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                                        Parish House    By Michelle Audas   Copyrights 2016

Excerpt


III.

THE HOUSE





The door chimes as Stuart lights the last candle on the elegantly set dining table. Everything is perfect!

Nothing but the best for my sweet Althea. He thinks to himself as he opens the door.

She stood there in the lamplight, glowing like an angel.

On the outside Althea Rae had a rare beauty that caused many hearts to pound, many pulses to rise, but on the inside was an evil, ugly, hideous witch laying in wait. Like a cat about to pounce on an unsuspecting mouse.

Stuart only saw the beauty. He was so wrapped up in her that she could have had horns growing out of her head and he never would have seen them, thru the rose colored glasses he wore. He wore his heart right out on his sleeve for all to see. Althea knew this and used it against him to benefit her selfish needs.

"Althea, my Dear, you are a true vision." Stuart said as he extended his arm and led her into the grand foyer.


Althea had practically drooled, as her carriage rounded the bend and her eyes caught their first sight of the incredible Victorian home nestled in the beautifully, manicured landscape. It was like a sweet dream; mesmerizing her in its perfection. If only Stuart wasn't a part of the bargain! She thought to herself as Stuart opened the door.


Now standing in the bright open foyer, she was again struck by that dreamy feeling.

"It is truly pleasing to the eyes." She said sweetly as she slowly turned around in place, looking about.

"All for you, my sweet lady, but please humor me? For I wish to savor the tour after a most appetizing dinner. So if you would be so kind as to join me in the parlor, we can partake in a relaxing sip of wine." Said Stuart, again extending his arm.

Althea graciously accepted and they entered the parlor to the left side of the foyer.

The parlor was bright and cheery, designed in warm crème tones. Floor to ceiling windows stretched across the far wall.

Althea gasped as they entered the warm, inviting room.

The view out of the wall of windows was amazing. She was immediately drawn to the glass in a daze.

Stuart observed her reaction and his heart skipped a beat, at he obvious joy.

A lush, dense, stroll thru garden. Ivory gothic statues overlooking a gentle waterfall, cascading into a babbling brook. The entire garden was alive with color. Flowers bursting everywhere.

Beyond the garden a rolling meadow led to a placid lake, weeping willows swaying near the waters edge.



"Oh my God!" Althea thought to herself. "Are those swans? I can't believe it, even swans."

Althea was shocked; Speechless by all she saw.

It was like looking right into her minds eye, at her idea of a perfect setting, it gave her chills at how Stuart had been so observant to her frivolous details. She had mentioned swans, and here they were.

Stuart had actually built and created Althea’s dreams through his love for her, but instead of her being overjoyed at his gift she was infuriated. She felt that Stuart had violated her very soul, and that he was teasing her with the perfect setting. He had to know she could never stoop so low as to love him.

Stuart stood by the drink cart. Beaming with pleasure as he watched Althea, plastered to the glass. Proud of the results of all his hard work, gazing at her he knew he had made her happy.


Everything was going just as planned.

Stuart joined Althea by the window and handed her a glass of wine. They stood there for a little longer, enjoying the lovely landscape. Silent serenity.

Althea cringed inside when Stuart joined her.

"I'll scream if he touches me." She thought as she heard him walk up behind her.

Althea did not know what to say as they stood there. It was a very uncomfortable silence

Finally Althea slowly turned to face Stuart; he looked at her expecting to see joy or gratitude in her expression but he was shocked to see her face twisted in an angry sneer.

"Althea, are you alright?" He asked nervously.

"No, I am not." She spat as she walked away from the window; noticing the room around her for the first time. Being angered even more, by its perfection.

"I don't understand?" stammered Stuart.

"Do you not approve of the view?"

"Do I not approve of the view?" She mimics nastily

"Of course you know I approve, its perfect!"

"How could you be so cruel to me Stuart?

Dangling all this in front of me, knowing full well that I will never live here. Not with you anyway."

"But Althea, all that you see is...for you. Everything I

have done has been...for you. I love you."

Stuart was truly flustered, he had never seen

this side of Althea and it scared him. Her beauty seemed to be diminishing as her anger grew.

"I demand to see the rest of this invasion to my privacy, right this instance!" she snapped as she headed toward the foyer.

"Please Althea, wait a second. What is wrong?"

He whined, chasing after her.

When he reached the doorway, she was already

on the other side of the foyer and entering the ballroom.

