The Addicted Natural Ch. 13byblacknight99©
Chapter 13 -- The White Witch of Walden -- Perception and Reality
THE STRANGEST NIGHT CONTINUES
"Brenda, I want answers! I want them now! What was all that about, back in the tent?"
We were on our way from the campground to the hospital, which was about a twenty minute drive. It had taken us only ten minutes to break camp. The tent was a wet, muddy mess, but everything else had stayed miraculously dry. Well, everything except Maxine. We'd spread a sheet over the back seat to protect it, but the truck smelled strongly of wet dog. Right now, however, I wanted desperately to make sense of the evening's events. I waited for my pretty wife to answer me.
"I'll tell you the truth, Freddy, but you're not going to like it ...."
"Because it won't make sense to you. I think that that's your biggest trouble in life. You believe there must be a reason for everything. But some things just ARE. Some things just HAPPEN. If you don't have faith in that, you can spend your whole life looking for answers that aren't there."
"Tell me," I ordered firmly.
She sighed. "I told you the truth about the dreams. Dee told you the truth. But ... I think there's more to it. I think that, though the dream was Willie's, it was Dee that linked into it, somehow. I think that I was just sort of along for the ride."
I started to say something, but decided against it.
"Dee seems to have some sort of ... connection with Willie. You can see it if you look closely." She paused to let that sink in. "She has a connection with me, too, Freddy. You MUST notice it. It's ... sort of weird; but really, really nice, too. It's almost as if we ... sort of ... merge. But I don't think I have much to do with it. I think Dee makes it happen. It's just that it can't happen unless there are two, so it happens to both of us. Does that make sense?"
I didn't trust myself to answer.
"And when she does it ... when we do it ... I ... I can feel what she feels." She seemed to be struggling with herself, afraid to reveal more. "I can feel the baby, Freddy."
"Aw, Brenda ...." I couldn't keep the sadness and concern out of my voice.
"I know. It doesn't make any sense. You don't believe it. You never will." She was silent for a long minute, building herself up to continue. "It doesn't really matter if you believe or not. But somehow, someway, she was able to see into Willie's dream, into her life. And we saw her death, too."
"The tree. Last night, we saw the tree kill her. It was awful! Terrible!" She shuddered. "But Dee thought that if we could somehow ... connect with her again; connect with her just as it was happening, then we could make her ... move. Move out of the way of the tree. And ... and ... I guess it must have worked."
"Why did you want to have sex with me so badly?"
"It only happens when we have sex. The dreams, I mean. They always come just after she and I have sex. Sometimes I come so hard that I fall asleep right away. Or maybe I pass out or something. Anyway, that's when the dreams come. So Dee decided that our best chance of connecting to her would be during sex. She seemed to know exactly when it would happen. I just did what she suggested."
"And did you see her again? Did you see Willie while we were doing it in the tent?"
She shook her head and blushed. "No. I didn't see anything. But I've got to tell you, Freddy: that was the best orgasm EVER!" She was silent, thinking back on it. "I mean ... Golly! I'm STILL tingling!"
"I know, I know. You don't believe a word of it. But you wanted to know. You deserve to know. And that's what happened."
We were pulling into the hospital parking lot. Oddly, the night was still young. It was only 8:30. With all that had happened, it seemed much later. I parked as near the front of the building as I could, and we went inside. Brenda went off in search of Willie, but I had a premonition (correct, as it turned out), and visited the admissions department first. Sure enough, I learned that even though the doctors were recommending a 24-hour observation period in the facility, the hospital administrators wanted to discharge Willie immediately because she evidently had no insurance. The ambulance service was on the hook for $750, as well. They didn't want to disclose any of this information to me until I pulled out my checkbook. Once again, the old adage was proven: the American medical establishment will give you the best treatment money can buy.
It took me awhile to find them. I'd paid for a private room, and they were moving her. By the time I walked through the proper door, I found an intern giving Willie an injection.
"That will help you sleep," he told her, then smiled at her (it was more of a grinning leer) and walked out.
I bent over to give her a kiss on the cheek. "How are you, Willie?"
She put her arms around my neck and hugged me tightly. "You saved me! You're my hero!"
