Welcome to another free preview of New Middleport: The Senses of Weiland Kershaw. You can catch up with the first five chapters that have been previously released on my blog. This is chapter six for your enjoyment.
Chapter 6 (Safe Haven)
The door widens and she hastens me and my friends into her apartment. She goes outside with a couple wet rags to clean up the blood and begins shutting us in before anyone knows the difference.
“Bring the injured boy through here.” The cracking sound we heard earlier turns out to be a secret passage that was hard plastered so anyone that did break into this place would not know that anything was amiss.
As soon as we are all through the entry way, the protector pulls a lever and shut us back in. She pulls out a remote control and presses a button and the current I heard before is back. We head downward through a couple doorways and she locks them all behind us. We’ve come a long way and I have to estimate that we’re at least three levels down when we enter a huge cavernous space.
“Whoa.” It’s the first time Cole has said anything since the death stage. It’s understandable that he’s completely lost with all of this. I’d never told Cole anything about me having a protector, so obviously he wouldn’t know anything about where we were going. He has Cassidy to look after and I didn’t want to burden him with more information that might take his focus away from her.
The room has multiple hallways, doors at multiple levels, and ladders to reach those that are up high. This protector pulls out a mattress and has Jay and Cole place Lawson on his stomach. She’s moving quickly to gather towels, alcohol, needle, thread, and some jars of stuff I’ve never seen before. Some of these glass jars have pills, while others have stuff that look like some sort of mushroom paste.
Jay and Cole sit down on some chairs off to the side as she silently works on Lawson. She quickly pours alcohol over all of his wounds. She’s cleaning very rough as she starts with his hand in an attempt to get rid of any germs that may have come from the weapons that caused his injuries or from the trip here. After she’s cleaned his fingers to the best of her ability, she starts pulling his skin upward from his hand to sew shut his empty digits.
She’s very quick and all three areas are sewn shut faster than the time it took to clean them. The focused woman now concentrates on his back and does the same alcohol rub for all of the lashings. There are plenty of openings on his back from the whip, so it takes more time to clean it thoroughly. After she is done, she takes out the mushroom paste and starts coating every one of his injuries, including his sewn up hand. She places bandages over his back and wraps his hand, and finishes by putting a wet cloth on his forehead.
Our protector comes over to us and speaks calmly, “He’ll be fine. His bandages will need to be changed regularly and he should probably take some antibiotics once he wakes.”
“Okay. Now that he’s okay, can someone please tell me what’s going on?” as Cole whispers with some heightened intensity.
The protector allows me the grace to answer his question by going through one of the cavern’s hallways. Cole takes my explanation without any questions and finally slumps down into his chair, while looking around the room.
There are plenty of books, diagrams, and what I imagine are medicine jars all throughout the room. There’s a low amount of light, but sufficient enough to where you don’t need to squint. She comes back into the room with a tea tray and something else.
We’ve had all of an hour and a half with this woman and I still don’t even know her name. The tray is set down next to a table close to the chairs occupied by Jay and Cole. She sets it down and turns to face me, sensing my anticipation.
“My name is Marna Dey. And I’ve been waiting 16 years for you to knock on my door. Although I wasn’t expecting so many guests, I’m sure your father would have been happy knowing you’ve come across what appear to be good friends. ”
The mention of my father distracts me quite a bit. She goes over to extend a hand to Jay or Cole. Cole being closest stands up and shakes her hand, “Cole Harrington ma’am.”
“It’s nice to meet you.”
Jay stands up next and takes her hand, “Ma’am. I’m Jayden Leeds.”
“It’s a pleasure.” Marna sits down across from Jay and grabs a cup of tea. It’s not until I realize that the other empty seat completes a circle around the table. I take a seat as I think about my father, and then I realize that Jay introduced himself by his full first name. He has never done that since I’ve met him, it has to do with his name being similar to one of the rulers and not wanting to have anything remotely in common with the tyrants.
It’s as if he’s looking right through me when I’m wondering why he introduced himself as Jayden. “You trusted your dad and your dad trusted Mrs. Dey, and I trust you. It’s a full circle, hence the chairs, and I figure that a woman that’s in the circle of trust should know my full name.”
I nod in understanding and give my attention back to Marna. “You mentioned my dad and that he’d be happy with my friends?”
“Of course. He knew at some point the end would come for him and it would be a lot sooner than he would want it to be. That’s why he was preparing you for all those years. He started as soon as he could until you were seven. It was the only thing that he thought would matter in the end, leaving you with the ability to fend for yourself and find company that you could rely on.”
“Why…How would he know his end would come sooner than he’d want it to be?”
“I’m surprised you haven’t guessed at that yet. Look around you, would there be a need for this place during the previous ruler’s time. And why would your father know of this place if he didn’t help to build it.” And it hits me like I should've known it all along, "Because my father was part of the rebellion."
© 2011 S. T. Lakata