Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chapter 28: Donald Shows His Bravery

Tues, November 10, 2074 8:22 pm: The House of Fallen Trees- Gothier, Pleasantview


"And all they ever found of him," Mort said, pausing for dramatic effect. "Was a bloody and broken harmonica!" Mort stared expectantly at Donnie and Roan, his eyes flickering sadistically from behind his shaggy mess of auburn hair. The wind whipped through the wooden walls, shrouding Donnie in the scents of mildew and dust. He gripped his knees tightly, trying his best not to imagine what it must be like to be eaten alive by demons.

"Booorrring," Roan sang. "That story was so weak. It wouldn't have even scared my little sister."


"Well if you think you can do better," Mort huffed. Donnie briefly drew his collar up over his chin before realizing that it made him look frightened. He let his collar drop, placing his hands in his lap.

"You don't have to stay here for my story if you're scared, Don. You can go to bed if you want," Roan offered. Donnie shook his head. Truth be told, walking through the attic alone at night would have sent him into a much worse panic than any story Roan could tell. "Good because I have a really spooky story. It's even spookier than the spookiest story you've ever heard because it's true and it happened in this very house."


Donnie and Mort exchanged glances. Did they really want to know about something scary that had happened in their own home? Roan scooted up closer to Donnie, wiping a clean trail through the dirt on the floor. The candlelight played havoc with Roan's features, creating hard lines that had never existed before. Donnie thought that it gave his cousin a monstrous look.

"My dad told me this story," Roan rasped. Donnie leaned back on his hands and gulped. If Uncle Troy was the source of the story, then it must have been true. Roan stood up and perched himself atop a barrel in the corner. Donnie and Mort waited anxiously for him to speak. Roan seemed to savor the attention.


"A long time ago, there was this scientist. His name was Jon... Something. Anyway, he lived here with his wife, his two daughters, their husbands and their two kids-- a girl and a boy. Now, the scientist dedicated his life to helping sick people and he did lots of experiments and stuff to try to cure diseases. He invented all kinds of medicines and people said that he was a genius."


"But even though the scientist was a good guy who helped people, he cheated on his wife like all the time. His wife didn't know about it until one day when she answered the door to a man who said that he was the scientist's son. And the wife was real mad. She was half Fae by the way and she could do magics and stuff. So one time, when the scientist wasn't home, the wife used her magics to sabotage the scientist's machines so that the machines would explode and junk when he tried to use them and that would destroy his life's work. But the scientist never made it home that day. He got shot in the street by a woman who kept screaming, 'Where is he? Where is he?' and then she shot herself too. No one knows why.

The scientist's wife was so upset that she forgot about the machines. And later, the scientist's grandkids decided they were going to work in the scientist's lab, and the machines blew up! That entire part of the house burned to the ground. It killed both kids and the eldest daughter's husband and the maid. The youngest daughter went insane from grief and she was sent to a crazy house where she starved herself to death. Then the older daughter moved out of town to get away from her bad memories or whatever. So it was just the scientist's youngest daughter's husband and wife left."


"Now nobody knows what happened but a few months later two bodies were found in this house. The first body was the body of the wife. It was tied to a chair in what was left of the lab and the head was cut off and there was like blood everywhere. Blood all over the walls, all over the floor and bloody footprints all over the house like someone was pacing up and down the steps. The second body was a seventeen-year-old girl who had human teeth marks on her neck and her body had almost no blood in it. Up here in the attic, the police found cages and plates with old food stuck on. No one knows why. And the youngest daughter's husband was missing. The police thought that he killed the scientist's wife and drank that one girl's blood but he never got caught. And he was never seen or heard from again. The end."


The color drained from Donnie's lips. His throat went dry. He whimpered. Just the thought of drinking somebody's blood made his stomach churn. Mort laughed.

"You big fibber. That story's not true," he said. Roan became agitated.

"It is too! My dad told me and he doesn't lie about stuff! In fact," Roan said, jumping down from the barrel. "There's probably evidence in here somewhere."


Roan walked around the room, peering into corners and over ledges while Donnie's imagination ran wild. At any moment, he expected to see a headless woman shuffle through the door, somehow wailing without lips. Where is my head, Donald Tellerman?, she would ask. And Donnie would not have an answer.


Roan tipped open the lid of an enormous bamboo trunk.

"There might even be test tubes and beakers and cool stuff like that," Roan said, his head disappearing into the mouth of the trunk. Finally, Donnie could smirk.

"Not even. That's Grandma Jan's old linen chest. We brought it with us from the Farm," Donnie said. Roan pushed his upper body out of the trunk.

"I knew that," he snapped, clearly embarrassed. "Still," he said with a shrug. "There are other places worth checking out around here."


"Such as where," Mort asked, stretching his legs.

"Such as the graveyard in the back," Roan said.

"Yeah," Mort shouted gleefully, climbing to his feet. "We could get shovels from the shed and see some real live dead people!" Donnie winced, finding himself caught in the throes of a silent dismay. He had no desire to see dead bodies or the ghosts of the people that had once inhabited them.

"First of all," Donnie said. "We aren't even allowed in the backyard because Mom's afraid we'll fall in the fountain and drown. Secondly--"

"Ba-gowk," Roan clucked. Donnie looked up.


Roan was standing with his fists at his hips, flapping his arms like wings. Mort walked over to him.

"He's right you know," Mort said. "If anyone catches us out there, we'll be in so much trouble."

"Bok, bok, ba-gowk!" When Roan clucked this time, he whistled through the hole where his front tooth should have been. Donnie stood up and joined the others.


