Read Destiny's Gate Online

Authors: Lee Bice-Matheson,J.R. Matheson

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Paranormal, #Fiction, #Ghost, #Fiction, #Thrillers

Destiny's Gate

BOOK: Destiny's Gate
7.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

In Praise of “Destiny’s Gate”
by Lee Bice-Matheson &
J.R. Matheson

Destiny’s Gate
is a worthy addition to the “Paige Maddison Series.” It moves from “Perhaps, I was living between parallel realities” to “This was my destiny — to protect my family and our heritage, with a little help from my friends.” In between are numerous twists and turns which involve character, knowledge, and understanding. In fact, it is a coming-of-age novel, about a young woman’s maturity, with many a transformation along the way! A detail: The introduction of Grey Owl as a person and as a power is unique in my reading experience. There are many worlds here. Indeed, here is a novel that is written with power and excitement and ... let me add ... a sense of vision.

—John Robert Colombo, Author & Anthologist of over 200
books.

I just finished
Destiny’s Gate
and really enjoyed it. The second book in the series feels less like a sequel and more like the second installment of a trilogy; the part which is more spiritual and soul-searching. There are many surprises, shocks and scares around every corner as young Paige comes to realize just how important she is in the on-going battle between good and evil. The story keeps the reader gripped throughout and the ending leaves no doubt Ms. Maddison’s adventures are far from
over.

—Philip Henry, Irish Author, Writer Director /
Film-maker

 

 

F
= false
E
= evidence
A
=
that
appears
R
=
real

I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and
now?

-John
Lennon

Say a silent thank you for the preservation of wilderness areas, for the lives of the creatures who live there, and for the people with the foresight to realize this heritage, no matter
how.

-Grey
Owl

The only thing we have to fear is fear
itself
.

-Franklin D.
Roosevelt

DEDICATION

Sometimes, experiences along the river of life shape who we are today. I am dedicating the second book in the Paige Maddison series to a dear friend of ours, and a patient of my husband’s, Wayne Waters, and his lovely wife, Marion, and to the Aamjiwnaang First Nation community located south of Sarnia, Ontario, on the shores of the St. Clair
River.

Wayne came in two to three times per week for chiropractic adjustments. Along the way, he realized I was ill, although I believed I had concealed my asthma quite well. His wife, Marion, kindly asked the Band to create and bless a medicine bundle for me. Thank you for awakening my soul’s journey, helping to heal me, and sharing your
beliefs.

Several years after Wayne’s death, I found out from my sister that our family ancestry (per an inquiry from Statistics Canada) has First Nations heritage. Enjoy Paige’s journey and may it help you, the reader, to pursue the
truth.

ALSO
AVAILABLE:

WAKE ME UP INSIDE
, BOOK ONE,
PAIGE MADDISON SERIES Literacy Award from the Readers’ Advisory Panel of Orillia Public
Library.

CONTRIBUTOR
OF:

THE BIG BOOK OF CANADIAN HAUNTINGS
,
JOHN ROBERT COLOMBO,
Dundurn Press, c2009, entitled Two
Experiences.

 

DESTINY’S GATE

PAIGE MADDISON SERIES
Book Two

LEE BICE-MATHESON & J.R. MATHESON

 

CHAPTER ONE

The Brush-Off

Awakening on my side and rubbing the back of my throbbing head, I realized I must have hit the unforgiving ground with a vengeance. Momentarily, I forgot where I was until dampness began to seep into my bones.
What now! Sacrilege!
was my last sentiment before dropping to my knees and collapsing onto the damp, cold, cement floor. The photo lab in the basement was my hideaway, my go-to place for tranquility and privacy. However, this day in August, well...things were different. Groaning, as I rolled onto my side, any chance of a peaceful mood was destroyed. The crumpled family photo lay beside me. I grabbed it while rolling onto my back. My eyes widened as there was Dexter with his blond hair and goatee, his green eyes blackened and face contorted. Reality began to slip away once
again.

* *
*

...
what if everything around you, isn’t quite as it
seems?

What if all the world you think you know, is an elaborate
dream?

I know, sweet Paige, that it sounds cheesy to quote a Nine Inch Nails song, but the words reflect how I feel about you, about our twisted time spent together this summer. I mean, it was unbelievable, don’t you
agree?

