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 woman who is not Maureen, (Mrs. Rachel Walker Revere) waits for plans to help her get back home|
"You're being an ass, O'Kenney! Try being objective about this."
He watched his brother-in-law punctuate his emotions with a long handled knife, slashing at the pizza with almost scary precision. Despite the gravity of the situation, his mouth watered at the aroma, and the thought crossed his mind that this might be the last slice of D'Angelo's thin crust he'd ever consume. Fr. Kevin wiped the niggling worry from his head, and passed a slice to Roxanne on his left, and to Mrs. Revere on his right. Everything would be fine. He and Beckett would use the fairy spell to reach Maureen, guide her to the spot in the bank, and then return home themselves. Easy as...well...pizza pie.
Waiting until Ted's mouth was full, he responded, "Look, I know you think you can handle this all on your own. But the watch is very specific on where you need to be to travel. I've been there. Twice. I know exactly where it is. You need me. Besides, she's my sister, and it's my fault this happened. If anyone needs to take a risk, it's gonna be me."
"I'm with the Sheriff on this one, Kev. What if everything that fairy queen person says is true? About the soul part? How are you going to live with yourself if it really happens? You, of all people, who's built his life on things of a...a spiritual nature?"
Her pity annoyed him. Why would she take Beckett's side? She was supposed to be his friend. Roxie knew how much his sister meant to him. Didn't she think he was capable of making up his own mind? Her disloyalty cut deep, and though it was childish, he turned his back to her, and didn't answer.
"Use your brain, O'Kenney, and listen to Roxanne. Even if I did believe in all this soul shit...and let me make this clear...I don't...the fact remains that you DO believe it. You've created a purpose for yourself in doing just that. If you go ahead with this, you're always going to have doubts over whether you're the same person you were before it all happened. It'll eat at you forever. And frankly, I can't see you "faking" your role as a priest." He pointed to their wedding photo behind him, distinguishing between the woman who sat at the table examining her piece of pizza, and the "real" Maureen. "If Mo were here right now, she'd say the same thing to you. The last thing she'd want is for you to give up your vocation...any part of it...for her."
Next to him, Mrs. Revere laid a hand on his arm, staring at him from Maureen's face. "If it is any consolation, Reverend, I believe your friends make a most compelling argument. ' Tis most unseemly...unholy, in fact... for a man in the Lord's service to be partaking in things that deal with the fairy magic. I want nothing as much as to return to my beloved husband and children. But as a good Christian woman, I can not allow you to sacrifice any part of your consecrated soul on my behalf, though I am very grateful for the offer. I will turn my trust to God to make thing right as He sees fit."
It was like he was a kid again, at home, surrounded by his brothers, all of them taking sides against him. Old habits die hard, and a wall of resentment and hurt stalled further logical consideration on the subject. How dare any of them decide what was best for him? He was an adult, perfectly capable of making decisions for himself. "Look people...I don't need your sanctimonious suggestions on my behalf. I will do as I see fit." He turned and looked both Beckett and Roxanne in the eye. "I don't go around telling you people how to live your messy, ugly lives, so keep your damn opinions to yourself about mine."
Roxanne turned a deep shade of pink, and looked away, and Kevin felt a biting stab of guilt over hurting her. He had always been careful not to bring up the awful things in her life that seemed to haunt her, and he knew she was taking his comment personally. On the other hand, his brother-in-law smirked back at him, and in an instant, he was able to predict the words before they left Beckett's mouth.
"Now, Father O'Kenney, we both know that statement is far from true." He stressed the word "Father", lingering over it in obvious sarcasm. "As I recall, you most certainly DID tell me how to live my life. Insisted...no blackmailed me...into doing it your way. That little piece of advice cost me six weeks apart from my wife, at a time when I should have been at her side. Damn well nearly drove a permanent wedge between us. And now you have the balls to sit at my table and tell ME to mind my own business?"
At the graphic nature of his words, Mrs. Revere blushed, causing Beckett to reign in his temper. "Please excuse my un-delicate choice of words, Madame. I mean no disrespect in the presence of a lady." Then seeing Roxanne's face, quickly added, "Ladies. I apologize for my lack of manners. It is just that the good Reverend's hypocrisy causes me utter frustration."
Fr. Kevin could contain himself no longer. He jumped from his seat, slamming the chair against the table with a resounding thud. "You can stick that hypocrisy in your ass, Sheriff! The trouble between you and Maureen rests solely on your shoulders alone. I just made sure you weren't going to continue to make a fool out of my sister, even put her at serious risk, any longer."
