Monday, 10 October 2011

CHAPTER 7.3: The boy who waited (Part two)

"Wait did you say witch?"  Odd asked following Elsa from the Emporium, "As in broomsticks and black cats, witch?"

Elsa kept walking at her rather brisk pace, leaving Odd virtually running to keep up.  "Sorry to disappoint you my dear but i can't fly and I'm terribly allergic to cats."  She replied, and Odd could just about make out the woman's smile at her questioning.

"But you can do magic?"  Odd asked, panting at the effort of running and talking at the same time.

"I can."  Elsa replied, giving little away.
"Is that why you can read my mind?"  Odd asked, eager to gain more information.

"Not exactly magic, more a Goddess given talent."  Elsa replied, laughing slightly at her quip, "Much like yourself Odette i was born with a gift.  I see what others want or need."

"So you don't know all of my thoughts then?"  Odd queried.

"Only the ones you are open to sharing."  Elsa responded, still keeping her pace.  "When you are consumed by a problem or thought you project images which i am able to see and interpret."  She clarified.
"Can you see the future?"  She ventured.

"Good heavens no!  I'm not a fortune teller."  Elsa replied, flustered by the implication.  "Odette many Sims have natural gifts which they can use for good, like how you are using your abilities to help Alice and George find peace.  But you must understand that there are Sims who would seek to use your gift for personal gain.  Never allow yourself to be exploited."  Elsa warned.

"Um, okay."  Odd agreed, not really certain that she knew what Elsa was warning her of.
"I'm serious Odette."  Elsa replied, suddenly stopping and whirling around to face her.  "If other Sims knew of your ability you would never be able to lead a normal life.  Sure they may come to you wanting to know if dear old Aunt Mabel left any simoleans stashed under her floorboards, but inside they would think of you as a circus freak."

Odd nodded her agreement, wondering if Elsa was speaking from personal experience but not daring to ask.
Instead she said, "So how exactly do we conjure a spirit?"

Elsa smiled broadly at this, "Come with me and I'll show you." Taking Odette by the hand, Elsa lead her into the cemetery.  The sun had just begun to set behind the mountains and the moon was making its ascent from the horizon casting an eerie glow amongst the tombstones.

Odd proceeded towards the back of the graveyard, to where she had previously visited the unmarked graves.  Treading over the weeds and bracken she ran her eyes along the stones wondering how, if at all, Alice would make herself known.  As she stumbled farther forward she felt it, the same stirring she had experienced when passing by the Goldmar's house.  It felt like a tiny butterfly doing a lonely cartwheel in her stomach and she knew instantly where Alice's remains were buried.
"This is the one."  She told Elsa, coming to a stand still in front of a flat stone marker, the only remaining evidence that a body lay there.

"Yes, you are certain."  Elsa stated rather than asked.
Taking Alice's journal and laying it against her gravestone, Elsa produced a candle from her bag, lighting it before placing it on the ground in front of the grave.
"If Alice's spirit is here shouldn't i just be seeing her already?"  Odd asked, beginning to worry over what the ritual entailed.

"Not necessarily."  Elsa replied, "Think about it Odette we're in a graveyard surrounding by thousands of spirits, yet you can't see any of them can you?"

Odd looked around nervously, expecting to see a number of scary sights but she realised that Elsa was right.  "There aren't any."  She confirmed.

"Just because Alice found the strength to draw you into the attic doesn't mean she has the ability to manifest herself, that is what we must try to achieve so that you can speak with her."  Elsa confirmed.
"Now, i want you to focus Odette.  Think about Alice.  Use the words she has left behind to get a clear picture of her in your mind."  Elsa ordered.

"But i have no idea what she looked like."  Odd replied, perplexed by her request.

"No, not a picture of her Sim form, a picture of her aura, her essence.  Try to envisage her spirit and what it represents.  Focus on the love she clearly had for George."  Elsa instructed, "Only if Alice feels that she is safe to show herself to you will she manifest."

"Close your eyes and and try to make the connection."  Elsa said, covering her own eyes with her hands.

Odd stared at the woman for a moment, wondering if she had taken leave of her senses entirely.  Besides Elsa claiming to be a witch and knowing certain things that had been in her head, Odd had no real clue if Elsa could do what she claimed she could.  Perhaps she should turn around and go back home, escape from all the talk of aura's and spirits of the long departed. 

But then she thought of George and how important his friendship was to her.  Having him missing from her life over the past weeks had been dreadful, and if closing her eyes and imagining the aura of a woman who may have been his mother would bring him back to her then she was going to try her hardest.