Sitting here in my dorm room, listening to the rush of people up and down the halls, and cars honking outside, this past summer’s events are fading away like a nightmare should. There are no signs of ghosts here, no loud bangs, no lights flickering on and off. Even the thought of meeting you, the perfect girlfriend in the middle of nowhere — Camlachie, seems surreal. I’m sorry, Paige. I’m sure I’ve hurt you now and can feel it deep within my heart. The events at O’Brien Manor must dissipate from the recesses of my mind, and sadly, you along with them. In order to save my sanity, I have to let you go. I wish you all the best. Love,
Brad

The handwritten letter on notebook paper slipped from my hands and fell gracefully to the ceramic tiled floor. It made a slight swooshing as it landed, and then lay still as life. My heart skipped a beat and began to palpitate frantically, feeling like it was going to burst out of my chest and look around for who hurt me so abysmally. Stinging tears rolled down my face as I ran to the kitchen sink to volunteer the eggs and bacon I had enjoyed only moments before receiving this heart-wrenching
news.

While discussing the day ahead’s activities over brunch, Hanna had turned and teased, “Oh, Paige....there’s a letter here from our dear Bradley. Wonder what he wants to say this
time?”

In response to Hanna’s teasing, I stood, thanked her and excused myself. I was hurt by my grandparents’ caregiver and I ran like the wind to the privacy of the guest house to read Brad’s letter. Hours passed by until I consciously heard my radio echoing down the corridor from my bedroom. It seemed to turn up its volume spontaneously and I heard the refrain of the song
Bulletproof
over and
over:

I’m not turned off to love until it’s cheap...
This time baby I’ll be
bulletproof.

As if time stood still, my mind absorbed the words, mulling over their significance. I realized the band, La Roux, was absolutely right; I won’t let anyone sweep me off my feet like that again. I rose and pounded the dining room table with a closed fist and smiled bravely. That was the moment, my light bulb, my epiphany occurred — no one would ever get to me again like Bradley Adam Parkman had! How dare he act as if nothing had happened in the
summer!

I ran down the empty hallway and crumpled into a ball on the red velvet loveseat outside my parents’ bedroom. Casting a glance at the empty room, I could not help but think about how much I missed them. Dad had received a call from a former classmate, living in Italy, shortly after we settled into the guest house. He begged him to take over his chiropractic clinic while he took leave to help his mother who had taken ill. Apparently, dad was legendary in the Toronto area. Of course mom wanted to accompany him and jumped at the chance to document life in Italy; she would further her freelance journalistic career. I understood the importance of their mission but at the same time, considering all that had happened since the move to O’Brien Manor, I was leery of remaining behind on this haunted estate. Although there were no signs of supernatural activity, I could not shake the feeling that something was about to
happen.

And with that thought, a cool breeze washed over my face and a very sickening, familiar feeling, I first had back in Scarborough, returned.
Please, do not let this begin again
, screamed out in my
mind!

Dring, dring, dring, dring. The landline snapped me back to reality as I ran to the sitting room and grabbed it. “Hell-o?” I
asked.

“Paige, are you all right? You don’t sound yourself, dear. Your voice is...cracking,” grandma
said.

“I’m okay. What’s up?” I retorted while probing my swollen face from my dreadful
tears.

“Well, you don’t sound okay,” she said with a familiar tone of worry. “Why don’t you come up to the manor and I’ll make you a cup of green tea? Maybe I’ll put a bit of honey in it, like I used to do for your mother. She said it always made her feel
better.”

It seemed like such a coincidence that grandma had called at that exact moment. I wondered if perhaps there was something more to my grandparents than I knew about. I think that was why I had decided to remain on the estate; I wanted to learn more about them and their
past.

“Okay, I’ll be right up.” I slammed the phone down onto its receiver, sending shockwaves up my arm. The antique black and brass phone was a reminder to me — I had stepped back in time to live at O’Brien
Manor.

“Paige, Paige?” Hanna asked while she snapped her fingers in front of my nose, bringing me back to reality. “Where were you just now? Did you hear me? I said there’s a letter here from our dear Bradley. Wonder what he wants to say this time?” Hanna laughed and pushed the letter into my left hand and continued to dry the breakfast
dishes.

