An Important Notice to Readers...
Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|At Maureen's request, Beckett does a "wellness check" on "Fr. Kevin"|
Believe her? Not likely. Even if he could buy into the theory that the equations pin pointed certain spots around the world, it was a far stretch to imagine that one could time travel from these locations. Still, if you had asked him a week ago if he believed time travel was even possible, he'd have laughed over the absurdity, and never given it another thought. But his very real presence, here and now, in 1849, with his stomach churning like a broken garbage disposal unit, was proof positive that the reality he thought he once knew, was actually full of cosmic jokes.
The woman's face held such hope, he couldn't find it in his heart to smother her optimism. It was Roxie somewhere in that strange body, and this time, he'd show her the support and friendship he'd lacked when they were kids. Kevin worked at pushing his lips together in some type of false bravado smile. "Sure, Rox. I believe you. So how do we find these spots. And when we do find them, how does the whole thing work? How do we actually get back to our own time?"
Roxanne smiled back, rolling the papers back up into a tight cylinder. "I"m glad you believe me, Kev. I know it sounds...well crazy....but I really do think our being here has something to do with the spot we were standing on when we left. Like a portal of sort. If I'm figuring this whole thing right, it seems that there are portals like that one all over the planet, and this document pin points those locations based on longitude and latitude. All we have to do is locate one of those...spots, and maybe we can get back to our own time. We know for a fact one of them is here in Boston. It's how we got here in the first place."
Either his illness was causing a complete mental breakdown, or Rox actually appeared to be making sense. He wondered why he hadn't thought of it before. The bank. In the room with the safety deposit boxes. They had been standing there, in the year 2014, and suddenly, the next thing he knew he was waking up in a strange bed, in an even stranger body that wasn't his own. Was it really that simple? Go back to that same spot in the bank? "The bank, Roxie. The spot is in the bank. It has to be."
She nodded, the smile gone, replaced with a look of concern. "The spot in the bank has to be the portal. But there's got to be something else. Otherwise, anyone walking past that spot would get pulled into the portal. Just disappear. No. There's got to be something else." She sat in silence, her mind working through the problem. Then she fumbled with the neckline of her shift, and stuck a hand down the front of it, pulling out a gold object. The pocket watch swung from her finger tips, vibrating with the slightest of movement "The watch, Kev. It's the watch. It must work as some kind of transporter."
Kevin shuddered, partly from the fever wracking his body, but more so over the appearance of the cursed time piece dangling from Roxie's fingers. From the moment he had laid eyes on the wretched thing, it had filled him with a sense of dread, forcing him to look deep inside himself at things better left hidden. Now it appeared that it held the key to their getting back home. "So, you're sure that if we take this watch back to that same spot in the bank, in the vault with the safety deposit boxes, and both grab the watch again, we'll wake up back home? In Dollyville? In 2014?"
She shoved the watch back down the front of her work dress. "Of course I'm not sure! I'm not sure of anything. It just seems logical. And we have to try something, Kevin. You're getting sicker by the minute." She stopped a moment, hesitant to finish the thought. "People... people in this time...died from cholera, Kev. There was no intravenous fluids available. No antibiotics. We need to get you back to our time, so if you still do have cholera in your own body, we can get you treatment."
Her saying the actual word "die" made his fear seem all the more real. For reasons he could not explain, he did not want to end his life here on earth in Murphy's body. If he were to meet his Father in Heaven, than he preferred to do it in the same skin he'd been created with. "You're right, Rox. We have to at least give it a try." Another thought crossed his mind as he sat queasy and shaking on the floor of the sacristy. "We forgot about the whole quest thing. The reason we were sent in the first place. Isn't there something we're supposed to do here? For Webster? Or maybe Parkman?"
She had no answer, and instead, they sat in a silence, each left with their own thoughts. Resigned, Roxanne rose from her spot on the floor, and offered him a hand up. "I can't base my actions on things written in fiction, Kevin. Maybe there's a quest. Maybe there's not. All I know is I can't just sit around and watch you get sicker and sicker. We have to get to the bank vault, the sooner the better. We need a plan."
