Chapter Nine

Luke was a man of two minds as he walked away. After the questionable interrogation, he could tell there were two disparate emotions vying for his attention. He was happy, and he felt more free that morning. He’d been released, and loosened up a bit. Luke could feel it in his stride. His job was still intact, although he’d already begun to have second thoughts concerning his new boss. He’d come to a conclusion that was as obvious as the nose on his face. For the most part, Sam was a domineering character. He could be overwhelmingly forceful in dealing with his subordinates. That he could plainly see. Thank goodness, he hadn’t treated him like that. Not yet anyway. But Luke knew there’d come a time, if he worked there long enough. He figured he’d better not act like he had at his last job. He was prone to fart around and engage in horseplay. He enjoyed goofing off when the cat was away. His own behavior had gotten out of hand sometimes, and he’d certainly have to watch his step around Sam and carefully scrutinize his offhand remarks before blurting them out. It didn’t take much to make Sam irate. If someone pissed him off, he’d immediately become obnoxious and bite their heads off. But Sam was also fair and paid his workers good wages. Luke needed the money, for sure. So in that respect, Luke was happy for himself and family. He felt fortunate. The state of gratitude lingered very close by, but he couldn’t absorb it in its entirety. There were too many other thoughts of a different nature holding him back from total bliss.

Luke almost felt guilty for being happy after others had been so hurt. “Those two poor children…,” were on Luke’s mind as he continued his walk home. Much had happened, and most of it was sad. He’d been so busy during the last twelve hours, that he’d yet to find the time to mourn. Grieved by the loss, and troubled by the whole situation, Luke began to think. He wondered if there were anything he could do to help. It broke his heart to think about them. “They’ve done nothing to deserve this. And now…what are they facing? An orphanage someplace far far away most likely.” Then , as if from out of nowhere, an idea popped him upside the head. Luke continued to talk and question himself. “Hey! Wait a minute! Why can’t we adopt them? Won’t I be able to afford to do something like that now? It wouldn’t be that much trouble…would it? I’ll ask the sweet loving mother of my children as soon as I get home. She already likes them, and all the kids get along when they’re together, so why not?” After the birth of their last son, his wife could no longer bear children. At that time, the doctor’s news had made Luke depressed, for he had hoped to have a little girl someday. “I think we can do this. The boy will come around given enough time. That girl though…man, she is simply adorable.”

Luke wouldn’t do this sort of thing to gain favor with the Lord. It never would have crossed his mind. He liked to feel good about himself and his accomplishments, as do most people. He did good for goodness’ sake, not for God’s sake. He didn’t believe there was some kind of divine scoring system, no. He acted according to the dictates of his own conscience. He knew that he was the only one who had to sleep with the man in the mirror, the man he saw every morning upon waking. That’s who he had to please to be at peace within himself. The very thought of adopting those two kids eased his mind and lightened his step. But he was far from feeling totally at ease. You see, there were these other thoughts that kept bugging him. Those other thoughts centered around that stranger…that murderer…that fiend.

“It’s all so incredible…I can’t understand it…What kind of maniac could commit such a barbaric act?…A savage, maybe…or, so I’ve been told. But a civilized man? No way…That stranger…every indication…his appearance, especially…reminds me of a rich man from a big city…Everything about him…sophisticated, and well-bred. How bizarre! Why in the world would he want a useless human heart? What’s he going to do with it?…Oh, God, no. He wouldn’t eat it. That’s disgusting! What then?…I have no idea…It’s unthinkable! Dastardly…and definitely evil…definitely. It’s…it’s…insane…it’s madness…and demented. This was the work of the devil’s brood. There’s no other explanation…might it have something to do with witchcraft?…The occult?…I’ve heard stories…weird…what does it matter now, anyway?…It’s done, and over with…Appearances can be deceiving. I know that…but, if it was that foreigner, Sam and his men could be in for more trouble than they expect…What if they don’t find him?…Sam’s pretty smart…they probably will…if that’s the case, they’re headed for a dangerous rendezvous…and they don’t know it…I didn’t tell them about that…was that a mistake?…Should I run back and tell them?…Ah, those kids…I can’t do that to them…No way in hell!…even if it ruins the town. I can’t.”

