could become a novel
|The sand was warm, and a cool Texas breeze danced across my face. I looked up into a midnight sky sprinkled with dazzling bright lights and orange shadows. My ears listened to the slow sad drone of a ship passing by and a sea gull's echoing voice in the air. Then I felt tiny droplets of water on my sun fried cheeks and sat up on my elbows and closed my eyes to the wonderful electrified feeling that was racing down my body. It felt wonderful, so wonderful to feel nature's therapy upon my sunburned skin.
Opening my eyes I strained to look out past the dark night. I couldn’t' see, it was dark, really dark. Except for an unusual clarity of a sky with no moon, there was no light, just dark shadows that danced everywhere, weaving and jumping and moving with hypnotic motions. In fact it was quite weird.
Suddenly a deep descending chill swept over my shoulders. I shivered, not from the cool brush of the wind or the touch of the water drops upon my face, but an eerie sort of feeling. One of doom perhaps, no not quite that, more like a feeling of something I might look forward to, yet dread. Unexpectedly the air was filled with the scent of magnolias. I sat up straight. It was so dark the only thing I could see was the shape of my hand in front of me.
I thought I heard footsteps! No, it was only my imagination playing with me. Or maybe it was guilt, this was after all a private beach and I was trespassing. I hadn’t meant to. Deep in thought I had lost track of time and had just kept walking, and walking. I must have walked for ten or so miles and crossed an imaginary line from the sign I had seen a few feet back that said PRIVATE PROPERTY. I should have turned around to walk back but something drove me on ahead.
There! I heard it again, a kind of soft sucking sound like some one walking in mud. I reached for my swimsuit.
"Ouch!" My scream cut the dark silent night as a foot stepped on my thigh.
"What the hell?" A deep voice responded.
I scrambled my ass up struggling to put on my swimsuit when I fell backwards onto the sand still beating the record for dressing in the least amount of time. I pulled the top of my one-piece suit up over my breast just before a light shone in my face. My heart was pounding as if it would explode. Why the hell did I have to of had the urge to go skinny-dipping.
"Well, well, what have we here?" Came a slightly amused deep voice.
I pulled the long, wet, blond hair that had stuck to my back, out of my suit. I was unsuccessful of trying to pull the same hair from my mouth because the wind kept blowing it there. Then he laughed one single chuckle. But it was a weird chuckle, one that made the hair stand up on my neck, and little electric needles stick my hot skin.
I squinted trying to see his face but he was shining the light right in my eyes. I reached out my hand and pushed the light down away from my face. He stopped my hand halfway down his chest and I looked into his face, there was a weird reflection, a sort of very dim light around his body that was not from the flashlight. And his eyes, oh god his eyes, they were those crystal blue kind, like a wolf dog, the kind that makes you feel as if you can look right through them and into his soul. Except for the fact that there was an aura of evil about him he was a very handsome man of perhaps late fifties or early sixties.
His hair was jet black and was thick and combed straight back on his forehead but it was long and had a wave, several waves, four to be exact, very small and very neatly combed and tied at the back of his neck. His sideburns came down from his ear and went all the way out on his face to each side of his mouth and down his chin. The only flesh that was exposed was from his lip down to the bottom of his chin. His eyebrows formed a V and met on the bridge of his nose. I felt shivers of ice cycles in my blood veins when those now black eyes met mine. I couldn’t bare to hold his gaze and lowered mine.
"I’m very sorry, I’ve been walking and lost tract of time and distance, I am extremely sorry, I know I am trespassing, so I’ll just be going now." I said.
He grasped my arm just above the elbow and his touch was like that of someone who had been outside in a blizzard for several hours. A sick, sour feeling began to gurgle in my stomach and I suddenly felt as if I was to lose its contents.
His voice was deep and had a raspy tone when he spoke.
"Oh you are not trespassing, this is where you belong, I have summoned you here, and this is where you will stay."
"No," I yelled, "Let go of me." I tried to pull my hand free but he held fast and said. "It is your destiny."
I placed my free hand over his and pulled hard wrenching my hand with all my might, suddenly he let lose and I lost my footing and fell backwards. When I looked up he and the light had disappeared. I quickly looked around me, searching, listening for any thing, any trace of him but he was gone, as if he had never appeared. I hurried and collected my things and turned back the way I had come, running. Why had I walked so far? I asked myself. It was because I had been so lost in thought I had traveled further from the hotel than I had realized. Now all I wanted to do was get back there as soon as possible.
After I had ran for what must have been half and hour I stopped and turned around and listened to see if I could hear anyone coming. Nothing, it was silent. When I reached the hotel it was late and no one was around. It was a very luxurious hotel, one where the rooms had to of cost $250.00 or more a night. I would never have been able to afford this kind of a hotel, but two days ago I had received a visit with a lawyer from Houston, Texas. He said I had a grandfather whom had died and I had been left an inheritance. He would tell me no more than that and gave me a one way plane ticket to this city and a paid reservation to this hotel.
