Diary

Shay Sheridan


July 1
Dear Diary~
It was Wolfís idea that I keep this journal.
I am going to try to write down my observations of life and my feelings. It feels weird. I never have done anything like this before.

Of course, in the past month or so there have been so many things Iíd never done before.
Like go through a mirror to another place that really should not exist.
Like not being afraid for once. No, make that being afraid and surviving the feeling.
Like living apart from Dad.
Seeing my mother again. Losing my mother again. Being responsible for losing her.
Like falling in love. With a wolf.
With anyone.
Being pregnant
!!!!!

We were in Shakespeare & Co. (My favorite bookstore), and Wolf got me this sweet little green book to write in. I think he read something about keeping a journal In one of those weird self-help books he likes. He can be pretty weird himself, sometimes, when he gets on a roll, obsessing about something, which is pretty much always. I love him, how silly and wonderful he can be.

Anyway, Iíll try to write in this diary. He practically begged me to, and I agreed after making him promise to get a book, and write in it as well. Fairís fair! Donít know why he finds it so important. Iím really not a writer. Well, maybe someday the baby will find it amusing.
BABY!!!


July 2
Brutally hot day. Mostly just lay around most of the morning, feeling kinda nauseous. Morning sickness???
W. thought eating would make me feel better, (duh!) which (of course) meant his favorite food group, bacon. Just made it to toilet in time when he said the word...
Wolf now reading a book he got yesterday at the store - Dr. Spock! !!! Before I met Wolf, I never really saw anyone DEVOUR a book before. Short of actually chewing the pages, heís underlining, folding, dog-earing, ripping out important bits and generally destroying it as he goes. He likes to quote it to me, suddenly, when I donít hear him come up behind me, which has got to stop.
I can see it now - heíll be on Oprah as the Furry Father of the Year.

He hates the air conditioner but I told him I would puke all over him if he turned it off.. I think the technical aspect of it bothers him, but he wonít say if itís that, or maybe the smell. Heís amazingly blase about all the stuff heís never seen before, elevators, skyscrapers, cars, subways - well, okay, not subways - more on that another time... Takes it all in stride, for the most part. I suppose that if youíre raised with magic, electricity is pretty tame by comparison.

Ate crackers and felt better around noon and apologized to him for my bad mood. Then HE apologized for not being sensitive. He reminded me about his own little mood swings. We looked in the calendar. Full moon is on the 13th and 14th. I think he got a little depressed thinking about it - he got uncharacteristically quiet - so I nibbled on his ear and made nice. And I got his nose out of that book. And then he was snuffling on my neck and unbuttoning my blouse, and I was giggling and gasping and he was licking me all over. Ooookay, just thinking about this is making me all horny again. I think Iíll go find Wolf...



July 3
Almost everything in NYC is closed today, even though the 4th isnít until tomorrow. We went for a walk on 5th Avenue (still canít believe weíre living in our old apartment - evidently the spell or whatever on Mr. Murray is a keeper).

Anyway, we were passing St. Patrickís cathedral and it struck me that Iíd never heard a word about religion n the Kingdoms, so I asked W. about it. He looked puzzled that there are other things to believe in than magic or witchcraft - I suppose believing in magic is a sort of religion. We were near Rockefeller Center and I took him into St. Patís and Wolf loved it - The inside is gothic and looked a lot like some of the castle-y places in the Kingdoms, so it made him feel right at home. There was a choir rehearsal going on - they let you come in, anyway - and when the choir and organ started, Wolf stopped dead in his tracks, and his mouth gaped open and he took a short little breath and said ďOh!Ē very softly.. It WAS awe-inspiring, and seeing him so moved really touched me, too. I am going to take him to a concert next week, across the Park. Thereís a church that does concerts that Dad used to take me to. I guess weíll find out what kind of music he likes. I hope itís not Barry Manilow.


July 4
Fourth of July and itís still HOT out, but wasnít sick this morning (YAY!)

Had the most wonderful time tonight. After a picnic dinner, Wolf and I walked all over the west side, saw tons of historical ships. We were touring a three-masted German schooner (I think thatís what it was) and Wolf charmed the sailor (female, of course) who was acting as our guide, and the next thing you know, she invited us to join some people to watch the fireworks from the ship. I didnít realize they had fireworks in the Kingdoms, but W. reminded me heíd ordered them for after that dinner we had in Kissing Town (where I walked out on him and told him never to darken my doorway again!), but these were considerably more impressive than anything heíd ever seen. It was romantic sitting there in the dark, on the water, with Wolf leaning against me, saying ďOh, gosh!Ē and ďBoy, that was a big one, all right!Ē from time to time in my ear. It is like I Ďve been born all over again, into a new, more beautiful world, now that he is with me. And being able to see the world through his eyes is, well, itís breathtaking. To think not very long ago I thought life was just something to get through.


July 5
Oh, God, had a horrible, horrible dream last night.
Dreamed that Wolf and I were together on a ship, like a cruise ship, and somehow we got separated and I searched through all the decks, and couldnít find him. Then, in one of those dream-kind of changes, I was standing in the park, watching him cross Fifth Avenue, only it wasnít really, it had a castle on the far side, and I yelled to him to watch out, but of course no sound came out, and then all this traffic came and a big bus was about to hit him, and I was driving the bus.

I woke up then, all sweaty and hyperventilating, and I guess shaking so hard I woke him up. All I could do was hold onto him and shake. He kept asking me what was wrong and I couldnít even talk for a while. It sounds like a stupid, silly dream, now, in the daytime, but it was terrifying. How could I have dreamed I would hurt him?
If something were to happen to Wolf --
I canít even think it.


July 6
While I was out today (clothes shopping - I begged W. to let me go alone or I knew Iíd never get anything done) evidently he spent the morning touring churches and other places people worship. He then gave me a synopsis of every place he went to, including:

St. Bartholomewís (he liked the way the wood paneling smells)
St. Peterís (too much modern glass but he met some nice parishioners),
St. Anthonyís (talked to a nun for half an hour to have her explain confession. Learned incense makes him sneeze)
Temple Emanu-El (He likes the stained glass. Apparently now knows what a bar mitzvah is)

Evidently he also wanted to go to the big mosque on 96th Street but didnít have time.

When I asked him why he was doing this, he hemmed and hawed a bit, then admitted he thought maybe I wanted to have a religious wedding, and wondered if religion was something important to me. We sat down and I told him I wasnít really raised going to church (much to my grandmotherís Episcopalian horror) but that I basically believed in God and in the Golden Rule. When he asked about it I told him what it was, and he nodded, and said ďWell, that sounds important. Letís do that.Ē
He completely undoes me when he gets serious!
I kissed him right on that little worry line he gets between his eyebrows and we decided to revisit the subject later. Meanwhile, I suggested he take it easy - five religious institutions in one day is obsessive, even for him. And I donít think any of these places is ready yet for a wolf howling in the choir.


July 7
Decided to look for a job. I REALLY do not want to go back to the Grill but itís a big tourist place and I make a lot of money in tips. On the other hand, maybe thereís something else I can do that is better than waiting tables. Of course, I never did finish college, so...Iíll talk to the manager at the Grill tomorrow. We canít just act like tourists forever. At some point we have to have money to live here.

LATER
Well, I found out some of Wolfís musical tastes by going through my tapes and CDs and Dadís record collection. Anything produced after 1990 or so - no sale. Classical - mostly indifferent. Show tunes - he thought some of them were historical ballads and some were incomprehensible to him (me, too - please do not ask me why my dad owns ďCATSĒ). Bizarrely enough he likes some of Dadís classic rock (Cream, the Who - all that old stuff). He decided that Springsteenís ďHungry HeartĒ was the story of his life before he met me. That made me get all weepy. We also played some jazz. That made him feel romantic. (Although, really, what DOESNíT make him feel that way?)

2:00 AM
Another bad dream. What is happening?
I donít remember all of it but the bad stuff was that Wolf and I were trapped on opposite sides of a mirror. I could see him, and he could see me. He was howling and crying but I couldnít hear him or get to him and I was pounding on the glass while he was being taken further and further away.
This time I got up and came in here so I wouldnít wake him and I just cried and cried, and then decided to write it down while I remembered it. Why is my mind doing this? Everything is so good. Except these dreams.
Maybe I need to talk to someone. I guess Iíll go back to bed.
But Iím afraid to go to sleep.


July 9
Slept almost all day yesterday. When I woke up, W. was pacing like he would wear a hole in the floor. It was 3:00 pm and evidently he was afraid I wouldnít wake up, like at Wendellís coronation when my mother
- after I had to fight kill

after what happened
I assured him I was okay, I just hadnít slept really well last night, but he was very worried and wanted me to see a doctor or go see Wendellís people or something, but I really am fine, itís just my mind playing some kind of trick. Iím sure Iíll be fine. And the babyís fine, I know.


TODAY

I
TODAY I THIS IS WO [illegible due to grease stain]
VIRGINIA MY SWEETIE PIE IS WRITING IN A BOOK, AND I TOLD HER I WOULD, TOO. I MEAN, I THINK ITS ONLY FAIR AND BESIDES DR HOROVITS THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA BECAUSE YOU KNOW, SOMETIMES PEOPLE GET FEELINGS AND THEY NEED TO REFLECT ON THEM LATER (DOC SAID THAT, HER WORDS)

OKAY HERE ARE MY FEELINGS
HERE I GO
IM READY TO WRITE DOWN MY FEELINGS
I FEEL
CRIPES
THIS IS VERY STRANGE
I FEEL VERY [illegible]
WELL I LOVE MY CORKY VIRGINIA OF COURSE
I FEEL VERY LUCKY
I FEEL VERY
I DONT DESERVE HER. IVE DONE VERY BAD THINGS AND I KNOW SHE DOESNT CARE BUT IM REALLY AFRAID THAT SHE WILL GO AWAY.
DONT THINK ABOUT THAT, WOLF.
IíM NOT GOING TO THINK ABOUT IT.
THE END


July 11
Wolf has a job!
I really canít believe that he did it and I didnít even know what he was up to. He was kind of mysterious at breakfast today and told me to meet him at noon at 64th and Park. He wouldnít tell me why. I went over to the Grill to talk to them about my job, and they were pretty nice, considering I basically disappeared in the middle of a shift. Tommaso says heíll let me know by Saturday. So then I went over to 64th and 3rd, and there is my insane Wolf, dressed up in a uniform, and heís a doorman at the new Palatial Towers Hotel!

I had a mini-flashback when I saw him, because the uniform is a lot like the livery he wore at Wendellís castle - sort of 18th century, gold and scarlet. Itís really very pretentious for NYC and the other doormen look ridiculous, but, letís face it, it looks GREAT on Wolf. Very natural. Very sexy. He says he likes it because the long coat hides his tail - very practical.

He had a lunch break and we went to a coffee shop in the building (he kept the outfit on, but nobody even looks twice in New York). He told me that when he was walking around last week he started chatting up the concierge (yes, you guessed it, a woman) and ended up getting hired because they are desperate for people with good manners who donít have an attitude about opening doors for people. I didnít point out that Wolf can get QUITE an attitude when he wants to, but the truth is he is very, very charming and can certainly act nice even if he wants to bite you. Iíve seen him do it.

He told me he really wanted to get a job so I wouldnít have to work unless I really wanted to. He feels he has to show me that he is dependable.
As if there were any question.


SOMETHING IS WRONG.
YESTERDAY AFTER MY JOB WAS DONE I CAME HOME AND I THOUGHT VIRGINIA WASNT THERE BUT SHE WAS
SHE WAS SITTING IN A CHAIR IN THE DARK AND WHEN I CAME OVER TO HER HER EYES WERE OPEN BUT SHE WAS ASLEEP. I SHOOK HER SHOULDER BECAUSE I WAS AFRAID SHE WAS SICK BUT SHE JUMPED UP AND KNOCKED ME OVER BEFORE I HAD TIME TO REACT AND THEN SHE TRIED TO-
SHE PUT HER HANDS AROUND MY NECK AND WAS SQUEEZING THEM BUT OF COURSE SHE WASNT STRONG ENOUGH AND I PUSHED HER OFF.
THEN SHE WOKE UP AND DIDNT KNOW WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND I TOLD HER IT WAS A DREAM.
THIS IS MORE THAN A DREAM
THIS IS BAD


July 12

Iím so scared.
Something awful happened. I must have fallen asleep in the living room recliner and when I woke up I was on the floor with Wolf and he was holding my arms away from him. I donít know what happened, or how I got there, but he wonít say anything except I must have been having a dream. Heís trying to act as if nothing is wrong, but he is a little remote tonight, and Iím very, very scared.
What is happening to me?


From the Desk of Marian Horovitz, PhD

TO: Paul Schuman, PhD.
RE: Patient Mr. W
DATE: 13 July, 1:00 pm

Paul - as I mentioned, here are some notes on Patient Mr. W. I could certainly use some advice!

Mr. W. arrived in an agitated state - was waiting for me outside door this am and was advised to return when I had an opening at 12:15. Have seen him on several occasions - seems to have difficulty making and keeping regular appointments, but his case is so provocative, I find myself unable to refuse.

Mr. W. is a Caucasian male who appears to be mid-thirties (says he does not know his exact date or year of birth!) -who despite being highly functional and charming suffers the delusion of being greatly influenced by phases of the moon. While this delusion is not uncommon in some cultures (see monograph by C.D. Furst - ďThe Origins of Lunar ObsessionĒ Yale, 1959) Mr. W. does not seem to have this particular cultural background. He evidently experienced some kind of dysfunction as a child resulting in binge eating and other eating disorders I am still trying to unravel, and has in the past made references to feeling the urge to bite or even consume (!) his fiancee in some kind of mating frenzy - his story is confusing here. I have advised him that such thoughts are self-indulgent. In summation, claims to possess characteristics of some type of predatory animal, although his introspection and constant self-analysis evince more of a tendency towards obsessive-compulsive disorder. My remaining impassive during his acting out has resulted in a calming effect on Mr. W. who, despite such theatrical outbursts, does seem to want to participate in his treatment and is extremely suggestible and cooperative.

Todayís visit was perplexing, as Mr. W. wished to discuss his fiancee, stating that it is she who is in need of treatment, suffering vivid dreams and occasional blackouts accompanied by violence directed at Mr. W. The patientís agitation was compounded by the approach of the full moon tomorrow night - he says he fears he will do harm to his fiancee (who is pregnant) if she were to attack him. I am puzzled - he does not seem to be the victim of domestic violence, and despite his fears about the full moon, I doubt if he is dangerous to himself or others.

I suggested that if, in fact, his fiancee, Miss L., is in need of therapy, she should call to set up an appointment, but as you know, I do not counsel couples, and therefore thought you might be interested in a referral should she call. In the meantime, I am in a quandary about Mr. W.ís transference of symptoms to his fiancee, and your input would be most welcome.

My best to Olivia and the children.
Marian


July 13

Wolf is trying to entertain and distract me, very sweetly, by telling me stupid troll stories but there is a big elephant in the room that both of us are pretending isnít there.

I had another awful blank period, just for a few minutes, right after dinner. We were watching TV (some nature show - W. finds them fascinating this close to the full moon - I call it ďvirtual stalkingĒ). I was sitting on the couch clipping coupons with a pair of scissors, and he had just gotten up to open the window because thereís a nice breeze tonight. I was watching him stand there - I know he was looking at the moon -and I was feeling a little worried about him, though heís actually been rather quiet since he got home.

And then I was standing over at the window with him and he had my scissors in his hand and he was holding my wrist and his eyes were very, very wide and amber, which always unnerves me a little. But the awful thing is that I donít remember going over to the window and I donít know why he had the scissors that I had been using. I could feel his hand shaking where he had me by the wrist.

He said he hoped he hadnít scared me, that it was just his cycle.

But he was the one who was scared, I know.


FULL MOON

I
AM
NOT
GOING TO
KI
[illegible]
VIRGINIA NEEDS ME I CANT I CANT I CANT
I WONT

[page torn]

DAWN

I AM STILL MYSELF
BUT EVERYTHING HURTS
I WONT TELL HER
CANT UPSET HER
I ATE EVERYTHING IN THE KITCHEN
I FEEL EMPTY
I DONT WANT TO LOSE HER
TONIGHT IS THE SECOND NIGHT OF THE MOON
I HAVE TO HOLD ON
MUST STAY CALM!!!!!!!
CONTROL
MAYBE IF I DONT LOSE MYSELF I WONT LOSE HER


July 14

Everything seems fine this morning, like the last few days were just a bad dream.
Wolf slept late and was ravenous. He didnít complain about cramps or anything and he wasnít short-tempered like he often is. Itís like heís holding himself in check - perhaps some new technique heís trying...?

Like last month when he tried that free biofeedback session. Another place we can never go again.

He must be getting these ideas from someone, but he wonít tell me who. I just hope itís not some shrink or something. I can just imagine what a therapy session would be like --- the shrink would probably end up neurotic himself after an hour with Wolf.

Or maybe heíd think Wolf was insane and try to commit him.

God, thatís a horrible thought. I really hope Wolf is just getting his ideas from books or TV.


Afternoon

Went to the park. W. held my hand so tightly I had to tell him he was hurting me. Of course, then he looked at me with those eyes and I had to tell him it was OK. I forget how sensitive he is during the full moon. I felt terrible.

Watched people play soccer and softball.. Wolf thinks all sports are pointless but Iíve caught him watching wresting on TV in a very intense way when he doesnít know Iím looking.

Wrestling! Cripes.
(ďCRIPES?í I canít believe I just wrote that - now heís got me saying it). I asked him if he wanted to run around, or chase me, you know, to work off that full moon edge he usually has, but he said no, he just wanted to be with me. I got the strangest feeling he was watching me - not like I was his prey, exactly, but like he was afraid I might disappear if he turned his back.

Itís probably just the moon.

Heís going to work - he has the late shift. I hope he doesnít do anything to get himself fired - or arrested.
I really hope heíll be all right.


July 15

Woke up in the middle of the night and found Wolf sitting in the chair across from the bed, wide awake. My heart turned over in a little leap because his eyes were reflecting light from the window and it took me a moment to realize it was him. I am not scared of the animal in him - thatís who he is and I love him, all of him

When I looked at the clock it said 3:35 and I know his shift was over at midnight, and with the moon full I was relieved to find him at home, even though he was just sitting there like a statue. I asked him if he felt all right. He answered me that he was fine, but his voice was very low and raspy, and I said come to bed.

He didnít move at first, but stayed very still, too still. I donít understand why this month heís not restless, prowling, pacing back and forth. By now Iím pretty used to his behavior being odd but this month its not testiness or pain from his body wanting to change, or when the moon is at its zenith, being very - well, amorous is the polite way to put it, but basically, he gets horny as hell. And there was all that craziness that happened to him back in the Kingdoms. But throughout everything, heís never been this wary or guarded.

I asked him again to come to bed, and this time he did, but I could feel how tense his body was and when I reached out to caress his hair he flinched at first. As if he thought -- how could he think this? - that I might hit him. I wrapped my arms around him. He felt hot, but was shivering a little. I told him I loved him. He said he knew. He kept his back to me and I couldnít see his face.

I wanted to ask him whatís wrong but I was too afraid of the answer.


MORNING

I WATCHED HER SLEEP
SHE DOESNT KNOW
MY VIRGINIA DOESNT KNOW WHAT SHES DOING
I CANT TELL HER


July 16

Filled in for someone at the Grill today. Tommaso says he will use me as a swing for awhile until a full-time shift opens up. Work was harder than I remembered, but it felt good just to do something and not think about what is going on at home with Wolf. Saw Candy, who seems to be avoiding me. Great. I must really be turning everyone off lately.
Well, thatís a happy thought.

Decided to see Grandmother after work. What a mistake. I had to sit through long, boring stories about going to the beauty salon and what celebrity is getting married or pregnant or having a sex change or was kidnaped by aliens. Meanwhile her hair is in its usual helmet of hair spray and still styled circa 1959--

God, that was mean.

Sometimes sheís kind of sweet, if dotty. Last time I was there, around the end of June, she gave me a lovely necklace. After what happened back in the Kingdoms with Mom, I felt a little guilty about taking it. But Grandmother really wanted me to have it - she said Dad gave it back to her after Mom left. And, okay, I admit it, the aquamarine stones really look good with my eyes (I know, Iím vain, vain, vain.)

Tonight was not one of those good nights. She made me very angry with all her talk about Mom. She was doing her usual comparison between her beloved Christine and dowdy, foolish me and how when Mom gets back sheíll take society by storm, and I could feel tears starting in my eyes and I couldnít breathe and I almost screamed out loud ďSHEĒS DEAD AND I KILLED HER!Ē but of course I didnít because how could I tell her that her own daughter is never going to live happily every after, no matter what dreams she had for her.

I left right after that.


July 17

It happened again.

I was tired - I worked at the Grill again today, and Wolf said heíd make dinner, which was great, if a little high on protein. I did make a salad because otherwise weíd never eat anything green. We ate with music playing in the background - Santana. Very mellow. I might even say romantic. Wolf seemed happy but every now and then Iíd catch him looking at me - which he does almost all the time anyway - but more like he was waiting for something. I asked him, ďWhat is it?Ē and he brushed it off with ďI donít know, nothing,Ē and I thought maybe it was my imagination. We sat there a long time, not saying anything, but in a good way.

