The telephone rang in Germaine Clermont's parlour as she was sipping her morning grey tea. The blue ribbons in her amber hair fluttered as she hopped from her sofa to the coffee table. Now who on Earth could that be, she wondered? Her cheeks blushed and her hair was slightly frazzled from the humid air. This rain was doing "wonders" to her hair, she thought with a bitter tang of sarcasm. Sighing, she picked up the wireless telephone and answered.
"Hello?" There was a pause on the other side. "Ah-yes, can I speak to Germain Clermont please?" The voice was articulate and Saxon--the way she liked it.
"Oh--Germaine? This is Adrian." The name sent flashbacks in Germaine's mind. Adrian...yes, she remembered.
"ADRIAN--jolly to hear from you again!" Germaine chittered like a jitterbug as she plumped herself down on the floral-fabric sofa. She let her hand through some stray strands of amber hair and twirled one ribbon with her left index finger.
"It's good to hear from you too. Would you believe me if I told you where I am right now?"
"Oh--Adrian you were always so mysterious. Come on--spill it!" demanded the queen of the parlor.
"Well--I'm in a telephone booth in front of St. Mark's Church--you know, in St. Barthelemy?"
St. Barthelemy--the smile on Germaine's face was immediately wipped off her fair face. The glow of her face seemed to dim at the news. Why on earth was Adrian at St. Barthelemy...? Unless...
"Are you seeing someone in particular Adrian?"
"Why yes! But I thought I pop the news to you first. I gotta tell you, 'Maine [she blushed at the sound of her old nickname from her school-days], that the village hasn't changed one bit. Well, other than the new addition to the cemetary--or so I've heard--and some new locales in the surrounding countryside."
"How quaint! So how's tricks?"
"Same old, same old. I'm here to met old Lucinda. You remember her, don't you?"
Of course, Lucinda Cain! She remember those lemonade-sprinkled summer days.
"How wonderful to hear that! Do send her my love?"
"Of course. But I--" Before Adrian could finish his sentence, Germaine heard him give a cry of wonder on the other side.
"What on earth--?" Adrian said. There was a sound like a door opening and the heavy downfall of rain.
"Is something the matter?" asked Germaine with strange curious look etched on her face.
"I--I could have sworn that I just saw a girl run into the cemetery--at St. Mark's." That's odd...
"Well, you know what St. Mark's is like--"
"BY JOVE! There's a guy going after her!"
"Ahh--listen Maine, I don't like the looks of this. I mean, running into a cemetery in this rain? Something's rotten, that's for sure. Tell you what, I'll call you back alright?"
"Alright. Bye." As Germaine put the wireless telephone back in the receiver, she moved somewhat mechanically. The way Adrian said the words "running into a cemetery" disturbed her. Could she remember St. Mark's? Better yet, that village? It had been a while since she had been down there. Perhaps she should visit sometime. Come to think of it, she hadn't kept up with her mom's friends from St. Barthelemy.
She grew sad. Poor mom--she wouldn't have wanted Germaine to stay away from her friends. She even had made her promise to do so before she had--the thought of it made Germaine sniff. Yes, it would only be right to visit St. Barthelemy again--not only for her own sake--but for her mother's.
She picked up the phone again and dialed a number that she was surprised to know she could still remember after all of these years.
She would return--besides, Lucinda made the best crumpets in the village--or so she remembered it.
* * *
"Aunt Lucinda?" Waverly knocked on the door to the parlor-turned-office. She pushed the door open as her aunt beckoned her inside. Papers covered a dark wood desk and a couple lamps lit up the room.
"Well, I've covered every square inch of this place...and I'm quite satisfied." Waverly said, a wide smile spreading across her comely face. "You've done well."
Lucinda laughed. "Oh, well, I'm so glad my niece approves." The older woman chuckled.
Waverly settled into a wing-backed chair covered with paisley-patterned fabric. "I still can't get over the fact that you did all this...Such an undertaking...People will be flocking to this place pretty soon. You'll definitely have your hands full."
"Well, dreams do become reality on occasion, Waverly." Lucinda adjusted her spectacles, looking at her niece. "Don't ever forget that."
"I won't." Waverly smiled.