I had been here for two days. Tomorrow the lawyer would pick me up and take me to where my grandfather’s will would be read. I didn’t even know I had a grandfather. Where in the hell had he been all these years? Why did he let me grow up in an orphanage? It was a place that was void of relatives and love. But I had to go, I had to find out what this was all about.
A young man greeted me as I walked up to the Desk?
"May I help you?"
"Do I have any messages?" I wanted to know.
"No, not a thing," he said as he fumbled through an open slot with my room number on it. I noticed he had remembered my room number, as he did not have to ask me for it this time. I turned around to go and stalled when he said, "Wait; Mr. Ivan called to say he’d pick you up at six o’clock tomorrow morning sharp. You aren’t to be late." He added looking apologetic.
"Story of my life, every one expects me to stand on a welcome mat so they can pull it out from under me."
The young man looked puzzled, and I just smiled and thanked him.
I rode the elevator up until I reached the 6th floor and then went to room 666. Strange coincidence, the number 666 and when I asked to change room numbers I was told I could not.
Until I shut the door to the room, I had wanted to go out and get a drink. Suddenly, I was too tired to do anything but just lie down. I would lie on the bed for a few seconds and then I would get up and brush my teeth and change into my P.J.’s.
My eyes were closed for a short while and then they were open. I looked down at my bare feet and realized I was walking up a hill through a forest surrounded in a milky white mist.
I felt confusion and disorientation, but, strangely, the surroundings were familiar to me. This was a place I had visited many times, but each time I had entered this place it was somewhat different, stranger, alien, and foreign. Just like before, I came to a clearing and from a distance the same familiar, huge, cream colored, stone castle loomed in front of me.
I followed the tree-lined road that snaked through the forest. The road ended at an ornate iron wrought door. The whole property was encased with a six-foot, black, iron, slatted fence. Growing between the slats were tiny pink roses and grapevines. The tiny delicate tentacles of the grapes stretched, reaching blindly toward the sunlight, entwining with the roses. The green-reddish-purple globes of fruit, hanging from the plants were tempting and I longed to feel the sweet liquid swirl in my mouth upon biting into them. But something urged me on.
As I raised my hand to knock the great door groaned and slowly opened. Again like in the past I entered into an unusual rose garden. It was unusual in the way that whenever I entered into this garden, the roses were always different. Today the roses were blue and as large as saucers. Thousands and thousands of rose bushes all in different shades of blue.
The scent of those thousands of roses could almost be seen as a wafer-thin, pinkish-blue vapor. It reminded me of a cartoon drawing, as if I could see the whiff of fragrance as it entered my nostrils and I breathed in the sweet essence of pure pleasure. As I walked down the stone path, my feet felt as light as feathers. It was a joy to walk among the flowers; every so often, I would stop to wonder at the most beautiful butterflies I’ve ever seen. It sounded as if they were humming little happy tunes, full of happiness and joy.
A life-sized, alabaster, Greek goddess suddenly loomed in front of me. She was holding a vessel slightly angled in the crook of her arm and suddenly a torrent of crystal clear water rushed out, down and over her flowing skirts it sped quickly down the rocky path.
I jumped to one side of the path lest the water rush over my toes. Abruptly the wind began to moan in the treetops.
Its sound was like that of a freight train from a distance and I heard it a long time before I felt its cold, brisk, slap strike me across my face. Its icy, bony, fingers snared the long, golden tresses of my hair and twisted them above my head to the point of pain making me cry out. The cry echoed throughout this unknown span of time. The change was so abrupt it threw me off balance and I fell.
Then as quickly as it had come the strange winds died away. Startled I sat and looked up at the statue. Its dead, lifeless, eyes seemed to turn black for an instant, and my body was electrified with a soul retching chill. I collected myself and stood. For the first time I noticed the thin, yellow, chiffon fabric that seem to adhere to my body. The fabric covered the length of my arms and upper body but had no shape or seams; it felt as if it were part of my skin. But at the waist yards and yards of the material flowed over my hips and down to my feet. It floated and swayed as if an unfelt gentle breeze fluttered about my ankles.
The Castle that loomed in front of me was an extraordinary vision and one that I was so familiar with. I had been explicitly taken here many, many times in the last fifteen years of my life, ever since I was three years old and each time I approached this Castle the same feeling of dread engulfed me.
The Castle in itself was magnificent, beautiful, and mysterious. It was three stories tall, with an ambiance of diabolical presents.
The South half of the Castle was surrounded with a cement breezeway with a separate entrance and separate archways that ran five-foot in length and were spaced about five-foot apart. Atop of the arched breezeway on the second floor was a balcony.
