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Helen C. Downey

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In this chapter Brian is investigating why Lenore's husband Brian beats her. As Brians attorney he feels Brians past has something to do with why he beats Lenore. Enjoy.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11

     While Brian conversed with Ruth Lenore slept. Nightmares of Oliver beating her from previous times now merged in to a scene in her dream. A blood curdling scream emerged from Lenore. In her dream Oliver held a huge knife in his right hand while holding a man’s decapitated head in the other. His left hand grasped a curly haired head. Blood trickled from the jagged edges of the neck. Dark eyes protruded in-between a huge nose.  A speechless mouth screamed.  Oliver shook the head and ran after Lenore yelling hoarsely, “This is what will happen to you if you don’t obey me. I warned you enough, my patience has worn thin!

      Brian and Ruth heard others calling for help in the midst of Lenore screaming. Brian and Ruth rushed up the stairs, Ruth leading the way since she knew a short cut to the bed rooms. Lenore’s room was decorated in whites and mauve. White woodwork encased the windows and door ways with accents of mauve linens and deep mauve carpeting. Lenore sat up in her bed and stared blankly. Once in the bedroom Brian went straight to Lenore’s bed and took her in his arms. He hugged her tightly. His right hand stroked her long light brown hair while repeating to her that she was fine.
     “Lenore. Please wake up. You’re having a bad dream. Please Lenore it is alright now, I am here to protect you.” Brian continued to rock her gently in his arms holding her thin body close to his. She screamed a few more times. He thought he would loose his hearing if she did not stop. Suddenly he felt the side of his face moisten with her warm tears. The screaming stopped, but her body began to shake violently. Brian hoped she was not having some sort of seizure from the beating she had received recently.
     He gently moved her small framed body away from his in order to see for himself if she were having a seizure or just crying so hard. Looking into her eyes she appeared to be wide awake but he’d seen victims of abuse before, deer struck and silent. “What’s wrong Lenore? Tell me, please.” Brian’s pulse quickened as realized she might slip into another world where no one could reach her.

     Blinking her eyes Lenore released another stream of tears that wet the front of her night clothes; quietly she spoke “I was having the most horrifying nightmare. Oliver was going to kill me. He said he had killed before! Oh God Brian, please help me! Don’t let him get me” …shedding more tears she asked, “What am I going to do?” She wrapped her slender arms around his neck, and pulled herself closer, resting her head on his shoulder. Brian’s’ heart fluttered causing his stomach to do flips.

     Brian insisted she lay back down on her bed. After he dried her wet face with the sleeve of his white dress shirt he asked, “Lenore, can you tell me about the dream?”

     “I...I...guess so. Right now every thing seems so real. I thought I felt Oliver breathing near me, like those times when he starts to breathe heavily and then blanks out. That’s when he starts to beat me”

 Brian wiped her face off again and asked her to slowly continue with the dream. Lenore began repeating the dream. Brian listened and visualized what she was saying. Some of the events in her dream made him think about dealings he had with Oliver and also the places, times and incidences he seemed to have heard before. There were things that seemed to bother him but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

      Meanwhile Ruth sensed Lenore had calmed down enough to eat. Unnoticed she went back to the kitchen and returned with food for both Brian and Lenore.  She found another cram colored velvet covered chair from the recesses of the big room and placed it near the table. As she attempted to help Lenore get out of bed, Brain assisted Ruth in getting Lenore to the chair. Brian thanked Ruth for bringing his food he had started to eat down stairs. As Ruth walked her to the door way Brian asked if he could talk to her later after Lenore had gone to sleep.
     “Sure Mr. Greer. When you are ready just go to the kitchen and find the call system on the rear wall. The third knob down has my name on it, just buzz me and I will meet you in the kitchen when you need me.” Smiling at him she turned and walked through the doorway and made a left turn toward the stairs.

