Authors: Shirlee Lewis
By: Shirlee Lewis
Published By: Tattered Press Publishing
How far would you go to rescue the one you love? I hadn’t given much thought to the extremes I’d go to rescue the one I loved. Black cloaks surrounded him deep in the forest. Faintly, I heard my name echoing through the trees. Would I make it in time or would I be too late? Following the echo, searching the forest, I continued in the direction of the cry. Determined to reach my goal, stumbling through the forest, a black cloak stepped out in front of me. Would I run or face my fate.
My name repeated over and over before there was silence.
Chanting started and a deep voice mumbled, “The time has come.” Drums pounded with the chanting growing louder. With no time to waste, I knew I had to reach the voice.
Standing inside the screen door looking around, I wondered if William and Charlotte had the same fate. I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t going to ask. Both were out of our lives and gone forever. I wondered if they were together; where vampires go when they are destroyed. Nothing was going to stand between us or try to harm us anymore. The ordeal was over. I took a deep breath, opened the screen door and walked outside. I had never been more relaxed as I was at this very moment. Tony and I could get on with our lives.
Victor and Jennifer
had returned to England last week, confident all was well. Victor would return in a month or so to oversee the blood bank in Portland. He was having equipment shipped in from England. Tony would know a week before the equipment arrived, so he could go to Portland and organize where it needed to be set up at the blood bank. Jennifer was ecstatic about us getting married. She commented, it was about time and promised she would return for the wedding. She wasn’t going to miss it for the world.
Sighing, I smelled the air. It was clean and refreshed my lungs. The smell of pines and honeysuckle that grew wild in the forest behind my house made me smile. I knew this was going to be the best life.
Nothing else could go wrong. Not now, not ever.
The air brought a chill from the remains of snow, but I didn’t care.
Stepping off the porch, I stood on the bottom step admiring the vista of Mayville surrounding my house. Above the pine trees, the peaks of the mountains capped from the winter’s snow and the cranes were heading north. Birds’ chirping in the distance made me realize spring was around the corner. Smiling, I strolled to the middle of the yard.
The flowers in my well planter didn’t make it through winter as I had hoped
. I would plant new ones. My fence was in dire need of painting and some flowers along the base would look pretty. Irises would be a good choice. Turning, I faced the house. A few rose bushes against the front would help hide the vents. I would defiantly work on sprucing up my yard.
Walking back to the porch I turned to face the road. Hearing the screen door open I knew Tony had come outside. He wrapped his arms around me. I smiled. He kissed my neck and whispered, “Feels good not having any more worries.”
Reaching my hand up, I placed it on his neck. “It sure does.” I looked at his house which now stood empty.
Wrapped in each other’s arms, we admired the landscape that surrounded the house.
“What are you thinking?” he asked.
“Not about anything.” Slowly I turned to face him. “Actually, I was enjoying the peacefulness and listening to
the sounds of nature. Spring is almost here.” I glanced up at his face placing my hand back on his neck.
He looked into my eyes and I saw a man I could spend the rest of my life with. Nothing would ever come between us again. He was my Tony.
Tony put his forehead on mine and said, “I love you.” Before I could tell him I loved him, he kissed me passionately. His hand moved to the small of my back pressing me against him. We embraced enjoying each other. I nestled my head against his chest and wrapped my arms around him. I could never get enough of hugging him.
“What will you do with your house now that Victor and Jennifer are back in England?” I asked.
“I was thinking about renting it.”
A car turning down our street, slowed in front of Tony’s house. We watched as it stopped at the curb. A man and a woman looked the house over.
“Wonder what they want?” I asked lifting my head to look at the car.
“I haven’t a clue,” he stated releasing his hug from me.
Tony went to the end of the porch. I went to the chair and sat down. The couple looked around and spotted Tony. The man pointed at Tony and the woman turned to look at him. He pulled the car from the curb, drove the fifty yards to the house and stopped.
The man rolled his window down. “Hello, I’m Frank Holcomb. This is Mildred, my wife,” he said, nodding toward the woman beside him. He turned off the motor and
they both got out. “Would you know who owns that house?” he asked pointing toward Tony’s house.
Tony stepped off the porch and went to the car. “I’m the owner. How can I help you?”
Mildred started around the hood of the car when suddenly she stopped. Her eyebrows came together above her nose. A look of fright came on her face as she looked Tony over and went back to the passenger door. Grabbing the door handle, she started to open the car door. “Millie, come say hi,” Frank told her.
“Hi,” Mildred said, staying where she was. Her right eyebrow rose to touch her hair hanging against her forehead and a worried look came on her face. Deciding to join Tony I watched Mildred as she glanced at me then back to Tony. Standing next to Tony I watched how strange Mildred acted.
