Had nine years passed so quickly?
Sherridan raised herself from her knees. She felt so old and weary. Tragedy after tragedy had befallen her.
On the way back from the cemetary those many years ago....
The memories flooded back as painfully fresh as if the events had just occurred. Adam's death, the visions, old Adam, Virginia, Brian & Helen.
Sherridan remembered turning to look at Brian safely asleep on the back seat of the car. She had only turned her head for a second. then there was Aunt Helen's scream. She felt her car spinning like a tilt-a-whirl ride at an amusement park. Slow motion. Blackness. Silence.
When she fully awakened, weeks had gone by. The news Sherridan heard from the staff psychiatrist made her wish she had remained asleep for eternity.
Brian had been killed instantly. Aunt Helen had lingered for three days.
The only saving grace had been Renee. Rennie. Ren had pulled her through her sleepwaling months. Ren, always there for her. But no longer. Today Sherridan said her final goodbye to her best frIend's mortal remains. How much more could she endure, she wondered.
She turned from the gravesite. So more tears. She was all cried out. There comes a time when no matter how deep down you reach there's nothing left anymore.
She had never felt so alone in her life. No family. And as of three days ago no friends. No life. No commitments. No where to go. No place to be. No appointments to keep. No one to laugh with, or cry with, or worry about, or love.
It wasnt supposed to be this way. This is not what she had envisioned for herself. or those she loved.
No longer able to bring herself to drive, Sherridan stepped into the waiting limo and allowed herself to sink into the deepness of the cushions.
Was this all the Fates had woven for her on their "Web of Wyrd". The Muses. The Three Graces. What would the future hold for this daughter of destiny?
Sherridan thought about the leather sided box that Aunt Helen had given her that they had taken to the cemetary prior to the accident.
"I remember thinking as I looked into that box........."
~ Author Witchy Way ~
"Is this little box really the answer to my problems? How can this thing help me?"
"Are you ok?" interrupted the limo driver, bringing Sherridan back to the present.
"I keep smelling salts in the glove box as well as aspirin and a few other medicinal things on hand as a professional courtesy". "I'm fine!" snapped Sherridan. The stress of losing everything and everyone she loved had finally taken it's toll on her grief taxed mind and soul.
"As you wish." responded the driver curtly, still maintaining his professionalism.
"I'm sorry" apologized Sherridan. "It's just that I've been through so much, I'm not myself it seems."
"It's perfectly alright miss." the chauffer consoled. "I'm used to it. I've been doing this for a long, long time. I understand how grief can affect people."
"You wouldn't have a bottle of something under the seat would you?" asked Sherridan hopefully. A dry smile cracked her face. "I could use a drink right now."
"Yes Ma'am" said the driver with a wink. I keep some fine Kentucky whiskey in the glovebox just for such occasions" I never touch it myself. Diabetic you know."
"What's your name?' Sherridan asked as the chauffer handed a sterling silver flask through the glass partition that separated driver from passenger.
"James" answered Sherridan's newfound friend. "Just James".
"Well Just James" said Sherridan as she uncapped the flask. "Drive and I'm gonna tell you a little story. You won't believe it but I swear that what I'm about to tell you is true and not the imaginings of a mind lost in the past and buried with the ghosts of her sorrow."
The limo's engine jumped to life as Sherridan took a long pull from the silver flask. She looked at her relection in it's polished surface. "God I'm getting old." she muttered to herself.
As the cemetary gates faded in the distance Sherridan began...."Well it all started with Virginia."
"The state?" asked Just James.
"No , Virginia was person, a very special person." answered Sherridan, secretly pleased that Just James was paying attention. The miles rolled by as the story unfolded. Every once in awhile Just James would nod his head but never asked questions or showed any sign of disbelief or sceptisism. When the story was told, the silence was deafening inside the limo. Even the car's engine and the sound of the road seemed hushed by it.
"And just what was in the box?" asked Just James.
"A lock of hair, some of what I think were fingernails, and a photograph." responded Sherridan. "Nothing more."
"Sounds to me like someone was hexing someone" joked Just James.
The epiphany blindsided Sherridan.
"THAT"S IT!!!!!!" shouted Sherridan
"YOU"VE HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD NOW JAMES OLD BOY!! THAT"S IT!!! "
Just James smiled.
"Glad to be of help ma'am" he said obviously pleased with himself.
"I need to see someone, someone who helped me long ago. Someone who may just know how to deal with curses and such. "
"Home James." Sherridan commanded.
"I've always wanted to say that" Sherridan giggled as the burbon began to kick in.
The next day found Sherridan standing in front of a familiar home in the suburbs.
The wagon and bicycle were gone, replaced by a motocross motorcycle and a fire engine red Camero.
A young man wearing a pair of grease stained coveralls had his head under the Camero's hood as Sherridan approached.
"Does Jane Waterson still live here?" asked Sherridan. "Yes ma'am" replied the boy politely.
"She's out in the backyard. Just go through that gate. I think she's still back there."
Sherridan walked around the house.
"Plain" Jane Waterson was sitting on the back porch smoking a cigarette.
"Hello Sherridan." greeted Jane.
"I knew you'd come. Sit down and tell me about it".............
~ Author Slo ~
Graphics done exclusively for this story by The Shop Around The Corner