XII - Family TimeMature

Chapter XII: Family Time
Word count: 1549
Time Taken: 2h 10m

School was over now and I was lying on the couch in the den, face smeared against the cushion. Bored out of my mind but also unable to clear my mind. Someone ran a hand in my hair and I lazily turned around.

"Are you alright?" My mum asked, sitting on the arm of the couch. 

"No." I drily mumbled.

"I can feel that there, something on your mind, beyond being grounded that is." She said patiently. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"Not really... I'm just so confused..."I said and she ran her hand in my hair again before she dragged me closer into a hug. I hesitated for a moment before deciding to confide.

"There's this boy in my class..." I began, watching for any protective reaction she might have, but none manifested. "I was with him saturday. -- No, nothing happened between us." I added by reflex to defend myself from incoming judgement. "I think I kind of like him... I mean he made me feel all fuzzy inside, he's nice and kind of cute and I though he also liked me, he was so nice and all. But then I learned that he's in a relationship... With another boy... I don't know what to think, did I just see things that weren't there, we weren't really sober so..."

I moved away from her, looking down at my feet, feeling embarrassed to talk about it, especially to my mum.

"I just don't know what I'm feeling, you know?" I bit my lip rather hard until it actually started to hurt. "I never really crushed on anyone back in Seattle, but now there's Jer and I barely know the guy and ugh, this is so complicated." I grumbled, crossing my arms and my legs.

She walked slowly to the other side of the couch and sat down, turning her body toward me. She lightly put a hand on my shoulder, lighted my chin and looked me in the eyes. "I don't doubt that what you're feeling is really confusing to you and it is something that is hard to handle and I don't know your friend. Did your friend who you like told you he was in a relationship?"

I shook my head. "It was Danielle who told me."

"Then you should take it to that friend you like, don't you think so? Maybe it's not as she think it is."

I nodded, thinking about it and she got up after giving me a quick hug. "Thank you mum." I whispered to her as she began to let go. "I'm thinking much more smoothly now."

"Dinner's almost ready, I hope you're hungry." She said and my stomach gurgled in answer, I'd skipped lunch, not in the mood to eat at the time. 

I nodded and hopped on my feet, going for the table. "Say mum, do you know how our family got here to Darkfalls? I mean like our grandparents."

"Yeah, more or less. Why?" She said, tending to her pots.

"There's this new history teacher and he gave us an assignment to research our family's history, I figured I'd ask you." I said, sitting down on the hardwood chairs and leaning against my arm on the table.

"Although most of our family came from elsewhere, our family on my paternal grandmother's side was part of the town's original founding families, they emigrated here in 1827 and were amongst the first to establish the settlement along with the McKenzie, Williams, Harrison, Sanders and the Fisher."

"What was our family name back then?"

"Your grandmother was a Kane, but married a Williams; Charlene Williams Kane was her full name. We have some extended family in town, my cousin James has a pair of toddlers a bit younger than C.J. is, Monica is still single in her late forties though."

I nodded, taking everything down in my mind as she began serving the food and the others took place at the table. 

"If you want to see them, we still have your grand mother's journals in the attic. I'm sure that would be a good start for your essay."

"Sure, sounds good." I said, just as she put a plate of tortellini in front of me before diving strait into it.

*****

To say the attic was dusty and cramped would have been an understatement worthy of a prize. The fold up stair creaked as I got up them, a flashlight in hand, the light had burned out long ago and nobody had thought to change it before now.

The dirty space between the roof and the second floor was filled with the amassed souvenirs and things of the last four generations of our family that had lived in this house for the past century or so. The boxes were placed everywhere, with little regard to organizing their content by date or ownership beyond an inscription on their side with a sharpie. 

A massive array of cobwebs nicely completed the decor of the place, which would have made me run away had I been afraid of bugs, like C.J was. I walked a bit back and forth, looking at the faded markings on the boxes until I found one with what I wanted, which was packed between a box of clothes and wedding souvenirs.

Charlene Williams' belongings

I took the box, carefully drawing it out and making sure the other boxes wouldn't all collapse in a cardboard avalanche. I went downstair, closing the attic trapdoor behind me and placed it on the desk, placing my batteryless laptop on the drawer instead.

I opened the small lamp and then the box. Inside, there was a small jewelry box, a stack of old polaroid pictures wrapped in protective sheets, a few old ceramic, metal and wood trinkets as well as a trio of leather bound books, made from the old cotton laced paper, the kind they used to make books that lasted longer than their creator.

I took them out and looked at the covers. The titles had been inked into the covers but had faded somewhat with age and wear, covering a span of three decades. 

"This is going to take some time." I sighed, putting two of the books down and sitting on my bed, the lamp next to it lit. I flipped the first page open and began reading as it went on about the history of her family and genealogical tree.

I kept on reading, mostly diagonally, skipping the entries that were too mundane, speaking about the day to day life. Here and there, the entry spoke of the family secret, but never really elaborated.

July 17th 1949 AD

I have heard father and Jonathan speak about our family's heritage, they speak of the old church and of means to repair it back to it's former state to preserve our traditions and to safeguard our existence.

I asked brother about it when father left for the tavern but he told me it was not of my concern, that the men of our family are taking care of it and I had not to worry about it. I feel sad that he no longer confide in me as he did when he was a teen, it seem that he has changed so much since he left for a week, coming back home feeling sickly and delirious.

I still remember the words that he spoke to me when I caught him as he collapsed. "The shadows live, they are born of the god's dreaming!" He said those words just before losing consciousness and when he came back to awareness he refused to explain what he had meant.

A part of me do truly hope that it was merely the delusion of a fever stricken mind but I still find myself watchful of the darkness that reign in the woods as the sun sets upon the horizon. 

Even though I have lived in this town since I was born, the shadows of the day have felt much colder and greater than ever for the last four month since Jonathan disappeared for that week...

I pray to the Lord daily that he bless and protect our family for I feel like we shall need it.
-Charlene Kane

With the date of birth that the first entry had given, she had been 15 years old when she wrote that entry, almost the same age as I was. I scrounged around for a stip of paper and slipped it in between the pages I was at before stretching my arms, letting out a large, audible yawn.

I looked at the clock, it was almost midnight and I felt tired. I quickly changed and tucked myself in, take a moment to fall asleep as the events of the journal filled my mind with questions rather than answers. 

I would have to do more research about it tomorrow...

I took a last glance at the window and the darkness beyond it, Spike hadn't managed to appear in my room and for some reason, I felt lonely that night, isolated in the sweeping darkness that enveloped the town.

I nodded off, everything that had been on my mind; Jeremy, the journal, all those impossible things sweeping into short, sporadic and vivid dreams...

The End

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