Legacy of the divine scrol chapter 2
Posted: 04 February 2006
Word Count: 2974
Rahul hoped he was not too late and the child and mother were still there, unaware of how he’d locate them otherwise. They drove out of the gates and shot off down the road, heading over a small bridge. The narrow country lane ended in a t-junction leading to a sign posted village, Tollbar. Turning right, they passed through a suburban area that stood out in stark contrast to the countryside surroundings they had so recently driven through. Both sides of the street were back-to-back terraced houses interspersed with a second hand car dealership or a convenience store. Toll bar soon ended at a bridge, which lead to a roundabout where Bentley was indicated. The car wound its way through shops, multiple takeaways and houses, turning right they sped over another bridge, there were very few cars on the road which was a relief, Rahul thought for it expedited the journey hugely.
‘Okay here we are’ the driver stated as he came to a slow stop outside a shop that had its steel shutters down. Rahul glanced at the billboard sign on the shop front and knew he was in the right place, looking for the alleyway and seeing it immediately. It was sandwiched between the store and the adjacent house, both of which were connected by their upper floors; this gave the onset of the alleyway a partial roof. Acquiring a torch and blanket off the driver, Rahul headed into the baleful looking tunnel the alleyway portrayed. The furtive darkness closed in on him making it hard to see; once again he thought it strange for a July evening. The meagre light the night still held had a peculiar muted quality following the small lightning storm of earlier and it didn’t help that the houses were neatly packed together preventing any filtering of the streetlights into the alleyway. Proceeding down it he switched his torch on and made a sweeping motion in front of him keeping his senses alert. At the bottom of the dark alley he observed a lock up garage directly in front of him which left him with the option of turning either right or left. He turned away contemplating which way to go, instinctively opting for left he started up the divergent alley now behind the terraced houses. Finding it prudent to move cautiously as the ground was bumpy, strewn with rocks and full of potholes. The route seemed to become lighter, as the terraced houses ended culminating in another passageway leading back to the main road, opposite which was a huge field where a deserted children’s playground was in evidence. Over to the left were the back entrances into the gardens of the houses.
He stopped, thinking he’d heard something Rahul strained to listen; there it was again a mewling or whimpering sound. He moved along attentively as the crying appeared to get louder, suddenly there was movement, he shone the torch over to a white wooden backdoor and felt sure that was where the sound had originated from. Rahul ruefully noticed the area was strewn with rubbish; an old mattress, a fridge and a wheelie bin that was lying on its side. He headed over to the back door and heard the crying again; this time sure it was a female voice. Adjacent to the white wooden door there was a garage, the door was partially missing and on closer inspection he noted it was hanging at an angle. Pulling it open he shone the torch in; at first sweep nothing unusual was evident. However, upon hearing the whimpering again which was now perceptibly louder, he swept the beam around again and moved into the garage, letting what was left of the door fall closed behind him. He stifled a need to gag, the garage stunk, there was a distinctly over powering smell of urine and damp intermingled, he instinctively altered his breathing to take shallow breaths. Rahul called out ‘Hello, hello, is anyone here? Don’t be afraid I'm here to help you.’ There was no response; he gleaned movement in the left corner of the garage behind a mound of cardboard and moved toward it echoing his earlier sentiments. Closing on the boxes he finally glimpsed the cause of the noise, a young girl she couldn’t have been more than 16 years old, she was lying there clutching her belly sobbing. He held his hand out in a peaceful gesture as he became visible to her. There was fear in her eyes as she made her mind up to his character, deliberating whether he was here to help or harm her.
‘Please help me!’ She moaned having decided the man in the suit didn’t look threatening.
He moved to her side quickly and grasped her hand; telling her everything would be fine.
‘What’s your name?’
‘Lucinda’ she replied.
Reiterating she would be fine, he regarded her, she didn’t look pregnant and in fact her stomach was definitely quite flat, bordering on concave. Fleetingly he thought he had the wrong girl and then recalled the circumstances surrounding Margarite’s birth and knew there were no symptoms of pregnancy in the bearer of the guardian.
‘Can you stand my dear?’ he asked,
Replying that she would try; the poor girl began babbling about walking down the alley to go home when she’d felt something wet down her legs and had staggered into this garage, fearful as it was getting dark and the area wasn’t very safe. Grabbing her under her left arm and supporting her around her waist, he steadied her against the wall; she really was a very slender girl, medium framed and almost too slim. She had long brown hair that fell about her waist and her skirt and top looked as though they had seen better days, despite this, there was a prettiness about her that shone through.
