Sara Beth haunts Sandra's dreams. Can Sandra help her find peace?
Mack sat back in his office chair poring over Ms. Winters’s file. He’d read, take copious notes, sit back reflect, edit and then read another section of her file. A knock at his door, pulled him out of his rhythm. “Yes,” he looked up over his glasses.
“Mack, you’re working on the Winters’s file that Dr. Smythe sent over, right?”
“If you already know the answer, why do you ask?” His pen twirled in his hand, old fashioned as it was, he preferred writing his case notes to typing. It helped him focus his attention.
“Because, I love interrupting you.” She held a large manila envelope. She tapped it on her hand as she walked across to Mack’s desk. “I’m assuming that this is her patient questionnaire. She leaned over his desk, “Now, what are you willing to pay to see if I’m right?” Grinning sheepishly, she placed her elbows on his desk, in one hand she held the folder, in the other she propped her chin, her back was straight as a board and she swayed from side to side. “Well darling, what’s it going to be,” she wiggled her eye brows, knowing full well that she wanted to go home for the evening, and he’d want to stay right here in his cozy office, “the envelope or me in all my radiant glory?”
He smiled broadly leaning back in his office chair, “I’m in trouble, aren’t I.”
Her eyes widened as she nodded. “If you give the wrong answer, you certainly are,”
“I should choose my words wisely then.” He stood up, leaning over the desk and kissed his temptress lightly.
She softly laughed caressing his cheek, tossed the envelope on the desk, and turned to leave the room. “That’s what I thought. You have one hour and you better have your butt upstairs, mister.”
He picked up the envelope while watching her saunter out of the room. Man, could she sashay, radiant beauty indeed. He looked at the envelope then looked up at his wife standing in the doorway. She blew him a kiss. The envelope fell to his desk; yeah this can wait, as he rushed to catch up.
Sitting in the center of the courtyard, the young girl was in full view of her nanny who was sitting by the archway knitting quietly. It was so warm, her crinolines, slips and shift were stifling. All she wanted to do was to go down to the pond and skinny dip with the boys.
Boys were so lucky. They didn’t have to wear crinolines, or slips, or under dresses, or over shifts, or aprons. It was yucky to be a girl, having someone watch you all the time. The blonde haired child plopped back on the grass, and watched the clouds pass overhead. Samson, her Weimaraner, provided her with a lumpy pillow.
Suddenly there was a resounding boom. The girl bolted up, the nanny dropped her knitting and scurried over to the child. “Run, Sara Beth, run to the hiding place.”
Gunfire exploded from her father’s office. She stopped and stared. The nanny turned Sara Beth to face her, “Listen to me child, and listen good. You have to run and get in the hiding place.” She looked lovingly in the little girls eyes. “No matter what you hear child, don’t look back. You get to the hiding place and be quiet as a church mouse, you hear? I’ll come for you as soon as I can. Now run, Sara Beth, run!”
“Samson, stay. I’ll need you here to cause a little diversion, my friend,” as she patted his head. He obediently followed the nanny back to her chair, sat alert and waited her command.
Sara Beth ran through the archway, checking and see if the rooms in the house were empty before moving to the next set of windows, just like Father had taught her. She was half way there. She heard her nanny shriek, “Attack, Samson.” She heard more gunfire and a helpless yelp.
Sara Beth wanted to go to her nanny to see if she could help. She wanted Samson, but she had to get to the hiding place. Nanny would come and find her and everything would be fine.
Sara Beth ran as hard and fast as her little legs would carry her. Two more turns and she’d be safe. She scurried under the console table in the grand entry way, pressed the secret panel and disappeared without a trace.
Sara Beth sat huddled in the secret hiding place waiting for nanny to come and get her, but nanny never came.
Sandra bolted up in her bed. She rocked clutching her knees to her pounding chest. What does Sara Beth have to do with me?
Sandra grabbed her robe and headed to the kitchen. She brewed a cup of coffee knowing she wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. Taking her cup she sat down at her desk. She’d been contracted to design a massive addition for the museum the day before her Dr. Smythe did her surgery. Sandra decided not to put the treatment on hold but manage the project from home while she recuperated.
She looked over the preliminary archeological reports on the property the museum had purchased. The reports confirmed there’d been a grand palazzo on site with a courtyard in the center. The archeologist had been scouring the site for artifacts for the museum.
She turned her chair to watch the sun rise over the tree tops. I certainly hope Dr. Mallory can help me get to the bottom of these dreams.
Sandra knocked on Dr. Mallory’s door two minutes before her session was to begin.
Kristen opened the door. “Good morning, you must be Ms. Winters. I’m Kristen, Dr. Mallory’s humble assistant, and wife.” She extended her hand to shake Sandra’s as she welcomed her into the office part of their home. Kristen shivered slightly, blinked her eyes and stared at Sandra.
Sandra felt the connection immediately, she didn’t understand it, but she felt it anyway.
“Come this way dear.”
