The Vicar of Darkness

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 12 (v.1) - XII.

Submitted: April 22, 2019

Reads: 31

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Submitted: April 22, 2019

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Eloise returns to consciousness at a painstaking pace. She is in a bed softer than the one in her little pink cell, it's how she is able to recall the events of the morning. Voices echo in the room and she fights to open her eyes, but it is in vain. A discussion is taking place but she is only able to catch pieces of it.

"...Is it a side effect of the treatment?"

"Eric thinks Dovier might have paralyzed her vocal cords during the last surgery..."

"...she can cough, we know..."

"I thought she was being treated for..."

"Is it irreversible?"

"...not sure, Doctor Drane ordered that we stop her treatment for now..."

"Her parents are coming for her."

"He told them it was temporary and would go away in a matter of weeks."

"We are positive that it is temporary then?"

"We cannot confirm that."

---

"Where have you been?" Doctor Harrison asks Preston when the young doctor walks into his office late in the afternoon       

"Where have you been?" Doctor Harrison asks Preston when the young doctor walks into his office late in the afternoon. His voice is full of concern, Preston recognizes.

"Sorry, it is a tad late I realize. My apologies-"

"They're releasing Eloise back to her parents," the doctor announces, knowing that he needs to explain quickly before Preston can react.

He is a smart young man, who often reacts by nature. Both an advantage and a drawback in his chosen field of work. It is good to act on instinct in a medical emergency, as well as it is important to get a grasp of the whole story before taking action.

"And it seems that there have been complications."

Preston glances at the file in the doctor's hands, "Of what sorts?"

"Well that, I don't know about," he pauses grimly, "but it does not sound ideal."

As the doctor had anticipated, Preston snaps into action and begins to prepare the doctor's medical bag. "When does she come in?" he asks with haste.

"Preston, they asked us to let her rest." The doctor puts a hand on the young man's shoulder. "She's not in a good place right now- it will be better if we visit in the morning- for all of us."

Preston stops when he sees the anxiety in the doctor's eyes. This is the first time he has seen such an expression on his mentors face. It doesn't make him any less uneasy, but he knows that the last thing the doctor needs is for the both of them to be restless. Yet, his thoughts promptly bring the worst hypothetical scenarios to mind.

"Don't start," the doctor interrupts his early speculation. "Your mind will go to the worst places. Best get some sleep, we will see her in the morning as early as possible."

---

Eloise makes no effort to communicate with her parents during their journey home       

Eloise makes no effort to communicate with her parents during their journey home. Her mother shows concern. Her daughter was a fighter, in spite of the fact that life constantly worked to oppose her. Remaining partially in daze, Eloise looks everywhere but at the people around her.

Upon arriving to the Desmond manor she is taken to her room where she is assisted into bed. The servants bring her favorite soup, marigold soup. She smells the distinct interwoven green flavors. The soup is a popular dish for children, with the vegetables cut into flower shapes in effort to trick kids into eating them.

Eloise does not move from her spot on the bed. The smell of food is nauseating, and she hates herself for it. How can she be this helpless? She is Electra Vicar of the South, Electra who stopped the ambush in Cedar Hills, Electra who trained with the great Basma of the Southwest. Basma.

Not wanting her mind to wander there, she turns to her side, facing the window, and watches the violet night gradually take over the sky. It takes a lifetime, but at last the darkness has swallowed her, it is strangely comforting. It has always been, for nighttime was when she was most alive.

Her mother visits once during the night. She does not try to speak to Eloise, but stays at her side for a good thirty minutes before going to bed.

There is no doubt in her mind that her mother doesn't love her. Eloise doesn't want to resent her mother, but at the moment she does. She understands that her mother's actions are influenced significantly by those of her father's, but that alone is frustrating.

Her father. He had achieved what he had wanted all along- even it had been unintentional. He took the only thing Eloise had left, her words. He had finally silenced her forever. He pretended she didn't exist for all of her life. An undesired blemish in the flawless Desmond lineage.

And who was she now what defined her existence was obsolete?

Eloise resonated with the songless siren in her favorite book previously because the main character, Doire, could not walk. She was a prisoner in a palace of wonders, trapped behind glass, watching the world from her aquarium tank.

Now Eloise is songless herself, without a voice what will her fate be? Without her Light, her existence does indeed feel obsolete.