     They both ate in silence. Lenore was too shaken from the dream to talk about much of anything, and the pain was starting to come back. Brian noticed she began to toy with her food. She began to rub the back of her neck and forehead. He reached in his pocket and took the other half of the pain pill and offered it to her. She said nothing but picked it up and swallowed it with her milk. Ruth had always known that when Lenore was hurting either physically or mentally milk always calmed her down. Lenore looked up at Brian after she swallowed the other half of the pain pill she said to Brian,

     “I really appreciate all that you have done for me today. It really seems as if I have been having this continuous bad dream for years.”  Yawning, she decided to get up from the chair go to her bed, but feeling somewhat a tad dizzy she sat down again. “Brian, please help me to get back in bed. I just feel awfully dizzy right now.”

     “Sure! What was I thinking, I didn’t get up to help you,” he said as he got up from his chair and put one arm around her shoulders and the other around her waist. Slowly he walked her back to the side of her bed. Gently he picked her up and laid her in bed, pulling the covers up to her neck.
     Lenore yawned again and she closed her eyes. She snuggled in the blankets to make herself warmer since a sudden chill came over her. She wondered if it was the rehashing of old bad times that brought on the chill. What ever it was she didn’t seem to mind as she drifted off to sleep.  Brian quietly left her room partially closing the door behind him. He knew it was getting late, but not late enough that he couldn’t talk to Ruth for awhile.  He turned left heading down the hall way toward the stairs; he hoped he could remember how to get to the kitchen since he wouldn’t be able to follow the smell of food.

     As he reached the landing of the stairway he could smell strong coffee, so he just followed the scent until he arrived at the large kitchen. Ruth expected him at about this time since she knew Lenore would be falling asleep soon. In preparation for their meeting she had made an apple crumb cake which just came out of the oven and was cooling on the marble counter top. Beside the cooling dessert Ruth had placed two plates, two forks and two coffee mugs waiting to be filled with the strong black coffee she had prepared. Stepping into the kitchen he saw what Ruth had made and he offered to help her serve.

     “Oh, no thanks Mr. Greer. I am use to serving. It would be unnatural if anyone but I did the serving around here. It’s not that I am objecting to the fact that you help, but I have never had a man help me and I will not lower myself now. Please have a seat in the other room where we were before and I will bring in the dessert and coffee.” commented Ruth.

     Brian did as he was told and within a few minutes cake and coffee were served. They were both silent for at least ten minutes as they devoured the warm apple cake. Clearing his throat Brian decided to speak first. He realized that Ruth wouldn’t actually know what he wanted to ask. He forked the last morsel of the crumb cake and had another swallow of the dark strong coffee before he began his questioning.

     “When did Oliver start beating Lenore? Could you tell me approximately how many years ago it was?”

     Ruth wasted no time in answering, “It all began after her father disappeared. It was 1961, about two years after they had been married.”

     “Was there any particular reason why Oliver beat her?”

     Ruth shook her head as she put the cup of coffee down, “No. Something would set him off and Lenore would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But sometimes I believe it had to do with the disappearance of her father. Police and FBI investigated and searched for three weeks for Mr. Merivale, and then Oliver seemed to snap one day. I’ll never forget how he changed. The day itself had started off strangely. I never had experienced a thunder storm in December. The day was very dark, thunder lashed out ever five minutes at least for an hour before it poured down as hard as if a tornado had hit. The animals in the house were not to be found, many of the staff hid in their rooms’ afraid that trees would crash down on the house or that the power would suddenly go out. As for me I wasn’t frightened. It wasn’t until later that morning when I heard Mr. Merivale screaming on the top of his lungs. Oh, he has a temper, but not as bad as that morning. I went to his room to see if there was anything that I could be assistance to, but he wasn’t in his room. I heard his angered voice then followed by a gun shot. All this noise came from the billiard room. That is down at the other end of the hall way from his room. As I quickly and silently neared the door way I could see that he was still alive, but the room had been wrecked. In the corner slumped to the floor was an unknown woman blinking wide eyed at him. He began to yell again,”

