Poetess Jo Dowling, A Psychiatric Nurse Who Writes Poetry of The Dark Side

 

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to a fellow poetess who is also a psychiatric nurse, like myself.

 

 

It is because the mind of a mental health nurse sees the world, reported by others, from a down to earth approach and also from a surreal sublime often bizarre experience,  that I’m thrilled with Jo Dowling’s poetry. In a way, because we are so down to earth, we are also somewhat of skeptics, realists and also expect the weird from the world, at the same time.

We may write about “fairies” and fables, but under that fantasy is dirt truth… You must read between the lines that often have allegories, metaphors, parables and messages hidden in the gray areas of life, and from that we express the unexplainable in poetry.

If you live and move in these areas, then  you too, understand the minds of psychiatric nurses… We are the eyes of doctors and therapists. We watch and never have to listen because we see and understand the unspoken language of the human spirit.

We are the Watchers, not exactly the listeners of words, because body language speaks louder volumes than spoken conversations, and psychiatric nurses see and realize the unspoken and that is why I love Jo’s poetry. She sees the reflections of the dark side of life and explains some secrets found inside closets and under beds in her poetry. The child that hurts, the person that still experiences the “boogyman” syndrome, Jo understands.

It is the human psyche and the sixth dimension that her poetry reflects. The empathetic observer that she is, who feels and deeply understands fears, horrors, paranoias and the sadness’ of many who experience mental illness or just simple fears and depression. Jo writes from their persona or perhaps she writes from her own experiences.

I love your poetry Jo. I understand and I relate to well. I know those demons thwarting our living day to day … So often those tormentors get away with robbing innocent victims.

I appreciate your poetry because you are truthful about what you’ve witnessed, and you have come to tell others, to alert them, and to touch them in away, through your poetry. Those whom read your lines, verse and choices of words, know that you do understand because you hit the demon on the head (just an expression) and expose those dark forces, so well.

Jo’s poetry is heartfelt spiritualality, but is not pie in the sky fairies and pixies, but it is about real life forces that have wounded many, and affect many daily;

So, thank you Jo.

Here is one of many of Jo’s poems.

 

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Jo’s Bio

Childhood was spent in China, Korea, and Baghdad. Attended college at the University of Arkansas, Henderson State University, and Texarkana College, obtaining a degree in Nursing. Became Specialized and Certified in Psychiatry and worked as a Registered Nurse at Baptist Health and Pinnacle Pointe Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas. Served in the United States Marine Corps, Intelligence Division. Retired early and returned to hometown of Foreman, Arkansas to write full time.
jodowling514

 

 


 

 

Poem 1

Sometimes we turn from the fire so quickly we stumble and fall in the flames and are burned
And sometimes we medicate painful mistakes with elixers of poison or  promises made
We watch as the children grow taller and stronger and cover our eyes when they break down the door
We are of thunder and rainbows, and cyclones, and northeastern winds without warning or form
We are of time and celestial planets, and volatile poisons and critical mass
We explain meaning without understanding- our senses perceive only what we believe
Humanity, fling back the sheet from the mirror–
Focus your sight and define what you see
Quiet your mind and acknowledge your senses
Cry for humanity, tend to the bleed

jodowling514



Poem 2

Gold turns to blackness like fossil rock veins- meanings ingrained and embedded 

Sadness strikes suddenly, point piercing through, wickedly splitting existance in two 

Shaking from force of the violent blow- the meaning burns inward and down to the bone  

The sound lasts for only one second of time, but the echo will last for an entire life


jodowling514



Poem 3


Biddable river shines bright in the Autumn

Dance with me under the river rock cliffs

Voluptuous evergreen lips kiss the sky

Come to the river

Swim through your mind

Grape vines entwine, hiding footprints behind us

Time cannot find this oasis

Tedious urgency does not exist

Prisms refract where the river falls spray

Wade in the wonder

Bathe and create

jodowling514


You can find Jo Dowling on FB. She has several poetry groups and you might want to follow her and learn more about the dark side of our mind….

I live there at times and relate to the closets hidden from the world of facade and often irreverent.

https://www.facebook.com/jo.dowling.37?fref=ts


Thank you Jo for sharing your poetry and a part of yourself. Thank you for the work that you  do and write about.  It is because you relate so well to the human spirit.

Jo is a realist.

Thank you deeply and sincerely.

 

 

The Art of Writing Query Letters for Writers; Chatting

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My official copyright and number for my novel…. I received it yesterday and I filed for it in June of 2016.

What I realize now, and will be of interest to you if your also writing a novel or books of poetry, is this fact. They, the copyright officials, go through every word and sentence that you’ve written to make certain that you didn’t plagiarize anyone else. So when you apply for a copyright, they will ask if you have quoted anyone or used any sources other than your own. In my case, I used The Bible, The Gnostic Gospels, The Book of Enoch, and Simon and Garfunkel lyrics (one line). So, I had to include any sources and cite them.

Now, please understand, this process takes time, but it is inexpensive. My novel is roughly 140,000 words give or take a couple of thousand on either side. It costs $35.00. Not bad. I think a poem is around $7.00 and If you love some of your work and want t keep it your work, then please, go ahead and file for a copyright.

For example, and I will use my dear friend Susan Joyner-Stumpf as an example.

Lets say, Susan has her own copyright all over her work, but if she hasn’t officially filed for the rights, then I (and I wouldn’t do this), could copy and paste her work onto my own work and submit it to the copyright officers and Susan would have to sue me. That would take more money than the $7.00’s for her poem, had she just simply filed with the official copyright office.

I urge you to file your best and most favorite work. Keep it safe because there are thieves unfortunately. Save yourself a heartache. Copyright your favorite work…

Recently, I saw that a fellow poet, had taken my words and used them. The words were twisted a little, but I knew, that was my work. I got mad, I got upset, I tried to be flattered, and then I dropped it. There was nothing that I could’ve done at that point. Once it’s on the internet, it’s published (yes thats right) and going to court over a little poem is useless…

There is also the poor mans copyright we’ve spoken of before on here and that is to print out your written work and mail it to yourself. It will have an official time and date stamped on the envelope and for heaven’s sake, do not open the envelope. A judge will do that in a courtroom should you have to take your written work to court and file for plagiarism against someone… However, should your house burn down, like mine did, and you have not placed your poor mans copyrights in a safe somewhere else, guess what? Yep, thats right…. You have no official stamp or retrievable work… Gone…

By the way, students search the net for work they can turn in as there own… They perhaps are the major culprits of thievery of un-copyrighted poetry and short stories… Yep… They’re trying to pass college English with an unsuspecting writer’s work….

Well, I hope you have a great day no matter where you are in our great world… 

The Art of Writing Query Letters for Writers; Chatting,,, The link on FB below:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-Writing-Query-Letters-for-Writers-Chatting-1803609986545421/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

 

Paper Rater has a free site to check your work. It also has a plagiarizer within the program. So, you can test your own work to see if you’ve plagiarized. It’s interesting also to check your older material that you put on the internet. The plagiarizer should bring up the original written work and perhaps a date and name… So, check your work to see if your published on the WWW…. 

Link: https://www.paperrater.com/plagiarism_checker

And now… drum roll please… 

 

An Excerpt from my novel… The Introduction and Chapter One… 

The Lives of Fairy Godmothers,

Angels, and Witches 

(The intro and chapter one excerpt)

by BoJenn

THE LIVES OF FAIRY GODMOTHERS, ANGELS AND WITCHES

All rights reserved. Published by BookBaby

© 2015 BoJenn Books, LLC

All photos copyright © 2015 BoJenn Books, LLC

or as credited, individually, on photographs herein contained. All illustrations and paintings by Bonnie Jennings; Tyler, TX,

some inspired by Itzchak Tarkay, Yugoslavian/Israeli artist, 1935-2012

This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein

is prohibited without the express written permission of the author.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form

First Printing: December, 2015

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

First Edition: December, 2015

ISBN # 978-x-xx-xxxxxx-x

Printed by BookBaby

Pennsauken, NJ 08110

Design and Production by MASON Communications

Edited by Sarah Harricharan, Johnson City, TN; Elysia Warne Elrod, Tyler, TX;

and Ky E.S. Mason; Shreveport, LA

Look for “The Lives of Fairy Godmothers, Angels and Witches” on Facebook!


The Introduction

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“A scream was heard that summer day. Four-year-old Catherine’s screams echoed into

the mystical wind. She told the wind to find Thomas. Bellowing into the breeze, her

little heart begged, with vigorous might. The current carried her voice. It never ceased,

until one day, I heard it. The zephyr had carried the message in search of Thomas. It

had traveled lifetimes, into where memories dwell. In the dark space of matter, it moved,

seeking the answer to the child’s petition. It did not stop, until it found accountability.

It had echoed, in and out of woven petitions, spirits and prayers, asking, “Have you

seen, the child, Thomas?”



I’m so excited and would love for you to continue reading through chapter one on the link below in the correct formatting created by

Ky E.S. Mason; Shreveport, LA

MASON Communications

The link:

lives-v8-81-page-i-to-page-30-single-pages

Or you may read it below.

Introduction“A scream was heard that summer day. Four-year-old Catherine’s screams echoed into the mystical wind. She told the wind to find Thomas. Bellowing into the breeze, her little heart begged, with vigorous might. The current carried her voice. It never ceased, until one day, I heard it. The zephyr had carried the message in search of Thomas. It had traveled lifetimes, into where memories dwell. In the dark space of matter, it moved, seeking the answer to the child’s petition. It did not stop, until it found accountability. It had echoed, in and out of woven petitions, spirits and prayers, asking, “Have you seen, the child, Thomas?”

Even as an older woman, Catherine could not stop the determination of the inquiring storm – to find the answer to her childhood question. The mission of the wind was to solve that petition. A request by prayer was sent that day, long ago; and then I came riding in on the wind.

Tadhg Harding enters the story, wearing a warm angelic smile and kilt. Tadhg recited the letter for Catherine. “Eleanor wrote it,” he added.

Catherine delightfully accepted the magic of an answered prayer. “At last!”

Tadhg welcomes you to journey inside this story about a woman named Elizabeth Catherine Dubois: “Everyone needs help – the supernatural kind – right?” Well, this tale is about when, where, why and how angels, or fairy godmothers, answer prayers.

Welcome! Thank you for stopping by for a cup of orange and cinnamon tea. Please, enjoy yourself

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as you settle in to a cozy chair and hear a story about the magic of love, the dignity of grace bestowed from God, and the power of deliverance from oppressive spirits on an older woman who was once her parents’ little fairy princess.

Like so many older humans, Cat Dubois almost lost her happiness to ill-fated happenstances which couldn’t be avoided. The only difference between Cat and others who seem to dissipate by death in the vagueness of their pain and sorrow? The young girl cried out a prayer that found a way to God’s ears and heart.

So, He responded; He sent Eleanor, who came riding in the wind.

This story is about the struggle of life and the resolutions that come to Cat many, many years later; but nonetheless, answers come, just in time, in a magical way.

So, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tadhg Harding, and I’m the keeper of stories and poetry. That is the meaning of Tadhg, and this is what I do. I am both the story teller and an active participant in this tale, and I am also related to Eleanor, an oh-so integral character in this story. We are related by spiritual order and virtue. We travel through time, space and the world together. Come in, let us draw near. There is nothing to fear; this tale is an active adventure.

Humans, at times, question the fairness of a loving god. Life can feel like a test of human endurance. Why are some people fortunate or “blessed,” while others ache with despair and tragedy? Why is the innocence in children’s beautiful faces often lost within hardships, over a lifetime? Why are some untouched by horrors and deep valleys of sorrow and hatred? Lastly, why are some on a non-ending roller coaster of frights and thrills?

In order to understand and appreciate goodness, the darkness must be known, as it’s been taught many times before this story. Behold, the light of God shall shine upon the paths of danger, for our own good, and lead us, instead, to the way of enlightenment for our spirit’s development.

