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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chapter 17


I was dreaming.  It was like that night that woman took me from the re-education center before I even had a chance to enter it.  I couldn’t breathe, was suffocating.  Then I woke up and found out it was for real.  I scratched and fought but I was losing.  The only thing that kept me fighting Bean was you because if it had just been me I would have given up I’m so tired of it all.  Then I heard a woman scream and something crashing and then the bed shook and I could breathe again only not real good. 

“Dear God, send for Regina and Missy.  Now!  Move Roman, I need to see …” 

“I promised her!  Get away!” 

“Roman, stop it.  She’s not Patty.  Now back up.” 

“Go to hell David.  You too Saul.  You said you had him under control … locked up … for his own good until the family could decide what to do!” 

The room was coming back into focus but I couldn’t stop shivering.  I remember looking for a way out.  I remember Roman yelling, “Thorn … Thorn!  Look at me.  Thorn … Narcissa.  Narcissa look at me!  You’re safe.  But you need to … to calm down.  Think about Bean.  C’mon … that’s right think about Bean.” 

“Someone was trying to take Bean away,” I cried.   

“He’s gone.  C’mon it’s ok … you’re safe.  Bean is safe too.  Hey, look what I have … you said your mother made it for you.” 

He held my bag and I grabbed it.  “It’s mine!  Mom made it out of my wubbie.”   

“Out of your … ?” 

A woman said, “That’s what we used to call this blanket Susan had.  It looks like it is made out of some kind of quilted material.  There’s nothing sharp in there is it?  The way she is hugging it something could poke through it.” 

I don’t remember much beyond that.  They kept telling me to just stay calm, to think of you Bean and to stay calm for you.   I tried but I kept hurting and then they made me drink something and I fell asleep. 

I must have slept for a long time because I woke up and needed to go to the bathroom fast.  I moved and the woman Regina noticed.  She wasn’t happy about me getting up but it was only for a moment and then she made me get back in bed and then she stepped outside and must have told someone something because before I could decide what to do next Mr. Beauchamp and Saul came in the room. 

“Easy kid.” 

“I’m not a kid.” 

“OK, so maybe you aren’t but you’re still some younger than me so I get to call you what I feel like.” 

Mr. Beauchamp interrupted Saul and asked seriously, “How are you feeling?” 

“Stupid.  You never turn your back on a man when he is acting crazy.  It was real stupid of me to forget that.  He could have taken Bean away from me.  That’s what he wanted to do.  Is … is Bean … ok?” 

Mrs. Beauchamp stepped into the room and she shooed all the men out.  I was scared Bean but then she stuck this thing on my belly where you are and … I heard you.  I always knew you were real and in there but I heard you.  Or at least I heard some noise she said was your heart beating and you wiggling around and that you sounded just fine and dandy.  I didn’t mean to cry but I was really relieved.  I just hugged you and hugged you.  Mrs. Beauchamp got a funny look on her face, a little green around the edges, and she told me to go back to sleep, that the men had no business talking to me until she said so.  I gotta say, she sounded like Mother Mary when she said it and if I hadn’t been so relieved I think I would have been scared whether I wanted to be or not. 

I slept for a while, woke up, Regina told me to eat some soup and then I fell back to sleep again without being told to.  I figure that’s when they dosed me.  I’d seen Mother Mary do the same thing when a girl would get hysterical, particularly if she was new and had had her first rough customer. 

I woke up needing the bathroom again but as soon as I opened my eyes I could tell I was in a different room.  The walls where I woke up were paneled and darker and the bed was completely different, for one thing it was bigger.  And then I felt the shackle on my leg.  I jerked it hard trying to see what the rope was attached to and if I could get away. 

“Ow!  Ow!  Don’t pull so hard!  Give me a chance to … stop it or you’re going to break my leg ok?!” 

I looked over the edge of the bed and Roman was on the floor trying to untie something from his ankle.  He asked, “You aren’t going to puke on me are you?  ‘Cause if you are I’d like to move.” 

“I ought to,” I told him. 

“You sound like a feral kitten and there’s no need to hiss like that.  I was just so tired I worried about not hearing you get up and not realize where you were.” 

“Am I in jail?” 

“Huh?  No!  Just let me … dammit how did this get so tight …” 

Finally he had to take out a pocket knife and cut the rope off his ankle.  “Er … is it tight on your end?” 

“Yeah, but I can wiggle out of it.  See?” 

But then he freaked out and was even weirder.  “Dammit, you’re bruised.  How the hell did this rope get so tight?!  And you’re scratched!  Hang on, I’ve got something here … it’ll clean it out …”  He ran out of the room almost taking the doorframe with him then yelped, “Missy!” 

