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.
|Beckett comes to the rescue|
He'd known for a long time that he cared for her more than any of the others. Needed her in ways that went far beyond the physical. That had been made clear during their short separation after the accident, somewhere within the weeks of grief and self-loathing that came with the loss of the baby. Still, he hadn't realized until this very moment how much of him she truly owned. It both amazed and horrified him. How could he go off and do the things he did without the armor of complete indifference? It made things difficult. Complicated.
Maureen suddenly broke the embrace, and took a step back. "We probably shouldn't look so...so cozy. No doubt Sarah is peering through the upper windows, taking notes on my misbehavior. That wretched child hates me!" She wiped at some milk stains on the front of her skirt. "And it isn't gonna help when I go back inside without any milk. It took nearly an hour of tugging at that old thing just to get what I did. Even the cow hates me. Everyone hates me here."
Laughing at her trials seemed a bit heartless, but he couldn't help himself. Despite the different face, the unfamiliar body, she sounded so much like the Maureen of his heart that he couldn't keep the joy from spilling out. It started as a chuckle, and once let loose, churned out in eye-watering peals of laughter. Beckett looked back at the cow who did seem to give his wife the evil eye, and laughed even harder.
At first she seemed bewildered, then pissed, and he realized in the short time they'd been together, she'd never seen him laugh this way, with total abandonment and loss of control. Truth was, he couldn't remember a time either.
"I'm glad you think my problems are so damn funny, Ted Beckett! Here I am...shoved into a strange body. Stuck somewhere in a time warp, and you think the whole damn thing is Comedy Central. You can really be an asshole, you know that?!"
She must have expected a terse comment in return, and when it was replaced with a lingering giggle or two, she eyed him warily. He wiped the tears from his eyes with his sleeve, and then reached over to tuck a stray strand of dark hair back under her her mob cap. "I'm sorry, love. I don't mean to laugh at your trials, or make light of them. I'm just so happy to find you safe and sound, in one piece, and unchanged. I am grateful beyond belief."
"Unchanged? Are you crazy? Look at me! I'm somebody else! I'm...fat!"
"Outside, yes. Inside, you're my Desert Rose. Of that I have no doubt." He grinned, and glanced down toward her bosom. "Though, I must admit to admiring those bigger tits. You wear them well."
Maureen placed a self conscious hand over the bodice of her dress, and smiled. "Yeah...I do kinda like them myself. Never filled out a blouse like this before." Then her face fell, and he could feel the fear and uncertainty rise between them. "Why am I here Ted? Why did this happen? Please tell me you know how I can get things back to the way they were?"
He resisted the demanding urge to pull her back into his arms, to kiss the fear right out of her, and let her know how much she meant to him. She was right. No doubt they were being watched. A "cousinly" embrace of welcome could be explained. A make out session in the back of the house... not so much. "That's why I'm here, love. To help you make the switch."
"Please tell me you have a certain gold pocket watch still in your possession?"
Maureen turned away from the direction of the house's windows, her back to them, and dug into the bodice of her dress, pulling the pocket watch out by its chain. Beckett could hear a very low humming sound pulsing from it as it swung from her hand.
"Does it always make that sound? That humming?"
"You hear it now too? That's what made me find it in the first place! I heard that noise coming from Kevin's attic. It was driving me crazy, so I kept trying to find out where it was coming from. It finally led me to the old dresser in the corner of the rectory attic. It was in the bottom drawer, under a stack of old linens. I pulled it out, and then all the hair on my arm stood up. Next thing I know, I'm waking up here in a strange bed." Seeing his face, she quickly added, "By myself. I haven't even seen my husband...I mean Paul...Paul Revere...wow...that sounds weird...at all. The children looked at me like I was crazy when I asked were he was. Apparently, Mr. Revere takes off on a regular basis, something I'm supposed to understand. I never was much interested in history, you know. My Dad kept trying to get us kids to take more of a liking to the historical aspects of Boston, but only Patrick and Kevin were really very gung ho about it. Wished I would've paid more attention considering what's happened to me."
Beckett made note of the fact he could now hear the time piece humming. On the day of Maureen's disappearance, he'd heard absolutely nothing, even though by Kevin's own later admission, he had heard it too. He weighed the reasons for his new found sensitivity, and wondered if it was the Fey spell that brought him here, or his commitment to the Queen herself, that had made the change. Whatever the explanation, it was a benefit to now be in the loop of the supernatural oddities that seemed to affect those he held dearest.