"Aw, shucks, ma'am." I gave her my best bashful cowboy routine. "How's the arm?"
She flexed her hand. "It's slightly stiff, but they tell me there are no broken bones."
"I'm sorry about your husband, Willie."
"Don't be, please. I didn't love him. I hated him!" She watched the shock register on my face. "I belong to you now, Frederick."
I shook my head. "I don't know what in the world you mean. You said that once before. It didn't make any sense then, either."
"Well, you see, it's just ... just that ... that ... OH!"
She sank back into the pillows at the head of her bed. She blinked her eyes slowly once or twice. "Oh! I'm suddenly ... suddenly ... very ... sleepy."
"It's the injection they just gave you. You'll sleep for a long time."
"NO!" she said emphatically, sitting up, swaying, and then falling back into the pillows. "No! I must tell you something first. You must get my cards! You have to save my cards ... Please!" Her eyes rolled. She struggled to keep them open. "My keys ... in my ... pocket."
Dee went to a closet, picked up a pair of torn, grimy denim shorts, fished around in the pockets, and eventually held up a key chain.
"There's an address on the tag .... You must ... go there ... and ... get my cards. I must ... have ... my ... cards."
I bent over her and put my hands on her shoulders. "It's okay, Willie. We'll go there first thing in the morning and get your cards."
"You ... should .... There are ... boxes ... under ... the ... bed. You should ... keep ... them." She was fading fast.
"Okay. We'll get the boxes, too." I watched as she struggled to stay awake. I couldn't help it. I looked directly into her powder-blue eyes. "We'll bring your cards and the boxes. But now it's time to go to sleep. Do you trust me?" She nodded with effort. "Good. Now, look into my eyes. Sleep is coming. I'm going to count to three, and when I say three, I you will surrender to the sleep. Just let the sleep take you. You will have very, very pleasant dreams. Trust me. One ... Two ... Three."
She closed her eyes and slumped heavily into the pillows, fast asleep.
We stood around her bed, just looking at her. I can't begin to describe how beautiful, how innocent, how (Lord help me!) desirable, that young girl looked. Finally, I tore my eyes from her.
"Brenda, I want you to stay here with her tonight."
"Okay, Freddy." She walked to the bed and began tucking the sleeping girl in.
"Me, too!" Dee said emphatically. "I'm not leaving her!"
I turned to her and put my hands on her shoulders. "Dee, what are you?"
She blinked. "What?"
"What are you?" I asked again in my most serious voice.
Her eyes widened for a moment, and then she cast them demurely, submissively downward. "I am your slave, Master."
"You will obey me."
I allowed my voice to soften. "We need to think of your health, Dee. And the baby's. You'll sleep in a bed tonight."
"But not OUR bed." She looked up, confused. "We're driving south, toward the city. We're going to get Willie her cards."
Dee gave a little shriek of delight and hugged me around the neck. "Yes, Master!"
I got Brenda a pillow and a blanket from the nurses' station to make her night on the room's only chair a little more comfortable, and then Dee and I left. I walked Maxine around a small patch of lawn at one end of the building, rubbed her down with another towel, and we all got back in the truck. It was a couple hours to the city, but I stopped a little short, since the suburban area indicated in Willie's address incorporated a large area. The motel was old, but the rooms were clean. It was after ten now, but it felt like I'd been up half a lifetime, and that bed looked very tantalizing. We had to leave Maxine in the truck (no pets allowed). Dee and I stripped and shared a long, hot shower, then climbed under the covers. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
HOME (NOT-SO-) SWEET HOME
I'd left a wakeup call for five-thirty. Dee brewed a small pot of coffee (provided in the room), while I walked next door to a gas station to buy pastries and a detailed map. It took me several long minutes of study before I could locate the street name indicated on Willie's key chain. It was in a very small subdivision containing numerous short, minor streets. I carefully plotted our course, fed the dog, finished my second cup of coffee, and we were off. I was expecting a house, or maybe an apartment. It was instead a small single-wide mobile home in a trailer park, sandwiched among hundreds of others, the units separated by only a dozen feet on either side. This one was much shorter than the other homes, and we drove past it twice before we figured out which one it was.
