...And the Angels Wept

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

Confused by Danny's response to her restless spirit in Alitheia, Charlotte speaks with her mother about her curiosity, yet finds herself no closer to an answer regarding the alluring city of Psevdaisthisis.

Chapter 2 (v.1) - Curious

Submitted: December 31, 2014

Reads: 273

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Submitted: December 31, 2014

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“There you are! Where have you been all day?” smiled her mother who was at the sink washing dishes. Though they were mother and daughter, Charlotte still counted her mother as one of her closest friends.
“I was on the hill in the forest, and then I caught a ride back with Danny,” Charlotte said as she set her things on the table.
“How is Danny doing these days? I hardly ever see him,” she gazed out the kitchen window behind the sink into the backyard. It was a beautiful day and her three sons were taking advantage.
“He’s doing well,” Charlotte slid into a chair at the counter, reaching for one of the cookies sitting on the newspaper to cool. They were fresh, warm, and gooey. Everybody could make as many batches of cookies as they wanted, but they never compared to Mom’s. “Still carting flowers in and out of the city.”
“I’m so glad he’s doing that. He needed that change,” smiled her mother down at her hands.
Charlotte was confused. “Change? You mean he hasn’t been doing that his entire life?”
“Oh, no, no, no,” she laughed her golden laugh. Charlotte loved it when she laughed. “He used to be an architect. He practically built this city! He was a genius, too. The buildings and designs…” she sighed.
“Why did he quit?” Charlotte frowned.
“His daughter,” she paused. Maybe Charlotte shouldn’t have asked. She finally looked up and said, “She left the city many years before you were born, went to Psevdaisthisis, and never came back. She hated everything about Alitheia and just wanted to leave. She saw so much more for herself.” She dried her hands on the towel and turned to face her daughter. “It devastated him. She had seemed to love Alitheia as much as he did. When she left, he changed so much. He became quiet, thoughtful, and sad. He would spend days in the library. He no longer found his life in building. So he stopped.”
“All for his daughter? Why would he just quit? Why not wait for her to come back?”
“She never came back, Charlotte. She stayed in Psevdaisthisis, found herself a boyfriend, and is now a single mother of three.”
“What was she like before she left?”
“Oh, she was beautiful. She sang and danced, she played music for us all when she would visit homes. She was one of the most beautiful young women I’d ever met. Her delight, her true delight, though, was found in flowers. She loved them with a passion. She lived with Danny and kept a garden full of every flower you can imagine. I tried growing some of the ones she had, but I just couldn’t do it the way she did.”
Charlotte’s face lit up. “Is that why he carts flowers in and out of the city now?”
“It certainly is,” her mother smiled a sad smile. “It’s his way of honoring her memory, the memory of a beautiful child.”
Charlotte looked down at her hands.
“What are you thinking about?” asked her mother. She saw everything that Charlotte tried to hide in her face. They just knew each other that well.
“I hear a lot of things when we have strangers over, when they pass through,” Charlotte began slowly. “And there’s one thing that I hear a lot about in Psevdaisthisis.” She gulped. It was the one thing about that city that plagued her mind. “There’s a place in this one part of town, Happiness Row I think it is. Anyways, those who pass through speak very highly of the place, of the things they find that is very pleasurable. They never go very far into detail, but I wonder what it is they speak of.”
Her mother looked at Charlotte, then at her hands. She began putting the cookies away. “Why do you ask?”
“Curiosity, really,” Charlotte said, trying to sound as casual as possible.
“Mm…I see what you mean,” her mother nodded. “As much as these strangers speak of the things found in that city, there is nothing truly good there. They spin stories made out of dainty silver and gold, painting pretty pictures, but if you were to tug and pull at those strings, you would find that they are delicate and held together by fine threads that are not strong, but are deadly.”
“But then why would they speak so highly of that place?”
“Deception. It is as pervasive as dust and as sneaky as a snake. That city is a city of darkness,” she said grimly.
“How?” asked Charlotte.
“One day, you will know, just trust me.”
Charlotte nodded. “When would that be?”
She shrugged. “When the time is right. Don’t worry about it, trust me,” she looked at Charlotte carefully.
“Okay,” Charlotte smiled. “I’m going to go shower and change.”
“Good idea,” she nodded. “I need to take the boys out for soccer shoes. They insist they can’t play without cleats when the season starts in a few months.”
Charlotte laughed, “All right then, I’ll see you later.”
She disappeared up the stairs and into the room she shared with her sister. It wasn’t that she felt she needed a shower, she just wanted one. It seemed to be the only place where she could think without being bothered. Nobody is going to walk in there and start telling you random things, like what the weather will be for the next week and a half. It was where she could be alone. And boy did she need that right now.
Danny’s daughter had gone to Psevdaisthisis. Mom wouldn’t tell her the answer to her question. And now Psevdaisthisis held even more intrigue than before. Trust her. That was what Mom had told her. Trust her. She desperately wanted to. Maybe she could wait until the time really did come.
She peeled off her clothes as the bathroom became flooded with mist from the hot shower. She stepped in and felt the warm water run down her body as she filled her palm with shampoo and began massaging it through her hair. Why was it so hard to trust Mom on this one? Why did she have this nagging in her mind? She could wait, couldn’t she? She could put off curiosity. But did she have to?
“She basically said, ‘when you’re older,’” she laughed. “Well, I’m older tomorrow, aren’t I?” She spat soap out of her mouth. Why did she never remember not to talk in the shower? She didn’t need her mouth washed! She opened her mouth to the stream of water, gurgled and spat again. The soapy taste of her shampoo wasn’t going away. Just like the curiosity in her mind. Why couldn’t she put it to rest? Honestly, she could wait!
“But can you?” said a voice in her mind.
“Sure I can,” she nodded her head confidently as she ran her fingers through her hair with conditioner. “I wait for the time to fulfill itself for parties, friends, or dances.”
“But this could take years,” said the voice.
“Years are okay,” she rinsed her hair. “I waited years to turn 16.”
“You knew how many years lay between you and then, you don’t know that now,”
She scrubbed the body wash into her skin. “I know enough to satisfy myself.”
“Do you? All you know is that these strangers speak of light and your mother speaks of darkness. All you know is that they speak of finding satisfaction and your mother speaks of finding deception. They never say what is at Happiness Row. They enter stores, but what comes afterwards?”
She rinsed the suds off. “What comes afterwards” bounced around in her mind. She ran her hands down her body, feeling the curves that had finally manifested themselves and identified her as a woman. “What comes afterwards?” Why did she have to wait to find that out? How long would it take? Was it really something that she needed to trust Mom for? Or could she just find out for herself?
She rung her hair out and wrapped it in a towel, then began drying herself off. She stepped out and went to grab fresh clothes.
Maybe she couldn’t wait. Maybe she couldn’t let herself keep on in curiosity when there was so much more to be learned. She pulled her clothes on and looked in the mirror at herself. How dare her mother withhold an answer when she was perfectly capable of handling it? She brushed her hair, threw it in a ponytail and went downstairs barefoot.
She smiled to herself. “Barefoot is the only way to go, even if glass is constantly getting broken around here.”
The house was empty…totally deserted. Was this her chance?
“No, we need to try to live with curiosity. We can do it, can’t we?” she said to their golden retriever, Sam.
“Can you, Charlotte? Can you go on without knowing the answer?” said the voice in her mind.
 


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