"That's it Odette, good!"  Elsa called.  "Keep going!"

Odd could not see what the woman was doing, but as she stood with her eyes closed she sensed Elsa moving near to her and bending down.  She heard the sounds of the dirt being scraped and moved and prayed that when she opened her eyes she would not find Alice's grave uncovered from it's soil ridden home.

"Open your eyes."  Elsa instructed, her voice light and airy.

Odd hesitated her imagination overrun with images of worm ridden corpses rising slowly from the ground, too many horror movies!  She thought before removing her hands from her eyes.

To her joy she found the grave as it had been beforehand with the exception of a small disturbance where the grass covered dirt had been taken.  Elsa had her hand outstretched clutching the mud and gravel tightly.

"Take half of the dirt."  She instructed, pouring it into Odds hand.  "Good, now we have something which ties Alice to the mortal world."  Elsa said, nodding to the journal, "And something which conceals her departed spirit."  She motioned to the dirt.  "Take my hand and repeat after me." 

Odd grabbed Elsa's spare hand and clutched onto it and the dirt tightly as the woman began chanting, "Dea apello spiritus corporis apparea."  Odd watched her wide eyed at first, then as the candle began to flicker she joined in chanting the incantation over and over.

"Dea apello spiritus corporis apparea."

Odd felt the lonesome butterfly in her stomach multiply and grow until the sensation became a party inside of her, leaving her feeling queasy.  But soon it subsided, and as she opened her eyes she saw that the candle had extinguished and a mist made from transparent energy rose up from Alice's gravestone.
Odd blinked taking in the incredible sight before her.  Alice's apparition glowed black and orange like the embers of an almost dying fire pit.  Like George she too was transparent and Odd could make out the railings of the cemetery behind her.

Gulping Odd stepped forward, unsure of how to greet Alice.  "Um, er.  I'm Odette."  She began stumbling over her words, "I found your journal."  She gestured to the book laying at Alice's hovering feet.
"Thank you Odette."  Came Alice's whispered reply.  Her voice was quite unlike Georges, instead of a watery denseness her words were tinny and light like the aural equivalent of stars, Odd thought.

"I want to help you Alice but i need you to tell me what happened after you stopped writing in your journal."  Odd ventured carefully, "Can you help me?"

Alice's spirit twisted and turned her head sideways a few times as if trying to understand the request, Odd felt the million butterflies return to their acrobatics in her stomach as Alice struggled to retain her form and complete the request.
In fear of losing grip on her connection to the spirit of Alice Odd ventured closer and said, "Please think Alice, i need to know about George so i can help him too."

This seemed to resonate with Alice's apparition as she fixed her hollowed out eyes on Odd immediately at the sound of his name.  "George must be found."  She told Odd sadly.

"Tell me how i can help you."  Odd pressed, "And i promise i will find George."
"George is such a good boy."  Alice replied sadly, "I must find him."

"It's okay Alice, you can trust me."  Odd told her.

"I can trust you Odette."  Alice agreed, before beginning her story.  "My journal, much like my life went unfinished."  She said...................
I knew i had to leave that awful place, yet the simoleans i earned were retained by Mrs Goldmar for safe keeping, and i knew that i could not ask her without revealing George's existence.
So i coveted her precious possessions, her silverware was gleaming from the care i had given it and i knew it would fetch a handsome price.
I told George to be especially quiet, not wanting him to wake Mrs Goldmar from her afternoon nap.  I begged him to wait there for my return, to stay in his attic room for one more moment until i could take that which we needed to be free.
I cradled him in my arms and placed him down, promising to be right back.  But that was a promise i was destined to break.
I moved as silently as the creaking floorboards of that place would allow and retrieved the cabinet's key from Mrs Goldmar's room.  She didn't know that i knew of its hiding place, but as she would watch me while i polished it, so to did i watch when she concealed its key.
I took what i could carry, silver cutlery and the finest serving bowls hand crafted in England.
But i was watched too closely that day.  Mrs Goldmar had not taken her nap as i had thought and she witnessed my treachery first hand.
She followed me to the attic room, such was her anger as never would she deign to set foot in such a place usually.  I heard her steps as she climbed up and knew that i had nowhere left to run.
"Thief!  How dare you disgrace my house and the kindness i have shown you!"  She cried, "I knew it the moment i laid eyes on you, you were no good!"
"Please Madam i must leave!"  I begged her to move aside but she would not.