     ‘Get up you little slut! I want you to finish getting dressed and to go down that secret stair way off my office over there, the way you came in. My secrets had better not spill out of that wretched mouth of yours or you will dearly pay just as the others have! Hurry, get the hell out of here before I aim this gun at your head instead of my precious mahogany billiard table!’
“It seemed as if steam was emanating from the top of his dark curly head.
     The young lady finished dressing and literally flew then disappeared to the next room. I heard a door open and close from the other room and realized that there was a secret door I never knew about. I hide behind the heavy mahogany door and peered through the crack of the door. I watched as Oliver combed his hair with his right hand several times. He walked over to a picture, pulled it away from the wall and then turned something, I heard clicking, and then he put the gun away.  His hand retracted an envelope and pulled out some papers which he began to read. I couldn’t see what he was reading but it must have upset him, his breathing got heavier with each word that he read. After about five minutes he replaced the letter in its envelope and placed it back in the vault. After he replaced the picture back into its original place he turned around and walked toward the billiard table. There he began to violently slam his fists on the slate.”

     ‘You fricking moron, why didn’t you listen to me? I gave you many chances to see it my way, how it could have been. Nooo, you wouldn’t fricking listen to me, you stubborn ass hole!’

        “I slowed my breathing down, making not a sound. I watched him, as much as the crack allowed; he paced back and forth across the billiard floor. Things were banged and objects thrown around. He uttered not a word. Then silence. I then heard stomping foot steps coming towards the doorway. I held my breath as he rushed through the open door way. I watched as he went down the hall passed the stair case toward Lenore’s room.  When he was out of sight I silently tip toed toward the hall way passed the stair well and slipped into a cubby hole along side a huge English armoire. Since I am always dressed in black, I easily blended in with the armoire.
     I heard a loud crash; Lenore screamed as Oliver’s voice thundered obscenities. It was unconceivable the things I heard Oliver say to Lenore. I did not move a muscle until Lenore’s shrill screams became garbled. It was then I heard a continuous thumping sound. Without even thinking about my situation my legs moved quickly to the door way of Lenore’s room. In silence I watched as Lenore’s body was slammed against the cream bedroom wall, her body now at least a foot off the floor. Oliver had both of his hands clasped tightly around each upper arm. His hands looked massive compared to Lenore’s delicate arms. He repeatedly slammed her against the wall and I watched as Lenore’s head bounce off her bedroom wall. Suddenly dark pink foam trickled down the corners of Lenore’s mouth. Her eyes bulged out probably from fright and pain. She uttered not a sound.  With Oliver’s back to me I quietly edged into the room and got behind the open bathroom door. Now I saw Oliver’s eyes. My heart beat faster and I began to sweat. I feared for Lenore. Every time his pupils turn black and the whites of his eyes get pink I know Oliver has turned in to a beast. He blanks out but continues to beat on his prey. Without any notice, Oliver let go of Lenore’s arms and I watched as she slumped to the floor. Her head slid sideways to her right while her bruised arms rested on either side of her hips. Oliver walked over to the window and slouched down in the pink floral Queen Anne chair. His arms hung lifeless over the arms of the chair with legs sprawled out in front of him…he just stared out the window. Looking back over to where Lenore was, I noticed the purple areas between her elbows and shoulders. I shuddered imaging the pain she felt. As I rushed to Lenore’s side I noticed that Oliver did not move. He was motionless in the chair.  I felt for a pulse on Lenore’s right cool wrist. Her pulse was faint and her breathing was shallow. Rushing to Lenore’s desk, I first dialed for an ambulance then dialed for extra staff members to come to Miss Lenore’s room immediately.