I lay down on the couch while Wolf did the dishes (and they say wolves are hard to domesticate!) He will not use the dishwasher under any circumstances. He finished up and came over and we cuddled. His tail was out and he curled it around my hand and I stroked it and the look on his face was total bliss. He hasnít looked that happy in a long time.

I must have fallen asleep because the dream came. The most frightening one so far.

I was cold, colder than I have ever been.

I was dressing, and I put on a gown, slipped my arms through the sleeves that were made of lace and gossamer, but when they came out the other end my arms were coated in ice. Then I looked in the mirror and saw I was in a wedding dress and a veil came down over my face and wrapped around my throat but it was made of ice too. I looked at my hands, and they were in long, long gloves made of ice.

But they werenít my hands any more.

And I wanted to tear the ice away, away from my face and my arms, but my hands wouldnít obey me.

And then Wolf came up behind me and put his arms around me and for a moment everything seemed OK but then the ice made me turn around and I heard my voice say something, but it wasnít my voice speaking and I couldnít understand the words. And Wolf backed away from me, terrified, and I reached out to touch him with hands that werenít my hands. And I started to scream, but still in that voice that wasnít my voice.

And I woke up, still screaming, but only in my head. I didnít know where I was for a minute. I was in bed, but the last thing I remember was being in the living room. The clock said midnight, and I canít remember where I was after nine oíclock.

Wolf wasnít in the room, so I called to him but he didnít answer and I got up to look for him.

He was in the bathroom, standing by the mirror, with the water running, and he hadnít heard me call, so I touched his arm and he jumped and I when he turned I saw he was wiping blood from deep scratches on his chest. I didnít understand, I said I didnít know how he could have cut himself, maybe on a knife cleaning up after dinner, and he just suddenly sat down on the hamper like all the air had gone out of him and buried his face in his hands. And I started to cry because I was so afraid, and I reached out to touch him and something about my hand was wrong, and then I saw

there was blood under my nails

and then I knew.


TONY I AM SENDING THIS THROUGH THE MIRROR IíLL THROW IT TO THE FIRST PERSON I SEE AND THEN I HAVE TO COME BACK TO BE WITH VIRGINIA
IM AFRAID TO LEAVE HER ALONE
PLEASE COME
PLEASE
SHE NEEDS YOU
I NEED HELP
I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO
PLEASE
WOLF


FROM:
TO:
RE:
Millie
Dr. Schuman
Transcript of session 7/20/00

Dr. Schuman, here are the portions of the session you asked me to transcribe. As you requested, I have forwarded a copy to Dr. Horovitz.

Patient 07115 Virginia L.
TRANSCRIPT:

Paul Schuman: And why did you want to find psychological counseling?

Miss VL: No, I didnít, I donít want to be here.

PS: Then why are you here?

VL: I need to talk to someone before...

PS: Hmmm...?

VL: Before it happens again. (PAUSE)
Are you going to ask questions or just sit there, or what? I donít know how to do this. (PAUSE)
I shouldnít have come - this is bullshit.

PS: Please sit down again, Virginia.

VL: (CRIES) Iím sorry.

PS: Not at all. Patients are supposed to yell at their therapists.
Letís go back a bit, all right?

VL: All right.

PS: You told me your fiancť gave you my name.

VL: Yes - he got it from his shrink. I didnít even know he was seeing a shrink. Oh - sorry. I guess thatís, I mean, you probably donít like that word.

PS: (LAUGHS) Iíve heard worse. Your fiancť, Mr.-

VL: Wolf.

PS: Yes. He never told you he was seeing my colleague? Did that upset you?

VL: Well, I know heís kind of hyper, and he may seem a little weird sometimes, but I donít think he needs a shr- psychiatrist. He doesnít need to be put away or anything.

PS: Are you concerned about that?

VL: Well, no, of course not! Not really, but I know him and sometimes he might act a little...Not that heís very odd or anything, Well, maybe a little strange, when you first meet him, I mean, heís perfectly normal. You shouldnít get the idea that heís dangerous or, or, that he even needs a psychiatrist really. Wolf is just - heís fine.

PS: Of course I cannot comment on Mr. Wolfís therapy, but often people just need to explore certain issues that they are not comfortable discussing with family or loved ones.

VL: Oh.

PS: You seem upset.

VL: I just thought - I mean, heís so open, I usually know what heís thinking just by looking at him...I feel stupid. I should have known.

PS: Youíre not a mind reader.

VL: Well, no, but...I mean, Iím the one whoís supposed to hide my feelings, the one whoís supposed to be so cold, not him.

PS: Who told you you were cold?

VL: You wouldnít believe me if I told you, honestly. No - but itís true, I know itís hard for me to tell people how I feel.

PS: Well, then, maybe we should talk about some of your feelings now. What are your feelings about your fiancť?

VL: God, I love him! Really. Thatís why this is so awful

PS: You said you were afraid of something happening again. What is it you fear?

VL: (INAUDIBLE)

PS: Sorry?

VL: Hurting him. Iíve already hurt him.

PS: By saying hurtful things, not being open - ?

VL: No! (CRIES)

PS: Virginia -

VL: Donít you understand? I hit him, scratched him with my nails. Tried to stab him with scissors. I donít know. I donít know.

PS: Does he do things that make you angry?

VL: No, no, heís wonderful.

PS: Has he ever hit you, or -

VL: No! He would never - you donít understand. Oh, God, I knew this was a mistake.

PS: What are you feeling before you attack him?

VL: (SHOUTING) I donít know, I donít remember when Iím doing it!
(UNINTELLIGIBLE, CRYING)

PS: All, right, all right. Here.

VL: (BLOWS NOSE) Thank you. (PAUSE) Iím sorry. I have these weird periods when I donít remember what happens, and when I wake up I find myself in different places, and Iíve - Iíve - (CRIES)

PS: During these blackouts youíve injured your fiancť? (PAUSE) I see.

VL: And sometimes I have horrible dreams when this happens.

PS: Dreams that youíre attacking him?

VL: No - but heís always afraid of me and Iím acting strange.

PS: Can you tell me about them?

ATTACHMENT:
NOTE: Dr. Schuman, Iíve transcribed the dreams and they are enclosed separately.
--Millie

TRANSCRIPT CONTINUES

PS: Have you been under any unusual strain lately?

VL: (SHORT LAUGH) Sorry.

PS: You know, if I may make an observation, you do apologize a lot.

VL: Huh. Thatís what Wolf says I do. Iím sorry. Oh - sorry - Jeez, I canít seem to stop.

PS: He tells you how you SHOULD react?

VL: No, no, Iím not saying that.

PS: All right, all right. I understand you are expecting a child.

VL: Yes. In about seven months.

PS: Was this a planned pregnancy?

VL: No. None of it was planned.

PS: Do you have any misgivings about it?

VL: No, of course not. Well, um, maybe, I guess I do, in a way. It happened so fast.

PS: And you feel ambivalent about it?

VL: Well -

PS: Did he pressure you to have the baby?

VL: No, not like you mean. But I could never - it would kill Wolf if I chose not to have it.

PS: So itís all his decision?

VL: No! No - itís ours. His and mine. Itís just that heís so SURE.

PS: Youíre not sure you want to have it.

VL: Oh, I donít know. Of course I do. Iím sure I do.(PAUSE) You donít look like you believe me. Oh, God! You donít think I would hurt the baby, do you? (PAUSE) Do you?

PS: Do you?

VL: Oh no - no - I couldnít! Could I?

PS: You say you love your fiancť and yet you are injuring him.

VL: Oh my God, God - what am I going to do? (CRIES)

PS: Just what youíre doing. Weíre going to talk about this and see whatís really going on. Weíll get to the bottom of this. Here.

VL: (BLOWS NOSE) Sorry. (LAUGHS)

END OF TRANSCRIPT.


FIRST QUARTER MOON

VIRGINIA IS TALKING TO DR. HOROVITS FRIEND.
SHE CAME TO SEE HIM BUT I KNOW SHE DIDNT WANT TO BUT I SAID PLEASEPLEASE GO AND SHE FINALLY SAID OK. I HOPE HE HELPS HER

I DONT KNOW WHAT ELSE TO DO.

I WENT WITH HER TO THE OFFICE. I WAS PACING AND THE WOMAN AT THE DESK ASKED ME TO LEAVE BECAUSE I WAS MAKING THE OTHER PEOPLE NERVOUS AND WHY WAS I SCRATCHING?! CRIPES, COULDNT SHE SEE IM WORRIED ABOUT MY MATE?! I DIDNT WANT TO LOSE MY TEMPER AT THAT STUPID BRAINLESS OLD DRIED OUT TOTALLY INEDIBLE HAG, I JUST WANTED TO REACH OVER AND RIP OUT HER SHRIVELED [scratched out, hole in paper]

WELL ANYWAY, I LEFT.

IT WAS RAINING, BUT IT WAS GOOD TO BE OUTSIDE AND FEEL THE RAIN. I WALKED AND WALKED AND TRIED TO THINK BUT EVERYTHING IS ALL MIXED UP, I MEAN I THINK SHE LOVES ME, SHE SAYS SHE DOES, AND MY SWEET VIRGINIA DOESNT LIE AND I KNOW I LOVE HER, BUT SHE ACTS LIKE SHE HATES ME BUT SHE SAYS SHE LOVES ME -
OH CRIPES

IS IT THE CUB?
IS SHE MAD AT ME BECAUSE WERE GOING TO HAVE A BABY?
SHE SAYS SHES HAPPY
BUT THEN WHY DOES SHE -
I CANT THINK ABOUT THIS ANYMORE. MY HEAD HURTS
MY CHEST HURTS WHERE SHE SCRATCHED ME
INSIDE I THINK MY HEART HURTS MORE.

I DIDNT KNOW WHERE TO GO SO I CAME HERE. ITS ONE OF THE PLACES I WENT TO AFTER VIRGINIA SHOWED ME THAT BIG CHURCH. I LIKE IT HERE AND THEY LET YOU JUST SIT AND THINK AND THATS WHAT I HAVE TO DO TO FIGURE THIS OUT..

I JUST FEEL SO BAD AND I WANT TO HOWL BUT I KNOW THATS NOT WHAT REGULAR PEOPLE DO, ESPECIALLY IN A CHURCH, DO I WANT THEM TO THINK IíM AN ANIMAL?

SO I JUST HELD IT IN AND AFTER A WHILE THE MUSIC STARTED AND I KNOW I MUST HAVE LOOKED LIKE A STUPID CUB BECAUSE I STARTED CRYING OF COURSE. I HATE WHEN I DO THAT BUT I JUST COULDNT STOP IT.

ONE OF THEIR HOLY PEOPLE, THEIR PRIESTS IS WATCHING ME BECAUSE IVE BEEN HERE A WHILE. HE IS DOING WHAT THEY CALL CONFESSION AND I THINK HE WAS WAITING FOR ME BUT OF COURSE I CANT DO THAT. I KNOW PEOPLE COME HERE, TO THE CHURCH, TO PRAY FOR HELP BUT IM NOT A HYPOCRITE, THIS ISNT MY PLACE AND ANYWAY I KNOW I CANT BECAUSE AFTER ALL THE BAD THINGS IVE DONE, WHO WOULD WANT TO HELP ME OR FORGIVE ME? NO ONE EVER HAS.

EXCEPT VIRGINIA. SHE FORGIVES ME.

THE ONLY GOOD THING I EVER WANTED THAT I GOT WAS HER, AND I KNEW I DIDNT DESERVE HER EVEN THOUGH I WANTED HER, AND NOW LOOK WHATS HAPPENED.

I DONT WANT TO THINK ABOUT THIS BUT I CANT STOP. MY VERY FINE DOCTOR CALLS THIS OBSESSIVE THINKING AND I DO IT ALL THE TIME, SO I GUESS ILL BE LIKE THIS FOREVER.

HOW CAN I SAVE HER IF I CANT EVEN CONTROL MY OWN THOUGHTS?

WOLF, WOLF, WOLF --- DONT THINK ABOUT THIS, THINK POSITIVELY, LIKE THE DOC SAYS, DONT OBSESS, DONT OBSESS, DONT OBSESS.
IM OBSESSING

THIS IS HOPELESS

OH, GREAT
SOME LITTLE BOY IS COMING DOWN THE AISLE WITH THAT INCENSE STUFF AND ITS MAKING ME SNEEZE
- A LOT - [wet stain]
AND ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE TURNING AROUND TO LOOK AT ME AND SAY SHHHH TO ME AND I REALLY REALLY DO NOT WANT TO LOSE MY TEMPER IN THIS PLACE AND I CAN FEEL MYSELF STARTING TO GROWL AND THEY ARE ALL LOOKING AT ME SO IM LEAVING
OHHH IM SO BAD SO BAD SO BAD
I CANT EVEN BEHAVE IN ONE OF THEIR HOLY PLACES.




WHY ISNT TONY HERE?


The 20th I think

After that night, that awful night, I think I was kind of in shock for a while. I told Wolf he should go away, back to Wendellís or something, to be safe, but if course he wonít. We argued about it and I ended up in his arms. We sat like that for hours until the sun came up, but the whole time I was thinking, ďDonít hurt him, stay awake.Ē I couldnít tell what he was thinking, and that frightens me.

He said he had something very important to tell me, and thatís when I found out about the doctor he has been seeing, a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst or something. If I ever wondered about his humanity, that pretty much put it to rest. Heís looking for answers just like all the other neurotic New Yorkers who share this island with us, trying to understand himself, improve himself. I admit I was a little upset that I hadnít known, and he said he was sorry he hadnít told me, that he was afraid I would think he was dangerous, or crazy, and I said he shouldnít think that he was different from anyone else, we all have our strange habits and ideas, and obviously Iím the one who needs help, but all the same, I wish heíd trusted me.

He got up then, and went to find a little piece of paper with the name of a doctor on it, someone his shrink recommended. He said he thought maybe I should talk to this person. I was really upset at first, but I agreed finally because Wolf pleaded with me so much and his face was all screwed up and he was looking at me with those eyes and I said Okay, okay, maybe it canít hurt. I owe him that much, after everything Iíve put him through. I just donít think it can help. He looked so relieved when I agreed to call. When I reached over to touch him, by mistake I touched the bandage that I put on his chest where I ó
I canít even bear to write it.
I know it hurt when I touched it.
I canít seem to stop hurting him.

LATER

After the doctor I did feel a little better. Heís an older man with white hair and a moustache and he looks exactly like a psychiatrist should look. He made me feel like maybe he can help find out whatís going on.

Wolf wasnít around when I came out, so I went home by myself. It was pouring out. I was worried about him, but heís probably safer in the rain than with me.

I made some cocoa. I fell asleep - I guess I was relaxed, or exhausted. I didnít have any dreams or anything.

Wolf came in around six oíclock, soaking wet, looking miserable. My heart broke to see him like that and I said I would go to Grandmotherís and he should stay here, away from me, but he wouldnít hear of it. He can be incredibly stubborn, though he always accuses me of being the stubborn one.

He says heíll be all right, whatever happens, that heís stronger than me and will never let me really hurt him seriously. But what if I got a knife or something? He says heís not afraid. He says to trust him. I do. I really do But I know what will happen - heíll stay up all night and wait to make sure I donít try anything. He already looks so tired and ragged from lack of sleep.

I canít tell him that we talked about the baby, the doctor and I, and that Iím afraid of hurting the baby, too.


  St. Anthony's Rectory

July 21
To Father Ralph Thomason


Ralph -

Forgive me for leaving this note, but I didnít get a chance to see you last evening. Question - did you get a look at that man who came in yesterday afternoon and stayed until Mass - the one with the sneezing fit Mrs. Minetti was so upset about? He was sitting across from the Confessional for about three hours. I have seen him before, on a couple of occasions - he always sits in the same place, stays for hours, fidgets, talks to himself sometimes, and has a habit of scratching his head that is quite pathetic. (He doesnít look homeless - maybe he has Touretteís?)
Invariably he becomes quite upset and then leaves in a hurry.

I was going to speak with him yesterday, but he ran out just as Mass was starting. He seems to be a soul in distress, and the fact that he keeps returning tells me that he is looking for help, and so far no one has reached out to him.

I just wanted to ask you, because Iím new here, if you think I should approach him, or if youíd prefer that I just let him be. Iím not sure what your protocol is, and at my last church I had a reputation of being a little too gung-ho, as Iím sure Father Riley told you.

Awaiting your wishes -

Pete

Father Pietro Generale


July 22

Dad is here!!!!

I canít believe it - Iíve been missing him so much, and he was here when I got home. This was my second appointment with Dr. Schuman - Iím going to see him three times this week - heís being very kind about a sliding rate for sessions. We talked about my relationship with Dad and I know he wasnít a great father, losing jobs and being kind of a rotten role model, but heís always, always tried to do his best; well, truthfully, maybe not always, but he always loved me and certainly the time we spent in the Kingdoms made him a little better person. But what can I say? Heís my Daddy.

Dr. Schuman also asked me about Mom, of course. I canít tell him the truth about where she went, or how she died - heíd lock me away in Bellevue forever. But we did talk about her being sick and all. I couldnít really go into it too much - I felt so sad and I cried a lot. He didnít seem to mind. I know heís going to bring her up again.

And then when I came back, there was Dad, sitting in the living room with Wolf, drinking a beer (well, at least that hasnít changed). We hugged and hugged, and I asked him why he was here, and you know how he is, he just said something like ďOh, I just missed my little girl!Ē but I think he was looking at Wolf over the top of my head, like they were saying something to each other without words. Maybe Iím paranoid, but him showing up here is just too much of a coincidence with all this going on.

We had a nice dinner - if you count me not trying to stab anybody during it - and Dad told us all about Wendell, how heís redecorating the castle (boy, thereís a job, about 100 rooms) to get rid of some of the weird old dusty stuff. It seems he (Wendell) is enamored of 10th Kingdom decor, from the little he saw of it when he was here, so Dad says heís going to bring back some interior design books. I suggested a battery- operated lava lamp, which made Dad spit out his food and completely mystified Wolf.

I really felt completely NORMAL tonight, for the first time in weeks.

After dinner we talked more, just catch up stuff, and I decided to go to bed. Iím lying in bed now, waiting for Wolf, but he and Dad are still talking. I know they must be talking about me. Maybe they can figure it out. Dadís going to sleep in my old room.
Iím going to sleep.


TONY DIDNT COME RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE HE WAS IN KISSINGTOWN AND THEY HAD TO SEND FOR HIM.
I TALKED TO HIM BEFORE VIRGINIA CAME HOME
FIRST I TOLD HIM ABOUT THE BABY
I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO KILL ME AND REALLY I WOULDNT BLAME HIM
BUT THEN HE SAID HE KNEW VIRGINIA CARED ABOUT ME, AND I TOLD HIM I WANT TO MARRY HER WHICH HE THOUGHT WAS A GOOD IDEA
AND HE WARNED ME TO TAKE CARE OF HER OR HE WOULD, IN FACT, KILL ME
THEN HE ASKED ME WHY I SENT HIM THAT LETTER
AND IT WAS SUCH A RELIEF TO TELL SOMEBODY THAT I JUST ABOUT FELL APART RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM
WHICH IM SURE DIDNT EXACTLY FILL HIM WITH CONFIDENCE ABOUT ME TAKING CARE OF HIS SUCCULENT DAUGHTER, THATS FOR SURE!!
HES GOING TO STAY AROUND A LITTLE WHILE, TO WATCH VIRGINIA WITH ME.

HES THINKING ABOUT HIS WIFE, CHRISTINE, I KNOW,
BECAUSE SHE WAS SICK AND CRAZY AND HES AFRAID FOR VIRGINIA
AND SO AM I


Dear Mistress Virginia -
Please forgive your humble servant for interrupting your peace and tranquility with this lowly missive. It is just that late this afternoon, as I passed your door in hopes of fulfilling some slight wish or desire on your part, I heard a strangerís voice within and I wondered if it were someone with news of your father.
However, I did not hear you reply to this visitor, and I trust there was no breach of security, no interloper who achieved unlawful entry into your domicile in your absence, for which I would berate myself most severely and subject myself to any punishment you would wish to bestow.
This person seemed to be a woman, with a low, resonant voice, and as I leaned closer to the door (with no intention of eavesdropping, I assure you) this woman emitted a particularly blood-curdling scream for some seconds. I did knock upon the door and call your name, but you did not answer, and I was on the verge of breaking down the door when Mr. Wolf entered, and when he did not call for help, I assumed that your visitor was not ultimately in distress.
I only mention this episode because I did not see this person enter, nor did I see you come in, for which I humbly apologize and vow to do better in future.

