Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween night - Sera loses her friend

Excerpt from Chapter 6 (my text before edits by a paid service)

Halloween night 1974.  The happy celebrations of the youth group Halloween party are interrupted as Gio is called outside by Georgette.  She has stowed away Victoria and Margaret MacDonald in her car and asks him to help them find refuge from an abusive home.  He agrees to send them to Toronto where his sister will meet them and take them to safety.  

Eleven year-old Sera, dressed as a witch, had been eavesdropping at the party and snuck into the car.  She is distraught to learn her best friend is going away.  Halloween night will never be the same again. 

Readers get a taste of the blossoming romance between Gio and Aunt Georgette. 

Warning:  Contains swearing.

Inside the hall, Gio quickly gave instructions to Perry and the twins, leaving in them charge, telling them to make sure everything was turned off and there were no burning candles before they left.  They could worry about the cleanup the next day. 

When he arrived at his car, he saw that Georgette had already helped the passengers transfer themselves and what little baggage they had. 

"Thank you, Gio."  She whispered, staring him in the eyes as she handed him the keys.  Impulsively, she wrapped her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek.  “Thank you.”

He didn’t want her to let go.  His impulse was to wrap his arms around her waist and shoulders, to pull her closer to his body.

One of the car doors opened and closed again.  It caught their attention briefly then Georgette turned back to the priest.  "You're a good man."

"We'll see.  I still have to get them onto the train without being noticed."
~ ~ ~

While in the CP Rail parking lot, Gio instructed the MacDonald’s to get dressed properly and fix their hair as well as they could in the darkened back seat.   He went into the train station to buy tickets and make a telephone call to Isabella.

Up until now, Sera sat quietly beside Victoria who held hands with her mother while they waited in the car. 

"Victoria," Sera began, "What's happening? Are you going away?"

"I don't know, Sera.  Mommy?"

Mrs. MacDonald touched her eyebrow and wiped her eyes on the sheet.  She only nodded and sobbed in response.

Gio came back to the car and sat in the driver's seat.  He had canned drinks, sandwiches and cookies with him.  "The next train for Toronto leaves in twenty minutes.  What good timing," he sighed as he turned on the little interior light.

He turned and handed the drinks and sandwiches to his two passengers, "Here, these will hold you over until you arrive in.... holy shit!  Sera?  What are you doing here?"

The familiar green face appeared from the shadows, above what he thought was one of the duffel bags.  "Uh... hi, Gio."

"Oh, Jesus!  Sorry!  Dammit! You shouldn't be here."

"I...I.. was curious why you and Auntie Georgette were talking.  I snuck in to the car."

Victoria started crying, "Please don't make her leave, Father Gio, please!"

"Of course not, Victoria," he sighed, "I won't.  I can't.  Not here.  Shit!"

From the distance, they heard the sound of the approaching train horn. 

"Get your bags ready and tidy up.  We'll go in just before they finish boarding."

"Can I come too?" asked Sera.

"No.  Sera.  No.  You will stay in the car.  I will take you home afterwards. Understood?"

"I guess."

A few minutes of silence passed before Gio turned off the interior light and spoke, "It's time."

Sera grabbed Victoria's arm, "Victoria! I....I... don't want you to go.  I don't want you to leave.  I...I..."

Gio had opened the back door to help Mrs. MacDonald with her bags.  His heart was in his throat.

"Sera, you will have to say goodbye and let Victoria go."

Victoria gave a big hug to her friend.  She was still holding her magic wand. 

"I'll miss you Sera.  We'll write, okay?"

"Okay," responded the witch between sobs.

"Here," said Victoria, handing her the magic wand, "I don't know why I had this with me still... You can keep it."

Sera grasped the wand, "Thanks..."

Gio pulled Victoria by the hand and put a woolen hat over her golden locks.  He bent over and said to Sera sternly, "Stay in the car.  Got it?"


He slammed the door then rushed the MacDonald's to the station, slipping past the lobby and heading straight to the train.

Sera sat alone in the car, twirling the wand around in-between her fingers.  She got up on her knees to look out the windows so she could see what was happening.  Her eye caught her ghastly green reflection in the rear view mirror. 

She stared into her own eyes.  She raised her left hand and slowly waved the wand back and forth in front of her face.

"She's gone.  She's disappeared..."

Wave, wave, slowly back and forth.

The lonely train blew its horn and howled its way out of the station.  Gio trotted back to the car and lowered his hefty body back inside.  He turned to the side and glanced back at Sera who was sitting quietly in the back corner, staring ahead and hugging her knees. 

"Are they gone?" she asked softly.

"Yes, they're gone."  he answered, "They will be staying with some good people near Toronto." 

"When will I see Victoria again?"

Gio closed his eyes and breathed out slowly, "I don't know."

"What happened, Gio?"

Gio paused, searching for the right words for an eleven year old to understand, "Mr. MacDonald was hurting Victoria and her mother."

"But he spoiled her, he gave her gifts and toys all the time."

"He did, I'm sure, Sera.  He didn't give her the gifts of trust and protection that a parent should give a child."

"I hate him."

Gio only nodded in agreement.  He was tired and winded.

Sera started to cry, "I wish he was dead."

~ end excerpt ~

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