So set on chiding me for my transgression was she, that she did not hear Charles' footsteps on the stairwell.
"Gwendolyn!  What is the meaning of this?"  he demanded as he saw me cornered like a terrified rabbit.  My heart soared as i envisaged him coming to my rescue, like the shining knight i had always dreamed of.
"I caught her stealing from us, planning to run away!"  Gwendolyn spat in reply.

Charles regarded me with such a look of fury before saying, "How dare you treat us in such a way!"

I could barely believe that he was going to stand there and lie, as though he had no inkling of why i should wish to leave his house!

"Charles, please i cannot remain here."  I begged him.

"How dare you address my husband so informally."  Mrs Goldmar snapped.

"Charles please, you must allow us to leave."  I ignored her and implored him directly.
"What is she speaking of?"  Mrs Goldmar was demanding and i saw Charles' face fall.  He was never going to stand up for me and he was never going to allow me and George the freedom we longed for.

"Enough!"  He hissed at me.
"How could you?"  I cried.  "All the lies you told me Charles, how could you?"

I was scared and angry but i could not allow him to deny us any longer.
"Charles i demand to know what this girl is speaking of!"  Mrs Goldmar shouted, and as he was distracted by her questioning i tried to leave.  Tried to sneak past the pair of them, who now i saw clearly deserved one another. 

But Charles stopped me.  He grabbed me roughly and told his wife that i was a liar as well as a thief and that he would deal with me.

I struggled, of course.  I feared he would cast me into the street without George and i could not allow him to part us.
I saw Mrs Goldmar's face, clouded by the dust which our scuffle had thrown up from the wooden floor.  She looked aghast at her husband and his actions, yet she said nothing.  She did nothing to stop him.
He dragged me to the stair case, the trap door was flung open from his earlier entry.  I do not know if he meant it or not but either way the result was the same.  He pushed me forcefully and i fell. 

And then i knew no more.

Alice's spirit closed her eyes and sighed deeply at the sorry tale she had just relived. 
"My last thoughts were for George, that i know for certain.  Yet when my light faded i embraced it.  I did not fight the urge to let go."  She sighed remorsefully.  "I do not know how long i floated in the ether for, but once i recalled my life I thought of nothing but George and what had become of him.  Yet when i tried to return i was not able, my strength had left me."  She admitted sadly.  "I must find my child Odette, before i fade again."

"You will Alice, i promise."  Odd affirmed.  "Stay here and i will bring him to you."

"We have to find George."  She explained, turning to face Elsa. "We have to help him."

Elsa's face was solemn and she paused to weigh up her response before saying, "Are you certain Odette?  Once you help him there is no going back."

Odd swallowed, not fully understanding Elsa's warning but knowing instantly her reply.  "I'm certain."

"Then we have to go back to the Goldmar's attic."  Elsa replied, her mood shifting slightly.

Elsa followed Odd up the attic staircase and together they faced the door concealing the angry presence.  Odd gulped, before she had even entered the house she had sensed that the mood here had changed greatly since her last visit.  The inviting tingle of Alice's presence had gone, having all been expended on the manifestation of her spirit back at the cemetery.  In its place was hostility mixed with icy chilled air.

"Do you think that presence is George?"  Odd asked.

Elsa shook her head, "I don't believe so."  She replied, "I think what you are feeling is the resonance of the acts that were committed here."

"You mean Alice's murder?"  Odd asked, but Elsa did not reply.
"This must be the room where Alice kept George hidden."  Odd continued, "It has to be his presence that is keeping people out."

"Alice was right, George is a good boy.  He did as she asked and waited for her to return, it's hard for him to let go of those instructions."  Elsa reasoned.

"He's been waiting all this time for her."  Odd said sadly, "He never stopped hoping she would come back."

"We need to get inside that room Odette."  Elsa instructed, "You have to convince him to allow us entry."

"George."  She called softly, "It's me, Odette.  Don't be afraid, you can let me in."

She reached slowly for the door, mindful of the horrid burning sensation she had felt the last time she had tried to open it.  Her hand lingered briefly before grasping the handle firmly.  This time the steel knob felt cool under her skin and with hope filling her heart she twisted it anti-clockwise.

"It won't open!"  She cried to Elsa, "They left him locked in here!"

"Stand back Odette!"  Elsa demanded, placing her body in front of the doors wooden barrier.
Elsa rolled her shoulders and cracked her knuckles, and Odd watched on in wonder imagining her breaking down the door with a swift karate kick.  But instead she raised her fingers to her temples and called out "Aperi portam!"