     The extra staff that arrived did not ask any questions but did exactly as they were told by me. Oliver was quickly escorted to his room with the assistance of four male staff. He was a zombie, looking straight ahead and not saying a word. He did follow commands that were sternly given to him though. The four male staff was able to get him down the hall, undress him, and get him into bed. They suggestively told him to close his eyes and not to say a word.
     Meanwhile I had already summoned the doctor who lived down the road. He came within two minutes and it was suggested by me to give Oliver something to make him sleep. This way if there were any questions about if he was the cause of Lenore’s accident he would have an alibi. I was paid highly to cover for Oliver’s misbehaving in the past, but nothing like this. Shame engulfed me as I watched the doctor inject 5 mg of Valium into Oliver’s left upper arm. He didn’t flinch nor say a word. He was naked except for his briefs and sleeveless undershirt. I covered him after the staff helped position him on his left side to hide the injection mark. Commotion was heard in the down stairs hall way. ( stop)********
     I saw two men enter Lenore’s bed room with a stretcher and I followed behind them. Lenore remained in the same position on her back with the pink foam down both sides of her mouth now dried. The rescue team assessed her for a pulse in which they said was weak but in fact it was still there. Gently they repositioned her in order to get a board under her so that they could lift her on the stretcher. Somewhere out of nowhere there was a third rescue person who was now inserting a needle in to Lenore’s right arm and an infusion of normal saline had been started.  I had volunteered to accompany Lenore to the hospital so that I would be able to give all the information that the hospital needed. A quick stop at Lenore’s private desk in her room and I grabbed all the hospitalization papers that I needed.”

     Ruth wiped her eyes as she finished part of her story to Brian and rested her head in her hands as if her brain held a heavy load.. Slowly Ruth stated, “I just can’t tell you much more tonight Mr. Greer. My brain won’t let me. I have prepared a room for you on the first floor, just down the hall here to the right as you leave the kitchen. I take it that you will be spending a few days here?”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“Mr. Greer I know everything. Now if you don’t mind I do have to go to bed, it’s after midnight. Good night Sir.”

     “Ahh, good night Ruth, I do hope that there is a telephone and an alarm clock in that room?”

     Looking at him through tears, “Well of course there is Mr. Greer. And I have even taken the liberty of setting out some night clothes and a new suit for the office or casual clothes to wear her. I didn’t know if you wanted to go back to work after you had been soo sick?” she smiled as she made that last statement. She had been hoping he would be able to stay for a few more days to help Lenore get back on her feet and for her to tell the tales of horror.

     Thinking less than a second Brian announce, “Yes I had seriously thought about staying around to help with Lenore and hopefully get more information out of you. I can see just from the small bit of information so far this is going to take more than a few nights to hear.”

“That is very true . For now let’s just get some rest. I will let you know in the morning when we will be able to set time aside to talk. Remember breakfast will be at seven a.m.”

     Brian watched as she turned around and walked to the other end of the dining room and slipped through a door. He then went out in to the hall way and after catching his bearings; he went down a few halls and found his room. Once in the room he made a telephone call to his office and left a message on the answering machine to let Margaret know that he was under doctor’s care and he would not be in for a few more days. Of course he did mention that he would try to check in from time to time to see if anything major was going on. Other wise she was to reschedule his calendar for next week since it was already Thursday and he was taking Friday off as well. Oliver wasn’t expected to be back until Sunday evening sometime. Lenore said he usually called on his way home to let her know when he would be arriving so that a late meal would be ready for him.
Now he headed to the bathroom to have a long hot shower. This would be the earliest that he would be going to bed in several years. He noticed that his favorite liquor was set on the stand near his bed. Now how did she know that he likes Scotch or Jack Daniels? And I am wondering where or how she gets all of her information…is she a witch?  Never mind! His mind was on over drive and he needed to calm down. Into the steaming hot shower he went.
     After putting on the silk pajamas that were given to him to wear he poured himself an 8 ounce glass full of Jack Daniels with a few ice cubes.  “This should do it.” he thought to himself. Sitting in the chair next to the stand near his bed he drank his drink heartedly and was finished within in about fifteen minutes. Thinking out loud he said to himself, “I really needed that! I haven’t had a drink all day! God that was good!!”
     It was still dark out side when Brian woke up. When he looked at the alarm clock he was surprised that it read 6a.m. Well this was more sleep than he normally got and he felt great. After he dressed in the casual clothes that were left for him he went down to the kitchen. He found the kitchen without any problems at all. In fact he was getting use to the whole lay out and was feeling very comfortable being at the mansion. It was 6:45a.m., when he had arrived in the kitchen, he knew Ruth would be preparing the breakfast at this time and maybe there would be time for them to talk again. He also knew Lenore would not be eating until after 8 a.m.