Looking toward the East there was an exquisite entrance that was arched all the way to the third floor.
The second floor of that same arch boasted another separate gabled balcony. A second archway the length of the second floor connected with the first archway and joined the south side of the Castle to the East Side of the Castle.
Next to the exquisite entrance was a huge bay window. Above the bay window on the second floor was another balcony.
A three-story turret united the East Side of the Castle to the North side of the Castle and ran even with the tallest peak of the Castle’s roof. A hundred year oak tree was anchored next to the turret and topped it by nearly eight feet. There was a multitude of windows around all sides of the Castle on all three floors. Grand Magnolias and Oak trees enhanced the grounds of the Castle.
I had never been this close before. The windows, which were a moment ago clear and bright, were now dark and brooding. Not only was the phenomenon affecting the inside of the Castle as the windows had grown dark but outside the sky darkened and the strange wind returned. The once bright and cheerful day turned wickedly dark and bitter.
This was the part I remembered vividly, as an intense fear overwhelmed me I resisted with all my strength the hungry craving to go further, to step up onto the breezeway and enter through the doors of the foreboding yet provocative Castle. As if knowing what came next I looked up just in time to see the familiar darkened sky light up and a crooked pitchfork of jagged light streak across the sky.
Surprised to feel cool droplets of water splash on my face I looked up in awe at the black, rolling clouds. In all the times I had stood in this spot and watched the approaching storm it had never rained; now the drops came steadily. I closed eyes and rolled my head back and forth.
Water splashing in my face woke me before I could enter the castle. Opening my eyes, I saw Mr. Ivan standing beside the bed, a half glass of water in his hand.
“Wake up,” he said irritably. “You were like, in a coma.”
I felt extremely strange, as if I had been drugged and it was hard to keep my eyes open as I wanted more sleep. I rubbed my eyes, which resulted in making them feel as if I had a ton of sand in them.
“How did you get in here?” I snarled, not looking up at him. Normally I would have
ben much angrier or in the least somewhat fearful." All I felt now was that I was somewhere
between the real world and the dream world. A feeling you get half way between sleep
and wakefulness and someone starts to ask you questions. Then upon waking they tell you the
conversation they had with you and you don’t remember a thing about it.
“Get up and get dressed, “he said ignoring my question. He looked at his watch and then began tpping his foot.
Looking slowly up from his tapping toe to his face his stance was irritatingly contrite. Coming more awake by the moment I asked again, more aggressively this time.
“I asked you how you got in here?”
“That’s not important now, what is important is we arrive at our destination on time, now please get up and get dressed.”
“Well I’m going to have to get a shower first and…”
“We don’t have time,” he interrupted, tapping the gold watch on his wrist. “We have exactly forty-five minutes to get there, that means you have five minutes to get dressed.”
“That’s ridiculous; I can’t possibly get dressed in five minutes.” I yelled. He came beside the
bed and grabbed me by the upper arm pulling me to my feet.
“Believe me, Miss Yodel, being on time will be well worth your effort. Put a boot in
your butt and lets get moving.”
My mouth gaped open at his audacity. But I got up and hurriedly pulled a pair of denim
Jeans over the swimsuit I was still wearing, and a white pull over top, then slipped my feet into
the sandals beside my bed.
“Good,” he said, “Now let’s go.”
“But I need to get my stuff.” As I started to put stuff in my overnight bad, he took me by the arm and pulled me toward the door.
“I told you we don’t have time.”
“But…” I started to argue.
“You won’t need your stuff anyway after today.”
I reached out and grabbed my purse off the nightstand just before I had to take several giant steps in order to keep from falling on my face as his grip on me had a strong purpose.
“What do you mean by that?”
“I’ve said too much already, now be quiet and follow me.” He released me and I blindly fol-
lowed him. What did I have to loose? By going, I might gain a fortune. No, that would be to good to be true, I’d had nothing but misery up until the day I had turned eighteen. That was the best day of my life, the day I was set free. Within six months I had a job at Templeton Electric I liked, aside from the hook, nosed, bitch they called boss and a cute little apartment in a small town in Kansas and new friends. I still didn’t have a car but I was working on it and almost had a thousand dollars saved toward a down payment on a P.T. Curser. I already had one picked out too, a sparkly, powder blue, baby whose end gate opened down into a pick nick table.
There wasn’t quite enough money saved yet to pay for the down payment and the insurance, but it wouldn’t be to much longer now, a couple of months if everything went the way I had planned. So for now I walked everywhere or friends took me.
