The City of Lost Souls

Arcanum Corvus is an author. He has a book on the New York Times Bestseller list called, Amissus animarum. There's a catch, nobody know's what he looks like. Matter of fact, nobody knows who he is; well there are a few. Arcanum has a past, and he cautiously exposes it through his characters. There's more to Arcanum than meets the eye. So who is the mysterious author, nobody truly knows.


33. Chapter Thirty Three

            I was left wondering all day whether, she would come. Or would I return to her? Emily sent a text, saying Abby phoned work, and told them she was ill. I managed through the rest of the day. Mrs. Kimmage phoned, and asked if she was needed. I politely declined, but intended to pay her. Dinner was a simple Grilled Chicken Panini. I paced the old structure that was our home growing up. It was a place of memories. Some may have been good, but I truthfully could only remember the bad. It might have been the moment I was in, or the mere fact; my brain was tainted with a bitter taste.             I couldn’t focus on the task at hand. I’d come here to work on the book. My mind was off on its own adventure. Part of it was with Abby, consoling the random vanishing act of her friend. Another part was at a grave consoling the losses of my life. A sliver was with Ornella. The rest was orbiting around in the cavity of my skull. I imagined it looking like an astronaut, just floating about.             My phone vibrated, and looking down Patty was calling.             “Bloody hell woman. What has you calling at this hour?” I questioned, holding the phone up to my ear.             “You tweeted out a photo a day or so ago. The problem is, your location was turned on.” Patty’s voice was panicked.             “Bloody hell you’re joking right?” I quickly sat down at the desk. The screen lit up, and I logged in. “Shit.” I quickly went to the image, and deleted it. I didn’t bother with all the replies, retweets, or favorites.             “I wish I were. My concern is Ornella saw this. You had it up for some time.” Patty sighed, “Arcanum I’m so sorry. I just saw it.” She was quiet.             “This was my bloody mess. Thank you for alerting me.” I sighed to myself, and closed the laptop.             “Get some sleep. Let me know what happens.” She yawned.             “You as well love. Chat soon.” We hung up, and I slid the phone on the desk.             I stood up, and moved around the chair. I rubbed my face, looking at the photos on the bookcase. I was concerned Ornella might be absolutely insane, and show up here. She obviously had a vendetta for Abby, and myself, but why.             I said a prayer, to whatever religious figure, might save me from Ornella Agostinelli. Her wrath reminded me of Hamlet. I hated Shakespeare with a passion. The poor mate had done nothing to wrong me. Well he caused many a sleepless night, and a poor grade in my English. It was only for his work, I failed miserably. I remembered this quote, when I thought of Ornella.             Unmixed with baser matter. Yes, by heaven!             O most pernicious woman!             O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!             I pulled up my phone, and tweeted out the quote from Hamlet Act 1 Scene 5. Alright so maybe Shakespeare and, I had a love hate relationship. I smirked as I tapped the Tweet button, and it posted. I truly had nothing to fear. Ornella was a belligerent idiot, if she showed up here. I would have her escorted off the property. I decided a cup of coffee was much needed, even at this late hour.             These late nights, were starting to really throw me off. I wasn’t sure how to get back into sync. I contemplated meandering about the empty streets, but opted against it. It was raining, and the wind was picking up. Not the best situation for clearing thoughts. So I took to making my way down the stairs. The oddest feeling like someone might catch me, waited at the bottom. I was alone, and that was a matter of fact. The stairs creaked, what appeared to be louder than normal. My heart felt like, it might try and make an escape from my chest.             “What the hell is this? The Tell Tale Stairs?” I spoke to the empty house. I knew if Abby had heard my remark, she’d have laughed. After all, being named after the famous author didn’t help much. This dreaded awareness decided to take company in the house, without my permission. I waited on my coffee, as it seemed to become thicker. It was as though the small individual in my brain started running through the stacks of thoughts. It was dark though, and files were empty. We were coming up, empty handed. A little voice spoke from within me.             “Ah mate, there’s nothing there. Lack of sleep, can cause paranoia.” He took off his glasses, and looked at me.             “Bloody paranoia over what though?” I questioned my conscious. I set my mind in motion, quickly scanning my thoughts. Then it hit me. The ceramic mug fell from my hands. Staring at me was a copy of The Little Mermaid. Centered in the middle were Ariel, and Eric. On the top left corner was King Triton. On the top right was Ursula. Sebastian and Flounder were at the bottom, accompanying the happy couple.              I never saw it before. Ornella is Ursula. I’m Triton. Flounder and Sebastian would be Cassiel, and Emily. Eric and, Ariel were Abby and Farrell. Ursula wanted to destroy Ariel’s happiness. I as Triton, wanted to protect Ariel from this new love interest. I swallowed, and ran my fingers through my hair.             I must have fallen asleep, because I was confused when I awoke. Mrs. Kimmage was humming away in the kitchen. She could hum any song she wanted. She was humming, Sam Smiths – I’m not the only one. I rubbed my stubbly face, and sat up.             “About time young man,” she smiled from the kitchen, “one might have thought you were intoxicated. I wasn’t greeted with empty liquor bottles, so that’s reassuring. Care to explain what happened?” She smiled, handing me a cup of tea.             I graciously took it, and let the warm brew comfort my raw throat.             “I took a picture of my laptop, up in the study.” I sighed. “Thanks to modern technology, I posted it on my Twitter account. Well using a mobile device, it posted with my exact location.” I sighed.             She quickly covered her mouth.             “Exactly, my PR phoned last night to inform me.” I set down the ceramic tea cup. “The problem is, well it was up for several hours.” My throat still ached from the chill in the air.             “So you’re afraid of fans finding you?” She looked at me, with genuine concern.             “I’m afraid of Ornella showing up. She would do something like that.” I sighed, “I wouldn’t be upset if Abby showed up. I may have a second chance. Oh bloody hell, if both of them showed up at the same time.” That caused me to panic. Mrs. Kimmage wiped her hands on her apron.             “Bloody hell this isn’t fair.” I growled, standing up quickly.             “Calm down now. I won’t have you, and a childish tantrum take place here. I work hard to maintain it.” She was serious, with the motherly authoritative tone.             “My bloody house, I can have a tantrum.” I protested like a teenager. My panic was setting in.             “Let me make this clear. I take care of this home. If your mother were alive, she’d have swatted your head. You know that. It’s your problem, and you’ll handle it like a mature adult.” Mrs. Kimmage was stern.             “You don’t understand Ornella. She’s vindictive. She won’t allow Abby, or myself happiness. A relationship, as mates is hard to maintain. She looks to cause problems, and destroy any happiness that might come my way.” I was pacing the small living room.             Mrs. Kimmage looked at me, and sighed. “She reminds me of myself.” Her voice was soft, broken like.             “Come again?” I spoke, raising an eyebrow.             She sighed, and sat down. Her hands folded in her lap. She wore a simple gold, thin wedding band. Her cross still hung around her neck, as I always remember it to.             “I destroyed my own happiness Arcanum.” She toyed with the dish towel in her hands.             “How so Mrs. Kimmage, I’m interested.” I sat down across from her on the couch. I leaned forward on my knees. My fingers were under my chin, supporting it.             “I was pregnant with my third child.  I was angry, resenting the pregnancy. My two eldest children were extremely close in age. Here I thought I was free. My husband wanted a third child. When I found out I was with child, I lashed out at him. Called him names pushed him away. He just wanted to support us. The stress I caused myself and our family caused the loss of our child. I was devastated when I miscarried. My husband tried to console me. I was furious with myself. Our children were punished, and so was he. Just because of my selfishness, they lost out.” She looked at me.             I sat in absolute shock. Mum had told me before she and Mrs. Kimmage shared a bond. I assumed as a child it was knitting, or their book club. I was taken aback by her confession. The reason for the age gap, between Emily and myself; was mum’s miscarriage. There would have been four of us. Roughly the same age gap between us each. I saw Mrs. Kimmage in a totally differently light now. Her words, led me to wonder. Had my father blamed himself for my mum’s miscarriage? It was nobody’s fault. Just the body couldn’t handle the pregnancy. I know easier said, than acknowledging the truth.             “I need to confess something Arcanum. Please don’t ever share this with anyone.” She looked at me, as tears started to surface.             “I never share anything, about anyone. I’m not that type of person. Gossip is for the poor, who are unable to think.’ I smiled.             “After the loss of the baby, my husband took to working more hours. A lot of traveling arose, and that was great for us. His pay was increased, and we were happy, or so it appeared. While he was away, I took a job since the children were in school. There was an older gentleman where I worked. He was attractive, and noticed me. As time progressed, we would flirt. Well it blossomed into an affair. Before you think I’m some cheating wife, I was still lost after the miscarriage. My husband had to leave for work; there were no other options for him. When he was home, he was the doting husband, and devoted father.” She took a moment to gather herself. “I became pregnant with my lovers child. He wanted me to leave my husband, and be with him. I just couldn’t allow that to happen to Alexander and myself. So I told my lover, I would carry the child for him. Once I’d given birth, I was terminating my parental rights.” I watched as the tears from her beautiful hazel eyes.             I swallowed, because my body wouldn’t allow me to do anything else.             “I told my husband I was with child, and he was so happy. We continued to have a marital life. I loved him dearly. As I became closer to delivery, I panicked. I was unsure of how I would explain the giving up of “our” child; to Alexander. Luckily someone took pity on me. Alexander was called away for a month, and would miss the birth of our child.” She had to take several deep breaths, and look around in order to continue.             “My lover was there for the birth of our child. I never held the child. Never found out the gender. I couldn’t bear to look at the child. My lover cradled the child, and looked at me. He thanked me, and left me money. It was to cover funeral expenses and such for our child. That was the last time I saw my lover.” She was in tears, and her body shook, as a sob ripped through her small frame.             I moved over to comfort her, but she waved me away, so I backed up.             “I told Alexander I’d lost the child, and it was stillborn. I opted for a cremation, and didn’t want a burial marker. It would be too painful. He took it with great stride, and grieved quietly. To this day, I have no idea where the child is, nor my lover. I pray for them every day.” She touched her cross, and brought it to her lips.             “Does Alexander now know the truth?” I asked.             She looked up at me, and nodded. “Yes. That’s what a marriage is. You’ll have your ups, and downs. You’ll have fights and your make up. You’ll always be truthful, no matter how painful. It’s when he confessed of his own indiscretions. He felt horrible, and I told him of mine. I told him of the child, and he was devastated. Not for the fact that I didn’t keep the child, but that I had to make the decision on my own. Alexander said, I should never have had to go through it alone. That’s what upsets him the most. We lived up to for better, or for worse. We’ve just celebrated forty years of marriage sweetheart.” She smiled, and her eyes glistened from the freshly produced tears she’d shed. She stood up, and patted my shoulder.             “I must be going soon. Alexander and I have a  lunch date.” She quietly removed her apron, and placed it back on the proper hook.             “I’m so sorry for your loss Mrs. Kimmage.” I swallowed back the pain I felt for her. She smiled, and looked at me before exiting the home, “Call me Rose sweetheart.” She then turned, and exited my home. 
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