Hi, just another THW WOLFMAN fan fiction.
Please indulge me.
(A work in progress. )
Months after the death of Lawrence Talbot, Gwen confesses something to Mrs. Aberline that will change Miss Conliffe's life forever.
THE ROAD TO BLACKMOOR
She was regal and quite lovely as she sat on the tan blanket, meters away from the Talbot family mausoleum, bathed in the light of the full moon. Her hair was prematurely white, had been since she was twenty eight, and - if one looked close - there were small lines of suffering on the skin close to her green eyes.
Three full moons had passed since the first time her husband changed and although she had come to accept the growls and howling that came from within the structure, the transformation and what it did to her beloved still made the woman heartsick. If only they could find a cure.
She would never forget that first gruesome morning when her husband came home early, bruised and stained but not from his own blood, his clothing torn and his expression -- that of a man who had witnessed the horrors of hell.
“She was right.” Francis Aberline had gasped as he collapsed into her arms, sobbing like a child, something Mrs. Emma Aberline had never witnessed before from her husband. Their children had not yet awakened, thank God above, and their housekeeper, Mrs. Thornson, would be arriving very shortly.
She took him upstairs where he could wash, change clothes, and sleep. He would not go into work today, Scotland Yard could do without him for awhile. She would send a boy later to tell his superiors he had grown ill, perhaps an on-going problem from the injury he had sustained weeks ago in Blackmoor. This could be the only explanation for not showing after the carnage witnessed by so many the evening before.
Every officer at the station would be vying for the case. Normally the well decorated Inspector Aberline would be the first to be approached … but not lately. There were too many deaths around him -- to many cases where life was inexplibily lost. Many on the force thought Aberline was unstable, despite his distinguished service record.
That wolf creature had returned, killed six people during the night, and it would be said - days later - that the authorities were at a loss. They had no idea who or what it was. And, of course, all eyes would fall on Aberline.
Lawrence Talbot had died a month before this. He had been blamed for the deaths in both Blackmoor and London although no one exactly knew why or how a single man could cause such chaos. Inspector Aberline had been so sure Talbot was some kind of psychotic monster … and eventually the very idea that a man had changed into some kind of wolf creature had been dismissed by the newspapers They called “mass hysteria“.
The killer was a mere madman, like Jack the Ripper before him. The difference was that this fiend was powerful, psychotic and allowed himself to be seen. And now he was dead. The populace had believed it for weeks ….
Yet, here he was again. Obviously Lawrence Talbot was not the predator everyone thought he was, poor man. His name was posthumously cleared by most … at the expense of Aberline’s reputation.
Miss Conliffe understood, even if she did not want to believe it, and now the Aberlines truly understood the curse and its effects. She had come to the Aberline household in London just weeks after both Lawrence and his father, John Talbot, had been put to rest. Of course, there was not much of Sir John to bury, the man having burned to death when his estate went up in flames. But Lawrence was forever at rest, interred in the family crypt … along with Ben and their mother …
… where Francis was currently running rampant …
Poor Lawrence, dead from a gunshot wound to his chest, killed by the woman who loved him. And how Gwen had tried to make Francis Aberline understand that he too was now cursed. She owed it to Lawrence … and Ben … No more should die from this terrible curse. Aberline would become a monster at the next full moon … and only then would he believe her.
He should have believed her at once. After everything he had witnessed he should have believed every word she said.
Yet, Miss Conliffe could not say “I told you.” to this man. She felt responsible for what had happened to him. If she had allowed Aberline to shoot Lawrence when he had the chance he never would have been bitten. It was her fault and she would regret it until the day she died.
Mrs. Aberline watched as Gwen approached her, her heavy dark cloak shielding her from the cool night air. In her hands she held the key that locked the gates within the crypt. They would wait until morning, when he was back to himself, to let the Inspector out. Lawrence had told her of this place, how Sir John had locked himself in, and it was all she could think of to do. Lives saved, hours on a train from London, to lock him in at the first indication of night and a full moon.
Then they would return to London, life would go on, and they would continue to try and find a cure. So far there was no gypsy who could help them. They tried to approach it methodically but any professor or man of science they approached spouted theory but no real cure for the affliction. Some laughed outright at their questions.
Eventually, they prayed, someone would help them.
