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.
|The Revere Kitchen|
He was torn between outrage and honest concern. Though the smell of marijuana permeated the garden air, the priest didn't appear to be high. His pupils were normal, and the whites of his eyes were free of any distinguishable tell tale red, but his insistence that he was searching for someone...not something... in the bushes behind the church...was far from normal. Inwardly, Beckett groaned in frustration. That last thing he needed was for her brother to go off the deep end. In the past hour, he had nearly talked himself into believing that Maureen had, unbelievably, switched bodies with the wife of the long dead patriot, Paul Revere. Now seeing O'Kenney in the state he was, he wondered if they hadn't all fallen subject to some kind of mass hallucination.
Back on his hands and knees, pulling aside the branches, the priest tried to explain. "I know how this must look, Ted. Pretty crazy, huh? But I have no choice other than to tell you...well... everything. You see...about a year or so ago...shortly after I arrived here in Dollyville...I discovered that the church grounds were home to a clurichaun."
"A clurichaun. They're sorta like leprachauns...except different. No pot of gold. Mostly good natured, especially if they've decided to place you under their protection. It seems as if Brian...that's his name...or at least that's what he's told me to call him...he's...well... decided to kind of 'adopt' me."
He stood there a full two minutes, watching Kevin crawl around in the dirt, whispering the name "Brian" over and over again, and felt as if someone had sucker punched him squarely in the gut. If he had been the type of man to have friends in the normal sense, he might have considered the lanky red headed priest to be one of his few. Before they had argued bitterly over Kevin's insistence on the truth, he had found the man to be witty company, genuinely upfront and easy natured. Seeing him in this state, truly in the middle of some kind of psychiatric breakdown, cut him more deeply than he thought possible, and in that realization, pushed any thoughts of friendship from his head. He owed it to his wife to see that her brother was afforded whatever medical help possible. Nothing more.
"Why don't we go inside the rectory, Kevin? You can tell me more about this 'Brian' fellow, and I can try and help you find him. Doesn't that sound like a reasonable plan?" The Sheriff looked around the empty church grounds, grateful no one else was witness to the priest's breakdown. The less people taking notice of the the strange things happening in Dollyville, the better they al would be.
Fr. O'Kenney looked up at him, searching his face with serious contemplation, then got up, grabbing for his crutches, and brushing grass clipping and mud from his pants. "Maybe you're right, Ted. I may have to make this a more formal calling. A true fairy circle. I'll need to gather a few things, and then we can try."
The rolling in her stomach had settled into gentle waves of nausea, but the banging in her temples continued without the slightest thought of mercy. It was all she could do to keep upright without swaying, and if the line of tiny eyes staring at her were any indication, she probably looked as bad as she felt. A stray dark curl escaped its confines, and she pushed it back under the cap, the heat from the fire not helping her stomach. From the cradle, the infant cried piteous tears, calling for the attention of a mother who wasn't really there. And where she was, Maureen didn't have a clue.
She tried to piece the events together, what she remembered, and what were black holes in the moments leading up to this very one. She had recalled being at the rectory, with both her husband and her brother. They had finished dinner, an awkward situation in which the two men had glared and sniped at one another in between bites. She herself hadn't been hungry, the harrowing experience at the clinic, and the behavior of both men, upsetting her stomach. That, and the crazy humming sound coming from the rectory attic, the one that had set her teeth on edge the moment she walked in the door Apparently, she had been the only one to hear it, but as the evening progressed, the damn thing seemed to get louder and louder, like a swarm of angry bees she could sense, but not see.
After clearing the table, she had gone upstairs to grab a pillow off Kevin's bed, thinking he should have the broken foot propped up higher than it was. And that's when the memory got fuzzy. The sound was louder on the second floor, and from what she could tell, seemed to be coming from somewhere in the attic, in the space Kevin sometimes used as a make shift guest bedroom. The humming drew her up there, and to an old highboy dresser tucked at the far end of the room. She could see herself in her mind, rummaging through the drawers, feeling guilty for snooping in her brother's things. That's when she saw it. The gold pocket watch tucked beneath a stack of old files. She remembered reaching for it, touching the chain, and then...nothing. Nothing but dizzy blackness, until she opened her eyes.
