Ed was torn from a deep sleep. He looked at the clock. He had only been in bed for about 15 minutes. Why did it feel like hours?
The sleep rolled off. He became aware of his surroundings. And more.
There were voices, not loud, but loud enough. He rolled over and shifted so he could hear. They became clear, distinct. Two of them. Women’s voices.
“Why didn’t I ever come back?” The voice sent a thrill down his spine. He knew this voice. It had haunted his dreams for years. He had heard it by the waterfall. “You should know. This place gives me the creeps. Besides it being far too silent, a place where the only thing you can hear is your heartbeat, it is just plain, well, creepy. I see things that I know aren’t there. People, places, buildings, you know, things. Ghosts. Ghosts of the past and ghosts of things that never existed. I was literally going out of my mind. I was going insane. I’m much saner in the city. The hustle, bustle and noise. I never hear nor see things that I shouldn’t. No images of a past that never existed. I still have dreams about the moors. Not always pleasant dreams.” She used words so similar to Liza’s, about a past that never existed. Did she know?
“You have to accept it, my dear. You are special.” This was a different voice. Liza’s voice. Heard from this vantage, he felt a pull, a magic behind it. She was only about 15 years older than he was, not ancient. And she was in great shape. A cousin, but not closely related at all. She was…
Ed banished the thought. She was family.
“Special? Is that what they call the mentally ill these days? Special? A euphemism? It is just plain crazy. This entire place is. And this weird man you invited in. There is something about him. I don’t know what, but I know he isn’t normal. I get weird vibes from him, feelings I don’t understand. Do you actually know him that well? How is he related? He certainly isn’t one of my cousins. I don’t have any first cousins, and I know all of my second cousins. There aren’t many.” The voice sent sparks up his spine. He felt lightheaded, drunk on her words. It didn’t matter that the words said that she didn’t trust or like him. They were words about him. They were words from her, the woman he always knew but never knew, in a voice he heard every night in his dreams.
“The two of you share a great grandfather. Your grandfather Stanly was the brother of his grandmother Margret.” Liza’s voice, so enticing just a minute earlier, was like fingers on a chalkboard in comparison to her daughter’s voice.
“Stanly? I don’t have a Grandfather Stanly.”
“Do you remember my mother’s old friend, Stanly? An American? He was at her funeral. You met him. My mom used to occasionally talk about him, as did I. You know his story as well as I do. After the war and all. He spent a couple of weeks here every year from the late 40s through the 50s. You remember. He was special. Very special to me. To you. See, he was my biological father. You never met my other father, Robert Wright. If you did, you would know we aren’t related.”
“What? Mother, you wait until I am 41 years old to destroy everything I know about the world?” 41? She was almost Ed’s own age. Well, closer than her mother was. 41.
“If you had stayed here instead of running away, I would have told you. I wanted to. I tried to. But no, you would rather hide far away. Perhaps running from the truth. This truth and others.”
“Running? Well, yes, I guess I was. From this place. From the visions. The feelings. The otherness of the moors. How could I stay? The place was driving me insane. Literally.”
“It is a gift. It comes from your Grandfather Stanly. I inherited it and passed it on to you. Edward also has it. It is just beginning to waken in him, but it is strong.”
“Edward.” The way Lauren said the word made the skin on Ed’s skull crawl. She then said another name. His name. But it was gone before he could capture it. Every fiber of his body resonated with the sound of her voice saying that name.
“What did you say?!” Liza’s voice was an explosive shout that would have woken Ed if he were not already awake. Blunt. A gun shot.
“Nothing Mother, nothing. Just a word, a name, I once heard in a dream. Dream. I’m tired. Very tired. I have to go to sleep. Now. Good night.”
“Good night. And Lauren? Thank you for coming home today. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. Really. Thank you.”
“Sure, Mom. ‘Night.”
Ed heard footsteps coming up the stairs. They paused in front of his room. He could hear her, the woman, Lauren was one of names, outside, breathing. She whispered, but he could still hear. “Goodnight, …,” she said his real name.
“Goodnight, …,” he said what he knew was her real name, though he knew not what he said.
He could feel her on the other side of the door. He wanted to open it and bring her in. But then there was a sigh and she slipped away. He heard a door close.
Ed rolled over and closed his eyes. With the voice and the name running through his mind, he drifted off to sleep.
And so it continues, now up to chapter eight (8) of the newly named Of Wind and Wings. Chapter 7 is here. Chapter 6 is here. Chapter 5 is here. Chapter 4 is here. Chapter 3 is here. Chapter 2 is here and Chapter 1 here.
Note – the other chapters are based on Sue Vincent’s #writephoto, but I had to write this and the previous chapter out. The photo at the top is mine.
Note 2 – I have no idea what the title Of Wind and the Wings means, but it came to me, so my guess is that I will make it work ;)
Note 3 – I will create a proper table of contents page for this and do the navigation thing sometime soon.