Chapter 3 - Hindrance

Chapter 3 - Hindrance

A Chapter by Nataliya Maize

Keira returns home, only to be haunted later by the same dream, but this time somethings different...


          That evening Keira returned home to the smell of a savory aroma. Freshly cut basil and roasted chicken filled the air as she watched her tiny mother cook over the heat of a black, cast-iron stove.

          Her brothers Michael, Anthony and sister May, clustered around their father; watching as he chopped wood log for the fireplace. Michael, chucking them in, as each piece clunked to the floor with a loud “Thud!


          “You missed it Keira!” Anthony hollered, from the seat of a red, oversized chair, “After you left, James slipped and took a nasty fall, straight into the ground! You should have seen the look on his face! It was... haa... lair... rious!” he cried, gripping the sides of his stomach as he laughed and balanced his weight upon the edge of his chair.


“Is he okay?”

“Oh yeah... he's fine! A little banged up, but you know James, nothing fazes him.”

         Keira shook her head and continued towards the kitchen. As she did, she halted, when a tiny, blonde haired boy with a large bandage taped across the bridge of his nose, and two puffy black eyes, knocked into her thigh.

        “James!” she cried out in shock, “Are you okay?”

        “I think... I broke... my nose.” The boy replied in a thick, nasally tone, grabbing at the sides of his puffy, red cheeks. There was a high pitched squeal of laughter that shot across the room. It was Anthony, still gripping at the sides of his stomach. His smaller than normal frame falling back into the chair, as he kicked out his feet out from under him hysterically.

“Oh, shut up!” James muttered, barely able to move his lips without grimacing in pain.

“Ms. Evelyn told me to tell you hello for her,” said Keira to her mother.

         “Evelyn... and how’s she doin these days?” the woman replied.

         “She's fine… defending me from Mr. Garrison… as usual. He still seems to think I should be married by now,” Keira smirked, as she reached out for the bowl of apples on the counter. She took a quick bite and swallowed before continuing to speak, “He offered his son to me,” she giggled.

         “Oh... did he now? Well, you know, that boys an attractive one, he is. Wouldn’t mind tradin yer father in for a boy like that,” her mother smiled.

         “Mother!” Keira gasped in horror.

         “Oh, I'm just kidding... now, be a doll and help me place these dishes on the table, would ya?” Keira took the dishes from her mother’s hands and laid them across the wooden table.

“So… Mr. Garrison offered you his son did he?” hollered Mr. Blakely, as he picked himself up from the living floor and chucked the last chopped log into the fire.

         “Oh don’t go startin that again Wilburn! You know Keira has no intentions of settling down with some boy she barely knows. Besides, I think she'd do well workin the family business with me. And she’d have plenty of time to write that book of hers.”

“Ermina, you know authors aren't looked at highly in today’s society. Most books these days are just a bunch of old rubbish. Besides, she'd have plenty of time to write a book if she would just settle down with the right man who had a sturdy job. And that Garrison boy... let me tell you... “he” has a nice job!”

Ermina rolled her eyes.

“I don't even know him,” Keira argued. 

“Well you should. You know that boy is going to be a banker one day? I heard he found himself a job at the downtown bank, working alongside one of the assistant managers,” he emphasized, “Yep, they seem to have had a real taking to him down there,” he continued.

         “He's not my type,” Keira replied, taking another bite of her apple.


“How do you know? You don't even know him...remember?” said Mr. Blakely, whispering in her ear with a crooked smile. Keira grinned; she had to admit he had her there.


         “Well that’s just beside the point. I enjoy writing, you know that, and I… think I'd be really good at it,” she smiled. Mr. Blakely grunted and groaned, rolling his eyes as he took his seat at the dining room table. Keira knew she had shut her father up for tonight, but hiding her amusement behind what was left of the tiny green apple was another thing.

         “If Keira wants to write, then I say let the poor girl write. There's nothing wrong with that Wilburn,” Ermina replied calmly, “Children!” she yelled, cupping her hands, “Come down for supper!”

         Mr. Blakely was displeased; another battle he couldn’t win. Still, Keira couldn’t help but return his dissatisfaction with a smile. She bounced upon the balls of her feet in a silly sign of victory and relief, knowing she had won the argument, for now.



         After dinner, Keira returned to her room, plopping her weary body upon the soft, pillowy, cushions of an unmade bed. Her mind swiftly drifted into sleep as she gazed upon the stars outside her bedroom window.

         Within moments she was standing, watching, as the same pale faced woman stood above the cliff’s edge. It was the borders of an unfamiliar coastline, yet one she had seen so many times before.

The sunset heavens were decorated in their usual brilliance as she watched the crashing waves below. A chill breeze crept in from a distance, ruffling the ends of the woman’s ivory colored dress. A thin mist, dampening several locks of her long, black, draping hair. Yet still, the woman remained, studying the behavior of the birds swooping in from the ocean below. Although this time, there was something different, something new.

Keira could feel herself grow bound to the woman’s emotions. Feel her heart race with fear and desperation. Feel her eyes gaze upon the birds drawing near. Without consent, she grew anxious, unable to control the emotions that were no longer hers, but that solely of the woman’s.