The first few minutes were a nightmare, her pulse racing, head pounding, and stomach so upset she thought she'd be sick where she sat. When her eyes finally focused, and the room stopped spinning, she'd been shocked to find herself no place recognizable. But the worse was yet to come. The strange clothes were frightening enough, but the reflection looking back at her from a silver plate perched on the fireplace mantle, was absolutely foreign, the only thing familiar being the green eyes staring back at her. Though her head screamed her name, the body attached to it was not her own.
It took what seemed like a lifetime to be able to stand, and done only because someone else had entered the room. A boy, in Colonial garb, who appeared to be 15 or 16 years of age, his arms loaded with logs. Seeing her face, and the way she swayed on her feet, he dropped the wood to offer assistance, calling her "Mother", and putting an arm under hers. The solid feel of him gave proof that this was no dream, no seizure or hallucination caused by illness. As far as she could tell, she had some how ended up in a body other than her own, in a time and place she didn't belong.
Her poor mind struggled with that concept, but her body continued to function as bodies do. She assured the young man that she was fine, in a voice and inflection that was not her own. She instinctly seemed to know what was expected of her, but no idea of how or why she was doing so. It was as if she were inside this form with someone else, and shocked to find that she even managed to accept the idea. It was several minutes later that she recalled the watch, and did a quick search of her clothing, finding it tucked into a deep pocket at her hip. Something inside warned against it being noticed by those around her, and so she left it hidden, fingering through the layers of cloth, feeling its slight vibrations.
The boy was was soon joined by a small troop of children, including an infant who was placed in the cradle by a young girl. They took their places around the table, seemingly expectant of a meal of sorts. A quick glance into the pot hanging over the fire showed a porridge like mixture, thick and gluey, the burned smell causing her stomach to churn in response. Maureen picked up a long handled fork leaning against the fireplace, and began to stir the cereal, scraping the bottom of the pot until she noticed the children watching her in complete horror. She knew she had committed a drastic faux pas, but what it was, she wasn't sure.
It was the boy who asked, his tone somber and concerned. "Mother, are you quite certain you're well?"
"Yes. Quite. A bit of upset stomach is all." The sound and tone sounded odd to her ears, as if she were reading a script in a play.
The young man did not seem convinced, eyeing her from top to bottom, and then focusing in on the fork she was stirring the porridge with. He considered his manners, and then asked, "Then why, Mother, are you stirring the breakfast with the fire fork?"
So glad was he to have Kevin out of public eye, he said nothing as the priest assembled an odd circle of things on the floor of the rectory parlor, much as Maureen had done months earlier in an attempt to bring her brother out of serious depression. At the time, he had thought it all nonsense, but let her do as she wished in order to pacify her. Knowing as he now did, the reasons behind Kevin's odd personality change, he wondered if something she'd done had helped in any way. Again, he shoved the ridiculous thought from his head. This whole time travel dilemma had him questioning his better judgement. The things he knew to be certain. There were no such things as fairies. No magic circles. No damn unicorns, and pots of gold at ends of rainbows. His brother was simply a fucking nut case.
He sent out a barrage of text messages to people he knew would keep the conversation to themselves, including several to Nolan asking his help in finding a private mental facility he could quietly move his brother-in-law into for safe keeping. His other contacts included people at MIT working on secret projects in quantum physics at the request of the American government. He paid little attention to the priest, until he heard the man carrying on a serious, animated conversation with an empty chair.
"Uhmmm...you alright over there, O'Kenney?"
Kevin turned to him, red in the face, and obviously frustrated. "I suppose you can't see him, can you?"
The little bit of training he had on handling subjects with mental illness had suggested a calm demeanor, and so he tried to remain as passive as he could, lest he set the man to violence, and force a confrontation. "See who, Kevin?"
The priest pointed to an empty chair directly across from him. "Brian. The clurichaun. He's sitting right here in front of me."
Beckett sighed, and rose from the sofa, talking softly as his hands moved toward the cuffs at the back of his belt. "Sure, O'Kenney. I see him. Hello, Mr. Brian. It's very nice to meet you."
Slowly, he positioned himself beside the priest, knowing that with his foot in the cast, Kevin could offer little resistance. It was clear the man was worse off then he had originally figured, hallucinating and in full psychosis. It was best to subdue him as quickly, and safely, as possible. He leaned over to grab the man's hand right hand, but never made contact. Instead, he felt something heavy hit him in the back of the head, his knees buckling under him, and the world going black.
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2015
All Rights Reserved