Once again, I left Maxine in the truck as Dee and I climbed the short set of metal stairs to the front (and only) door. It was still before seven a.m., and either no one was about this early, or they just chose to ignore us. The key fit the lock, and we went in.
The walls were a sickly shade of green, and thin wooden strips were spaced along them. I happened to know that this is a very prevalent feature in mobile homes. They cover expansion joints, which allow the walls to flex as the unit is being towed on the highways. A naugahyde couch was built into one wall, and it faced the only table in the room, the dining table, I guessed. This small room obviously encompassed the duties of living room, dining room, kitchen, den, and everything else except the bathroom and bedroom, which lay behind a partially open sliding door at the far end.
Dee started crying. "She was so ALONE here!" she whispered through her tears. I had to agree. There was no TV, no radio, and evidently no books. I opened the top of a small chest of drawers, and immediately came across an amazing find. It was a small, flat mahogany box, about four inches by six, and maybe three inches deep, inlaid with ancient signs of the zodiac all around its base. The top was varnished and hand painted with a great deal of skill: a picture of a woman in a sheer robe, her luscious body clearly visible beneath, an aura or halo surrounding her head. It was absolutely exquisite.
"That must contain the cards," Dee told me. "It was on the table when she was playing her game." I looked at her quizzically. "In my dream," she explained.
This didn't really impress me; I still didn't believe all this rigmarole about dreams. We'd come specifically for a box of cards, and here was a box that was certainly the right size. I set the box on the table and took off the lid. It contained, as I expected, a tarot deck. The cards were set inside in two stacks, side by side, and like the box itself, each card was an individual work of art. I picked up the top one and turned it over in my hand. It was made of some type of wood, very thin and very hard. The card's back was inlaid with the same design that was on each card, precisely identical, excruciatingly exact in every detail. The face of the card bore the same picture as the one on the box, obviously hand painted, and amazingly intricate. I knew that there were literally hundreds of different tarot designs, some dating back hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, as well as some very modern ones. I also knew that the collectors of these decks often waited impatiently for the latest designs from the more famous tarot artists, who normally painted one new series of cards every year. And, I realized the value of the deck that now lay before me. It appeared VERY old. I would guess that collectors would gladly pay thousands of dollars PER CARD for these. This deck belonged in a museum.
"Is that the queen?" Dee asked, looking over my shoulder. She picked up the next card on top of the deck, and her brow furrowed. "They're all face cards. Is this one the jack ... or the king?" She obviously knew nothing about the tarot. Quite frankly, neither did I. One of my students had written a paper on it once, but I had no idea what the symbols were or what they meant. I took the card from her, put them both back in the box, and put the lid on it.
"Let's get out of here," I told her. "Get the boxes out from under the bed. I'll look around a little, and we'll get back to the hospital." I began rummaging through the other drawers, but they were mostly empty. In one, I found no fewer than seven passports, four issued in the United States, and the rest from different countries. All were for our "Mr. Wharton," and all were under different names. Willie's clothes were in a drawer under the "couch," but they were not in very decent shape. I found a plastic bag in the kitchen and began stuffing shorts, t-shirts and underwear into it. I had an eerie premonition, and I suddenly decided to eradicate all evidence of Willie from the place. I snatched up a hair brush, a package of Cotex, a woman's razor, and threw them into the bag, as well. There weren't many feminine items in the place.
"Master! Quick! Come here!" Dee yelled from the bedroom. I plopped the bag containing Willie's things on the table next to the card box and went to the bedroom at the rear of the trailer. She had pulled three boxes from under the bed, and she knelt next to an open one, holding up banded bundles of currency toward me. The box was full of money, neatly stacked. I opened another box, which was also entirely full of bills. I flipped through a bundle. They were all fifties, but the bundle under it was a stack of hundreds. No denomination seemed smaller than a twenty. There were six boxes in all. Some of the bills were obviously new, others just as obviously were not. I couldn't even begin to estimate a total.
We quickly carried the boxes out to the truck, made sure not to forget the plastic bag or the tarot deck, and I locked the trailer's door securely. As we drove off, I marveled at the fact that we had not seen one other human being since we arrived.
