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Monday, July 30, 2007

A Distant Echo Of Dark Shadows (Con't)



Once she had gotten out of the blue compact car Jessica gave her long legs a good stretch. She looked down to hiking boots; she was now ankle deep in the rich brown mud. Jessica closed the door; Abernathy did not need to get dirty unless she planned to stay. And of course she knew she was going to, stay that is. Coming all this way was one thing, but to spend four thousand dollars and leave once here because A: no one around or B: there was no way she was listening to the first of the two. She would at least stay one night before returning to that town feeling somewhat defeated. The mud was relentless as it sucked down at her hiking boots, but she finally got in front of the little car. Luckily she had just missed hitting the thick post. Jessica shivered and damned herself for forgetting her coat, which was conviently still under Abernathy now that he had crawled up in to the back seat again. Rubbing her arms with her somewhat warm hands, Jessica looked over the available pamphlets and colourful leaflets. Some only had shreds of paper dangling from their shiny brass tacks, like wayward ribbons billowing in the breeze, still odd though that she herself could not even feel a hint of wind. Plucking another long unruly tendril from her eyes and she pushed the strands behind her left ear.

Of course gone was the warning that the site had been declared unsafe, the recent logging had loosened the soil to that of dangerous mudslides. Gone also was the paper in red telling all to avoid the hill side beyond the pegged border lines, already part of the hill side had slipped and recovered the back part of the hill and most of the ruins that had been recently dug up. The dig was abandoned due to severe weather conditions, the red flag warning had long since floated away on the wind.

Jessica looked up to the sky, the clouds had only lightened a tad, and they were still black and threatening to pour rain at any given moment. But her mind was made up and she was rather of the stubborn variety. Jessica took a deep breath, the air was cleaner here, crisper almost alive.
Finding nothing that related her tour group Jessica went back to the tiny blue rental car. She made her way back to the drivers’ door and opens it, she did not care about the mud clinging to her boots and besides why should she care? It was a rental car after all. Jessica crawled back into the driver’s seat the strong smell of stale cigarettes filled her nose; she had not noticed how intense the odour was before now. The fresh air outside must have sharpened her senses. Jessica slammed the door closed; he then reached in-between the buck seats for her coat. She gave a hard pull on the long sleeves, the majority still underneath Abernathy. She watched the glare that he sent, she smiled wickedly and gave another pull the fleece came free. And the fleece was warm with his heat, besides he did not need the extra warmth; he had a thick coat of black fur. So he would be fine. Once she had pulled the warm fleece coat over her head, the warmth in her arms returned, the air had gone cold again; she swore she saw her breath dance around her face. Now that she was warm she felt better equipped to make the decisions that needed to be made. But she had already decided had she not? Yes, she had, she thought. Jessica sat back in the uncomfortable seat; the idling engine vibrated through out the entire little car, she swore there was slow exhaust leak as well. But for some reason she did not feel that she was going to get that chance at telling off the company who rented her this sorry excuse for a car. Jessica felt like kicking the pile of rusted bolts. She closed her eyes; never did she think that this was to happen. Four thousand dollars! But she knew she could at least stay one night in the campground, it was now free; no caretakers. Her one long thick braid dug into her back, but she ignored the subtle discomfort. There was an odd emptiness to where the feeling of homesickness should have been, there was no guilt at to leaving those behind, she would see them all again. Wouldn’t she? There had always been something important missing from her life and she was never quite able to place her finger on this anomaly. Jessica did not know why her thoughts were coming unhinged. Jessica was not worried at being alone in the campsite even though she was in another country, but that made no difference. Her cousin Helen had had a very early breakfast with her just after leaving the small airport. So she should fear nothing after the surprise gift from her unpredictable cousin. Love her and curse her all in the same breath, she thought.

The cafe that they had stopped at was open twenty four hours a day, a rare commodity in this country. They talked while they ate, about what Jessica was doing in the mud digging for lost dishes and stuff. Jessica had to put her cousin in her place, but it was not done with cruelty, Jessica was not that kind of person.

