RoYds Part 6 - Veil

1940

There was a whooshing sound and Peg floated towards the ceiling. She noticed a cobweb in the corner of the fanlight above the front door and a ray from the streetlight outside crept its way in through one of the glass panes. A finger-like beam reached towards her and instinctively she edged away, tilting forward erratically and hovering above the heavily congested hallway below.

Her body on the floor was the next thing she noticed and then Anne on her knees beside it, sobbing as Billy rushed down the hallway and out of the house. The finger of light hummed softly, its intensity increasing steadily. Above it, she could only just make out a distant cacophony of shouts and sobs amidst the rage that was Michael.

There was blood everywhere; thread-like streams trickled in the grouting between the patterned floor tiles as others navigated the heavily embossed Lincrusta wallpaper.

The light was persistent. She refused to turn and face it and instead pushed down towards her body in a failed attempt to rejoin it. She tried again, concentrating all her effort into moving away from the ceiling, but merely ended up shooting off through an open doorway landing forcibly on the bedroom floor beyond. The startled baby witnessed her arrival and ceased wailing. Peg smiled at her reassuringly before picking herself up off from the floor and rejoining the others in the corridor beyond.



I must be dead



“I’m afraid yer assumption's correct,” remarked a young soldier sitting on the stairs smoking a rolled up cigarette.

“Is that you, Hughie Nuttall? I thought your Millie said you'd been taken prisoner following Dunkirk!” replied an incredulous Peg.

“Aye, most likely she did, but as yer’ll have gathered by now, the bloody pen pushers got that bit wrong an’ all.”

Peg blinked, at least she felt like she blinked, “I’m not dreaming then?”

“Nope,” said Hughie. “Sorry, Peg. Bloody terrible way to go too! I mean, I expected to get shot but no one would have guessed anything like this would happen in yer own home.”

Peg moved aside to let her sister Catherine pass. She noticed a smear of blood on her cheek and splashes of it on her dress. She looked down at her own; there was none to be seen. She half expected to see the wounds evident on her abandoned body and was relieved to discover she was whole, or at least gave the impression of being so.

“Can’t work out why that is either,” said Hughie, standing up and walking towards her. “I had one of me legs blown off and half me face missing but yer would never have guessed it looking at me. The police'll be here in a minute, I should imagine. Looks like yer staying, then? The light’s gone.”

“The light?”

“Yeah, it came for yer. Don’t yer remember?”

Peg shook her head, “The street light?” She looked up at the fanlight above; there was only a dim glow now.

“It’s something else, that light, Peg. I’ve seen it loads of times now. Comes for yer when yer die, it does, but I never fancied going with it meself. Most people do though.” Hughie bent down to adjust his puttees and then straightened up.

Peg couldn’t take her eyes off her family.



I can’t leave them like this



Michael banged his fist on the wall and cried out. The baby started to wail again and in an attempt to pull herself together, Anne made her way over to the cot.

Above the baby’s cries, Peg just about managed to make out that her family were communicating verbally with one another and yet the only things she could clearly hear were the baby’s cries and Hughie’s conversation. The world of the living was gradually muting, and something else was happening; everything appeared to be turning grey and had a slightly washed out appearance.

“That’s what some people call the veil, Peg. Don’t worry, though. Yer’ll become accustomed to it after a while and hardly notice it’s there at all.”

The front door opened and Billy rushed in accompanied by Dr Lord and his black leather medical bag.

“Fat lot of use that'll be now,” remarked Hughie grinning. Peg looked at him disapprovingly and he shrugged his shoulders. “Well, if yer don’t laugh there’s nowt left to do but skroike, lass,” he said putting his arm around her comfortingly.

Peg hadn’t felt any real emotion up until that moment and the reality of it all hit home at once. Sobbing, she leaned against Hughie resting her cheek on the shoulder of his jacket. Almost immediately she pulled back and looked up at him. "Why are you here, Hughie? What’s all this got to do with you?”

“Look, lass, it’s going to be a bit like Piccadilly Station in here for a while, so what say we go take a stroll and find somewhere a bit more peaceful like? I’ll do me best to explain things as we go along. How’s that sound to you?”

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11 Comments:
  • At 23 September 2009 at 14:30, Blogger Miladysa said…

    I wonder who will be the first?

     
  • At 24 September 2009 at 17:19, Blogger Vesper said…

    This is very good, I love it!
    A very interesting way of dealing with Peg’s death.

    Also, I'm glad that I am now up-to-date. :-)

     
  • At 24 September 2009 at 17:34, Blogger Miladysa said…

    YOU have made my day V!

    Thanks for taking the time to read so far - next part 00:01 (UK time) on Saturday :)

     
  • At 24 September 2009 at 22:01, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like the new roYds mum, and i too am up to date, i have posted a comment as requested, so you can no longer threaten me, with witholding future posts lol xoxo

     
  • At 25 September 2009 at 01:06, Blogger Melissa said…

    Oh, my gosh ... I just LOVE it!! You've really crafted it well and the shift back and forth goes brilliantly! I started to write down all that I loved and then I stopped, so I could just read and read. It's heartbreaking and thrilling all at once and I got goosebumps multiple times. I love Edwardina and the new intro of Gemma and Tashriel (that knowing look E and S share). Tashriel and Grispheran's entrance is superb! Can't wait for *more* ... well done. xo

     
  • At 25 September 2009 at 03:13, Blogger Melissa said…

    Forgot to mention -- *loved* the description of the light and the veil, and the humor mixed with the sad reality. How Peg moves out of her sister's way. You have a gift!

     
  • At 25 September 2009 at 09:14, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Dear Daughter - That was no threat - it was a promise LOL

    Part 7 shall go up tomorrow!

    Love you x



    Melissa - Aww - Shucks! *blush*

    Thank you - I was worried what you would make of the changes!

     
  • At 9 October 2009 at 03:43, Blogger Raisa Gonzalez said…

    Intriguing story so far. The mood is eerie jumping off the page for me. It's the atmosphere that draws you to the different characters. Hope to enjoy future chapters!

     
  • At 9 October 2009 at 10:16, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Thank Raisa!

    & Thank you for taking the time to comment too - much appreciated :)

     
  • At 19 October 2009 at 09:39, Blogger Najela said…

    This is definitely different than the first draft. I definitely like your depiction of the afterlife in this version. I'll probably have to go review this again on WFG since I actually have a chance to catch up this time.

     
  • At 19 October 2009 at 10:01, Blogger Miladysa said…

    Great news Najela - thank you :)

    Prior to the recent edit I made a note of some of the constructive criticism the story has received in reviews.

    It had been pointed out that the beginning in the first draft was rough compared to the later writing. I have attempted to correct that by deleting quite a few of the earlier chapters and introducing this scene (which had appeared much later in the first draft) earlier.

    I have my fingers crossed that readers approve of the changes :)

     

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Whituth's living can't see the dead but psychic Elizabeth Whyte can see everyone: living humans, delayed souls, fallen angels, vampires and fae. She helps maintain the fragile peace between light and darkness in her work with RoYds, an unworldly refuge. But that peace has suddenly become fragile. Whituth's carefully maintained balance is tipping toward darkness. Now Elizabeth and her angelic allies must discover who or what is threatening both town and refuge before balance is lost forever

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