Meanwhile, Gwen sat on the blanket next to Emma Aberline and took a deep breath. The night was brisk but the stench from the mausoleum made the fresh air welcome. Mrs. Aberline brought some apples and, more important, a flask of plum wine to keep out the cold -- and to numb their minds against the screams from the cell. She pulled them from her cloth bag and silently offered a portion to her companion.
Gwen took an apple but raised her hand against the spirit, “Thank you, no.”
Mrs Aberline shrugged mildly and took a sip. She then gently smiled at the younger woman, “You are kind to do this with us. You don’t need to really. I could take care of Francis myself, you know.”
“You shouldn’t have to. Not in this circumstance. ” Gwen replied and looked over to the mausoleum, “Besides, it gives me an excuse to visit.”
Of course. Mrs Aberline should have thought of that. Gwen was visiting the final resting place of her beloved, Ben Talbot. And perhaps even Lawrence Talbot. Francis had said the younger Talbot brother and Gwen had grown close. She was still grieving for them both. Perhaps she always would.
Gwen stretched a bit and laid back on her elbows, her cloak falling away. In the bright moonlight she was clearly revealed.
Emma Aberline, the mother of two children* knew what she was seeing, “Miss Conliff, are you expecting a child?”
Gwen started and quickly tossed the cloak over the swell of her mid section. She then sat up and sighed, “Yes.” She watched as the woman silently counted the months and weeks in her head. She would save her the trouble. “It belongs to Lawrence Talbot.” Gwen said and closed her eyes.
One night together.
A beautiful, lovely encounter that she would never regret.
*Note - The real Inspector Fredrick “Francis” Aberline and his wife, Emma, never had children.
TO BE CONTINUED.
The women sat together without speaking for a long while.
Mrs. Aberline fingered the trim on her purple shawl as she listened to the growls from inside the mausoleum. She also looked up at the moon, what some called The Goddess of the Hunt, and wondered if she was laughing this evening; amused by the sight of two women waiting on a monster and being very awkward with one another in the process.
“What you must think of me.” Gwen murmured, resting on the blanket, her hands tucked behind her head. She had dispensed with her dark bonnet, laying it beside them on the blanket, and had allowed the cloak to fall free once again, her swollen stomach was revealed once again under the heavy skirt she wore.
“It‘s none of my business.” Mrs. Aberline said, clearing her throat. “But if you would like to unburden yourself …” she offered.
Gwen almost laughed. The woman was dying of curiosity but wanted so much to appear dispassionate. She sighed and hesitated. Perhaps someone else should know. If, for no other reason, the story needed to be told to a person of intelligence who would not sensationalize the matter. One day the story might have to be disclose to others and Gwen felt she could trust Emma Aberline to tell it well.
“You already know most of it. How Lawrence was attacked and how he, as the werewolf, had bitten your husband.“ Miss Conliffe lay a hand on her own stomach, “But this happened on the road to Blackmoor ...”
Mrs. Aberline folded her hands and listened.
She road like the wind, or the devil possessed, the horse’s stride as desperate as her own thoughts.
He had left her there, in the antique shop, without a word.
Gwen went over it again and again. They kissed and it was passionate and perfect, until that appalling knock on the door. She told Lawrence to hide, that she would get rid of whoever it was, then they could make plans.
Earlier, she had given him some of her father’s clothes, the ones he kept in the shop when he took a full weekend to tidy the place from top to bottom. They were clean from their last washing and had plenty of wear. There were also some more dressy street clothes, left by Ben during his visits to London, and she hesitated only a moment before giving them to Lawrence. She did not know why she didn't throw them away after Ben died ... But was grateful Lawrence never asked where they came from. Perhaps he already knew.
In retrospect, he never really agreed to stay in the shop, to hide from view as she asked.
Silently, he held her for a moment longer. Lawrence then pulled back and looked into her eyes with so much regret she nearly wept. At the time Gwen thought he was merely sorry he had put her in harms way. Or perhaps he regretted that they had thrown caution to the wind and kissed as if their lives depended on it.
Gwen should have known right away that he was going to depart -- but she turned and answered the insistent banging on the shop‘s backdoor anyway. Damn that Aberline.