Fr. Kevin shifted his weight, leaning on a wobbly chair for support. She was right, of course He felt awful. He recalled information about cholera from a high school health course. That massive diarrhea would lead lead to complete dehydration, followed by a shut down of all his major organs. He would die in his bed, alone, in a pool of watery shit. From what he knew of his host's dismal life, no one much would care. But the very worse thought of all, was the possibility that his death would abandon Roxanne in 1849. That it required both of them to make the jump back, and by dying, he would doom her to a life of poverty and misery in the form she now possessed. And that was, absolutely, not an option he could live...or die with.
The short stroll down to Holy Name rectory left little time for Beckett to work off the annoyance he harbored over his wife's latest bad decision. The woman drove him crazy. Sent him over the edge with her constant lack of foresight and sensibility. If a single thought popped into her head, she acted on it. No reasoning. No planning. It went against every fiber in his body, and was oddly, one of the same traits that drew him to her in the first place.
Once involved, she threw caution to the wind, and fell into the experience with no hesitation. It was deliciously exciting when she was in this mode, but also led to a myriad of headaches. Maureen O'Kenney Beckett was, without a doubt, the brattiest woman he had ever met, and such a change from the hundreds before her, that he found it irresistible. Which was one of the reasons he found himself on the way to chat with his brother-in-law, when he had several pressing matters of his own to deal with.
When it came to her brother, Kevin, Maureen was unmovable. The relationship between the siblings was something he had nothing to compare with, and found it difficult to understand. He and his two brothers, one older, one younger, had never been close. Even now, they seldom spoke, and their absence from his life wasn't something he gave much thought to. But his wife would never let up on this idea that something was wrong with her favorite brother, unless he himself assessed the situation, and gave his opinion.
The fact that she trusted his opinion as much as she did, pleased him. But right now, he had other issues of concern, and doing a "wellness check" on Fr. Kevin seemed a total waste of time.
It was a bit strange to see the grass overgrown in the front yard of the home. After the murder of the gardener a year before, the priest himself had taken on the maintenance jobs around the parish, claiming the budget couldn't handle the cost of hiring someone new. In Beckett's mind, his brother-in-law enjoyed the opportunity to work with his hands, and burn off excess energy. He wondered whether it was a backlash over that whole ridiculous celibacy thing, a concept he and the cleric had hotly debated on several occasions.
The state of the lawn, and the stack of old newspapers on the front porch, was an oddity. When it came to the church and rectory, Kevin bordered on fanatical, and this lack of care was certainly out of the ordinary. Beckett knocked on the door, never feeling comfortable with the way Maureen just let herself in as if she lived there herself, which at one point, she had. There was no response, so he knocked again, this time with a bit more force. For more than five minutes he waited on the porch of the rectory, and was just about to let himself in, when his wife's brother finally decided to answer the door.
He hadn't seen Kevin O'Kenney since the day after his wedding, but had known the man for nearly a year. In that time, he had always known him to be as straight an arrow. He took his vocation seriously, and both looked and acted the part. He enjoyed a shot of Irish whiskey now and then, and though he tried to hide it, Beckett knew the man enjoyed an occasional joint. It was an essential skill in his line of work to expect the unexpected, but the disheveled man with blood shot eyes frowning at him from the other side of the door caught him off guard.
His brother-in-law leaned against the frame, his arms crossed. "Yes?"
"Nice to see you too, Kev. Can I come in? It's about your sister."
Fr. Kevin hesitated a moment, then asked, "The woman is well?"
At the word "woman", Beckett bristled. Maybe Maureen wasn't so off the mark. Her brother did seem to be acting a bit strange. He checked his eyes, and though the pupils seemed normal, there was just something not right. Try as he might, he couldn't explain what it was, but there was something about the whole scene that bothered him. "Yeah, she's fine. She made the whole thing up, you know. To help you out with that diocese problem. You know your sister. She doesn't always think things out."
The priest nodded, but made no move to invite him in. "I am glad to hear that she is without illness."
"So...can I come in. I feel like I'm out of the loop since the wedding and honeymoon. Thought maybe we could catch up a little. I'm off duty, and was hoping you might invite me in for a Guinness."
His brother-in-law narrowed his eyes, and jammed his hands into the pockets of his stained slacks. "I'm afraid I'm rather busy right now,,,,uhmmm Ted. Perhaps some other time then." And without further discussion, he closed the door.
Copyright 2014 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved