Chapter 8.10 – Poetry

Luke stops reading when he hears Sandi’s breathing slow to a soft, whispering snore.
 
Poetry is not his first choice of reading material. But he knows Sandi well enough to understand that reading it to her satisfies the hopeless romantic within. Luke gently picks Sandi up off of the sofa and carries her to the guest suite, then covers her with a silk and down comforter. If you had asked him yesterday about their future together, he would have told you there was no future. But the answer would be quite a bit different at this point in time.
 
Honestly, he’ll very likely marry Sandi some day. But there are still a lot of things to figure out before then. For example, how in the world does he inform her that he does not need to sleep? Or that he never gets fatigued? She barely tolerates his religious beliefs. How does he begin to explain that there is an interdimensional being tagging along with him for the ride? Or that his family is being hunted by demons? Luke scoffs. Good luck with that.
 
 —
 
Luke descends the stairs winding down to the ground floor. The cavernous, empty room at the bottom had been filled many times with people and memorable occasions. Many great times were had in this room, going all the way back to Mark. He stands at the center of the great hall, drawing upon the shared memories made available by the entity residing with him. His mother had decided to keep the estate empty after regaining their wealth, as a reminder of what she had lost. It may be a reminder for her. For everybody else, it is just simply a creepy, empty mansion.
 
This land is alive with the memories and the spirits of those who have lived here before you. It is a very special place. That is the reason why she sits here; very, very close to where we are now. But she is afraid, alone, and troubled. After giving so much of herself, she still pressed relentlessly forward. And even after it was over, she made a painful and selfless decision without hesitation. It was the right decision, mind you. But it was not an easy one. Now I fear for her state of mind. You may not be able to reach her physically, but you can still reach out to her; and comfort her.
 
Luke closes his eyes. He sees the same broken landscape he witnessed in his vision of the massacre when he was a child. He sees her, meditating on a small patch of broken earth. The voices have emerged again, masculine and powerful, singing to her and lifting her up from where she is sitting. Then, for the first time in what might be a hundred years, Kacey smiles.
 
It may have been an hour, maybe more. Luke finally opens his eyes to the soft, warm glow of another spirit. But he does not know who she is. She moves gently toward him and hugs him the way Grandma Faith used to. Luke steps back and asks who she is, and how she knew where to find Kacey.
 
The ghost performs a slight curtsy, then tells Luke that her name was Desiree McAllister. Luke recognises her voice immediately. Hers was the first voice he heard, the one telling him to listen and obey.
 
She was the last in a long line of McAllisters to live on this property. A fire at the cabin claimed her life (see Chapter 1.12 – Memories). Her husband was Corwin, and her son was Julian. She smiles a sad smile and regards Luke for a long time before speaking again. If a ghost could cry, Desiree would do so. Her voice waivers as she speaks in Luke’s mind. The young woman everybody has been calling Kacey; her given name is Eva. Desiree explains how she gave birth to Eva moments after Julian was born. She knew, even before childbirth, that Eva was not going to be a human child.
 
Luke searches his shared memories, but can find nothing that supports this. He stammers and tells her he does not understand. Desiree smiles again. It is a warm smile that Luke likes a lot, as it reminds him of Grandma Faith.
 
Her ancestors, the original McAllisters, had settled this land and somehow discovered how important it was. They agreed to take on the responsibility of guardianship to a very special being. Her entire race had been slain, and she was the last of her kind. But at the same time, she was the first of her kind. Either way, she was the last hope her proud race had of one day returning.
 
Much like Luke, Desiree also discovered that she possessed incredible talents when she was a youth. But those talents vanished at the moment Julian was conceived. Luke detects a hint of bashfulness as she remembers. The act itself had been unforgettable. She had never before experienced such an overwhelming sensation, as the purified love she felt for Corwin.
 
And Corwin, who had long ago given himself to evil, experienced love for the first time in his life. But this was no ordinary expression of love. Something incredible and extraordinary was happening. It was as though they had been transported to a place were the concept of love was real and tangible. When it was finished, Eva had been delivered from the place of her metamorphosis and into this world; alongside Desiree’s newly conceived child, Julian. The event had even touched Corwin’s cold and feeble heart. And it began to change his life.
 
 —
 
But it became clear that there are some things which simply cannot change. When Corwin came to understand what Eva represented, his lust for wealth and power returned. Desiree begged him to remember their special night. But it was no use. She had lost him.
 —
 
She was forced to hide Eva from Corwin inside the family’s luminorious mine. He considered the mine to be beneath his station, and had repeatedly refused to enter it. The decision was the most difficult and heart-breaking she’d ever had to make. But it was necessary to protect Eva from certain death.
 
Corwin was furious. He threatened her and Julian, and used every other method he could imagine to intimidate Desiree into disclosing Eva’s location. Knowing her husband would be watching closely, Desiree could only manage to care for Eva while he was at work. She slipped into the hidden tunnels beneath Sunset Valley to visit the traumatized girl. Deirdre had learned to comfort Eva, and rock her to sleep singing an old, Irish lullaby. She did this so that she could leave without further traumatizing the the child. But to some degree, she did it so she could leave without further traumatizing herself.
 
This continued for a short few weeks until Desiree lost her life in the fire at the cabin. Eva remained, trapped in the cavern, being kept alive by an unearthly artifact the earliest McAllisters had hidden there centuries before.
 
Years later, when Julian was an adult, Corwin discovered where Desiree had hidden Eva. He was going to take her from the mine, and seize the land from Julian (see Chapter 1.18 – Debt). Desiree’s expression falters and she gazes at the floor. She had no choice but to stop him. Sensing Desiree’s difficulty, Luke finishes the story, using information he had learned from Reid.
 
While the questions are still fresh in his mind, Luke fires them off, giving Desiree little chance to answer them. Where is she now? How was I able to see her? Did she see us? Why didn’t she age when Julian aged? Why is she still so young? Desiree laughs when his litany of questions is finished, then comments that there is somebody he should go and see. The visit will do him a world of good. As for Eva/Kacey; age and time are meaningless to her kind. She can appear any age she wishes to appear, and travel to any time and place she so desires. What she lacks is confidence, and the will to continue.
 
Desiree smiles that Grandma Faith smile again, then hugs Luke and wishes him goodbye. But he senses a twinge of sadness in her eyes. He asks if Corwin is going to cause any problems for him. Desiree rolls her eyes and smirks. Corwin forgets that he is dead. Desiree shakes her head and tells Luke that he has nothing to fear from Corwin. But he does need to be wary of the living.
 
Because when evil strikes, it will strike from a place and time he least expects.
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4 thoughts on “Chapter 8.10 – Poetry

  1. Aww wait! That means David was in love with his aunt! oh goshh
    Ah, so Julian had a long lost twin sister. Twist o_O
    Kacey can practically live forever. Ooh, that also means she knows when the end of the world is! Because she can travel there. She can go to the beginnings of Earth and meddle. Having that kind of power is scary o_O

    Like

  2. I have spent the past few days reading this brilliant story. I have been thinking of what to say when I reached this current chapter, but I am still at a loss. I can however, be thankful that I clicked the link on someone’s blogroll.
    It goes without saying, that I look forward to the next installment.

    Like

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