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.
|Fr. Kevin waits for Roxie at the bank, and tries to stay conscious.|
The blow to her back seemed to come out of nowhere. One minute she had been turning the corner, and the next, she was face planted on the rough stone, her knees bleeding and skinned under the heavy material of her skirt. She struggled to push up, the sudden fall making the breath stick in her throat.
"I'll take those papers, girl. Now."
She didn't recognize the man at all. Not a single clue. But at the mention of the papers, she pushed the roll of documents further into her waistband. "Misericordia, Sir! Io non parlo inglese. Io non capisco!" Mercy, Sir! I do not speak English. I no understand.
"I'm no coot, woman. Parkman thought so, and it cost him dearly. I heard you speak's the King's English perfectly well. With that sot of a Papist, and then later, at the library. I damn well know you can understand every stinkn' word I'm sayn' to ya. So if ya have least a halfa brain in your head, you'll do what I'm sayn." From his back pocket, he produced a long handled hunting knife, waving it in front of her face.
At the mention of Parkman, realization came to her. The murder. George Parkman. John Webster. They hadn't fought over money as history had claimed. It had been the portal locations. One...or both of them...had discovered certain points on earth where doorways to the past and present could be used for time travel. And now it seemed someone else knew as well. The question remained as to whether or not he possessed a similar pocket watch to the one she had tucked in the folds of her blouse, or if he even knew that one was required. With a grimace, she nodded at him, and pushed herself to a standing position. "Fine. I'll give them to you. Just give me a moment to catch my breath."
"I'm glad to hear you're seein' it my way." He relaxed his stance, but still held the knife in front of him. "I've waited too long for my chance at a way out. Ain't no one gonna take this opportunity from me, ya hear. They'll be no more moppin' and fetchin' for Ephraim Littlefield."
So that's who he was. Ephraim Littlefield, the Harvard janitor who was instrumental in locating the remains of the victim, George Parkman, and thus sealing John Webster's fate. She thought of her history professor, who had lectured at length on the hanging of an innocent man, despite the evidence to the contrary. At the time, she had thought it all silly conjecture. Now, standing in this darkening alley, fighting for her life, she knew the truth. She wondered if the professor had known all of the story? Realized the whole time travel possibility? If she got back to her own time, it was a question that would need answering, but in the here and now, her immediate plan was to get to that bank, meet Kevin, and hopefully make the journey back to where it all had started. With her right hand, Roxanne fumbled with the band of her skirt. "It's right here. In a safe spot." She pulled out one of three pages, leaving the other two hidden. "Here you are."
The man reached out to take the roll from her hand, but realizing there was only one sheet, grabbed hold of her wrist with his free hand. "Watcha tryn' to pull, you guinea slut. I know for a fact there are several pages to these documents. I want all of them."
With her free hand, she threw a handful of gravel and sand into his face, scooped up from her initial shove to the ground. Startled, the man's hands flew up to cover his eyes from the onslaught. With the toe of her worn boot, Roxie kicked upward, aiming for the man's groin in the manner taught to her by older brothers. Littlefield's knees buckled, and he went down hard, the sheet still clutched in one hand, the knife in another. Wasting no time in the retrieval of either, she gathered up her skirts and ran like hell.
Fr. Kevin leaned against the wall outside the bank, and wiped the sweat from his forehead. He could not remember a time when he had felt as bad as he did now. How he had managed to get from the rectory to the bank, he wasn't sure. He felt as if his legs were made of jelly, and unable to hold him up. He was exhausted from hours of retching and diarrhea, and he had begun to count each breath he took, afraid that if he stopped counting, they would cease coming. Mrs. McBride had done all she could to try and stop him, including bracing her rotund frame in front of the door and forbidding him to exit. But he had insisted, going as far as to threaten her with mortal sin he'd refuse to forgive if she did not let him pass. She eventually relented, weeping all the time that they were sure to find his dead body somewheres on the streets of Boston. Now, as the clock above his head struck fifteen minutes before the hour, he was sure her words would end up prophetic.
They were supposed to have met at 4:30 in front of the very same bank that had started this adventure. But now, at a quarter to five, he had the sinking feeling that this was not to be. She was nowhere in sight, and the bank employees inside scuttled about preparing for closing time at 5:00 PM.
He knew that he'd never be able to make the trip back the following day. Hell, he didn't think he could even make the walk back to the rectory this very evening. He slid down the wall, and settled himself against the bricks, garnishing stares of disdain and disgust from the foot traffic around him.