Your faithful servant and slave,

C. Aubrey Murray


SOMEONE ELSE IS IN OUR HOUSE
I DONT MEAN TONY THOUGH IM GLAD HE FINALLY CAME
I MEAN SOMEONE---SOMETHING--- ELSE
AS I WAS TURNING OUT THE LIGHTS I SAW AN ENVELOPE THAT HAD BEEN PUT UNDER THE DOOR AND GOT CAUGHT UNDER THE HALL TABLE.
IT WAS A NOTE FROM THAT TOADY MURRAY, AND IT SAID WHILE I WAS OUT THE OTHER DAY, WHEN VIRGINIA WAS HERE ALONE, MURRAY HEARD A WOMANS VOICE THAT WASNT VIRGINIA, IN HERE, IN THE APARTMENT. BUT I CAME HOME RIGHT AFTER THAT AND WHOEVER WAS HERE HADNT GONE OUT BUT NO ONE ELSE BUT VIRGINIA WAS HERE.

MAYBE MURRAY WAS WRONG
MAYBE
BUT I DONT THINK SO

I NEVER BELIEVED IN GHOSTS BEFORE.


07/24/2000
14:55
12125550302
DR. MARIAN HOROVITZ
PAGE 02



Paul -

I got your note yesterday following your second session with Miss L., and I must disagree with your conclusions. Under no circumstances do I believe that my patient, Mr. W., is abusive to Miss L., nor as controlling as you seem to think. It is distressing, of course, that your patient may be experiencing blackouts during which she strikes or attacks my client, but I do not agree with you that he is provoking these episodes. He is uncommonly submissive towards women, if you ask me, and to her in particular.

I would not be surprised, in fact, to discover that these blackouts Miss. L attests to are not some thinly-veiled attempt to gain attention. If she is attacking the unfortunate Mr. W. (and heís shown me the evidence that she has) it is surely not related to some provocation on his part. He seems genuinely concerned for her, and has spent many hours here deeply upset by her condition. I must reiterate that he is not suffering from any mental illness that would make him a danger to anyone else, and is, to the contrary, coping as well as one might expect with an irrational, dangerous woman. He is the victim here.

Please thank Olivia for the lovely dinner Tuesday.

Marian


07/24/2000
15:38
12125550302
DR. MARIAN HOROVITZ
PAGE 02



Forgive me, but have you lost your mind?

I was, to put it mildly, astonished at your response to my fax. While I am glad you feel you are making progress with Miss L., I feel it is inappropriate at this time to conclude that MY patient is a homicidal maniac (alright, you said ďseriously disturbed, psychopathicĒ) when you have never met him! Where is this coming from? I donít know what cockamamie stories that girl is feeding you, but I assure you that if you were to meet him, you would find, as I do, that he is delightfully sincere and open, if a little eccentric, and that what he really needs is to find a woman who can appreciate him and not torture him as that girl is doing.

Frankly, I never thought you were that gullible.

Tell Olivia thanks for the casserole recipe.

Marian


07/25/2000
10:58
12125550302
DR. MARIAN HOROVITZ
PAGE 02



Really, that comment in your latest fax, in response to my second fax in re: to your first fax, in re: my fax of 7/23, was most uncalled for, and most unlike you. I rely on our professional relationship and it disturbs me that you saw fit to make personal remarks.

No, I do not ďhave a crush onĒ my client Mr. W.!

Yes, he is a very charming person - extraordinarily so, if I may say. But I am certainly past the age when a handsome face and engaging manner, not to mention a rather virile physique, compelling eyes - could seduce me away from a professional relationship with a patient. I see Mr. W. for one reason and one reason only - to help him deal with his depression, and his obsession with a criminally-minded girlfriend, who obviously has trapped him into this relationship by becoming pregnant!

In future I suggest you keep such mishugenah remarks to yourself.

Tell Olivia she can shove her casserole.

Marian Horovitz, Ph.D.


July 26

Relaxing here on the couch. Dad and Wolf are playing cards in the dining room (Wolf taught him something called Trolldust Rummy, and Dad is now beating him. I think Wolf is letting him win). Mundane domestic normality. What a relief.

Worked lunch at the Grill today. Candy is still giving me a wide berth, which I canít really figure out, except that maybe sheís upset that I disappeared without telling her where I was going for so long. Sheís always been overly involved in everyoneís business, and weíre really not friends, after all, we just work together. Sheís not really very smart.

OK, that was another catty comment. Sheís not so bad.
Yeah, but she IS really stupid.

I like coming home a little tired. It keeps me from thinking too much. And it was nice that Wolf came to get me at work - he was done at his job at four, so he came over to the West Side to the Grill and waited for me to be done at five. Itís started to clear outside, after nearly a week of on-again, off-again rain. With Wolf I felt OK about walking back to the East Side through the Park. We walked by the Delacorte Theatre, with all the people waiting for last-minute tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. Everywhere I looked I saw couples sitting together on benches, laughing and talking together, whispering or even sitting quietly, just being happy together. I looked over at Wolf and I could see he was reacting to them, too. I linked my arm in his a little tighter and he squeezed my hand back. We kept walking and came out by the Met - he took my arm and led me up the huge steps and we sat down for a little while, just sitting, with other people and pigeons and hot dog vendors and rush hour traffic. But in a strange way it was peaceful.

After awhile I realized it was getting late, and I said something about us having to get back, to keep Mr. Murray from breaking in to kiss Dadís ass again (that image is SO disturbing) and Wolf laughed a bit. We walked home the last block in silence

Dad had made dinner (well, he ordered it from that Chinese restaurant on Madison) which was a great relief to both Wolf and me. More stories about Murray bugging him all day, and Wendell and the Kingdoms. Then there was a pause, and I asked Dad point blank if he had come because of whatís going on with me. I saw him look up in alarm at Wolf, and I said ďDonít look at Wolf, look at me,Ē maybe a little too harshly, but I was tired of all the looks and all the not-talking about it with him, and then he said, very simply, ďYes, Wolf told me about everything. I want to help, I want to make it all right.Ē

He was so direct and so straight with me and he was just - well, I guess Iíll always feel like a little girl when he does that, so I got up and p did you think i was really gone did you you fools iíll always find you you cannot defeat me I survive i will be victorious all four will die youfools youfools youfools youfools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools fools ut my arms around him and gave him a big hug and


July 27

I am so afraid that I am losing my mind.
What if Iím going crazy and evil like my mother? Those were her words, her crazy thoughts. Why, why did I write them in my journal? Only a twisted, crazy person would write such awful things. This is all so horrible. I feel like Iím trapped in a nightmare and I canít wake up. I canít breathe, like Iím smothering.
I canít show Dad and Wolf what I wrote, I just canít. Dad -
This would kill him. I know he misses her, thinks about her a lot. I mean, he loved her once, and she must have loved him. But still she wanted to kill him. To kill me.
And Wolf -
I donít know what he would do. Any normal guy would run for the hills or call the men in white coats to take me to the loony bin. Heís not a normal guy, though.

I have to tell somebody - but not them. Not the people I love.
Maybe I should call the men in the white coats myself.
Maybe Dr. Schuman.

This is sick. I had to go back and read this again to make sure I didnít write anything that I couldnít remember writing.


NEW MOON

WHY WONT VIRGINIA TALK TO ME TODAY?
I MEAN, SHE TALKS BUT NOT ABOUT ANYTHING, REALLY, JUST ANSWERS YES AND NO ABOUT EVERYTHING BUT NOTHING ELSE AND SHE WONT MEET MY EYES WHEN I LOOK AT HER WHICH I KNOW I DO TOO MUCH AND MAYBE SHE DOESNT LIKE THAT BUT SHE NEVER SAID SO, SO HOW WOULD I KNOW?
CRIPES
THAT SOUNDS LIKE IM ANGRY
BUT IM NOT.
OK OK OK, MAYBE I AM, A LITTLE..

HAVE I DONE SOMETHING? I DONT KNOW WHAT IT COULD BE, BUT THIS STARTED LAST NIGHT AND MAYBE SHES MAD I WAS PLAYING CARDS WITH TONY INSTEAD OF BEING WITH HER, BUT I THOUGHT THAT WAS WHAT SHE WANTED, FOR ME AND TONY TO BE FRIENDS, AND ITS A LOT OF WORK, BELIEVE ME, BECAUSE HE CHEATS.

I AM VERY, VERY CONFUSED. NO MATTER WHAT I DO I STILL DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT WOMEN WANT! I NEED TO GET SOME NEW BOOKS. OR MAYBE DR HOROVITS CAN TELL ME.
THOUGH SHES BEEN LOOKING AT ME FUNNY, TOO, LATELY.

WHEN IT WAS TIME TO GO TO BED, VIRGINIA SAID SHE WANTED TO STAY UP AND I SAID, OK, ILL STAY UP TOO, BUT SHE SAID SHE WANTED TO BE ALONE WHICH HURT MY FEELINGS A LITTLE I GUESS, BUT I WANT TO MAKE HER HAPPY SO I WENT INTO THE BEDROOM, AND I THOUGHT ID STAY AWAKE UNTIL MY LITTLE CREAMPUFF CAME TO BED, BUT AFTER A WHILE I JUST COULDNT KEEP MY EYES OPEN ANYMORE.
IN THE MORNING SHE WAS SLEEPING ON THE COUCH.
SHE WONT SAY WHY.

AT LEAST SHE HASNT HAD ANY OF THOSE SPELLS LATELY.
I THINK.


FROM:
TO:
RE:
Millie
Dr. Schuman
Transcript of session 7/30/00

Patient 07115 Virginia L.
TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Schuman: Show me. (PAUSE) You wrote this?

Virginia Lewis: I did. I donít remember doing it, but I did.

PS: During a blackout.

VL: I guess. Yes.

PS: Hmmmmmm.

VL: Hopeless, huh?

PS: Virginia, I have to confess that your case is a bit more complex than I thought originally.

VL: I knew it, I knew you couldnít help me.

PS: I didnít say that, now, did I?

VL: No, you didnít. Sorry.

PS: Ah -

VL: Right, not sorry.

PS: I just mean that we may need to consider some other, different methods to get deeper inside the problem.

VL: What, like shock therapy? Or, or drugs? Are you going to lock me up, what?

PS: No, no, please, try to relax, just listen. We have other ways of reaching the deep subconscious.

VL: Like what?

PS: Like, have you ever been hypnotized?

VL: Hypnotized? No. Are you kidding?

PS: Not at all. Itís an accepted technique for some people, some cases. Do you think you might be willing to try it? It might help unlock whatís really going on, what you may be suppressing...

VL: Suppressing - thatís what Wolf said I was doing.

PS: Did he?

VL: Uh-huh, wow. It seems so long ago. Right after we met. We were trying to get away from - um, we had these magi- he said I was suppressing something - (LAUGHS) I think he was just trying to flirt with me, or something. He said a lot of things like that, then. Like that I had a strong desire to be invisible. (LAUGHS) Pretty corny, huh?

PS: Well...

VL: Well, what?

PS: These blackouts do, in fact, make your actions invisible, in a way, at least to yourself. An interesting comment...

VL: Great, my boyfriend, the shrink.

(PAUSE)

PS: Does he also tell you you are very good at changing the subject?

VL: Am I?

PS: I was asking you if you might be willing to try hypno-therapy.

VL: I...donít know. Iíd, Iíd have to think about it.

PS: Of course. But ask yourself this - are you happy with the way things are right now, or would you like to try to address these issues before the problem escalates?

VL: Well I, I mean, of course Iím not happy with how things are going right now, thatís why Iím here, isnít it? What kind of question is that, anyway?

PS: You sound angry.

VL: Well, I am, a little! Everyone is saying they want to help me but so far no one is! Iím writing sick, sick things in my diary, that I donít even know Iím writing, and, and, Iím lying to my grandmother about - things, my father is hopeless, and heís treating me like some kind of invalid, and Wolf - (CRIES) well, heís the worst of all, because he just keeps looking at me like Iím gonna break into little pieces of glass and heís being too nice and he doesnít even get mad at me when I do something to him and I canít stand it, I just canít stand it any more! (SOBBING)

PS: Your father isnít very good at helping, is he?

VL: Wh-what?

PS: It must infuriate you that your dad wasnít better at helping you, at protecting you, while you were growing up.

VL: He did so - he did a lot!

PS: Did he? (PAUSE) Sounds like you need to protect HIM. Thatís not what a little girl needs, growing up.

VL: At least he was there, which --

PS: Yes?

VL: Nothing. Nothing.

PS: Which was more than your mother was?

VL: I donít want to talk about this!

PS: Then you DO want to stay stuck exactly where you are.

VL: No! No, donít you get it? My childhood is not the problem! I know what happened then - my mother was crazy and sick and ran out on us after she tried to kill me - drown me in the bathtub! Is that what you wanted to hear? She wasnít capable of taking care of me or my dad - she was mentally ill and now sheís dead. I know that! I WAS THERE, OKAY!? But I understand that. Iím over it. Thatís not the problem. My blackouts are the problem! The weird things Iím writing are the problem! And what Iím doing to the man I love is the problem! Itís whatís happening now, in the present - not in my childhood!

PS: I donít agree. I think thatís where everything started, a whole chain of events that leads to today. Listen to what youíve told me - and you say youíre over it? Donít you think itís time we talked about your mother leaving? How it felt to have the center of your universe hurt you and then disappear from your life? How it felt to have a father who couldnít protect you, and then couldnít keep her from leaving? I know this is very, very upsetting. I think your tears may be for the little girl who had such terrible, terrible things happen to her, and no one to protect her, to rescue her.

VL: Rescue...

PS: Donít you think itís time you rescued yourself?

VL: What did you say? Oh, my God, thatís what SHE said!

PS: Your mother?

VL: No...someone...who cared about me...(BLOWS NOSE) Kind of like...a godmother...a fairy godmother.

PS: She gave you good advice. Well. Are you ready to begin? (PAUSE) Virginia?

VL: Yes. Yes, I am.


  St. Anthony's Rectory

Private Journal
Fr. Pietro Generale, S.J.
July 30


He was back again, yesterday and today, sitting in the third to the last row across from the Confessional. I have spoken with Fr. Thomason, and he has told me to use my own judgment in the matter. It's very generous of him to do so; he has more trust in my judgment than I do. I have prayed for the wisdom to make the right decisions in this and all my dealings with parishioners.

The man seemed his usual sad and agitated self, and he'd brought a tattered notebook, in which he wrote avidly for a few minutes. I didn't want to disturb him. I waited in the Confessional; my usual ladies came and went, and one or two others, but then no one else was left.

It may or may not have been the right thing to do, but I got up my nerve and approached him. Up close he didn't look as odd as he does from afar. He's about my age, maybe a few years older, his clothing seems to be in fine condition - though a little out of date, or something, I'm not sure what, but there's something unusual about it. He does have an odd series of mannerisms. I could tell that he was initially alarmed, almost wary, to be spoken to, but when I introduced myself he recovered from being startled and told me his name was Wolf - no last name given, which is fine, just Wolf. His name suits him. He does have a rather wolf-like air about him, at that, all wary stance and intense gaze. I had the peculiar feeling of being prey when he first caught sight of me approaching, but that's probably just my own nervousness and inexperience. It quickly passed.

Wolf turned out to be a rather engaging fellow, if you look beneath his troubled demeanor. I asked him if I could be of help. He seemed uncomfortable - which made me berate myself for disturbing him. But then he started apologizing for being in the Church, for - what was it he said? For "being in a place that's not his place, even though it's a good place." I told him that's all right, it's God's place. He gave me a very quizzical look for a moment, and then seemed to process that and nodded.

Well, I realized fairly quickly that he is not a Roman Catholic. But at the risk of sounding sanctimonious, I can't help but feel it's my duty and responsibility to help a person in need, whether of my faith or not. I didn't press the issue; but I did make it clear that he is welcome here, in this "good place." He seemed relieved. Then he left, saying he had to go to work.

I hope I haven't scared him away.


  St. Anthony's Rectory

Private Journal
Fr. Pietro Generale, S.J.
July 31


Wolf came back. I am very relieved.
This time he seemed to be waiting for me after Confession. I asked him if he would care to walk with me to the Chapel. He followed along, doing that weird scratching motion he does a bit, and I took the bull by the horns and blurted out, "Forgive my bluntness, but do you by any chance have Tourette's Syndrome?" What an idiot I am!

His reaction, though, was hilarious. He stopped and looked directly at me and said, "No, no, if it's missing, I didn't take it!" He looked absolutely serious. When I finally realized he was pulling my leg, I laughed it off and said I was sorry to have asked such a dumb question.
I HOPE he was pulling my leg..

In the Chapel he seemed transfixed by the beautiful painting of Our Lady. Then he asked me if she was a great queen. I've never heard anyone ask that before, but I allowed as how she was the Queen of Heaven, and that seemed to satisfy him. I have to remember to tell Father Thomason about that - it was such an unexpected remark.
After a while, when he had been staring intently at the votive candles for some time, I ventured to ask again if he wished to share what is troubling him, and as we sat there, in the Chapel, he finally began to talk.

Poor fellow - it's obvious he's been keeping a lot of this inside. Once he began, it came out in a rush. The gist of it is that he recently met the Love Of His Life (I capitalize it because that's how he talks about her) and despite the rapid nature of their courtship, they are now engaged and expecting a child. I refrained from any judgmental remarks about pre-marital sex and the sanctity of marriage - I have been reminded by others more than once (after a few unfortunate incidents) that there is a great wisdom in "judge not, lest ye be judged." I was relieved when he said he plans to marry her. Unfortunately, their life together seems to have taken a darker turn over the last month - his fiancee has been having episodes of strange, violent behavior, and her wrath has been directed at him. Wolf feels responsible, both for her violence and for the unexpected child (which well he might, I suppose).

I inquired as to whether they've seen a doctor about his fiancee's problem, and he said they had, but only psychotherapists. I suggested they see if there is a medical problem, and that idea seemed to give him some hope. It is a shame that his fiancee is not a religious person - it might do her some good to talk to someone in the clergy somewhere. But you can't give anyone Faith. They must find it on their own. Funny, though. Wolf seems to be seeking something very like Faith. I hope the way is clear for him to find it.
I don't know that I'll be of any help, though.


FROM:
TO:
RE:
Millie
Dr. Schuman
Transcript of session 8/1/00

Patient 07115 Virginia L.
TRANSCRIPT:

[please note with interest underlined passages]

Dr. Schuman: And when I say your name you will be completely relaxed, very calm, and at ease. (PAUSE) Virginia. (PAUSE) How do you feel?

VL: Good. I feel...good.

PS: Now, Virginia, I am going to ask you to go back, back to last week, to Wednesday evening. You are in your apartment, you are resting on the couch. Can you see the room?

VL: Mmmm...yes, I see it.

PS: What do you see?

VL: The television is on...it's some island, people...I'm watching SURVIVOR.

PS: (LAUGHS) Can you see anything else?

VL: Yes...

PS: What, what do you see?

VL: Wolf and Dad are in the dining room... they are playing cards...Dad is cheating, I think, because he's making that face he makes when he cheats. His innocent face. Ooohhh. It looks so funny!

PS: His face?

VL: The two of them - just like we were completely normal. But we're not, we're not, we're not -

PS: You will remain calm, Virginia. Nothing can upset you, nothing can harm you, do you understand?

VL: Yes.

PS: Are you doing anything besides watching television?

VL: Yes.

PS: What are you doing?

VL: I have my diary. I'm writing in my diary.

PS: How do you feel while you are writing?

VL: I'm sad. I'm so sad.

PS: Why are you sad?

VL: I'm sad because I don't know what's happening. I don't know why. I don't know why. I don't know.

PS: Virginia, you are -

VOICE: What nonsense.

PS: What was that? Virginia?

VOICE: (LAUGHS)

PS: Virginia, can you hear me?

VOICE: What a ridiculous spectacle!

PS: Virginia, I'm speaking to you.

VOICE: She's not listening.

PS: (PAUSE) What...what --

VOICE: Stuttering? Poor doctor. Obviously something relating to your childhood.

PS: Who am I speaking to?

VOICE: Well, Virginia, obviously. You can see her speaking, can't you? Or do your eyes work as badly as your tongue?

PS: Are you...Virginia?

VOICE: What an idiot! Do I sound like an immature, pathetic girl?

PS: No, you don't. You sound older. Who are you?

VOICE: (LAUGHS) Wouldn't you like to know!

PS: Please tell me. I want to help you.

VOICE: I'm someone who won't be cajoled, theraputized, shrunk, debunked, dispersed or dissipated. I won't be stopped.

PS: Stopped from what? Attacking Virginia's friend?

VOICE: Her "friend?" He's no friend of hers. He's no friend of mine. He is a betrayer, a seducer. An animal. You didn't know that, did you, Dr. Schuman? You don't know anything, really, do you?

PS: I'd like to. I wish you'd tell me your name.

VOICE: Not now. Time for that later, perhaps. After it's done, all done. All done, done, done, done, done.

PS: After what is done? Tell me. (PAUSE) Won't you tell me? Are you still there? (PAUSE) I don't believe this. Virginia! VIRGINIA! VIRGINIA - CAN YOU HEAR ME?


