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.

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25. Chapter Twenty Five

        I brought my bags up to the bedroom, and emptied the contents. I placed my clothes in the drawer, and brought toiletries to the bathroom. The house still looked the same. I thought back to when I took baths, and I could hear my parents arguing downstairs. 
        Cass would look at me, "Don't worry they're just tired." 
        He didn't know what to say. He was eight, and I was only four. I sighed, and washed up. Everything was clean, and still well taken care of. 

        I walked downstairs, and Mrs. Kimmage screamed, "Bloody hell child. Are you trying to kill me." 
        I smiled, "I've not seen you in quite a while." 
        She looked up at me, and gently touched my cheek, "Bloody hell. Allan? Oh my God! Is it really you?" 
        I nodded, "Yes ma'am. It's Arcanum now." 
        She smiled, "Right. Your mother never called you by your proper name. Come sit. I will make you some tea." She hugged me, then passed by my side. She was still as how I remembered her. I took a glimpse around the living room, then followed her.  

        I sat down at the small round table, as Mrs. Kimmage pulled down two saucers, and matching cups to go with them. 
        "Darling boy, do you want sugar or anything?" 
        I shook my head. 
        "I was just thinking about you children. Mums anniversary is approaching." 
        I sighed, rubbing my eyes. "Oh blimey. I'm sorry if I upset you." 
        I tried to hold that anniversary at arms length. "Yes Halloween. It will have been  eight years." 
Mrs. Kimmage's worn blue eyes watched me. I couldn't muster the energy to hide the hurt, and I let out a loud sigh. 
        "Arcanum look at me. I know how much she loved you three. She still sees all your accomplishments. Cassiel being a lawyer, and police officer. Emily a nurse. And you, an accomplished writer with an amazing talent. You speak to people's souls, using what your mum taught you." 
        I scoffed, "What's that?" 
        Mrs. Kimmage walked over, and sat down in front of me, "Love my sweet boy."  

        She hustled over to the stove, leaving me with my thoughts. The tea kettle whistled angrily at her. 
        "Oh now you hush." 
        She spoke to the kettle, as she removed it from the burner. She turned off the stove, and brought the kettle over. Quietly she evenly poured the steaming water into the ceramic cups. "You know Sylvia Plath, she killed herself in the kitchen. Never did she punish her children." 
        Mrs. Kimmage carefully settled the kettle on a tea cozy.
        "She made sure to stuff up the cracks, so it wouldn't seep into other rooms." 
        Mrs. Kimmage quietly added the tea bags to the hot water.
        "That she did. You're correct, bus also incorrect. She did indirectly punish her children. They grew up without a mother."
        I looked up at Mrs. Kimmage, "Valid point, however the pain they would have endured if she suffered." 
        Mrs. Kimmage offered a slight shrug. 
        "No child, no matter the age should have to suffer." 
        She looked at me. Tired, worn blue eyes met, sharp, bright blue eyes. She gently held my hand. 
        "Your father was selfish. He should never have punished you." 
        I swallowed, and cleared my throat. 
        "Mum wasn't able to move us. She cleaned that room all by herself. She turned it into an office.         That's when she converted the sun room into her bedroom." 
        The lump in my throat, threatened to choke me. I sipped my tea, trying to wade off the gloom. Mrs. Kimmage was quiet. 