"What do you suppose it all means?" Dee asked me.
"I don't know," I answered. "Nothing makes any sense at all." We drove in silence for awhile. "I found all of her things in the living room in a couple drawers under the couch."
"That's where she slept," Dee said with certainty. "HE slept in the bed."
I shook my head. "I'm sorry, Dee, but I simply can't believe that you could know that she's a virgin just by looking at her. And I can't believe that Wharton, or any other man for that matter, could call a girl like that his wife without ...." I couldn't finish.
"I know what you mean, Master. I feel it, too."
We drove north quickly, toward ... what? "I don't know what we're going to do, Dee," I admitted. She let a long minute go by before answering.
"Brenda will know what to do," she said confidently. "Brenda ALWAYS knows what to do."
And after thinking about it for the next sixty miles, I was forced to admit she was right.
BORN TO BE A SLAVE
The hospital was ready to discharge Willie when we got there about ten o'clock. Our young, white-haired beauty sat on the edge of her bed in one of those hospital gowns that gaps open in the back no matter how hard a person tries to keep it closed, and I must admit that the few glimpses I caught of her smooth young back and buttocks were certainly enticing. I tried hard not to stare; but I also noticed that Brenda noticed that I noticed. She smirked. I shrugged.
Willie's clothes were in tatters, so Dee had brought her a change of attire from the plastic bag. While the girls fussed over her, I went back to admissions to check her out. I didn't want to associate Willie with her husband or the address we had visited down in the city, so I gave them my address at the lake as a contact point. I wasn't sure how we were going to handle the inquiries I knew would be coming from the coroner's office and other officials. I'd figure out something later.
The drive home was a little strange. Everyone just naturally assumed that I'd be taking her home with us. Willie never asked where we were going or what was going to become of her. She just did exactly what she was told. The girls both chatted constantly about all sorts of things: what we would be having for dinner, Brenda's latest article, weeding the front flower garden, the addition to the house. (We had decided to add on to "Walden" to accommodate the new nursery, and that topic was good for a bit of time. I couldn't see just adding one room, so the new addition would be comprised of three new rooms and a third bathroom. The workmen would be coming in a few weeks, and they expected to be finished in October. That was the plan, anyway.)
It was a beautiful day, and as we pulled up to the house Willie gave a gasp. It soon became evident that her eyesight was a little better in the bright light. I was anxious to learn the limits of her visual abilities, but that would come in time, I knew. (Was I already beginning to think of her as a permanent resident?)
The girls took her on the grand tour, walking slowly down to the lake and back, Maxine running happily all around them, before they all finally disappeared inside the house. They had seemed to be chatting almost constantly, and I could tell, as I was setting up the sodden tent to dry out, that Willie, who had been almost painfully silent during our drive, was beginning to join in the conversation. It was nice to see her opening up. Come to think of it, it was just nice to SEE her, period.
It's difficult to describe her. The analogy to feline grace is a tired metaphor, but the girl definitely had a way of moving that was ... well, MORE than just attractive. It was mesmerizing. She walked with a sort of subtle, slinking gait that was a cross between innocence and pornography. She obviously didn't know she was doing it, and that made it more tantalizing still.
When I'd finished putting things away, I joined them indoors. Brenda and Willie were sitting on bar stools watching Dee make lunch. To Willie, everything around her was new and exciting, but her demure nature wouldn't allow her to ask questions until her curiosity became too great to be denied. The girls were more than happy to explain everything to her: the food processor, the electric can opener, the microwave, the coffee maker. More than once, I found myself about to demand how it was that she had never been introduced to these common items before, but I wisely remained silent.
Lunch was a rather pained event. Willie watched all of us discretely but closely, then followed suit with her soup spoon for the clam chowder, and daintily picked up her tuna salad sandwich and nibbled a corner. Finally, unable to contain herself, she practically inhaled the meal. We couldn't help but stare as she wolfed her food. Sensing our gazes, she blushed and stopped eating entirely. Albinos are interesting folks when they blush. They turn much redder than other people.
"I'm sorry," she said in a low voice after she had chewed and swallowed. "This is VERY good. I haven't had the pleasure of eating food like this for many months now."