“I Died Once” – Chapters 9, 10 & The Conclusion

Novella One “I Died Once” Concludes… Novella Two “Mady’s Storm” Kickstarter Project

Prologue, Chapter 1 & 2

Chapters 3, 4 & 5

Chapters 6, 7 & 8

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CHAPTER NINE

The 13th Day

It was the thirteenth day after I had arrived in Africa. I remember it well, as I woke up screaming. “AHHHHHH! HE’S HERE! HE’S HERE! HE’S HERE!”

My father came crashing into my room and took me into his arms. I couldn’t control the tears. I didn’t even know a human body could cry that much. It was embarrassing, but I couldn’t seem to stop.

“It’s just a nightmare, Mady, I promise. No one is here,” he assured me. But I didn’t believe him, or rather, I couldn’t. “That’s it. No more sleeping out in this guest house. I’m moving you into one of the main house bedrooms,” he insisted.

“No, no. I’m okay,” I assured him. But I wasn’t. The truth was I had never been this shaken. It was like all the emotions of the last eight or so years of my life were all starting to flood to the surface.

“Come on,” he picked me up out of bed and carried me toward the house. It was pitch dark outside, but the sky was unbelievable. Ten million, zillion stars. By the time he got me in the house, the crying had switched to an occasional “Hhhhhehhh…. Hhhhehhh,” sniffling, shortness of breath thing. How humiliating.

He brought me to a beautiful room right next to his. “This is your room now. Tomorrow, you set it up however you like,” he told me.

“No, I couldn’t…” I tried to speak, but he interrupted.

“It’s yours. No more talking. Time to get some sleep.” With this he covered me up with a large, soft, white quilt. “I’m going to get you some water. I’ll be right back,” and he stepped out of the room.

I could hear thousands of crickets outside, or whatever they were. Africa was truly a beautiful place. I understood why he came here, but in truth, I never actually asked him why or how he ended up here.

He returned with the water in his hand and handed it to me. He then handed me a white pill. “Here, it will help you sleep.”

“NO!” I slapped it out of his hand. What am I nuts? He’s been nothing but nice to me.

He went and picked it up. “It’s not a drug, it’s an aspirin. I thought you might have a headache from all the crying.” He tossed it in the trash can and opened up the bottle he had in his pocket. He handed me another pill from the bottle. It said aspirin on it.

What a fool I am. I took it and started to apologize. “I’m so sorry, I…,” but he interrupted me again.

“They drugged the hell out of yah, didn’t they?”

I stared at him for a minute. “They tried. For the most part I was able to get rid of it, but on occasion they held me down.” This definitely upset him. He reached over and covered me with the blanket. “Is it okay if I stay up for a while? Watch the sun come up maybe?” I asked.

He smiled, “Of course. This place is enchanting. I’ll give you some space.” With this he stood up to leave.

“Father,” I spoke. This was the first time I had ever called him that. He turned back to me.

“What is it hun?”

“Uh, never mind.”

He smiled and left the room. I stared out the window. So many thoughts racing through my head. Too many, really. Fred would come for me. He’s surely figured out that I know he murdered my mother. I don’t want him to kill my father. I need to leave. I stood and went to the window, but I was in Africa. Where would I go?

TRAIN STATION

A man in dark brown cowboy boots steps off the train. He drops a cigarette and stomps it out with his heel. His boots make their way to a man of information. “Sam Monroe?” his gravelly voice questions the man.

“Sam, a very good man, a very good man.”

“I need to know where he is. I’ve got money, lots of it”.

The man with information pauses for a bit. “How much if I take you to him?”

The man in the boots sits down a long case with the word ‘Colt’ on it. “Plenty.”

CHAPTER TEN

Safari

So, my father finally figured it was time that I saw a bit more of the country, which in an ‘American in Africa’ terms meant a safari. I thought perhaps we’d fly somewhere. As it turns out, I love to fly. Must be a family trait. But this would not be the case. Instead, we would be taking that old beast of a Jeep that he had originally brought me here in. So we got together a week or so worth of clothing and supplies and headed out.

I slept for the first few hours, as we left sometime after 3 a.m., and I’m definitely not a morning person. When I awoke, we were having some crazy African rains, the like I’ve never seen. Once the sky cleared, the colors were simply overwhelming. The sky had turned sort of a blood red and yellow blend. It was mind staggering. When you breathed in, the senses were simply amplified by the damp terrain. It was truly miraculous.

The lions, giraffes, and gazelles were amazing, as was all of the wildlife, but the most impressive thing about Africa was the vastness. The sheer magnitude of the space.

 

SAM’S ESTATE

A stranger pays Sam’s estate a visit. “I’m looking for Sam Monroe. Can you tell me where to locate him?” he inquires.

“No Sir, I cannot,” replies the very nervous house man.

“Perhaps I can persuade you,” he says as he forces his way into the home.

BACK ON THE SAFARI

On the fourth day my father took me to an amazing mass of water, and as the African sunset fell, the waters looked darker and darker. As my father made a camp fire, and set up the tent, I sat out by the water for what seemed to be hours as millions of stars filled the sky. The stars in turn reflected upon the water. It was then that my mind shifted to some sort of dream state.