Subject:
Date:
From:
To:
 
Tues, 01 Aug 2000 14:24:11 EDT
Millieeee@aol.com
EJakobs@yahoo.com

Estelle -
Well! We had some excitement here at the office today!
Dr. Schuman was seeing a patient and she suffered some sort of fainting spell right in the middle of the session (can you imagine?) And the doctor came out of the study, all excited and upset and he told me to call for an ambulance because he couldn't revive her. So if _that's_ not enough, the woman's boyfriend is in the waiting room and he hears all the commotion and breaks into the doctor's study and starts carrying on - I mean, he broke the door and shoved poor Doctor Schuman up against the wall so hard he cracked his head! And then the patient just wakes up and sees this going on and becomes hysterical. It was a three-ring-circus here for a while, let me tell you!

Doctor Schuman was okay, and he didn't want to press charges, and when the woman woke up her boyfriend was all apologetic - it was sickening, he was so pathetic. But if it was up to me, I'd call the cops in a minute! I would! I've had trouble with him before, he's kind of scary and he makes the other patients even crazier than they already are (I'm awful, aren't I?) and I had to ask him to leave once because the next patient was hyperventilating. Honestly, Stell - this guy is a time bomb, all right - one of these days he's going to snap and hurt somebody. I can tell Dr. Schuman doesn't like him. Both of them should just stay away or find another doctor. I tell you, if he comes in again, I'm looking for another job!
Uh oh - gotta go. Dr. Schuman wants to dictate something. Call me later!
MILLIE


August 1st

I looked back to the beginning of this diary and was surprised to see that I only started writing in it a month ago.
A month ago I was so happy.
Wolf and I were starting a wonderful new life here in New York.
I was in love with him and filled with excitement and - well, I guess it was joy about living, about the baby, about him, about everything.
I still love him -- oh, God! I do so much, but everything is so complicated and awful and confusing, that now it's all gone, my happiness, my joy, my expectations about our future.
I see now that there is never going to be a happy ending for us.

I don't remember anything in Dr. Schuman's office after he said "I'm going to help you relax." And he said my name a few times. And I think we were talking about that night I wrote the horrible things in this diary (I tore out the page - I can't look at it). But then nothing, nothing until I heard shouting and saw Wolf with his eyes flashing holding the doctor up against the wall and growling or yelling, and I didn't know what was happening and there was so much noise and I burst into tears.

Dr. Schuman was bleeding from a cut on his head and I was afraid Wolf had really hurt him, but then when they saw I was awake, both of them calmed down a lot.

I made Wolf go out first, because I wanted Doctor Schuman to tell me what I'd said when I was hypnotized. He was very flustered, but he told me he was more concerned about my physical health - he couldn't wake me up for a while, and that's never happened before during hypnosis. He gave me the name of a doctor who can check me out. Wolf looked somehow, I don't know, grateful, to the doctor and he kept apologizing. We left really quickly after that (I can hardly imagine what the bill will be for this).

When we came home, Wolf was fussing all over me, like I was dying or something and I couldn't stand it. I mean, I just fainted, for heaven's sake. Funny, I remember how he was in Little Lamb Village, when he was carrying on about me fussing and bothering over him and I finally understood how annoying and smothering and suffocating that feeling is. Of course, it means that he cares, I do know that, but if he doesn't cut it out I'm going to start crying and I don't think I'll ever be able to stop. He kept it up until he had to leave to go work the night shift at the hotel. He wanted to call in sick, to stay with me, but I wouldn't let him. I just want to be alone.

Well, not alone, exactly. Dad is here. But somehow, tonight, having him here is comforting, familiar, just the two of us alone together. I feel guilty about some of the things Dr. Schuman and I were saying about Dad. I don't agree with everything. I don't want to be a cliche, blaming my parents for my problems.

But there was some truth in what he said. I do feel like Dad didn't do a very good job of protecting me from life when he should have. But I also know that his heart has always been in the right place as far as I'm concerned.

Tonight after dinner we just sat around the table, Dad and me, and he looked very thoughtful. Then he got up and started going through his records, and I told him Wolf liked his taste in old rock music, which gave him a chuckle. He put on a record I don't ever remember hearing - some group called Buffalo Springfield. He pretended to be shocked at my ignorance, quizzing me if I ever heard of the Byrds, or Iron Butterfly (come on - that was the 60's - practically the Stone Age!) I really liked the music, but mostly I liked watching how much Dad liked it. It made him all nostalgic, and he started talking about Mom, how they met, what she was like. I was really spellbound. The only light in the room was coming from a lamp off to the side - I had turned off the overhead light, and the shadows and the music seemed to take us both back to those days, and for the first time ever I could understand how much they must have loved each other. I could see his eyes were full of tears, though his voice was the same as always.

The side of the record finished, and he said to me, "You are so like her, Virginia, the good parts of her, the parts that were kind and smart and better than me. And you're beautiful like her, too, though I know you always felt a little bit in her shadow." I started to say something, but Dad shook his head. "I know you felt like that, and I'm glad you've got someone like Wolf to let you know how special you really are - not just a Dad going on and on about it." This time I thought I might cry. He came over to me and gave me a big daddy hug, and I felt small and warm and loved. He put a finger out to touch my necklace, the one Grandmother gave me, and he said very softly, "I never thought I'd see that again." I told him I really haven't wanted to take it off since I got it, because it made me think of Mom - not the terrible person she was for a long time back in the 4th Kingdom, but the loving person I always wanted her to be, that she was right at the end. And then I did cry, and Dad just hugged me and hugged me and said "it's all right," over and over.


 


MEDICAL REPORT

PATIENT: Virginia Lewis
August 2, 2000

COPY TO PAUL SCHUMAN Ph.D.


In ref. to your patient Virginia Lewis:

Miss Lewis is a 22-year old woman in the first trimester of her first pregnancy. She complains of blackouts and recently a fainting spell.

No history or family history of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, migraines, neurological disorder.
Examination unremarkable: normal B/P, heart rate, reflexes, lungs, eyes, ears, throat. Took throat culture, blood (test results will be copied to you if anything unusual present). Gyn exam normal. Referral to Susan Winters, Ob/Gyn for pre-natal care.
No indication of diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease. MRI revealed no Oligodendroglioma or other masses in the brain. Testing for anemia, prescribed daily vitamin.

Test results attached.

I see no reason that further scan of brain is indicated. In my opinion, the patient is merely experiencing anxiety and stress (but you'd know why better than I, Paul!).

Is there anything else I should know about this case? Somehow I feel that there's more you're not telling me.

Anyway, thank you for referring this very interesting young woman to me.


Balfour Brandes, M.D.


WELL ONE THING IS GOOD - WE FOUND OUT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH VIRGINIA.
AT LEAST AS FAR AS HER BODY GOES
NOT THAT I EVER THOUGHT THERE WAS - HER BODY IS JUST PERFECT. IN FACT ITS MORE THAN PERFECT, ITS SUCCULENTLY DELECTABLE! JUST THINKING ABOUT ALL HER LUSCIOUS PINK PARTS MAKES ME FEEL LIKE IM GONNA JUMP OUT OF MY SKIN, OR AT LEAST OUT OF MY PANTS, WHICH ARE GETTING TIGHT ALL OF A SUDDEN, GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME! WOW! ID SURE LIKE TO HAVE HER RIGHT HERE IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH NO CLOTHES ON WHILE I -
STOP IT!!!
JUST STOP IT!!!!
GET CONTROL OF YOURSELF!!!!!
HOW CAN I WHEN WE HAVENT DONE IT IN WEEKS???????!!!!!
JUST STOP, STOP BEING SO SELFISH, YOURE SUCH AN ANIMAL!!
ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT BREATHE
BETTER BETTER
IT STILL DOESNT EXPLAIN WHATS WRONG WITH HER
MAYBE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TO FIND OUT THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG THAT THEY COULD FIX AND THEN SHED FEEL BETTER AND STOP DOING BAD THINGS
NO NO NO, THEYRE NOT BAD ó I DIDNT MEAN TO THINK THAT
I KNOW SHE CANT HELP IT
AT LEAST I DONT THINK SHE CAN


08/02/2000
09:53
12125559848
DR. PAUL SCHUMAN
PAGE 02




Dear Marian,

First of all, let me apologize profusely for those faxes last week. I could tell by your responses that I had offended you. Of course you are far too professional to have an inappropriate relationship with a patient!

Again, please accept my sincere regrets. My only excuse is that I am going through a crisis of confidence regarding my patient, Miss Lewis, and it's obviously affected my judgment. In fact, the other day your Mr. Wolf was in my office (circumstances are irrelevant - we had a disagreement about Miss Lewis' treatment) and I actually imagined that his eyes were glowing, and that he had fangs, like some sort of monster! Talk about transference - the angry spectre of my own incompetence was rearing its head and I transformed my bete noir into an actual, living monster! Poor Mr. Wolf - I guess my assumptions about his behavior towards Miss Lewis caused me to imagine him as something other than human.

As to Miss Lewis herself - I may be premature in this, but I believe she is suffering a serious dissociative disorder and may even have MPD. Only one other personality has manifested itself so far, but I must tell you, it was extremely disturbing to witness. If she is in fact a Multiple, I would welcome your input, as I know you did some work recently with Jack Hardison over at Columbia on the subject. I'll update you as things develop.
Hope all is well with you.

Paul

(And by the way, you're right about my wife's casserole - it IS vile, isn't it!)


  St. Anthony's Rectory

Private Journal
Fr. Pietro Generale, S.J.
August 4


4:00 pm
Happy to see Wolf back after a few days. I'm trying not to think of the guy as my personal project - that would be a pretty big lapse in humility, wouldn't it? Instead, I just want to offer help as a priest and as a fellow human being. It's not as if I'm consciously trying to emulate the Good Samaritan - everyone should try to be like that, every day - but I do feel for the man and would like to be of some use, to do some good in the world and not just occupy space.

11:00 pm
Oh, please!!!
I just read that last paragraph and the pomposity of it made me blush - and laugh, fortunately. I need to stop working so hard at proving myself - I just need to let God use me as He wishes.

When I saw Wolf there, in his usual place at the back of the church, he seemed as relieved to see me as I did him. He had a different air about him today - just as agitated, but less depressed, I think. It was clear he needed some advice again. He told me that his fiancee went to a doctor and got a clean bill of health, but that only seems to confuse the issue, as her "spells," as he calls them, have not stopped. He said he feels, and I quote, "she is getting further and further away from me and I don't know how to lead her back." The look on his face when he said that was deeply distraught.

Wolf came with me to the Chapel again - it feels more private there for conversation, though people come and go. I asked him to tell me more about Virginia and himself. Of Virginia he said only that she was from New York and that they had met in another country, where he's from - I actually have no idea where that is and he is vague on the details, deliberately, and although I was extremely curious, I did not force him to be more specific. He described her life as best he knew it, that her mother had left the family when Virginia was very young, that they fell in love quickly, that her father is alive and is visiting them. He has a tolerant attitude towards the other man. Then he reiterated how wonderful, perfect, dreamy - "corky(?)" she is. This man is deeply, deeply in love.

He seemed to notice my amused expression (we Italians do not have good poker faces). There was a long pause and he gave no indication that he was going to say more. Then I asked him what I thought was a simple question and his answer shocked me deeply. "Are your parents living?" was all I asked. He looked up sharply and with such an expression of - well, I don't know what it was, anger? pain? fear? All three? And then he told me his parents had been killed in a fire - one that had been deliberately set. In other words, they were murdered. No wonder he's so terrified at the prospect of losing the only other person he cares for.

I was so horrified I'm afraid I didn't even know what to say. I think I just mumbled "I'm so sorry, so sorry," over and over again. What a ghastly thing to have happen! I certainly didn't press for details, other than to find out it happened when he was an adolescent.

The hand of providence has never been more evident than it is here, in that the two of them found each other. I must do whatever is necessary to help them.

And then the most unexpected thing happened. I realized a bit belatedly that my expressions of condolence were pretty lame, and when I started to speak what I thought were words of comfort, he stopped me, and said if I really wanted to help, he needed me to do one thing: Come to dinner at their house.


August 5

Wolf has a friend.
!!!

I don't know why I'm so surprised. I mean, looking at him as objectively as I can (which is not very, considering how I feel about him) he is a very charming, funny, engaging guy. Okay, maybe he's a little INTENSE sometimes, and he has a weird love affair with food, but really, is that any stranger than the way other guys go on and on about football and cars?

All right, maybe it is a little stranger.

But I guess whoever this person Pete is, he must have something in common with Wolf, or he wouldn't be coming over for dinner tomorrow night. Maybe he's a chef and they talk about food. Or Wolf's other interests.
Which would be...???
Wrestling on TV?
Or sheep.
Now there's somewhere I don't want to go.
Strange...I never realized before how little I really know about Wolf. What ARE his interests? Does he have any relatives alive? What did he do before he went to prison? It's always been enough to know he loved me. But still...I should know these things.

I wonder where he and Pete met.
I just wish he weren't coming over in the middle of everything. I mean, so much is going on and there's so much tension here, that sometimes I just want to scream and scream.
On the other hand, maybe it's just as well. A stranger, a guest, might distract us from all the unanswered questions and the unsaid accusations that are floating around the apartment.

This feeling, this tension, is like a rubber band twisting tighter and tighter. We walk and talk and clean the house and prepare dinner and watch TV but underneath every moment I feel such a sense of - I don't know, in gothic novels they call it foreboding, but it is a kind of expectation, an awareness that something is coming, something terrifying. Perhaps an answer: perhaps an end to the wondering. Perhaps an end to everything. Wolf must feel it, too - he is pacing nervously, almost like he does before his change, but that's a week away.

I suppose it's better to keep on doing the prosaic things, and not dwell on what will or will not come.


Dear Wendell, or should I say "Your Highness?"

l know I told you I just thought I'd be gone for a few days, and yes, I know you're waiting for the design books I told you I'd bring back for the redecoration of the castle, but things are more difficult here than I thought, and I feel I've got to stick around a little longer.

I don't want to go into too many details, but things are not great between Virginia and Wolf right now and I'm trying to help figure out what's going on. (I know, you're thinking "I told you so!" and I'm not disagreeing with you, but it's more complicated than that - and it feels like things are coming to a head. I'll explain when I get back.)

Don't worry, we'll get the project started when I return, and in the meantime, here's a copy of Architectural Digest, a magazine --a guide book, if you want to think of it that way, that will show you some things that people do to their homes here. Well, what some of the rich and famous people do, which pretty much describes you, so... I also threw in an IKEA catalog, in case you want to live like real people do. I'll give this to the guard you've got stationed by the mirror. I'll let you know how things are going.

Give Prince a pat for me.
(Say, should we change his name to "King" now to match yours? Just kidding.)

Tony


  St. Anthony's Rectory

Private Journal
Fr. Pietro Generale, S.J.
August 6


I must write this down, every detail, while I still remember everything clearly.

My hands are shaking.

Tonight I went to dinner at Wolf and Virginia's apartment. I tried to tell myself that this was like dining with any of my parishioners, and heaven knows I've had enough lasagna and corned beef and cabbage at people's homes to last me a lifetime. But I felt different going up to their place. It's been on my mind lately, if I hadn't gone to the seminary, if my life had taken a different path, maybe I'd be newly married, too, with a baby on the way. Maybe I wouldn't be worrying about how my sermon was received, or whether mine is a true vocation, or even how well I'm serving God, maybe I'd be facing dirty diapers, or a wife's illness, or learning how to support a family...

And partly, I guess, because the vast majority of our regular churchgoers are elderly ladies, I was just looking forward to spending time with people my age.

I have to stop this. It's pathetic. The man came to me for help and obviously my own needs were in the way. This is my greatest fear -- that I'm not qualified for the job.

And I'm avoiding thinking about it. I mustn't. Let me chronicle everything as it happened.

Dinner was great. Lamb chops and asparagus and corn on the cob and strawberry short cake. I asked who did the cooking and Wolf announced it was a group effort and he's only in charge of meat, something he obviously likes quite a bit - I confess I've never seen anyone eat so much of it in one sitting, other than my Uncle Nunzio, who weighed 300 lbs.

Virginia is a delicate, pretty young woman, very sweet, but with an edge of toughness that is not unappealing. Very New York. Her father has it too - Tony, a very tall man with a droll sense of humor, which he directs mostly at Wolf, but not in a cutting way. Wolf himself seemed a little nervous to have a guest, moving me from chair to chair around the dining room table so I would have "the best seat" until Virginia interceded and made him stop. It's clear he exasperates her a bit, but she is quite loving towards him, and very gracious to a guest, though she looked tired. They seemed a nice, normal family.

Wolf had asked me not to tell her I am a priest, and while I wasn't happy about the subterfuge, I agreed to keep a low profile and not volunteer the information. Hence, no collar. When Virginia asked me how I met Wolf, he jumped in and said he ran into me on 87th Street, which was true enough. Somehow she never asked me what I do, and the conversation before and after dinner rambled through everything from sports to the Discovery Channel. Wolf had a lot to say about a documentary on sheep farming in New Zealand.

It was such a nice evening that I began to forget why I was there. We were sitting around the table, finishing off a bottle of wine, and Wolf volunteered to clean off the table. He also volunteered Tony to make the coffee, which earned him a quizzical look, but Tony went anyway. For a moment Virginia and I were alone at the table. Wolf walked by the kitchen door and said in a very disingenuous way, "Why don't you ask Virginia to show you the balcony, Pete?" which meant "Talk to her, Pete." Not subtle perhaps, but he reminded me of why I was there.

The balcony was more of a tiny perch outside the master bedroom than a balcony, overlooking 81st Street, the Met and, off to the left, Central Park. We stood looking out there side by side, and I had the idle thought that, whatever problems there might be, Wolf was a lucky man, indeed. Virginia had a pensive look on her lovely face, and I couldn't help it - I blurted, "You look very serious. What are you thinking about?" The moment I said it, I thought, she must think I'm hitting on her. But she said, "I'm thinking about how different my life is from how it used to be."

"In a good way?" I asked.

She bit her lip and said, "Yes. No. Both. I don't know." Then she made a wry face and said she was sorry to be mysterious, but there were things going on that she couldn't go into, that would bore me silly. I said, "you might be surprised how high my boredom threshold can be," which made her laugh. She looked me straight in the eye then, and said, "Who are you really?"

I jumped a little. This girl is sharp. Obviously a confession was in order. I explained that I really am Wolf's friend, but that we hadn't told the complete truth to her. I told her how and where we'd met, and she drew back a little. "You're a priest?" she said, and looked quite incredulous. Yes, I answered, but assured her I was not trying to convert her. She still didn't reply, just looked out at the Park, an unreadable expression on her face. I'm afraid I babbled a little, explaining that he was just worried about her blackouts, and the unexplainable actions she'd taken. I told her I was here to listen, or to help, now or at any time, that I thought they were both great people and wanted them to be happy. I didn't even remotely get to anything spiritual, and still she said nothing.

Until she turned back to face me and I saw that her face had changed. No, that's not it exactly, but something in her expression had changed her, so that she seemed completely transformed. I didn't know what had happened, and I said her name. And then she said,

So, Priest, the coward sent you to challenge me?

I didn't speak - I don't think I could have even if I'd had something to say. She spoke in a voice that was clearly not her own. It was a deep, throaty voice, a woman's voice, but a woman who was not Virginia. There was a mocking tone to the voice, and it said,

It's a waste of time, you must realize that, even if they don't. I will win in the end. I always do.

My head was spinning, but I managed to croak out something like "Why, what are you going to do?" and the voice coming out of Virginia kept speaking:

Better you should ask what they have done to me. Suffice to say, all will be punished. Perhaps she will kill him -- then her life is over, and I win. Or he will kill her - in which case their child dies, and he will not be able to live. Again, I win. So many ways to choose. And always, I win.

My heart was pounding but my body felt numb. "What is your name?" I whispered. My lips were cold and could barely form words.

Oh, Priest. Names are so unimportant They know who I am. Perhaps you do, too.

I was looking right into her eyes, unable to look away, and at that moment, I saw her change back. Life came into Virginia's eyes, and her face altered, and she was Virginia again. "I'm just a little surprised, I guess," she said.

I had no idea what she was talking about; fortunately she kept speaking, saying something like she'd just been taken aback for a minute when she heard I was a priest, but to be honest, I couldn't concentrate, because, I was thinking, she doesn't even know what she said, that she was -

possessed

Dear God. She is possessed. There is no other way to explain it.


THIRD QUARTER MOON

I WISH I KNEW WHAT VIRGINIA AND PETE WERE TALKING ABOUT, BECAUSE HE LEFT RIGHT AFTER THAT AND HE WAS IN A KIND OF RUSH ALL OF A SUDDEN. HE DIDNT HAVE COFFEE THOUGH HED SAID HE WANTED SOME. I FOLLOWED HIM DOWN THE HALL TO ASK HIM HOW IT WENT AND HE JUST SAID HE HAD A SERMON TO WRITE AND ILL SEE YOU AND THEN HE GOT INTO THE ELEVATOR AND LEFT.