The phone rang and Lucinda picked it up. She removed her glasses as she spoke a greeting. "Yes, this is Lucinda Cain."
Waverly stood and moved to a shelf, observing the titles of books that resided there.
"Germaine!" Lucinda said, a smile on her lips. "Well, my dear, this is quite a surprise. How are you?"
Waverly arched a brow, curious as to who her aunt was talking to. She pulled a book off the shelf and flipped the cover open. Her eyes scanned the first line as her aunt continued chatting.
"Oh, yes, darling! You must come to visit. I have my niece from America staying with me. She's about your age. I'm sure you two would become fast friends." Lucinda smiled, glancing at Waverly. Waverly's eyes held a question, but she smiled in return.
"Ah," Lucinda laughed. "It's a done deal, then. I'll see you at the end of the week. Yes, yes, of course. Have a nice day, Germaine."
Lucinda hung up the phone and wrote something on the calender on her desk. As she wrote, she said, "That was Germain Clermont. Her mother was a good friend of mine back in the day." She looked up. "She'll be coming at the end of the week."
"Oh, wonderful." Waverly said, placing the leather-bound copy of Pride and Prejudice back on the shelf. "Finally another female around here." Waverly laughed. "Though, I have to say, Mr. Weston is still my favorite guest."
"Mr. Weston. Yes." Lucinda said, looking away and clearing her throat. Her attention returned to the items on her desk.
Waverly arched a brow, but stayed silent. She glanced at the shelf again and began to look at the spines of the books.
* * *
Adrian Lychett stepped out of the telephone booth in the pouring rain. He had a metallic taste in his mouth about this whole business. Now I wonder who that could've been.
"What on earth...?" he muttered to himself as he quickly sprinted across the slippery road surface, nearly falling down once or twice. He approached the front entrance of St. Mark's then turned left to the cemetery cast-iron gate. Why would anyone want to go in there--especially now? Adrian tilted his head up and surveyed the towering bell-tower looming over him. A rain droplet fell upon his eye as he quickly jerked from looking up at the sky. He rubbed his eye and grasped one iron bar of the gate at the same time. But in doing so, he stepped in a puddle.
"Great! There go my shoes," he said as he looked in on upon the graves. Something wasn't right--he could feel it. He shook his head and reproached himself for hanging up on Germaine so suddenly. Would she be mad? He hoped not. He tried opening the gate.
It wouldn't budge.
Now that IS interesting...he saw that girl and that guy both open the gate. He tried it again. No, it was without a doubt locked. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Clasping two iron bars in his hands, he heaved himself up and, gingerly, went over the top of the spiked poles of the gate. He was actually pleasantly surprised that he could still do this--this had not been the first time he climbed that gate. A wry smile stretched across the clean-shaven aquiline face. Waterdrops dripped of the tip of his nose and ears. With a "humph" he landed on his two legs on the other side. The recent exertion sparked a new athleticism within him as he walked cautiously down that old cobblestone path. The rain formed a misty fog, enshrouding the crosses and graves in an ethereal blurred grey shadow. In some way it nerved him, not to mention on the verge of being spooked about it.
He heard nothing. His attention was on the path and not on the thing that his foot accidently kicked. Balancing himself rather quickly, Adrian looked down and gasped.
Was he hallucinating?
A teenage boy, with a sweater hood shielding the face from view, layed sprawled out beside a bleached white cross.
* * *
As Adrian stood over the teenager, he was at a loss on what to do. His senses were reeling. THIS WAS THE GUY HE SAW! What had happened? Taking an orderly control of his thoughts, he knelt down (in the muck no less, but it didn't matter anymore to him) and lifted the boy's wrist. Adrian held his breath...
...there was a pulse! A weak pulse, but nevertheless a pulse! Adrian released a sigh of immense relief. After doing that, he tilted his head to look around. His brow furrowed.
Across from him was a Celtic cross. Even though Adrian had perfect 20/20 vision, he could barely distinguish the written etching on it--even in this heavy rain.
"'Here lies Abel, brother of Cain'...Cain?" he muttered to himself. Cain...that name--it reminded him of something.
Lucinda Cain! Surely it wasn't referring to her...could it be---
His thoughts were cut short by a low agonizing groan. He looked down and saw the teenager stir.