Odds jaw dropped as the door flung itself wide open at her command and she realised that Elsa had been right.  Having a witch around had made this night far easier than she could ever have envisaged.
Cautious that they had just breached a room in which George had waited for many decades, Odd stepped foot over its threshold.  The feelings of anger and fear which had forever marked this room washed through her, as her footsteps unsettled the dust which had coated the floor like a thick layer of smog.

How could they have kept George here after what they did to Alice?  Odd wondered.  He was just a boy, unable to fend for himself and they had left him locked away like a prisoner. 

But still, Alice's story and the evidence of the locked room did not explain how George had met his untimely end.  Eagerly Odd scanned the room hopeful that confronting him here, in this place of his confinement that he would finally be able to accept that he was now outside the realm of the living and reveal what had happened to him. 

An illness perhaps?  Certainly they were common at the time and Odd doubted that the Goldmar's would have dared permit him to see a doctor, their pride was of far more importance to them than the well being of a small boy who inconvenienced them by virtue of his existence.
"He's not in here!"  She called to Elsa, her shoulders sagging at the discovery.
Elsa followed her into the room and perused the space solemnly. 
"Odette there is something i didn't tell you about the Goldmar's."  She spoke quietly, "I traced Gwendolyn and Charles' death records but they didn't die here, in Bridgeport."
"You mean they moved?  They took George away?"  She queried, her anxiety rising.  Why did Elsa lead them here if she knew that George would not materialise in this place?
"The newspaper at the time accused Charles of embezzling funds from the company.  That was why the port trade collapsed, it had nothing to do with the rivalry at Barnacle Bay.  So Charles and Gwendolyn did a midnight flit.  They left town and were never seen here again."  Elsa revealed. 

She stopped suddenly and Odd noticed her head tilt as if she had found something, before hanging it in sorrow.  "Odette don't come any further into the room.  I don't want you to see this."  Elsa instructed.
There laid half concealed by the bed were the remains of George Tavarick.  He had never left this room.

"What is it?"  Odd asked, stepping forward.

"Odette please!"  Elsa warned, "Go back into the attic and wait for me, i know what we must do to reunite Alice with her baby."

Odd retreated reluctantly and as she returned to the attic she heard the familiar sound of George's watery voice.  He was sobbing in the corner and she rushed to his side, overwhelmed just by the sight of him.

"George!  It's okay I'm here."  She called.

"Odette?"  He asked, turning to face her.

"You don't have to worry George, i know how to help you now."  She smiled encouragingly, "You don't have to wait here alone anymore."
"You will wait with me here Odette?"  he asked brightly.

"I found your mother George and I'm going to take you to her."  She replied, happy for the first time in weeks.

"Mother!"  He exclaimed excitedly, as his solemn mood drifted away.

"Odette, we must hurry."  Elsa called.  Odd turned to find her clutching a large bag, laden down with the weight of its contents.

"I've found him, i found George!"  She called excitedly, and Elsa gave her a reluctant smile.

"Lets go."  She replied, heading for the stairwell.

They made quite a sight the three of them trudging briskly back to the cemetery.  At least they would have if George had been visible to all, but as the streets were deserted Odd felt able to talk freely to her friend.

"I'm sorry about what happened at my birthday party."  She told George.

"It's alright Odette."  He replied cheerily, "It was strange to see you look so different.  When i was all alone waiting for mother i changed too and it was frightening."  He admitted.  "But then i stopped growing."  He frowned in confusion.

Odette walked silently next to the boy, allowing the icy tingle he brought with him to surround her like a favourite comforter.  She wished so much that she had found The Goldmar's attic sooner, that she had thought to try and help George.  Better late than never, she thought as she wondered what Elsa had in store for them now.

As they approached the cemetery, George began to shake and shudder.  "What's wrong?"  Odd asked concern shadowing her face.

"Will mother be angry with me?"  George asked, "I was supposed to stay hidden and wait for her.  I tried Odette i really tried, but i was so lonely."  He admitted.  "I just wanted to try and find her for myself, but instead i found you."

"George she isn't angry with you, not at all."  Odd reassured him, "She's been waiting for you too."

As the trio neared the gravestone marker Elsa called out "Apparea" and Alice's spirit returned to Odds sight.

Gasping she placed a hand to her mouth as she took in the sight of George in his ghostly form, "My baby!"  She cried opening her arms to beckon him.
George did not hesitate and rushed into his mothers embrace.  A tidal wave of love and joy flashed from the pair of them and permeated the atmosphere, reverberating through Odd who found herself wiping tears of elation from her eyes.

