in love and hatred, in sickness and health, and in everything between them: In every mundane pause for affection and in every faulty contrivance which dares to prowl restlessly in the bowels of a marriage.
...It is a multifaceted and whimsically sorrowful delight, to see my fickle and apocryphal fantasies drop into an ocean of lachrymal yearning which breaks, in pathetically apologetic waves, upon his more logical solidarity.
But oh, what the boundlessly foolish youth in me wouldn’t give, for an occasional clash of tides...
eventually, everything resurfaces
I am interested in longing,
in longing so deep it threatens to splinter a person apart
— Rachel Yoder
A few hours later.
It takes some time to convince him that I was more or less stable now and would not collapse before anyone else's welcoming feet again. Or any kind of motor engine, for that matter, If I ever decided to head outside for a whiff of some rather questionable fresh air. Safe to say, it takes me at least an hour and a lot of heavy, pressuring stares before he lets me out of his sight. Not that I could blame him. Even though that kind of hovering attitude; irritated me worse than a nasty, itchy rash. Heating my skin more than a steamy and passionate rendezvous session with a poison ivy bush would.
But still, I get it.
For some reason, he cared, and I was grateful for it. Even if I sucked at showing it. There were times when I thought of myself as an Italian matron, expressing my care and concern by bringing food. It was the best way I knew how - a small smile creeps to my lips but is quickly replaced by a deep, ulgly scowl. At that simple task of showing affection, I was more or less decent. But as the mental state goes, and communication skills when it comes to any type of feelings... Well, let's face it. In that area, I was a shipwreck. Though even I had my moments sometimes.
I think quietly, shifting between people, corridors, and eventually, the seemingly endless flights of stairs. I head to the roof, sneaking outside before anyone could notice or protest against it. Blocking the heavy door with a piece of a cardboard box, so I would not get shut out, leaving my sorry ass to potential hyperthermia and a not-so-pleasant ice statue effect. With some hesitation, I inhale deeper and then exhale very slowly. Releasing the tension in my chest a bit, letting the lungs take in as much oxygen as they wanted. Mmm, even though the air was freezing, it felt good as it expanded under the ribs, scratching almost painfully from the inside but making me feel just a little bit more human.
I close my eyes and hold back on any unwanted thoughts and feelings that could slip into the cracks, rocking the already unsteady foundation. The only thing that I do, let in, are my senses as I concentrate on all the seemingly insignificant things in between. On how the wind moves against my skin and fingers, as my hands open wide, my head lifted back, eyes closed. Or on how each sound vibrates in my eardrums and under the muscles. The street traffic blending into an unknown melody that somehow soothes my mind. With time I relax slightly, allowing myself to be in the here and now, but eventually, some time later, he finds me.
I'm not even that surprised. Somehow, he always found me, sensing when my mood would drop or when my thoughts were further away from him, from everything. Maybe he felt the notions that I had been ignoring so well. Never truly realizing how the things inside of me changed after taking out that ring a few weeks ago, that still meant so much to me. The simple silver one, forever painted in daisies and bruised time. Blurring out the longing for someone that once felt like home against the rubble and dust of the world that left her colder, quieter, somewhat defeated.
With growing tissue around the parts that she managed to stitch the best way, she knew how. Healing slowly, but with visible nylon, threads sticking out of her, reminding her how rushed she acted. Not caring about much more than to stop the open wounds from gushing deep crimson. Not taking all the time that she should have to peace herself back in the right way. Her tapestry, consisting of glue, cotton patches, and torn pieces of grey scotch tape.
Temporary solutions for the wounded ones.
Struggling, I move away slightly from the past and slowly retreat to reality, suddenly feeling very tired. I have been very moody because that little thing pressed deep into one of my drawers, hidden under the layers of the surface life. The returning memories, hitting at me, taunting my mind. And what happened today did not help my case either. Too many waves, pulling me down at once. At times I could resist my past, but my past could not do the same. And the only reason why I haven't noticed it until now was because there were so many things to handle first, ripping me constantly in all directions. And above all, ladies and gentlemen, I was a good runner, fleeing away from my problems smoothly, on instinct, not letting any more pain in.
But somehow, it regularly found its way back to me, just like he did.