I WAS A LITTLE CONFUSED BUT I CAME BACK AND SAT DOWN AT THE TABLE NEXT TO VIRGINIA, AND SHE WAS GIVING ME A LOOK THAT I HAVENT SEEN IN A WHILE, AND IT MADE MY HEART BEAT A LITTLE FASTER, LET ME TELL YOU! I DONT KNOW WHAT HAD CHANGED FOR MY LUSCIOUS LOVELY LICKABLE LOVE, BUT SHE HAD A VERY WOLFISH LOOK IN HER EYE AND SHE PRACTICALLY LUNGED AT ME AND PINNED ME TO THE CHAIR, I MEAN IT WAS VERRRRY AROUSING AND TOTALLY UNEXPECTED. I THINK TONE GOT A LITTLE EMBARRASSED BECAUSE HE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT GOING OUT FOR A WHILE TO WALK OFF DINNER BUT REALLY, BY THEN I WASNT LISTENING REAL GOOD AND I KNOW VIRGINIA WASNT BECAUSE SHE WAS CLIMBING ALL OVER ME RIGHT IN THE DINING ROOM CHAIR AND STICKING HER HAND DOWN MY PANTS AND BITING MY EARRRR AND


AFTERWARDS WE WERE JUST LYING IN BED AND VIRGINIA WAS SLEEPING. SHE LOOKED SO PEACEFUL ALL CURLED UP LIKE SHE WAS ABOUT SEVEN YEARS OLD AND I THOUGHT SHES SO DIFFERENT TONIGHT, MAYBE ALL THE BAD STUFF IS FINALLY OVER. BUT THAT MADE ME THINK AGAIN ABOUT HOW DIFFERENT PETE WAS WHEN HE LEFT. I DONT KNOW WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED TO MAKE HIM LEAVE SO FAST. I MEAN, HE SEEMED TO LIKE THE FOOD, HE ATE ENOUGH OF IT FOR SOMEONE WHO ISNT EVEN PART WOLF. HES A PRETTY GOOD GUY, I HAVE TO SAY, AND I THOUGHT, MAYBE HE SAID SOMETHING TO MY LITTLE LAMBCHOP THAT MADE A DIFFERENCE TO HER? I MEAN, SHE CERTAINLY WAS ACTING DIFFERENT THAN SHE HAD BEEN...

I REACHED DOWN AND STROKED HER HAIR AND SHE OPENED HER EYES.
AT FIRST I THOUGHT SHE WAS JUST WOOZY FROM SLEEPING BUT HER EYES DIDNT LOOK RIGHT, LIKE SHE WASNT FOCUSING, BUT THEN SHE DID, AND SHE SMILED AT ME IN A WAY I NEVER SAW HER SMILE BEFORE. I DONT KNOW WHY, BECAUSE I LOVE EVERY BIT OF HER, BUT I DIDNT LIKE THAT SMILE, NOT ONE BIT.

AND THEN SHE REACHED UP AND PUT HER HAND AROUND MY NECK AND PULLED MY FACE DOWN AND I THOUGHT, OK, WOLF, YOU WERE IMAGINING THINGS, AND I BENT DOWN TO KISS HER BUT WHEN I DID SHE BIT ME, HARD, AND I COULD TASTE BLOOD IN MY MOUTH. I PULLED BACK FROM HER, AND STARTED TO SAY, WHY? BUT SHE SAT UP AND SHOVED ME BACK AND HER FACE WAS ONLY INCHES AWAY. SHE LICKED MY BLOOD OFF HER LIPS, AND SHE SAID, SHE SAID

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU JUST MADE LOVE TO, WOLF? DID YOU THINK I WAS HER?

THAT VOICE

SHE'S DEAD I KNOW SHE IS
BUT IT WAS HER VOICE
IT MADE THE HAIR ON THE BACK OF MY NECK STAND UP AND MY TAIL CURL BETWEEN MY LEGS LIKE I WAS A DOG
IT MADE MY EYES CHANGE AND MY TEETH HURT AND MY STOMACH CRAMP UP AND I HAD TO CLENCH MY HANDS, HARD, TO KEEP THE WOLF INSIDE
I COULDNT SPEAK, I WAS AFRAID TO MOVE
I WAS AFRAID
OF HER

THEN, SUDDENLY, HER EYES CLOSED AND SHE COLLAPSED ONTO ME AND THEN I DID MOVE, CRAWLING AND PUSHING AWAY AND FALLING OUT OF BED. I COULDNT MAKE MY HANDS TOUCH HER.
BUT HER FACE WAS IN THE PILLOW AND I DIDNT THINK SHE WAS BREATHING RIGHT SO I TURNED HER OVER. I TRIED TO MAKE HER WAKE UP AND I SHOOK HER, HARD, AND FINALLY HER EYES OPENED AND THIS TIME I KNEW IT WAS MY VIRGINIA.
SHE GASPED AND CAUGHT HER BREATH LIKE SHE WAS DROWNING, AND THEN SHE STARED UP AT ME WITH WILD EYES AND STARTED CRYING, WOLF! WOLF! WHAT HAPPENED? AND I DIDNT KNOW HOW TO TELL HER SO I JUST MADE MYSELF HOLD HER TIGHT AND SAID, ITS ALL RIGHT, IM HERE, IM HERE
BUT I FELT SICK TO MY STOMACH
AND ALL THE WHILE INSIDE MY HEAD I SHOUTED AT MYSELF, HOW COULD YOU? SHE WASNT VIRGINIA, AND YOU DIDNT KNOW?
OR DIDNT YOU CARE?
ALL YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WAS YOURSELF, YOU DISGUSTING ANIMAL!
HOW COULD I NOT KNOW?
AND SOME VERY BAD THINGS CAME INTO MY HEAD
THINGS I WANTED TO FORGET
ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED BACK THEN
AFTER KISSING TOWN.


  St. Anthony's Rectory

From "The Manual of Prayer"


Exorcizo te, omnis spiritus immunde, in nomine Dei (MAKES SIGN OF CROSS -X) Patris omnipotentis, et in nomine Jesu (X) Christi Filii ejus, Domini et Judicis nostri, et in virtute Spiritus (X) Sancti, ut descedas ab hoc plasmate Dei (NAME OF AFFLICTED), quod Dominus noster ad templum sanctum suum vocare dignatus est, ut fiat templum Dei vivi, et Spiritus Sanctus habitet in eo. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum, qui venturus est judicare vivos et saeculum per ignem.

I exorcize thee, every unclean spirit, in the name of God (X) the Father Almighty, and in the name of Jesus (X) Christ His Son, our Lord and Judge, and in the power of the Holy Spirit (X), that thou depart from this creature of God, which our Lord Has designed to call unto His holy temple, that it may be made the temple of the living God, and that the Holy Spirit (X) may dwell therein. Through the same Christ our Lord, who shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.

Amen.

The Priest shall then wet his hands and touch the ears and nostrils of the person. And in touching first the right ear and then the left, sayeth:
Ephpheta, quod est. Adaperire!
Be opened!

Then he touches the nostrils, saying:
In odorem suavitatis. Tu autem effugare, diabole; approprinquabit enim judicium Dei
For a savor of sweetness: And to you, O devil, begone! For the judgment of God is at hand.

The Most High God commands you! (X) God the Father commands you! (X) God the Son commands you! (X) God the Holy Ghost commands you! (X) Christ, God's Word made flesh, commands you! (X) The sacred Sign of the Cross commands you!(X) The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you! (X) The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you! (X)
Thus, cursed dragon, and you, diabolical legions, we adjure you by the living God, (X) by the true God, (X) by the holy God, (X).

Then shall the Priest demand:
Abrenuntias satanae?
Do you renounce Satan?

The afflicted shall answer if that he is able: Abrenuntio.
I do renounce him.

Et omnibus operibus ejus?
And all his works?

Abrenuntio.
I do renounce his works.

The Priest then shall dip his thumb into the Oil and anointeth the person upon the breast and between the shoulders, in the form of a cross (X), saying:
Ego to linio (X) oleo salutis in Christo Jesu Domino nostro, ut habeas vitam aeternam.
I anoint thee (X) with the oil of salvation in Christ Jesus, our Lord, that thou mayest have life everlasting.

Amen.

Next he Priest shall put aside the violet stole and put on another of white color. And he must needs interrogate the person to be delivered by name, thusly:
Credis in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatirem, caeli et terrae?
Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?

The Person shall answer if he be able: Credo.
I believe.

Credis in Jesum Christum Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum, natum, et pasum?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only son, our Lord, who was born, and suffered for us?

Credo.
I believe

Credis et in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Exxlesiam Catholicam, Sanctorum communionem, remissionem pecatorum, carnis resurrectionem, et vitam aeternam?
Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the remission sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting?

Credo.
I believe.

Vis baptisari?
Will you be baptized?

Volo.
I will.

The Priest shall then take the baptismal water and pour it over the person in the form of a cross (X) three times pronouncing these words only once distinctly and attentively:
Ego te baptizo in nomine Patris (X)(Pour) et Filii (X)(Pour) et Spiritus (X)(Pour) Sancti
I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Then shall the Priest dip his thumb into the holy chrism, and anointeth the person upon the crown of the head in the form of a Cross (X), saying:
Deus omnipotens, Pater Domini nosti Jesu Christi, qui te regeneravit ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, quique dedit tibe remissionem omnium peccatorum, ipse te liniat (X) Christmate salutis in eodem. Christo Jesu Domino nostro in vitam aeternum.
May Almighty God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He who hath regenerated you by water and the Holy Spirit, and given the remission of all thy sins, anoint thee (X) with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Christ Jesus our Lord; unto life everlasting.

Amen.

Pax tibi. Peace be unto you.

All shall respond, and the afflicted person also, if he be able: Et cum spiritu tuo.
And to you also.
Then shall the Priest put upon the head of the person a white linen cloth, saying:
Accipe vestem candidam, quam perferas immaculatam, ante tribunal Domini nostri Jesus Christi, ut habeas vitam aeterna.
Receive this white garment, which mayest thou bear without stain before the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you may have life everlasting.

And he then shall light a candle, saying:
Accipe lamadem ardentem, et irreprehensibilis custodi Baptismum tuum: serva Dei mandata, ut, cum Dominues venerit ad nuptias, possis occurrere ei una cum omnibus Sanctis in aula caelesti, et vivas in saecula saeculorum.
Receive this burning light, and keep thy Baptism so as to be without blame: keep the commandments of God, that when the Lord shall come to the nuptials, you may meet Him together with all the saints in the heavenly court, and may have eternal life and live for ever and ever. Amen.

Vade in pace, et Dominus sit tecum.
Go in peace and the Lord be with you.

Amen


Oh God, I beg of you, please do not require this of me


August 8

I know now that my dream was wrong, the one in which Wolf was being pulled further and further away from me. I am the one who is slipping away.
Funny, how when your mind can't handle the huge overload of emotion, you just kind of shut off. I know that's what's happening, and I can't seem to stop the numbness.
I'm not even sure if I want to stop it. Maybe it's easier that way, just to slip into a kind of coma and be free of all the feelings.

All those years ago, when Mom left. I know I buried all the hurt and anger and fear and sadness inside for so long. And then it all started to come out, and I hated it. I hated feeling that way and for a very long time I hated everyone for making me feel it...

But finally, little by little, the hurt got smaller, and though I was still sad, I saw that there was something else, someplace else to go where the hurt didn't live, where I actually was loved. It was like I finally came home.
Wolf was my home.

And then, to wake up in bed like that, unable to tell where I was or how I got there, and to look and see him standing there, his hands not quite touching me, panting like he was cornered, his eyes huge and terrified, at first I thought - No! I've hurt him again, cut him or stabbed or bit or hit him! but that wasn't it, the bed was still warm from him lying beside me and though my body had the memory of making love to him, in my mind I had no memory of the two of us together, and that was much, much worse than anything that had happened before. If I can't even remember his touch, the feel of the man I say I love, who I, who is everything

Funny, I thought I wouldn't be able to cry again.

There was an awful, terrible eternity before he reached out to me, and held me, but I could feel that he didn't want to. He was...repelled by me, though he said comforting things and tried to act like he wanted to be there. But every inch of his skin that touched me was just trying to pull away.
I don't know how I know this. I just know that his touch was different.


WHEN I LEFT KISSING TOWN I COULDNT THINK WHAT TO DO
EXCEPT MAYBE JUST LIE DOWN AND DIE RIGHT THERE. ALL I COULD THINK WAS I HAVE NO PLACE IN THIS WORLD IF VIRGINIA DOESNT WANT ME.

BUT SHE DID.
WHEN SHE SPOKE TO ME, AND CALLED ME BACK TO HER, TO THE CASTLE, I WAS WEAK, I DIDNT HAVE ANY WILL AT ALL TO RESIST.
AND HER VOICE WAS COMFORTING, LIKE, LIKE A GLASS OF WARM MILK, AND I THOUGHT,
AT LEAST SOMEONE WANTS ME.
AND SO I WENT TO HER

AND WHEN I GOT THERE SHE STROKED MY HAIR AND MY CHEEK AND SAID I WAS HER TRUE WOLF
AND ALL I HAD TO DO WAS BE LOYAL TO HER AND DO HER BIDDING, AND I WOULD BE REWARDED MORE THAN I HAD EVER IMAGINED
AND THE WAY SHE SAID IT, WITH THAT HUSKY TONE IN HER VOICE, WITH HER EYES HALF-CLOSED, AS SHE COMBED HER LONG RED HAIR THERE IN HER CHAMBERS, IT WAS MORE THAN COMFORTING, IT WAS KIND OF SEDUCTIVE
AND I BEGAN TO REALIZE WHAT ELSE SHE WAS REALLY SAYING,
I MEAN, IM NOT NAIVE, IVE BEEN AROUND A LOT AND I MAY NOT UNDERSTAND WOMEN ALL THE TIME BUT SOMETIMES THEY MAKE IT PRETTY CLEAR
SHE WAS STILL BEAUTIFUL, AND WATCHING HER COMB HER HAIR IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR, BY THE LIGHT OF THE CANDLES, I COULD IMAGINE HER MIRROR TELLING HER SHE WAS THE FAIREST IN THE LAND.

AND THEN I KNEW WHAT SHE WAS DOING TO ME,
GETTING INSIDE MY THOUGHTS, CONTROLLING THEM,
AND I HAD TO FORCE MYSELF TO CONCENTRATE, TO TELL MYSELF THAT WHAT SHE WAS THINKING, WHAT SHE WANTED, WAS MORE THAN EVIL, IT WAS TWISTED AND HORRIBLE
AND IT MADE ME FEEL SICK
BECAUSE I ALONE KNEW WHO SHE WAS AND WHO VIRGINIA WAS

BUT THEN I HAD TO MAKE MYSELF ACT LIKE WHAT SHE WAS SAYING WAS PLEASING TO ME,
AND I HATED MYSELF BECAUSE PART OF ME DID FEEL THAT WAY.
BUT THEN CAME ALL THE LYING AND PRETENDING THAT I LIKED HER TOUCH AND MAKING UP EXCUSES TO GET AWAY FROM HER BEFORE I -
AND I TOLD HER I WOULD DO WHAT SHE WANTED, FIND THEM AND END IT ONCE AND FOR ALL. I MADE HER BELIEVE ME.
I HAD TO.
BECAUSE I KNEW I COULD NEVER LET HER HURT VIRGINIA, EVEN IF I HAD TO DIE TO STOP HER
BUT NOW I KNOW WHY SHE CAME BACK, THOUGH I DONT KNOW HOW
ITS BECAUSE OF WHAT I DID TO HER, BETRAYING HER
AND I KNOW THAT WHAT SHES DOING TO VIRGINIA
IS ALL MY FAULT


August 9

I have been thinking about that priest, Pete, who was here that night. I remember thinking at dinner, hearing him laugh and looking at him, that he was kind of sweet, and that I always did have a soft spot for Italian guys. But then, out there on the balcony...I was shocked, and even angry when I found out Wolf had asked him to come. What does Wolf know about religion, anyway? I felt trapped for a moment, and then -

And then what? I don't remember, not really, But there's something about that moment that is nagging at me. It's like when you try to remember a dream. I have an image of me talking to him - but I don't know what we talked about. If only I could remember.

Wait...

For a moment I thought I knew. But it went away. It seems close, sometimes, but then the answer recedes so, so far in the distance. I just don't have the strength to go that far.


  St. Anthony's Rectory

From the desk of Fr. Ralph Thomason


August 10th
Fr. Augustus Riley
414 Marshall Street
Dayton, Ohio


Dear Gus,

Sorry to dash this quick note off to you - I know I owe you a lengthy missive, or at least a phone call.

In answer to your question, I think Pete Generale has the makings of an excellent priest. He has had an instant rapport with the parishioners and writes a pretty good sermon, too, though his delivery could use some work. That will come with practice. I can tell he genuinely cares about people. In fact, I think maybe he cares too much.

I am a bit worried about him. I've noticed in the last week or two he's been looking quite haggard, and I found him in prayer last night at about 3 am in the church. (I have epic acid reflux so I keep getting up to take Maalox at all hours). He looked so intense I didn't want to disturb him, but the fervor seems like classic guilt to me about something, Heaven knows what. What concerns me is that if he's undergoing some sort of crisis, impure thoughts or doubts about the priesthood -- don't smile, you know the drill, we all go through it -- whatever it is, he's not telling anyone. I don't think that's healthy. I mean, I remember when you and I were in Seminary together, everyone had these crises from time to time that we thought meant we were going to be bad priests, but that's what confession's for, and that's why we're all here to talk to the young Ďuns, like Father Tyrell used to do with us when we were green idiots (do you remember his eyebrows waggling while he listened?)
Oh brother, did I just get a nostalgic rush!

So tell me - did Pietro act like this at all when he was out in Ohio? I just wondered if he goes through phases of self-doubt or vocation-doubt, or the usual, that are particularly intense, or if this is something new. I'm going to talk to him about this sooner rather than later, and I wanted your feedback. I don't want the boy to burn out.

Listen, my best to you, as always. We've got to get together and go fishing one of these days!

Vade in pace, et Dominus sit tecum.

Ralph


August 11

Whatever is taking me away is getting stronger. I no longer have much of a will to resist it. There are more and more blank periods in my memory. I suddenly found myself in the living room today, sitting behind the couch clutching a bunch of newspapers in my arms and I have no idea what I was doing or even how I got there. I'm tired all the time. I feel like I must be walking or running in my sleep. When I wake up I'm exhausted.

Wolf doesn't spend much time here since that night. He goes out sometimes in the middle of the night and only comes home to change and go to work. When he's here, he follows me around like a shadow, and though once that would have amused or perhaps irritated me, it just doesn't seem to matter. I won't let him touch me because I know he doesn't really want to and I can't do that to him. He doesn't deserve that. He doesn't deserve any of this, including being saddled with me.

Dad just looks worried all the time, and I see that he's hitting the beer a lot more than he did when he first got here. He can't cope. He never really could.

Dr. Schuman has been calling me and leaving messages, trying to set up appointments, but I don't want to speak with him. What's the use? If I am going crazy, then I know it's something genetic, that I can't escape. I don't want to be drugged into a zombie state. But I can't bear this any more. I don't want to feel this way, not again. I don't want to feel. I just want it all to stop.

Your last wish is granted.


What an amusing journal!

This is quite a saga she's chronicled. Poor, poor thing; she's really been having a time of it, hasn't she? Let me see. This must be August 12th, by their calendar. Well, I suppose I should continue for the dear, now she's...let us say, indisposed. It's only fair. After all, the record must be preserved for posterity.

Oops - I forgot. There isn't going to be any!
Oh, I am such a tease.

Of course I'll continue. Who knows? It might give that mongrel who loves her something to mull over before he dies. I think he should know. Truth is terribly important, don't you agree?

As for that unfortunate sot drowsing on the recliner - Christine was fond of him once. I can't imagine why. I suppose he was good-looking enough then, but weak men are so very...weak. No wonder she took a fancy to the other. He's not weak, in fact he's rather persistent. And clever. A little too clever for his own good. He manipulated us and we don't like being manipulated.

Christine was incensed, jealous and embarrassed. She'd thought to steal him from the girl, and then have him kill her. Imagine, her own daughter! Not that she knew it, then. She's very willful, Christine. So used to being cosseted and flattered, so entitled. So vulnerable...

Melisende was just vain, shallow and vain. All those hours spent before a mirror, and nothing to show for it but a pair of red-hot slippers! Frankly, I never found Snow to be all that beautiful, but beauty is in the eye of the mirror, I suppose. Alas, poor Melisende! Rotting in a swamp now, not very attractively.

And Grissell, the uninvited one, unlucky number thirteen. Pride was her failing -- and my cue.

And there was Cunmar--

But I digress.

This really is the most delightful body. Smallish and graceful, a bit of a pinched expression, perhaps, but we'll work on that. And how lovely! Already carrying a child. Our heir. So there will be posterity, though not the way she and the wolf imagine.

Oh, dear, it's getting late, and there's an errand to be run. Time to put on a happy face!


  St. Anthony's Rectory

Private Journal
Fr. Pietro Generale
August 13
5:00 AM


Still can't sleep.
The last few days have been the most difficult I can remember.
I am appalled that my faith, no - my courage - failed so miserably. How could I have been so naive as to think I was prepared for anything? I expected to face challenges along the way, tests of faith or competence,

But nothing like this.

