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Authors: Felicia Jensen

Tags: #vampires, #orphan, #insanity, #celtic, #hallucinations, #panthers

Hadrian's Wall

BOOK: Hadrian's Wall
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(Cycle One - Present)

 

HADRIAN’S WALL

(Volume 1)

 

 

A Young Adult Novel

 

by

 

Felicia Jensen

 

 

 

 

HADRIAN’S WALL

Copyright © 2012 Felicia
Jensen

Published by
Felicia Jensen at Smashwords

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you
would like to share this book with another person, please purchase
an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and
did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only,
then please return it to Smashwords and purchase your own copy.
Thank you for respecting th
is author’s hard work.

 

All rights
reserved.

No part of this book may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an
information storage or retrieval system, without permission in
writing from the author.

 

For information about the
contents of this book, or permission for reproducing portions of
this book, please email the author at
[email protected]
.

 

This is a work of
fiction.

Names, characters, places,
and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are
used fictitiously.

 

Published in the United
States of America

ISBN-13:
978-0-9883766-8-7

 

 

 

Ille nihil dubitat qui nullam scientiam habet

(PROVERB)

 

 

 

DEDICATION

 

To my little
beloved, Pedrita

 

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

To Carol von Raesfeld (The von Raesfeld
Agency)

for her editing skills, for helping me
complete my novel,

and for her encouragement and support.

 

To my friend, Marlyane

for her never-ending moral support and

for encouraging me to finish this book.

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

The garden flowers
swayed in the wind of the spring afternoon, their vibrant colors
intensified by the sun. The nurse approached me and without saying
a word, she gripped my hand and led me inside.

No, I
don
’t want go
back!

The
contrast between garden
’s warmth and the hospital’s cool interior was shocking. I was
trembling, my arms rigid as she marched me along the corridor,
indifferent to my discomfort, forcing me into the room filled with
sadness and the odor of death—the room where my father lay
dying.

He was waiting for me.
His face brightened the moment I appeared. He gave me a smile that
should have been impossible for a dying man. Only someone full of
life should be able to smile like that, but it was how Daddy always
greeted me, regardless of his suffering. I hated that it made me
feel guilty for wanting to run far away.

The nurse looked
at me complacently. She was nice, but I didn’t like the way she
pinched my cheeks. “He needs you to be brave, young lady,” she
whispered.

It took great effort to
smile as walked toward his bed. Daddy hugged me and smoothed my
hair with his hands, even though IV tubing hindered his
movements.


How
was your ride today? What did you see?” he asked between labored
breaths.

I told him about the
wind, the flowers, and the warm sun, all the while wishing that he
could play with me outside. “I hate this place because it smells
bad and makes you more sick,” I confessed.

Daddy placed his palm
softly against my cheek. Tears welled up in his eyes, but he said
nothing.

Minutes later my
mother arrived. I felt the hostile vibrations emanating from her as
soon as she appeared in the doorway. She was dressed in the uniform
she wore to work at the diner. The smell of her perfume mingled
with the odors of disinfectant and sickness, making the air in the
small room unbearably cloying. She gave me a disapproving look when
she saw me sitting on Daddy’s bed, so I jumped down.

He protested. “No,
it’s fine, she can stay,” but I knew I could not. I felt bad when
my mother was around, not because of the way she smelled, but
because she didn’t approve of anything I did. It felt like she
wished that I didn’t exist, so I tried to stay out of her way as
much as possible. The only times I ever saw her eyes soften was
when she looked at Daddy.

All of a sudden,
things became confused. The same nurse rushed in and pulled me out
of the room. She took me to the TV room where some of the elderly
patients spent their days. “Stay here until I come back. Behave
yourself!” I felt scared when I saw Daddy’s doctor rush quickly
down the hallway.

I
looked up at the television, suspended from an iron support mounted
high on the wall. I heard the
Woody Woodpecker
laugh his extravagant laugh. The old men stupidly
laughed with him, their glazed eyes fixed on the screen. They
enjoyed the cartoon more than I did - a six year-old
girl.

I don’t know how
long I’d been standing there, staring at the screen without really
paying attention, when I felt someone gently nudge me on shoulder.
Daddy’s doctor knelt down and stared into my face like adults do
when they want to tell you bad news. His eyes were filled with
compassion. “Be brave, young lady.”

Before he could
attempt to explain, I already knew that something very bad had
happened to my father. The doctor led me back to Daddy’s room, all
the while saying words like “heaven” and “he will rest in peace”
and “goodbye.”

When we
entered, the first thing I saw was a sheet stretched over a body. I
also noticed that my mother was standing near the window. While the
doctor and the nurse talked, I stared at the sheet.
Is that my father?
I told myself, ‘No, it can’t
be—he was here just a minute ago, smiling at me!’ Then I remembered
what the doctor had said before. The hard truth finally made me
understand the meaning of his words. Strangely enough, I remained
oblivious to the facts.

