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The Bride Wore White

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November 15, 2012 Posted by | Photo | , | Leave a comment

Twins in Death: Chapter Five – Part Two

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Five: The Home Life

 

  

 

October 23rd, 2002

7:03 p.m.

 

            There is an island off the coast of Manhattan, not a terribly small one, but not as large as some. It’s to the south of the island structure, but still in the bay. The island held a few private estates, and quite large ones at that. The single estate where The Weirdo’s house was located took up about half of the island. There was a small forest of trees on the estate, which blocked the city from the view of the house except from the higher rooms and the roof where an observation area was kept.

 

            A single bridge linked the city and the world to this small island, and it wasn’t a very wide bridge. This wasn’t the sort of place just anyone could go to anyways, the island would not allow it. It would be difficult to explain to those who have never been near the house, but it forbade. A person walking towards the bridge, thinking about crossing would find himself or herself thinking that they had somewhere else to be. Unless welcomed, it was very hard for anyone to come to the island. The island simply wouldn’t allow you otherwise.

 

            There was something about the house, as you approached it. This of course was after you managed to get across the bridge and down the single road towards The Weirdo’s home. You could see it over the leaves of the trees, those trees that still had leaves hanging on them that is. The golden orange and red leaves had for the most part descended this mortal coil and were scattered in untended piles on the ground, where they would likely remain until spring. You could start to see the top of the house as you came closer, the observation deck at the roof, the two domes of the library and ballroom’s roofs. You continued you would see more of the house, as the trees began to slowly part from the view.

 

            It had an old world quality to it, like it was one of the great houses of Europe or Asia. It looked like the ancestral manor home of an ancient line of kings, even though the architecture spoke of the mansion boom that went on in the early nineteen hundreds. It might have been built by one of the great Robber Barons during the period when they were like unto kings. Though when you began to actually look at it, it looked as if maybe it wasn’t. It also had the looked of a French manor from the mid-sixteenth century. In truth it was very hard to tell where exactly the house should be placed.

 

            It wasn’t as much because of the architecture as it was the sense the house gave you. It had a feeling about it. A feeling like the house had always been there, and had simply been waiting for someone to come along and build physical shape over what already existed. It was like coming to a place that spoke and said, “I have always been here. I’ve been waiting for you to arrive.”

 

            A huge fountain sat in the front yard. Even now at this time of year, it still sprayed its water. It was a normal brick pool, with a central pedestal that held the statue, which was the focal point of the fountain. It was a large bronze statue of Arthur, and it was completely wrong. The fact that Arthur was kneeling, and drawing Excalibur from an anvil is no great wrong. An anvil was once referred to as a stone and thus the sword in the stone, so that was all right. That the water was shooting straight up from the anvil, spraying around the sword was no problem. It made it look as though the sword had been holding the water in and now it could escape. The problem came when you noticed what the other water jests were spraying on. There were seven jets of water around the statue, which sprayed from the pool onto the statue. They struck a full bearded man, who already wore a crown. He was dressed in the chain mail armor of a knight, and was already crowned as the king. This was what caused the problem for most  well versed people. We all know that Arthur drawing the sword was what made him the him king, and thus the king couldn’t very well draw the sword. This small but telling fact might seem unimportant at first, but as we draw back to it later it will be seen to have significance.

 

            The midnight blue sedan, which looked like something that came out of the thirties, pulled up through the gates. The gates and large high fence were the addition put on by whatever ancestor of The Weirdo had built or lived in this place before he arrived. The gates had never been closed in all the time he or anyone associated with him had lived there. The Weirdo had often thought about removing the gates, but it had always seemed more trouble than it was worth. The gates and fence did no actual harm to the estate, besides separating it from the world. It was like giving physical shape to the boundaries of where the occupants could feel safe. The sanctity of the land had only been violated the once, and they never did find out who had done that.

 

            The Weirdo didn’t stop at the front door, as he normally would, but drove around to the back. It was at the back of the house that the kitchen stood. This had been a manor home of old after all and the servant’s entrance was still in the same place.

 

            The Weirdo wasn’t normally the sort of person who went in the back way though, quite the contrary. Many people insist that the back door is the way to enter a house. Most of life’s business in fact is done via back doors and servants’ entrances. Food is delivered there, and bodies are often taken out that way. Some sort of deep spiritual sense that prevails in the hearts of most people tells them that the master and ones’ betters enter through the front door; peons and other sorts should go to the service entrance. The only people who go through front doors are people who have some mindset that says to others that here is a master, a king, a lord, someone who therefore does not use servant’s entrances.

 

            The Weirdo would therefore normally enter through the front door. However, as he was more sensible than aristocratic, he went to the back. This is not to say that he knew he belonged at the back door. Rather it is meant to explain that the back door entered into the kitchen and only an idiot would walk all the way to the front of the house from the back of the house to go to the back of the house simply for the joy of walking through the front door.

 

            The narrator feels slightly foolish even explaining this point.