"It's two against one. We're not doing it, Roan," Donnie said.

"God, you're such a fraidy-cat," Roan teased. Mort eyed Roan contemptuously.

"Don't call my brother a fraidy-cat," Mort said.

"Fraidy-cat, fraidy-cat, fraidy-cat," Roan chanted. Mort's cheeks crimsoned as he began to fume. Donnie placed a hand on Mort's shoulder to calm him.


"I'm not a fraidy-cat," Donnie said flatly. "Some things are just plain scary. Like your face." Roan and Mort both froze. Donnie wasn't used to talking that way to anyone, let alone his bully of a cousin. But Donnie knew that he only had an instant before Roan's shock wore off-- At which point, Roan would be ready to fight. Donnie's only option was to intimidate Roan enough that he would back down before he began. In a show of bravery worthy of a demon-battling harmonica player, Donnie glared at Roan. "What's the matter Caliente? Fraidy-cat got your tongue?" When Roan's expression shifted from shock to shame, Donnie added for good measure, "Ba-gowk!"


  1. Donnie scored one for the Tellermans here. Troy has always bossed, bullied, beaten, coerced and otherwise pushed around J.L. Roan typically does the same to Donnie and Mort.

  2. I'm guessing Troy was a lot like Roan when he was that age? Roan seems more like Troy than Laurie does.

  3. Wow Van, that was fast! :)

    It's kind of hard to say, really. Troy was a mean kid when he was Roan's age but he wasn't a leader like Roan is. He was more of an outsider. He was the weird kid that walked in circles around the playground muttering incoherently to himself.

    Years later, his brotherly affection for his dad's girlfriend's little daughter (Siren) softened him up a bit so that he was more approachable. Then when he began studying law in his twenties, people recognized how incredibly smart he was. This gained him a lot of scholarly respect and female attention. Those things gave him a certain amount of over-confidence. Thus the Troy we know today was born. And that Troy had no problem punching J.L. in the face at their mother's funeral. But that's a whole 'nother story.

    Roan is more like a mini Troy-of-today. Like Troy, Roan is used to behaving badly and rarely getting caught. However, when these two are caught, people tend to just shrug it off in a "boys will be boys" kind of way. Troy has become very comfortable with this kind of scenario over the years- So comfortable that he might go as far as to, say, have secret romantic visits with his friends' 17-year-old daughter without fear of repercussions.

  4. Hahaha!! That was so cute!! Good for Donnie!! And since I still have that catching up to do...

    Your writing was very descriptive! I felt like I was in the room with those boys! Nicely done!!:D

  5. Thanks Phoenix. :)

    Hopefully I'll have the next update online on Thursday. I'm out of town right now so I haven't gotten a chance to do any writing in the past few days.

    *Off to go read the update on Kaylee's diary.*

  6. What a great way to tell that backstory! Little boys are just like big boys, trying to outbluster one another...

    That detail of Donnie pulling his collar up over his chin was exquisite.

  7. Thanks, Lothere! Hopefully, this chapter is the beginning of putting a few pieces of the puzzle together where the Tricou murders are concerned.

  8. I'm back! Loved this chapter - those three boys trying to scare each other with stories struck so true - it's really cool how you gave each one a distinct voice and you could totally tell the personality by how they talked.

    And great back story about the Tricous.

  9. Hey, welcome back!

    And thanks! Ach, I'm glad that you were able to tell the boys apart by voice since the three of them are so similar in appearance (Donnie and Mort being identical twins and Roan being their cousin).

  10. Yay, I can finally catch up with all my reading!

    This was a lovely chapter; you handled the children's personalities and interactions really well, and managed to show the family dynamics too. It's also nice to see the other side of the story, sort of speak, because so far we've only seen the Calientes' POVs (Troy, Laurie, etc.) instead of the Tellermans', if I'm not mistaken. Seeing your beloved characters' son being a bully really makes you realize how morally grey they all are, no?

    And aww, Donnie, that was epic. I'm rooting for ya, buddy.

  11. Maruutsu! You're back! *peeks at sidebar* And there's more Medieval Legacy! Gee, I guess this means I have to finish reformatting the text on this site, hunh? :D

    And thank you! I'm quite fond of the Tellerman twins. We'll be seeing a lot more of their parents throughout the story. Then some ways down the road, the boys will have an important role to play. Gah! It's takes me so long to get around to writing anything anymore.

    Of Troy's five miniature versions of himself, there are only two that I would consider to be good eggs-- Laurie and Thackery. The other three are definitely morally gray and I don't know that they'll ever grow out of it. Troy never grew out of it. But fortunately, it is not too late for Troy. He's going to learn his lessons the hard way. :\

  12. Actually, there *will* be more Medieval Legacy. I just posted a note to let everyone know I'm not dead.

    Good, I like these twins. And I'm curious to learn more about their parents... I don't remember who J.L. married, is she full caste, townie, or what? Because that could be another reason why the Tellermans are sort of under the Calientes' feet. (Am I using that expression correctly?)

    Morally grey is good! Well, at least in my book. That's how I usually like my characters.

  13. JL married Isabella Goth, daughter of Dina and Mortimer. Yer darn toot'n, she's full caste! Dina was not happy about this marriage. Not at all. But I wonder how much of a role birth plays in JL and Troy's rivalry. Troy's dad was of a very high pedigree indeed and JL's father is Townie-born.

    *hehe* Is that an expression? I think you might have just coined a phrase. In any case, it made perfect sense.