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.
|Longitude and Latitude|
Fr. Kevin looked up at her, trying to measure her statement. "Help us? How? That makes no sense, Rox. Webster has no clue as to who we really are. He wouldn't begin to believe that we're...that we...time traveled from some other time in history. And if we tried to explain it all, they'd lock us both up in some loony bin. So, how could his research have anything to do with us?" His stomach rolled in response, and he pulled the slop bucket closer towards him.
Roxanne ignored him, mumbling to herself. She rose and headed toward the empty coal scuttle next to the stove, turning it over and shaking it, until a small scrap of the material fell to the floor. Then without explanation, she went back to the rolled out paperwork. As she worked in silence, he watched her scribble out numbers with the piece of charcoal on the floor next to them, careful to space them out in what seemed a particular order. After several minutes, she conceded to speak, pointing to her work. "Do ya see it now, Kev? The pattern?"
Kevin tried to peer intently at what she had written, but even if he hadn't felt as wretched as he did, he'd probably still not see what it was that had put her in a state of excitement. He had absolutely no head for numbers. As a kid, he struggled with the basic tenets of multiplication and long division, and Algebra was a foreign language that other people spoke. He passed the basic business courses in the seminary with the help of a daily tutor who had implied that he must have some kind of mental impairment. Even now, his parish finances back home were a mess, mainly because he had let them go for months at a time. Despite everything, it was still important that Roxanne not think him a complete idiot, so he nodded in agreement, feigning some type of understanding. "Uhmm...yeah. I think I do. So what do you think it means?"
"It's not the equations that matter so much, Kev. It's the spacing on the paper! When you figure the equations, the two sets of answers seem to represent longitude and latitude. It just has to be." She could see the confusion in his face. "Look here," she explained, pointing to the top and bottom of the largest sheet. "At the top and bottom of the sheet, the answers to the two equations are 90 and 180. On both the left and right sides. In the center the answer is zero. Again on the top and bottom, the left and right. That's gotta be the Equator and the Prime Meridian. It couldn't be anything else. Not smack dab in the center like that. That means all these other equations...these sets of numbers...they have to be different points around the world. Special points."
"I'll buy into your theory, Rox. But I'm still not getting what any of this has to do with us. Or why we're here. Even if you're right, and these are longitude and latitude co-ordinates, it's a ridiculous stretch to assume they have anything to do with our predicament. Or time travel. The spots could have any hundred reasons for being important. Mineral deposits...oil...precious stones. Things that could have made Webster a wealthy man. That would make a hundred times more sense then what your leaning towards, Roxanne."
She smiled, a crooked grin with a space between the front teeth that Roxanne Spinelli never sported. "And under different circumstances, I'd have to agree with you, O'Kenney. If not for these letters here in the corner." She tapped the lower right hand corner of the sheet. "Did you catch this?"
He squinted at the small, neat print. No, he had missed this the night before amid his apprehension over the bands of numbers. The obvious clue starring him square in the face. But now, it seemed to make perfect sense. "It's Latin...Tempus Fugits...it means..."
"Yup. I know what it means. 'Time Flies'." She leaned back, and smiled again. "Now do you believe me?"
|Beckett has words with Maureen|
It had seemed like a good idea at the time. The only idea, actually. And it had done the job. Her "fainting spell" at the rectory had caused quite the commotion, resulting in a ambulance ride to the hospital, and the much needed departure of Mr. Belkins from the Archdiocese, who promised to pray for her recovery, and return at a more convenient time. From where she stood, things hand gone swimmingly well. Therefore, the pissy reactions of both her husband and brother came as an unwelcome surprise.
Once over his frantic concern, Beckett was livid, railing at her for putting him through such an ordeal, and questioning her general sanity. Though the hospital, finding absolutely nothing wrong, had released her, and she had finally admitted to making the whole thing up, her husband insisted on going off duty, and spending the rest of the day with his "ailing" wife, a decision she knew would not bode well for her.
When they had reached the confines of the apartment, she could see the veins sticking out on his temples, and knew he was in a particularly foul mood. They both were aware that the deli downstairs was open for business, and had no doubt that Mrs. Schiller was eavesdropping near the door at the bottom of the stairs. Her maternal instincts had insisted on sending them up with a bowl of fruit, and some of her special blend herbal tea, which she swore was the perfect thing for nervous mothers-to-be.
He hadn't even let her put away the bowl of fruit before he sat her down and began the lecture she was pretty sure would go on for the entire afternoon. "Jesus Christ, Maureen, do you have any boundries what so ever? What would possess you to pull a stupid stunt like that? Couldn't you have given me a heads up before you went ahead with this crazy shit?"
"I do wish you wouldn't take the Lord's name in vain like that, Ted. It really bothers me." She sat up straighter, and tried to look spiritually offended, but it was obvious he wasn't buying any of it.
"You know what bothers me, little one? When my wife comes up with ridiculous notions, without thinking anything through. Do you have any idea of what you put me through? I get a call at the station that you are on your way to the hospital. That you collapsed at Holy Family. Hell, I thought you were still here at the apartment. Last we talked, you said you wanted to sleep in, stay off your feet, and maybe take a look at the new house plans. You never said a word about going over to the rectory."
"I'm sorry I worried you, Ted. Honest, I am. But the more I got to thinking about Kevin's weird behavior, the more I wanted to go and see him. Find out what happened. Roxie's sudden disappearance...well...you have to admit it was strange. I wanted to find out if it had anything to do with what went on between the two of them. Kevin's just not himself, Ted. He's...I don't know how to explain it. Just different. He doesn't even talk the same. Something's wrong. I'm sure of it."
"Look, Moe. Whatever went on between Kevin and your friend is none of our business. If Roxanne decided she needed to leave Dollyville, then that was her choice, and you need to keep your nose out of it. Honestly, I don't understand your family's penchant for butting into each other's personal affairs. Would drive me crazy. And as we have thoroughly discussed, the less any of them know about our situation, and my part time employment, the better. It's a matter for every one's safety, little one. I thought I made that clear."
She hated when he used the moniker "little one". It made her feel all warm and mushy, and gave him the distinct advantage in any discussion. It may have been an extreme maneuver to feign illness as she had, but if it meant helping her brother, then she'd damn well do it all over again. She needed to convince her husband that something was seriously wrong with Kevin. Once that happened, she was pretty sure he would know what to do.
Copyright 2014 Victoria T. Rocus
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