I keep praying, begging, I suppose, for some sort of guidance. Several times I've tried to speak to Father Thomason about what happened, but I can't form the words. More cowardice. Where would I begin? Would he believe me if I said I met someone who is possessed? It sounds ludicrous, now, even to me. I couldn't do it alone - there are supposed to be at least two of us to confront the evil. Ralph is a great priest and a sympathetic soul, but a pragmatic one. And contrary to popular ideas (I mean, they're going to re-release "The Exorcist," for heaven's sake) actual possession and exorcism are aberrations. True, there are official exorcists, but it's a holdover from the old Church. Most everyone believes in mental illness these days.

Is Virginia ill? Or is she truly possessed by some thing, some evil? I thought so at their house, but now I don't know. I just don't know.

4:00 PM
I was finishing Confession and when I stepped into the nave, Virginia was kneeling in a pew. The same pew Wolf sits in all the time. I felt a rush of adrenaline, and my mouth went so dry I couldn't swallow. She looked up at me, as I stood there like a fool, like a statue, and she got up and came over. "Hi," she said.

I think I nodded.

"Can we talk?" she asked, and I nodded again and gestured for her to follow me into the Chapel. I felt incredibly nervous, and kept remembering sitting here talking to Wolf about her. It felt weird. She asked me what she should call me, that "Father Pete" or "Father Generale" seemed strange to her. I told her "Pete" was fine. I let her talk, because really, I didn't know what to say. I was thinking to myself, like some sort of jerk, "hey, Pete, could a demon even come into a church? Better look it up." I realized my mind was wandering and I listened to her.

She said she really didn't remember what had happened after dinner at their place. She looked at me very seriously. Her lip was quivering a little and there were tears in her large blue eyes. "You should know that I'm seeing a psychiatrist. This is really hard to talk about," she told me. A tear was rolling down her cheek suddenly, and I fumbled around until I found a handkerchief, hopefully clean. She sniffled a little and went on: "My doctor thinks that because of some traumas that happened to me when I was little, I may be suffering from multiple personality disorder. I know, it sounds like Movie of the Week disease, and it's pretty rare, but there's a good chance I have it."

Before I knew what was I was doing I was asking her, gently, about what happened to her as a child. She was really crying now, and I felt so horrible, first that she was in such pain, and second, that I'd jumped to the conclusion that she'd been taken over by some sort of malevolent entity, when her problems are actually more mundane, and yet more tragic. Not for the first time I had to wonder why I always over-dramatize everything.

She told me the most awful things, as bad as Wolf's story about how his parents were killed. Evidently her mother abandoned the family because of the terrible mental and physical abuse they both suffered at the hands of her father. He'd even tried to drown her once, while she was taking a bath. I was astounded, incredulous, that the affable guy I met the other night had at one time been a raging alcoholic who beat her mother and often Virginia. "How can you stand to be near him?" I asked her.

She sighed, and looked up at me with that angelic face. "Dad's changed a lot," was all she said. She'd forgiven him, and they'd come to terms with their past, on one level. But in her subconscious she's still coping with the fear and abandonment. She doesn't blame her mother, who, I have to admit, put up with a lot for a great many years. I know I wouldn't be as forgiving as Virginia under similar circumstances.

I asked if Wolf knew about this. She nodded. "Wolf knows, but he really doesn't understand that your mind can make you say or do things that aren't really you. His culture is different, and he just gets mad at me when I have one of my blackouts. I don't like to make him mad."

I began to get a little angry, both at Wolf for his impatience, and at myself for believing him so blindly. I thought of all his uncontrolled utterances, his rather wild way of gesturing. It was easy to imagine him flying off the handle at her. "Do you want me to talk to him?"

She smiled at me gratefully. "He really likes and respect s you. Don't tell him I told you he gets angry, though. He wouldn't like that." No wonder she's suffering a mental problem. One tragedy compounding another. My heart broke for her.

After a while she left, to go prepare dinner. (I imagine Wolf berates her if the meal isn't on the table.) When she was gone I realized that some of my anxiety had left me. Thank God I didn't talk to Ralph about this! What a fool I would have made of myself.

I am resolved to confront Wolf about Virginia.

She really is the dearest creature.


NIGHT TIME IS THE WORST.
I LIE AWAKE AND THINK ABOUT THAT AWFUL MOMENT WHEN I FELT THE QUEENS PRESENCE IN THE ROOM AND I WANT TO HOWL FOR SHAME BECAUSE OF WHAT I DID.
BUT THEN I SAY TO MYSELF, WOLF, CALM DOWN, GET A GRIP, THIS ISNT ABOUT YOU, ITS ABOUT VIRGINIA, SHE NEEDS YOU SO MUCH MORE NOW. SHE CANT FIGHT THIS HERSELF.

BUT THEN I ARGUE WITH MYSELF, WHAT IS IT YOU ARE FIGHTING? WHAT CAN YOU POSSIBLY DO TO SAVE HER? AND I START TO PANIC.
I CANT STAY WHERE SHE IS BECAUSE WHAT IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN? WHAT WILL SHE DO? WHAT WILL I DO?
AND I GET SO CRAZY AND RESTLESS THEN I HAVE TO LEAVE AND WALK AROUND OR START RUNNING AND TRY TO THINK.
I NEVER HAVE ANY ANSWERS
BESIDES THE FULL MOON IS VERY VERY CLOSE AND I CANT THINK STRAIGHT WHEN THATS HAPPENING.
WHO AM I KIDDING? I DONT THINK AT ALL, THEN.

AND THEN TODAY I REMEMBERED PETE. ID FORGOT ALL ABOUT HIM.
HE TOLD ME I COULD CALL HIM ANY TIME AND EVEN GAVE ME A NUMBER THAT HE SAYS WORKS HIS TELL A FONE, BUT I HATE USING THOSE THINGS, THEY SOUND LIKE SOMEONE DOWN A WELL IS TALKING TO YOU AND YOU DONT KNOW WHATS IN THE WELL UNTIL IT JUMPS UP AND TRIES TO DRAG YOU BACK DOWN WITH IT, WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SISTER ONCE, SO I DONT LIKE THEM.

SO I DECIDED JUST TO GO OVER AND SEE HIM. SOMETIMES ITS EASIER TO THINK THERE.
I FOUND HIM IN THE CHAPEL, BUT HE DIDNT EXACTLY LOOK HAPPY TO SEE ME. IN FACT, IF I DIDNT KNOW BETTER ID THINK HE WAS MAD AT ME, WHEN I GUESS IF ANYONE SHOULD BE MAD ITS ME, SINCE HE KINDA RAN OUT AFTER DINNER WITHOUT SO MUCH AS THANKS, OR THE FOOD WAS GOOD, OR NOTHING, REALLY, WHICH SEEMED STRANGE TO ME. BUT IM NOT MAD, AND I DIDNT KNOW WHY HE SHOULD BE EITHER.

I SAID HI, PETE, AND HE SAID HELLO. WOLF, KIND OF COLD, I THOUGHT.
AND THEN HE JUST STARTED LECTURING ME, WHICH THEY ALWAYS DID IN SCHOOL WHEN I WAS BAD, OR EVEN IF I WASNT, AND I SAID, WHOA, WHOA, WHATS GOING ON, PETE?

HE STILL LOOKED A LITTLE MAD, BUT SAD, TOO. HE TOLD ME HE'D FIGURED THINGS OUT, THAT HE WAS SURE VIRGINIA IS ON THE EDGE OF HAVING SOME KIND OF NERVOUS BREAKDOWN BECAUSE OF THE TERRIBLE THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO HER WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD.

WELL THAT SURPRISED ME! I MEAN I KNOW HER MOTHER LEFT HER BUT I THOUGHT SHE WAS WORKING ON THAT WITH HER DOCTOR. I DONT KNOW ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.
AND HOW DID PETE KNOW?
HE SAID HED TALKED TO VIRGINIA, AND HE COULDNT TELL ME WHAT SHE TOLD HIM, BECAUSE HES A PRIEST AND WHAT PEOPLE SAY TO A PRIEST IS PRIVATE.
I GUESS THATS A GOOD THING.
BUT WHAT REALLY UPSET WAS SHE NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT IT. I DIDNT THINK WE HAD ANY SECRETS
WHAT AM I SAYING? THERE ARE THINGS I HAVENT TOLD HER ABOUT ME. SO MAYBE ITS FAIR. BUT IT STILL GAVE ME A BAD FEELING.

ID COME OVER TO TELL PETE WHAT I HEARD VIRGINIA SAY THAT NIGHT. IT WAS HARD TO DO, AND I DIDNT SAY WHAT VIRGINIA AND I WERE DOING TOGETHER WHEN IT HAPPENED BECAUSE BELIEVE IT OR NOT, PRIESTS DONT GET TO DO WHAT WE WERE DOING!

I WAS AFRAID OF WHAT HED THINK, BECAUSE THEY DONT SEEM TO HAVE THINGS LIKE SPELLS AND MAGIC HERE, BUT HE LISTENED WHILE I TOLD HIM. HE DIDNT SAY ANYTHING AT FIRST. BUT THEN HE JUST SHOOK HIS HEAD AND SAID IT WAS A SICKNESS, THAT WHATEVER WAS WRONG WITH VIRGINIA HAD TO BE TREATED BY MEDICINE AND KINDNESS AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. WELL, I DIDNT KNOW WHAT TO THINK ABOUT THAT. DOES HE THINK I DONT LOVE HER?

THEN PETE GOT THAT LECTURE VOICE AGAIN AND TOLD ME TO GO HOME AND THINK ABOUT HOW I TREAT HER. I WAS SO SHOCKED I COULDNT SAY ANYTHING, AND THEN I GOT MAD, BUT PETE JUST SAID GOODBYE THEN AND WENT THROUGH A DOOR AND WAS GONE.

THIS CANT BE RIGHT.


13th August

Men are such fools for a pretty face.

The priest was absurdly easy - his youth, I suspect. SO suggestible.
He'll hate himself in the morning, when he finds out what he's done.
And her father? Well, there was nothing there to begin with. A few hugs and all's well with him.

The wolf, now, he was more of a challenge.

We greeted him at the door. His eyes shifted away. He's guilty! The priest did well.
We sat at the table with him and picked at our food, and we were quiet, patient, long-suffering. Martyrdom suits us. Must be careful not to seem the flirt. Not this time.

I admit I quite enjoyed myself the other night, though perhaps my timing was injudicious. I never could resist the pleasures of the flesh. That's why one has flesh! And it was amusing torturing him with shadows of Christine. Christine gave me so many things. It's only right I did this for her.

Random scenes from domestic life: After dinner, the father retiring to his room. A "heart to heart" talk between us and the wolf. Declarations of love and neediness and earnest appeals for understanding on our part. Apologies and wary acceptance on his. Resolutions to work together. Expressions of deepest fears, deepest adoration. Acquiescence from him. Tears on all sides. Tentative kisses; a chaste embrace.

How dreary their lives are.

We're about to change all that.


  St. Anthony's Rectory

Private Journal
Fr. Pietro Generale
August 13


Just after midnight.
A nearly-full moon is shining in my window. I dozed off for a while, but woke up, headachey and dazed. I feel like I'm emerging from a long sleep, but in reality I've hardly put my head down for days. Something seems...unfinished, somehow. I feel very uneasy.

I just reread my last journal entry. This can't be right. It can't be what happened.
I don't even remember Virginia being here, except in a vague way.
There is a faint memory, too, of Wolf being here, but I can't remember the details. Could I have fantasized everything? Made up an explanation?
Or has something else, something darker, been at work?

I am well and truly frightened.
Tomorrow I'll speak to Wolf.


I WAS DREAMING ABOUT WHEN I WAS A CUB.
WHEN I, WE, LIVED IN THE FOREST.

AND I SAW MY MAMA AND MY PAPA AND THEY WERE TOGETHER, WE WERE ALL TOGETHER AND HAPPY AND THEN WE, AND THEN THEY WERE
I DONT WANT TO REMEMBER THIS

THEY WERE BURNING, THE PEOPLE WERE BURNING THEM
MY MAMA WAS SCREAMING
W O L F W O L F R E M E M B E R
I FELT SICK FROM THE SMELL AND THE SMOKE AND I WAS SCREAMING TOO BUT HANDS WERE HOLDING ME BACK AND I SCREAMED UNTIL I HAD NO MORE VOICE LEFT AND I COULDNT, I COULDNT BREATHE

AND THEN I WAS AWAKE AND MY THROAT STILL HURT AND I COULDNT BREATHE GOOD AND I COULDNT SEE BECAUSE OF THE

SMOKE, THERE WAS SMOKE

I JUMPED OUT OF BED AND REACHED DOWN TO GET VIRGINIA BUT SHE WASNT IN THE BED. I CALLED HER NAME, I SCREAMED HER NAME
LIKE I SCREAMED FOR THEM
BUT SHE DIDNT ANSWER AND I WAS SO AFRAID SHE

I YELLED FOR TONY BUT I COULDNT HEAR HIM SO I PUSHED OPEN THE DOOR AND RAN DOWN THE HALL. IT WAS HOT, VERYHOT TOOHOT. VIRGINIA WASNT IN THE HALL AND SHE WASNT IN THE BATHROOM AND SHE WASNT WITH HER FATHER, HE WAS LYING HALF OUT OF HIS BED, CHOKING, SO I GRABBED HIM AND DRAGGED HIM OUT TOWARDS THE LIVING ROOM

THE LIVING ROOM WAS ON FIRE

THERE WAS FIRE BETWEEN US AND THE FRONT DOOR I COULD SMELL PAPER AND OVER EVERYTHING SOMETHING OILY, THE THING THAT THEY PUT IN THE CARRIAGES TO MAKE THEM GO
AND I DIDNT SEE VIRGINIA BUT MAYBE SHE WAS IN THE KITCHEN, MAYBE SHE WAS OUTSIDE MAYBE SHE GOT OUT AND SHE WAS SAFE
I WAS PLEADING, BEGGING SOMEONE, I DONT KNOW WHO, ANYONE, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET HER BE SAFE
I THINK MAYBE WHAT I WAS DOING WAS PRAYING

I COULDNT SAY THE WORDS OUT LOUD THE SMOKE WAS SO BAD
THE HEAT WAS SINGEING MY HAIR AND MY ARMS AND I COULD FEEL IT ON MY FACE. IT WAS HARD TO SEE. TONY WASNT BREATHING REAL GOOD, JUST GASPING FOR AIR. IT WAS MY FAMILY BURNING ALL OVER AGAIN ONLY IT WAS ME TOO THIS TIME AND WHERE WAS MY VIRGINIA MY SWEET LOVE, WAS SHE DYING?

THEN I SAW HER
THE FRONT DOOR WAS OPEN, SHE WAS IN THE HALLWAY, BEYOND THE FIRE. I WAS SO RELIEVED, I FORGOT FOR A MOMENT WHAT WAS HAPPENING. SHE WAS LOOKING AT ME THROUGH THE FLAMES. I SHOUTED HER NAME AND I COULDNT HEAR MY OWN VOICE HARDLY AT ALL, IT HURT SO MUCH AND I COUGHED AND COULDNT STOP
BEAUTIFUL SAFE VIRGINIA, SHE SMILED AT ME

IT WAS THAT BAD SMILE.

SHE WAS VIRGINIA BUT SHE WASNT.

HER FACE WAS WHITE AND COLD AND OLDER
AND IN HER WHITE NIGHTGOWN SHE LOOKED LIKE A BRIDE
LIKE A GHOST
THE GHOST OF CHRISTINE
BUT SOMETHING EVEN WORSE I CANT EXPLAIN

SHE RAISED A HAND AND KISSED IT AND BLEW THE KISS TO ME AND SAID,
GOODBYE, WOLF

HER VOICE MADE ME SHAKE. I THOUGHT I SHOULD DIE, IT WOULD BE GOOD TO DIE.
THE FIRE WAS REFLECTING IN HER EYES AND IN THE CRYSTALS AROUND HER NECK LIKE TINY MIRRORS. LIKE MIRRORS OH. I COULDNT LOOK AWAY
SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL, SO BEAUTIFUL THAT IT HURT.
LIKE LOOKING AT DEATH.
I CLOSED MY EYES AND WHEN I LOOKED AGAIN SHE WAS GONE,
AND EVERYTHING WAS FIRE AND SMOKE


EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
Serving the people of New York City since 1904


INCIDENT REPORT

Date: August 14, 2000
Rescue Squad 4 - 19th Precinct/Fire Co. #39
L. Johnson, K. Cruz, paramedics

Fire Co. #39 responding to fire alarm 2 East 81st St. 2:28 AM
Arrival on site - 2:34 AM
Fire confined to apt. and hallway, 20th floor, brought under control 3:14 AM.
Arson suspected, pending investigation. Arson team notified by R.J.Tomeski, dispatcher.

Victims requiring medical attention - 3

Vic. 1 - Male, 50 (?) Found on stair landing above floor 1 (carried down 19 floors by vic. 2, see below). Unconscious at scene, suffering smoke inhalation, 1st/2nd-degree burns to back, feet. BP 200/110 - erratic pulse, Immediate transport to New York/Cornell Hospital Burn Unit.

Vic. 2 - Male, 35 (?) conscious at scene but disoriented. 2nd degree burns to hands. Difficulty speaking - poss. indication of seared lungs. Oxygen administered at scene. Unable to take BP - difficulty w/reading, possible low battery in equip? Transported to NY/Cornell Hosp ER.
NOTE: Refused medical treatment at NYH. Left AMA

Vic. 3 - Male, 57, name C. A. Murray, building owner, suffering palpitations, anxiety. Examined at scene/ NOTE: He identified Vic. 1 and 2 as residents of apartment where fire began. Transported to Bellevue Psychiatric for observation following outburst (was screaming "Master! Master! Save the Master!" until we had to sedate him. I don't know what the hell was going on here. - K.C.)

Building evacuated, no other injuries.
LaMarr Johnson, Kellie Cruz


HEY CHARLIE: that guy, vic #2, must have some cojones to have carried the other vic, who was pretty big, down all those stairs, given the condition he was in himself. He could barely talk and was breathing with difficulty. I can't believe those guys in the ER let him get away! Please let me know if you hear anything about him. Thanks - Kellie


 



I COULDNT LET TONY DIE
THATS WHY I WENT THROUGH THE FIRE

THEY HAVE TO SAVE HIM. IF HE DIES -
IF HE DIES IT WILL KILL VIRGINIA


  St. Anthony's Rectory


4:32 AM
I have to go. I gave a note to the handyman to give to Father Thomason in the morning, but I won't be here when he gets it. I'm sure what I'm doing will not be to my benefit as far as he, the Church and my future are concerned. But I can't think of that now. I am taking a small bag with things I fear I will have to use.

Wolf has come for help, now in the middle of the night, in desperate straits. It's clear he's been through a horrifying ordeal - he showed up with bandages on his hands and clothing that clearly has been in a fire. I made him put on a shirt of mine and a sweater because he was shivering, even though it's muggy. Worse, he can't talk - I guess he inhaled too much smoke - and when he tries to, it's awful to listen to. His breathing sounds terrible. I made him communicate on paper - he wrote

PETE I NEED HELP FIRE IN APARTMENT. VIRGINIA GONE. I HAVE TO STOP HER. SHES NOT WHO SHE IS

That gave me a terrible chill. If only I'd done something when I first -
No, there is no time to think about that.

When I asked how the fire started, Wolf looked away and made a horrible sound - I realized afterwards that he must be crying, but the sound was so raw it was gut-wrenching. Then he wrote the word

VIRGINIA

I told him what I saw on the balcony, what she'd said about punishment and revenge. He hung his head and just nodded a little, looking even more miserable than he had when he came in. For my part, I feel tremendous guilt. How could I have believed her words this afternoon? How could I have held him liable for her condition? I failed them both.

I tried to ask him other questions, but he just shook his head sharply and showed me by his movements and gestures that he needed to go, and I needed to come with him. I asked where we were going. He wrote

CENTRAL PARK. SHE THINKS WERE DEAD SO THERE IS ONLY ONE LEFT PLEASE YOU MUST COME NOW OR SHE IS LOST FOREVER

I don't know why we're going there, or what he means by "there is only one left." But I'm going to trust in faith. It's about time. I don't know, maybe God has given me a chance to redeem myself.

Even if He hasn't, how can I refuse such a desperate cry for help?


N. Y. POLICE DEPARTMENT MOUNTED DETAIL PARKS PRECINCT ~ NEW YORK 10028


Police Report
8/14/00 5:11 AM
Mounted Officer Carl Bradenauer

Began morning patrol from Central Park stables with Officer David Jannessey. North of Great Lawn our mounts Triathlon and Zenmaster spooked at something, at what I don't know. We had to dismount, try to calm them down. Zenmaster bolted as two men appeared, heading across grass towards the Ramble, 1 carrying small bag. Officer Jannessey went after his horse and I followed the men to investigate.

Observed men entering grove of trees, at which point I heard one of them exclaim "What is that?" and then "Through there?" Voice sounded alarmed. There was a brief shout that seemed to be cut off. I pursued, gave warning to halt, identified self as police officer, no response. When I entered the grove I thought I saw a light flicker and then disappear but men were nowhere in sight.