As the raven gild closer, Keira felt herself grow entranced and enthralled. The overwhelming flood of disgust consumed her, and she began to ponder the thought of a hopeless freedom.

Keira closed her eyes tightly; listening to the crash of the pounding waves. They seemed to whisper her name soft and eerily, with shock she opened her eyes, but still the whispering continued.

         “Free yourself Clara,” the voices called, “free yourself.”

         “No, not again,” she cried, the words expelled from her lips freely and without her intention.

         “Free yourself Clara... you know you want to,” the voices grew louder.

         “No… go away!” she screamed, tugging at the roots of her hair, as if doing so would rid her of the voices. Still, nothing happened, nothing helped, and the voices grow louder, continuing their madness.

         “Claarrraaaa...,” they whispered once more.

         “Go away! Please! Just leave me alone!” she cried.


Tears began to swell in her eyes, running to the narrow tip of her chin. They stung like wildfire, and her body began to quiver with fear and apprehension. She felt a weakness in her knees, and slowly they began to buckle, leaving her crouched over the edge of the cliff. Her hands gripped tightly to its ledge, as she fixated upon the crashing waves below.

Her breathing became unstable, as her heart began to race. Pounding, with an extreme anticipation that bordered a violation she had never felt before. She looked up, gazing at the raven as it danced across the skies, noticing, that this time, it was alone.

         It squawked and screeched, as if mocking her sanity. Laughing at the fact she couldn’t control the voices imprisoning her in this world of madness. Soon there were more. Voices of women and children began to fill her head, their devilish laughter and maddening screams tormenting her to the very bone. All together, mixed in an uneven pattern that made each distinct from the other, until finally, uniting and creating that of a single, demonic, voice.

         “Clara,” he called in a calm tone.

Surprised by the sudden disturbance, she froze, for she knew who and what it was that stood so quietly behind her.

Below, the water hardened like ice. The air stood still and absent of any breeze. Trees grew lifeless and paralyzed. And even every single, individual, blade of grass, that lay across the bare earth beneath her, stood frozen and intertwined between still and fragile fingers, as if time itself had stopped.

         Slowly she began to turn her head; her heart racing faster with each second that seemed to pass. She could feel the blood, in the veins of her neck, course throughout her body. Yes, she knew this voice and she knew it well. And yet again, it whispered....



         “Keira, wake up! Wake up child!”

         “Huh? Wha... What? What happened?” Keira asked liturgically.

         “You’re dreaming dear! Pitchin another one of yer fits! An sweating up a storm I might add!” her mother complained, “Oh seriously child, what am I going to do with you? These dreams of yers... they’re gettin worse aren’t they?”


“I-uh…,” Keira tried to speak.


Hush! Don’t’ answer that,” her mother interrupted, “Ooh… look at you! You look as if you've seen a ghost, an you feel as if yer running a fever!”

         “I'm fine mother… really I am. It was just another...,” she sighed, knowing it didn’t matter what she said, “just another dream… really.”

         “An same one as before, no doubt! Was it the woman on the cliffs again?” her mother's face filled with hopeless desperation, as she continued wiping the sweat from Keira's forehead, “Honestly Keira…,” her mother looked into her eyes, “I don't know what to do with you anymore! One of these days… yer going to be the end of me… do you know that? Here...,” her mother sighed, handing her a dampened cloth, “take this an wipe yer face off. I'm going to go have a word with Brother Thomas an yer father.”

         “Brother Thomas? What is he doing here?” Keira asked.

         “Well…,” Ermina rolled her eyes, “it had taken me so long to wake you, yer father an I didn't know what more to do... so… we called for him over from the monastery.”

         “Mother... there's no need!”

         “Shh! You’ll wake your siblings. Now… you just try an relax while I tell the others your okay… an don't you go fallin into another one of those dreams of yours again, ya here me!

         Keira sighed and collapsed unto her pillow. “Trust me, I don't plan on it,” she spoke softly.

         “Are you okay?” a tiny voice whispered. It was May, peeking from around the corner of Keira's bedroom door. She was bare foot and dressed in a small, white, cotton-laced nightgown.

         “Go back to bed, May,” Keira whispered in response, “I'm fine... really, it’s okay now.”

         “You don't sound fine,” the tiny girl replied, as she ran up and hugged her sister tightly, kissing her on the forehead, “Love you,” she whispered, pulling away to stare into sister’s eyes. Her tiny smile positioned into a pout, as she patted Keira’s head and ran back out the bedroom door with a quiet giggle.

         Keira shocked her head, and rose too her feet. Carefully, she tip toed to the entrance of her doorway. She could hear the faint sounds of urgent whispers in the distance. She pressed ear towards the open hall, balancing her weight upon the threshold.



         “It's happening again Thomas. These dreams of hers are getting worse, I can tell. It's getting harder for me to wake her! I'm afraid...,” her mother paused, shaking her head towards the ground, “I'm afraid for her!” The conversation began to fade as her mother lowered her tone, “Evo forbid Thomas, but what if he can...,” she paused momentarily, unable to finish her sentence, “what if he can control her…,” she swallowed, “through these dreams? She needs to know Thomas. There’s not much more we can do before these dreams begin to drive her mad.”