Lawrence was going to his father’s estate to stop him any way he could. Gwen was not so naïve that she could not understand what that meant -- and it made her more frightened then ever. If Sir John was what Lawrence said he was, that he had murdered both Ben and their mother, Lawrence could find himself in more danger then even he could imagine.
And knowing Lawrence Talbot’s threshold of guilt, dealing with old and new emotional ordeals, including the killing of ones own father, it would not surprise Gwen or anyone else if he attempted to take his own life.
Oh, dear Lord, she had to hurry! She had to find that gypsy and get her to help him. Maleva was the key. She had to be the one with the answers!
He walked practically none stop for a week, only taking time to eat and sleep for a few hours each evening. He could not stay in one place for very long for fear of being seen. Lawrence was also on a deadline. He wasn’t entirely sure how long it would take him to walk from London to Blackmoor.
Yet tonight, with the dark clouds coming in threatening rain, in this small shack on the side of the road, he felt safe. He hadn’t seen anyone for days and that was a relief. -- but he only had one more week before the moon was full again. If Lawrence’s calculations were correct that should give him exactly a one day grace period to get to Talbot Hall before the change would over-come he and his father.
One day … to kill Sir John then himself. One day to save so many more lives. The Talbot name would crumble into dust, as it should. Singh could finally go home and live the life that was taken from him during his servitude with Sir John.
And maybe, just maybe, if he acted quickly enough his soul would be saved.
His only regret was Gwen. He prayed she would find someone new to love, a man of quality, and he would be good to her, allowing her to forget him -- and Ben -- and the tragedy that was the Talbot name.
A flash cut across the darkening sky followed by thunder. The rumble seemed to continue for a long stretch of time. Lawrence looked into the small shack, at the blanket he had found and tossed onto some hay. It made an adequate bed, better then the cold, hard ground.
Lawrence knew herders would often take days to trek with their cattle over these lands. Perhaps the building had been built for them. A place they could rest their weary bodies while their animals fed on the fresh clover about the structure. There was even a small stall for one or two horses.
Again, the thunder rumbled.
But no. It wasn’t thunder. It was the beat of horse hooves against the ground. Someone was coming down the dirt path at a rapid rate of speed. Perhaps they were trying to get home before it rained.
Lawrence ducked into the building and watched through a slat as the white mare approached. The rider was female and familiar. His eyes narrowed. It was difficult to see because it was growing darker as the storm clouds approached. A panic suddenly struck Lawrence. What if she stopped here and found him? She might report having seen him to the villagers and they would no doubt be on the attack, especially after the deaths of so many of their own.
But she wasn’t stopping. She wasn’t even slowing down.
Lawrence’s eyes widened when he saw who it was. “Gwen!” he shouted without realizing he had done so. She rode past the shack just as he called her name and she instantly slowed down. He knew he shouldn’t but Lawrence could not help stepping from the building and calling to her again.
Gwen heard him and turned the horse about. “Lawrence?” she called in reply and rode back. By the time she came to him and slid off the horse into his awaiting arms, the rain had come.
Lawrence rushed both she and the horse into the building. He took the mare to the stall and tied her. He went outside again to pull some clover and tossed it in the feeding bin.
He then turned to Gwen, who was standing inside the doorway, looking out at the rain but also at him. Her hair was down and in the softness of twilight, despite the rain, she was even more beautiful then usual, if that was possible. “Where were you going?” he asked, resisting the urge to run to her and take the woman in his arms again.
He found a candle in his nap-sack and lit it as she spoke.
“The gypsies are a two day ride from here. Maybe there is something they can do.”
He placed the candle in a sconce near the stall, “Gwen, no one can help me.”
TO BE CONTINUED.
Last edited by Beckers (2011-04-06 01:08:11)
(warning - this segment contains mature but not graphic content)
“I have to try!” she unexpectedly cried. Anger, frustration and affection bubbled to the surface in a heart broken sob.
Lawrence was there, holding her, so sorry for the grief he had caused.
“I love you!” Gwen moan once again, her tone impulsive as her body pressed against his.
“You can’t love me … you can’t …” Lawrence murmured, stroking her hair. “Please Gwen, listen to me …”
She looked up at him, her face very close to his, close enough to feel her warm breath against his cheek. “Lawrence if you can honestly say you feel nothing for me, that what we shared back at the antique shop was not real, I will believe you. But you can’t tell me how I should feel. I do love you … and I always will.”
How could he lie and tell her no? He was not that good an actor. His body could not stop itself from reacting to her touch and his lips suddenly pulled at hers, at first tenderly, memories of the antique shop not long out of either of their minds. Then, with a fiery, frantic passion, which spoke of not just need but also anguish.
“Gwen … oh, Gwen …” he murmured between kisses.
He pulled at the laces and clasps of her blouse and skirt. She fumbled with the buttons of his shirt. Slowly, deliberately they made their way to the hay and blanket as the rain poured, the thunder sounded and the lightening flashed across the sky.
“It shouldn’t be like this.” He murmured in the dark, holding her close, marveling at the supple texture of her bare skin against his own. Self-reproach shown in his eyes despite the incredible ecstasy they just shared.
Outside it was still raining but not with the force it had an hour earlier. Their little shelter had held, no leaks, and Gwen’s mare was quiet and content.
They had covered themselves with her wide cloak, against the chill, enjoying the warmth of each other’s body.
“Don’t think that, Lawrence,” She raised her head, one hand lay across his chest, positioning herself to look into his eyes, “Ben would understand. He would never begrudge either of us a moments bliss, especially now, during all this dreadfulness.”
She did not say it would be an entirely different matter if he was alive but Lawrence understood. Even as a boy his brother was very understanding.
“It’s not that. I‘ve made my peace with Ben.” His eyes, caught by the candlelight, looked past her. A hand raised to touch her loose and lovely hair. “It’s this.” Lawrence picked a stray piece of straw from a lock and flicked it away, “You are an exquisite, respectable young woman. This time together should have came while resting in a large bed with silk sheets, perfume, and an ice bucket with champagne -- with the one you love.” Again, he looked past her, the smile fading. “Not a monster who could never bring you anything but unhappiness.”
“Stop that.” Her tone was firm, “Right now I am as far from being unhappy as I could ever be.” Gwen’s gentle touch moved from his chest, her finger tips resting on his firm chin and mouth. “You are not a monster. This happened to you through no fault of your own, Lawrence. I heard what happened. You ran after that gypsy boy, trying to save his life. Then you were attacked. But more then even that you were avenging Ben. You were trying stop your brother’s killer. And besides,” she added quickly before he could raise any form of an objection, “who is to say that what you’ve described is my vision of perfect romance?”
Lawrence could not stop the lop-sided smile, a brief moment of merriment, at her words. “Then what is your vision of ideal romance?” he asked, taking pleasure in their intimate game.
She returned his warmth, kissing him lightly on the lips, whispering - “Oh, something a bit more … rural. And yes, with the man I love …”
But even as she spoke Gwen could not disguise what they both knew as reality. She felt it too. Guilt that she could feel for Lawrence what she thought she felt for Ben. Honestly, she did love Ben, had loved him enough to agree to be his wife. He had been secure and kind to her. And if the marriage had happened they might have been very happy.
But Lawrence …
Her adoration for Lawrence, his brother, was passionate, forbidden and all consuming. She was so confused by their attraction to one another. It was improper yet perfect. In the confusion were moments of faultless clarity. The way he held her now, how their bodies had fit together so flawlessly, eliciting passions she never thought possible … And still, she knew. There was no future for the two of them together. The best they could hope for was this, a magnificent night together, filled with love and delight ... Away from the prying eyes of those who could never understand what they meant to one another.
NO. Gwen refused to believe it. There had to be a way. Lawrence needed her help and no matter what he said she would give it to him.
“I have to ask you something.” Lawrence began, his hand moving from her hair to gently run down the softness of her bare back, “Did I take …? Was this your …? You felt …” and he realized he couldn’t ask her. Yet, that male part of him, the descendent of knights and conquerors, perhaps even that age-old need for any man to know that a woman was truly his, made him curious.
“I was a virgin.” She said with an astonishing boldness, smiling and meeting his green eyes once again, “And thank you for being gentle and so very considerate. You are a wonderful lover, Lawrence.”
More guilt. Once again, he had taken what should have been his brother’s. Yet, how could he apologize for it? She was the woman of his dreams.
“You’re okay?” he asked her, seriously. Honestly, Lawrence could not even remember taking a virgin in all his thirty five years. His first was an experienced woman from a brothel, an arrangement made possible by his slightly older American cousin. That was when he turned eighteen and was eager to know what all the fuss was about. He was not disappointed.