Jannessey caught up but saw nothing. We searched the entire area until full light, but could not find the men. While no actual illegal behavior was observed, I just didn't like something about it. I hesitate to use the word "spooky," but where the heck did they go? Please advise if there were any problems in area, mugging? Robbery?

Sounded like that guy did NOT want to go wherever he was being taken.
-CCB


The Chronicles of the Reign of King Wendell the First
Being the Sixty-Third Day of His Reign

Lord Rupert de la Tours de Namours


All is a-buzz at court! The Lady Virginia has returned from the Tenth Kingdom. Her arrival was unexpected, and King Wendell himself was from the castle when she arrived. The guardsman posted at the mirror room (as one is ever present, lest there be an unwelcome visitor) escorted the lady to the King's chamberlain, Lord Brenbury, who (with his usual lack of ceremony!) brought the Lady Virginia down to the library to await the King's return.
When I was finally advised of her presence, I endeavored to make her welcome in His Majesty's absence. Lady Virginia received my apologies most graciously.

I must note that she has never appeared more radiant. If I dare say so, she seems to have attained a bit more nobility in the short time she has been away. In fact, for the first time I saw a resemblance between her and her mother, the late, unlamented stepmother of our gracious King, Fortunately, she is as kind and gentle as her mother was cruel and heartless. I am pleased that His Majesty now has a sister ó even if she is only a step-sister...

Lady Virginia was filled with compliments for one and all. She particularly praised those modest improvements to the castle decor that have been implemented by yours truly. She is, indeed, a woman of taste.

I have been instructed to inform her promptly upon the King's arrival. She has expressly charged me that she wishes to speak with His Majesty in private upon a matter of the utmost importance. There was an urgency in her manner that I trust does not bespeak ill tidings.

I shall, of course, give her as much time alone with the King as she requires.



How do I know what date it is? Or what year?
Or even what place???
Dear God, what has happened to me?

Let me get this down in my notebook in black and white. Maybe that will shock some sense into me, to see the words.

When I went with Wolf into the Park, I thought we were going to confront some unnamed evil that was destroying a woman's mind.

Now I wonder if, perhaps, I have lost my own.

I followed him to a copse near the Ramble. It wasn't even dawn yet. I was worried about muggers. A mugger might have been preferable.

With the ground mist and the silence of the place making me jittery, I even wondered at one point if Wolf, himself, was a danger. He kept looking at the sky and growling. GROWLING! Like a ó well, I was about to say wolf, but that's an obvious word association. It was a pretty eerie sound, anyway, and he stopped himself, maybe because he caught me looking at him, maybe because it hurt. It was so strange.

I could barely see where to set my feet, but Wolf was completely surefooted. He pushed through a final line of trees and suddenly I saw it. I didn't know what it was. I still don't, not really. It was a light, there in the darkness, a shimmering, twisting kind of light, with a room just visible beyond it, and at first I thought, someone's set up a shack here, maybe a homeless person. Maybe Virginia is hiding here.

But it wasn't a shack, or a lean-to, or anything like it. It was just a light with nothing behind it. When I realized that, that the light was shining from nowhere, I heard a rush like a waterfall in my ears, my knees got all rubbery and I began to see little flecks in front of my eyes. I realized I was close to passing out, because my brain just couldn't accept what I was seeing. "What is that?" I asked, but Wolf didn't answer, he just gestured that we were to go through the light, into...what?

If it hadn't been obvious before that something inhuman was at work, this light, this portal was the proof. What it was, where it led - I couldn't think. I felt numb, terrified, giddy, humbled, all at once. Probably I would have stood there dumbly forever, but Wolf grabbed my upper arm and started to pull me along with him. That shocked me out of my stupor."You want me to go through THERE?" I shouted at him, and we struggled, but even with his hand bandaged he had a tough grip. His jaw was set; he was going through and he was taking me with him, no argument. But when I finally managed to break free of him, he just kind of sagged there a little, like he had no fight left in him, and said "Please, Pete. Have faith," in a ragged whisper.

Well, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe he was manipulating me. Maybe he'd just stumbled into my weak spot. I took a step towards him, and he looked relieved, and suddenly very calm, and then, as if to show he trusted me to follow, he turned and stepped through the light. And disappeared. I didn't stop to think. If I had, I wouldn't have been able to do it. I stepped into the light, and started to shout as I felt something pulling me from beyond it. I confess I closed my eyes. If a demon was waiting for me, I didn't want to know it.

There was a nauseating sensation of free fall, and then I was...somewhere else. Surely not Hell ó unless Hell smells like mildew. I felt a hand on my shoulder, steading me. My heart was banging out a drum solo. Slowly, I opened my eyes.

Wolf and I were in a small, high-ceilinged room. The walls were hung with green velvet draperies; the ceiling was painted like the sky, complete with clouds and cherubs. A carved bench stood near an open doorway. I spun around and saw the only other object in the room ó a large, gilt-framed mirror. But instead of my reflection, in the mirror's glass I could see the dark shape of trees, the grove of trees in Central Park. We'd come through the mirror. The words "How?" and "Where?" were stuck in my throat, but then, in the mirror, I could see a beam of light flickering through the trees. Someone was approaching with a flashlight. Wolf pushed me aside, did something to the mirror's frame and our reflections suddenly appeared. He smiled at me, a little slyly, I thought.

A noise behind us spun us both around. Voices were coming from the hallway. Wolf put a finger to his lips and crossed swiftly to the door. He seems adept at quiet, quick movements. I never noticed that about him before.

He came back and started rummaging through my case. When I tried to stop him, he impatiently waved me away, then ripped a few blank pages from this journal and grabbed a pen. He wrote

GOING TO LOOK. STAY HERE.

When I protested, he made the same kind of gesture I used to make to my Labrador, Nero, to get him to stay. Great. I'm not a priest, now I'm Wolf's dog. If I had a tail, I'd wag it.

It's so strange sitting here. I could be in one of those period rooms at the Met, or across the world in some Ruritanian castle. But how did we -? There are only questions, no answers. Maybe some new Star Trek "beam me up" device has been invented. Part of me wants to go investigate, though the other part is too terrified to move. But somehow I know there is no science that could explain

Someone is coming.
I

I just heard someone call out, "Welcome back, Lord Wolf.'"
LORD WOLF????


The Chronicles of the Reign of King Wendell the First
Being the Sixty-Third Day of His Reign

Lord Rupert de la Tours de Namours


Let the chronicles record that King Wendell returned late in the evening, tired and hungry but victorious from his hunt. I was informed by the King's forester that after a long day with no success, the hunting party finally brought down a stag on the fringes of the Royal grounds. The presumptuous fellow offered to show me the bloody carcass, but I demurred, informing him that I am a lover, not a hunter. That sent him scurrying, all right, ha-ha!

I quickly informed His Majesty of the happy news that the Lady Virginia was in the castle, awaiting his return. The King did not bother to change into more formal clothes, but with gladness in his demeanor and anticipation quite vanquishing his tiredness, rushed to the library where she waited. Ah, what a joyful reunion! The King immediately asked that wine be brought, and I went to arrange for it, leaving the two of them alone, as the lady had requested.

Upon my return some minutes later, I perceived that the happy mood had changed to one of more pensive reflection. The King and his step-sister were deep in discussion, the lady speaking to him in a low voice. It seemed the King had to rouse himself consciously from their conversation when I entered with the wine.

The King proposed a toast: "To the Lady Virginia, my sister, and a true daughter of the House of White!" How gallant and how gracious a toast to offer to one not really of the blood! I echoed his Majesty's sentiments, as the two of them lifted their goblets to drink.

And then, seemingly from out of nowhere, a dark figure shoved me aside (quite forcefully - I fear I shall bear bruises for weeks!) and ran towards the King, knocking the goblet to the floor and causing the contents to spill across His Majesty's tunic. When this person came to rest against the bookcase and turned to show his face, I was astonished to see that it was Lady Virginia's betrothed, that difficult person known simply as "Wolf." Lord Brenbury, who had come up behind me, shouted "Lord Wolf!" (a title I do not think he deserves, though I suppose he did have a hand in saving the kingdoms).

Brenbury was accompanied by the royal guard who is stationed by the mirror room, the Lord Chancellor, Viscount Wittensdorf, and another person I did not recognize, a young man in Tenth Kingdom garb. As you might imagine, we rushed to assist His Majesty, who was quite cross when he examined the stain on his clothing. He chastised the wolf severely: "Whatever do you think you're doing? You've ruined my favorite hunting doublet, and the rug will also need to be replaced!" but the rude fellow did not apologize, and started to demand something of the King ó it sounded as if he were asking if His Majesty had drunk the wine, but there was something wrong with his voice and halfway through he fell into a fit of coughing. The beast then had the audacity to grab King Wendell's arm, and the guard was compelled to push him away roughly, and he fell against the wall. The young person I did not recognize went to Wolf's aid, helping him up.

The sudden violence of this episode cast a pall over the room, and I turned to the Lady Virginia, assuming she would offer some defense of her betrothed's behavior. Much to my surprise, however, after a moment of stunned immobility, she ran behind King Wendell and cried, "Wendell, please, I beg you - keep him away from me!" As you may well imagine, the King was confused at these words, and the Lady continued to implore him with heart-wrenching passion: "Please, Your Majesty, you must save me - Wolf wants to kill me!"

Well! We were all stunned, stunned by this. The King broke the silence first. "Explain yourself, Wolf!" He was infuriated. (I have never seen him more commanding, nor more noble.)

The creature leaned against the wall, breathing heavily, He looked quite feral, I thought, and I shivered. And then, without preamble, the young stranger with him jumped up to put in his oar! "She's lying! She's trying to kill him, not the other way around! You don't know what she is -" The fellow approached too near His Majesty, and the guard stepped between them, of necessity.

"Who is this?" King Wendell demanded of me, but of course I had no idea and said so.

The stranger continued as if he had not been interrupted. A plucky, if ill-mannered type. One does not speak to royalty without being invited to do so! "I am a friend of Wolf's, and Virginia's. My name is Pietro Generale. I am a priest. I know something about Virginia that you don't. This is hard to explain, but she is not who you think she is. There is evil here, and I -"

"Nonsense!" The Lady Virginia turned imploring eyes on the King. "I'm so sorry, Wendell. I wanted it to work out, with Wolf, but you were right about him all the time."

Now the stranger become angry. "Don't listen to her! Can't you see? Can't you hear? She tried to burn him up, she set a fire -"

Everyone started protesting at once. The Lord Chancellor berated Wittensdorf for bringing Wolf to the Library. Wittensdorf shouted back that it had been Brenbury's idea. Lady Virginia sobbed. The stranger argued, his voice rising. The guardsman shouted that all wolves deserved to be burned, and behind me, in the hall, I heard some of the servants twittering with their own commentary. I finally put my hands over my ears. Only Wolf was silent, and in the corner of my eye I saw him scribbling madly on a crumpled piece of paper. Why didn't he speak? I wondered. He is usually quite verbose. I looked at him and saw his hands were bandaged. If he had been through a fire, that would explain -- I dismiss the idea as utterly absurd. The Lady Virginia? Heavens, no.

Then His Majesty called for silence. The wolf took this opportunity to thrust the piece of paper at him, and regarded the King with a penetrating stare. His Majesty took the paper, but without reading it, crumpled it up and hurled it in the wolf's face.. "There is evil at work here, indeed," the King hissed at him, "if this gentle soul you profess to be your mate is imperiled by someone who promised to care for her." He turned to the stranger. " You, sir, I do not know. None of this concerns you. But this, this wolf, I know well. Very well. I see now that my first impulses about him were correct. As for Lady Virginia, she may have sanctuary here. In fact, let her remain forever at my side, as my sister, and, until such time as I have children of my own, let her be known as heir to the throne of the Fourth Kingdom!" There was a look of devotion in His Majesty's face that I have not seen before. The intensity of that look was a bit unnerving, if I may say so.

His Majesty was waiting for a response. "Three cheers for Lady Virginia!" I cried, and the others echoed it, except for the wolf and the stranger, who seemed dumbstruck.

"My lords, carry the news to the other members of the Council, and let swift messengers be sent to all corners of the kingdom." The King gestured dismissal to us, and we departed at his command. I was concerned that the guardsman was dismissed as well, leaving the wolf with the King. But His Majesty waved off my concerns. Besides, the wolf seems defeated by this turn of events.



When the men in the costume-party clothes left us in the Library, I couldn't really absorb everything that had just happened. I mean, when I thought about where I was, I started to get that queasy, weak-kneed sensation again. I looked over at Virginia. She didn't look like Virginia to me, anymore, though her shape was Virginia's. Whatever she was, she had some kind of hold over this Wendell. He looked at her with a glazed obedience that frightened me. Perhaps that's how I looked at her at the Church. I am appalled at the thought.

I was worried about Wolf. He couldn't talk at all, now - no sound came out when he tried, and I could see him strain, trying to speak. Not that Wendell would have listened to him even if he could.

When the King threw that paper back at him, it was as if he'd been struck with a fist. Wolf half leaned against the bookcase, his head down in submission. There was a window next to him, and the curtains had not been drawn. I remember thinking, How can it be night? It was dawn when we left Central Park. But there was a big full moon shining in the window, the same full moon we had at home, but the time was all wrong. I don't know why this was obsessing me. Maybe it was easier to contemplate than what was happening. For some reason Wolf was trying not to look at the moon, but kept sneaking glances at it.

I found Wendell to be petulant, imperious - well, I suppose that goes with being king - but I didn't like the way he'd dismissed what Wolf and I were trying to tell him. I thought about the holy water and the Host I carried in my bag. Maybe, I thought, it's time to confront the demon -

Wendell was speaking. "Well, Wolf, I hope you realize you are now banished from the Fourth Kingdom. And the pardon is revoked, of course. I don't care where you go, as long as you--"

Oh, do shut up, Wendell.

"What did you say?" Wendell spun around to look at the Virginia-thing. He seemed shocked at her words.

I said, shut up. Obey me.

As I watched, Wendell complied, closing his mouth slowly, as if in a dream. His eyes, however, were filled with alarm.

I came closer to her. "What have you done to him?" Wolf had turned to watch as well.

The entity in Virginia looked at me with hollow eyes, eyes that seemed to go on forever, leading into something nameless and horrible. I shuddered, but could not turn away from those eyes.

I haven't done anything, yet. But soon they'll find him, and you know who'll be blamed, don't you?

I gasped as she freed me, turning her gaze on Wolf. Then, without warning, her hand closed on the glass decanter, and she struck Wendell across the temple with brutal force. He crumpled with a sigh, showered with shards of glass.

I moved to kneel beside him, but Wolf bounded past me and shoved Virginia away from Wendell's body. He pressed her against a glass-fronted bookcase, holding her by her throat, and for a moment the look on his face was so terrifying I thought he would kill her. His hair hung limply over his forehead and he was bathed in sweat. But slowly his eyes seemed to refocus. His gaze crept down from her inhuman eyes to her neck. He reached down with one hand and grabbed at the necklace she wore. There was a pause, and then he tore it from her neck. Small blue crystals scattered across the floor, mixing with the glass. Wolf released his grip on her throat and stepped back, panting. He looked like it had taken a supreme act of will not to strangle her.

Virginia clutched at her neck for a moment, then looked up and smiled at Wolf. And said

Very clever. But sorry, it's too late.

Wolf's hand was still raised from the action of ripping the necklace from her throat. His eyes jolted open wide and I saw, rather than heard, him take in a sharp breath.

I've surprised you, I see. You thought - oh, dear, no, breaking that won't bring her back. It might have in the beginning, but I'm far too strong now. I'm afraid the necklace is irrelevant - I kept it because it's pretty.

She picked up a small blue stone that had fallen on her breast, and held it up, catching the light.

How like a tiny mirror it is! All those facets reflecting into infinity. Ring, crown, bracelet, comb - jewelry is best, but other things will do - gloves, for example...or, priest, even those beads I've seen people fingering in your church. When I escaped through the mirror into that strange world - Wolf, did you know I came through with you and Virginia? Ah, I see from your expression I've surprised you again!

Even then, I was part of her, though she wouldn't let me in, not completely. Shadow-like, I accompanied her everywhere, searching for a talisman, that I might enter her. She couldn't resist wearing something of her mother's. None of them resist, in the end.

She turned and crunched over the glass and the remnants of her necklace until she was directly in front of me as I knelt by Wendell. He didn't look good; he was deathly pale and barely breathing. I tried to stop the blood welling up from a long gash in his temple. So much blood, but it meant he still had a pulse. She regarded him calmly for a moment, then her foot shot out and struck him savagely in the back. I started to rise in protest. Her next kick took me square in the chest and sent me sprawling.

No, priest, mustn't interfere. What is that quote? "Goodnight, sweet prince." What's the matter, Wolf, cat got your tongue?

Wolf had come away from the bookcase, and was staring wildly at her. His hands were balled up into fists.

How I love the strong, silent type! I must say, you're surprisingly hard to kill. I'm impressed. Tell me, how's Tony? What? Speak up! Ohhh, sorry. That must hurt, mustn't it?

Wolf's mouth was working, twisting as he tried to utter sounds. I couldn't stand it - she was torturing him, she'd likely killed Wendell. Rubbing the sore spot on my chest, I stood up and shouted at her, "Who are you? If you're not her mother--"

But I am Christine, the part of her that needed to be a Queen among lesser mortals.

And before her, Snow White's step-mother - they knew her as the Swamp Witch.

And before her, the Thirteenth Fairy at Sleeping Beauty's christening; so unwanted, she was! Yet she and I brought the curse of death to Briar-Rose. What a shame it was mitigated to a mere hundred years of sleep.

And before her, I chose the hag Nedolya, from whom men recoiled in disgust. I taught her to enchant her lovers, then change them into worms.

And Mother Trude, the barren witch, who ignited her hearth fire with the bodies of lost children.

And Cunmar the Accursed, who so feared infidelity she murdered eight husbands.

And Arwal the Torturer.

And Ur-Harac, the barbarian empress, whose very name is uttered as a curse.

Her voice had become sing-song, almost a chant. The things she was saying! How could they be? And yet...I believed them. God in Heaven, I believed.

She stepped closer to Wolf. Though he was a head taller than she, her power gave her dominance as she flung the words into his face.

And perhaps best of all, the Lady Bisclaravet, who betrayed her devoted lord to possess his lands. All because she found out what he was. A were-beast. He loved her with all his heart, until, with my prompting, she cut it from his body. Strange how things come full circle!

So many of them - stretching back beyond memory. Each had desires, each was wanting. I completed them, and they in turn made me flesh and gave me power. You're thinking, what happened to them? Why, I discarded them, yet part of each remains. That is how I reached Virginia - the part of Christine that is with me still. Your Virginia is no different. Her past kept her closed, but you, Wolf, you made her vulnerable at last. So I suppose you really are to blame.

Her words hit him like a physical blow.

"Wolf, that's a lie," I said, as evenly as I could. "Don't believe her, don't listen!" Both of them ignored me.

But we are invulnerable now. As the stepsister to the late King Wendell, and the last remnant, however tenuous, of the royal line, we will be chosen to rule by acclamation. After all, we saved the kingdom. The King is dead, long live the Queen! We will rule as we see fit, and our child will be our inheritor, and when I grow tired of Virginia, that same child will be my next vessel. Did you know your child is a girl, Wolf?

Wolf groaned, or moaned. His hands clenched and unclenched. I could feel his frustration; he couldn't attack her - not while she held Virginia.

There was nothing to answer, nothing he could do.

But, dear God, I knew it was time.


The Chronicles of the Reign of King Wendell the First
Being the Sixty-Third Day of His Reign

Lord Rupert de la Tours de Namours


None of the other Lords could have heard the crash, as they were still congratulating themselves in the Great Hall.

I knew it had been a mistake to leave that wolf at liberty, so I had remained in the corridor. Now the frightful noise coming from the Library seemed to prove me right. As I turned the corner and caught sight of the open door, my worst fears were confirmed. Our dear and noble king lay upon the carpet still as death. The stranger held a handkerchief to His Majesty's head, and as he pulled it away - Oh horrors! - I could see it was stained with royal blood.

The wolf was standing somewhat to one side, the same dangerous expression on his face that I had seen earlier. I had no doubt that, in a rage, he had attacked King Wendell in retaliation for his dismissal. It was my intention to turn and swiftly sound the alarm, but a movement caught my eye. Lady Virginia was also in the room, and before my horrified eyes, she struck His Majesty's silent form with her foot - and laughed!

I know I shall be accused of cowardice, but truthfully, I was incapable of movement. I watched in horror as she then struck the young stranger in the same manner. I heard her speak in a voice I have never heard before - nay, I misspoke, for once before I heard it, on the day the Evil Queen was sentenced, when she cursed all who had foiled her plans. I was merely a callow squire then, but sound of her voice is burned into my memory.

I listened, unbelieving, as the Lady Virginia spoke of the most horrible magic, and of evil transcending time. I could not, WOULD not believe it!. I nearly fainted from the shock as I began to perceive the truth: she is the source of that evil. She is the worm at the heart of the apple who would destroy us all.

