Chapter 7:- Disaster Again.
Back to: Chapter 6:- Stumbling Upon the Truth. Next: Chapter 8:- Saying Goodbye

Warren smiled across the table at Dromy as she they had their dinner together. She looked up to catch his smiling gaze on her face and looked back at him, confused. ‘What’s wrong?,’ she asked him with a slight frown. ‘Aren’t the rolls any good?’ ‘They’re amazing, actually, and so are you. I wish this moment would last forever…… just you and me, and I can’t take my eyes off of you.’ Her gaze softened as she reached out to hold his hand.


‘I think… no, I want…..many more moments like this with you…. For…. The rest of my life.’ She glanced at him to see how he took this. His face registered shock and complete disbelief. ‘Do you... You mean….That you….’ ‘Shh…,’ whispered Dromy as she got up, and he rose with her too as she placed a pale, slender finger on his lips. ‘No, don’t say it. I don’t want you to say it, and I don’t want to say it, either. It’ll end then….this is all too good to be true.’


He looked at her and she saw his eyes speak volumes for him, as he sharply inhaled her sweet, mellow scent. ‘Say it,’ was all he said. She was deterred for a second; for it sounded more like an order than the sweet, passionate murmurings she was used to, but she felt more compelled to do as he asked, all the same. ‘I love you,’ she whispered, smiling, just before their lips met.
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They spent the whole night together, loving each other passionately.


The next morning, when Andromeda rose from her bed as the sunlight gently caressed her eyelids, she looked around to find herself quite alone. Her first instinct was to close her eyes and whisper to herself, ‘Please God, tell me it wasn’t a dream. Please God, let him be sleeping beside me right now….Oh, it felt so real…..’ Slowly, she cracked her eyes open, and though she hadn’t expected his reappearance, she was still shocked when she didn’t see him smiling besides her.

Suddenly, a little white something caught her eye. She snatched at the piece of paper and stared at the beautiful, flowing script within.

My love,
I had to leave on some errands, and I’ll be back by evening time. I loved last night….Thank you.
Warren.
The simple and short note penned by him brought her such joy that the smile was restored to her lips. She got out of bed and walked to the washroom, freshening up for the day ahead.



She sighed contentedly. Everything was going perfectly well for herself and for her life, and she was exactly where she wanted to be in regards to her financial state, her career development, her love life, and even her family state of affairs.


Nothing could or would go wrong for her, for she felt she was in the ascendant…. Little did Andromeda Rhodes know that after reaching the zenith, there was only ever one way to go from the top… and that was to spiral downwards, on a long, unending journey of grief, pain, misery… and maybe even death.


As she rose from her warm bed to begin her day with a shower, her thoughts drifted to her aunt. They had gone a long way from being something akin to enemies, and now, the fastest of friends. It suddenly dawned on her that Ebony hadn’t called yesterday, or the day before, for that matter. There was something odd.

Ebony was known to miss a day here and there, but two days had never passed without them speaking to each other. With a stab of guilt, she remembered that even she hadn’t bothered to call due to being extremely hard-pressed at work these days along with…more intricate matters in her personal life. She grinned wolfishly.
Andromeda resolved to call her as soon as she got out of work and finished her daily chores.
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Work was stressful, but exhilarating. She signed and accepted an appeal from The City Council regarding renovations that needed to be made to Central Park and The Community School. So far, her political party was in the rise, but mainly through all her hard work and effort to keep it so. The end of her shift found her strained, but smiling.

She knew that whatever efforts she put in worked towards the success of her party, for the city and for herself, and these things kept her happy.
As she reached home, she decided it was time to give Ebony a call.


‘Funny,’ thought Andromeda. ‘She’s not picking up. I guess I’ll just try again later.’ With that, she continued cleaning the house and setting it up for Warren’s inevitable arrival.


Two hours later, after throwing out the garbage, upon calling again, she found both, Ebony’s landline and her cell-phone engaged. Dromy frowned. Ebony had no one else to talk to, no places to go to, no people to meet, except, perhaps her grocer. She giggled at the thought, but then the frown reappeared, marring her features.

She decided to pay Ebony a visit the next day, and ask her what on earth had kept her away from the phones all day long. She wondered to herself if this was some new kick of her’s, ‘direct communication only,’ or maybe, she had turned anti-technology again, as she once did when Andromeda and Wisteria were younger. Dromy shrugged. She’d find out soon enough, tomorrow.
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Even though the next day was a weekend, Warren didn’t stay the night with Andromeda, pleading an upset stomach. She got up quite grumpy that day, in her spinster bed, left alone.