        We'd finished the tea, and sat quietly. 
        "Am I paying you enough to take care of the place?" 
        She set down her cup, nodding rather quickly. 
        "Oh by far Arcanum." 
        I smiled, "You keep it up so well. You know you can use it whenever you'd like." 
        She smiled, "Your siblings never come." 
        I nodded, "They have lives in the states." 
        She looked at me, "You have a life as well." 
        I let out a burst of laughter. She proceeded to raise an eyebrow at me. 
        "Living under a pseudonym isn't a life. My ex-girlfriend I'm positive is hung up on me. The girl who loved me moved forward with her life. I'm well," 
        She looked at me, "Your what?" 
        I sighed, “I’m not needed. I can’t seem to see what’s right in front of my bloody face. I’m so afraid of being hurt again. Part of me, part of me still cares about Ornella.” 
        Mrs. Kimmage set down her cup of tea, and looked at me. 
        “Spit it out.” I spoke calmly, with a cheeky grin.
        She looked at me, “Arcanum once we love someone, we don’t ever forget. It’s as though they imprint on our soul.” 
        She looked around, and grabbed the newspaper. She pulled it over, and pushed it onto the vinyl table cloth. She lifted the paper, and there was the print of the newspaper on the vinyl. 
        “Do you see it?” She asked pointing at the now marked tablecloth. 
        “Yes I do. I can make it out still. Well the bottom is a little blurry.”
        She nodded, “Exactly. See it rubbed off on it, and left a permanent mark. Now it may fade in time, but it will never be truly gone. That’s how love is. That’s how people we meet, affect us.” 
        I looked at the table cloth, and could understand what Mrs. Kimmage was saying. 
        “She cheated on me. Here I had this beautiful woman, who loves me; but I couldn’t reciprocate it. I’m still overly cautious. I thought there was something wrong with me.”
        Mrs. Kimmage laughed, “My dear child. Your mother loved your father; even though he was a righteous arse. It’s just something in the way we’re wired hun. Don’t beat yourself up. Be honest with the girl, whom loves you.” 
        I shook my head, “She moved on don’t forget.” 
        Mrs. Kimmage nodded, “Well if she ever comes back, let yourself be open. The Berlin wall came down after how many years? With every wall built, something eventually brings it down. It’s built to keep people out, and it does that; when it needs to. Your wall will come down one day. If this young lady isn’t for you, then you’ll know it. Now I’m going to head home, make a grocery list, and I will go shopping tomorrow for you.” She stood up, and slid her coat on. 
        I nodded looking down at my cup of tea. Her voice broke my concentration.
        “Arcanum, stop beating yourself up. Take it easy.” She patted my shoulder, then quietly left, locking up behind her. 
        I leaned back in my chair, and looked around the kitchen. Mum’s picture of all us, still hung on the wall. Cass had an arm wrapped around her shoulder. I was on her other side. Emily stood in the middle.         The last Christmas we had before she died. She wanted to spend it here. I still don’t understand why. I sighed, and put my cup in the sink to wash later. I headed upstairs, retrieving my bag. 
        I went to mom’s old office, and set up my laptop on her desk. I pulled up the email, and looked over the questions. 

        Hello Arcanum,

        Listed below are the questions that we have. There’s only a few. Thank you for taking the time to answer them. Best wishes. Take care.

        Patty Edwards

        I missed her. She was heartbroken after the meeting. I needed the time to be alone. I looked over the questions, and thought about how I would answer them. 

        What is your favorite dish? 
        What is your favorite song?
        Do you have a favorite quote?
        What inspires you?
        Will you tell us how old you really are? 


        I thought about it, these would typically be easy questions for anyone. So why were they so troublesome for me. 

        One would think, answering five questions would be easy. Honestly, that's when it appears as though, our brains seize up and won't start. So here I'm left to answer the most incredibly easy questions, and I'm baffled. I'm laughing at this point so here it goes. 

 

        First question is; What is your favorite dish?

        *Sits tapping my index finger against my chin* 
        Truthfully you'd think I would have some sophisticated dish. I absolutely love, grilled cheese with ham, mustard and, mayonnaise. It's not technically a dish. If I were only allowed to eat one dish forever, I would never tire of that.


        Now onto our second question. Here it goes. 
        What is your favorite song? 
        Well it breaks down to multiple answers. Are we speaking of a certain genre, or era? Ok well my absolute favorite song. *opens iTunes and looks through my library of several thousand songs* Alright my decision is In My Life by none other then the Beatles. 


        Next question, is question number three. 
        What's my favorite quote. 
        Well I'm going to go with the gentlemen who inspired me to write, Mr. Sylvain Reynard. The quote is, "Love is doing a kindness for someone else, not expecting to receive anything in return." It's the absolute truth, which I live by. 


        Alright fourth question, here we go ladies and, gentlemen. Oh wow, what inspires you? This is hard.         I see a lot of inspiration, in all areas of my life, encounters, and experiences. What one thing inspires me. I have to say, my fans. You inspire me to write. Your love, devotion, and dedication are the driving force behind my writing. 


        Final question. *Laughs reading it*
        How old am I? Well I'm old enough to know better. I'm young enough to remember my youth. *smiles* Truth be told, I'm far beyond my years. I have what you would call an old soul. There for, age truly is just a number. That and I stopped counting when I turned eighteen. *winks* 


        Thank you for the submissions of questions. Until next time, Carpe Diem. 

        
        I read over my responses, making sure I've provided adequate, and puzzling answers. The veil must always remain. After a thorough re-reading I send it off to Patty. I send her a quick message. 

        Hello Dear,

        I'm somewhat settled. Stay positive for me. You're an amazing person. Chin up. We'll meet again soon. 

        Arc 


        I set my phone down, and lean back in the chair. Something falls off the shelf, and BANG! 

 

        At thirty four years of age, I'm curled up in the corner of the room. I'm trying to gain some composure. I'm gasping for air. My mind has traveled back to the day he shot himself. This very room. He shot himself in the head. How can ones mind be clear, when one blew there's away?

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