"Althea please wait a minute. I am so confused everything’s happening so fast. What have I done wrong? Please wait."

But Althea was already in the ballroom ranting and raving like a lunatic.

"What else have you stole from me?" She screams, marching back into the foyer stopping inches from his face.

Stuart cowered like a scalded pup when she burst out of the ballroom. He had an incredible urge to run like hell from the madwoman closing in on him but his feet would not obey, and he stood rooted to the floor in the middle of the foyer. Disorientation swam in his head. What was happening? When exactly had he lost total control of the situation.

"I love you, Althea, Please don't be angry.

What ever it is that does not please you I will fix. Just tell me. We can go sit and discuss your unhappiness. I live to make you happy, please give me a chance."

"OOH!" Althea fumed "You infuriate me. You can't fix this! You stole my hopes and dreams. I can never live here with you, you are a disgusting, spineless, weak excuse for a man. What an idiot you are to believe that I could ever love you, even for this house." She spat standing with her hands on hips; her eyes shooting sparks of dread straight through poor, Stuart’s heart.

He could only stand there gaping at her with tears in his eyes. Drowning in confusion and disbelief.

"But Althea, I thou..."

"That’s your problem, Mr. Stuart Parish! Thinking should be left to real men with brains, not a slithering little weasel like you. Do you really, truly want to make me happy?" Althea asked, in a voice so cruel that it hurt Stuart's ears to hear it.

"Of course I do." Stuart sobbed; hiding his face in his hands.

"Well my happiness is very simple to obtain. You give me this house and everything in it...and you..." She pointed, poking his nose; scratching it with her long, manicured nail. "Can just drop off the face of the earth! Then my life will be perfect. My true love; A real man! (she emphasized) Jared Hansen and I will wed. I will give to him, my very special gift of womanhood, right up there in the master suite." She sneers, pointing toward the magnificent open staircase curving gently up to the second floor.

Something deep in the pit of Stuart’s soul snapped. You could almost hear it breaking, as he leapt at Althea with his hands out stretched, wrapping them around her throat, squeezing; knocking them both to the floor.

"Stuar..." Althea gasped; groping wildly at his hands trying to pull and buck him off. But he was so strong. She was starting to lose consciousness, sheer terror in her eyes.

But Stuart was gone...Replaced by a rage deep rooted and collected his entire life by everyone who had ever abused him.

Stuart would never utter another word; the animal of rage consumed him in a surreal state of existence.

He released her throat and started beating on her. Growling and pawing and ripping at her.

Althea lay very still. Passed out from lack of oxygen.

Stuart ripped and pulled her clothes up above her waist; revealing her soft supple womanhood, he beat at her legs and thighs in anger at her perfection.

He would have her, she owed him at least her virginity if nothing else. He punched her and he bit her and he scratched her till she bled all the while raping and taking what was rightfully his. Althea in blackness, slowly fights for the mystic light she cannot grasp onto. She's trying and trying and... suddenly her eyes pop open and...

"Oh my God." She screams as she realizes the invasion being made to her body.

Stuart, lost forever to reality continues to thrust and grunt, all the while pounding on her; like a child throws himself to the floor in a tantrum, oblivious to her reactions or screams.

Althea starts fighting again, digging, her nails so deep into his cheek that they broke off in his flesh, blood dripping onto her bare breasts, mingling with her own, dripping to the floor.

"Get off of me, you bastard! I curse you and this house. You will never be happy and love will never find its way, thru the threshold of this damned house!" She screams, still trying relentlessly to get him off her.

"Those who dare live here shall surely perish!!!"

She screams laughing hysterically.

Stuart looks at her face, not really seeing her; he grabs

hold of her long glorious hair. With both of his hands he starts slamming her head into the perfect marble floor.

In the perfect foyer.

Of the perfect House.

Althea’s eyes start rolling around, her brain disengaging from her skull. Bits of bone and blood splatter out onto the black and while tiles.

Althea Rae is no more. But before she entered into forever darkness her last thoughts were…

"Watch your back Stuart...Watch your ba..."

Stuart wasn't aware for quite sometime that Althea was dead and he continued raping her and beating her head into the polished floor. Grey matter now mixing with the blood, turning the gloriuos floor to a sea of red.


Stuart opened his eyes, disoriented and weak; sunlight creeping across the foyer floor. Shaking the sleep from his pounding head, his eyes caught sight of his sweet Althea’s almost unrecognizable face, staring back at him, her mouth in a silent eternal scream, Her clothes ripped and torn and scattered all over... and the blood...so much blood.

