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.
Of course, that only mattered if it was the ground that gave power to the watch, as she believed, and not the building itself. After her own experience, she had spent weeks researching possible causes, and had come across a series of articles and journals on the power of ley lines that stretched across the earth. It was believed that these supposed intersection of points were humming with spiritual and mystical power in the same vein as Chinese feng shui. Most of the research had centered on points in Europe, mainly those in Great Britain, but she had been able to track down a few obscure studies on ley lines in North America and hadn't been shocked in the least to find that several of them were located on the US East Coast, with Boston and the Cape Cod area claiming two of the most powerful.
As crazy as it might seem to the uninitiated, it made perfect sense to her. Gave reason to the strange man they had encountered at the bank, the power the watch had at certain points including the bank and Kevin's rectory, and the presence of the fey in the little town of Dollywood. She had concluded right then and there that the invisible ley lines were a force needed to be reckoned with and understood, and when they returned home, she must relay this information to those she held closest and could trust not to send her packing to the psychiatric hospital.
Until then, she needed to stay conscious. Purpose in mind, she shifted herself inside the barrel, putting pressure on her chest. The pain was immediate, a hot poker of heat that went through her entire torso, and any thought of sleep was completely erased. The pace of the wagon slowed, and through the outside noise of the bustling city, she could faintly make out a low humming sound of the watch somewhere inside Maureen's barrel. It signaled to her that they were moving in the right direction, and if all went well, this nightmare experience would soon be over.
While events unfolded, Fr. Kevin was pretty sure he was in the presence of a Master Manipulator. He couldn't quite say how Mrs. Revere had outwitted his brother, Patrick, into agreeing to a new set of plans, only that she had done so without him being any wiser to the strangeness of the situation. She had concocted some story about needing to remain at home to help with the church rummage sale, and insisted would gladly make plans to return to Boston, watercolors in hand, the following week. She chatted pleasantly about plans to visit the family, who she would see, what they would do, and by the time he was ready to leave, had managed to convince Pat this change of dates had been all his idea in the first place.
As he walked Patrick downstairs to his waiting taxi, Kevin secretly shook his head over his brother's clueless foray into the logic that marriage to Beckett had surely been the best thing that had ever happened to their sister.
"I'm telling you, Kevin. I know you had your doubts about this marriage working out, but you have to admit, since she's patched things up with Ted, it's almost like she's a different person. So calm and reasonable. Yup...I do believe our Red has become a sensible, mature woman. Seems I can finally breathe a sigh of relief over her well being."
Having nothing to say in return, and not wishing to lie, Fr. Kevin nodded, his fingers crossed behind his back, a prayer in his heart for the safety of all three of the travelers.
The wagon came to a complete stop, and she could her the others escaping the confines of their barrels. After a few attempts, she could not get her body to move in the direction it needed, and so she waited until someone came to her aid. It was Ian's face she saw first, and despite her overwhelming exhaustion, her heart did a little flip at the sight.
"We've arrived, Miss Roxanne. Do you need help getting out?"
The words didn't want come, breath being in short supply, and so she just nodded her agreement. He stuck two hands into the barrel around her waist and gave a tug, but her shoulder caught on the rim, and she gasped in pain.
"Lordy! I'm sorry, Ma'am. I didn't mean to cause you pain. We may have to try another way."
He walked off, and she panted in deep, raspy breaths. The tiny movement had caused so much pain, it wasn't something she wanted to try again, yet knew she must. She began counting backwards from one hundred, anything to take her mind off the blazing fire in her upper torso. She had just rounded off the 80s when Beckett's face appeared at the top of the barrel.
"How are you holding up, Deputy?"
"I'm afraid not well, Sir. My shoulder...well...it seems to be hung up on the rim, and I can't seem to be able to move it at all." The words came out choppy, a long breath in between each syllable.
Beckett reached a hand down to her neck to take a pulse, and though he tried to remain poker faced, she could see the turned down expression, and the look of concern in his eyes. "Hang on a bit longer. We're gonna have to try something else to get you out."
She could hear only bits and pieces of conversation, the two men and Maureen debating the situation. Shortly, she felt the entire barrel lifted off the wagon and laid on the ground, and she gritted her teeth through each rock and roll of movement. Then, there was the groaning sound of wood against metal, as the ribs were separated from the rim. As more were pulled away, she could make out her surroundings, a wooden warehouse of sorts, daylight streaming through the wooden slats of the walls, and she fought to stay conscious.
