I had considered writing something just for the occasion, but decided to go on with Trapped in Time, because it won't be for much longer now. Last week, after going to the hotel, Doll saw something through the window that gave him hope. Will it be what he's searching for? Find out in this week's episode of Trapped in Time II. And then be sure to visit the other Briefers and see what's going on in their worlds! Enjoy!
Trapped in Time II: Chapter 11
I barely have the presence of mind to thank my miniature mine of information before I am racing toward the church, keeping my eye on the steeple, which acts as my guide. I take care not to run into anyone in my pell mell dash through the town, dodging everyone in my path, human and animal alike. I am focused on only one thing—the idea that I have found Vittorio at least, and that soon our painful separation shall be over.
My heart is pounding in my chest, from my exertion, and my anxiety for my love, and from sheer excitement at the prospect of being united once more. As I run, my feet seem to pound the rhythm of Vittorio’s name and I just know that once I can see and touch him, hold him in my arms again, I shall begin to cry.
The church sits slightly apart from the rest of the buildings around it, on a larger lot, one which is barren of most greenery, other than a few dispirited shrubs that hug the side of the building. The building itself is a weathered white, with narrow stained glass windows that line either side. The steeple that led me to this place has a clock face set into it, the spire rising high above the street, culminating in a gold cross. The sight of it fills me with hope, as well as a renewed faith in our creator.
I pause for a moment on the steps that lead into the church, both to catch my breath and to gather my thoughts. It has just occurred to me that perhaps the boy did not mean Vittorio is there now, simply that he has seen him there. Well, I am here now, so I must believe that Vittorio is too.
I place my hand upon the door hand, feeling a tremor race through it and up my arm. Is that a sign or simply nerves? I take a deep breath and push open the door, entering the church.
The interior is dimly lit by small candles placed at strategic points. Rows of wooden pews take up most of the space. I spy what I assume to be hymnals on each pew. No one is seated there now. In fact, I see no one at all.
I slowly advance down the main aisle of the church, looking about me. A peacefulness pervades this place, not surprising for a house of God, a certain serenity. Before me I see a lectern which must be the pulpit. Across from the pulpit is an organ. A large crucifix hangs against the back wall, above a door.
Just then the door opens and a young woman enters. She wears a long pale yellow dress, and her dark hair falls down her back, tied by a matching ribbon. “Thank you for your help,” she is saying to someone behind her, whom I cannot see. “I appreciate your coming with me to visit Mrs. Lane. I hope she is feeling better today, don’t you? And that we shall see her and her little one at service soon.”
She looks up, taking notice that I am there, and a smile graces her face. I observe that she is prettier when she smiles, as it lights up her features. Not that she isn’t pretty anyway she is.
“Welcome, Sir,” she greets me.
Her unseen companion steps into the church, his voice reverberating inside of me, only too familiar with those dulcet tones. “It is my pleasure, Miss Abigail.” I would know that voice anywhere, and my heart leaps for joy for I know I am at my journey’s end.
Vittorio carries a basket. His head is down and he does not see me. I take a step toward him. The woman he has addressed as Miss Abigail moves protectively between us. I cannot help the scowl that claims my features at this interference.
“Can I help you, Sir?” she asks, her fixed smile never leaving her face.
“No. Yes. “ Why am I so flustered? “I mean I don’t need help now. I see what I was looking form. I mean who. Vittorio, I am here.”
He looks up at last and our eyes meet, and I wish this woman were not here, for I wish to hurl myself into his arms and cover him with kisses, but that I cannot do while she is here.
But wait, something is wrong. He looks at me, but does he see me? I had expected him to smile in relief, much as I am, to call my name, to run to me... something. Anything. But all I am getting is the same sort of look I get from the woman. No recognition of any sort. Is he... ashamed to admit he knows me? The thought burns at my soul.
“Vittorio?” She repeats the name, a baffled expression crossing her face. “Oh, do you mean Victor?” She turns toward my Vittorio and takes a step toward him, placing her hand lightly upon his arm. The gesture produces a growl from myself.
“His name is Vittorio, not Victor.” I work at keeping my tone civil, but it requires much effort for I wish to yank her away from my lover and tell her to be gone.
“Alas, poor Victor is not sure what his name is,” Abigail says with a sigh, staring into Vittorio’s beautiful dark eyes. What does she even mean?
“Vittorio?” I repeat. “It’s me, Doll.” Again the stare of non-recognition.
“Good day to you, sir,” he greets me as he would any stranger. “I am sorry, but I do not recognize you.” His words, spoken in his beautiful Italian baritone, slice right through me as I slowly begin to realize what must have happened.
Not only was Vittorio separated from us in a physical sense, but he has also lost his memory and all sense of self.
My mouth drops open and I feel my heart break.
to be continued
Now go celebrate the New Year with the rest of the Briefers:
Until next time, take care!