After steadying her, Rahul draped the blanket around her shoulders and instructed her to hold it there, despite the warmth of the July night she was shivering. Slowly but surely they made their way out of the garage and headed back up the deserted passageway toward the jeep.
‘Where are you taking me?’ She asked,
‘We’re going to my car.’
‘I have to get home’ she said. ‘My foster parents are expecting me.’
‘Don’t worry about them,’ He offered assurance by providing her with a warm smile. As they made their way back to the junction in the alleyway, Lucinda leant on him a little less; seeming to get her strength back.
‘The pain has passed, I feel a lot better, I think I can manage my way home now.’ She said.
‘My dear, please trust me,’ Rahul stated, ‘You will be well taken care of.’
Somehow Lucinda sensed that this man did not mean to harm her, she relaxed and decided to let him lead her. A nagging voice at the back of her mind reminded her that he was a perfect stranger and this was dangerous. The thought had no sooner crossed her mind then it evaporated like the morning mist and an irresistible feeling of trust took its place. It was very compelling and she chose to flow with it. As they reached the street end of the alleyway, Lucinda saw the jeep and knew that once she climbed into it she would not be coming back. Something inside her told her that this was a good thing and there was nothing to fear, so she gladly boarded it when the door was opened for her. She settled into the back seat as Rahul urged her to secure her seatbelt around her, looking into his coffee coloured eyes she saw and felt the gentleness of spirit within him and knew that everything would be fine.
Sighing and momentarily closing her eyes, the Jeep took off by making a U-turn in the road and speeding back the way it had come, Lucinda took the time to study Rahul and the driver of the jeep. Rahul was Asian, he had tanned skin and a strong bone structure to his face, his profile was magnificent and in his younger days must have been quite a lady-killer. He sported thick dark hair that was neatly cut with a side parting, giving him the look of a distinguished Indian gentleman. In contrast, the driver of the jeep was white and had a neatly kept full beard; he caught her scrutinising him in the rear-view mirror and gave her a smile before she looked away embarrassed at being caught. Moments later the Jeep slowed and veered through some gates toward a huge house, Rahul turned to her and said that they would be taking a short helicopter ride.
Lucinda was stunned, she had not expected to be flying anywhere, despite her surprise excitement filled her, it would be her first time flying. The jeep ground to a halt, Rahul climbed out and opened the rear door, smiling he offered his hand to Lucinda. Pausing for a fleeting second before accepting she allowed him to help her out of the Jeep. As he did he pulled the blanket over her head to shield her from the buffeting wind coming from the propellers of the helicopter and they both ran over to it.
‘How are you feeling?’ He asked loudly as they boarded the chopper,
‘Fine’ said Lucinda, ‘I feel completely fine now.’
As she settled into the back Rahul climbed into the front and donned his headset, he indicated for Lucinda to do the same with the pair the pilot offered her; she popped them on as they became airborne.
‘Where are we going?’ she asked speaking into the microphone
The reply was crystal clear coming through the headset,
‘We are going to a country house in Leicestershire where all your needs will be met my dear‘, Rahul responded.
Lucinda had so many questions, this was possibly the strangest thing that had ever happened to her, but for all its strangeness there was a sense that it was all going to be fine.
There was no explanation for why this feeling was so strong only that it inundated any others she had. Her first time flying was a new and exhilarating experience for Lucinda and came to end far too quickly, when they landed Rahul climbed out opened the rear door and helped her out.
‘Come my dear, all will be revealed soon, I know you must have many questions.’
Walking across the tarmac she noted the black Limousine, it was out of this world, whoever this man was he had money that was for sure, but what could he want with her? Once in the back of the limo she removed the blanket from her shoulders for the shivering had stopped, and she was beginning to perspire on this warm summer evening.
As Rahul closed the door the Limo took off, Lucinda was becoming quite caught up in the mystery of the night and looked forward to seeing where they were going; only positive feelings flooded her and despite the oddity of it all, it was beginning to feel so right. Within a few minutes of travelling on country lanes there in front of her loomed the biggest house she had ever seen. It took her breath away, Rahul turned hearing the audible gasp Lucinda uttered, he smiled, ‘It had the same effect on me when I first saw it too.’
As the car approached the gates, they swung open to allow the limo to enter. The car cleared the courtyard and stopped in front of the enormous double dark oak doors of the manor. Lucinda stepped out of the limo and looked up at the Gargoyles keeping sentry at the entrance. She was in awe the manor looked like Buckingham palace, despite never having seen the royal residence in person, only in pictures or on television she imagined it must be just as imposing and breathtaking.