 

            They exited the car and carried their groceries into the kitchen, which was not the kitchen the house had started with in any way. The kitchen was a well-lit place, where meals could not only be cooked but served on a small scale as well. It was on the ground floor of the house, as opposed to being underground and now only had one servant in it. If one could call Mrs. Pendleton a servant, most people don’t temp fate like that. Most people called her a housekeeper, which was not a servant, but a person who tidied the place up a bit. Just to make sure we all understand though, she generally came in through the back door.

 

            The kitchen itself was the sort of place that might make a strong man weep, or at least a strong chef. It was beautiful; things set out perfectly for whatever style of cooking one desired to perform. There were three different types of oven, a six-burner stove, which included a hibachi griddle. Pots, pans and other utensils were arranged in a way as to be accessible easily without being in the way. The one thing that prevented it from being a professional kitchen was its lack of white or steel. The kitchen was done in blues and greens, with dark wood cabinets and counters. In all it conspired to look as homey as possible while still conveying the fact that this was simply a kickass kitchen.

 

            The Weirdo barely glanced around and set the bag of groceries on a table where a small meal could be eaten quickly, or groceries could be put on. Even in his world, there was a place to put down groceries. It sounds odd to explain but it’s important to understand that for all their differences, these were people who ate food and went grocery shopping like anyone else and needed a place to put their groceries. He looked through the mail that had been placed there. Mrs. Pendleton had known he would come in the back, she always knew. It was like a low grade of the power he and Tommy had. He only looked at the return addresses, trying to see if there was any letters he might want to read. There weren’t any for him, but then he rarely encouraged anyone to write to him these days.

 

            Jack walked past him and The Weirdo handed him the two letters that were addressed to him. Jack took them and glanced at the envelopes as he went. One of the letters was actually addressed to Marla Uniton, so he began to look for her. He found her sitting in a chair, reading a book about nuclear physics.

 

            She had been a nuclear physicist when he met her, a doctor specializing in some form of nuclear reactions that had a name as long as his arm and that he would never begin to understand. She actually had been working with Hawking for a while when she was at Cambridge, and had begun to teach there herself when she had been kidnapped. It was the year a small group of demented lunatics had planted nuclear devices in five of the holiest places on Earth and forced doctors like herself to build them more bombs.

 

            Of course it had been up to The Queen’s special task force to sort that problem out. It was an operation that resulted in the loss of Jerusalem and the death of eight out of the ten operatives. Eight British superheroes had died in one nuclear induced stroke of fire and hell. Had Jack not been on the trail of the beautiful young scholar he might have been killed too. It was, he always said, his libido that had saved him that time.

 

            There had been a turncoat, as there often is in these situations and Jack had eliminated him while saving Marla and her fellow kidnap victims. They had fallen in love, of course, in the great style of Bond-like heroes everywhere. This time it had stuck though, and two years later the marriage had come. When they had first gotten married she had kept working, but then they had Amanda and a few years later Rutherford had come along.

 

            It was right after Rutherford was born, that The Weirdo had come back. The work had begun again, and they had all moved to America to be part of it. Jack and his family had all come because he couldn’t bear to be apart from them. When the gangsters had all been driven off, they just stayed, because that was the sort of thing you did around The Weirdo. You stuck with him because the living was cheap and times were never dull.

 

            “Letter from your mother.” He said holding out the envelope to her.

 

            “Oh, thank you love.” She said taking it.

 

            “She probably wants to know when we’re sending the children out to see her again.” He said sitting down on the floor at her feet. “She doesn’t want to see us you know. She just wants to spoil the kids, rot their teeth out with jelly babies.”

 

            “She adores you Jack.” Marla said laughing.

 

            “She only adores me because I managed to knock you up twice.” He said.

 

            “That may be.” She agreed playfully.

 

            “That is.” He continued, “She thought you being such an egghead, you’d never land a real man.”

 

            “I was engaged before you came along you know.” She said.

 

            “Yes, to a bloke who wore big glasses and knew about as much about the sexual needs of a woman as I do about nuclear physics.”

 

            “Possibly.” She nodded. “But I was hardly an old maid.”

 

            “You were I’m afraid.” He said.

 

            “Are you trying to start trouble?”

 

            “Yes.” He said nodding.

 

            She grabbed at his ear and gave him a decent twist, which of course caused him to turn on her and begin tickling her. It’s little things that let you know they still felt fairly passionately about each other even after two kids and seven years.

 

            “Where are those little ones then?”

 

            “Amanda finished her homework early so she and her brother are being allowed an extra hour of television today.”

 

            “Oh.” He said nodding. “That sort of thing then is it?”

 

            “I’m afraid so.” She said.

 

            “Well I’ll just go see what sort of edifying and personality building entertainment they are engaged in.”

 

            “I wouldn’t.” She warned as he headed towards the door.

 

            “What do you mean?” He asked, turning slightly and stopping.

 

            “Well you see how I’m in here reading?”

 

            “Yes?”

 

            “What does that tell you?” She asked with a light smile.

 

            “They’re watching really bad cartoons aren’t they?”

 

            “I don’t know.” She said. “I’ve stayed in here and read because I hate to reproach them when I’m meant to be rewarding them.”

 

            “I’ll go have a look.”

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

November 15, 2012 Posted by | Fiction | , | Leave a comment