How long I stood there I cannot tell. Lady Virginia had turned toward Wolf, her back for the moment to the other man. Slowly the fellow stepped away from her, moving with the utmost caution toward a chair where his leather satchel lay.

One moment he was standing by it; the next, he had withdrawn a glass vial from the bag, unstoppered it and flung the liquid contents at her. As he did so, he called out words in a language I knew not, then in the same passionate tone cried, "Be opened!" and then "I exorcize thee, unclean spirit, in the name of God the Father Almighty!"

Virginia gasped and staggered back as the liquid hit her. She looked at her dampened clothing for a moment, an unreadable look on her face. She blinked once, twice, and shook her head.

And then she laughed, a high-pitched, frightening sound, of which I never heard the like.

Foolishness, she said.

Undaunted, he kept speaking, and this time as he did so, made a sign down and across in front of her. "Depart from this creature of God. O devil, begone! For the judgment of God is at hand!" Again, he shook the vial at her, and the last of its contents fell upon her face.

She did not even flinch this time, but wiped the drops from her cheek. You've miscalculated, priest! Her tone was malignant, savage.

For the first time, the young man's determination seemed to falter. He raised an object at her. It was fashioned out of silver in the shape of a cross; there was something encased in glass embedded in it. I could not tell what it was, but he cried "The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you!"

With amazing speed she leapt at him and grabbed at the silver cross. He was taken by surprise, and she wrested it from his grasp. This is not of my world. It cannot stop me. She held the cross like a dagger, and stabbed at him with the long end. He jumped out of the way. You will never stop me, not with these toys, these words!

But he recovered, I must say, quite bravely, and responded to her vehemence with intensity of his own. "You're wrong. I can. I will. God commands it, and I believe it. God will always triumph over the powers of darkness."

She stepped back, and for a moment looked confused. She put a hand to her cheek. Where the liquid had hit her, I saw a red welt growing. Then she emitted a small shriek, and dropped the silver cross as if it had become red-hot. I'm afraid I, too, must have made some sound, for both of them turned sharply to me. I confess I was struck with paralyzing fear. She looked at me with terrifying eyes that stared into my own for a moment, disorienting me. Then she stabbed her eyes at the stranger again.

No! I will not have it! You have no power here!

I looked again. The red mark on her cheek was gone. But there was an uncertainty in her manner that had not been there before. With a cry of rage she shoved past me and ran from the Library.

Well, finally that roused me into action. I ran into the hallway and shouted for help. A servant appeared and I screamed at him to call the others, to fetch the King's personal physician, to do something! As I reentered the room, I perceived a movement to one side, and I saw that Wolf, who had been silent and immobile all this time, was shaking himself as if waking from a trance. His eyes looked haunted.

I don't know why, but I was suddenly reminded of something that happened many years ago. It was at a public execution, in the town square. I saw that same haunted look on the face of a child who watched his parents burn.

Peculiar memory. I've no idea why I thought of it.

Wolf crossed to the other man, kneeling by the King, and put his hand on his shoulder, raising his eyebrows in a silent question. "I don't know," said the other man, and turned again to minister to the King.

There was a sudden commotion from the corridor, then a crash.

Wolf ran from the room.

The stranger, the - priest, had put on a kind of mantle, and now touched the King upon the eyelids and the mouth. I was about to stop him, but, truly, I wondered if he had magic or medicine that might save our sovereign's life, for I knew none. He made a sign over him and said something I could not hear clearly, about "holy anointing," and "pardoning sins." He made the sign again. What ritual this is, I cannot tell, but the fellow looked very sad as he performed it. He then spoke some words in that strange unknown tongue. He clasped the king's limp hand in both of his own and bowed his head for a moment, his lips moving in silence. Whatever magic or ceremony else this is, I have no doubt but that his entire heart wept for His Majesty.

It was with great relief I saw the King's physician arrive with several lords, and they ushered the man aside so that they might attend to the King. He turned and disappeared down the hall, in the same direction Wolf had gone.



I know. I know it is wrong. Wendell is not a Catholic, no one here is, but I had to do something. I'm not a doctor. Surely God will forgive me. I don't care. I only hope He will have mercy on Wendell.

There had been a loud crash a few minutes earlier, and as I ran into the corridor, I saw that a guardsman lay dazed against the wall, the mirror above him shattered where he must have been pushed into it. His head was bleeding, but he seemed all right, and I helped him rise. Long, jagged shards of mirrored glass stuck out from the frame. As the man straightened, he suddenly reached for his boot. "My dagger!" he cried. He staggered along the wall and I moved past him. It took me a moment to get my bearings, but I thought I could tell from the route Virginia had taken where she might be headed. The mirror room. She was trying to escape back to the Park, to the anonymity of New York, where she'd never be found.

Stay back!

Her voice came from quite close ahead. I ran.

Wolf had cornered her against a blind wall.. The dagger she had taken from the guard was in one hand, and in the other she wielded a jagged length of broken mirror. She looked left and right, her eyes those of a trapped animal. There was no place left to escape. Her features were contorted, no longer the delicate lovely face of a young woman, but the twisted grimace of an ancient evil. She hissed at him.

I will kill you! Do not dare to approach me!

He seemed almost not to hear her, or not to care. I didn't know who to fear for. I'd seen the fury in his face back in the Library; part of me expected him to. tear her to pieces. Part anticipated a fatal thrust through his heart. Either way would end in tragedy.

He took a step towards her, and she swung the dagger in a wide arc. The point ripped through Wolf's shirt. He didn't flinch. He stepped in again. Virginia was clutching the jagged mirror so tightly that blood dripped from her hand. She stabbed at him with it, and this time he faltered a bit as the point caught at his flesh. But still he moved closer.

"Wolf - please!" I pleaded with him to stop. He didn't seem to hear me, but stepped slowly towards Virginia again, just as she sliced at him with both weapons.

As her arms crossed in front of her, Wolf moved forward suddenly and caught her around the shoulders, lurching forward and pinning her against the wall, She shrieked and struggled violently against him, her nearly useless weapons still scratching at his sides until he wrestled her into a tight hold from which she could inflict no more damage. She kicked and bit at him, trying to wrench free. She screamed curses at him. it seemed as if she spoke in many voices, some old, some young, each harsher than the next. It was as if Hell had opened and disgorged ranks of demons.

Her eyes were insane.

And then I saw, with wonder - Wolf was speaking, whispering to her as she railed and thrashed in his embrace. For that's what it was. His face was no longer filled with impotent rage. It was calm, even loving, and his cheeks were wet with tears. Between her insane outbursts, I heard his raspy thread of a voice, the barest sound. "Come back to me, Come back. I love you. I love you. I love you, Virginia. Come back. Come back."

It was a plea...an incantation...a prayer, and I stood mesmerized.

"Come back. I love you. I love you." He kept it up, even as she flailed at him, scratched and tore at him. "I love you, Virginia. Please come back." She screamed and spat in his face. And still he spoke, hardly audible, but murmuring the same words over and over.

But then, little by little, her violent movements began to calm. She let go of the dagger, and then the mirror, which shattered as it fell on the marble floor, scattering little drops of their mingled blood. She stopped kicking at him, and then, with a final shudder, her head dropped onto his shoulder and her limbs went limp.

Something cold and sharp, like an icy gust, struck me in the face; a wind seemed to pass through me bringing me to the edge of vertigo. There was a sound like a tornado, or perhaps the babble of a thousand voices. Then the sound faded behind me, and I spun to look down the hall, shivering. I saw nothing. The guard had come up behind us, and he staggered back as if pushed by the same invisible force.
Something nameless and terrible had passed

Wolf had buried his face in Virginia's hair, his eyes closed. He was supporting her weight - she seemed to be unconscious. He was weaving unsteadily, but still he kept whispering, murmuring to her, "I love you, Virginia, come back. Don't leave me."

We caught him as his knees buckled.


Imagine a frozen river. Cold. Solid. Thick. Impenetrable.
Imagine a crack forming in the ice..
There is a trickle of water.
The crack widens; the water rushes in, forcing its way through the opening.
There is a sound as the ice rips apart, as the water fights to reach the surface. And then, all at once, the ice explodes into thousands upon thousands of pieces, releasing the torrent underneath.
And you are overwhelmed by it. You can drown. You can disappear forever.
Unless someone is there to save you.

I don't know the date. I have lost days from my life. Before last night, what I remember last was writing in my diary, in the kitchen, in New York.
And then I was here, in Wendell's castle, in the library, though at the time I didn't know where I was. The small trickle of conscious thought that came to me was "My face is wet." I touched my cheek, and saw my sleeve was damp as well.

I saw Pete.

And I heard - someone was speaking Latin. "I'm back in school," I thought. No, in a church. Pete was reaching towards me.
I saw it, heard it, but I didn't care. I was floating.
And then the room went black and the voice cut off.

But I didn't go away completely, not this time..it's difficult to explain. Images kept flickering in and out, like frames from an old movie:
Books.
Something small and silver.
Pete again.
Lord Rupert's medals.
A mirror.
Blood.

There were sounds, too, echoing in my ears, far away. Someone laughing. Someone shouting. Someone screaming. I suddenly knew it was me, and a small stream of emotion forced its way out and made me want to stop doing it.

But I couldn't.

And then I was looking down a long corridor, lined with velvet drapes and paintings.
Wolf was coming towards me. I tried to call his name. But it was like that horrible dream. Ice had frozen my throat.

His eyes were burning amber. I wanted his eyes, his arms, to warm me. I wanted to hold him, but my arms, my hands were made of ice, too, and I couldn't move them.
But they were doing things. They were holding things
Oh. God. This is so hard.
I watched my hands stab at him. With a knife. My left hand was covered in blood, but I couldn't feel pain. I couldn't feel anything.

Blackness again. But in the darkness, there was a sound, far away at first. I thought it was a rush of water. Someone was screaming over the sound, shouting obscenities, shrieking. I knew, I knew I was doing it, saying these things, but I still was powerless to stop it. And then I heard, over the noise and the screaming and the rush in my ears, something else, low and calm and soft and there were words I thought I knew but couldn't recognize, and it was Wolf's voice, he was there, he was whispering in my ear.

I wanted to tell him, I'M HERE, TRAPPED INSIDE THE ICE, I wanted to tell him in a way he'd understand, that I was in prison, and there was no sky, nowhere to bound. He whispered, but I was too far away, I couldn't understand, I couldn't even feel him, feel his breath on my neck though his face was next to mine. And suddenly I was angry, furious at the ice, at the prison, at whoever had locked me here, and I shouted in my head NO! YOU WILL NOT KEEP ME HERE! and LET ME OUT! And WOLF! FIND ME! I'M HERE, INSIDE!

And I heard that sound again, like the roar of water bearing down on me, and then I could see him clearly and he was holding me so tightly and suddenly I could feel him, I could touch him. And he was whispering hoarsely and all I could think was "What happened to his voice?" and all of a sudden his words made sense, he was telling me to come back, that he loved me.

As if I ever doubted it.

And the ice was bursting, and I realized I was inside it, I was shattering it. I felt like screaming and crying and whispering and shouting and dying and floating and laughing all together, as a wave of love and fear and joy and anger and memories and words and silence threatened to carry me away. It was too strong, too much to bear all at once.
But Wolf held on to me.
The last thing I heard was him saying my name.


I LIKE IT HERE IN THE KITCHEN.
I USED TO LIKE GOING TO WENDELLS LIBRARY, WITH ALL THOSE BOOKS, BUT EVER SINCE THE OTHER NIGHT ó WELL, I JUST CANT.
ITS NICE HERE. THE SUN IS COMING IN FROM THE HIGH WINDOWS AND THEY PUT A BIG CHAIR NEAR THE TABLE FOR ME SO I CAN SIT AND READ OR NAP AND THEY BRING ME FOOD, ANYTHING I WANT.
THEYRE BEING VERY NICE.
I THINK SOME OF THEM EVEN MEAN IT.

VIRGINIA HAS A BANDAGE ON HER HAND FROM THE BROKEN MIRROR, BUT OTHERWISE SHES OKAY. I MEAN OF COURSE SHES OKAY, SHES PERFECT. SHES SUCCULENTLY TASTY IN FACT. BUT I MEAN SHES OKAY OKAY. SHE IS WHO SHE IS.
I DONT KNOW WHAT I WOULDVE DONE IF SHE WASNT-
NO!
I WILL NOT OBSESS ABOUT THAT!
(IM VERY RELIEVED, THOUGH)
AFTER IT HAPPENED, THEY CARRIED HER UPSTAIRS
THEY TOOK ME UPSTAIRS TOO, THOUGH I DONT REMEMBER WHERE EXACTLY. IT WAS SOMEPLACE DIFFERENT AND I WANTED TO STAY WITH HER. BUT THEY WERE GUARDING HER, IN CASE THAT THING, OR DEMON, OR EVIL SPIRIT, WELL, IN CASE IT CAME BACK.

IT DIDNT.

THEY WERE FUSSING OVER ME AND I TRIED TO TELL THEM, IM OKAY, HOW IS VIRGINIA? BUT THEY DIDNT PAY ANY ATTENTION UNTIL PETE MADE THEM LET ME STAY WITH HER. I THINK THEY WERE AFRAID ID BLEED ALL OVER THEIR EXPENSIVE ROYAL CARPET, AND I DID, A BIT, BUT THATS TOO BAD.

ANYWAY,
I FELL ASLEEP ON HER BED, AND WHEN I WOKE UP, SHE WAS KISSING ME,
WHICH IS A VERY FINE WAY TO WAKE UP, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
THAT WAS YESTERDAY.
VIRGINIA CAME IN BEFORE, AND SHE SAT DOWN IN THE CHAIR WITH ME, THOUGH SHE WAS AFRAID SHED HURT ME, WHAT WITH ALL THE PLASTERS THEY PUT ON ME BUT IM OKAY, JUST TIRED, AND I WANTED TO HOLD HER AND NOT LET HER GO. WE DIDNT SAY ANYTHING, WE DIDNT HAVE TO, AND IT WAS LIKE THE WHOLE THING, THE WHOLE BAD SUMMER NEVER HAPPENED.
EXCEPT THAT IT DID, AND MAYBE WE WERE STILL A LITTLE SAD ABOUT IT .
THEY TOLD ME PETE LEFT.
JUST WENT BACK THROUGH THE MIRROR, WHEN HE SAW EVERYTHING WAS ALL RIGHT.
WITHOUT SAYING GOODBYE.
I FEEL, I DONT KNOW,
I MEAN, I NEVER REALLY HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS, BUT PETE WAS ONE
I MEAN HE IS ONE -
CRIPES
I DONT KNOW WHY HE LEFT WITHOUT US.

A LITTLE WHILE AGO VIRGINIA JUMPED UP AND SAID, WOLF! WOLF! LOOK WHOS HERE, AND I TURNED AROUND AND WENDELL WAS WALKING INTO THE KITCHEN WITH SOME OF HIS LORDS, LEANING ON ONE OF THEM, BUT WALKING ALL THE SAME. HE HAD A BIG BANDAGE ON HIS HEAD WHICH LOOKED REALLY SILLY WITH HIS HAIR CURLING OUT AROUND IT, BUT STILL, I WAS HAPPY TO SEE HIM.
I KNOW, I KNOW, I MAY HAVE LIKED HIM BETTER AS A DOG, BUT I DID FEEL BAD WHEN I THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD.
I EVEN GAVE HIM MY CHAIR.
HE SHOOK MY HAND AND SAID THANK YOU AND THEN, I'M SORRY FOR WHAT I SAID TO YOU, I WASNT MYSELF AND I DIDNT MEAN ANY OF IT.
EVERYONE APPLAUDED.
WELL, OKAY.
BUT LIKE I SAID ONCE TO VIRGINIA,
FLOWERS ONLY GROW WHERE THERE ARE SEEDS.
AND BAD STUFF DOESNT GET SAID UNLESS ITS IN YOUR HEAD ALREADY.

ITS TIME TO GO HOME.


The Chronicles of the Reign of King Wendell the First
Being the Sixty-Third Day of His Reign

Lord Rupert de la Tours de Namours


Minutes of the Privy Council Meeting

The Privy Council being convened, the Lords unanimously agreed that the Lady Virginia be held guiltless for the attack on His Majesty, as she was possessed by the same evil that had lately inhabited the King's step-mother. My own evidence of what Lady Virginia, or the entity within her, declared in the Library, served to substantiate this claim.

The King's advisors have discussed the question of what became of the evil creature when it departed the Lady Virginia. It is their opinion (in the words of the Necromancer General), that for want of another accessible body, it dissipated into nothingness. As for me, I certainly hope they are correct in this assessment. I think we shall never know.

Happily, His Majesty shall make a full recovery, by the word of his physicians. Signs have been seen to this effect, as well, by the Royal Astrologer, for which we are mightily relieved.

I have put forth the suggestion that there be a great celebration in honor of His Majesty's recovery (it would be a wizard party, I think!) but Lord Brenbury, being put out with me for what I recently wrote about him in these Chronicles, insisted that the suggestion be tabled. I am not amused.

King Wendell had hoped to entreat his stepsister to remain at the castle a bit longer (she is, after all, by his decree next in line to the throne!) but she demurred, citing her eagerness to see her father, and the insistence of her betrothed that they depart immediately. Perhaps it is unjust for me to say so, as he has now saved the King on two occasions, but I cannot help but think what a lot of bother he is!


August 17

So good to see Dad again!
We went straight from the Park to New York Hospital, where the EMT's had taken Dad after the fire. I called on the way and found out he was ready to be released. He was sitting in a wheelchair waiting for us, and other than bandages on his feet which keep him from walking, he was his usual cranky-funny self. He pointed out that we three make a motley bunch, bandages left and right, memory lapses, singed body hair and laryngitis. We hugged and kissed (he even hugged Wolf) and laughed a bit, but underneath it all we were all kind of serious.

When we walked through the burn unit, one of the nurses came running up to Wolf, all fluttery, asking if he was okay, and then yelling at him for leaving the hospital against doctors' advice. Then she offered to check him out right there. Typical. I could have been on fire and she would've stepped over me to flirt with him. He pretended he still couldn't talk, the coward! I assured her that I would be taking care of him, thank you very much!

One funny thing. I had no idea what to expect in the apartment. Much to my surprise, the whole Murray clan has been redecorating since the moment the fire department left. It's GORGEOUS.

I should say ALMOST the whole Murray clan. It seems Mr. Murray himself is in Bellevue for another 48 hours, undergoing tests and observation. Apparently the shrinks are trying to understand his "Master/Slave" fixation. And they think he started the fire during some kind of kinky sex play.

Wolf and Dad tell me I can't be blamed for what I did, what I tried to do. Wendell says he doesn't blame me, either. The Council says I'm not responsible.
I need to believe that. I mean, if they've forgiven me, surely I can forgive myself.
It's not that easy.
What is there inside of me that would allow someone, someTHING to take me over so completely? I can't help but think that there's a darkness there, or maybe an emptiness down deep. That maybe it's still there, waiting.
And then I think about Wolf, and the baby, and our life, and the dark thoughts are pushed away.
For a time.


  St. Ignatius Loyola House


Private Journal
Pietro Generale
August 17


It's incredibly beautiful here. And quiet. We Jesuits really know how to put a retreat together, that's for sure. Lovely surroundings. Dignified buildings. Intuitive guidance. Time. Lots of time. And room to walk, to pray, to contemplate. To think about...things.

When I think about what happened, it's hard for me to accept that there is another place, a reality other than our own, that exists beside us, so close and yet so incredibly different. Yet I have the evidence of my own eyes to prove it. It's harder still to accept that Virginia was possessed by something so alien and evil, so unreachable that God's Word could not vanquish it.

Or, in the end, did His power intervene in some way, so that Virginia could find her way back?

My faith feels bruised. That's why I took Ralph's offer to came up here, for a time. I did everything wrong - I disobeyed everyone, and ignored everything I knew. Until I understand my own actions, I can never think of being a priest. I don't know where I'm going next, whether I'll make it back to where I was. I need to rediscover what I believe in. I need to decide for myself what happened. I need to know the questions, if not the answers.

One thing I do know.

I was re-reading my journal, and stopped at the notes I made soon after meeting Wolf. I wondered then if he was searching for some kind of faith, and I questioned whether I could help him in his search. But I know now he's already found it.

His love is his faith. And Virginia is his religion.


Dear Diary,

I know not what I will do, now that I have run away from my village. But there was nothing for me there but a life as some farmer's wife, and surely I will find work here, as I am adept at both spinning and embroidery. I have heard that the young king here favors clothing at once grand and decorative, so - who knows? With luck and circumstance, It may yet be my destiny to live in a castle, as I have always dreamed! Though the other girls in my village say I put on airs, I know they are jealous of me, for I am convinced I am destined for great things.

Tonight I camped just outside of Kissing Town. The hostelry in town is much too expensive. Although the fire burns brightly, still I am chilled. The wind is brisk. I huddle near the fire -. the flames sparkle in my grandmother's onyx ring, my one prize possession. I hope I shall not have to sell i

Silly thing. Ah, I do so love to look into a fire, to feel its warmth on my...flesh.

~The End~


redchance @ aol.com
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