Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Part two of Therese and the hanted house

(part one of this story is several posts below. The story so far concerns an old lady who goes into a haunted house to burn it down. She gets caught in a magical spell set by her former lover who she thought was dead. He mocks her and then turns her into a young woman of approximately twenty years old. Part two starts at that moment when she realizes she is young.)

Therese was in shock. She kept gazing at different parts of her body such as her hands and her hair, testing to see this was what she truly had become - young. She pushed up her sleeve, lifted her pants leg, felt her back. All evidence of her former aged body, the wrinkles, sagging skin, the aches . . . were nowhere to be found. Slowly, she stared at him and forced words to come out.
“Wh, wh ah ah y,” she said, “Why did you do this to me.”
He just sat there and laughed a mocking laugh. “Who cares why ? Aren’t you happy? You no longer have to be a shriveled up old hag waiting for death. Now you can live again.” He stood up and waved both hands wide. “The whole world is yours now. This is your new life.”
“But why are you doing this to me? I was quite content with my life. I was ready to die.”
“Were you ,” he countered, “were you really ? And why did you come here tonight. Why now, after all these years ? “ He paced back and forth in front of her. “I’ll tell you why. You came to make sure that you had killed me. You were going to burn the house down after you looked in on me, after you had made sure once and for all that I was dead.” He paced some more. “I’ll bet you hoped my body was decayed beyond recognition, nothing left but dust and bones. I’m sorry to disappoint you, my love, but I am still very much alive, maybe even more so than when you knew me.” He went back to the table and sat down.
“I suppose you are due an explanation.” he gestured to the chair beside him. “Don’t worry I don’t bite - at least not anymore.” She sat down.
“I’ll start either with what happened to me or what I just did to you. You pick.”
“What did you do to me, how did you do it ?” she said barely above a whisper, “Tell me.”
She had thought about running but she knew that was useless, he would have caught her in a heartbeat or she would have been trapped in another snare. He was like that - he had plans on top of plans. She was still trapped despite being able to move around and she knew there was no escape. Whatever revenge he had planned, he would get. Her spirit sagged with hopelessness.
“Contrary to what you might be thinking, dear one,” he said looking into her eyes, “I am not getting revenge on you. Not now, not ever.” He waited for those words to sink in.
“I made you young so you could live another life, one better than this last one which I messed up for you. What you did to me, I can never repay you for, because you see you gave me a new life - a better life.
“Oh I admit for a long while I wanted revenge on you but that was impossible. I was stuck here, stuck with myself and there was nothing I could do about anything. All I had was me so eventually I got around to looking at myself. And what I saw I did not like.”
“But what did you do to me ?” she asked as tears welled up in her eyes. “WHY” she whined. She wanted to beat on him. She wanted to hit him as hard as she could but all she was able to do was cry. He watched her sobbing and sniffling and waited for her to stop.
“Because I love you, Therese dela Santos. I have always loved you even when I wanted you dead.” He took a deep breath. “As for what I did to you - that was merely some human alchemy. I guess you could say I re-arranged you, made you what you were supposed to be.”
“You are probably feeling in better health than you ever did. I did that once before to you, when I rearranged your eyes. Do you remember that ? You loved it at the time. All the wonderful new things you could do - see in the dark, have perfect vision, the ability to focus on far away objects . What happened ?”
“I started to seeing into people, seeing what they thought, seeing what they thought of me.” she answered, “I hated it. I hated you. I wanted to be normal, ordinary again but you were never going to let me be that way. I had to become the perfect woman for you.. I couldn’t take it anymore - that is why I did what I did.” She began to cry again.
“Well, no harm no foul. “ he laughed. “As you can see I am better than I ever was and I owe it all to you. You never killed me, this body can’t be killed that that way. I found that out when you stabbed that knife in my back. The alchemy I just did on you I did on myself, that very day. I guess I was still weak from the transformation, otherwise you would have never got close enough to me to do what you did. I can tell you from experience, your new body ages very slowly. You could easily live to be two hundred.” She held up her hand to stop him.
“What are you going to do to me now ?” It took all her courage to speak those words, her hands were shaking.
“Nothing,” he answered, “nothing at all. You can walk out of this house now and be on your way.” She got up immediately to test his words, but he did nothing as she walked to the kitchen door.
“One thing before you go,” he said as she pushed the door open. She waited. “Have you give any thought to what you are going to do next ? I mean, look at you, no one knows who you are.”
“Oh, they know me alright. I ‘ve lived here for decades on this block. I’m grand-Grammy . . .” His words sunk into her brain. Look at you. No one knows you. Oh, my God. she realized, they wouldn’t know her, would they, she had the same clothes, she probably sounded the same, but would it be possible that they would know her ?
“I know what you are thinking,” he said, “you’re thinking these people would see the real you in such a young woman. You’re thinking you could someone to believe you. I hate to break it
to you but they wouldn’t. Too hard to be believed. You think you could convince someone because you know everything about grand-Grammy, where everything is in her house but the truth is your neighbors would call the cops on you in an instant. There is an intruder in her house, they would say. You underestimate how long you have made the impression of an old woman in their minds - they could never accept you as this young thing. You must be some sort of stalker, some demented young woman who wants to be great-Grammy, that must be why you are in her clothes. The next thing they will ask is where did you put the body of the old woman. If you don’t get locked up in jail, you sure as hell will be locked up, doped up and chained up in the psych ward. But don’t believe me, go ahead and find out for yourself.”
She sighed another sigh of hopelessness. He was right. She was at his mercy. There was nowhere else for her now. She went back to the table and sat down.
“Okay,” she said, “what happens next.”
“Well this is more like it.” he said smiling his Cheshire cat smile again. “I need you to commit to one day a month with me, the rest of the time is yours to do what you see fit. I’ll give you a new identity and enough money to get you going. I need to show you how your new body works. It will take time for you to get adjusted so be patient with yourself. If you are good at it and I have no doubt that you will be, the whole process should take six to seven months tops. Are you ready to commit?”
“Yeah sure,” she said half-heartedly, she knew enough not to trust him but he was her only hope right now. As for his story of one day a month, she simply did not believe it.
He got up and went to a drawer. He pulled out a box and shut the drawer. He dropped the box in front of her. “This is for you.”
She opened the box and gasped.
“Its called the Toliver,” he said. “Take it out.” He did not have to tell her its name, she already knew. The long dagger with the emeralds on the hilt. The long dagger she had stabbed him with all those years ago. “Take it out.” he shouted, “this is your first test.”
“I don’t want to touch it.” she protested and slid the box along the table to him.
“Then I am truly sorry.” he said sadly, “but karma must be paid.”
With blinding speed, he grabbed the knife and crossed the gap between them. Therese could not even blink before she felt the dagger plunge into her heart.
(end of chapter two)


Soulsearcher said...

This is very compelling and well-written. I can't wait to read more! Keep writing. And have a happy Thanksgiving!

butterfly woman said...

Love how you end each part or chapter. Makes me want to read more. Keep going. You are on a roll. And the magic, the sorcery I see in this story, adds a touch of fantasy and otherworldlyness. So I enjoy the mix of fantasy, love, evil, spirituality even, that you continue to place in the story. I'm used to your humerous side though and kind of miss it in the story? Would you consider humor, even just a few words?