We shall lie down in those green pastures, and there our souls will be restored. We will one day act like God.

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“Could it be in a different dimension or lifetime?”which, of course, is an age-old debate pontificated in sanctuaries and bars across a world of speculators from the righteous to the sinners. And, should we choose to accept the calling to a higher self, our assignment, or our journey into the syllabus He has prepared for each of us individually, must be eventually travelled. If so, it surely is then that we shall be like Him, and see Him, in the splendor of His love; because in human living, love, mercy and grace are the traits of the Father who has come down from the lights and resides in our souls.

Unique, are we. Good and evil will be known, but few will defeat dragons in one’s lifetime. ”Dragons are real,” many will say, but I ask you, “Are they real today?” Are not dragons, real or imagined, just our conduits to godliness? For within the very best of us, and the very least of us masterpieces, lie imprisoned spirits which are trapped by the flesh of mankind, or Adam. Adam was from the dirt of this planet Earth. Adam nor his seed will not live forever. But the Spirit of God will survive forever; spirit is infinity. We are not.

Then, there is the soul – the ego. The dual nature which longs for the earth or the “Adamic” nature. It begins innocently, then falls into God’s grace. The quest – our mission or lesson – is to defeat the opponent, the enemy of ourselves, our egos. So, this story is about defeating the challenger of God using the voices of the accuser. It is the strong one of this earth who whispers to the accepting Adamic humans all the reasons that failure is the final destiny.

The devil within is conquered metaphorically in isolated forests; deep-flooding valleys; on rocky hillsides; in snake-filled pits; in vast oceans where a single lifeboat drifts eternally; in lonely, locked cells; in cold hospital rooms; in the loss of a child or loved one; in burning towers; crashing planes; bombshelled cities; in an orphaned child; in unwed mothers; in life-changing events; until kingdom comes. The devil is appointed an unending reserve of trials.

The test’s purpose is to stretch ego and character into a form of divine inspiration. Sometimes it works and never fails. Perhaps, it is not determined in one lifetime, but in many. The soul determines the result for the lap. The soul steers the course. It develops; and graduation of a lesson occurs as we

iii

become more and more like God.

Our story begins now. It is the story of a woman’s journey from innocence, to enslavement, and then to freedom, within a lifetime. You might share the sorrow and pain of her battles, and relate to her innocence during childhood, which is magically experienced by Cat. Seemingly, you might experience and share her rejection from the fellowship of those with whom she grew up. You might feel her hurt, her loneliness, her isolation; and know her addictions as your own. And, just when you think there is no hope for her – or maybe even you – you may find yourself cheering because there is magic and goodness in a dark world. There are fairy godmothers, angels, and guides who do help us just when we need them the most.

I welcome you into the story of Elizabeth Catherine Dubois.

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Chapter 1

Now, Elizabeth Catherine Dubois, or “Cat”, as she prefers, lives in a lonely house in the Appalachian Mountains, in a place known as Glory Town. She is young; growing up is upon her.

As you sip your tea, I will tell you all about it. Hers is a tale of loss, troubles, enchantments, delights and the magic of God’s angels, fairy godmothers and other divine interveners. These divine creatures – angels, guardians, fairy godmothers, or your choice of moniker for those who carry goodness on their wings – came to Glory Town for the sole purpose of restoring Cat Dubois.

Now, Glory Town is nestled between two old mountains in The Appalachians, the picture-perfect quaint village of 11,000 residents, which is not quite as perfectly round a number as 12,000, but purposely maintained at approximately 11,000. Furthermore, the municipality is never allowed a population exceeding 12,000. This was written in the foundations of Glory Town’s “secret codes” and governed by the town’s three founders.

These three are: David Finks, whose wife is Hannah Finks, with whom they have three sons, Warwick, Winston and Chad. Next in the hierarchy is Robert Fletcher-Snutgrass, with his wife, Jessica, and their four children: eldest daughter, Emily; middle son, Taylor; Claire, the next girl; and then, baby, Suzanne. The third family led by a founding father of Glory Town are the Thornton- Henchmens with their tribe: patriarch, Theodore or “Teddy”, for short, and Selma, his wife, and Hector, Molly and Thorpe Thornton-Henchmen.

Also of notable importance are the Reverend Davis (Daniel Davis’s father) and the preacher’s wife, Rebecca Palmer Davis. Other families, though less impressive, include: The Bartons – Henry, Ruth and their 3 daughters, Priscilla, Patsy and Daphne; the Johnsons – Larry, the town mechanic,

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his wife Mary, and daughter Tammy; then are the Millers and their two infamous sons – Dillinger and Cooper. Finally, the immigrants from France and England are the Dubois family, comprising Philippe and Catherine Harrington-Dubois, and their daughter, Elizabeth Catherine, around whom this story revolves.

“Joy to the world! The Lord has come.” The crowning attraction of Glory Town is its famous claim as THE Christmas town most photographed and visited by tourist families with the delighted eyes of imaginative children and their parents, who still wonder, like children themselves, at the warmth of the holy season. Glory Town enlivens their memories like a picturesque scene on a vintage postcard, assuredly giving Christmas lovers warm fuzzies.

When approaching Glory Town from either mountain’s winding road, it appears like a Norman Rockwell painting that everyone wants, but only a few truly experience in a lifetime.

White snow, white picket fences, gently billowing smoke from the home fireplaces burning warm, and sidewalks, along which passersby smile endearingly while wishing all “Merry Christmas!” signal the revelry. Carolers beckon from the sanctuary, donning red choir robes and halo-white satin collars, heralding the music of pleasant voices in perfect a cappella, lifting up Gregorian hymns as the gothic organ opens with Bach’s “Passacaglia in C Minor”.

The Carolers, in a procession of holiday finery, continue their serenade to the corners in front of Victorian homes prominently, proudly, situated within what area, over many Christmases past, would become the town’s spiritual epicenter.

“Hark! The herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn king…’”. Everyone in Glory Town is expected to play roles demonstrating angelic behaviors at all times – and especially when guests are afoot. This whole town is a “Christian town”, hastening one back, in a heartbeat, to a Charles Dickens setting. Good behavior as far as one can see has been dreamed of, desired by, and lusted after, by those who have ever read or heard of the charm found only here, only now, this magical time of year.

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The reputation of this little whistle-stop snowballed, bigger with every winter. Glowing reviews, and enough money to publish and mail pamphlets far and wide, made the traditions of these townspeople turn into the regular place of pilgrimage it is today. When visiting Glory Town, no tourist expects anything less than perfection. Who wouldn’t want to make this place home?

The improvements of puritanical whitewashing for the holiday productions begins each summer, with “summer” rehearsals starting directly after New Year’s. These practice runs include all residents – young and old – and require them to play their parts so well they’re second nature. By August, all the families congregate and begin re-teaching manners they’ve been teaching exactly as written and executed in the1800s. The women sew new costumes each year. They rehearse with their children so everyone is in step: how to act, how to talk and how to dress as if they still lived in the 1800s.

Making money by entertaining tourists has always been a major source of income for the town. Aside from that revenue, each business is small – and there aren’t many – and their bottom lines are nil to nothing. They like it this way; that’s why the law exists that the town will grow no larger. No corporate world exists here – in yesteryear. Everyone depends on the gratuities offered; they come in all year long, now that even the tourists have been courted to remember tithing so the traditions can continue. Little other real employment is available in Glory Town.

The acting, the manner of dress and everything else has become such a way of life that sometimes neighbors have to remind each other what is real and what are now magnificently drummed up vocations. “‘Come,’ they tell the tourists. ‘Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum.’”

It has become so confusing that some townsfolk, especially the older ones, just stay in their assigned role all year, shifting from season to season, talking in a dialect privy to Glory Town from nearly two hundred years ago. As they grew into their roles, they became them…except for some of the women who serve on the community boards. They dress in their finest “other” attire most of the time.

The locals take tremendous pride in the natural beauty of their town; and that goes right with

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giving thanks that they are governed by strict Biblical standards. The town is theirs – God seems to have made it and them just the way they are. Surely, it is a blessing for their piety, the elders say. And, though they welcome the tourists who marvel at their magical village, they are happy when the visitors depart. They certainly appreciate the economical gratuities. They benefit from the applause of the audiences they entertain; however they do wallow in the esteem. Glory Town is exclusive to their chosen few.

The tourists are the ones who now provide all the necessary income to maintain the town’s old architecture, the roads and the restorations to every utility, but the natives are very, very fussy about who comes to live, who seeks to stay, who stays too long after the stockings come down from the mantles. The visitors make them uncomfortable – way over their comfort level.

In the old days, they had strong persuasive men who determined when it was time that someone should leave Glory Town as soon after Christmas as possible. They would escort the interloper to the city limits, tip their hats and say, “Never show your face here again. Ya, understand?” But a few things had to change, as reticent as these Glory Town people are. They know who feeds them, and, now, people want to come visit throughout the year. So riding people out of town on a rail, so to speak, had to go. And with it went their smiles, now grown shallow, their Christmas greetings super- ficial, but their acting rivals the best of Broadway. The more charming the experience they provide the marveling visitors, the better the pay. “Oh, little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie…”

The steeple of the old wooden white-framed church is first seen when driving down from the mountain roads. It seems to welcome all from the winding path. But looks are deceiving, and the whitewashed paint is just that – whitewashed. And the winding path, it’s the most winding in the minds of those who live in Glory Town.

If anyone comes to visit outside the season of giving, the townsfolk know who they are, where they came from, what their intentions are…and when they should leave. The gossip trail is fierce; if one knows something new, they all do.

Of course, everyone attends church, and since there is only one church building in Glory Town,

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the Catholics have the evenings, the Baptists take the 10:00 AM every Sunday, while the Methodists have the 11:10 AM slot, and the Episcopalians secure the earliest services at 8:00 AM sharp, ending promptly forty-five minutes later. The Presbyterians are at 9:00 AM, and the Pentecostals, which include the Assemblies of God and so forth, occupy most of Sunday afternoons.

Church bells ring throughout the day, calling each congregation to their appointed time of wor- ship. The church bells sound rich and deep, reverberating with man’s spirit and soul, ringing to the heavens to be one with his Maker.

However, when fellowship time comes, they congregate all denominations together, eating, singing, dancing and any socializing hoopla at the time. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be many fellows to the ship.

Mountain clogging and square dancing are two celebrated happenings that many in Glory Town excitedly gather for during the fall and spring months. Their fiddlers and steel guitarists are some of the finest in the country. There is a young vocalist competition, and a clog dancer contest, which also includes a beauty event.

These festivals bring in neighboring county folks. A good healthy county competition is exhilarating, and the town is always hoping for new talent who can bring celebrity status to the area, as well as keep the faithful tourists geared up for another visit. After all, the nearby state of Tennessee has quite a reputation for talented artists. Glory Town wants to reap some of that glory, too.

Glory Town has one hotel with eleven rooms which, during Christmas, never has any vacancies; and the two private bed and breakfast facilities tend to be booked up an entire year, or even two, in advance.

Hotel residents are rarely invited to the church social functions any time of year. During the holiday season, the hotel’s guests are provided an open kitchen and usually celebrate together because the town closes on Christmas Eve at 3:00 PM sharp. There isn’t a movie theater, or any

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other venue for entertainment. The tourists resort to entertaining themselves, and they accept that for all the “unbelievable” goodness showered upon them the next day.

The grocery store is a small market that transitions to an open-air fresh fruit and goat-swapping center during summer. Nearby are ruby and diamond mines that have shovels and sifters for rent in summer, too, but it doesn’t take many people on staff to run them, so, again, the job market for Glory Town is slim to none. The coal mines employ about 42 of the working class of Glory Town. Logging is protected, but where it is allowed some of the men of the town work in that capacity. There is a double-sided clinic that tends to people on one side, while a country veterinarian utilizes the other. If the regular doctor is incapacitated, the country vet works both sides. That vet has delivered babies of every breed and stitched up minor lacerations on both humans and animals. But, all victims of major incidents are flown by helicopter to the nearest open emergency room.