     During breakfast Ruth informed Brian that a special tray would be made for Lenore when she woke up. She would call the kitchen when she woke up because that was her normal routine. Therefore they had plenty of time to talk about Oliver Merivale and his bizarre behaviors.

     Ruth continued her tale of when Lenore had been first beaten by Oliver. “It was strange to watch him sleep for so long even though the doctor said he had given Oliver that much Valium before and he would only sleep for about four to five hours. It had been ten hours by the time he woke up. He did not ask where Lenore was nor was he even concerned. There was am element of vagueness about him that he never displayed normally. Off to his office he went after he downed a strong cup of coffee in three minutes. He appeared a little more alert, but I felt it was better not to tell him just yet about Lenore being in the hospital.”

    “Oliver did call me at the mansion to see how Lenore was and I did tell him about the evening before. I vaguely said he and Lenore had a terrible argument and there had been an accident. Lenore was now in the hospital for multiple bruises and contusions as well as a mild concussion. Oliver was silent over the phone and quickly he said he had work to do and hung up the receiver. I wasn’t so shocked he was unaware of this.”

     I found a poem on Lenore’s desk while she was at the hospital.  I was doing my routine dusting and here was a piece of paper. I was confused because it did not look at all like Lenore’s hand writing, it was too neat. The poem read:
Remember This

Remember this,
Take love where you find it
Don’t ask for any tomorrow
Sometimes there isn’t any.
Don’t ask me what I am
How could you understand that?
When you can’t understand what I am not!
All my life I have given everything
And asked for
But received not much
Now that I am older and wiser
I see it is time to want more…
A time to give less
I don’t expect anything free
But from now on I will pay for what I get…
Not what I am promised.
So love me now and I’ll love you
But don’t ask me about tomorrow
I know that I’ll still love you.
Who knows who will love me…
I don’t know!
You didn’t know me yesterday
And tomorrow was today

By Leigh M. 1961

      After reading the mysterious poem I put it away in one of the top little drawers. The writing didn’t look like Lenore’s, but the wording of the poem sure fit her feelings, I was sure of that. I wondered if there were any other poems stuffed in some of the other drawers of the desk. After opening just a few other tiny drawers I found a few more.”
     Ruth reached in her apron and produced folded paper. She slid the papers in Brian’s direction. With tears whaling up she asked Brian to read it to himself.