Beckett remained in his chair, but his demeanor was icy, and his face deadly calm. "Put her at serious risk, you say? How? Like you've done in this situation? Be careful where you tread with this line of conversation, Reverend, or I might just forget you are my wife's brother."
It was ironically the passive Mrs. Revere who put a pin in their ballooning anger. "Gentlemen...please! This is not helping with the task at hand. I neither deserve, nor am interested in, the sordid details of your ongoing feud, though it is quite clear the two of you have unfinished business. If we are to rectify the turn of events, then we need to stop bickering amongst ourselves, and work together to return myself and your loved one to their rightful places." She lost her composure, and began to sniffle. "I must rely on your goodwill...your sense of commitment... if I am ever to see my family again."
Even Beckett had the courtesy to look slightly sheepish. "I beg your pardon, Madame. You are most correct. This is not the time to air our family's dirty laundry. We have approximately eight hours to prepare for our destination. There is little time to waste arguing about things that can't be changed."
He held up both hands in a sign of surrender. "Fr. O'Kenney...if you wish to sacrifice part of your 'immortal' soul in the rescue of your sister, then whom am I to sit here and argue with you. Do as you wish...and I will do the same."
It was half past four, and still there was no sign of She Who Was All. The three of them, he, Beckett and Brian, had assembled over an hour ago in the rectory parlor as they had been told to do the day before. It was as strange a sight as Kevin could ever remember seeing, as if the musical 1776 were being staged in his very living room. At the direction of Mrs. Revere, closet finds and thrift store purchases were altered to fit the style of her time. She had fashioned breeches for them both from loose fitting pants, while Roxanne had scoured every resale shop in Dollyville for suitable cotton shirts, broadcloth vests, and tailored coats acceptable during the Revolutionary period. Beckett had been able to procure an antique musket in mint condition from a local gun collector, though Kevin had blanched at the price he had paid for it.
That was not to say that the Sheriff was going without the benefit of modern weaponry. He wore his shoulder holster under his jacket, outfitted with his favorite Walther PPK, 7.65mm. Try as they might, it was impossible to hide his ankle holster in any way it was not visible, so after much grumbling, he gave up the idea of using one, instead settling on a small Ruger in the back of his waistband, and a very scary looking knife that disappeared somewhere into his clothing.
They each wore cotton stockings to the knee, and tricorn hats purchased from a neighborhood costume store that catered to local theater groups. When finished, they made a pretty convincing pair of men in His Majesty's colonies. It secretly galled him, however, that while he appeared gawky and uncomfortable in his outfit, Beckett looked rather dashing in his, if the reaction of both women were to be trusted. The Sheriff's jacket was a dusty blue gray color, which according to Mrs. Revere, brought out the blue of his eyes, while his was a plain brown weave the color of muddy water He wondered if the homely jacket wasn't pay back from Roxie, who had done all the shopping, in exchange for the hurtful comments he made the night before. It was a ridiculous notion to think about, so instead, he paced the length of the room, traveling in round circles, and reviewing the long inventory of items that needed attention before he left.
He was able to contact an old friend from seminary school to come stay at Holy Family for the eight days he planned on being away. Fr. Joe Campbell taught at Boston College during the fall and spring semesters, and was currently without a permanent parish, so the chance to play Pastor appealed to the man. He was delighted to take over the morning Masses, and even the youth group meeting and scheduled Confessions. It had also been decided that Mrs. Revere would fake a badly sprained ankle that required rest for a week or so, keeping her out of the public eye. Although she looked like the Mrs. Beckett everyone in the community knew and loved, her body language and speech pattern would seem odd, and it was best for her to limit her contact with the people of Dollyville.
It was the way things were between he and Roxanne that bothered him the most. He knew he had hurt her feelings, but she usually just told him off, and then was fine. This was different. She had gone out of her way to avoid him, leaving the room when he walked in, and working at never looking him in the eye. It was very unlike her, and it worried him, especially as he was wasn't sure how this all would end. She hadn't even come to see them off, or wish them luck. The whole thing had a bad feel to it.
"Aye, laddie...halt your meanderin'...you be makin' me dizzy. She will come when She sees fit, and not a moment sooner. Though there still be time to change your mind."
"Enough, Brian. You said you'd support me, and I'm holding you to that. I have to do this, whatever the consequences."
"It's your no understandin' of those consequences, I worry to. This be no bedtime story, laddie. There often be no happily ever after. I canna change what has been done."
"I don't need your help on this, Brian, though I appreciate your concern. Just let me do what's gotta be done."
The wee man looked first to him, and then to Beckett, shaking his head, and falling silent. He took a seat near the hearth, his face gloomy, and his mind lost in thought. The three of them continued this way for several minutes, until a low buzzing sound filled the room, followed by an over powering smell of summer roses. A small ball of light floated above the fireplace, and came to rest in her favorite spot on the mantle.