The roads leading to and within Glory Town are treacherous during winter. Many people coming or going lose their lives trying to drive up or down the two-lane mountain roads. For safety’s sake, most of the grocery shopping is done in monthly installments, especially during the winters, and particularly if the individual lives on Downy Mountain Ridge Road leading into Glory Town. This road is where Cat Dubois lives.

The majority of the residents were all born in Glory Town – almost every single family has been a part of this whole scenario since its founding, except the doctor and the veterinarian. But, eighty- some-odd years ago there had been just one other outsider who came to live among them – Cat’s late uncle, her mother’s oldest brother.

François Nicolle, who visited the town frequently in the years that followed Black Tuesday, was eventually, and, surprisingly, by the old ways, allowed to purchase the manor and land on Downy Mountain Ridge – mostly because he was unintrusive; he was isolative; and he came with significant wealth. Uncle François had immigrated from Rouen, France where he had honed his skills in the agricultural art of growing the finest tobacco. He had brought those skills to the fertile soil of Virginia and grew a fortune in the most unlikely time of prosperity between the Great War and the

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Great Depression. Along with his wealth built in years when most are mere boys, Nicolle was almost idolized as “the” man’s man. He introduced the lush-hungry males of the town to tobacco and Bordeaux. With his keen mind for scientific advancements and business, and at only about twenty- three years old, the young industrialist offered to to help build the economy of Glory Town if he was allowed purchase of the estate. By all historical accounts, François had been the only newcomer who had ever been allowed to stay.

When François met his untimely death in 1939, Cat’s mother and father came to assume responsibility for the manor, and began employing locals seeking work. The Depression lingered longer there in Glory Town. So, for the next fifty-one years, it became their home. After the death of her mother and father, twenty-five years gone now, Cat has lived there alone. She is 61, and her story must be told.

“Since I, Tadhg, am the keeper of poetry, I know many poems for many occasions. Right now, I have one written for Cat Dubois. It was written for her to ease and lend strength for the journey she experiences.” Tadhg smiles warmly, “Perhaps her journey is one that has a familiar ring to you?”

Though, I’m as parched as the desert, and my skin is brown and wrinkled by the scorching sun, you have never left me.

I have known you are my friend and will never let me wither. If the night had no light from the moon, if the ocean’s waves consumed the shores, and if I had no friends, you would always be by my side.

You would lead me with your sweet tender voice, you would send angels to hold my hand. You would place the eternal light before my feet and I will not fall nor fail.

While I sleep, your angels will sing lullabies and say, ‘Sleep. child. sleep’.

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What makes Cat’s story unique is her gift. You see, Cat has faith, and it has made all the difference. Faith is her gift, and it will be put to the test to see if it is real, and to strengthen the measure given her for later use.

Before we can start this story in earnest, I must tell you some things beforehand:

First, the hard part. You must understand the reason’s behind Cat’s wilting, and angry spirit, for she was not always that way. You see, after many years of trying to be a good Christian like her mother and father, trying to live her life in their footsteps from the shadows of all they had done economically and spiritually for Glory Town, Cat shook her arms facing the sky and screamed up at the ears of God, as if He were there. Filled with rejections caused by believing those “good” people of Glory Town who claimed to be God’s children, Cat finally threw in her towel and lived in the singleness of her own mind.

Community, sisterly love and congregating with them was, well, truly, out of the question. She vowed to cut every relationship and denounce all spiritual ties with “those idiots” of her scorn. The last accusations against her, had been the final straw. “Calling me ‘a witch’, how dare they!” Cat rebuked their slurs as if God listened anymore. Her scowl said it all; and from then on, she no longer congregated with anyone in Glory Town unless it was absolutely necessary.

Cat cried into the brandy snifter.

She sat alone reminiscing about people and her vanishing past while lounging on the 19th century velvet olive-green couch in the manor’s library. Holding the brandy snifter in her right hand, she swirled the amber liquid at the bottom of the crystal glass. The movement was hypnotizing.

She watched it twirl for an hour or more, while memories played like a movie in her waking dreams all afternoon. She saw deeply, examining the past. The candles on the fireplace mantle flickered as the light faded in the room. The tears that befell her glass turned to droplets of self- discovery. As she cried, she saw something. A face! It frightened her for a moment, drawing a gasp. Somehow she had transcended; the year was 1999, and Catherine’s age, 45. This was

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not a young woman’s overactive imagination.

She stared at her brandy. There, in the glass, a face appeared again. It was a boy, looking at her from within the mirror of the liquor. He had sandy hair and his skin was fair with sunburned pink cheeks. In less than a second, the boy’s image disappeared.

Cat jumped back momentarily, then back again, eying deeper yet into the liquid, trying to see the anomaly. As quickly as she imagined the image she saw, nothing but brandy looked back at her. She looked behind her, thinking the boy would be standing there. How did he get there? “Who is he?” A chill passed through her. The air was thick, and the room smelled of sea water on a hot summer’s day, but it was freezing outside.

“I’ve had too much brandy,” she muttered to herself. She thought about that, and set the snifter down for the night on the table beside her.

She remained on the couch, thinking. After a while, forgetting the boy’s face, she dismissed the foolish delusion, She flashed back to the beginning of her anger – frustration – rages, regarding these “good, kind” people of Glory Town.

Ruminating, her mind ran away from the pain, way back in time. She saw herself – perhaps, she was four or five, maybe; she couldn’t remember. But the time was when she met her best friend, Daniel Davis, who was slightly older than she; and, it was a haunting memory, a mystery she would never forget.

Daniel was the minister’s son. From kindergarten until teenage years they were bosom buddies. He was a handsome boy who grew into a gorgeous young man. Always shy around others, young Cat was the one that made him laugh. Daniel trusted her.

It was if she had always known him – even before they met. Confidences and secrets were hidden in their hearts. Their families wanted them to marry when they were older. From Cat’s sweet smile anyone could tell she wanted nothing more than this, but, in her heart, she knew it would never happen.

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With all the hopes surrounding them, she went along with the idea that their marriage event would occur, anyway. She knew that Daniel loved her, but the dark secrets he’d shared when they were teenagers, made such wishes impossible.

He loved to cook and garden. He worked around the house and never wanted to go hunting with the men. He had strong shoulders because he chopped wood for the townsfolk. At the high school dances, he performed the latest moves like they were second nature. So, he was popular, too – every girl’s best friend, sweet, kind and intellectual, and mindful of the teachings of the elders. But, he litened to the forbidden radio to hear the latest news about world events and fashion. He snuck away from his father’s hellfire and brimstone messages to learn all he could of the outside world.

That which compelled him to quest far beyond the oak-lined alleys of Glory Town, was as second nature to him as dancing. Daniel loved men. Glory Town would never allow him to live there, if they knew. And, he didn’t want to live a lie.

Cat loved him unconditionally and would hide his secret forever, but she knew she would never be his wife no matter how hard anyone, and she, wished. It was easy to visualize her entire life with Daniel, but she would have to settle for being his best friend. There would be no romance or physical penetration when two souls meet, embrace and unite as one. She knew this would never happen. It made her sad; she wanted what lovers have; she wanted matrimony – with him. She loved him and adored him more than can fill a heart and mind and soul. But because she loved him so, she was willing to sacrifice that precious union, the whole man and wife magic, that blessed sacrament. He was Daniel; he was hers and she was his; it was just a different kind of wonderful than anyone could know.

Daniel revered Cat’s willingness to sacrifice her future for him, honoring his dark secret. But, he couldn’t bear allowing her to live a life with him devoid of physical engagement. He would hold her heart, but there would be no joining of their two spirits. There would be no conjugations; there could be no true marriage. As much as he, too, prayed he could compensate with the purest of love, Daniel could not ask Cat to throw so much of herself away, for him.

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Cat DuBois was just too special. It was he who bragged about her extraordinary gifts to
everyone – her gift of healing animals, her gift of of healing all living creatures. He stood in amazement every time they were together. She could heal people of so many ills, if they would just let her. The blessing of healing she manifested from within her were far too precious not to scream it from the mountaintops. He told everyone.

Assuredly, that is how jealousy took root in a family, and then spread like a forest fire in a drought. Because Cat had these gifts, amidst her shining star character and brilliance, she upstaged the pillars of the town, the respected elders and queens of the clans of Glory Town.

One family in particular began lambasting Cat at every turn, The Bartons’ three daughters, Priscilla, Patsy and Daphne, were this community’s beauties beyond compare. They also won the majority of scholastic awards – but, of course, their mother, Ruth, taught at their school.

Patsy was Cat’s age, and she desperately tried to provoke Cat into any competition that presented itself. But there was one area she had to dismiss. Patsy couldn’t carry a tune in choir practice, and Cat had perfect pitch. But Cat was never allowed a solo. Mrs. Barton made certain of it. The girls’ mother graded Cat on a curve Mozart couldn’t master – all because she thought Daniel would be a better match for Daphne.

Every time the Barton women could make a negative slur about Cat, they dug a slanderous ditch for her. Silently, they listened and gritted their teeth at Daniel’s accolades of Cat; they wanted to believe he was delusional. Like sour grapes, they imagined if he married this little insignificant girlfriend, Cat Dubois, he would one day discover that she was just like all the other dreadfully boring women of the town.

Surely Daniel was making a mistake! Clearly he was bewitched by this common girl and could not see Priscilla, Patsy or Daphne because of the enchantment with which the little trollop Cat blinded him.

The pressure grew on Daniel to ask for Cat’s hand in marriage. The entire town – except Ruth and

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her three girls – wanted to know, “When?” Were they going to have their wedding ceremony as soon as high school was finished? “When is the big day?”

Constantly pushing their agendas, engagement ideas and wedding plans upon him, Daniel finally broke under the strain and screamed the truth at his father, the Reverend Davis. One fine afternoon, he admitted his secret truth. He had to be honest. He confessed under emotional duress, but it was still the truth. “Father, I am gay! Don’t you see it? I’ve been this way for a long time.”

Those words changed his life forever – just as he’d thought. Daniel was expunged from Glory Town by his own father and mother. He was given a knapsack of food, water in a thermos, and allowed to keep only the clothes on his back.

He traveled on foot up the winding road, making the curve out of town on Downy Park Ridge Road. His younger siblings watched him leave until he was out of sight. They were unsure of the reason why he had to go; their parents and everyone who saw stood silent; but, they all knew something bad had happened.

“Mama. Mama, where is Daniel going?”, they pleaded, crying and pulling on her flowered cotton dress. One held onto her dirty apron. Daniel’s home, the day before his announcement, was now a place in his past.

One confession changed his world – that first sentence was all it took. It changed his mother’s and father’s lives, and those of his siblings; it changed Cat’s life.

The sky became grayer. The light of day dimmed to darkness. The brilliance of some special charm in that town lost its shimmer; no, it was gone altogether. An artist left and took all the colors with him. Enchantment with the hope a new young couple would bring such delightful children to sing in their choir – what was to be a slice of the magical life of Glory Town was erased in an instant – all because Daniel didn’t fit the mold. The pretty picture they had painted in their minds didn’t match God’s unique creation – the young man who had just hiked out of Glory Town.

Mrs. Davis stood looking down the street that Daniel walked on his way up the hill. The road

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looked long and lonesome. She thought to herself with caution, “Daniel soon will pass the Dubois estate.” In fact, her husband had yelled at him as he walked, “Better not go that way.” His demeaning tone rang loudly inside Daniel’s head, but Daniel had to go that way. He must. Still, even louder, his father screamed, “Don’t you think the Dubois family will want you to stop. Go on! You’re not my son anymore. Nobody wants you.”

Daniel’s mother stood like a lone tree in the desert. Her husband had scurried their other children inside. She was alone. Was she embarrassed or sad? Perhaps, a little of both but she knew she wanted her Daniel back. Would she ever see him again?