It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach as I opened the envelope and laid eyes upon the exact same chorus from the Nine Inch Nails song. Scanning the rest of the devastating letter, I swallowed harshly. I’d had my first premonition. An overwhelming sense of dread filled my senses and I realized the summer’s fun
had
begun
again.

CHAPTER TWO

Peggy’s Psychic Class 101

Panicked, I sprinted from the manor towards the guest house.
What is going on?
My mind raced. I ran until I felt out of breath. Leaning against the trunk of a towering tree, I heard a whisper, seemingly carried through the leaves, commanding:
Go back
. Not wanting to remain alone and feeling vulnerable in the forest, I returned to the manor, stopping to rest outside the kitchen screen door. I hoped Hanna and grandma were preoccupied with something and not watching for me. To my surprise, while regaining my composure, I realized grandpa was standing still, observing me. It startled me so much I let out a gasp. He remained motionless, as if in a trance. I carefully opened the rickety screen door to make sure it would not squeak, and approached grandpa. He looked right through me, planted there with his large, tall frame, thick white hair and beard, huge chestnut brown eyes and rusty complexion; a rush of goosebumps exploded over my body. Hanna broke the tense silence as she guardedly entered the
room.

“Ted, what are you doing standing here without welcoming our favourite guest?” Hanna asked, hands on hips. Her grey hair was pulled back, accentuating her pale, tired face. She stood behind grandpa frowning and looked from grandpa to me and back again. Hanna forced a laugh and asked, “Are you two communicating
telepathically?”

In a lowered tone, grandpa responded, “Glad you’ve come back for tea.” He stared coldly into my eyes then turned away and brushed past Hanna, as he took long strides towards the living room. I could not remember grandpa ever walking
that
well nor talking in
that
tone of
voice.

Hanna and I stood in silence until I attempted to make an excuse for grandpa’s behaviour. “Oh, Hanna, I think I shocked him when I came running to the back door. You know how the blue rinse club gets when us young-uns move too quickly for them.” I laughed and slapped my knee theatrically. I could not shake my growing sense of
unease.

“Well, it is close to your grandfather’s nap time so he probably needs it. He’s been busy puttering in the garden and perhaps the heat got to him. It’s rather hot, don’t you agree? In fact, I don’t remember this kind of heat in the past thirty years.” Hanna paused. “By the way, I don’t appreciate the reference to the blue rinse club, Paige. I know what that
means.”

Distracted, I nodded and ducked past her to follow grandpa to his favourite hang out in the manor — his new La-Z-Boy chair in the drawing room. A million thoughts raced through my mind and returned to events earlier that morning — it had to have been a premonition, after all, or was it déjà vu? The letter had read exactly as I had envisioned
it.

Grandma startled me as she entered the room and handed me a cup of tea in a fancy china cup with beautiful hand-painted pink roses. Oddly enough, she ignored
grandpa.

“Thanks, grandma. Just what I needed,” I said and smiled at
her.

“Happy to hear it, dear. That was your mother’s favourite tea cup.” She looked at me sternly and asked, “What happened to you today? Anything you care to tell
me?”

“It’s nothing, but would it be okay if I stayed here at the manor instead of the solitary confinement at the guest house?” I asked, with a hint of desperation. “It’s so big and I feel lonely there. Would it be any
trouble?”

My grandparents shot a surprised look at each other. “We’d love it, Paige! We were just discussing it last night, weren’t we, Ted? Dexter’s been fixing up the guest bedroom...well you know, the one that leads to the rose garden — at the opposite end of the manor from
ours?”

“That would be fantastic! I wondered what Dexter’s been up to. I haven’t seen him in awhile.” I slurped my tea almost burning my throat on the way down.
Yeow
!

Grandpa said, “Poor Dexter. Our handyman has had some trials fixing up your new room. A pipe burst in the adjoining bathroom and water gushed out. Thanks to Dexter, he handled it and cleaned it all up. It was stressful wondering if he would finish repainting the bathroom in time for your first day at
Camlachie High
. Are you excited,
Paige?”

Grandpa’s reminder of a new school made me queasy. Butterflies raged in my stomach at the thought of meeting new friends and teachers. I let out a big sigh and said, “As long as the teachers are cool, I’m down with
it.”