He was so upset that Missy ran in the room thinking who knows what and I told her, “He’s acting drain bamaged again.  All it is is a little scrape.” 

“And a bruise,” he huffed coming back with what turned out to be enough ointment and bandages to turn me into an old Egyptian mummy. 

“Roman?” 

“Just give me a sec … dammit … I need to find the end … how the hell does this stuff always get tangled up?!” 

“Roman!” 

“What?!  Does it hurt?  I’ll get Mom …” 

“Roman you are running around like your hair is on fire.  Go soak your head or something.” 

Missy looked at me in surprise then tried to hide a smile.  “How are we feeling today?” 

“I don’t know who this ‘we’ is you are asking about but Roman looks like he could use some of whatever you people dosed me with.  Someone needs to explain that he’s going to lose his man card if he don’t stop acting like that.” 

Roman squawked.  I mean he absolutely sounded like a bird that had its tail stepped on.  Missy walked out of the room with her hand over her mouth. 

Roman growled and said, “Now look here you …” 

“Kiss my left big toe.” 

Saul walked in scratching his head.  “Roman, you’re letting her get to you.  Go take a walk while I explain things to her.” 

“No way.  I’ll tell her.  I want my side of the story …” 

Saul stood to his full height and I could tell all over again why he was an enforcer.  “This isn’t just about you.  There’s bigger issues here.” 

“Are you turning me off?” 

Saul looked at me and said, “Roman ain’t the only one that leads with his chin apparently.”  He pulled up a chair that Missy brought in the room before she left again and then sat and looked at me.  “We aren’t sending you away but not everyone is all together happy about it.  As such we’ve moved you out to a less central location.  Roman will be your … hmmm.” 

“You better not be looking for a polite word for pimp,” I told him. 

Roman started pacing and said, “See?!  I told you that would be the first thing she thought.  Now how am I supposed to talk her around?!” 

“Talk me around to what?” I asked suspiciously. 

Saul said, “It has to do with the rules of our enclave.” 

I just sat there and waited.  Roman tried to start the explanation but Saul interrupted him and said, “You’ll get your turn.” 

Saul then turned to me and got very serious.  “You are not fit to run around on your own.  I don’t know what your back story is but … basically even if I think it matters personally I still have to deal with the rules of the enclave and the ruling of our leaders.” 

He reminded me of something.  “You are part of something bigger.” 

Saul asked sharply, “Just how much has Alex been talking?” 

“Not him.  Just something I remembered … from a long time ago.” 

“That’s not going to cut it Kid.  There’s too much at stake.  I need to know how much of a danger you are to the enclave.” 

“No one gives a crap about me.  Mother Mary is dead.  Emerald … I don’t know but she probably thinks I am.  Alex wants me dead.  There isn’t anyone else that cares one way or the other.” 

Roman said, “You shouldn’t say things like that.  What about Bean?” 

“Oh … well that’s different.  I care about Bean and although I think you are demented I guess you care about Bean too because you said the baby would be your niece or nephew and you’ve got this thing about family.  You said that once the shock wore off your parents would care too but even though I think that is a long shot I’m willing to go with the possibility because it means that Bean could have safe.” 

Saul said, “Here’s the first demand of our leadership.  They want to know your history and your real name.” 

“I already told you.” 

“And some are satisfied with not hearing anymore because they don’t want to know the details but you’ve opened up a can of worms with that little statement you just made.” 

“What statement?” 

“About the enclave being part of something bigger.” 

“Oh.”   

Bean, I really debated with myself.  I don’t like to think about that stuff because it makes everything else seem so much worse.  Don’t think about yesterday.  Don’t worry about tomorrow.  Focus on surviving today.  But I decided maybe I could work a deal. 

“OK, how’s this.  I’ll tell you.  You can … you can tell Mr. Beauchamp and maybe a couple of others that just have to absolutely know so I don’t get kicked down the road.  But … that’s as far as it goes.  It’s my business and I’m only telling you because … because for Bean.  AND,” I said interrupting him before he could say anything.  “If I tell you then you have to at least let me hang around long enough for Bean to come out and for me to learn how to do stuff so that I can take Bean someplace and teach them about being safe and stuff like that.” 

“That’s a lot to ask without me knowing the facts.” 

“Well you ain’t exactly asking for no small thing yourself.” I told him right back.  “I’ve tried not to think about it for so long it’s going to hurt to remember it.  I wouldn’t even think about telling you at all if it wasn’t for Bean and because Roman reminds me of Tim.” 

“Who’s Tim?” 

“My brother.  He was always bringing home strays too.  It drove Mom crazy.”

3 comments:

  1. Hate to not have more lol, thank you.

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  2. I really look forward to hearing her story. Thanks!!

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  3. Thanks for another great chapter Kathy
    Wayne

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