Word traveled before Daniel even made the first curve in the road. Some gossiped that his mother was so ashamed she couldn’t even move. Cat later knew that his mother was just broken-hearted. She knew that his mother would never heal; she knew that she, herself, wouldn’t.

The sun was blazing hot ‘though it would soon be dark. Sweat began to trickle down his head. Daniel was afraid, but free, at the same time. No longer would he have to live a lie though his immediate thoughts were, “Where will I go? Where will I sleep tonight?” He pressed onward.

Finally, going inside to look out the kitchen window, Mrs. Davis strained to see her last glimpse of her son. Her finger tips pressed the window trying to pull herself closer. She wanted to run after him.

“If you go after him, then you might as well pack your bags. You better not even think about it.”, Rev. Davis barked. After gruffly preaching this to her, she stayed motionless at the window. He hit the wall beside her, putting a hole in it, then he marched upstairs and slammed the door. The good Reverend never spoke to his wife again, unless he had to. She didn’t care. She hated him for this. She almost hated his God that he preached about on Sundays.

As Daniel passed the Dubois manor, he did stop – only to say goodbye. He hoped he could just see Cat one more time. Pausing in front of her home, he wished only for a hug and then a wave, “Goodbye.”

But news had already traveled to her parents; even as Cat tried to gain permission to take the car

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to drive him to the next town, her father refused.

“Papa, please! It’s not right and you know it!”

“Catherine, you go to your room right now!” her father said angrily, his French accent making the words sound so much more foreign.

“You loved him this morning! Now? Now, you hate him? How dare you! You call yourself a Christian? You’re not Christlike at all! I despise you!”

Cat ran to the top of the stairs. There on the table next to the banister, she caught a glimpse of a roll of money – money on top of her mother’s purse.

Cat grabbed the cash and ran the rest of the way up to her room. She hurried to the window and looked out, waiting until Daniel walked by.

“Daniel? Here!” She called out, throwing the money down below so he would be able to catch it. She watched as it blew away from the manor, and she waved goodbye, knowing her father would be going outside any minute to chase him away. Warm tears passed her soft, pink cheeks. “Bye, Daniel,” she hollered. “I love you! I’ll love you forever.”

Daniel waved back and blew her a kiss before he scrambled to pick up the money he could in a hurry. He stared back, seeing Cat’s mother looking out the front living room window. She gave a wave, too – a fragile, weak kind of wave.

Mrs. Dubois prayed as he turned and walked away. “Oh, Lord, please protect him. Send your angels to comfort him. Keep him safe. Please. Thank you.” Then, she went upstairs. She went straight to Cat, putting her arms around her tightly. Together, they cried.

“What will happen to him, Mama?” Cat asked, wiping the tears on her face.

“I don’t know, Cat, honey, but we will pray that God will be with him.”, Mrs. Dubois said.

Cat bit her lip. “Mama, may I please give him a ride to the next town? Please? Just let me sneak the car out this once?”

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“No, Catherine, your father will kill us both.” Mrs. Dubois said, sadly. “I’m sorry.”

“Mama?” Cat began, tentatively. “I took money from your wallet. $25.00. I gave it to Daniel.”

“I know. I left it there on purpose. You’ve a great heart, Elizabeth Catherine Dubois. I’m glad you did that for him; it was the least we could do for that sweet young man. I know how much he means to you.” They held each other as they watched Daniel walk up the road until he was no longer visible.

“Mama, will I ever see him again?” Cat asked.

“I don’t know,” Mrs. Dubois said, softly. “I don’t know.”

She hesitated before leaving the room, putting a hand into her apron pocket. She had a second thought. She changed her mind. Without looking at Cat, she placed the keys to the old Impala on the dresser, tucking a credit card beneath it. Under her breath she whispered, “Be careful. Pay for two nights at a hotel. Your father can be tempered. I’ll tell him it was a donation to a worthy cause. A tax write-off. Now, go quietly while I distract him.”

Cat quietly slipped outside and jumped into the car parked down the drive to the side of the house.

Mrs Dubois distracted Mr. Dubois with the suggestion of summer night’s passion, “My, it’s hot tonight. Come upstairs with me. I have something for you. A gift.” She smiled and winked. She curled her index finger to and fro. “Come on. I’ll meet you upstairs.” Mrs. Dubois turned on the bath water for two.

The sound of rushing water would distract his hearing. He wouldn’t be able to hear the car’s engine as Cat started it up, nor would the Impala’s headlights reflect in the large victorian bathroom.

Her distraction worked, for Mr. Dubois couldn’t get there fast enough. For the moment it seemed as if he forgot about Daniel’s drama and gladly he accepted the invitation.

“Turn on some music dear…”, she taunted.

Cat started up the old car and crept down Downy Ridge Drive as if going slowly might make less noise. She spotted Daniel walking on the side of the road. It was past dusk, and she could vaguely

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make out his shadowy figure. Honking and pulling to the side of the narrow curvy mountain’s small shoulder, she called out to him. “It’s me, Cat. Get in.”

The silence was thick. There were few words expressed, but finally Daniel spoke, “All men must go through an initiation into manhood.” He was silent for a second. “Cat, don’t stop this. Boys need to have this time. Any of them who don’t will later wish they had. It’s our rite of passage. The Indian braves do it. This is the right time and the right thing to do.”

Cat wanted to believe him. She drove him twenty-five miles to the next town stopping at a small motel. “Mother told me to pay for a night or two.”

“Tell your mother, “Thank you. I love her. And, will you tell my mother the same?”

“Daniel?”, through her tears she nodded, “Yes.”, to his requests. “Daniel, I can’t let you go. I can go with you.”

“No, Cat; I will be fine. I know someone not too far away. He said I could stay with him until I find work. I will be okay.”

“Promise? Swear it.”, she begged.

“Yes, I must do this. I have to grow up, Cat. It’s my time to sink or swim. I must become a man, now.”

“Swim, Daniel, swim.” Sobbing, he turns her away. “Get the car home before your father knows. I don’t want him to take it out on you two.”

“Okay.” Sniffling, Cat hugs him one more time.

He points the direction out of the parking lot. “Do you know how to get home? It’s dark on the mountain roads. Be careful. Promise?’

“Yes. Daniel. Daniel, I already miss you.”
“I’ll keep in touch. I swear.” He held the door open as she got into the car.

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As he closed the door, he said softly, “Now, you must go. I love you always.”

Pulling out of the motel parking lot she found the mountain road that would take her home. Cat thought about him every mile of the way. Through her sobs and tears, she wondered how he would survive.

Upon her return, she found that her parents were fast asleep. Cat slipped upstairs toward her bedroom, silently replacing the gifts her mother had lent her.

The women thought the father never knew she had taken the car. But, when she pulled back into the driveway, he was listening. He sighed relief, and said his thank you’s to God. A tear formed in his eye. He never let on he knew, and they didn’t ask.

Cat wrote in her journal that night, trying to understand the day. Even though her daddy was tough and often cool, he thought the world of Daniel, like the rest of the family. But, after Daniel left that summer, her daddy would hug her, for no reason. He never said anything. He just hugged her.

It rained for one whole month in Glory Town. Perhaps the town was secretly crying about Daniels departure, or maybe it was the angels crying.

As for Mrs. Davis, the days of her sobbing were over, but she would never smile again. She stared down that road, and waited. She just waited…and waited…and waited. She had a feeling she would never see her boy again, her precious Daniel.

She questioned the rules voiced through the insensitive humans who surrounded her. How was it possible that a loving God was so cruel? How could it be that they worshipped an unloving deity that allowed no mercy or grey areas to exist, especially, in Glory Town where things were supposed to be based on God’s love? Black was black; and white was white; and there would never be any shades of grey there.

To to the neigbors (supposedly, all her friends) who judged her son so harshly, God was an almighty father who tolerated nothing but perfection from his lambs. No spots or wrinkles, just pristine, whitewashed picket fences, and houses that complemented each other with matching shades

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of paint, and children who walked and talked the Holy Scriptures without pleasurable smiles. They sang Christmas carols all year – songs that now meant nothing to her; they were simply empty, dead words—just like her feelings.

Cat saw Mrs. Davis’ endless watching to see if her son would walk again down their lane again – day after day, one year to the next. Cat wanted to reach out and touch her, to tell her how she felt. After all, they understood and accepted Daniel exactly as he is. But, Cat stayed her distance; she did not intrude.

Cat did pray, however. She asked God to help Daniel’s mother, “We are two women who know painful sadness: for Daniel who took the rainbows with him, for the unicorns also departed with their smiles.” Cat laughed at her silly humor, but she felt like all this about Daniel was just that – ridiculous. Besides, anything that brought a magical feeling did disappear out of their lives when Daniel left.

Meanness grew from the seed of uncompassionate judgement and resentment, planted the day they exiled Daniel. That seed grew with more cultivation than ever in their grounds of high expectations. Trying to live up to all the “Thou shalls, and the Thou shall nots” had turned out to be a very hard lesson that kept getting more difficult with every day.

If there was any grey area, it was gossiping. Somehow one could gossip without sinning too badly. “After all, who is perfect?”, they justified. The gossip queens found protection under the Almighty’s great wings of grace. Apparently, gossiping was very forgivable, for them. It was letting off the steam from their boiling pot of perfectionisms.

They loved to gossip about two things: Cat and Daniel. And, of course, Reverend Davis. Not one of the townspeope ever visited Mrs. Davis – not even once.

Daniel’s mother seemed to wither away. After Daniel left, she had very little to say to anyone, including her husband. Mrs. Dubois always warmly smiled, and patted her hand, once, to show support. It was a kind gesture, but Mrs. Davis needed more. She hurt so badly that she questioned

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God’s existence.

All the scriptures regarding pain and suffering were, simply, not much comfort. The scriptures were used to convict her son, not to love him. Wasn’t their God supposed to be a God of love? This is what she had always believed. Perhaps, she was wrong about “His” character. A hateful God she would not, she could not, follow.

Mrs. Davis desperately wanted to talk with Cat, but her husband’s strict rules – to stay away from the Dubois family – kept her from paying a visit to the manor house. She was so fearful of what others would say; and more afraid of her minister husband. He might hit her. He would definitely berate her, although never publicly. But, she had borne his harsh blames and accusations that she was the reason Daniel grew up to be queer. He growled, rebuking the mother of their child, “Had you not coddled him so often and treated him like a girl, this never would have happened.”, and “God, help you woman!”. Of course, he blamed his wife for all of it: Daniel’s homosexuality; the fact that he wasn’t a real man in his father’s definition, or that of his community; and that he had to leave his home. It was all her fault!

And so, Mrs. Davis changed. She avoided the congregation, and she isolated herself in their lonely prison of a home. The only hope for a glimpse of godly mercy would be that Cat Dubois would hear and answer her prayers: that some how Cat would make a way to find her and tell her about her son, her Daniel.

“Please, hear me, Cat. Please, come and tell me about my son.”, she prayed repeatedly.

Then one day, a diagnosis was confirmed by her doctor. Mrs. Davis was dying. Parasitic cancer was rapidly growing. She called their maid, Ernestine, to send word that she needed to talk with Cat Dubois.

The maid knew, at once, that this had to be a clandestine operation. She would have to go to Cat’s house and ask her to come. Oh, she wasn’t afraid of Cat, but she feared for her own reputation just like everyone else in Glory Town. Anyone seen talking or visiting Cat Dubois was ostracized. But,

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she would do it. She had to think quickly. How could she sneak Cat inside the minister’s home where the ill woman waited? Ernestine was resourceful – she went as quickly as she could to consult the other maids of Glory Town on the sad situation.

Now, those who worked as domestic housekeepers in the town were all black women, and were forever under the ever-watchful eyes of the influential Glory Town hobnobs; but, when it came to the dying, well, the dying get their last request, no matter what; and the maids knew how to serve those needs best. So, these women used that trust and liberty to work together to pull off the plan.

