Saturday, November 05, 2011

Dark Paige pt6


     Lana pulled the Jeep up to the curb shut off the engine and killed the lights.  There weren't any lights on inside as far as she could see which was a good sign.  She had brought Nick's pistol just in case anyone tried to stop her but for what she had planned it would be easier if she was alone.  Paige had taken away all she had in the world and Lana intended to return the favor.  Lana wasn't violent and didn't have it in her to kill Dave like Paige had Nick but there was something Lana could do.   Something she missed and would enjoy.
     Like all the residents of Brookside criminally insane wing there was a reason Lana was there.  Lana liked to play with fire.  She loved to watch it devour and destroy.  Her love of fire had landed her in Brookside and tonight it would help her get even.  When Paige returned home there would be nothing left of the home she had built but charred remains.
     Lana wiped the tears from her eyes and got out.  She walked around to the back of the Jeep and removed two five gallon gas cans from the back.  She looked around her again just to make sure she was still alone and once she was satisfied she turned and headed up the long driveway to Paige's house.  Vengeance may have been what had brought her here but as she walked toward the fancy two story house the feeling that was strongest in her was excitement.  Lana couldn't wait to watch the flames frolic and consume.  To set them loose and watch them dance as they fed.


     Dave looked into his glass and found only half melted ice cubes.  The clock on the wall said 9:30 but it felt like he had to have been sitting much longer than three hours.  Time moved differently in the silence when all you had were your thoughts to keep you company.  His life with Paige played it's highlights on a loop and each time the bad memories took on a smaller role until he found himself focusing only on the good times, when they were happy, content in their love. 
     Each time the memories recycled he saw Paige again for the first time.  Dave had first met Paige in college.  She had worked in the library as an assistant and from the first time he saw her leaning over her cart of books arranging them to be re-shelved, her mouth forming the letters as she alphabatised to herself quietly, he was immediatly captivated by her grace and beauty.  When she looked up from her work and caught him staring she had smiled at him embarrased and from that moment he was in love. 
     That moment was the first of a cascade of memories that grew more powerful every time they replayed in his mind.  The memory of the first time he had kissed her soft lips, how happy and at peace he had felt when she first told him she loved him, how she had somehow managed to sob uncontrollably while smiling larger than he had ever seen her smile before her eyes sparkling with joy as he looked up at her from bended knee on the day he asked her to marry him, and her inspiring strength and beauty as she gave birth to their daughter and made him a Father. 
     Memories of moments Dave had taken for granted when living them now swam through Dave's mind as he waited in their kitchen for his wife's return.   Dave had retraced their life together and without realizing it worked his way through more than half a bottle of Scotch.  In his anticipation which had turned to nostalgia and longing for a better, simpler time he hadn't realized how deep into the bottle he had gone.
     As he filled his glass he stared blankly at the gun his brother had insisted he take and the sight of it began to disgust him.  Paige was his wife.  She was sick, yes, but he would never hurt her.  He took the gun from the table and shoved it into the back of the junk drawer near the table so that it would be out of his sight.  The alcohol and memories of better days had lowered Dave's guard to the possible danger of what might happen if it wasn't his Paige that walked through the door but the other.  The Scotch had also calmed his nerves and in his clarity he knew that the gun was only a security blanket.  He would never so much as point it at her much less pull the trigger.
     Dave knew that inside his wife there was another but in the end no matter how terrified of that side he was he still loved her deeply.  More than that he missed her immensely.  Besides he was far from innocent in what had happened that night.  He had brought out the other when he hurt his wife with his stupidity and selfishness.  She was just ill and imbalanced in her soul she was still his wife, still Paige.  She only needed support and help.
     The Doctors had explained it to him, the other side protects her from harm.  Dave's harshness had brought her forward.  He had hurt her in a severe way that is beyond physical, deeper, more damaging than physical pain.  In a way that protective side would not tolerate.  Even worse, once she was hospitalized he had turned his back to her entirely because he refused to understand.  Sitting here replaying their life together and remembering the real Paige he wished he could change all of it.  All Dave wanted now was to help her and he would make her see that she needed that help and that he would be there with her from now on because he loved her.  He believed that even though she must feel betrayed that she still loved him too.  The more he retraced his memories of Paige the less he believed she was coming to hurt him at all.   