“I’m Tony Mureaux and this is Jessica, my finance.”
“Hello,” I said, with my eyes locked on Mildred.
“We would like to know if that house is for rent.” Mr. Holcomb pointed again toward Tony’s house.
“Jess and I were just discussing it and I do believe it is.”
“Would you both like to come in,” I offered.
“Sure, we’d be delighted.” Frank turned towards Mildred. “It looks like we might be living here after all.” Frank grinned.
Taking Tony’s hand, the four of us went into the house. Tony offered them a seat on the sofa. I continued to the kitchen stopping in the doorway. “Would you care for anything to drink?” I asked. Frank and Mildred had taken their seats.
“No thank you. I’m fine,” Mr. Holcomb spoke. “Millie?”
“Excuse me, I’m going to put on a pot of coffee,” I said, turning toward the kitchen. I hadn’t noticed Mildred in the kitchen until I turned toward the sink with the coffee pot. She was taking a seat at the table. From the corner of her eye, she watched as I made coffee. Not a word or a smile came from her,
just her wandering eyes. Because it was me, I couldn’t take the silence any longer.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“What brings you to Mayville?”
“Frank decided to retire here. We passed through a couple of months ago and Frank fell in love with the scenery. He said he had never seen a place that had everything he loved like this town.”
“There isn’t much to Mayville. The community is close knit. Everyone here is very friendly. I’m sure you will fit right in.”
Mildred cocked her head toward the living room when she heard Tony laugh. Automatically, she bit her bottom lip and her forehead furrowed. Her eyes darted toward me and back to the living room. Now she had me wondering if everything was okay with her. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she suddenly burst out. Clearing her throat she asked, “Would you mind if I see the inside?”
“That would be up to Tony and I’m sure he won’t mind. Let’s ask him,” I paused before getting myself a cup of coffee. “Would you care for a cup before we go?” I asked.
“No, thank you.” Mildred got up, paused in the doorway, and peeked around the corner before she joined Tony and Frank in the living room. Watching her, I laugh
ed silently before joining them.
Sitting on the arm of Tony’s chair, I listened as Tony and Frank talked about movies they liked. To my surprise they both loved the program about inventions. Mildred hurried to sit beside Frank on the sofa without taking her eyes off Tony. She stared at him
the whole time. Two things came to mind. One, Mildred was strange. Two, did she think Tony was handsome? To break the monotony, I looked toward Tony interrupting him asking, “Mildred would like to see the inside of the house.”
“Sure, we can go now,” Tony offered getting up. “Excuse me,” he politely stated
, going to the kitchen and retrieving the keys from the hook by the phone.
I watched Mildred’s eyes follow Tony, gazing at him
, nervously wringing her hands in her lap.
In a split second Tony returned with keys in hand. “Shall we go and have a look?”
Getting up from our seats we walked to Tony’s house. Mildred, right on Frank’s heels, held onto his arm with a tight grip. She did, however, look over her shoulder at Tony during the walk several times.
Tony opened the door, stepped aside so Frank and Mildred could look through the house. Tony started to go
inside when I grabbed his hand and gently pulled it to me. He looked at me and I motioned with my head to come with me. He followed me to the yard. “What’s up, Jess?” he asked with a half smile.
“I’ve noticed Mildred acts strange around you and can’t take her eyes off you.”
“Well, I am a handsome devil. I can understand why,” he laughed, and then winked at me.
“Tony,” I said, lightly brushing his arm with my hand. “She’s acting weird period. I don’t think I’d care for them to be our neighbor’s.”
“Jess, there is nothing to worry about,” he said, putting my hair behind my ear. “They seem like a harmless couple. Everything will be fine.”
“You’re going to rent to them?” I whispered. The last person I wanted as my neighbor was Mildred, but I didn’t really have a say in Tony’s house. I bit my bottom lip and silently hoped Tony wouldn’t.
“I don’t see why not. I’m a bit to take in at first, but once Mildred gets to know me, she’ll be alright.”
“Okay, but I am going to keep my eye on her.”
“Jess, you went through quiet an ordeal with, well, you know and you’re still on edge about it. Don’t worry, I’ll be right here, okay,” he said, then kissed my cheek. “They seem okay to me.”
“I trust your judgment,” I said, looking at the house.
Soon Frank and Mildred came out on the porch. “We love it,” Frank said. “How much are you asking?”
Tony let go of my hand and went over to them. I stayed in the yard. I watched Mildre
d watch Tony. She moved behind Frank and to the side of him when Tony stepped up on the porch.