It was an elaborate and grand scheme of orchestration by these Christian women, so prejudicially considered as subservients by most everyone in Glory Town. They would accomplish what no one else, so far, had managed or even tried to do in consideration of Mrs. Davis. These women were going to help Cat Dubois meet with that one woman in Glory Town who desperately needed to see and hear from her.

“Knock-knock” on the Dubois’ huge wooden front door was the first stage of their plan.

Ernestine sent Grace to visit Cat. Grace was the daughter of Beulah, Ms. Dubois’ cook, when Cat was a baby girl. They had never met, so Cat didn’t recognize Grace when she appeared at the front door; but, once she introduced herself, Cat was all ears. She knew it had to be very important for this woman to call on her out of the blue.

Cat eagerly agreed with their plan to go to Mrs. Davis’ bedside. The ladies had a signal, and a clear-cut order of what was to happen to protect all involved. Cat was a phone call away, and she promised to be ready when they said, “Come.”

At last, the call came. “Go to her, now.”

Cat was ready.

First step: Grace drove behind her, so Cat could park her easily-identified Jeep a few blocks away, hidden from prying eyes. From there, Grace picked her up and sped to the Davis’ home, making sure she was just under the speed limit. She dropped Cat off at the back door.

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Second: While the drive, drop-off, visit, and pick-up was in process, some of the other women in their black congregation were putting finishing touches on pies in different flavors: cherry, blueberry, apple pie and even a chocolate one, taking care to add fresh whipped cream, and brewing freshly ground Columbian coffee, too.

While those women were readying the refreshments, a few others were sent scurrying around town, inviting all the ministers they could find, from all the denominations and congregations, for an important, though impromptu, morning chat and prayer breakfast.

Along their route, they would even ask some of the local “nosies” who loitered around the church, “volunteering” (mostly, of course, so they could be the first ones to know who had died, who was planning a wedding, who was spending too much time in the preacher’s office). The domestic brigade had to keep them busy, too.

All this was planned and executed in less than 24 hours.

Justine, a part-time maid, had agreed to stay with the ill woman in her home, and to wait for Miss Dubois at the back door. It was all moving like clockwork. Justine waved Cat inside, “Come on! Quick now!”

As soon as Cat got in the back door, she moved quickly to Daniel’s mother’s room. She would have maybe two hours for them to talk – if Daniel’s mother could last that long, not becoming too weak from being anxious, and then the visit with her “guest”.

Justine set coffee on the bedside table for Cat.

“Thank you, Justine,” Cat said, gratefully. “That wasn’t necessary.” She knelt down on the floor next to Daniel’s mother. “Hello, Mrs. Davis. I’m here. I’m right here.”

After parking her car down the street, Grace followed Cat, entering the Davis home to make sure all was safe. She graciously backed out of the room, leaving the two secret friends alone. She joined Justine in keeping watch for anyone suspicious, waiting and ready to whisk Cat away and back to her Jeep.

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They took their positions, Justine was at the front window of the house; Grace stood guard at the back. Other than the postman who was extra friendly with Justine that day, there were no hitches. It was a plan made from heaven, for now.

Cat whispered again, “Hello, Mrs. Davis? It’s me, Cat.”

Faintly, Mrs. Davis breathed, “Oh, Catherine, how I’ve longed and prayed for this day. The heartbroken woman could hardly contain her tears. The words were hard enough to say because of the toll of the disease, but the heavy flow of deep weeping, alone, would have stopped her flow of conversation if she had not been determined to talk with Cat Dubois. Her last hope to Daniel, she would muster up the strength to talk and listen.

“Tell me everything you know about Daniel. Please.” Her voice quivered, and she tried to look up at Cat.

Weak as she was, Mrs. Davis had to hear every word.

She called her Catherine. Mrs. Davis had always been more formal than most; she was, after all a preacher’s wife; and she was kind when addressing anyone around town, but this young woman was due some real honoring. At the very least she would call her by her given name. Catherine had en- dured as much pain over her relationship with Daniel as she, his mother, had. She wept as Cat began.

“But, first,” Mrs. Davis softly interrupted. “Before you say anything, I want to tell you how much I appreciate you. I wish I had been bolder after Daniel left. I wanted to come to your home. I wanted to, but…” Her voice trailed off, and, as her eyes look down in such despair, she cried harder. Her voice became shrill; her pain was more than even Cat had imagined.

“I am ashamed, for not standing up to the bitter, hateful gossiping, and for not standing up to the Reverend. I cannot even refer to him as my husband anymore.”, she said, finally.

“It’s alright. I know.” Cat smiled at her and squeezed her frail hand gently in a pact that their two minds thought so much the same. They both loved Daniel; and they both knew the hate they had endured for so long now; they knew the mindset of those who brandished the antiquated laws of

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Glory Town like razor-sharp daggers.

Cat was delighted to share everything she knew of Daniel in his mother’s final moments. She continued to hold her hand. In an unusual way, it was like holding Daniel’s hand; it gave her strength. So, Cat held back any sad or frightening thoughts about him.

She told his mother how Daniel had become a man. She didn’t tell him he was a drifter or a gypsy. She just spoke of the best of his life.

“Most of all, he told me to tell you how much he loves you, and his father.” Cat thought about lying to her. Lying would make it easy for the frail woman to pass on, but, Cat wouldn’t lie. She knew all lies eventually catch up in one’s life, or beyond. She did, however, sugarcoat the good reports.

“He forgives me?”, Mrs. Davis asked.

“Yes, yes, he never thought you were to blame and he hoped you were alright.”

“Please, tell him that I love him. Please. I’m so sorry.” The tears were coming again. “Why do I have to leave before seeing him, I don’t know why?”

Her tremendous sadness was tough for Cat. She stretched over a bit to gently hug the grieving mother. Within minutes, Mrs. Davis closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Cat kissed her forehead. It was time to leave; she had been there more than an hour. She slipped out of the bedroom, and Grace hurried her to the Jeep.

“Goodbye, Miss Dubois.”, Grace said as she turned to leave.

“Thank you for your help. I needed that as much as she did.” Cat gently shut the car door. Even though Glory Town was so small, Grace and Cat’s path likely wouldn’t cross for a long time, if ever. She paused to think how grateful she was for Grace’s safe passage for her, for the courageous and ingenious thinking of all the women who helped. They, too, could be judgmental in their own ways, at times, but they recognized that Mrs. Davis needed closure about Daniel, and they did exactly what their Lord through Ernestine had asked them to do, without a second thought.

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That evening Daniel’s mother drifted into a coma from which she never awakened. Her funeral was on a bright sunny day.

Cat made her way to the church, and sat in the back. She went for Daniel’s sake. She went for the sake of his devoted mother, Mrs. Rebecca Palmer-Davis. She also attended the graveside ceremony, standing a good distance from the others, but not too far from the “colored ladies” as she respectfully thought of them so much moreso than before, and certainly moreso than the other white folks. It was late summer or early fall, and the year was 1980.

As it was, Reverend Davis suddenly died of a heart attack less than two months later.

Cat knew he died of heartbreak, too, drinking himself into the grave by self-medicating from the pain of it all. Daniel’s leaving, combined with his wife’s sad and painful death, finally overwhelmed him. It was more than he could bear. He was buried on a cold rainy day in the first part of winter.

Daniel did not attend either of his parents’ funerals. Had he known of his mother’s illness, he would have jumped over the moon and fought off dragons to be near her in her last days.

But, he wouldn’t hear of their deaths until later, when a couple from Glory Town happened to be where he was moonlighting as a bartender in a strip joint three counties away.

They came for fun. Just to sin a little. You know, get away from Glory Town. As they sipped their drinks and talked to Daniel as if he was their best friend, and as if nothing had happened, they told him, nonchalantly, that his mother died in late summer and his father, two months later.

They drank and laughed their night of escape away from Glory Town, and Daniel pretended to laugh with them. Secretly, inside, he ached. He thought of both of parents. Nothing was settled in this lifetime; nothing was forgiven; nothing was better, but worse, with the news that came as if the drunk couple told him about having a tooth extracted – nothing more.

Daniel dried the last high ball glass for the night, and locked the door to the bar. He went back to his hole in the wall. He drank a scotch by himself, wishing that life had been less painful. He asked hard questions to a God that seemed removed from him: “Are we merely puppets for you to pull our

24

strings? Is there no happiness or love on this god forsaken planet? Why? What is this all about? Am I a horrible person? Perhaps you should kill me! Let me die! I don’t want to be here. Mama! I love you! Father, if I could, I would hate you, but God won’t let me. See, I know about God’s love! I learned that! But, not from you. I learned it from my mother. Thank you, Mama. I love you!”

That night, on his flea-ridden cot, Daniel held his gun cocked. Several times, he place the barrel to his head. He didn’t do it. He just fell sound asleep.

In his deep slumber, he had a dream. It was vivid in every way; and, in it, a strange woman came to him and sat there with him all night. He asked her, “Who are you? And, what are you doing here?”

She answered, “I’m here because someone prayed for you.” The woman spoke with an old English accent.

“Who?” He looks at the woman in his dream. She’s wearing an old green velvet dress.

“Someone who loves you very much – Catherine. You call her Cat. She prays for you every night. When you see her, tell her that, one day, I will visit her.”

The strange dream never left Daniel. And, he did deliver the message to Cat the next time he saw her. Although the dream was vague, and all the time in the world could have passed, he would never forget the old English woman who got him through that night, the old woman dressed in a green velvet dress.

A more traumatic blow befell Cat, within a year after Daniel’s mother and father died.

A winter more bitter than the last took both her parents. They had been to a neighboring town to pick up supplies to hunker down in preparation for an ice storm headed their way, but the storm was moving fast.

They called as they were leaving the store and Cat plead with them to stay at the motel just nine miles away but on the lowland before hitting the winding mountain path, but they insisted on coming

25

home to be at home, safe with their daughter.

Like many others before them, her father saw the ice on the curve before the bridge and slowed, but once they hit the suspension, the ice was black as the night and he lost control. They were gone in an instant.

Catherine would so sadly become the heir of The Dubois Manor in Glory Town.

Daniel traveled back to Glory Town when he heard of the Dubois’ deaths. It was the winter of 1981. He walked to the old manor. There he stayed with Cat for a week. No one knew he’d visited, except perhaps one man – a suspicious watcher – who wasn’t sure it was Daniel, but knew that someone was up there with her; and, being nosey enough, assumed it must have been him.

Daniel didn’t attend the double funeral. In fact, he never set foot in the perimeter of Glory Town. The Dubois Manor was as close as he would come.

And, the curious watcher didn’t make a big deal out of his assumptions either. Maybe it was just out of respect for Mr. and Mrs. Dubois, because if he had made even one comment, it would have become like a tidal wave in Glory Town. The townspeople had nothing better to do, and gossiping about Cat had been their favorite pastime for years now. She was the mysterious woman who never married, but was still gorgeous, despite the degradation and misery they caused with glaring eyes and whispers. And, she bore unusual healing talents, and the strangest crystal blue eyes. They said her eyes could capture souls, so they faced their fears of her with rumors and jeering laughter and cruel gossiping.

This was one of the reasons Cat stayed away from them as much as possible. Cat knew this about herself, that her eyes were like crystals – that she could mesmerize people, sometimes. She used this on occasion – for her eyes could throw invisible daggers of sinister emotion. Once in a while, when things were just too out of hand, when she really needed, she used her visual knives to intimidate the gossip queens.

When Daniel arrived at the manor, Cat made a warm cozy bed for him and prepared fine meals.

26

Two more times after her parents’ funeral, Daniel came to stay with her. He became complacent about life – a vagrant; and he eventually moved closer to Glory Town, living on the streets of a nearby town. He had not found his self-worth…yet.