     Lana walked along the perimeter of the house dousing the exterior in gas as she went.  She spread the fuel for her fire extensivelly on all sides of the two story house quickly yet thoroughly.  She had to make sure she was able to finish but she also couldn't bare to rush her love.  For Lana the preperation was the apetizer, the foreplay.  As she doused the wall in gas she fantasised about the beautiful display of destruction soon to come.  
     Childlike excitement grew in her at the thought of giving birth to the flames that would devour the home that held the life and memories Paige dreamed of returning to.  This would be the first time Lana had burned anything in anger, she was always just drawn to the beauty and power of fire; the thrill of releasing a force of nature.  This time was different for her.  A thought occured to her as she finished emptying the last gas can and took the book of matches from her pocket preparing to ignite the house in the final climax of this familiar ritual she realized that for the first time in her life what she was about to do felt right and just when before it had only felt dangerously exciting and exhilarating. 
     Lana pulled a match from the pack and lit it.  She watched the tiny flame for a brief second with love and fascination before using it to light the rest.  Once the book was ignited Lana tossed it toward the trail of gas she had left as her wick and watched with joy as the flames quickly ran toward the house and promptly consumed it in a gorgeous wall of hungry dancing flames.

     Paige's heart filled with excitement when Paul turned the truck onto her street.  She had finally made it home.  A few hours ago she had begun to fear this moment wouldn't come but there was her house and inside it she knew she would find Dave and Carrie waiting for her and they could finally be whole again as a family.  The miserable horror and crushing loneliness of Brookside Mental Hospital finally behind her.  Life could be normal once again and this time Paige would guard it closely and never let go.  She would never let herself slip like they said she had ever again.  She knew that if anything really was wrong with her it was nothing love couldn't endure and see her and her family through. 
     Tears of joy swelled in her eyes as Paul stopped the truck at the head of the driveway.  Paul threw the truck into park and turned toward Paige.  "You sure you don't want me to drive you the rest of the way to your door Hon?  You've got to be tired and that driveway is longer than my street."
     "This will be fine, thank you."  Paige responded without ever taking her eyes off of her house.  "I'm just so glad to be home."
     Paige turned toward Paul as a single tear ran slowly down her cheek.  Her sparkling green eyes glimmered like diamonds in the glow of the streetlamps and the pure and simple joy on her face instantly let Paul know he had brought her all the way. 
     He wondered just how long she had been away and where she had been because by the look of her when they had found her lost in the woods she hadn't been there all that long but her face told him clearly it had been quite some time since she had laid eyes on her home.  He could understand wanting to walk the remainder of the way alone just soaking in all she had obviously missed so deeply.  She opened her mouth trying to find the words to thank him for returning her home but for the first time in his life Paul clearly read a signal from a woman and raised his hand to show her there was no need for words.
     "It was my pleasure Hon.  Glad to do it."  He said gently.  "You've been gone for quite some time haven't you?"
     "Far too long." Paige replied as her eyes drifted back towards her home.
     "Well Honey, we enjoyed your company and there's no need to thank me.  I'm pretty sure I've never made a woman as happy as you are right now and after 3 failed marriages I finally did the impossible and made a woman happy.  I'm glad to get to be the first to say this, Welcome home Paige."
     That send the tears cascading down her cheek as her heart overflowed with joy.  "Thank you, so much Paul" Paige said and leaned over kissing him on both cheeks.  She even kissed the top of Franks camo hunting cap as he slummped passed out cold.  "Thank you too Frank"  she turned back towards Paul and laughed as she said "I think I'm going to have to get out your side.  He's out.  You may actually want to check his pulse."
     "I promised his wife I'd bring him home before Monday.  I never promised he'd be alive when I did."  Paul joked and opened his door to let Paige out.
     Paige waved to the men as they pulled away until the truck turned from her street and back out onto the main road.  Once they were gone she began to walk up her long driveway towards her home and the life she had left behind. 
     Immediately things began to seem off.  The house was completely dark and Dave always kept the front lights on and she knew he had to be home.  Even if he wasn't they were on timers to come on at dusk.  Then suddenly the wind changed slightly and the smell of gas filled her nose.  Before she could even fully question the smell she watched in horror and disbelief as flames came around the side of her house and quickly covered the entire base of her family's home in a rising wall of flames. 
     Horror filled her heart in a rush.  Images of Dave and Carrie trapped inside forced all else from her mind in an instant.  As panic tried to take it's grip on her Paige's world went dark.


Lana watched in her usual trance of fascination and wonder as the flames grew and climbed the walls of the house reaching higher and higher to reach devour and destroy all it could.  Peace and calmness filled her as she watched the force she had released feed and dance with hypnotizing grace.  She would have stood there in her trance until the last ember smoldered if not for the shriek of furious agony that cut through her body snapping her back to reality.  Immediately Lana knew Paige was home.  Paige was home and Paige was pissed.
     Lana took one last look at the raging beauty of the flames and was almost sucked back into its spell but this time her fear was stronger than her compulsion and she broke the fires trance and ran into the darkness as fast as her legs would carry her.