"Anyway, since the watch was still clenched in my hand when I woke here, I assumed it must have something to do with my situation, though I've tried countless times since then to wish and pray myself back. Nothing's worked so far. I hope you have the missing piece I need to get back to...well...myself. It's been a frickin' nightmare."
"I believe I do. But I need to explain a few things first. In private. The shed will work just fine. How 'bout I see if I can get you another pail of milk while I tell you what needs to happen?"
"You know how to milk a cow?"
"I've had some experience with goats. I can't imagine cows are any different."
"Then lead the way, 'Cousin Ted', and tell me what the hell I have to do to fix this whole mess."
Patrick's visit was an unfolding disaster. Even if Mrs. Revere had access to a phone, cell or otherwise, she wouldn't have a clue as to what she should do with it. They all had decided that the least she knew of life in the future, the easier it would be for her to slip back into her given life. There seemed no good reason to expose her to the wonders of modern technology, other than indoor plumbing and electricity, which could hardly be hidden in a space the size of the apartment. Rachel was a woman of sound judgement, and her calm, gracious nature made it easy for her to be comfortable without the things modern young people took for granted.
She was quite content without television and the internet, finding great joy in cooking over a flame she didn't need to light herself, reading her way through Maureen's collection of Jane Austin and Charlotte Bronte, and amusing herself with a gift of sketch pad and water colors that Beckett had procured for her before he'd left. In less than a day, she had created several beautiful drawings of birds that had landed on the tree outside the kitchen window. Each was carefully taped to the walls, showing talent his sister never possessed, something that would immediately raise Patrick's curiosity.
His brother could not be swayed from visiting their "sister", and as they walked the block and a half to the deli, Fr. Kevin frantically wracked his brain for some excuse he could use to postpone the inevitable. He was still fumbling around with crutches, and his slow pace did nothing but annoy Patrick further.
"For Christ sakes, Kevin...why didn't you just stay back at the rectory. I'm perfectly capable of walking the ten steps to the apartment myself. You just gotta stick your nose in everybody's business, don't ya? Especially when it comes to Red. She's a grown woman. A married woman. She doesn't need her big brother holding her hand. She has a husband now to do that."
"I figured I'd take this opportunity to spend some time with you too, Pat. Hear how the family is doing...and stuff." As the white lie slipped from his lips, he mentally mouthed a silent prayer asking for forgiveness. Desperate times took desperate measures.
Pat stopped in his tracks, and gave the priest the stink eye. "Just what are you cooking up, Kev?"
He tried hard not to blush, his lack of a poker face notorious in the family chronicles. "Geez, Pat. Can't a guy want to spend time with his brother without you making a federal case about it?"
Patrick continued his stride, shaking his head. "You are the shittiest liar I know, Father Kevin. There's something you're not telling me about Red, and I mean to find out."
He prayed again, this time calling on every saint known for assistance with hopeless cases. It wasn't going to take a genius to realize something was terribly different about the sweet nature of the woman inhabiting Maureen's body. There were a lot of wonderful adjectives one could use in describing Maureen O'Kenney Beckett, but 'sweet' was not in the collection, at least among the people who knew her well.
It seemed one saint must have been listening to his pleas, for when they arrived at the deli, Mrs. Schiller tempted his brother into the store with a slice of fresh apple and cranberry strudel. Pat's penchant for desserts was as well founded as Mo's ability to find trouble, leaving him a few stolen minutes to warn Mrs. Revere what was about to go down.
Racing up the stairs, he found her seated at the table, furiously working to scrub up a dark buildup of burned gunk on the bottom of Maureen's best saute pan. She looked up, a worried frown replacing her usual smile. Holding up the pan in horror, she apologized, "It appears I have ruined your sister's lovely cook pot in an attempt to fix myself some dinner. The poor fish has gone from over done to completely ruined. Perhaps I shouldn't have let it fry so long."
And though it seemed totally inappropriate to use a worn out cliche at a desperate time like this, he couldn't resist. "Mrs. Revere...I'm afraid we have bigger fish to fry."
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2105
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