Then, when he became an actor, the circles he associated himself with were not exactly noted for their purity and propriety. As a matter of fact he recalled one eventful evening, a year or two back, when the actresses that played Ophelia and Gertrude invited him for an evening of pleasure -- together. He had a bit too much to drink that evening and agreed without hesitation. Looking back, it probably wasn’t one of his best decisions. The company had to eventually find another Gertrude when the actress, in a fit of jealousy over who had been the better partner, tripped Ophelia on stage during her flower soliloquy.
“So you are wondering what a nice girl like me is doing in a place like this -- proper English girl that I am …?” Gwen smile was contagious, “And I am.” she chuckled faintly.
“You are.” Lawrence could not deny it any longer, “I do love you, Miss Conliffe.”
Once again, Gwen leaned forward and placed her mouth on his, savoring the contact as his arms embraced her. Slowly, he turned her over and they lead one another, once again, into a world of desire and pleasure but, more then this, an absolute love -- unlike either had ever experience before in their lives.
And its as yet unknown consequences.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Last edited by Beckers (2011-04-06 01:09:04)
“He seduced you.”
A snarl came from within the mausoleum, as if the unseen wolfman too was accusing Lawrence Talbot of being a cad.
Gwen looked steadily at Mrs. Aberline, sitting beside her on the blanket, the full moon slowly ascending to the west. She spoke with no apology. “A mutual seduction, I think.” Gwen now half smiled with memory and sadness. “We both fought it, our feelings for one another, but in the end fate brought us together. And this,” Gwen contentedly and affectionately tapped her belly, “was the result. I’d like to think of it as God’s way of giving Lawrence a second chance. Me too for that matter. An heir.”
“An illegitimate child.” Emma Aberline could not hide the disapproval in her tone.
Gwen had made a mistake in thinking the woman would take in her tale with an open mind. If anything, Mrs. Aberline hadn’t listened at all. Or, if she did, she was too old to understand a true blessing when it was presented. Still, she was not the only one. When Gwen had told her father she was with child his expression shown not only shown shock but a deep disappointment. She could almost hear him say “I thought I brought you up better then this …”
“This baby,” Gwen spoke slow and clear, as if to an obtuse child who refused to understand something substantially uncomplicated. “was the result of two people being in love. If Lawrence hadn’t died we would have had a future together. I know it. And he would have been a wonderful father.” Gwen’s voice shook as she spoke. “We would have been a family.”
Emma’s expression softened slightly, not entirely believing the younger woman - perhaps thinking her a bit gullible - but sorry for her own discourtesy. Her tone was not unkind as she asked, “What are you going to do?”
With a sigh, appreciating her companion’s attempt at civility, Gwen looked over to where the great Talbot estate once stood. It was now nothing more then burnt stone and timber. In the moonlight she could almost see the shadows of all those who came before. It was sad to behold but, in its own way, also a relief.
“Except for my father and yourself no one knows about my condition. I’ve been staying away from the antique store, making it easier for me to come here to be with you and Inspector Aberline.” she explained, “Father wants me to go away for awhile, have the baby, then come back. He said we can tell friends and family that we took in a foundling from an orphanage. He knows people, he said, and they can arrange the paperwork.”
“Is that what you want to do?”
“I wouldn’t care if it was myself alone. I would announce it proudly to the heavens and the world. But for my father’s and this child’s sake I’m willing to go along with the pretense.”
Mrs. Aberline looked at Gwen, pensive but sympathetic. This day and age, she thought, what else was there to do? “Very wise ...”
“But I want our baby to know who his father was. Some day I’ll tell him or her … some day.” But even as Gwen said this she wondered how she would tell her child the truth, of the lunacy that surrounded its birth, and not scar him or her for life.
Emma nodded, unsure if anything she said might be misconstrued as judgmental. To soften the blow of her earlier comments she asked, “How did you and Lawrence part? It was amicable?”
Gwen smiled, comprehending her curiosity.
She was laying on her side and awoke to the smell of straw, damp air and the sound of birds chirping. Miss Conliffe’s back was curiously cool. She smiled remembering his warmth covering her, his ardent and urgent kisses on her spine and neck., his loving words in her ear.