He closed his eyes, and let his mind wander, thinking about the happy and sad times of his life, and praying that his Lord would welcome his return home. He hoped that his family would all know how much he loved them, as a shard of guilt sliced into him over the fact that he hadn't spent much time with his mother at Maureen's wedding. He fought not to think of Roxie here, in 1849, without him, and begged his heavenly Father to allow her to return to her own time. He sat that way, for what seemed like a very long time, until a pair of arms seemingly wrapped themselves around his own.
Eyes still closed, he mumbled. "Is that you, Lord. Have you come to take me home?"
The female voice caught him off guard. "Damn it, Kev. You have to help me lift you up... just a little here. You're like dead weight. Plus, you smell like shit."
|Maureen plans an Irish Intervention|
"I don't believe it, Ted! Not for a moment! I know Kevin's been acting odd...but a woman? Roxie? It's just not possible!"
Beckett watched as his wife chopped the makings of a salad, and considered taking the knife out of her hands until she was calmer. "Look, babe. I'm just telling you what I heard. He was on his cell, talking to someone, and he referred to them as 'my love'. Now, unless your brother's come out of the closet, he was talking to a woman. And who could it be in the week we were gone, except for Roxie."
She shook her head, the red wavy curls bouncing with her vehemence. "You don't know him like I do, Ted. He just wouldn't do that. Wouldn't break his vows. It just goes against ever fiber in his body. His vocation is everything to him. It's who he is. I've never met anyone who is so...so naturally...religious. You had to have heard wrong. Or misinterpreted the conversation."
He sighed, and munched on a slice of cucumber that had flown off the cutting board, most likely in fear of her manic chopping. "I hate when you're like this. When it comes to your family, you refuse to hear any thoughts other than your own. I admit it, Kevin's a nice guy. Solid. But, he's still a human being, Maureen. Capable of succumbing to the same temptations as the rest of us. Especially when he's drinking. Alcohol does lower one's...inhibitions...as you can so readily attest to." He gave her a salacious wink, and she blushed a perfect shade of pink, throwing another cucumber directly at him.
"I'll give you that. We O'Kenneys have had our difficulties with alcohol, that's for sure. Patrick almost screwed up his entire marriage with his drinking, and Brendan's heading in the same direction if he doesn't shape up. And Daniel...well, you know the bad luck he's had. I suppose even Kevin could suffer from the family curse."
"Family curse? That's a new one. You've never mentioned any 'curse' before."
"Oh, for sure. My Granny O'Kenney sat Kev and me down when we were kids. Told us the family had a long history with the fey."
He snorted his disbelief, and put his hands in front of him to guard the next incoming vegetable. "Oh, so now your family is part of the fairy kingdom. Gimme me a break, love. You don't honestly believe that nonsense, do you? Just accept the fact that St. Kevin doesn't exist, and no wee folk made him sin."
Maureen narrowed her eyes, and put the knife on the table, which was a great relief to her husband. "Don't make fun of me Theodore Beckett! You know perfectly well that I don't believe that my family is descended from the fairies. That would be ridiculous. The fey are a totally different race of beings." She watched as he rolled his eyes, but continued. "My Granny said that we O'Kenney's had some type of connection with the Sidhe. That we were...different. More open to magic then other people. Some how, we seem to attract the attention of things not of the natural world."
He tried not to laugh, as that would only make her more agitated, a reaction he hoped to avoid after the fuss of the day. With perfect seriousness, he asked, "And you think Kevin's 'issues" have something to do with magic?"
She nodded, trying to gauge his level of belief. "I do. Something strange, anyway. Kevin would never act the way he's acting if there was not something ...unusual at work here. We need to go see him, Ted. Make him understand he could fight this. My Granny taught me a...a...oh I don't want to say spell 'cause you'll think I'm crazy. But a ritual of sort...to make peace with the fey. We'll have to go there as soon as I round up the things I need." Her voice trailed off, her mind obviously somewhere else.
"You're off your nut if you think I'm going over to that man's home and being part of some hoo-doo nonsense. That's not going to happen. I'm the damn Sheriff. And there's no such thing as fairies...or magic...or secret rituals."
"Fine. You don't have to go. I'll do it myself."
"Absolutely not. I forbid it. I'm not letting my pregnant wife go traipsing off to preform some rain dance in the rectory of the local Church. Forget this whole insane idea."
"Look, Ted. You're my husband, and I love you. But I have to do whatever it takes to help my brother. His whole life is in peril. He can't leave the church. In the end, it would kill his spirit, and Roxie's too. And if this is the only way, I have to at least try. Think of it as...an Irish intervention of sorts."
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2014
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