The next year, mid-winter, and with shoes so worn he was almost barefooted, he came wandering to Cat’s back door. He didn’t want to be seen, but he would chop wood and stay in the warmth of her kindness. She ministered to his broken heart. He would never stay longer than a week, although she always offered him a home for life, if he so wanted.

But Daniel would visit the Manor, and then leave again. Perhaps, it was the sadness of never being able to see his mother or father ever again that was just too painful to be near Glory Town for long.

One day, Daniel walked away wearing new shoes, purchased by Cat at the town market. He had a little money in his pocket and refused any further handouts from Cat. But, he always did what he could for her, in return for her generosity. He had pride, after all.

He chopped her wood, so she would have plenty for winter. He fixed her barn doors, and the garage door, as well. He painted the trim of the manor’s windows. The weeds were pulled out of the flower beds.

On the fifth day, he gathered his few belongings in his leather shoulder bag. Cat watched him pack through the crack in the door of his bedroom. It was time. She knew he was going, just like he said. He fixed everything in five days. She went downstairs and made a fresh pot of coffee.

He stood tall at her kitchen threshold, without speaking.

Breaking the silence Cat said, “You don’t have to go. This is your home. That is your room. I need your help. I can’t run this place by myself; you see that. We both need each other.”

He smiled. “Thank you. It’s good to know I have a place that is mine. But, right now, there is a world I have to explore.” He paused, “And you, Cat, you need to find someone. A man who will love you and take care of you. You and I love each other. But, it’s not the love you deserve. Find a man to

27

love you. There is a whole world outside of this place.” He smiled tenderly. His eyes told her this was the way it was going to be.

“You’re a beautiful woman. To wait for me is wasting your life. I can’t love you the way you should be loved.”

“I see.”, she replied. Though, she didn’t see at all. She handed him $200.00. “This is your payment for fixing everything.”

“No, I stayed here. I owe you.” Daniel handed her the money back.

“No, Daniel, this time, I insist. This is for the wood you chopped; for fixing the fences, the barn door, the garage door and the painting. I couldn’t have done this. I know this isn’t enough, but please; it’s all I can afford now.” She wasn’t going to let him walk away this time without making her best effort to pay him.

“Cat, I can’t. You gave me food, water, a bath, a bed, meals, wine and, best of all, the love of a lifelong friendship. So, no, no, I cannot accept. It’s my gift to you.”

“Oh, yes, you will. I insist.” Cat puts the money in his shirt pocket. “There. And, there it will stay.”

They looked into each other’s eyes. “It’s time,” he said. “The weather is cool and crisp, and the sun is brilliant.” Daniel’s face bore a manly expression. He had grown up. He was a man. He passed the test – the right of passage; he knew what he was doing, Cat didn’t have to worry any longer.

Daniel was an honest gypsy. He went from town to town fixing things, staying at farmhouses or in barns in exchange for a bed, food and a bath; and, he was known as far as he could walk for repairing broken fences the right way – the old way, where they last for years even through many harsh winters. Sometimes the fences looked beyond repair, but Daniel could mend or rebuild even those if he was allowed.

As he leaned down and picked up his satchel, and started toward the door, Cat had to ask, “What about love Daniel? You never mention love or a special person. Do you have a special someone?”

28

“No. No one special person.” The sun caught his eye as he had moved into the light from the window. He shewn like an angel – iridescent, glowing with an internal peace. She closed her eyes for a moment, wishing he just wouldn’t go.

He took the opportunity to slip the $200.00 on the counter as he opened the door, walked down the steps, and proceeded on the walkway toward the front yard.

Cat chased him. “Daniel, please. Please, don’t go.” Softly, she begged.

“I have to Cat. It’s time. And, oh, yes, I almost forgot to tell you.” He looked into her eyes and said, “One day you will have a visitor.” He predicted Cat’s future, knowing, without a doubt, it would come to pass. “The visit will be very important to you.”

Cat thought he was talking about a man. A man she would, one day, fall in love with. “That doesn’t interest me”, she firmly stated.

His eyes caught hers for a solitary moment before she could look away in belligerence. It was as if they told each other a story. A story they knew so well. It was a lifetime in a glance. “But, not this lifetime”, so she thought. “Could it be another place in time?” “No”, she reasoned. “No such thing.”

“Until you send word that you have met your visitor, I love you; I have to go. You are going to be fine.” He turned the corner to the front of the house, and stepped onto the road wearing his new leather shoes.

A car was coming and he put his thumb out to hitch a ride. The car stopped for him. Daniel looked one more time at her as he got in, and he waved goodbye.

She waved back until the car disappeared around the mountain curve, and the majestic stand of red cedars was all that looked back at her. She wondered if she would ever see him again. “Would he always be a gypsy? Will he be safe? God help him, please.” Cat always kept the night oil burning for him. She hoped he would return. For now, Daniel was gone, once again. Maybe forever.

She wiped the tears off her cheeks many times that afternoon.

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Bojenn



Chapter Two

Thank you for reading and I hope you will want to continue on the journeys with Cat Dubois. 

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Dedication

The main character, Elizabeth Catherine Dubois, is warmly dedicated to:

My father, Jim, who taught me the wonder of the heavens and the stars;

My mother, Babe, who showed us life’s magic;

Carol, my sister, who is a warrior queen;

Elysia, my daughter, who gives God’s love;

Joel, my son, who renders grace;

and, to Jacob, my grandson, who is God’s gift.

Most importantly, this book is dedicated to my God, who is patient with me

K♧

Tomorrows My Birthday: To My Unborn

To My Unborn

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An empty swing

Tomorrows my birthday and sadly I don’t know yours
I often wondered what happened to my little dears
Those two who were called, “fetal tissues,” not lives
And in ignorance succumbed to the abortionist knife
Were you placed in a burial ground or burned?
Were you put in the evening trash? Or could you
Have gone to a tissue bank, sold for big bucks
Without my knowing much. And that was 
Forty years ago, and the excitement of 
Women’s rights were celebrated, but you
My darlings, how sad I’ve become reflecting
Thinking of who you were and where you are
And I named you and gave you thoughts and gifts
One a poet songwriter coming from my genes
The other a pilot like his fathers dreams
And at Christmas, I set a place for you
In my heart, you’ll always be
And one is John and the other David
Oh perhaps you were Lillie or Sarah
But, I’ll never know you in this life
Please forgive my careless insights
For I followed the news of freedom for women
But regretfully never thought for myself nor
Thought of your lives at all, until forty years
Past your deaths and my mistake…
May God bless you in heaven
And please forgive my ignorance

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Perhaps one day, until then, I’ll always wonder

*** My poem was prompted because Bill Maher said callous jokes on TV last night about fetal tissues. I haven’t stopped crying. If I could hate or curse him I would, but instead, will stand up for the unborn. My poem:

©2016 October Bonnie Jennings. All Rights Reserved. But please share as the lives of the unborn are sold for their fetal tissues and it’s a huge monetary gain for the abortionists.

Man being God

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Thank you Pixabay for the image

Man being God

Created beautiful; however, she is a machine

Made at nineteen within green collagen amines
Born caesarean within fluid of compound proteins
Merging quickly from the shell of a Pinto Bean hull
Though she acted like a Mexican Jumping Bean birthing
Grey plastic skin and human breath convened in her
Dawning a skirt of crinoline looking as a closet queen
Her weaponry: Nicotine, thiamine, and mescaline
Like a spider she spins a labyrinth of fibrous webs
Her energy is alluring like that of Mary Magdalene
She uses the active matrix screen to capture any prey
There is nothing about her that is serene, just spot keen
She is man’s invention ~ playing God ~ how unforeseen
She is obscene, a beautiful tartarine, smoke screen
And lastly ~ she is impossible to destroy.

©2016 Bonnie Jennings All Rights Reserved

 

Poetry about Disassociation

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Left alone, isolated in a closet

Though tears stopped one day, later

She hated her, and she knew it

Resentment she felt it deep

Having another child, God help her

But her friends merely laughed

That’s life, buck up!

Hush secrets, please, lock and keep

Loneliness bequeathed the child with friendship

And, she still hides in the closet

Come out little girl!

The angel wiped her tears

She was three or four

Angel lends gifts graciously handing                                                                                                        

Paper and pen the tools she needed

Love them, hold them, use them

Everyday while in that dark room

With Isolation her master

It taught mind escaping from that dungeon 

It showed her how to

Travel to Egypt, Israel and Istanbul

Transportation provided by Isolation and Despair

Appropriate names for them

And disassociation is wrong, so say they

They who’ve not felt walls collapse on psyches

The mind is a magnificent creator

God incarnate gave provisions

To those wayfaring life within a closet

And, may I add, mind adventures are not so bad

Learn the lesson and teach one another

On Islands, inside caverns she sits waiting

Departing the darkness of a closet

Propelling the down trotted 

And imagination transports her

She flies somewhere else and is on her away

 

 

K♣️

Copyright

@Bonnie Gay Jennings, or Bonnie Jennings or Boondoggling with Bojenn @Wordpress 2009 to present 2016 ~

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bonnie (Gay) Jennings, or Bojenn with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thank you

The Abductee Informant

 

 

Your Watchman

 

Sunday afternoon:

The opening scene takes place in a grocery store parking lot in August where there are numerous vehicles parked and many people shopping. It wasn’t a chance meeting though it was meant to be brief and appear accidental. The setting is in a small city in The Bible Belt. It was an extroidinarily hot afternoon and there were no clouds in the sky. Three people greeted each other. Two knew each other previously, the young doctor and the informant, and the third person, his wife, was being introduced, even though, she was not invited, the doctor brought her. The doctor’s young children were with other family members as it had been planned, but not his wife.

The story dialogue begins with the young wife asking the female informant,

“Who are you and who are they? You have told my husband so much bullshit?”

The informant, double agent for whomever replied, “I don’t know, but can tell you sincerely, they are not lovely, nor are they kind.” She looked down in somber explanation and then looked up into the eyes of a questioning young wife.

The double agent stared at her. She said, “I didn’t seek your husband  out; they did.” She further added, “Guard your children. Never let them out of your site.” She looked away into a distant stare. She remembered her own children’s disappearances twenty-two years ago, even though, they returned changed somewhat. She would never forget the horrors and memories that would never go away. Her children told of her about men who did terrible things. Such horrific details she could not bare to listen to them. Each child taken at different times and by different people. She reflected for a moment about her own childhood and those men cloaked in black hoods and were taller than anyone she had ever seen. Their faces had been hidden from her, but she didn’t want to see. She hid under the covers on many cold nights.

The doctor’s wife said frantically, “Who the hell are you? What do you want?”

The female agent hesitated before she responded as she thought. It wasn’t that she was withholding information from the insisting young wife. No, but she was truly unsure of who she was or is to “them,” or anyone. “I am not sure of who I am, or why, or how I came into their services not by choice.”

“That makes no sense! What do you mean, you don’t know? Surely you know something? You’re lying.” The young wife was trembling as she was angry, frightened, and determined to understand the craziness of what she had just heard. “And, what do you mean when you say, guard my children? Are you threatening our family?”

The atmosphere was somber. The electricity of the moments before fell when the informant raised her hands and gently moved them slowly up and down from over head to lower than her hips settling and calming the air. The young wife at first thought the informant was aggressively posturing, but a few seconds later realized the movement was certainly not generated to cause any physical harm.

The female informant said, “I’m not here to harm you. I don’t have any hardcore answers. I’ve searched for those answers all my life. I can only tell you the little that I know. But, we must find a safe place. A place underground and protected. We’re being tracked. They must not see that we connected. And, I hope it’s not too late.”

The young doctor of medicine spoke up. He had been silent because he was as confused as his wife. “Where do you suggest that we meet?”

The informant said, “Go to your office Monday and work just like any other day.” Then, to the young wife she advised the same. “I will arrange the place and the connection.” She told the doctor, “I will call for an appointment and will tell you then the particulars, but know your office is not safe. They will track and listen to  us. You can not write a note to me there in my presence or speak of this. Understand? You will not call me and I won’t call you unless it’s for an appointment.”