By this point, the humming had grown louder, and the men worked frantically to remove enough wooden ribs to free her, though Ian seemed oblivious to the sound. Once they had done so, Beckett lifted to her a standing position, and though she swayed on her feet, she was able to remain upright.
Beckett leaned in close to her ear, and whispered, "We are as close to the spot you suggested, while still remaining hidden, Deputy. Do you think we can try from here? I need for Mr. Sawyer to not be involved. It would be much better if he did not witness...things of a... supernatural nature. Once we leave, he needs to forget about us and move on with his life. We've done enough damage to the time line already."
She nodded, the realization that in the next few minutes, if all went according to plan, she would never see Mr. Ian Sawyer again. It added a whole additional level of pain she didn't want to think about. Things would be as they would be. Maureen needed to return to her own body, she and Beckett to their own time and space. She would sort out her life when this was all over, and Ian Sawyer would remain just a bittersweet special memory.
"Can you hear the humming, Sir? I think this spot will work. Maureen needs to hold the watch and concentrate on her life back home. There's little else we can do, except stand back back and watch. I'm guessing we'll know soon enough if it's worked."
"Agreed. Let me get Mr. Sawyer out of harms way, and then we'll proceed. Can you stand on your own?"
"I think so, Sir."
He handed her a rib from the broken barrel, shoving one end into the soft dirt. "Lean on this if you feel dizzy. I'll try and speed this up as much as possible."
She watched him go over and speak to Ian. She could see the uncertainty in the man's face, and then the look of resignation. The two men shook hands, and with a sad wave to her, he grabbed the reigns of the horse and led them and the wagon outside, closing the large wooden door behind him. Turning her face away so the others wouldn't see, she wiped at the few tears that had escaped from the corners of her eyes, and concentrated on staying conscious.
Ian Sawyer was a Patriot, and those who knew him best, knew he'd do whatever was necessary for the cause. If Paul and Rachel Revere were good and trusted friends, then by connection, so were others who were in their freedom circle. If Ted Walker asked for his help, then it should be supplied without the slightest hesitation. There was no doubting the frame of logic. Still, the sight of Miss Roxanne Walker, wounded and ill, barely able to stand on her own, haunted him. She had captured his interest the moment he had laid eyes on her, even when he thought her to be a young, simpleton boy, a fact that had caused him much angst. He had never in his life thought himself to be a poof, a fancier of buggery, and the thought they he might have such tendencies horrified him. The realization that she was really a woman came with such overwhelming relief he had almost gotten down on his knees then and there to thank God Almighty that he was the man he always thought he was.
Now, the idea that she was in need of help and he was unable to assist her was unacceptable. He had followed Mr. Walker's plan to a certain point, and had taken leave of the warehouse when asked. But if there was any chance that the plan to exchange information vital to the cause might go wrong, he had no intention of leaving the three of them to fend for themselves. He pulled the wagon behind a tobacco shop on the Wharf, tied off the horses to a post, then hurried back to the warehouse, positioning himself in a spot to watch inside between the slats of the wall.
For several minutes nothing seemed to happen. Mrs. Revere stood off to the side, something gold swinging from her hand. Then, things in front of his eyes seemed to grow fuzzy, and he rubbed a fist in them, thinking the problem was on his end. When he looked again, nothing seemed to have changed, though Rachel was now minus the item in her hand. He watched as she ran hands over herself, then ran to the other two to hug them, the mood suddenly changing to that of celebration. At that point, he almost gave in to his inclination to make his presence known, but then changed his mind as strange things quickly began to unfold.
Rachel stepped away from the two, and took a position across the warehouse. Ted pulled something from his pocket, and placed it between his palm and that of Miss Roxanne. He could see from the sweat on her brow, her gray complexion and gritted teeth that she was dangerously ill, and his heart leapt to his throat. He watched a few more seconds as Walker laced their hands together with a leather cord, and began mumbling words he couldn't hear. It was at that moment his Roxanne could hold herself up no longer, and she began to slide to the ground despite her hand being tied to Walker's.
Hiding and just watching was no longer an option. He ran from behind the building, crashing through the closed door, and diving for her. "Roxanne...are you.." The last words never left his mouth, the world inside his head exploding into a million pieces, and then disappearing into an inky void.
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2015
All Rights Reserved