The doors opened and her unexpected escort for the evening ushered her in. Walking up the steps suffused her with trepidation; it was fluttering like a butterfly inside her and as she stepped into the manor it was supplanted by a comforting feeling as though she’d come home for the first and strangely, last time. She stood amazed by the size of the entrance hall and stared up at the huge double staircase that wound its way down from the first floor, splitting into two flanking either side of the great hall, and in Lucinda’s mind it was a palace.
‘My dear, you must be hungry and tired and have many questions, but first I will arrange for you to freshen up and in due course I will answer all your questions‘. Lucinda could only nod as Rahul moved away and exited the hall via a door to the left located just under the corresponding staircase; seconds later he emerged accompanied by a matronly looking woman wearing an apron. Reminding Lucinda of Mrs. Doubt fire, she smiled to herself.
‘My dear, this is Martha who will assist you with refreshing yourself and in acquiring a change of clothes, we haven’t much time so I urge you to go with her and I will await you in the den when you are ready.’
‘But wait… much time for what?’ Lucinda rapidly asked, but Martha was already escorting her away, shushing as they went saying all her questions would be answered soon. Lucinda gave in to the momentum and followed Martha up the great winding staircase.
As they reached the top, she prompted her to follow as they turned down a huge corridor, which had numerous doors on either side; she had never seen so many doors in one house in all her life. And before too long Martha stopped at one on the left and opened it wide with a flourish
‘This is your room, my girl,’ she said as she flicked on the light.
Lucinda was not expecting to stay, but the tone Martha used seemed to imply she was. Entering the room she was taken aback by the huge bed facing her; the large room was bigger than her foster parent’s entire house. It was luxurious, beige thick pile carpet, glorious textured wall paper and cream satin sheets with a fur throw over the bed, there were more pillows and scatter cushions than Lucinda had ever seen, other than in a department store. It was just how she imagined her dream bedroom, it was perfect. She walked over to the bed and sat down in awe, the carpet was plush underfoot and the bed sank to welcome her onto it. Facing her was an open door.
‘This is your bathroom,’ called Martha, already filling the tub. ‘Over there you will find your closets and dressing room, there are some clothes in there that should fit you. They used to belong to the Mistress of the house when she was younger; otherwise I am sure that we can send for some. Now, come my girl, we must be hasty clothes off and into your bath.’
Lucinda walked over to the bathroom and stood looking at the huge tub it had filled so quickly, foamy steaming water looked as though it wanted to course over the sides. Not at all like the bath at home, that took an age to fill which was why everyone showered instead, she smiled.
‘I will leave you to take your bath, and lay out some clothes for you on the bed,’ stated Martha as she vacated the bathroom, closing the door after herself. Lucinda felt so strange, but her heart told her this was where she belonged, perhaps it was a dream and she should pinch herself. Remembering that Rahul had said he would explain everything, she stripped off quickly and stepped into the tub, the temperature was just perfect causing her apprehension to melt away. Lying back she surveyed the bathroom, it too was decorated tastefully in tones of beige and white. The floor was done in white patterned tiles and there were two sinks facing her sitting in front of a huge mirror which covered the wall. The lavatory was just behind her adjacent to the shower cubicle which was huge, you could get a rugby team in there she thought in wonder. The bathroom was equipped with numerous bottles, perfumes, bath oils, bath foam, shampoos etc. Is this all here for my use? She contemplated, hoping it was. The water in the tub came to just below her shoulders, and the heat was making her drowsy she put her head back as her body absorbed it and basked in the warmth. It was heavenly, sloughing off whatever had trickled down her legs earlier in the night; she vaguely wondered what it had been. There was a tap on the door and her eyes snapped open, she must have dozed off. Martha was urging her to get dressed and to come downstairs to see Rahul. Lucinda climbed out of the bath, hating to but the time had come for answers as to why she was here. Using the fluffy white towels provided, Lucinda dried off and dressed quickly in faded blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a light blue sweater along with some white sneakers that had been left on the bed for her, just as Martha had said they would be. She ran a brush through her hair and turned toward the door to leave. Popping the light off and entering the hallway she headed back toward the stairs. Descending the huge winding staircase she imagined herself being Scarlet O’Hara from gone with the wind. Rahul appeared in the hall and smiled up at her.
‘Are you ready my dear?’
‘Ready for what?’ responded Lucinda.
‘All in good time my dear,’ he said mysteriously.
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