Reads: 56


Andrew awoke with a severe pounding and painful throbbing coming from both head and body, the slightest effort towards any other thought than pain brought him excruciating defeat.

The pain only increased further to the sounds of someone banging away on a metal link or chain, slowly and with all effort he opened his eyes only to be staring at iron bars slowly he looked around, other pedestrians from the Black Lantern littered the cells around him as an officer of the law a Mr. Micklin watched over him from a cluttered table.

 A cup of hot coffee rose to his lips as his eyes wandered to Andrew, he took a sip slowly from his brew.

“Hello” Micklin said slowly.

Andrew squinted in pain as officer Micklin came to the bars and whispered out “You got a name boy?”

Andrew whispered out slowly “Andrew sir, Andrew Abrams” he repeated. 

“Abrams…Humm.” officer Micklin repeated as he wrote it down.

“Do you know why you’re here Mr. Abrams” officer Micklin said slowly.

Andrew careful stood and grasped the iron bars “No sir,” he said. 

“I found you lying in the alleyway naked as the day you were born, all you had was this necklace around your neck” Micklin said as he lifted it from his open drawer.

Andrew's eyes widened, he suddenly realized he was wearing a set of white garments befitting a patient of the asylum.

“Now” officer Micklin said “Can you tell me where you live.” 

Andrew gave him his address and Micklin diligently wrote it down “Is there someone there that can claim you.”

Andrew sighed “No sir, my father is in the care of a nurse, a miss’s Salts sir.” 

Officer Micklin grunted in a huff “Is there no one you know that can come and get you.”

Andrew thought for a moment embarrassed and ashamed of his predicament, he knew someone who could help, but the shame felt too heavy to take, his thoughts turned to his father James and  Andrew knew his father needed him, sighing slowly he asked officer Micklin “Do you know a Mr. Marvel sir.”

Micklin raised one eyebrow “I do.” 

“Please” Andrew said “Tell him who I am and he will come.”

Officer Micklin scoffed lightly and shook his head “It is late, perhaps a night here would do you some good.” 

“Please sir” Andrew spoke “My father is not well, please help me get back to him.”

Officer Micklin leaned back in his chair and thought for a moment, he had heard about the Abrams family and the health of the father James, people in town spoke of him in quiet and in fear and his only boy Andrew.

Of course Micklin didn’t believe such stories about curses and evil omens and sighing with a huff Micklin stood and gathered his coat and left out the door.

Andrew had not long to wait for the home of the marvels was just a block or two from this very place making for a safe environment, he looked around the cells and recognized one of the women as the silver eyed drunk girl from the bar, she snored loudly in the cell next to his.

He could hear the officer approaching from outside and Andrew held his breath as the door opened again and in steeped Mr. Marvel or David as he liked to be addressed.

Andrew stared at him through the bars and slowly lowered his eyes.

Mr. Marvel turned back to the door way as he called to the officer “What is Andrews’s fine?”

Officer Micklin shook his head slowly “Just make sure he gets back home safety Mr. Marvel.”

David thanked the officer as he stood outside the bars.

Officer Micklin took the key from his ring and opened Andrews’s cell door he looked down at Andrew and said “I’ll want those clothes back after you change.”

Andrew nodded his head slowly.

“Here” officer Micklin said as he handed over Andrews’s necklace.

Andrew did not look up at David’s face till they were outside; slowly he stared up as David looked back at him with a small smile “So my boy do you want to talk about it?” 

Andrew just shook his head.

“Ok then” he said still smiling at Andrew “Come then let’s get you a change of clothes” he said as they walked towards  marvel manor, he opened the iron gate to his home and walked up the stone steps to the front door.

Andrew looked up with a small frown forming he didn’t want Hazel to see him like this.

David understood the frown “Not to worry” David said “Hazel is asleep, you’ll be quick.” he said as he opened the front door.

Andrew stepped in, the house was very large yet homely and warm the doorman Mr. Tip looked Andrew up in down and smiled lightly towards him.

David spoke suddenly “I’ll call for a cabbie, don’t worry about the fair, he will take you right home.”

Andrew thanked Mr. Marvel for his kindness.

And with that he was then led upstairs and as he passed by a closed door he caught the scent of lavender and lime, the same smell that wavered softly over Hazel, he stepped lightly and walked to the third door that stood opened, a room for guests and extended family.

Mr. Tip disappeared for a moment in another room and suddenly reappeared, at his side with an arm full of warm clothing and a change of pants; he handed them to Andrew, bowed, and exited the room.

Andrew closed the door and undressed he reached slowly to his neck and felt the necklace, whoever had robbed him the other night had not taken it.

He wondered, of all the things he had, this must have been the most precious and most expensive, he shook his head at the thought of a foolish robber taking his clothes and wallet all of which were worth much less than this stone hung around his neck.

He slowly dressed in warm clothing, his body and head still hurt as he pulled the shirt down over him and pulled up the strait pair of black pants he looked at himself in the mirror and combed his fingers through his hair.