“Mack, this is Sandra Winters. She needs me, instead of you.”
“Really?” He cocked his head slightly, took a cleansing breath, “yes, I do believe your right. I feel it too.”
“Feel what?” Sandra asked incredulously.
“Come ,sit down for a minute.”
Sandra complied with a bewildered look on her face.
“I’ll leave you two ladies alone.” Mack took his leave.
“Aren’t I paying him to stay?”
“If you want to pay him, he can stay, but it really isn’t necessary.”
“Let me try to explain, you’ve been having a recurring dream recently. There’s a little girl, and a big house.”
Cautiously, Sandra nodded.
“I hear car back firing. We need to go, they’re close.”
“Mack, we need to go, now! Can you drive us?” Kristen yelled.
“On my way.” Mack pulled their car around and opened the back door for the ladies. “Sandra, just hold Kristen’s hand and be quiet. My wife is very talented.”
Kristen rolled her eyes. “Just get in and go to Maple.”
Mack looked in the rear view mirror, “Now what?”
“All right,” he said as if he’d done this kind of thing dozens of times.
Fifteen minutes later Kristen asked Mack to park the car. She looked around the area. “We’re really close.”
“We’re at the…”
Mack shook his head no, and put his fingers to his lips.
Sandra stopped short. She knew exactly where she was, but didn’t know what it had to do with her dreams.
Kristen walked to fence. She looked at Mack.
He asked, “Sandra, is there any way to get inside?”
“The gate should be open, the archeologist have four more days before they have to clear out. Then the construction begins.”
Mack found the gate, pushed it open and followed Kristen into the lot. “Sandra, when did your dreams start?”
“They started during my surgery, why?”
“Was that the day they started digging here?”
“I think so,” she paused, “yes, I know so. I was upset. I wasn’t going to be here for the first walk through.”
“I think your archeologists might have uncovered something. Let’s follow Kristen and let her do her thing.” He took her hand gently, and looked into her eyes, “Everything is going to be alright.”
The threesome walked across the lot, dodging people digging, and brushing. Kristen stopped in the middle of the lot. She stood and silently panned around the area.
“There was a huge home here, with a grand courtyard.”
She closed her eyes, breathed in deeply. “They burst in over there.” She pointed toward where Sandra was standing, moving her hand, she pointed to where the office had stood. “They shot the owner up there.” She continued turning, “The little girl was in the center of the courtyard.”
“She had a dog, a big dog. He’s waiting for her.” She bent down and touched the ground. “Poor boy, you gave your life to protect her didn’t you? So why don’t you show me where she’s hiding. You know she wants to play with you.”
Sandra whispered, “What is she doing?”
“She’s talking to the dog, obviously.”
“Oh,” Sandra’s eyes widened, “Sure she is.” She nodded as if she really agreed.
Mack turned his attention back to Kristen, and whispered to Sandra, “You have to be quiet, you’ll disturb her and you’ll never know what the dreams are about.”
“Wh…,” she stopped in midword.
Kristen stood up, brushed her knees off and walked purposefully.
“She really sees the dog?”
“She sees his spirit. Come on, let’s go.”
Mack and Sandra followed Kristen’s path. “There were archways here around the courtyard she pointed to her left and massive window here on the right. She walked at a faster pace, pointing to things like they were really there. “There was a doorway here, paintings, and a huge console table here, with a massive flower arrangement on top.”
“Samson is scratching at a wall, here. Have your men look in this area.”
Mack yelled, “Hey somebody come over here.”
Kristen started to shiver.
Mack wrapped his coat around her shoulder. “Getting chilly isn’t it.”
“They’re really close, Samson is having a fit. He’s been waiting for so long.”
He pulled her close to him while they watched the archeologist carefully started their search.
Sandra stood in awe as the man unearthed a small skeleton. She felt like a weight had been lifted off of her shoulders.
“There she is boy, you found your master.”
She looked at Kristen, “Is this what all the dreams have been about?”
“Apparently, her father prepared a place for her, thinking someone would come and let her out if anything happened. She loves that dog.” Kristen started to sag against Mack.
“I think it’s time I took my wife home to rest. I’ll drive you back to your car.”
“It was nice to meet you Sandra,” Kristen said as she walked up the front steps of their home.
Mack looked at Sandra, “Why don’t you come by to see us on Friday, at the same time?”
“Is she going to be alright?”
“She’ll be fine once she rests for a bit. It takes a lot out of her.” He watched her walk up the steps. “I’ll see you Friday, then,” and he followed Kristen into the house.
She walked through the archway, large windows displaying beautifully ornate rooms on the left and a lush garden courtyard on the right. A fully grown weinmaraner pranced beside her. Sara Beth’s hand gently rubbed his soft brown fur. She threw his ball into the court yard, and he joyously ran to fetch it. She ran after him, her crinolines rustling in the warm spring breeze. She turned and waved slowly fading from view.
Sandra woke, completely at peace, she’d seen through the archway.