“You look a bit peaky, Paige. Why don’t you lie down in my bedroom for a bit? Tomorrow’s a big day and you’ll need your rest,” suggested
grandma.

I forgot my grandparents had separate bedrooms.
Does marriage always end up with separate beds?

I smiled and kissed them each on the cheek and shuffled along the hallway until I found grandma’s cozy bedroom. I jumped onto her Queen Anne bed. Its regal quilt depicted the O’Brien family coat of arms: a red shield with three lions and an arm holding a sword coming down from the heavens. It had a strange motto on it —
LamhLaidir an Uachdar
which grandpa had recently translated to me –
the strong hand from above
or
strong hand uppermost
. Whatever it meant, I finally felt
safe.

* *
*

A beautiful, fluffy cloud encircled me. I had never felt so comfortable, floating on air, lost in serenity. Upon awakening, it was pitch-black in the room and I wondered if I had fallen asleep until nightfall. For a moment, I thought my eyes were closed until I voluntarily poked my opened right eye with my index finger. It stung like a bee and immediately started to tear. A whiff of fear enveloped me and I realized it was my own. I snapped my hands out towards the edges of the bed only to hit something hard on both sides. I recovered and groped what felt like walls surrounding me and could barely raise my hands before hitting a rough surface. My breathing grew shallow and I realized I was running out of air. I twisted and turned trying to escape whatever contraption I was in, with no success. I shifted my thoughts to my grandparents, my parents and to Hanna. What would happen to them if I was gone? I drew in a deep breath and exhaled out through my mouth. I scratched and punched for what seemed hours until I busted through the ceiling and sprang up like a jack-in-the-box. It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust and there…I saw them against the backdrop of darkness. Ten pairs of yellow eyes surrounded me, staring back. I
screamed.

“Paige, Paige, dear. Wake up. Wake up!” grandma pleaded while shaking the whole left side of my body. “Oh, Hanna, what’s wrong with
her?”

I could hear them talking about me but could not open my eyes. If I thought the summer’s events were frightening enough — it was nothing like this.
Am I trapped in another space and time? Why can’t I see?
My eyes blinked open. Hanna and grandma spoke frantically to one another as I watched them pace the room, arms flailing about, while discussing a call to the
doctor.

“Grandma, Hanna, I’m all right,” I said in a dream-like state, trying to remain focused. “What’s the matter? I guess I had a bad dream, or something? I can’t remember.” Truthfully, I felt like crawling out of my
skin.

“Oh, dear, you had a nightmare,” Hanna said with a shaky voice while grandma looked on in shock. “Don’t you remember anything, Paige? You frightened us. You even awoke your grandfather in his room — you were screaming so loudly. What were you dreaming about?” Hanna stood vigilantly over me while grandma sat on the edge of the bed and squeezed my
hand.

“I…I don’t remember,” I responded, deflecting the question. “But I feel like I had a great sleep. What a cozy bed you have grandma. I love it!” I paused for a moment. “Please, calm down. I’m okay,
really.”

Hanna stormed out of the room while grandma moved towards me on the bed. She held my hand as she asked, “Has anything like this happened before, Paige?” Her bulging amber eyes against her curly red hair and slight build, symbolized a warning to me. I did not want to tell her about the foreshadowing dreams before moving here from Scarborough. Why would I want to frighten her when she seemed so fragile and had been through so much with grandpa’s
illness?

I was caught up in my own reassurances to grandma that I believed them for now. Nothing was wrong. Everything was as it should be. Grandma encouraged me to stay and rest as she moved to sit on her cherished antique rocking chair. Watching over me, she sat still as a cat about to catch
prey.

* *
*

As I slumbered peacefully that night, I had a familiar feeling of a cloud encircling me and dreamily tried to remember when I last felt this kind of serenity. And then it hit me. Half awake I sat up and surveyed the room. There in the darkness — ten pairs of yellow eyes stared back at me. I could barely breathe, let alone move. As the sun began to rise, its rays streaming in through the bedroom window, I rubbed my eyes and focused on ten massive black canines slowly creeping towards me with their long, lean legs and jagged edge claws clicking on the hardwood floor. Muscles rippled across their chests and shoulders leading up to their frothing mouths baring serrated teeth. As they neared, I smelled their horrible rotting breath and heard them faintly growling. It felt so real. Paralyzed with fear, I prayed for this nightmare to end. Beware, popped into my mind as I passed
out
.