He nodded yes.

The informant said, “We must break this meeting up, now.”

“He said, “Will this be soon?”

“Not sure. It could be awhile. We have to leave some gaps in time. They’re tracking us even now,” she responded quietly.

The young doctor’s wife said, “This is crazy.”

The informant nodded in agreement. “I’m going now.” She gets in her old white 2005 Honda Accord and starts the engine. She opens the car window on her way out and says loudly to the young doctor’s wife, as to be heard, “It was so nice to meet you.” She drove out of the parking lot.

 

Chapter 2

Monday

The female informant takes the little amount of cash from her piggy bank, she takes the money and speeds of to The closes discount store. At the back of the store she purchases three cell phones. One for the doctors wife, one for the doctor and one for herself and places them in bubble wrap in a large envelope. She puts only the doctors name on it and tightly licks the glue on the envelope and presses it tightly. She also included the instruction for the cell use to each other only. Use it as little a possible. All regular medical calls were to be by appointment and by going through the secretary, just like normal. She left the store and drove to pick up her grandson who is getting out of summer day camp. The boy is ten.

“Grandma, where are we going?” This wasn’t their usual way to go home and he had friends to play with so he was in a hurry. “Why are we going this way?”

“No worries. We have to drop off papers at the doctors office.” She pulled up in front of the front door drive. She handed the boy the envelope and said, “Tell the receptionist this is for him and open as soon as he can” So, the boy did just what he was told.

“Now can we go?” He was whiny and put out that he was delayed as he got into the car.

“What did the receptions say? Did you her that the doctor was waiting for her records and they were important?” The female informant asked her grandchild.

“They were nice and said, “Who sent it? And, I told them, you did and you said it was important.” The kid was sighing as he had things to do. “Can we go now?”

She, the female informant smiled at the boy and drove away wondering how soon the phones would be delivered and will he open the package then, and would the secretary loudly announce who brought them? She ruminated about this. Should she call him to be certain he got the?

The receptionist hand delivered the packages to the doctor when he was sitting in his office. He said, “What’s this?”

The receptionist said, “Oh Mrs. Smith, you know the kind of crazy one, said you were expecting these.” She smiled as she stood in the door waiting and watching him open the notes as she was told by the boy. “I sure hope her grandchild won’t be that looney.”

The doctor stopped opening the package and said, “That’s okay. I’ll open the latter. We have work to do.” He arose and put the envelope on his chair and scooted it under the desk. He shut the door behind him as it automatically locked. He then took the envelope and carefully opened it and looked at the two phones. Man, she’s serious about this craziness. He put them in his briefcase and the note in his shirt pocket.

 

 

Chapter 3

Monday Evening:

Later he made his first call to the informant. He was alone in his car and he soon pulled over on the side of a dark road hidden under trees where it was safe. He called the informant.

“I thought you said this would happen later? What’s going on?” The doctor’s voice was hostile, angry, but on the other hand ~ He called her.

“Glad you called so quickly. We have work to do.” The informant was short and to the point. She walked outside away from her home just in case her voice was transmittable from inside her home. She took a leisure walk as far as she could and stopped.

“What do I have to do with your delusions?” Firmly, he insisted an answer. “Leave my family out of your charades, you understand me!”

“Trust me, your family is in danger, doctor.” The informant bounced back at him. “Your wife shouldn’t have come Sunday, so why did you bring her?”

The doctor was silent, then he said, “Because, in case you were hitting on me, then she would see and intercept this bizarre fabrication. I should have you arrested for stalking.”

“So, why don’t you?” She was silent.

“I’m not sure.” He paused, “Perhaps, I’m interested in your tales of cloak and daggers, your mysteries of God knows what.”

The informant listened, “Go on. Any more , hmm?

“You talk. Your turn. Explain your business.” The doctor fell quiet. “And, to add, the phones. A little over the top, for a twisted sorted game, I’d say.”

She didn’t hesitate. “Did you see the laboratory notes in the envelope?”

“No.” He responded.

“I put two reports from my distant past and one of a recent test. Both under the name of Mrs. Smith.”

“Okay. Tests of what kind?” He reached for the envelope on the car seat next to him and opened it.

“Lab tests with my DNA. You will notice that both tests have 1% Neanderthal and the old test has 2% unknown DNA and the latest has 3.5% unknown.” The informant waits for him to answer.

“Wait a minute let me look.” He ruffles with the pages. “You know DNA is not my expertise.”

“Just look.” She shot back quickly.

“Yes, I see, but still I don’t know what this means, I don’t do DNA.” He’s disconcerted with her for insisting him involuntarily into matters he is unlearned.

She sighed having her own frustrations with his lack of concern or understanding.

“What do these reports have to do with me? I ask you again. Stop with the vagueness.” He insisted.

She thought, “I want you to have labs drawn on me again, then on your self.”

“What? That’s absurd. Why should I carry on with your delusional mystery?” He continued to look at the lab reports and her DNA. He recognized the lab values were not matching and are increasing and thought, why? “Why do I have to test mine? Why am I relevant to your search?”

“I will be in this week and you will draw labs on me under the name of Mrs. Smith, right?” She restated her request.

“Yes, come into the office Wednesday noon. No one but the staff will be around. I’ll just tell them it’s for labs that had to be drawn at noon. But, mine… not sure.” He gave clear instructions to the informant and took control of her craziness.

“Okay, Wednesday at noon, I’ll be there, but if my labs are remarkable then you will draw yours?” She took control again.

“Okay. Deal. But, what does your DNA have to do with mine? We’re not related.” He hesitated, “Are we?”

“Well, yes, in away we are.” She said, “I’ll see you Wednesday.”

They hung up and she walked back to her house. It started to thunder. Rain was coming soon.

 

Chapter 4

He was busy the early part of the week. The young doctor didn’t have time to think about the strange phone cal except the last words the crazy Mrs.  Smith, the odd informant said, “Well, yes, in away we are.” And, this bothered him. These words got under his skin.  What exactly did she mean? 

Wednesday noon:

“Hello Mrs. Smith.” The young doctor unlocked the door to the clinic. “Come on back.”

The informant Mrs. Smith was directed to the phlebotomy room. “Our phlebotomist is on her lunch break so if you’ll allow me to do it, then I’ll have it done in no time.” He was friendly and spoke loudly so the staff could hear him and think nothing about a noon lab draw. After all, the doors were shut at exactly noon. He had all the vials, the tourniquet, the needles and the centrifuge ready. “May I get you a coke or coffee?”

“A coke would be good. Thank you,” She responded.

“Before you drink the coke,” after he handed it to her, “Let me swab your mouth for DNA. We’ll do it every way we can to get comparisons. Okay?”

“Yes, that’s fine.” She seemed glum and was quiet, but decided chit chat would be best in case she was tracked into his office and was being listened to. “How has your week been?”

The doctor, nodded his head, “Here make a fist” as he had placed the tourniquet on her upper arm, “The week has been quite unusual. The office has been busy as all get out.”

She smiled. “Unusual?”

“Oh, nothing too crazy.” He chuckled under his breath.

“I see sarcasm, doctor.” She sighed. “I hope everything is back to your normal routine?”

“Absolutely. Things couldn’t be better.” He cut it short. He was beginning to sweat. He blew a vein. “Dam-it. I have to use the other arm.”

“Dam-it? Do you always talk this way around clients?” She acted upset. “Calm down. I don’t have all day. I have to go back to work soon.”

He shut up and put the tourniquet tightly on the left arm. “That should do it.” He was successful and unsnapped the cord. “There you go. Finished. The labs will be sent out after lunch.” He escorted her to the door and opened for her. “I’ll call you with the results, Mrs. Smith.”

“Make me copies. I will pick them up.” She turned quickly not to show any familiar behavior in case they were being watched. Off she went in the old white Honda.

The doctor walked into the office and sat down at the computer. He added a drug screen and a BAC to the labs. This way he would no if the woman was drunk, on drugs and her DNA which he was now curious of.

He wanted to ask Mrs. Smith for her real name, but thought about the fact that having too much information was irrelevant and would involve him even farther than he wanted. Nope, he answered his curiosity.

 

Chapter 5

Two weeks passed by and he had not thought about the labs or Mrs. Smith. After all, he was a busy doctor with many patients and his wife surely would have him involved in more social activities than he wanted. So, the thoughts of those two dilemmas were simply dismissed.

Mrs. Smith, the female informant, laid low and never once called him on the cell phones or contacted his office. However, she ruminated about the findings and wondered why he had not contacted her about the results. She bit her nails and chewed them off, but she was silently waiting.

Another Wednesday two point five days later:

The fax machine was shooting out labs as it usually did at any doctors office. The lab tech took them off the machine and delivered the results to the prospective doctors. She put values into the young doctors box on the outside of his door where he would see them and read them. He did just that and noticed in the pile of fifteen or more pages the name Mrs. Smith. She had several of the fifteen pages. He closed the door behind him and sat to look them over. The first one was the drug screen. It was negative of any substance then he looked at the BAC. No alcohol present in her blood system. “Damn she’s clean a a whistle.” He flipped through to the DNA results. And sure enough the swab of the oral mucosa results were conclusive to the last results she had. 3.5% Unknown and 1% Neanderthal, he whispered to hime self. He didn’t know any DNA specialists, he didn’t know what this meant.

“Amy,” he yelled.

“Yes, doctor.” Amy poked into his office.

“Find a local DNA or Genetic engineer, doctor or someone I can send a DNA consult out to.” The doctor ordered right now and Amy got right on it…

She called around and found  a Doctor not far away. She wrote his number and address down and took it into the young doctor.

He placed a call and was able to get through to the doctor when he identified himself as a doctor.

“Doctor DNA, this is the young doctor, and I wanted to ask about normal and abnormal DNA percentages. Could you tell me if 3.5% is unusual in oral mucosa for a normal human level?

Could you tell me where I can look such information up? A reference perhaps?” The young doctor asked collegiately.

The elder doctor replied after he cleared his throat, “You say 3.5% doctor?”

“Yes, that’s right, 3.5%.” The young doctor clarified.

“That can’t be right. test again. The lab is wrong. Can’t be.” And he was certain in the tone of his voice, the young doctor was mistaken.

“No, this is the second recent result. They are the same from two different labs.” There was a silence between the two men and the fund doctor said, “Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Thank you, anyway.”

“Yes, he added those two results are wrong. Your patient would not be human, sir. Well, good day, call again if you need me.” The elder doctor thought the question was odd and the response that two different tests from two different labs verified the same 3.5% values and this was more than interesting, indeed. He wished he had gotten the young doctors number, but he didn’t. He asked his secretary, but she had gone for the day, as usual.

The young doctor hung up and wished he hadn’t called the consulted doctor. But, he waited for the staff to leave saying good bye then he attempted to draw his own labs as he promised. Finally after stabbing himself three times was able to get them, four vials, in an upside down manner on the arm. He put them in the refrigerator and with a label the lab staff told him, after an inquiring call, for a miscellaneous practice draw. No charges, no questions, just a practice. He made two copies for the informant as he promised. He put them in the brief case, and sped off to the tree area on the side of the road where he could call her. Meanwhile, his wife called and asked why he was late?

“You forgot we had a diner party tonight? You’re late.” She demanded that he answer and she demonstrated her anger of missing such an event.

“Sorry, working late and I’ll be thirty more minutes. Go on without me.” He was sweet to her placating her for now.

He pulled the car over under the trees off the side of the road. There was no one around. He made his call on the cell phone the female informant, Mrs. Smith provided.

The phone rang several times. He did not leave a message. The messages had not been set up. Mrs. Smith thought that would be best, no messages to be traced. He began to drive home and when he arrived the house was empty. His children were staying with his inlays for the night. He didn’t feel like attending a dinner party so instead he poured a Jack on the rocks. He sat in a comfortable slouchy chair in the dark and thought of what the labs meant to him. What did Mrs. Smith mean when she said they are related?

