Chapter 11

Chapter 11

A Chapter by The Creative Disaster

Chapter XI

Patrick woke up, clutching the hay mattress with one hand and gripping his arm with the other, his nails digging deep into it, just like the farmer in his nightmare had to the table. He looked around the room, but it was just as deserted as when he came here.

‘I’m going to go insane if I keep having these nightmares,’ he thought. Suddenly, a shard of light burst into the room from the sole window. The pale light of dawn hit his eyes and made him emerge from the confines of his bed, which had become hard as a marble slab unlike in his nightmare. The terror-stricken boy groggily walked towards the cupboard where the food was stored and extracted half of the dry fruit in an airtight jar along with a few of what little potatoes had escaped mold and fungus. They were still covered in little clods of dirt and were covered in dust, but were otherwise unharmed. Patrick then took an empty burlap sack and put the potatoes in it along with the fruit. He would eat them while walking, as he had no desire to stay here.

As he left, he stopped at the entrance and gazed from atop the hill. Now that it was morning, and he was alone and in no immediate danger, he didn’t quite know what to do. It was always running away from danger which had gotten him first to the Arico’s house, then to the deserted farmhouse. He obviously wanted to find Beatrice and save Samuel, but he had no idea of how he was to set about on that. ‘Review the facts, Patrick, review the facts,’ he thought to himself. ‘How could he find Beatrice? She disappeared when I was asleep and for all I know she could be dead! I have to go to the church to be sure. If she isn’t dead, maybe someone can give me a clue to where she is, but if she is…’ he had no intention of continuing the thought, but then his mind thought shoved a thought to the top of his conscience, ‘then I’ll avenge her death by saving Samuel and making sure every last of those horrible Grenadores are as miserable as I would be or die trying.’ That was a fitting thing to do, and he liked it as much as he liked his plan.

Filled with renewed determination, he set off quickly towards the town and then to a gap between the crooked wall of houses separating him from the white church. He was going to save Samuel, he was going to find Beatrice, and he was going to get to the bottom of whatever his inheritance was.

Minutes later, he arrived at the east edge of the city. The church was to the northwest, and he could already make out the pure white needle point top with its bell dangling by it from amidst the array of houses. Soon he arrived at its door, having found a narrow side road he hadn’t seen before in his haste leading between two houses. The wide doors were open revealing the spacious interior. The daily service had just ended, and streams of people were pouring out from the exits. Squeezing his way in and walking between the pews in search of the priest, he suddenly realized how and ragged his garments had become. His brown old shirt was now torn in several places from taking a shortcut through the rose bushes, and his shorts were in no better condition. When the last of the people left, he stood up from a corner he had found himself in and reverently approached the priest standing at the altar, busying himself with cleaning a small wine stain which had fallen on the tablecloth during the service. The priest looked up from his work as Patrick reached his destination.

“Hello, my son. What is it that you want on this fine day?”

The tone of his voice made Patrick rethink his wording, as he seemed kinder than he expected. “Um, I just wanted to know if, um, there were any people for whom a funeral was held yesterday.” He paused, then added, “It’s really important that I know.”

The priest’s voice lowered a notch, but still retained that same tone. “I don’t think you’re from here, young man, because here the people don’t tend to speak about funerals and deaths, as they are not the lightest matter to touch on. Furthermore, many times the family asks me not to disclose the identity of the buried to a stranger.”

“I am her family! I need to know if a girl by the name of Beatrice who is around thirteen was buried here. I need to know if my sister is still alive and well or lying in a casket underground!”

For a horrible moment, Patrick thought he was going to respond in the affirmative. Then, he heard the priest speak. “There there, my little one. Don’t fret. No one has been buried here, save for an elderly man,” he motioned outside to a patch of freshly upturned soil lined with flowers from mourners, “who I cannot disclose the identity of.”

Patrick shivered, yes shivered, at the sudden rush of relief that accosted him. He lowered his head to the priest before saying, “Thank you, because you have assured me my sister is alive. However, I have just one question: do you know anything about the girl I have previously described?” He was going to say her full name, but he worried that the priest might turn on them like the farmer and Mr. Arico did, however much kindness he displayed towards him.

“I am afraid I don’t know anything. What is her name, to be sure? Maybe I can point you to some of my acquaintances who are more knowledgeable of the people around here, of course though I do not consider myself a hermit.”

Patrick panicked inside of himself. For a moment he stood stunned, but then responded, “Beatrice Longflower.” That was a good cover. The Longflowers were numerous, and the last name was well known. Almost everyone knew a Longflower.

Which was why he was astonished when the priest looked at him and casually said, “You’re lying.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Most of the Longflowers have relocated a couple of years past to Sherberry, and those that stayed are richer than most. Furthermore, your hands are shaking, your tone is indecisive, and you couldn’t look me in the eye while telling me this, although that has not been the case in our conversation prior to this. Lying,” his voice became lower once again, “Is a sin, and a very stupid one too.”

          Yet again Patrick was stunned. The Priest was skilled at detecting lies. He must become more believable for the times he needed it, however he felt a pang of guilt for the times he had lied. He really needed to work on cutting back the amount of lies he told, unless they were absolutely necessary.

          When Patrick spoke, he spoke slowly and with direct eye contact. “Listen to what I say now, because it is the truth. Neither my sister nor I are members of the Longflower family, however I cannot trust anyone at this point to not assail me for something so petty as the alleged deeds of another person if I was to give our surnames. Thank you for your kindness and your help, but I must be on my way.” With that, he bowed his head to the altar, turned around and strode out of the church. A look of recognition flashed across the priest’s face as Patrick turned left and ambled aimlessly among the streets, unsure what to do next.

***



© 2013 The Creative Disaster


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Added on August 22, 2013
Last Updated on August 22, 2013
Tags: inheritance, mystery, church, Patrick, escape


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The Creative Disaster
The Creative Disaster

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Hi! My name is George and I'm a high schooler with a love of writing, but then again pretty much everyone here has that love so I guess I better tell you something you don't know. What you probably do.. more..

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