Gwen turned over and was disappointed to see Lawrence gone. She sat up and saw her own clothing, skirt, blouse, camisole and other under garments, laying at the foot of her cloak-cover -- but his clothes were missing.
For the briefest of moments Gwen panicked, thinking he had abandoned her, had started off to Talbot Hall without so much as a goodbye. But then she heard him outside with her mare.
Lawrence had brought her out of the stall to graze. “Good girl. Don’t go far.”
Gwen heard him speaking soothingly to the mare and she smiled.
It was a cool morning but the rain had stopped and she quickly pulled on her under garments and boots. Gwen picked up her skirt and was preparing to step into it when Lawrence came in through the shack’s open entrance.
They smiled gently and a little self consciously at one another.
Lawrence came over to Gwen and silently helped her dress. Gently, he closed the clasps on the back of her blouse as she buttoned the skirt together. When he was finished he put his hands on her shoulders and asked, “Breakfast?” into her ear.
She smiled and turned to him, “What are you offering?”
“I brought bread and cheese.” he said with a slight grimace, “I’ve been chewing on both since I left London.”
She nodded, “I have some dried meat and fruit in my saddlebags. We’ll do a little exchange.”
Gwen watched as he picked up the cloak from his … their bed. He shook it out and slid it over her shoulders. “Come.” he said.
They walked outside, his arm draped around her shoulders.
Her mare had already been prepared for its morning ride.
Gwen was a bit saddened by this but it was inevitable. She and Lawrence had to part.
He took a couple apples from her pack as well as some beef and replaced them with some bread and cheese. He stuffed his share into his own sack and softly laid it on the ground beside them.
Thoughtfully, almost reluctantly, knowing what it would signify, Lawrence gently took her by the arms and pulled her to him for a hug. He was pleased when she wrapped her own arms around him and laid her head on his shoulder. “I need to ask you something. I need you to promise me you will do something, Gwen.”
“If you are ever in a situation where someone asks how you feel or felt about me … you mustn’t tell them that we are in love.”
She pulled back and looked into his eyes, puzzled. “Why? I feel no shame, do you?”
“It could go badly for you. Gwen, it wasn’t that long ago that you loved and were engaged to my brother. If others found out about this -- I could not bear it if they hurt you or shunned you.”
“Lawrence, that wouldn’t matter to me.”
“It would matter to me, Gwen. My own reputation means nothing anymore but you … it‘s much different for a woman.”
Gwen did understand why he was asking this from her. A woman’s status was a delicate thing in 1891 London, England. Being invited to all the right parties and being known by the right people not only spoke well for the woman but her family name as well. Halfhearted, she nodded, adhering to his wishes. “I have something to ask you.” At his nod she said, “I want you to promise me that after you do what you feel you must at Talbot Hall … you will not kill yourself.”
His eyes widened a little, stunned that she had guessed that he had, indeed, planned to kill himself. ‘Gwen …”
“There is a chance I’ll find a way of stopping this terrible thing that has happened to you, Lawrence. I might be able to save you. I’ve read books and did research … Please promise me there will be no suicide attempts. No shooting yourself of throwing yourself over the waterfall … Nothing like that.”
“Gwen, I can’t turn into that monster again. I just can’t. The things it does …”
“In that case lock yourself up. In the mausoleum as your father did before you. I’ll find the key to let you out in the morning and we will stop this. I know we can, Lawrence. Please promise me.”
He stared at her, wanting so badly to tell her it was impossible-- but he could deny her nothing, especially with those beautiful, nearly tearful, eyes looking up at him, beseeching. “I promise.” Lawrence said.
They clung to one another for a few minutes more then he helped Gwen onto her horse.
“Goodbye, my love.” Gwen said, her hand holding his, their fingers slowly sliding away from one another.
“I do love you.” he repeated the words he had so passionately said to her last night. Lawrence watched as she and the mare move away.
The next time they saw one another, fully conscious of each other‘s presence, was just before he died, killed by the silver bullet from a gun held by the love of his life.
CONCLUSION SOON TO COME.
I can't wait...
She gasped, blotted her eyes with a lace hankerchief, then blew her nose. "Oh, you poor dears." Mrs. Aberline whimpered softly, straightening her back and breathing in deeply. "You are so right, Gwen. You could have had such a lovely life together. And now …" She reached over to gently touch the young woman's stomach, "Your child will never know its father." Emma sobbed once again.