Now here I was in this big city of Houston, Texas, and it was a long way from home. I hadn’t even been allowed to bring a friend to keep me company. Mr. Ivan had been adamant about that. At first I was leery, afraid to come the worst thought being that Mr. Ivan was a weirdo. So I called to verify that he was who he said he was. I had him fax me a picture of himself, and then I faxed that picture to the Houston Association of Attorney’s with his name and the circumstances of my trip to Houston. I was distrustful about not being able to bring someone with me. They had faxed me back with the results that Mr. Ivan was indeed whom he said he was. He was an upstanding lawyer and a member of a very elite, reputable firm. So here I was, in a strange place and in a very strange situation, getting my butt kicked by an attorney for being late.
We rushed down the steps of the large hotel and almost tripping over my clumsy feet he ushered me into the plush velvet seat of the waiting white limousine. The interior spelt of a Jasmine scent that was so strong it made my eyes water. Mr. Ivan slid in beside me and I quickly retreated to the other side of the seat as I had expected him to go around and get in on the other side or sit in the front with the chauffer. He pulled his feet in almost as if he had a cape under them, wiggled down into the seat and unceremoniously pulled his black leather brief case on his lap, snapped it open and began to fish through papers evidently looking for something. He found that something and pulled out a pair of wire rimmed glasses with one hand and slung them on his nose and over his pointy little ears adorned with tuffs of white hair. Continuing to rummage through the papers, he made a strange little horse sound, almost a whinny, deep and low in his throat.
“Hit it Alfred.” He commanded and Alfred hit it. With one mash of the gas peddle we pulled from the curb with a screaming jerk that threw my head back so far, I thought it was going to snap off. The car behind us bellowed its annoyance as Alfred pulled into the heavy traffic effortlessly.
“It’s a good thing we don’t have far to go Miss Yodel, you young people are all the same, irresponsible, unintelligent people walking around with thumbs up you ass.” He said looking over the ridiculous spectacles. He placed an important looking document on the pile of disarrayed papers and snapped the briefcase shut.
“Excuse me!” I exclaimed. How dare he speak to me like that! Who the hell did he think he was?
“I am a man who is about to change your life drastically.” He said as if reading my mind. With a hint of anger in his voice he continued. “If you recall, I told you it was extremely important to your future that you meet me in the foyer at exactly 7:00 am. There was absolutely no reason you should have been late, I am not accustomed to having to roust a lazy little ass out of bed to attend to business that was intended to benefit you.”
His irritated expression was beginning to work as I wished I could sink down into the seat and turn the clock back and start over. He was right of course. I should have called the front desk to wake me up instead of relying on my (until now) accurate inner time alarm. I always woke up at 5:00 am for as long as I could remember. But this time the reoccurring dream seemed to zap my physical well being.
“Mr. Ivan, I’m really sorry, but…”
“I said, there was absolutely no excuse, so I suggest you shut your minuscule yap and listen.”
I let out a silent little uh, as my mouth dropped open. The nerve of this guy, the sheer audacity of him, how dare he speak to me in such a way! I wished I had the courage to call him the names that were floating around aimlessly in my mind and taking fits to pop out of my mouth. But years of extreme punishment for “Talking back to elders,” had taught me to keep my mouth shut when warned. I slumped in the seat and turned my head to look out the window beside me. We stopped at a stop sign and thankfully Mr. Ivan’s tirade had ended. Looking up at the rearview mirror, I saw the chauffer brown eyes meet my green ones. He seemed to smile apologetically then returned to focus his attention on his driving.
A movement beside me grabbed my attention and I looked over at the next car pulling up slowly beside us. A little red headed, freckled faced, boy of maybe five stuck his tongue out at me. Normally this would not have bothered me and I would have laughed and made a silly face at him and we would have exchanged silly faces laughing the whole time. But today I was in no mood to be funny, today the little bastard irritated me and I stuck my tongue back at him. I was unprepared for his response. He frowned and his little eyes seemed to cloud over and turn dark, and his eyebrows drew feverishly together. The tongue came out of his mouth again and vibrated vigorously as spittle frosted the window. Then he bared his teeth and seemed to be hissing, his little fists came up to the window and beat insanely at the pane. By this time his mother had noticed and she tried to pull him away from the window, the look on her face was one of bewilderment, and astonishment. I watched in horror as the boy bit her and began thrashing around in the car, I could hear them screaming. We began to move through the light leaving them behind. Turning in the seat, I looked back and as we got further away, the child seemed to collapse in her arms.
Goose pimples raised my flesh, and a shiver coursed the full length of my body. I looked over at Mr. Ivan and he was watching me intently with a huge smile on his face. Oh my God this was weird, I thought feeling extremely paranoid. I took a deep breath feeling as if the air was confined in the car, and looked anxiously around me. I felt confined, and knew in reality I was confined. I was in a car with strangers acting strange, and a scene had just played out in front of me that had left me with the creeps. Oh, God what had I gotten myself into.