Regaining consciousness, I remembered both nightmares in detail and knew I had to prepare for the insidious battle that was about to
begin.

“Paige, you’re late for school!” yelled grandma from down the hallway. “I’ll get Dexter to drive you right away. We need to find a vehicle for you so you can drive
yourself.”

I wondered why she did not come to her bedroom and check on me. After last night’s episode, I was sure she would want to make sure everything was all right and realized perhaps it was best
forgotten.

“I’ll be right there. Can I use your shower?” I hastily replied, realizing with disgust I would have to wear the same clothes as yesterday. There was no way I was going back to the guest house by myself. Grandma muffled an okay as I tripped into the bathroom across the hall. Shocked at what I saw, I yelled for both Hanna and grandma to come right away. There on the floor laid grandpa, like an animal hit by a car, lying flat on his back with his arms sprawled above him and his legs spread
out.

Hanna shouted to grandma as she raced into the room, “He’s had another spell,
Helen.”

I jumped out of the way and watched in disbelief as Hanna single-handedly picked up grandpa and carried him into his bedroom. Shadowing Hanna, I watched as she delicately laid him on the crinkled bed sheets and yelled to grandma to call the doctor. I was caught up in the emotion of the situation; there was no way I was going to school
today.

Hanna turned to me and with a sharp tone, she said, “Paige, there is nothing you can do here. Your grandpa will be fine. Go to
school.”

Her words punched me in the gut.
Was I really just a child to her
? “But, Hanna, I can help,” I
pleaded.

Hanna glared at me and caused my immediate retreat from the room. Without thinking, I ran back to the guest house, crying all the way. I had never seen Hanna that territorial before. I mean, I knew she was fond of grandpa, but I am his
granddaughter.

With mixed emotions, I used the shower in my parents’ bedroom and wailed as the rush of water flowed over me, drowning out my cries. I felt alone in the world with my parents so far away and left with a family that really I was just scratching the surface to know. My heart grew heavy and pained, as I started to cough. Stepping out of the shower, a cold chill filled the room.
Oh, no, not now! Can’t I have a few minutes to myself?
Then I heard the strangest thing, a woman’s voice faintly
speaking.

Paige, come and see me dear. You are in danger. Hurry...a mile down the street towards town...small blue cottage...white picket fence.
Hurry!

I did not know what to think as I rushed into my room, dressed quickly and then darted out the back door of the guest house toward a secluded path I had previously discovered leading to the road in front of the Manor. In the midst of the turmoil I was in, it crossed my mind perhaps I had a hallucination in the bathroom. When I reached the gravel road, insects buzzed all around me. I ran like the wind to get away from them; in particular, the nasty late summer wasps that sting then die, swatting at them as I ran. Before I knew it, there in front of me on my right was a blue cottage, just as I had heard it, with the white picket fence. My eyes grew wide and I became slightly light-headed. The proof faced me; I was not
hallucinating.

Standing still, I wondered what to do next and watched as an elderly woman, bent over like she was picking something up from the ground, opened the front door of the cottage. Almost against my will, I unfastened the white wooden gate; it creaked as I gingerly closed it and latched the
handle.

As I approached, the woman reached out her hand and said softly, “Paige, so wonderful to meet you at last. How come it took you so
long?”

Hesitating, I wondered who she was and how she knew who I was. She had thick and voluminous white, curly hair. The floral dress she wore reminded me of Hanna and as the woman looked up to greet me, I noticed the most beautiful, bright blue eyes. Her kind smile made me relax immediately as she motioned for me to enter her home. She let me go in ahead of her and as I looked around, my head was spinning with thoughts of how she was able to communicate with me. As far as I knew, two human beings were not capable of speaking without opening their
mouths.

BOOK: Destiny's Gate
7.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Rondo Allegro by Sherwood Smith
Gray (Book 3) by Cadle, Lou
Crash Landing by Zac Harrison
Bone Appétit by Carolyn Haines
Bliss by Peter Carey
Halon-Seven by Xander Weaver
A Warrior for Christmas by Beth Trissel
La hora del mar by Carlos Sisí
21 Pounds in 21 Days by Roni DeLuz