"One way or another it will." Gwen reassured, softly. She put her hand on her companion's and smiled mildly, appreciating the woman's sympathy, yet also understanding it may be somewhat misplaced, "Our baby will be loved and brought up well, even if it will only be by its mother and Grandfather. Which, when you think about it, is more then some families can offer with both a mother and father present." Her tone was more self assured then Gwen really felt.
"You are so brave." Emma Aberline said. Getting control of herself she slipped the handkerchief into her sleeve, "You will always have a part of Lawrence here to remind you of the deep but brief love you shared with one another."
Miss Conliffe's smile widened. This was coming from a women who, only a few hours ago, called Lawrence a cad. Gwen felt much better now, having told the story; divesting herself with another who, for the most part, listened with a patient and compassionate ear.
The sun was beginning to rise in the east. Birds chirped around them and a visible mist now arose from the apron around the forest off in the distance.
The women stood as they heard a call from the mausoleum. It was human and eager to be set free. Gwen lifted her hand and gave the key to Emma, "Go," she said, "He will want to see you first and will need your help to dress. I'll follow shortly, pay my respects to the dead, and we'll leave."
Mrs. Aberline nodded thankfully. It had been a long night. She moved away, anxious to rejoin her husband.
Unexpectedly, Gwen saw something out of the corner of her eye and she looked over to the woods. It was an animal of some kind. It darted from between the trees, in and out of the fog, and looked as if it was searching for something.
Gwen nearly gasped. It was Samson. After all these months Sir John's hound still lived. Somehow it must have escaped the great house before the fire. "Samson!" she called, excited.
He represented a sort of innocence, a beast never knowing the true evil that was its master's household. Or maybe - just maybe Samson did understand but, like Singh before him, felt obligated to stay; to let the drama play out until the very end, whatever the consequences.
The dog's ears lifted and it looked directly at Gwen. It slowly moved forward, hesitant after all these months without human company, living off the land as its ancestors had thousands of years before the hound was born.
"Come on, boy!" she called.
Samson did come then stopped and sat attentively, staring at Gwen, twenty paces before her. His expression was one of recognition but not necessarily warmth. When she reached forward to pet him he backed up a bit.
"They're all gone, boy." she told him. Gwen couldn't help the sudden sob which escaped her. Sir John, Salona, Ben and Lawrence … all gone. She had loved them all, including the memory of Salona. Lawrence and Ben's beautiful mother. Again, her eyes traveled to the burnt out estate. She hated Blackmoor, disliked its people, but she had loved the old Hall, regardless of its disrepair … or maybe because of it.
The dog's head turned from side to side, quizzically, as if trying to understand her grief.
"Do you want to come home with me?" Gwen asked. "I could use a good friend …" she started but heard a howl off in the distance. Both Gwen and Samson turned to the forest.
Samson panted and got up on all fours. He then howled back.
Gwen saw two or three dogs or wolves trotting back and fourth on the apron, watching them.
"You have friends, I see." Gwen gently and a bit sadly smiled at Samson, "A female in there for you?"
He looked back at her.
"Go then, my friend. You've found a new family. Be happy." she clapped her hands and watched as the hound ran off to be with his pack.
She was glad for him. But she also felt very lonely.
With a sigh Gwen began to pick wild flowers. The Talbots may have been cursed but they were not unloved. She would put a small bouquet on each stone incased coffin before they left Blackmoor.
And she would pray … particularly for the soul of her beloved Lawrence. He believed he was damned. 'No,' Gwen thought, 'not while I live and breathe.'
They had their own compartment on the train.
Inspector Aberline, pale and exhausted from his ordeal, fell asleep in his padded bench-chair the moment they boarded. He said very little to either women, other then he wanted to go home and see his children.
Gwen thought it rather sweet from the usually surly lawman. Apparently, his current situation had made Aberline introspective and, possibly, he felt his life might be over soon. He wanted his progeny to remember him as a good, kind, courageous man - and a father to be proud of.
After a few hours he awoke and told Emma he was hungry. He glanced twice at his wolfs head cane, once belonging to Lawrence Talbot. He kept it. He felt he should. No one ever questioned him and he was grateful.