FLASHBACK

I was back at my mother’s estate. I was maybe three years old. The kitchen lady at the time had poured me some breakfast cereal, and one of those little plastic toys fell out of the box. I remember reaching my little hands out for it, “Mine!” The woman smiled and opened it for me. It was red?… or… blue?

Anyway, as she handed it to me, Fred walked in the room and smacked it out of her hand. “She doesn’t need that,” he said, as he got himself some juice.

Tears started to well up in my little eyes and it was like he sensed it, as he turned to look right at me. “Don’t even think about it, little princess, or by God, I will smack you.”

It was just then that my mother walked in. “Fred, why must you be so cruel to little Mady?” With this, Fred suddenly back handed my mother across the face, knocking her clear off her feet and to the floor. THUNK! I can still remember the sound of her hitting the floor.

“Don’t you ever talk to me like that, woman! You understand!”

My mother stayed down on the floor wiping blood off her mouth, and looked over to me. “Stay quiet now, Mady.”

And that’s what I did for the next twelve years, stayed quiet.

THE PRESENT

Suddenly, I was back in my body, in a full sweat, as my Father was putting a blanket over my shoulders. “Not hungry tonight, eh?”

I looked over at him. “He was a monster,” I said.

My father looked at me with a puzzled look on his face. “Who?” he asked.

“Fred,” was all I said.

“Oh, him. Yeah,” he replied, as he sat beside me.

“I always blamed mother for being with him…” I looked at him once more, “…but now I think, maybe she was afraid to leave.”

My father pondered this a bit. “Could be,” he replied.

THE CONCLUSION

Stranger Ends

When my father and I returned to his estate, we were both exhausted, emotionally and physically. All the bonding and revelations were becoming quite tiresome. And yet…

We each made our way to our individual bedrooms for further rest. Strangely, his dark skinned house man was not present when we arrived, and yet, it seemed to be his primary duty to greet my father and, or other visitors. Hmm.

Quickly my eyes grew heavy as I fell upon my bed. What an adventure this has all been. What a

life my father leads. I’ve started not to mind Africa so much. Not that I’ve had the presence of

mind to mind much of anything as of late. And so, I slept.

2 HOURS LATER

I woke up and a man in an all-white suit was standing in front of me holding a rifle. “It’s time for you to come home, Mady. Your father’s been very worried about you,” he said with a maniacal grin. I simply stopped breathing. I suppose passing out would be my only way out.

CLICK The sound of a gun cocking suddenly comes from the door. It was my father holding a revolver. “Step away from the girl,” he said softly.

“You don’t want to do this Mr. Monroe. I…” the stranger began, but was interrupted.

“Mady, step out,” my father told me, and

without a second thought, I jumped out of bed and did what my father told me. The stranger’s eyes followed me the whole way. When I reached the living room I heard my father call out to me, “FURTHER MADY!” and so I went out to the backyard and hid underneath my father’s plane.

MY BEDROOM

“You’re going to regret this, Mr. Monroe. Do you know who I am?” said the stranger.

OUTSIDE

BAM! BAM!

Two shots were all that I heard. Apparently, my father had found the house man tied up in his closet. This was all it took for him to realize someone had come for me. The man never stood a chance.

LIVING ROOM

After that, my father and I lit a fire in the living room fireplace and sat before it. I curled up in a chair with a soft, white blanket, and he was on the couch, looking into the firelight. “What shall we do father? How will this ever end?” I asked softly.

“Oh, it will end,” he prodded at the fire with a metal poker as he spoke “It will surely end.” He went on to tell me that other men would come, but at some point Fred would stop sending hired guns and come himself. And on that day it would end.

Indeed, he was right. In the five weeks following that night, six attempts were made to take or kill me. Sometimes they’d come in sets of two, but none would prevail. My father killed them all, each time having me leave the house. I have no idea what he did with the bodies, I think he wanted it that way. Some sort of a desperate attempt to maintain any semblance of innocence inside me.

But I, like my father, knew what he was doing, and why it needed to be done. And so my soul was safe.

When the day finally came where my stepfather Fred at last stepped down on African soil, he never made it more than three miles from the train station. My father’s loyals made sure of that. My father preferred not to kill people he actually knew, as he was a hunter, not a killer. Besides, we were busy playing backgammon at home. Home, a word I had never known until now.

In three years, when my mother’s estate and all that entails becomes mine, I will simply sell it. That fine boy, Tommy Wilkens, and his family will receive a check in the amount of $200,000. Hopefully that will be enough to hold them over for a while, or perhaps get them a home of their own.

The rest of the money will merely sit in my savings, as I spend my days in Africa, with my father.

I miss my mother. I never thought I’d feel that way, but I do. It’s become quite clear to me why she loved my father. He is as steady as a mountain, as constant as the sunrise, and as loving as a winter storm, when there’s need for rain.

Let it rain I say…

Let it rain.

The End

OTHER PUBLISHED WORKS BY JAMES MAHONEY:

Winter, Lust, And Wonder – Poetry (2012)

White Jade – Comic Book (2012)

HIS BLOGS:

The Written Word @ darkjade68.wordpress.com

Legends Undying @ thedarkglobe.wordpress.com

Dark’s Media Empire @ darksmediaempire.wordpress.com

White Jade Comic @ whitejadecomic.wordpress.com

CONTACT INFORMATION:

E-mail JadeBlue68@yahoo.com

Twitter@DJWrittenWord

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