Stuart had practically ripped her apart with his bare hands, leaving few, if any bones unbroken. He had shattered his "Glass Doll" and crumpled her pedestal and with it, his heart and soul.




5 days later...

A group of kids are playing hide-n-seek near the Parish House when two of them venture up the long lane to find a perfect place to hide.

The little girl no more than eight decided to hide in the huge vase on the front porch, but the closer she got, the worse the smell became until she gagged and ran away. Telling the others about the overwhelming stench and how Mr.Parish must never bathe. They all laughed. It became the topic at many dinner tables that evening.


       Lynchburg Stone  By  Michelle Audas 

Copyrights 2016


Excerpt



7.

Hard Lessons

Sheila Dunning’s life starting out was actually pretty good. She had loving parents, Sam and Mary Dunning, who cherished their children and would do any thing for them. They worked hard to provide but always found time to play, and nurture, and teach their children to be good Citizens.

Sheila’s Brother Harry was a protective older brother who always looked out for his little sisters. Sheila and Harry were 3 years apart.

Sheila’s sister Annie was her little sister; there being 6 ½ years between them.

They got along alright for the most part but Sheila thought Annie was a little spoiled and not as respectful as the rest of them were. She always seemed more selfish then the norm.

As long as Annie got her own way she was tolerable but intervene in what she wanted and Annie would rampage and throw tantrums at the drop of a hat.

Sheila’s life was certain and secure. Loving and focused until she was in her 8th year of life.

Sheila was sitting in class in the 3th grade when a teacher came into the class room and escorted Sheila to the principal’s office. The Principal, Mr. Faulkner came around his desk; sat down on the sofa next to Sheila. He placed his hand on her shoulder and looking Sheila straight in the eye he told her that her parents had been killed in a car accident this morning on their way to work. Just like that! Life is upside down.

Sheila was numb. She was dumbstruck by what she just heard. This is not happening is all she could muster in her brain. She was spinning out of control.

Mr. Faulkner also told her that her Aunt Nancy was on her way from Chicago to be with them and she would take care of everything.

In the elementary and high school this very same scenario was playing out for Harry and Annie. Nothing would ever be the same after that.

Aunt Nancy was Sam Dunning’s younger sister; they had never been exceptionally close but he trusted her enough that he thought she would do the right things.

Aunt Nancy took care of everything alright. She swept in and in a whirlwind she took a devastating situation and made it so much worse. She packed up the kids and shipped them all off to boarding schools. Mind you, all three kids in different areas so that Harry Sheila and Annie never got to see each other. Then she sold their family farm, that they had all spent their entire lives in. And then…She was gone.

Off somewhere spending the money that she had made in the sale of the farm, and the life insurance policies that Sam had taken out in the kids names with Nancy as Guardian to ensure the kids were cared for.

Mistake on his part…Big Mistake!

Boarding school is certainly what they got! And not a lot of it either. Boarding school is expensive, you know. And remember good ole’ Aunt Nancy? Don’t forget her! Good ole’ Aunt Nancy paid for a whole semester! Just enough time to do what she needed and disappear.

After the money ran out the kids became a ward of the state, and well, we know how that goes…


8.

Lucky Break

Harry did ok in the system; A loving foster family took him in and within 8 months of his parents death the Austin’s had adopted him, giving him the best life that they could possibly provide, both financially, and emotionally. They loved Harry very much!

Harry loved them in return, but his heart never gave up on finding Sheila and Annie, and being a family again, as it should be.

His adoptive parents, Cindy and Louis Austin, did not have the financial means to search for and take in two more children though if the money had been there they would not have hesitated! They had always wanted multiple kids, but Cindy could not have children. After the 10s of thousands of dollars they had spent on her becoming unsuccessfully pregnant 3 times, miscarrying with each new life inside her.

They turned to Adoption. It was a wonderful, God blessed, decision that brought Harry into their world. He was just what they had always hoped for. Sweet, Smart, Caring, just an all around good citizen.

They wanted to look for Sheila and Annie but everywhere they tried, brought them to another closed door.

Without the money they could only do so much. They knew that Harry would never be complete until he was reunited with his sisters. They wanted him to have it all.

But, that’s all they could do was want! Helplessness did not sit well with the Austin’s.