Mrs. Aberline asked Gwen if she would like to go with them to the dining car.
"No, I'm not really hungry." she said, "I think I'll take a nap now."
They left, closing the door behind them.
Miss Conliffe was content to be alone, to stretch and look sleepily out the window, to dream and wish he were here …. She closed her eyes, the steady clack of the railroad car's wheels against the track lulling her to sleep.
Her eyes instantly opened, recognizing the voice.
He was sitting across from her, leaning forward on the wolfs-head cane.
He was dressed as they had buried him, with a well tailored suit - and he looked very handsome, his expression completely devoid of the stress and sorrow it had displayed too often while he visited Blackmoor, back when he was simply trying to find the fiend who murdered his brother. A visible glow surrounded Lawrence's body, the only indication that he was not of this world.
"I'm dreaming." Gwen said, disappointed.
"Yes, but that doesn't mean I'm not here."
"Why are you here?' she asked, lowly. Gwen supposed she should be pleased - absolutely thrilled out of her mind - to see him again. But, somehow it seemed a little cruel.
He put the cane aside and leaned forward, lacing his fingers together. "Because you need me. Mrs. Aberline is right when she said you've been so brave -- for so long, Gwen."
"I miss you." she whispered, trying to hold back tears, "It's so unfair, Lawrence."
"We will be together again some day." he assured.
"Forgive me for being selfish but I want you here now."
"I know. Me too. But at least we can speak before I have to go back and take my place in The Order."
"It's too complicated. One day you will understand." He chuckled, gently. Then, a bit more seriously: "I'm so sorry, Gwen, leaving you at a time like this." He looked to her abdomen, "My son." he whispered, nearly in awe.
"No, it's a boy."
"You're so sure."
"Yes, I am."
Tears finally fell … Of course he was sure.
"I will always be with you both. You will feel me in your hearts and in the air around you. You will know I'm watching over you, protecting you from harm …"
"And the Talbot curse?"
"It will not follow you - ever."
"Oh Lawrence, I wish I could hold you."
He lifted a hand to her, "Touch me." he said.
She looked at him for a moment. Could she? Was it really allowed?
He said nothing but she could hear him in her mind. No, it was not allowed but an exception will be made. This time. "I need to touch you too."
Slowly, Gwen lifted her hand to his and touched, feeling warmth and love. If this was a dream how could this touch be so vivid? How could …? The glow transferred from his fingers to her own. It was incredible. She had never felt such softness, such utter contentment.
But even this was not enough.
Their eyes met.
They both stood at the same time and enfolded one another, kissing and feeling an exquisite joy and passion that would have to carry Gwen Conliffe forward for the rest of her life. He would never be able to return to her again. At least not in a form like this, that she could recognize, and they both knew it. This was a blessing, a gifted time, and it would not go unacknowledged.
"Our baby will know you." Gwen whispered between kisses, "He will know you."
"And I will be waiting for you both." Lawrence pulled back with great difficulty, yet continued to hold her hands. "That won't be for a long time." he reminded, "So you go on living. Find another to love, a father for our son ..."
"But Lawrence ..."
"Time is irrelevant where I exist. Be patient, Gwen - my darling." He smiled once again, backing away, and allowed his fingers to slowly slide from hers. 'You will not remember this as anything more then a dream.'
Their eyes met once again and they continued to look at each other until he faded slowly from sight.
She heard his disembodied voice say: "I love you … forever."
Gwen awoke and found she was still alone, the train continued to travel rapidly along its track. She lifted her hands and thought, for just a moment, she saw a glow to them, as if there had been a residual effect from what most certainly was a mere dream.
Miss Conliffe felt suddenly very hungry and decided to join the Aberline's. After all, she was eating for two now. She stood and opened the door to their compartment. Her eyes caught something odd. The wolfs-head cane was laying directly across from where she had been seated. Hadn't the Inspector taken it with him? Gwen nearly reached for it but decided it was not her place.
She closed the door behind her and walked down the small hall.
The cane dissolved away.
(I hope you enjoyed this THE WOLFMAN fiction. Please let me know what you thought. All my best!)
Um, why are you confused ...?
Hello? Am I missing something?
Was it really bad?
Last edited by Beckers (2011-08-14 02:13:20)
I guess i do not get your supernatural ideas