She Who Was All settled herself down, fluttering her wings, then pulling them tightly behind her back. Her attention rested on Beckett, and she smiled at him, though her expression held little warmth. "I see you have returned, Ridire Dubh...and you as well, Churchman. I mean this to understand you plan on proceeding with this little adventure?"
Beckett moved closer to the mantle, and smiled back at the little fairy, flirting with her as if she were simply one of the many women taken with his good looks. "I am more than ready to continue, Your Majesty." He removed his hat, and bowed low in front of her.
She laughed, swiping a candlestick off the mantle, and catching him in the back of the head. "You think to use that pretty face on me, Ridire Dubh. You are quite naive, mortal, though you would cause quite the stir at court. Of that I am certain. But it is for what's inside your heart I make this deal. I have grand use for one of your continence. So if you are sure, then we may proceed."
She snapped her fingers, and a long parchment scroll and a feather pen appeared to her left. "This be a contract between mortal and fey. Once entered upon, it can not be undone. For my help in breaking the bonds of time, this mortal Black Knight binds himself to my complete service for a period lasting until the birth of his first son. Do you agree to all stated, Ridre Dubh?"
"I do, Your Majesty."
The pen appeared in Beckett's hand. "Then sign at the bottom of this contract, in the blood of a young swan, and it shall be as promised."
Things were moving quickly, and Kevin began to panic. The Fairy Queen had spoken not a word to him, ignoring him completely. There was no way Beckett was cutting him out of this deal, and so he spoke up. "Your Majesty, what about me? Where do I need to sign?"
She looked him over, and sighed. "I have no use for you, Churchman. You can offer nothing I need."
His anxiety rising, he countered, "But yesterday...you...you said I could go?"
"Silence, Fear Seipeal Dearg! Stop your whimpering! If you still wish to benefit from the use of dark magic, I will not stop you. It is of your own free will that you use this spell to meet your needs. The Ridire Dubh's commitment pays for both of your passage. But know this Churchman...it will be as I have said. You will surely lose a part of your immortal soul, that which can not be undone. It is the way of all things dark. Be forewarned."
Fr. Kevin watched as Beckett signed his name to the strange document, the red of the ink glistening wet on the paper, the thought that it contained the blood of some poor bird making him queasy. When he was done, the pen and the paper disappeared in a puff of smoke, replaced by a stone amulet of some kind in his brother-in-law's hand.
"Then we shall begin. You must hold the stone together, your hands bound by this cord." She snapped again, and across the same palm, lay a long length of leather string. "There are rules for the breaking of time. As I have stated, you have until Lady Moon comes to her fulfilment of time. After that, the spell will be broken, and you will return to this very spot, whether or not you have completed your quest. You are warned firmly not to meddle in the way of things. Each stone you turn, each life you touch, will have ripple effects. Some ripples are meaningless, other bear huge consequences. Do what needs to be done quickly, and with as little fuss as possible. Do I make myself clear to you?"
They both nodded their heads, and weird sense of calm filled Kevin's mind. They would have Maureen soon. Safe and sound. It all would work out. He was sure of it.
She Who was All stood up on delicate feet, her wings now feathered out behind her in full regalia. "Are you ready for your journey to begin?"
Beckett stood in front of Kevin and took hold of his right hand, posing as if he intended to lash them together. "We are, Your Majesty...expect for one last thing..."
Kevin never saw it coming. The punch came from nowhere, catching him hard across the left temple. He blinked twice, confusion filling his mind before everything went black.
Beckett pulled the unconscious priest across the room, propping him up against the sofa where Brian had perched himself. "You'll make sure he's alright?"
"Aye. He be fine in time, though not much happy."
"It can't be helped. You and I both agreed he shouldn't do this."
"I do not disagree with our decision, Ridire Dubh, though still I trust you not."
Pulling his jacket back in place, Ted ignored the little man, and came in stood in front of She Who Was All. "I apologize for the delay, your Majesty. A change of plans."
"Well played, my Knight. The Churchman is no asset, though I do find your concern over his soul...interesting. Know this Dark One, your loyalty is mine now. Mine alone."
"I understand completely. I gave you my word."
She clapped her tiny hands in delight, the sound oddly echoing in the small room. "Excellent answer, mortal. I am glad we agree, Ridire Dubh. Most pleased." The Fairy Queen ran a hand over Beckett's cheek, then gave it a sharp pinch. "Shall you travel alone now?"
"Actually your Majesty...if it please you...I'd like to take another in the Churchman's place."
|Beckett holds the amulet|
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