         "He?" Keira thought. “Mad?” Did her mother know something she didn’t? Had she known all along that this day would come? That these dreams would lead to this?

         “Ay,” Thomas sighed, “I agree Ermina. I don't think we can hide these matters much longer, either, not before they begin to worsen anyways. Keira needs to know the truth, but… perhaps…,” he paused in thought, “Perhaps, it would be best if I waited until tomorrow?”

         “Wait!” Keira interrupted, as she launched herself into the narrow hallway.


Keira!” her father cried out in annoyance.

“Wait… Thomas don’t go. I want to know… I want to know what’s going on…with me?” she pleaded, as she looked down upon them all, “Whatever it is you have to tell me… I want to know… please.”

Thomas gazed upon her mother and father in puzzled concern.

I’m not a child anymore. I know these dreams are more then they appear. The expressions from your faces tell me that much alone. Please, I want to know the truth. Whatever you say you've been hiding….”A look of confusion and urgency spread across her face.

“She’s right Thomas…,” her father sighed aloud.

Father, wha…,” she began to question.

 “No, no…,” he waved her off. “You’re right… we…” he paused to collect his thoughts, “we knew this day would come… sooner or later. I guess… being a father, I had hoped it wouldn’t come as soon as it did,” Mr. Blakely looked into Keira’s eyes with concern, “I wasn’t ready to let you go Keira… not yet,” Mrs. Blakely began to sob, “she doesn't need to be left in the dark anymore Thomas,” he spoke sorrowfully, reaching out for his tearful wife.

“Very well,” replied Thomas. “If that is your wish. Pack your things child. We leave tonight, for the monastery. But, before we do… let me first warn you...,” Thomas looked upon Keira sever concern, “the things you wish to know, the things you wish… to be revealed to you… they are not of your world Keira. Once the doors are open to you, you will not be able to return to the world you once knew. Is that truly something you are willing to accept?” he nodded in question. Keira stared at him in curiosity, ignoring the sudden urge to hesitate.

         “These dreams are getting stronger Thomas. I'm falling and I can feel it. But, the more I pretend they aren’t real…the more I realize how wrong I am. I don’t want to pretend anymore. I want to know the truth… I need to know the truth. I need your help Thomas.”


         © Copyright 2008 Nataliya Maize. All rights reserved.


© 2010 Nataliya Maize

My Review

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an intriguing development. you do an excellent job of setting us up and leaving us in suspense at the end of the chapter as im most eager to find out whats behind the dreams.

once again, very very well written with great detail and realism.

only noticed a few scattered typos. grammer, from my perspective, seems fine.

will hit ch4 soon. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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nice chapter. It definately has a good cliff hanger at the end that will make people want to read more. The only thing that I keep stumbling is the italics. Normally, italics mean either emphasis on a word or phrase and they can also indicate thought. So I'm not used to seeing so many. Otherwise I love it. The plot flows fluidly and the imagery is a plus in this particular part of the story, when she is having the dream. On to read the next chapter.

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment is strictly grammatical errors, and then I will leave another for fluency and whatnot. So sorry I'm only just now getting to this--the holidays are busy!
Firsr off, If I tried to tell you about all of the places in this chapter where you have superfluous commas, It would take hours. So instead of doing that I'll just tell you this: If you have an 'and' you probably don't need a comma, if you have an 'as' you also probably don't need a comma. Commas should be used to set something apart from the rest of the sentence. If it doesn't need to be set apart, don't use a comma.

Okay. Now the sentence about Michael should be something like this: Michael chucked them in one at a time, each clunking to the floor... (this is para. 2 btw) the way you have it written now is not a sentence.

Hmmm...on second thought, this is going to take a long time. haha i'm sorry but this is rather hard to do this way, scrolling up and down. If you would like to email this to me, I would certainly be glad to edit it, and in a different color so as to make it a suggestion rather than just retyping your whole chapter. If you don't want to do this I completely understand, and I will just continue editing it in small portions, rather than a chapter at a time. Let me know :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 13 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this chapter was awesome 2!!!!! Im really hooked. I cant wait to find out whats going on with her. great job your an awesome writer

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 14 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

shes a woman now and headed to find out what these dreams mean. Will she ever return???
I'm loving this story Nataliya! Your words and descriptions are great. I hope you get this published someday.
I'm off to read the next chapter.


This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 14 Years Ago

an intriguing development. you do an excellent job of setting us up and leaving us in suspense at the end of the chapter as im most eager to find out whats behind the dreams.

once again, very very well written with great detail and realism.

only noticed a few scattered typos. grammer, from my perspective, seems fine.

will hit ch4 soon. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 14 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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5 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on March 24, 2009
Last Updated on February 8, 2010
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Nataliya Maize
Nataliya Maize

Moreno Valley, CA

- When we were young, and life was different - Check out my websites: My Twitter: A.N.A. Twitter: more..


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