     Attempting to write things down and get them into perspective can be hazardous to ones' mind. Upon writing these memos of the events of a life time it will take many avenues and side streets. So I will continue down one road and venture the unknown...making it the known. Then with repetition I will know my way. This will not be an easy task, but with determination one can overcome the hurdles. While crawling, sliding, and sweating, one does slam into home base physically and mentally bruised. The struggle may be long or it maybe beyond ones' reach...which indicates one or the other does not care or the chemistry is just not there. Actually it is not whether or not the chemistry plays a part, it is how the psyche will react to the circumstances which are presented.
     One can not always do or get what one pleasures at the precise moment that they wish, so they blame another for not meeting their needs. Screaming...yelling... (they)...telling the other,” Here’s how you feel and this is why and how you are feeling this way!"  Meanwhile you take a few steps backwards thinking..."This is not how I am…you have made me into whatever kind of person YOU want me to be...YOU don't know ME at all!  YOU can't take the blame for your own actions, let alone your decaying thoughts of the world around you."
     Love is not in your heart...let alone and most definitely anywhere among the few brain cells that have survived the tremendous drenching of extra chemicals thus induced upon them. Your love is animalistic in that it plays a primary and of course an unfeeling role.  It is not consistent nor true to being real...since after being with one person you go to another and declare your love for them.
     We are not here to serve one another but to compliment each other. Each needs their own breathing space and freedom to be ones' self. If one hinders the others space or freedom, then the other begins to get smothered and shrivels into an unknown entity.  One then instills or trys to instill their thoughts into the weakened entity. BUT, the other does not always weaken as planned…leaving one to enter into rage and to attempt different means of control. When this is unsuccessful the screaming and yelling begin. A war/struggle begins…one wants to talk ...the other wants to control, ultimately leading to a stale mate.
Love not lust will always be there no matter what stands in the way. It is better to free the one you love rather than suffocate them with control. If the one you love can't see who you really are, it is their loss. On the other hand, if you can't see how they want to control you, you are as empty celled as they are or the under toad took you too far out. So pull out that thorn in your side, and sing your sweet beautiful song then fly away to free you both. Time will heal, yet time will bring you both together if you really want it to...even if it's a millennium.
 By Leigh M. 1960


After Brian read the letter he returned it to Ruth. He took Ruth’s hand with both of his to comfort her since he saw the tears stream down her cheeks.
     “I didn’t know what to think about that letter. Was it Lenore’s writing? I really didn’t know. Lenore had been suffering for a lot longer than I had realized. The most puzzling thing was did Lenore actually write these herself? The handwriting was so unlike what I was use to seeing.”
     “Another poem fell out from in between stacks of other papers of unusual words. I was starting to feel sick to my stomach from reading these saddened but true things I knew Lenore had been feeling. I put the papers away exactly where I found them and decided to call Lenore at the hospital to see how she was doing. Another poem managed to expose itself to Ruth as she was attempting to put the other papers away. It was if they were sprinkled with a magical potion and made to fly out at me for viewing.”

     “I could not read anymore. My heart began to beat faster than I had ever felt it beat before. My hands were clammy; sweat began to pour down from my brow and I felt as if I were going to pass out. All the papers were back in place, I thought. Maybe Lenore wouldn’t even notice. Lenore may not have written those papers, but the papers themselves were still her personal property in which I had no right to be looking at. The next time I had a chance before Lenore came home from the hospital I would get a better look at the writings and compare Lenore’s hand writing to other papers that I had.”

     “When I called the hospital I was told that Lenore was asleep, she was stable and the day of discharge would be in a few days. Just after I had called the hospital Oliver called and had given me the same information I just received. Hmm, he didn’t even sound concerned at all about Lenore. In fact he seemed a little more at ease and happy that he didn’t have to hurry home…he didn’t, that is not until the next evening did he even come home. He never bothered to visit Lenore at the hospital either. He did call her and started an argument with her about her having an affair with someone who was visiting her at the hospital. Another of his insane accusations he makes from time to time. I found out because Lenore called me and was crying about it.

     “All I could think of when talking to Lenore was, ‘My dear Jesus, Lord Heaven Almighty… What was that wretched man up to now?’ But I said nothing to Lenore. I couldn’t upset her more than she was already.”  

     Ruth sat quietly while a deep resentment towards Mr. Merivale brewed thicker by the minute. At just the mention of his name she trembled. He had never threatened her nor had he ever tried to hurt her, but she strongly felt that Lenore’s life was being threatened by him. There was a reason for all of this and she was determined to find everything out that she could. Now she had to only to calm herself so that she could concentrate on her investigation of Oliver Merivale. With Brian here she knew together they would find the answers.


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Reviewed by John Domino 12/25/2012
A story of faith in the Lord. Very nice to read especially on Dec 25th!

Merry Christmas Helen!

John Michael Domino
Reviewed by Donan Berg 7/21/2010
I'm sorry I got lost early. Perhaps the punctuation. Later parts interesting.

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