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.
|Will the watch do its thing?|
They made such an usual pair, that those who might have confronted them on breaching the genteel business air of the bank, instead stared a moment, averted their eyes and wandered off, leaving sizable distance between their person and the struggling couple. The woman was battered and bruised, her worn shawl covered in bits of muck, while the man she both propped and dragged appeared to be more than under the weather. With one arm around his shoulders, and another swung around his waist, Roxanne worked at keeping Fr. Kevin in an upright position, while moving him toward the back of the building with very little help from the priest himself.
Despite the 114 year difference, the basic layout of the bank was the same as she remembered, the teller windows to the left of the massive front door, the huge vault to the right, and the space leading to the safety deposit boxes in the back. They were nearly half way across the floor, before they were confronted by a gentleman in a vest, who first called out to them, then soundly blocked their way.
"You there. This is a restricted area for bank patrons. You can't be here. The bank closes...", he turned and pointed to a large wall clock above the entry way, "in less than ten minutes. You'll need to leave before I call for the constable."
Roxie slipped Kevin's weight to her hip, and pushed the words out through gritted teeth. "We have business. In there." With her free hand, she pointed to the space behind him.
The gentleman squinted at her, and then looking them both up and down, sniffed. "That area holds our safety deposit boxes. I'm sure you have no business there." Then frowning, added, "None of proper, legal measure, I'm sure."
With clenched jaw, the washer woman spat back. "We have a key to one of the boxes. Let us pass. Now. Or I will call for the constable." When the man made no move to let them by, she spoke to Kevin, whose energy was focused simply on remaining upright. "Ke...uhmmm...Father Murphy...show this man the key. The key to the box."
The priest raised his head, giving the bank employee a good look at his sweaty pale face, before fumbling with his free hand inside the pocket of his coat.
Without realizing he was doing so, the man stepped back. "What's wrong with him? He looks like he's ready for the undertaker?"
"He's got the cholera. And if you don't let us pass, he's gonna die right here...right here on the floor of your bank. How many customers will want to come here then...knowin' a man died here in a pool of shit?"
At that moment, Kevin produced the key, laying it across his bone white, sticky palm. "Here. It's here. Check it if you will, and...and let us pass."
Seeing the state of the ailing, rumpled man, the bank teller took another step back, and covered his face with a hankerchief drawn from his breast pocket. "Go... attend to your business. Then leave quickly. The door closes promptly at 5." And then turning on his heels, he walked away, quickening his step as he did.
Part pushing, part mental willing, the pair shuffled past the room with the normal, metal security boxes, and then into the wood paneled back room, where they had earlier been led by the strange little man a life time ago. Roxanne ran her eyes around the room, looking for a landmark that might offer a clue to their last position. On the wall was a painting depicting the Battle at Concord, flanked on both sides by ornate gas lamps.
"There Kev...right by that painting. I remember that day...thinking that I had seen that same painting in my grammar school history book. We were standing at a table right under it."
Kev braced himself against the wall. "Yes...I remember the painting too. But there's no table there now. Are you sure?" He's breathing had become more labored, and each word was like pushing a boulder through cracked lips.
"As sure as I can be. No doubt they've moved the furniture around through the years, but the painting...it's too large to fit anywhere else in this room. This has to be the spot! C'mon Kev, we're almost to the finish line." She pulled a chair over for him to sit, but he instead slid down the wall, and sat on the floor, his long legs spread out in front of him.
Sitting herself down next to him, Roxanne pulled the chain from the front of her blouse, and pulled it over her head. The watch seemed to give off an eerie light in the gloom of the large, dim room, casting strange shadows on the walls around them. Head back, and eyes shut, Kevin's lips moved in what seemed like organized words that made no sense to her. Grabbing his hand, she shoved the face end of the watch into his palm.