I look down at the contents lightly nestled into my hand as he asks, surprised. Staring at me as if holding a pack of cigarettes was worse than what I did before. Like I should be feeling more sinful from this than actually from killing someone. From taking a life that was not mine. Yes, as if nicotine and yellow-stained fingers were my biggest problem now. Oh, how silly seemed the sins in his mind in comparison with mine. I think but then shake my head. But how could he know or even suspect my real atrocities? The filth that lingered under my fingernails, forever stained in gone powder. It wasn't his fault that I did not have enough of a backbone to let him in completely and tell him all that sit rotting inside of my darker, infected parts. I stare back and shrug my shoulders, feeling the crisp air slip past my wrists and under the sleeves of the leather jacket. It takes a lot of energy not to shrink from the chill, staying calm and poised. Yet despite it, my body remains motionless.
I watch his eyebrows furrow slowly.
Then why are you...
Holding it helps me calm down.
I don't think I follow.
You could say it's a souvenir.
Alright, you have to give me more than that.
I gaze at him for a moment, and then the words just flow out, spilling smoothly as if water over pebbles in a rushing stream.
It was my fiance's. He died, nothing more to say.
He's taken aback by my answer, his eyes growing wider as he takes an unconscious step back, probably not even realizing it. I inhale the cold air and then slowly let it out again. Letting another sharp, heavy stone fall out of my lungs. I almost hear it hitting the pavement beneath my feet with a low sound, and then I straighten my back, something both loosening and deflating in my core. Well, eventually, he would have found out anyway. So why prolong it? I gaze up at him, parts of me quietly surrendering. I was just too tired to keep up with all the secrets. I had too many of them as it was.
The way he says my name sounds more like a question than anything else. It makes me uneasy. I never liked any form of pity, and the worst kind of pity was hearing the sharpest words in the world covered in silk. I'm sorry for your loss. The only time I would let people do that to me was on the day of the funeral. And only then. And today was definitely not such a day. I cut him off abruptly before he can say anything else.
No, stop. It doesn't matter anymore. I moved on. So let's just drop it, alright? No need to dig into the past. Nothing good ever comes from it.
I step further away from him and go to the edge of the roof, knowing how bitter my voice sounded but not really caring. I look inside the paper box and stare at the three lonely cigarettes and a simple red plastic lighter. I pull it out and play with it for a moment, then sigh and hide it, putting the packet back inside my jacket. I cross my arms and lean against a low brick wall, separating me from the empty space in front of me and the twenty floors below my feet. The wind, blowing the hair around my face as I watch the stars gradually set into the deep blue ink, pink and maroon-colored sky. Wondering how much longer I would have to go through this mess. Was there even any way out? Or was it just a case of waiting for the grave end?
After a while, I turn around and see that he must have left some time ago, letting me with this moment and the memories. He left me in peace when I needed it the most. It was one of the things about him that I could easily fall in love with if there was anything in my to still love. I had doubts about that because all there seemed to be left was just a block of ice that grew bigger with every day. Thick, almost unbreakable, and wrapped around in silence. Coated over a heart that had been bruised one too many times and lost a will to feel certain empty notions. It was beating, of course, feeling, existing. Caring. Caring so much. But was that enough to feel, everything?
I walk down the staircase on stiff legs, feeling a chill in the bones. The cold banister only intensifying the sensation, causing my teeth to ring loudly against each other, the late-night and the lack of sleep taking a haul on me. Though what I was about to just do, made me feel even colder. But it was needed. I open the inside door and walk into the hallway of the building. I know Charlie's shift isn’t over yet, so I look for him without rush, eyes scanning the place, face crinkled from too many thoughts. I can feel stress and exhaustion tugging at me, the world around gently buzzing, lights a bit too bright, and noises unpleasantly heightened, my head starting to pound mercilessly. But it was nothing, just a sad, depressing part of my life now. Humans are a specific kind of creatures; they adept even to the worst things. Even though it made my skin crawl to think that I was now used to the pain. To this form of insanity. An overstretched material no longer serving its purpose.
I finally find him at the main desk, filling some patient's paperwork and setting the medication dosages. A faint smile stretches my lips; I guess I learned a stuff or two while coexisting in his complicated, medical world. And if I ever went back to stealing morphine, I would be much better at it than just a month ago. He looks up at me, distracted, and sees the barely visible smile on my face, but he’s not fooled by it.