This was Luke’s presentiment. He had a vague, uneasy feeling in his gut. “Maybe, I’m just hungry. I haven’t eaten all day. Lunch sounds good about now. I wonder what she’s cooking up…I could eat a horse.” As Luke neared the grocery store, he noticed a group of men gathered together in front of the place. They were all looking in his direction. Luke turned around to see if there was someone behind him. No, there wasn’t. They were looking at him, and waving him over. “This is what Sam was talking about. He was right.” As he closed in on the group, he recognized all their familiar faces. “Matt’s here, too. I’ll have to ask him if there was any trouble in Bedlam last night. The stranger headed in that direction. Maybe, he didn’t stop. Maybe, he went right on through that old town. I sure hope so.”

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10 thoughts on “Chapter Nine

  1. Those empty spaces you see up there by demented, evil,
    and it’s insane? I didn’t do that, and I can’t seem to fix it.
    What’s that all about? Spooky…

  2. The Master copy alone has been compromised.
    That sounds all too familiar, Ed. 3 spaces where there should be one,
    in 4 places on that one line, is what I’m seeing. A technicality.

    The continuing saga of the author’s plight through a poltergeist, or
    a confrontation with the unconscious, and Carl Jung succinctly described.

    Twice yesterday morning, in the span of one hour, I was struck by the
    sense of deja vu and had to stop in my tracks, unable to pinpoint what
    my memory was bringing forth. An old dream’s reminder…but of what?

    Last night my peripheral vision alerted me to a bug on the right side
    corner of my glasses. I thought it was a fly that had dropped down from
    the bill of my cap, but I wasn’t sure, and immediately removed my hat
    and looked at it. Nothing at all. So I go into the kitchen and feel something crawling down my neck, and I brushed a good sized spider onto the floor.
    It didn’t live long after that, believe you me. Good thing I caught that.

  3. Sync doesn’t have to be pleasing, does it? I know just what you, mean.

    For me, the whole of that paragraph seemed spaced out and I wasn’t sure whether you were being deliberate, even with your comment.

    It looks better, now?

  4. Sync is not pleasing when you’re going down the drain.

    Yes, Ed, I still see holes in that choppy paragraph,
    but that’s the way I see, I think. I may be seeing stars.

    You look better now.

  5. You have introduced two things that struck me as awkward in this chapter.
    The first is a narrator…I was not aware of one before this chapter. Not saying it is a bad thing it’s just that there has not been much from him through this story…perhaps more of him… or less to make the story seem less awkward and more natural.
    The second thing is that as a reader I was at that fire with Luke on the ground with Plumes of smoke billowing all around…when did Luke find time to see a heart missing that I didn’t get to see. See what I’m saying? 🙂
    On I go…

  6. Was it is. Thanks! Didn’t have to change much here. Yeah!
    Although, I wonder if I only need about 3 of the paragraphs.
    Was the rest filler? Do you find Luke’s self-exam interesting?

    About a narrator…isn’t that me? Or is it someone besides me?
    One formal and one casual? Two me’s…is that what you mean?
    One omniscient and one who takes liberties with the story?

    The way I ended up…this idea I had…about making it part of
    the oral tradition…as a story-teller…making it a hand-me-down…
    a legend bequeathed to me…making it out to be a true story…
    to make it sound or seem more scary…that’s what I thought.
    Will that cause problems later on? Making it more difficult
    than if I’d done otherwise? I’m beginning to think…most definitely.

    Did you catch my comment about the missing heart in Ch. 5?
    I didn’t give Luke much time to study or further investigate.
    I wanted the reader to feel in a state of ‘rush’ or ‘panic’.

    Happy Monday, Stuart! Thanks again for all your help! 🙂

  7. I caught your comment and expanded on what I was trying to say on chapter 5 comments.
    Now I will expand here. The narrator starts in commenting “Lets listen in…”. Confuses who is telling the story because if the narrator is listening he’s not telling right?
    …and how does he know for sure that the man took the heart? without tying up the third and fourth paragraph from the bottom in chapter 5 he can’t be thinking that someone took a heart unless it is clarified. Just my logic working over time.

  8. Ha-ha! You are so right! I had to laugh at myself on that one. It’s gone now. While I was writing, I had my blog viewers in mind, those few who were following along — my team, sort of. I end up talking to them instead of focusing on one reader at a time. It most likely happens more than once. Thanks for helping me keep an eye out!

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