And when the meal was finished, cousin Helen paid, her husband a high finance lawyer; Jakob Westinghouse. The man gave the woman everything. But to Jessica that man denied her older cousin the love and companionship, in return for his absence he buys her whatever her heart desires. This year she wanted a SUV of some kind, she got brand new silver BMW instead. Her cousin had become reckless for attention that was why she took a chance at giving her the gun.
“Here Jessica take this,” Helen held out a linen wrapped object out to her younger cousin, her teeth flashed a perfect smile. “You can return this to me when you come back this way in two weeks little cousin. Please take it, you may or may not need it, but at least you shall know that it is there if you need it. You never know with young pretty woman like yourself.” Again the older cousin smiled, her eyes sparkled with hints on unknown mischief.

Jessica had taken the object into both her outstretched hands, by the weight she knew her older cousin had given her a gun. One of the very heathen things that brought innocent children maimed or worse to her ER, day in, day out. Part of the main reason on why she needed this vacation so much, she was on the verge of burning out from over work. And possibly from caring too deeply about those she treated in the ER. But, before she could reply, her cousin Helen had jumped directly into her silver BMW. And was smiling and shaking her finger at her through the glass, the light above them shimmered as the light hood was shaken violently by a strong gust of wind. The loud rattle made her jump in the quiet dark hour in the early morning. Jessica watched as the other woman drove away in the light rain that just started, she watched until she could no longer see the flashy silver sports car’s break lights glowing like that of cat’s eyes trailing away in the distance. Not one other car on the lonely highway, just endless darkness. After that Jessica popped the trunk and buried the linen wrapped gun deep into the very bottom of her backpack, and then she slammed the trunk lid closed. The dented Toyota was a trash can next to the sleek sports car, but it was cheap and available; she then jumped into the drivers’ seat and drove non stop for three hours. Two hours on the highway and one on this cow cart road, only to find this! How could anything get worse than this, she was on vacation and should not be dealing with anything worse than a broken nail or bummed knee. This was defiantly not what was depicted in the brochure that she all but sold her very soul for.

Jessica had saved for an entire year for this so called vacation of a lifetime. Jessica remembered well the night that she first came across the brochure that started all this. She had been working late into the night and was feeling the full effects of the graveyard shift; how she herself hated that name graveyard shift, it gave her chills. As she passed by the waiting room to take the final head count for the night, her eyes had been drawn to one of the scarred and misused table tops. Instantly she forgot about the head count, all she had eyes for was the crumpled piece of paper sitting in a ball. She went to the crumpled ball and saw that it was actually a travel brochure. There was a picture of a castle built of black stone surrounded by clouds or a heavy mist; a fairy tale castle in some forgotten moor. Jessica snatched up the piece of paper, she did not even know why she did this or why she felt like a thief as she delved the crumpled travel brochure into her right pocket of her nurse’s whites; she had never had an urge to go to London or England for that matter. But oddly now she could think of little else until her last coffee break. Finally on her last coffee break, Jessica had got her chance for a closer inspection of the brochure, of course that was right after she was chewed out for shorting the head count list by ten heads, results short one nurse for the next shift. She desperately needed a vacation so bad that she could almost taste the need for it. By later that same week she had decided to start saving for this vacation of a lifetime, the drive she had to scrounge every red cent together was rather frightening. And how after all she had done without and all the ridicule she had received from those around her that she thought would be happy for her, were not. In fact most were actually angered that she had abandoned them all. “Not very responsible.” Or “Just stupid Jesse to spend four thousand dollars on lousy two week vacation digging in the English mud!” Some had even laughed at her, but she held her head high, she already knew that she was going. And no one would ever change her mind.

A loud screeching awoke Jessica from her daydream, at first she thought that something had just flew in the belt of the rusted out rental car. The screech had been ear piercing, now what? Was her first real thought as her eyes opened and she tried to focus through the mud streaked wind shield and the continuous flapping of the wipers that were still moving on intermediate setting. The sky above at that moment brightened with a brilliant burst of sheet lightening that put the Fourth of July to shame.

Abernathy began to growl in his low protective voice.

Jessica had seen a flash of movement at the top of the information board. The flash of light had been enough to show her that something very large and black was perched there looking down at her through the mud streaked glass.