"Grab it tight, Kev. It has to seem like you're really holding on to it. I'm gonna take the fob end...just like we did before. Then...if all goes the way it's supposed to, we should wake up in our own time"
She reached to take the end of the fob chain, but her friend reached out and stopped her. His blood shot eyes flickered open, and he took her hand in his free one. "Rox...in case this doesn't work, and we end up still in 1849. Or worse yet, we end up separated...somewhere else. Or...or if I just...don't make it, 'cause I'm pretty sure I'm in bad shape here. I...I want to tell you something. Something I should have told you a long time ago, and never did."
"Don't be silly Kevin O'Kenney! We're both gonna make it. Right back to 2014. Safe and sound. And someday, we're gonna have us a couple of shots of Jameson, and shake our heads over this wild, crazy impossibility." She tried to shake her hand free, but despite his poor physical condition, he held onto it with a grip that belied his true state.
He closed his eyes again, and took a deep, shuddering breath that rattled in his chest, before laboring with the next word. "Please Rox, let me finish. From the first day I saw you, I knew there was something... special between us. And even though God's set us on different paths, I need for you to know how I feel. In case I never get the opportunity again. Roxanne Spinelli, I lo..."
In a flash, she wrenched her hand out of his and covered his mouth with it, then grabbed the other end of the chain.
|Maureen comes to help her brother. But just who is on that sofa?|
It took most of the rest of the afternoon for Maureen to gather the things she needed. All the while, her husband tagged along, shaking his head, tisking and swearing under his breath, but not allowing her out of his sight. So when she announced that she was ready to "take care of business", he was relieved to see that her crazy plans had an end.
Beckett watched as she placed the items in a shopping bag. "What the hell is all that stuff?"
"I told you. It's what I need to summon the fey. Then we can politely ask them to remove whatever mischief they've placed on Kevin."
"And this shit is going to help your brother stop drinking and carrying on? Come on', love, you don't really believe all this nonsense, do you? Kevin is having some kind of mental breakdown, pure and simple. We should be calling a doctor, not paying a round with voodoo witchcraft."
"It's neither voodoo or witchcraft, Ted. This is simple Celtic faerie magic. It's part of my family's heritage, and I rather resent you making disparaging remarks about it. I told you, this has been part of the O'Kenney legacy for generations. Didn't you ever wonder why so much stuff just seems to happen to us? Crazy things?"
"Things don't happen to your family anymore than they do to other people. You people just add more drama to it all. It's like second nature to you guys."
"Well, that's how much you know, Ted Beckett! You are so closed minded about things you can't see or explain. I can hardly believe that you have a drop of Irish blood in you. Must be all that French and English DNA swimming around in your veins. Otherwise, you'd understand why I have to go to all this trouble to save my brother's vocation. I'd do the same for you..or your brothers."
The thought of his wife summoning faeries for any of his estranged family made him queasy, and so he dropped the subject, instead concentrating on getting the whole thing over with as soon as possible. "So then, what is it you have to do to..uhmmm...remove faerie interference from Kevin's life?"
Satisfied she had his attention, she explained, "We have to place these items around Kevin, and offer them as a gift to leave him alone. Once they accept them, he should be fine. The fey never go back on their word. They're incapable of lying or cheating."
"How do you know if they've taken the bait? Made the deal, as such?"
She bite her lip, and thought about the question. "To be quite honest, I'm not really sure. I've never actually done this before." He rolled his eyes, and she continued. "Seriously, I've read a ton on the subject. And I remember everything my Granny told me. Every word. At least the stuff that wasn't in Gaelic."
With nothing more to be said, he ushered her down the stars of the flat, and out the back door. They walked the one block to the rectory in silence, each contemplating the outcome of what was sure to be an unusual experience. Upon arriving, they knocked on the door, but after several minutes, no one answered. Maureen took her key, and opened the door, calling out before barging right in.
"Kev? It's me, Maureen? Hello? You here?"
There was no answer, so at Beckett's urging, they took a few more steps into the parlor. There on the sofa was her brother, passed out in the same dirty rumpled clothes he been wearing since morning, a gold pocket watch clutched in his hand.
Copyright 2014 Victoria T. Rocus
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