Nora, what’s wrong?
He notices me shiver.
God, have you been up there all that time? I thought you would go to the library or to some argument session with Morgan. Not that you would actually stay on the roof. Are you insane?
Yes, in all ways. I feel like answering but then shrug, not being able to focus entirely on his words.
I need to talk to you.
Of course, yes. But only if you go to the cafeteria and get yourself something hot to drink and eat. I will meet you there, but I have some things still that need to be done.
My arms cross, and I take a demonstrative walk to the wending machine, pull out a few coins from my back pocket so he can see, and get a paper cup of tea, steam rising from it as I sit on a chair nearby.
I’m good. And can wait here for you.
Was the show necessary, Eleonore?
If it made you say my full name twice in one day, then yes.
I take small sips of the hot over-sugared liquid, never taking my stare off him. He looks like he has to deal with a spoiled five-year-old, and he’s not that far off, to be honest. But he doesn’t understand what’s going on with me and how fragile I have become. I don’t want to be far away from him, in case I might break again. I have been feeling weaker since we met. Better, more peaceful, energized at first but now more like on pain killers that worked too well. Addicting, blurring my senses, and with a hard crash, if I didn’t take the right dosage on time. Just like when I was taking drugs, better for a while, and then even worse than before. Constantly craving more. Just to stop the pain, the thoughts, the voices.
He made my life bearable, with an illusion of normality, but there was an enormous price that came with it. A falling apart car could only run so long, no matter what kind of miracles the mechanic could perform.
Don’t make me sit there alone, Charlie. Please? I would rather be here to know when you’re done.
He stares at me for a while, his expression slowly changing. It’s worried again. I tense, trying to swallow the big lump in my throat, tears starting to form unexpectedly. I take a bigger sip of tea and gaze at the cup with an empty stare, not wanting to feel anymore. He walks over until he reaches me and then crouches beside me, touching the wrists gently, the warmth filling my skin, circling in the veins, and reaching my tired mind. My eyes start to sting again, but I compose myself at the last moment.
What’s going on, Nora?
His sigh is heavy and tickles my skin.
Is it because of that seizure you had in front of doctor Sorentine?
No. Well, in a way.
He nods a few times.
I'm getting closer then. And is it also about what you told me on the roof? And the lighter that you hold on to so tightly?
Finally, I make myself look up at him and then nod, almost unnoticeably; not sure what would happen to my emotions if I tried to speak right now.
Alright. As soon as I finish up with my things, we will go to the cafeteria together and talk
about whatever you want to, deal?
I feel like a little kid again and groan, waving my hands dismissively in the air.
Yes. Now get up from your feet. You’re making a spectacle of yourself.
I watch as his face loosens the deep frown and spreads into an almost normal smile.
Why? Are you feeling embarrassed by it?
No, I wouldn’t want any of the nurses here to think you are proposing to me and then beat me up in some dark alley behind the dumpster. I hear such acts of violence are common in hospitals. Especially with attractive male nurses inhabiting the area.
He laughs out, shaking his head, and then with a bit lighter step, he heads back to his responsibilities. I watch as he disappears and then walk up to the reception, tapping on the counter until I get some proper attention. A middle-aged woman with glasses and a strong presence about her looks up and gives me an all-knowing look.
I need a cigarette, really bad.
You don't smoke.
She states with authority.
No, but you do, and I am more than aware of that secret stash that you keep away from your husband. Twenty cigarettes a week, like clockwork.
You’re too observant for someone that always looks out of place, my dear.
It helps me get by and stops the wolves from eating me alive. Come on, I know you have a coffee break soon, and I'm really desperate for some nicotine.
I send her a long look, grabbing her stare, knowing that she will understand.
I need to prepare for a battle.
She sizes me up for a moment and taps against a plastic pad three times.
Fine, but next time don’t be blabbering on, letting other people know about my place behind the dumpster. Especially, mister sweeter than sugar and more bothersome than all saints behind the holy gate discussing bloody politics.
I chuckle loudly, and it makes my insides unwind until the weight on my chest gets smaller. I truly loved that woman; she could always pick me up from the gutter of my existence. And that spoke volumes.
That’s a promise.
https://theprose.com/post/230936/with-all-my-senses ( the beginning )
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