Friday, February 20, 2015

Into Thornwood || Chapter Six

By Becca 

Chapter Six

            “So, you’re telling me that your sister was kidnapped by a giant automaton?” The policemen’s carefully waxed mustache seemed to sneer at Dax.
                  “Yes, sir. ”
                  “And this automaton lives in Thornwood?”
                  “That’s what I said.” Dax imagined Cecile bleeding out on the stone path. 
                  “I told you boys, no own has lived in Thornwood for years, metal or otherwise. A nasty fire broke out five years past and killed the whole Eilert family. There only was the three of them, all crazy as loons.”
Frank spoke up, “But we deliver groceries there each month.”
The policeman was exasperated. “They probably didn’t cancel the order because they are all dead! Now are you going to leave nice and quiet like, or I am going to have to throw you into a holding cell to sleep it off?”
                  “We are not drunk!” Dax exploded “It’s only nine o clock in the morning. Do you know who I am?” 
The chair screeched against the floor as the policeman stood from his desk. He was taller then Dax expected.
“Yes I do. You are the son of Mr. Bellerose; that foolish merchant who lost everything, leaving his poor orphans penniless. Now you have to live down here with us, and it’s driving you mad isn’t it?” The condescendence in his voice made Dax’s blood boil, no had ever spoken of his father in that manner.
Before anyone could say another word, Frank’s fist came hurdling towards the officer’s face. 

As they where led down to the holding cell, Frank apologized for the fifth time. 
                  “Please sir, I am so sorry. I deserve this, I know, but let my friend go. He didn’t do it, and he would never-“ 
                  “Shut it.” A hulking policeman shoved Frank and Dax into an opened cell and slammed the door shut. “ Charlie’s nose is probably broken. If it were up to me I’d break both your noses and throw you in the street, instead of littering our jail with you worthless trash. What kind of man gets drunk at nine in the morning? Don’t you have a job? A family to feed? And what happened to your arms? Did you wrestle an ally cat or something?” 
                  “Actually-“ Dax started
                  “Shut it!” The big man snapped, then stormed back down the hall. 
Dax fell onto the bench, folding over his knees and hung his head. 
                  “What’s going on Frank?”
                  “I’m sorry-“
                  “It’s alright, I know you meant well, chances are he would have put us in here anyway. That is not what I meant, what is going on? Am I crazy? You saw it too right?”
Frank paced the small room, the jail bars only reminding him of the gate. 
                  “I saw it. I see her too, lying there on the stone, bleeding…”
                  “We tried everything we could.” Red, scabbed scratches ran along both their arms; the only thing they had to show for their attempts to scale the wall.  
                  “She’s still in there, with that… thing. She could be -“ 
Dax’s head jerked up, “Don’t say it. She’s not.”
                  “But we can’t do anything for her in here!” Frank banged his fists on the bars to punctuate his statement. 
Dax sat up, and looked him in the eye.
                  “There is one thing. Take a seat Frank, and a deep breath.”
Frank sat next to Dax, and the bench creaked. “What’s your plan?”
Dax offered an open hand, cut and bloodied. 
                  “We’re going to pray.”

The first thing Cecile knew was a splitting headache, and ringing in her ears. She lay still, eyes closed, praying it would go away. Her entire body throbbed with pain, arms and hands stinging. Something soft was supporting her body, much better than the stone she landed on. 
It came back in a flash. The vine snapped, the sky reeled overhead and the ground flew towards her terribly fast. Grabbing the softness for dear life, she opened her eyes, blinding brightness swirling around her. She was going to be sick.
Shutting the lights out, she waited for the spinning to stop. 

The girl did not move again for a long time.  She was alive, her breath was steady, but she slept for hours. The wound on her head wasn’t deep, the bleeding had stopped on it’s own. It ought to be bandaged after she awoke. Her scratches were terrible; it hurt just thinking of those thorns.  A pang of guilt tugged inside him. 
                  “It wasn’t my fault, it was her choice to climb the wall, a very foolish decision, or perhaps a brave one. She’s a determined girl, that might become a problem…”

Her eyes fluttered open, the dark lashes brushing against her cheeks
The bright lights where gone now but the pain lingered. As her eyes adjusted to the dimness she took in her surroundings. 
Cecile was inside the mansion, she was sure of that, for nowhere in her life had she seen such a place. Even from the fire's faint illumination, the luxury was astounding. She sat up slowly, careful not to trigger the pulsing in her head. Everything was blurred, the fall might have caused that, but soon enough the room was clear again.  
She found herself on a bed with an exquisite embroidered coverlet. It smelled musty, it probably been some time since it was aired last. Moving to the edge of the massive bed, her feet slid down and touched the floor. She stood tentatively, her hand lightly on the coverlet. Everything stayed in its place. 
             A canopy hung over the bed and waves of fabric cascaded down. The same fabric was pulled back up against the wall, folds of ivory catching a shine as it swooped again and again around the room, each curve brushing the floor.  On the far side of the room the curtains fell away and walls parted, a veil of lace glowing with the moonlight. 
             Leaving shoeprints across the dusty floor, she stepped to the window and pulled the curtains back. The garden below seemed like a different place, dark and shadowed, light glinting off the foliage. A black silhouette in the gloom moved, igniting Cecile’s frightened imagination. 
              Did the automaton keep other prisoners here?  She had seen the face in the tower. Was this house inhabited with captives? 
             The shape stepped out from behind the gazebo and the light fell upon the chestnut mare. As Diamond bent down for another mouthful of grass, Cecile smiled, her fear extinguished.
If that’s the same gazebo from this morning… She pressed against the glass and followed the wall as far as she could, the edge of the gate barely visible from her view.
“They aren’t there anymore, are they?” Her question stirred the cobwebs that laced the corners. She turned from the window, not entirely sure what she should do. “They will come back you know, Dax would never leave you like this.” She spoke aloud, scolding her own doubts. “He has probably gone for help. Of course, that is it.” A quavering voice did not believe her. Maybe he was captured too. He could be in the mansion right now, trapped behind an iron lock. He could be dead.
           “No, don’t even think that!”
            Dax knew something was going to happen. How did he know? 
His shout when the gates began to close, the fear in his eyes…. She looked down at her hands, torn and scabbed, thinking of Frank’s fingers wrapped around her own, holding tight. He promised they would get her out…. Would she see either of them again?


  1. I'm loving it!!!!! I love how Frank punches the policeman!! I have an extreme admiration for men who talk straight but aren't afraid to use their fists when straight talking doesn't work!! That's why I love Louis L'Amour's heroes so much!!! :)

  2. Haha, I loved the exchange with the police man. Poor Cecile! I can't wait to find out what happens to her.


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