He sighed to himself, he looked like a gentleman but underneath he felt like nothing more than a useless drunk taking from a man who treated him so kindly, he sighed again collected the clothing of the jail and left out the room he passed by Hazels door and down the steps where David was waiting on him.

“Go ahead and keep the suit to replace the clothing that was stolen, Mr. Tip will take those garments back to the officer” David spoke.

Andrew nodded thankful and handed the clothing to Mr. Tip.

David looked down at Andrew and whispered out “Hazel is just fine by the way, my wife Sara sometimes ...overreacts but she means well.”

Andrew breathed a small sigh of relief he almost hugged, Mr. Marvel who smiled largely but kept his distance and instead shook his hand.

David opened the door and patted Andrew on the shoulders as he walked him out as Andrew made it to the front gates he felt a sense of happiness, but still a small sting of disappointment in himself.

Hazel awoke to the sounds of someone coming up the steps followed but another patter of shoes she thought she had been dreaming but the sound was real and alive she heard the door shut at the room after hers the guest bedroom she wondered what father or mother or Mr. tip was doing then she heard a voice, it was Mr. tip she heard him whisper out “Here you are Sir Abrams.”

Hazel heard the door shut and thought for a moment Sir Abrams? She quickly got out of bed and adjusted the gemstone around her neck and walked to the wall nearest the guest room.

What was Andrew doing here and why did he need to be alone in the guest bedroom?

She held her ear to the wall and heard him mess about, and then a sigh as she heard the door open and shut.

Hazel walked to her door and waited, she caught a glimpse of him through the cracks of the door way and she could hear his footsteps down the stairs she walked over to her window and gently pulled the curtains away.

She caught the sight of Andrew and her father as David opened the front gate and Andrew slowly shuffled into a waiting cabbie he was dressed in the most finest of clothing he was strikingly handsome, she watched as the carriage finally faded in the distance.

She put her hand to the window in wanting and felt the twisted glass the spot that had melted, scared and angry she pressed and pressed till at last with a cry she pounded her fist against the glass and shattered her window, cutting her hand.

A call was heard from downstairs “Hazel, are you alright?” the sound of rushing footsteps and the concerned calling from her mother and father followed. 

Hazel grasped her hand and cried as it bled onto her green carpet, she kept pressure on the wound till Sara and David burst through the door.

 “Hazel my god, what happened” Sara asked as she rushed towards her.

“Are you alright?” David inquired as he gently took Hazels hand 

“Mr. Tip, bring up a bandage and a wet cloth, call the doctor!” Sara yelled all in a single sentence.

Bewildered and befuddled Mr. Tip ran down the stairs and grabbed a bowl of warm water  and a cloth and ran back upstairs then huffing he ran back down and called the doctor as Sara washed and wrapped the wound.

Moments later the doctor Mr. Rockland arrived, he went straight up the stairs to Hazel and examined her hand “The cut is long but not deep it shouldn’t require any stitches, I recommend that you just keep it wrapped and washed it should be alright in a few days but my dear what happened?” he asked.

“Yes… what happened, Hazel?” David asked again.

Sara stood quietly waiting for an answer.

Hazel bit her lip and lied “I awoke and stood too quickly from bed and became dizzy… I lost my balance and fell towards the window and the glass shattered.”

The doctor, Sara and David looked at her in a questionable stare. 

“Just clumsy I guess …I feel fine” she continued “We’ll  excepted my hand of course” she smiled to give the impression that all is well.

Sara gave her a look, but she did not say a word.

“Well my dear” the doctor said “This is twice in a week I have come to see you, please be more careful I don’t want any other injuries…understood?”

 Hazel nodded her head.

“Yes indeed” the doctor replied as he stood “Good day Mr. Marvel ...Misses Marvel” he said as he left the room. 

Hazel’s father cleared the glass from the floor as Sara inspected the window again and traced the glass that remained with her finger she glanced at Hazel a look of concern and a questioning stare froze her expression as she turned and left the room.

Hazel felt something with the look a feeling of … panic.

David finished picking up the pieces of glass from the floor he cleared his throat and stammered about to say something but instead he sighed stood and stepped out of the room.

Hazel paced her room back and forth angry at herself and frightful of what was to come she sat at her bed and felt the tears come when she was again stuck by the image the image of the woman.

She stood before Hazel in a dark tunnel lit buy a lonely torch, Hazel looked around the stone room she could hear screams outside and horses, the clashing of armor and a horrible hissing. 

She looked to the dirt dry earth and saw them… swarming and slithering by the thousands upon thousands …snakes!

With paralyzing fear she stared up at the woman her face was draped in a red veil but Hazel could feel her smiling.

She was dressed in beautiful garments of dark brown leather with bright colored beads and a headdress of vibrant feathers.

The woman reached up slowly with her hand and plucked the largest feather from it, black broad and silky, mesmerized in it shine she whispered out to Hazel.

“Seek it… find it… help me.” 

The image darkened as did Hazels conciseness and she slipped into a tunnel of dreamery.


Submitted: September 19, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Mark Anthony. All rights reserved.


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Book / Young Adult