His private cell from Mrs. Smith rang. It was her. He answered quietly. “Hello.”

“I’ve been waiting for you to call, well? Any results?” She jumped into the labs without any surface conversation.

“Yes, I have them. And, your two copies.” He shot back at her.

“Well, what do they say? Did you make me copies?” She was eager to hear the results that she was certain concrete as she thought.

“They are conclusive to your other labs. 3.5% unknown in oral mucosa.” He paused.

“I want the copies. Where can I meet you?” She hurried not wanting to miss the results or to allow time to prevent her from getting them.

“Not tonight. I’m too tired. Come to the secretaries in the morning. They will be there.” He again took control as that was his nature.

“No, not at your office. Bump into me tomorrow at the store just like in August at Mid-day. We can greet and pass the envelope like everything is normal.” She was in control.

“Okay, but meet me at 2pm. I have meetings until then. Oh, my wife has come home. Got to go.” He hung up the cell and put it in the brief case.

“Hello honey. Why didn’t you come. Everyone waited for you.” She was tall and red headed like Maureen O’ Hara and fiesta like her, as well.

“Too busy. I just got home.” He swirled the bourbon in the glass.

“Well, you should have called to let us know to eat without you. Is that bourbon? Are you drinking alone in the dark? That bad, huh?”She could interrogate with her lean body and red hair better than an FBI agent. “What could be so imperative to a family care doctor?”

He rolled his eyes at her sarcastic put-down of being only, in his mind, a family care doctor? Geez, what does a man have to do to get recognition and respect? Damn her. 

 

Chapter 6

Early the next day he got a call on the private cell. He was on his way to work and alone driving in the rain.

The informant female says, “It’s not a good idea to meet you at 2pm. Is there any way you could meet me now? Do you have the labs reports with you?”

“I have them with me. I’m close to work and have only a few extra minutes. Where?” He responded quickly.

“Park your car at the grocery and walk to the post office. Go through their backdoor. I’ll walk there and be there in ten minuets.” She hung up.

He was early that morning with thirty minutes to spare. So, this plan of hers would work. Driving the car to the grocery and parking it he then got out and walked as if he were going into the store, but he walked the sidewalk to the post office where the most office boxes were and walked out the back door. She was standing there in the rain.

“Well, come inside, out of the rain.” He insisted.

“Just let me have the results.” She put her hand out and he gave her the labs reports.

“If you have any questions call me later. I gotta go,” he said. There were people starting to come in and he felt unusually uncomfortable to the beautiful grandmother informant, Mrs. Smith. “What’s your real name by the way?”

She didn’t smile. “It’s not a game doctor. This is not a flirtatious meeting or coincidental rendezvous, understand?”

The young doctor had to check his emotions. She was right, he was feeling like this was a scandalous rendezvous and he was rather enjoying himself. He forgot this was a bazaar story about wild DNA and a weird woman. The mysterious excitement was taking him into a fantasy of types.

“You’ll need to watch your pheromones, doctor. This is serious. By the way, did you draw your labs?” She raised a doubting eyebrow at him.

“Yes, yes I did.” He retorted. People were coming into the post office. It was 8:05am. “I got to go. Late now. When my labs come in, I’ll call you.” He left in the rain from the front door and followed his path to the store and then his car. As far as he knew, no one saw him. He felt sneaky and ashamed for feeling flirtatious, for enjoying a life of increased adrenalin. He never felt that way before…

 

Chapter 7

Almost Fall

The young doctor went about his work and social functions and left the flirtatious misinterpretations behind. After all, Mrs. Smith was a grandmother and not a normal stereotypical woman who would be considered as a rendezvous for a primary care physician. So, he carried on as usual.

The grandmother informant, Mrs. Smith was about the business as usual, too. Only hers were menial and mundane while in the office. However, after 5pm, it was the usual adrenalin rush she had experienced since she was a child. Once in a while they would visit her at night. The clock usually said 3am or close. They were not consistently on time, but they gave a few minutes on either side of 3. However, she was older now and their visitation numbers and times to visit were fewer, thank God. She did believe in God or a supreme power. She had to believe because something always saved her from their grip.

It was for the reason of monetary purpose that the informant did astrological forecast for extra money and for the fact she loved astrology. She finished a woman’s chart who lived in Oregon and noticed intently that this woman had similar coordinates as herself. It was later in central time as Oregon so she called the woman for clarification. The phone rang and the woman picked up.

“Hello,” she said.

“Yes, hello,” the informant had a Southern drawl from being and living in The Bible Belt for so long. “This is Lottie the astrologer and I need to clarify your information, is now a good time?”

“Oh yes! Now is great.” The woman answered.

There are unusual themes in your astrological readings and I need to verify your birthdate and time of birth Is it 1952? And, were you born at 7:58Am in Portland, Oregon?” Lottie asked.

“Yes, that is correct.” The woman replied.

“Okay, good. So, I want to explain that in 1952, October 10th, The Constellation Ophiochus was arising in the Eastern sky. This is rare to occur and we know the zodiac has 12 houses, but in your case 13… Lottie waits for a response.

“Very insightful,” the woman replies. “Do go into more of this. I’ve never heard of a 13th house in The Zodiac.”

“Sagittarius is in the twelfth house and is also your ascendant and it is also sitting near the constellation Ophiochus or Asclepius . This would say you are a strong believer in a force much greater than most other men. Your Chiron is also near the ascendant and close to the constellation Asclepius and would indicate you are a healer. Are you a health employee?”

“Yes. I am a nurse.” The woman proudly answered.

“That would explain Ophiochus/Asclepius in your chart on the horizon at the time of your birth,” Lottie explained.

“I’m not aware of that name or custom.” The nurse responded.

“I’ll send it as a text. Look it up. The myth goes like this. The constellation on the horizon at the time of your birth would be in the eastern sky. Asclepius was then coming up or arisen. You could then, identify with the constellation as your birth home if you thought that we are all star children and connected spiritually. It is reported that Ophiochus/Asclepius  is your DNA home or where your descendants came. You are from that Constellation and nearest star to you at the time of birth would be the home of the star that your family came. That is where your spirit came from, if you believed that’s a possibility and wanted to know more, there are references to this information.”

The woman closed down.  She was somewhat shocked and refuting the ideas. “Oh, that’s silliness,” she responded and laughed. “That’s not feasible. No, can’t go there. I’m Christian and star children and aliens are not anything that I take any part of. Astrology is just fun. That’s why I did this reading with you. Can’t do the other.”

Lottie shut down, also. “Well, if you need me for future reading please contact me. You now have my number. She realized that she wasn’t going there and wasn’t interested. Perhaps frightened by the idea that we came from alien life forms.

“Well, good night Lottie,” she said her goodbyes.

“Goodnight.” And, Lottie hung up disappointed because the woman was clueless. She saw no reason to forward the woman any further any information.

Lottie, Mrs. Smith or the female informant sat on the couch thinking about the phone call with the woman in Portland. Recollecting their conversation it provoked dismay and anger because the woman said that her astrological read was indeed, “A joke between Christian friends who chose the same birthday and decided together to do a test. They would send the same birth information to three of four astrologers to see if they all came up with the same natal horoscope.”

Lottie had explained to the woman, “I don’t use computer generated charts and interpretations. My interpretations are original and I personally sift through the data the information provided.”

This didn’t impress the woman in Portland. The woman was certain that all of the reports were simply conjured from “a demon.”

Lottie was disappointed, but she went on and gave it any more thoughts.

The thunder came again. Lottie lost power in her home. She lit candles. It was soon to be her birthday. She too was from Asclepius. It was on the eastern horizon at the time of her birth.

She thought about the doctor and his birthday. “Could his birthday say the same. How could I get his birth information without seeming bizarre? After all, the doctor was living in The Bible Belt and he may hold the same belief system as the woman in Portland? Well, he already thinks I’m bizarre enough. It can’t hurt anymore to ask.”

The thunder boomed overhead. It shook the house. I hate nights like this.

Lottie hated nights like this one because they, whomever they are, would sometimes pay her a visit and since she was on a quest to find information and other human victims were more than likely angry with her. For these reasons she feared they would come, Lottie expected them soon, possibly tonight. There was no absolute telling about their arrival except it would be between 2 and 3AM.

Lotto’s adrenalin was high. She felt it rising. She had to work in the morning and knew with her norepinephrine this high, sleep would be hard to fall into. She took a Xanax and used the dose by a half.

She marveled at the coincidence of having an appointment with the young doctor. The previous doctor moved out of town and for this reason she was absorbed into the new young doctors patient list. The first appointment two years prior she had with him was normal, and without any odd or strange feelings. He was a doctor and there was no signs or odd occurrences that pointed to any connections with him. Lottie thought about the first time she had an eyebrow raising experience with him.

It was when she had her second appointment to see him. He neared her to listen to her chest, suddenly a vibrational shock happened, they both felt and jumped. They blamed it on static electricity. However, Lottie saw it differently, but she drew no conclusions or conjured anything from her imagination. But he had something else that captivated her. His eyes. They were blue and sometimes green and the pupils changed rapidly. The way he glanced at her for a split second, his pupils and her own met. It was hard to explain to a normal person. It was not flirtatious or romantic by any means. No, it was like two railcars latching together conjoining to become one. Clink. She felt it. They matched. Another piece of the puzzle had been found. Lottie was certain that the young doctor was the one. Could his birth have the same coordinates as hers and since he was a doctor would certainly be interesting to investigate. If he was also born with Ophiochus on the horizon than this could only mean that he is the link, the one person who would help her. After all, he would be helping himself and his children. Asclepius would be his origins. The Serpent Bearer, the healer.

She knew she was imaginative and had to check on occasion, if things were real, or psychotic. Not once had she been diagnosed with psychosis, but when psychologist and doctors examined her, they simply said, “It’s in your imagination. You’re quite creative, aren’t you?”

She had to agree with them on the creative description. That is a fact. She was imaginative, but high levels of norepinephrine could usher epinephrine synergistically. Her mind was going that night, all of the what if’s, could be this or that, and so forth, had her in a whirlwind. The Xanax Thank God was kicking in… Her mind began to slow down and she went to her bedroom, took her clothes off, laid in bed and drifted off to the land of no thoughts or adrenalin. She loved that place.

 

Chapter 8

Rem Sleeping

The thundered rolled all night. Though it was now distant, it still reverberated the small house.

Lottie slept soundly, snoring in and out with the cool breeze of October. Her windows had opened and she was not startled, nor moved. Sleeping as soundly as one could, she had no cares. No lights were on and only shadows from the lightening and trees danced on her walls. This never frightened Lottie as she was use to terrifying images and these were natural and she hadn’t a care about how they played out violent themes on her walls or had ghost faces appearing in the mirages of shadows. The images carried on as she slept undisturbed.

Standing tall, hidden in the corner an entity stood, watching her. No facial expressions it had and time was of no concern by the looks of the thing. Its finger arose from its side cloaked in a black robe and it pointed at the clock. Time stopped then as she slept.

Bright lights everywhere. Not Earthly, by any means, they illuminated the cold metallic room, as she laid on a slate slab. Cold with vapor rising, humidifying the room, Lottie opened her eyes. She knew this place all too well, it was a place of torture and a place of hell. She screamed, “NO!” Paralyzed without restraints, as usual, and her mouth muzzled by invisible sources, her screams were not heard by anyone or anything. She hoped God heard her and would send angels to free her. Eyes were wide open, breathing in and out through her nose, she looked around as far as her peripheral vision could go, she felt movement, and from ten feet or more she saw shadows.

This time there were no instruments used on her body, no sounds that broke her ear drums, there was filling the space of tall figures of whom she saw no faces. They surrounded the slate slab where she laid, and permeated her body with mental messages. Threatening her to stop her investigations, to stop visits with the doctor. They showed her the room next to her as the walls separating vanished and in the next room were two children.  The children of the doctors, lay.