After the doctor
left, the nurse offered to put away our things. There were tears in
her eyes. Lately, I’d been spending more time in the hospital than
at the motel where we lived because my mother didn’t have anybody
to take care of me while she was at work. The nurse’s words seemed
to startle my mother. Mommy turned away from the window and
whispered, “Well, he’s gone. Finally, he’s resting in peace...and
now I’m free.”

She moved towards the
door. When I tried to follow her, Mommy stopped. She was livid that
I was impeding her progress when I put my hand on her arm. My
gesture caused her haunted eyes to pass over me like one might look
at a stranger. She spoke very slowly, as if her mind was
elsewhere.

“Wait in this
room. I’ll be back.” She turned to the nurse. “Please, can you keep
your eye on her?” Mommy left us without waiting for an
answer.

I took
my doll and obediently sat beside the bed, glancing toward the
sheet covering my father. I was trying to understand how he could
be dead when he was just smiling at me a few minutes ago. His smile
had given me hope that he would get well, in spite of all the
conversations I’d overheard from the nurses that my daddy had
entered the “terminal stage.” I didn’t know exactly what those
words meant, but I had believed his smile and now I felt
betrayed...fooled
...
confused.

Meanwhile, the
nurse disappeared. She was gone a long time, but when she returned
carrying a stack of sheets in her arms, she didn’t seem to notice
me until she’d laid the sheets on the bed and saw me sitting there.
She was astonished that my mother had not yet returned.

“Where’s your
mother? Hasn’t she come back yet?”

I shook my head.
She frowned, glancing at my father’s body. She said something about
it ‘not being suitable for a child to stay near a dead body’ and
promptly sent me back to the TV room.

Why
can
’t I stay in the
room with my Daddy? My mother told me to wait here.
I didn’t understand why the
nurse was so upset. I was a child, but I wasn’t stupid. Despite my
earlier confusion, I had already found a perfectly and logical
explanation for his death. The plain truth was that under the sheet
was an empty shell. My daddy had embarked on a V-8 celestial plane
and was on his way to Heaven where he would play his guitar in
Jesus’s rock band.

The
nurse made me sit on the couch in the TV room and put my
chess suitcase
beside me. She bent down to
speak to me, gave me an uncertain smile, and said that she would
check on why my mother was taking so long to return for
me.

Time
passed. Cartoons gave way to afternoon shows with lots of family
fights.
I hated
stories about families fighting
. They made me feel sad. I already knew enough about
aggression because my mother beat me for anything and
everything.

Once
again the doctor appeared in the hallway. He looked at me strangely
and then disappeared. Later, it was the nurse’s turn. She smiled
nervously, then also left. I needed to pee. I squeezed hard so that
I wouldn’t wet my pants. I looked around, wondering who I could ask
when along came a very serious-looking lady dressed in black. I’d
never seen her before, but I’ll never be able to forget her. She
had a lot of hair that seemed to form a ball around her head. She
wore a large pair of glasses that balanced precariously upon her
nose. She bent down to talk to me.
Here we go again!


Did
your mother tell you where she was going, my darling?”

What
kind of question is that?
I started explain to her that my mommy told me to wait in my
daddy’s room, but I fell mute when the woman’s face suddenly
changed. She pulled a crumpled paper from her coat pocket and
turned to hallway where the doctor was waiting. I could hear them
talking about something, but I couldn’t distinguish the words;
however, the what I heard next was perfectly
understandable.

“The little girl
knows nothing,” said the woman. “I think this paper has made the
mother’s intentions quite clear. We need to call the sheriff before
she leaves town.”

It was too late.

Years later I knew
that my mother was gone before the Sheriff appeared. He sent his
assistant to check the diner and the motel; however, no one had any
idea of her whereabouts. She was gone. She’d left behind the
debts—our motel charges and my daddy’s medical treatment. Thanks to
kindness of strangers, Daddy had a simple funeral.

And as for me...

 

 

 

1

 

GUARDIAN ANGEL

 

Twelve years later...

 

If I was not dying, then I most certainly
was panicking.

The noise was coming from everywhere,
denouncing the abrupt movements from an unequal fight. Muffled by
animal sounds, screams of terror expressed despair from someone who
knows there is no chance to escape. Soon the screams were
supplanted by an inhuman, terrifying roar which put an end to the
agony, plunging all into the deepest silence, broken occasionally
when the wind gently fingered the leaves of trees.

I had no longer had any strength. All I
wanted was for the pain to stop, for the lights exploding in my
brain to go off so I could die quickly, but nothing happened. I
resigned myself to wait for the next act of my destiny when
suddenly a pleasant fragrance enveloped me and I felt a cool breath
of air blown softly on my forehead. Someone got me up from wet
floor. Am I saved? Is the nightmare over?

I could not open my eyes. I was too weak and
cold, but when I snuggled as close as I could to the warm body that
supported me, the breath that I’d felt on my head ceased. I heard a
gravelly voice in my ear. I did not understand what he said, but
the tone of his voice gave me hope that I had a guardian angel
watching over me after all. Perhaps I was wrong when I thought that
nobody cared about me, but I’d lost my ability to think
clearly.

BOOK: Hadrian's Wall
6.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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