     Dave awoke in a panic.  He had passed out while waiting from the weight of the memories and strength of well aged scotch but that forceful scream cut right through the drain of the day and the hold of the liquor.  Fear sobered him in an instant before he even knew what he was supposed to be afraid of.  The kitchen was drenched in flickering unsteady light and Dave noticed that smoke was creeping slowly along the ceiling.  He looked behind him at the window and could see nothing but a wall of flames through the glass.  He looked in every direction and every window showed the same thing. 
     Dave grabbed the cordless phone from the wall and ran toward the stairs to the upper level in hopes he would find a way out or at least buy himself time for help to arrive.  He frantically dialed 911 as he ran up the stairs.
     "911, what is your emergency."  a blank voice asked so calmly it sounded absurd.
     "My house is on fire and I'm trapped inside."  Dave answered panic thick in his voice.
     "Stay on the line sir I need some information.  What is your address?"
     Dave rattled off his information quickly to the insultingly calm operator who sat in the comfortable safety Dave had always taken for granted.  He looked toward the stairs and saw the smoke as it climbed the top stair and headed up the wall and began billowing on ceiling of the top floor.  Fear settled in his throat at the sight of this and all at once he was mute and paralyzed.  The operator continued to calmly call for him repeatedly but he could not reply.  The world seemed to drift further away.  In the distant world of reality heard as if it was actually coming from  a TV in a distant room he heard glass shatter as panic firmly took its hold on him.


     Paige raced up the long driveway towards the burning house with blinding speed and cat like grace without any thoughts or fears slowing her down. Once she reached the house she leaped directly into the flames without hesitation crashing into the house through the large bay windows that she had picked out into the living room. 
     Giving no concern to her slashed clothes and skin she was immediately back to her feet and she rapidly and effortlessly ascended the staircase to reach the upper level where her daughter and husband would be sleeping.  Once she reached the top of the stairs she found Dave standing frozen in the hallway with the phone to his ear looking out the window of Carries room at the flames licking the glass searching blindly for a way inside.
     Paige grabbed Dave's shoulder and spun him around to face her.  Even though Dave knew she was coming, had been waiting for her all night long, the sight of his wife stole his breath and he dropped the phone and embraced her tightly.
     "Where's Carrie David?"  Paige asked forcefully.  Lost in the embrace Dave didn't hear her at first so she broke his embrace and fluidly grabbed ahold of him and shook him as she vigorously repeated her question "Carrie David.  Where is Carrie?"
     "She's staying with Ray and Susan."
     "Carrie isn't here?"  Paige asked making sure
     "No."  Dave answered in a haze of disbelief and confusion.
     "Good.  You stay right here.  Don't move."  Paige commanded and quickly went past him into the master bedroom.  Almost instantly she returned with the king size comforter from their bed.  "Follow me now!"  Paige ordered pulling him by the arm to avoid any hesitation on his part and guided him down the stairs. Once at the bottom Paige led Dave into the living room and wrapped him tightly in the comforter.
     "Jump through that window David.  Don't think.  Just jump through drop and start to roll."  Paige demanded
     Dave stood frozen staring at the wall of flames.
     "Dammit!  I said now!"  Paige roared and grabbed ahold of Dave firmly and forced him to run forward.  She dragged them both through the flame guarded hole in the window she had created and onto the front lawn.  She kept her grasp on him and rolled until she was sure they weren't on fire.  Once she had them clear of the flames and was satisfied he was safe she pulled Dave away from the house until they had reached the weeping willow tree he had planted for Paige back when they had first moved into the house.
     Paige could hear the Sirens approaching in the distance rapidly getting louder, getting closer.  She was running out of time.  She looked down at Dave who just stared blankly in disbelief as the fire gorged itself on their home.  Paige reached down and turned his gaze towards her.
     "David can you hear me?"  She asked intensely.  "I have to go soon David.  Are you listening to me?"
     "I can hear you Paige."  Dave replied weakly.
     "I can't let them take us back there David.  I have to get us out of here.  Until one day when it's safe to return.  Before I leave I want you to know one thing and make sure Carrie knows it too."
     "Paige, what are you talking about?"
     "Listen to me David.  She wanted nothing more than to be back with you.  Back with her family.  She loves you both very much David.  Tell me that you know that."  Paige demanded.
     "I do.  We love her too."  Dave leaned in close and whispered.  "Keep her safe and bring her back to us."
     "I will Dave.  Just promise me you'll never hurt her again."
     Dave looked up at her, deep into her cold empty eyes.  "I promise I won't hurt her.  You have my word."
     Paige nodded in understanding turned away from him and ran off into the darkness well before the police and fire vehicles filled the front yard in a swarm of sirens and red flashing lights. 
     Dave leaned back against the tree and smiled as his heart filled up with relief and a new hope for tomorrow.  His horrible ordeal finally at its end.

...The End

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