“Quiet Abernathy, there’s only a large blackbird come to greet us.” Jessica peered out just when the rolling thunder shook the little rental car. Behind her Abernathy growled and snapped a loud bark in warning. Outside Jessica could still the large blackbird, but it was the metallic sheen to its eyes that unnerved slightly. The eyes were like metallic diamonds and just as hard looking as it peered down at her. For a split moment Jessica thought that the eyes seemed some what familiar to her as she squinted for a better view. The eyes of this blackbird were unnatural.
As the thunder shook the ground the black bird screeched again into the dawn, Jessica nearly jumped right out of her seat and almost bumped her head on the roof of the Toyota. “I wonder if it is a crow or a raven. But this blackbird is as large as the vultures we seen on the Learning Channel at home. Hmmm..” Jessica thought out loud she was not looking for answers, the blackbird was large and the feathers as dark as pitch. But it was the eyes that bore straight into her soul. A rather striking creature.

Once again the lightening streaked across the sky, the massive blackbird took this time to spread his wings and stretch to the full expanse, which was at least five feet in length. To Jessica it seemed as though to blackbird was showing her exactly what she wished to see as thought the creature knew what she thought. But that of course was impossible. Wasn’t it?

“At least there is one of the natives that have come out to greet us.” Jessica could even see the very faint hint of light blue to the metallic sheen of his eyes. Without looking back at Abernathy she spoke out loud to him, I swear Abernathy that is the largest bird that I have ever seen. Have you ever seen such wide wing span before? It is an ominous looking creation.”

No he had not seen a creature ever this large. And he had no wish to meet the blackbird, at least not if it could be on his terms, there was something very wrong the way blackbird looked at his mistress. The size was one thing, but the eyes were another subject all together. They were cold and to intelligent to contain a bird brain. It was like the creature saw much more than what it appeared to show, why the intelligence? But of course his mistress was not listening, he growled a little louder and still nothing, she was not hearing. She was enthralled with the large blackbird. Abernathy let a low bark escape from his lips as the giant bird folded its wings across its large muscled back. When the lightening had flashed Abernathy had seen the sharp orange yellow beak; perhaps this large ominous blackbird could also make a meal out of him given the bulging muscle under the plumage of ebony black feathers. Abernathy peered out the glass; did he see a hint of pain in those metallic eyes? Or was this creature to taunt them? Abernathy felt there was something afoot here and did not like any of it one bit.

Abernathy leaned forward and poked his large black head in between the bucket seats. He barked out to his mistress, her ear was very near. “Mistress, we must leave this place, there is something not quite right with this black bird and the way that I see him leer at you.” He is not what he appears to be! Beware mistress!”

“Shhhh.. Abernathy quiet or you shall scare this beautiful creature away.” Her voice soft and seemed like miles away while she stared at the large ominous black bird. Jessica could barely make out the fine form, but she could most definitely feel the weight of his stare. The black bird was a impressive creature, no matter what he was, she thought.

“Come mistress we must leave here; now there are things that mankind does not understand and were never meant to. Cydius help us all if we are to stay! Mistress this place is older than I am sure anyone has dared to think. We should leave for some things are better off left buried than brought back into the land of the living.” Abernathy knew that she could not understand his words, but of course he still would try. If they stayed, they would both be in grave danger; there was something evil a foot here. Abernathy was not just yet sure the exact extent of the danger, but the sense of ozone in the air told him that there was magic being used here and his mistress would never be able to sense the slight odour in the air. Abernathy began his low insistent protective growl; this was not what he expected to find here.

2 comments:

knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

Djierke said...

Thank you m'lady for permitting the time this weekend to catch up on my reading...*big grin*.
As always, the story so far has captured my attention, leaving me wanting more - exactly the way my heart yearns for your presence.
~Dirk

That's Life

That's Life
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The Master Of Her Domain

The Master Of Her Domain
There is One for everyone. The Master of my Domain is the axis in which my world spins. There shall only be but One. Among men and women, those in love do not always announce themselves with declarations and vows. But they are the ones who weep when you're gone. Who miss you every single night, especially when the sky is so deep and beautiful, and the ground so very cold......