"Mother come and meet my  friend."  George was saying, tugging his mothers hand to bring her closer to Odd.

As Odd watched the pair of them she noticed that Alice's apparition was distorting and melting like a photograph held too close to a candle.

"We need to hurry."  Elsa shouted, "Focus Odette!"

"What's happening Odette?"  George cried, his face crunched in worry.

Odette wished she could answer him, but trying to allay his fears she replied "It's alright George just stay with your mother."

Elsa had begun chanting a new incantation and Odd joined in, focusing all her energy on the two ghosts ahead of her.

"Dea Redeo Spiritus Gratia Vestra Caelum Gratia Vestra Astra"

As the intensity grew too much Odd closed her eyes and eventually when she reopened them both George and Alice were gone.
The candle which had extinguished upon Alice's arrival now shone brightly in the darkness of the graveyard casting its dancing flicker about the grounds.

"Where are they?"  Odd asked worriedly.

"Gone."  Elsa replied quietly.  "You sent them both to where they belong."

"Gone!"  She cried, "But what about George?  can i see him again?"

"I'm sorry Odette."  Elsa shook her head, "They are both passed to the other side forever."

"But i didn't say goodbye.  I didn't tell him how much he meant to me!"  She sobbed.

"He knew Odette."  Elsa replied, stepping towards her with her arms outstretched offering comfort.

But Odd backed away and before Elsa could stop her she had turned and ran from the grave side.

"You did the right thing!"  Elsa called after her, but Odd was already gone.



HappyMintChocolate said...

.... :'( that was an emotional ending

jazen said...

That was sad. I can't believe how they treated Alice and George. Left him to die in the attic what monsters. At least Odd was able to bring them both some peace!

Great chapter. I wonder what Elsa meant about her being exploited. I know if Oscar finds out he could do something terrible to her. I hope he doesn't. I really don't like him.

angiebeno said...

@ Minty ~ I know it was prob a bit more emotional than i intended, i wanted it to be more bittersweet.

@ Jazen ~ I think Elsa is worried what will happen if others find out about Odds gift, certainly if Oscar knew it could be bad we know how controlling that boy is!

Taylor said...

That was so sad :( Im glad they are reunited though :)

TestingChamber said...

Yeah, it took my breath away angie.

Now I just feel lost lol

angiebeno said...

@ Taylor ~ I'm happy for George but i will miss his cute little face :(

@ Testingchamber ~ Aw sorry, but for storyline purposes Odd needs to be pretty lost for a while so that she can be put back together again by someone special :)

PiB said...

That was both sad and happy. Odd lost her friend forever but he can finally stop waiting. He and his mum are reunited and nothing will separate them again.

Nice scene by the grave - you did well with the ritual.

Poor Odd, if Oscar does find out - he will think her even more of a freak and exploit it. :(

FruHurricane said...

Aaw, that was indeed bittersweet. I agree with Elsa though, it was the right thing to do.

Perhaps more spirits will come to seek help from our dear Odette.

angiebeno said...

@ PIB ~ Thanks latin is not my strong point so the incantations may in fact be rude! I think it could go either way with Oscar, he will either just dislike Odd more and want nothing to do with her or will sense an opportunity.

@ Fruhurricane ~ Thankyou! I think once Odd gets over the initial shock she will be open to helping more spirits in the future :)

TheFlyingBurrito said...

Awwww! I'm glad Alice has finally reunited with her son!!

Poor Odd though, losing her only friend must have been tough. :( But Odd has Elsa, although I don't know if she'd count as a friend....

And yes, I am planning to resurrect my rainbowacy, I'm actually writing a chapter right now, but it's taking longer than I thought. :/ It will come though!

angiebeno said...

@ Burrito ~ She does count, but i think shes more of a mentor than a BFF. Chapters always seem to take longer than you think they will, that's why i try to overestimate how long it will take me! Anyways i will be looking out for the next installment :)

scones said...

Your updates just keep getting better and better. I love the pictures and the sets for this one. I love how we feel what the characters feel. I'm rooting for Odd, no matter what.

angiebeno said...

Aw thankyou Scones :)

Demenshia said...

Great chapter! I can't believe Charles did that to her! So sad. I'm glad Odd was able to reunite George and his mother though. Too bad she didn't have a chance to saly good bye.

angiebeno said...

Thanks Demenshia ~ Charles was a horrible man and his wife wasn't much better, but Alice and George are together now and i think Odd will find comfort in that eventually :)

Anonymous said...

Fascinating ghost story!

angiebeno said...

Thanks Seaweedy :)