Saturday, March 28, 2009

Seven #1.3

Seven stood over Tara while she was still lying in bed. He reached over and pinched her nose closed. Her brow furrowed and she began snorting. Finally her eyes burst open and her mouth opened in a loud gasp.

"What the hell?" she panted.

"You need to get up," Seven smiled at her. "We need to get ready to go."

"Why can't you just shake me like a normal person to wake me up?"

"Because torturing you to get up is more fun."

Tara had lived with the Kazachovs for the last three months since her parents died when their house burned down. Tara had no next of kin and no one wanted to see her sent to a state house with poor kids and orphans so Tzviel and Seven took her in and treated her like a member of the family.

Tzviel accomodated Tara as much as he could by installing a new locking door on her bed and even adding on a second bathroom just for her. His was the first house in Cassoday to have an addition. Tzviel enjoyed having Tara around the house and loved watching her and Seven get closer. It was a big adjustment for all of them but from watching them you would really think they were related.

Tara came down the stairs and sat at the table with Seven and Tzviel in the kitchen. Tzviel had made eggs and hash browns which was, Tara joked, his specialty. Seven was almost finished with his breakfast and Tara liked to take her time eating.

"So what's the plan today, kids?" Tzviel asked.

"We're gonna go to Noria," Seven replied.

"Noria? That old town southwest of town? The town that died after the railroad came through Cassoday?" Tzviel asked. He knew his area history, mainly from his son.

"Correct. We want to look at the houses and the buildings that are still standing," Seven said. "It's a good distance away so that's why I wanted to get an early start."

There was a knock on the door and Seven quickly got up to answer it. "I've barely started my breakfast!" Tara said with her mouth full.

"You sit and eat," Tzviel said. "There's no way he'd leave without you," he smiled at her as she continued eating and Seven returned to the kitchen with Nicholas.

"Cassius Traveler"
Noria stood windswept in a field of native grass. Very little was left of the town that once rivaled Cassoday. Only a few houses stood, the first one that the three approached was a worn wooden frame house with an attached shed area in the back. Nearly all the windows were broken out and the house was layered with dust and dirt. The three arrived at a level area of land that was once the Noria Main Street. A couple blocks down the road was the remainder of the downtown area. A couple of shops, boarded up and forgotten. On the other side of Main Street was an old schoolhouse.

The wooden school stood alone on the corner, it's front door stood open to the coat room and the door to the school was boarded shut. Seven, Nicholas and Tara looked around the school, trying to find a way in but finding only small broken windows and boarded up doors. Seven looked up at the bell tower and saw that the bell was still there. He wondered what would happen to the bell when the school was finally demolished.

The crown jewel of Noria and what Seven really came here to see was the old County Poor Farm. The Poor Farm was a three story brick building that housed poor and indignant people of the county. When Noria collapsed, the Poor Farm was still used by the county but soon getting to the Farm became more complicated and the Farm was moved to the county seat of Westmoreland. The old building now stood abandoned near the center of town.

The three approached the building and saw that the front door was opened and hanging off of one of the hinges. Seven carefully pushed the door open all the way and stepped into the entry room of the Poor Farm. Seven immediately noticed the once-elaborate markings of the entry room. The entry room took up the entire bottom floor and included a lobby, a sitting room, employee rooms and a kitchen. Everything in the kitchen had been stripped--probably by the county for the new Poor Farm--and everything was covered with two inches of dust.

"I'm going to go upstairs and look in the rooms," Seven said and began heading upstairs the rickety steps. "You two can stay downstairs if you want."

"I'm coming with you," Tara followed Seven upstairs while Nicholas stayed downstairs.

When they got upstairs, they look at how the second floor was set up. Rooms lined each side of the hallway and another stairway was at the other end of the hallway. A large window was also located at either end of the hallway. The second floor was in slightly better shape that the first floor but the wood floor seemed more rickety. Seven and Tara looked into each room and saw that some still had beds and other furniture while others were completely empty.

"Seven?" Tara asked as they entered one the rooms.

"Yes?" Seven replied as he looked around the room, completely avoiding Tara's gaze.

"What are we?"

Seven finished looking around the room and looked at Tara. "What do you mean?"

"We've been living together for the last few months and I just want to know if we were still friends or...what," she said, hesitating at the end of the sentence.

"Of course we're still friends. Why wouldn't we be?"

"I'm glad we're still friends but I..." Tara paused then walked up to Seven, leaned up and kissed Seven. Her eyes closed and Seven's eyes slowly closed in response. Tara moved her hand into Seven's hair. Seven wrapped his arm around Tara's body.

"Hey, guys, what's going on in...whoa!" Nicholas said as he walked into the room. "Sorry, I didn't mean to barge in. I was just wondering what you two were doing in here. You were taking a while."

"We were just...admiring the room," Seven covered up.

Seven, Tara and Nicholas exited the building and began walking back to Cassoday. All were silent as no one wondered what to say. As they were walking they were approached by a tall black man with white hair. He was staring straight ahead but stopped right in front of them.

"Are there three of you?" he asked.

Everyone looked at each other. "Yes," Seven answered.

"Then I have found you. I'm am Cassius Traveler and you are the Three Apostles."

Next Issue:
Cassius explains what's going on and Nicholas decides to take control of his life.