She closes her eyes and sighs. Her parents will accept this as her defeat. She can't let them win. She won't cry.

But it does hurt- to not have her voice that is. Or her Light. She will never be able to be independent again. With tears quietly rolling down the side of her face, she curls into a ball and continues to sob into the morning.

---

 

The young woman that sits before the doctor and his assistant has little resemblance to the Eloise Desmond they remember. The fire that had once fueled her personality, is gone. Now, she is sitting before them but her mind is elsewhere.

The two have an instinctive natural, protective reaction, as they do with all their patients. All in the same, they feel guilty, how could they let this happen? 

"Eloise, from what I understand you cannot speak right now," the doctor pauses, expecting a sort of response. When there isn't, he carries on, "I am going to examine you. If I hurt you in any way, or if you are uncomfortable, raise your hand to let us know alright?"

Preston could swear that she nods, but isn't quite sure. Doctor Harrison seems to think so too as he goes ahead with the examination.

He helps her lay on her side. His brows furrow upon noticing that she is remarkably lighter.

Preston is admittedly too scared to touch her. He watches for now, breathing deeply, trying not to let his feelings win. He is angry and upset, worried and relieved- relieved that she is here, relieved that she is back.

"From what I understand, the procedure she underwent was administered directly into the spine." Doctor Harrison informs Preston. He pulls the back of her gown up to view her spine. He winces and cannot find the words to express his outrage.

His assistant has to leave the room. How could Eloise's parents allow this? They let her be dissected and for what? They're willing to lose the part of Eloise that fights, in exchange for the slim chance that she might walk someday?

Doctor Harrison storms out of the room as well. Preston follows him down the hall and into the sitting room where Eloise's parents wait. He has no idea what the older doctor plans to do, but figures that he should follow. Would he yell at them? Could he yell them?

Lady Desmond looks at the doctor with wide, waiting eyes. There are small grey bags underneath, and the whites of her eyes are reddish. Lord Desmond expectantly turns his gaze at Doctor Harrison. The doctor's anger is fuming but he remains composed. Preston recognizes this as true professionalism.

"This," he pauses, "did not have to happen," he announces sternly. "That is all I will say."

He exits the room without waiting for a response. Preston glances at the Desmonds before following and he imagines that they had little to say anyway.

---

"Sir Ain, is there news of Lady Electra?" Errol interrupts Ain's train of thought       

"Sir Ain, is there news of Lady Electra?" Errol interrupts Ain's train of thought. They walk with Prince Cyan from a council meeting that has ended.

The Vicar thinks back to earlier in the day, when he and Doctor Harrison tended to Eloise. It was unpleasant, but not for the reasons one might think.

It was most disturbing to Ain, that Eloise did not react throughout the procedure. When her muscles tensed showing that she was in pain, she remained quiet. Her mind was prepared and focused elsewhere- somewhere far, far away. It was automatic, she has done this several times before.

Ain looks at Prince Cyan and Sir Errol, both who stopped walking in anticipation. They care about Electra, they want to know that she is okay. He knows he will have to tell them the truth, although he would prefer not to. Even if he doesn't, his hesitation in responding gives it away.

"I'm sorry, I'll be honest with you two... she is not well." The flash of regret across his face is convincing enough for Sir Errol and Prince Cyan. "Even if she had the strength..." Her voice.

"Oh..." the prince says disappointed and troubled to learn. He was hopeful that his new friend would return sooner than later and in good health. "You say it is a matter of health? What if I loan you the royal physician? He is the greatest scientific mind on this side of the map. Former Head Vicar of the Grandmasters, current Head Vicar of the Medicinal Sciences. I'm sure perhaps... he could be of some assistance?"

"It's true," Sir Errol adds, wondering why he hadn't thought of the idea himself. "Sir François is of the Royal Guard and is a trusted confidant. He will understand the sensitivity of the matter, in regards to the subject of her identity."

Ain told Sir Errol about his knowledge of Electra's real identity, upon discovering that she was in the Institute. To his relief Sir Errol called it a Test of Trust, that every Vicar partnership must undergo at some point in their career.

The two look eagerly at Ain. He doesn't know if there is anything more anyone can do, but another opinion would not hurt. He can at least ease their worries by considering it.

"I'll discuss it with her current physician, but I am sure he would not be opposed to it."

With that news both Prince Cyan and Errol are alleviated momentarily. As much as they can be anyway.


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