Whatever said and done; though she loved her aunt, Dromy never wanted to go the same way as she did- with no love to light up her life, and nothing but a heart and stomach filled with cruelty and bile to keep her company.




Andromeda rose and dressed hurriedly, getting ready to play fight with her aunt for her negligence in answering her phones. Though Ebony had often hinted to Dromy that she was always welcome for a visit, Dromy rarely made use of the offer, preferring ,rather not to disturb her busy schedule and instead, invite Ebony over.

As she got off her newly acquired government car, (with driver in tow), her thoughts drifted to Warren and her declaration of love for him. Though she was glad that she had finally got that off her chest, she was saddened by the fact that he didn’t seem to feel the same way, or, at least, say that he did.
She thought about all that had transpired between them and how they had met, and under such depressing circumstances. The very same day, she seemed so...secure and fulfilled in his presence, and she was revealing most of the details of her life to him with ease.

As for him, he replied in kind. She knew that he was the only heir and sole child of his very rich film producer father, who died prematurely, and who was based in Bridgeport. Though he had a fortune to live lavishly and comfortably for the rest of his days, he preferred to liquidate all his assets in Bridgeport and make a life for himself working elsewhere, ‘away from it all’.


Her thoughts were brought to a stop as she reached the porch and rang the bell. She listened for a second, though her thoughts were miles away. There wasn’t a sound to be heard from the inside of the house, and though she repeatedly called out and kept ringing, there seemed to be no response from her aunt.
Dromy became a bit anxious. Ebony had never failed to open the door for her before. The bell was a loud one, and could easily be heard even in the farthest corner of the house. Reluctantly, she used the spare key to let herself in.


The moment she stepped into the foyer, she knew that something was drastically wrong here. The stillness and the quiet, the thin film of dust on everything around and the slightly damp, musty smell in the air told her that something was terribly out of place in this house.


She walked slowly up the stairs, calling out Ebony’s name in vain. There was no response, and with each inch she moved forward, she became more and more acutely aware of her heart thudding painfully in her chest.

Though she knew that whatever lay in waiting would definitely be in the last room, she took her time opening all the other doors, leaving that particular one for last. Each room was the same; carrying that moldy scent and every item in them was dusty and lifeless.

Finally, with every part of her body attuned to even the slightest of sounds around her, with her heart hammering in her very ear drums, she slowly opened the door to Ebony’s room, not anticipating what lay within….


The first sensation to hit her was smell: The smell of rotting meat, the smell of something festering, the smell of death. Without abandon, Dromy fell to her knees and vomited on her aunt’s rich carpet. Once she was done, she curled up in a ball and apart from the occasional shiver, and one would think her body lay as dead and lifeless and her aunt’s corpse rotting beside her.


She wept, then. She wept for bitterness, for resentment, for rage, for fury that every time she had found happiness, every time she found herself smiling and pleased with the world around her, the fates just as easily came along and plucked it away from her as easily as breaking an infant’s frail grasp.
When she finally gained control of herself, she turned and walked out of the room as she dialed 999.
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After she contacted the police and told them everything, the next call she made was to Warren.

‘She’s dead, Warren….,’ was all that she said on the phone before she broke down.

‘Oh God…… Babe, it’s ok, calm down..I’m on my way there…. Call the police and don’t worry, I’ll be there in a few.’

‘I’ve already called them, Warren, I don’t know how………..she was..fine…gyming, everything… I talked to her two days ago… how can this be happening?’ she sobbed.

‘I’ll be right there, baby, please, don’t cry. I’ll see you soon.’

It had been less than five minutes since his call ,and Dromy opened the door to a panting, coloured Warren.

‘I came here as fast as I could,’ he said.


‘Warren,’ sighed Dromy as she pitched herself forward into his arms and cried.

He neither comforted her, told her it was alright, nor said a single word in that expanse of time. He simple rocked her quietly from side to side, saying and doing nothing else, until her sobs subsided a little.
Then, he drew her into the living room and held onto her as they both sat in silence. She didn’t know how long it had been till she heard a vehicle park outside the house, and then, a quiet knock on the door and slowly, Warren detached himself from her with his easy grace and went to let the paramedics in.


Dromy then drifted into a dreamless sleep whilst lying on the couch, the deep sleep that one falls into when hit by a sudden loss and overwhelming grief; and her body’s only reaction to handle it seemed to be to fall asleep.

She was in a state of semi-consciousness when she heard low voices whispering around her now and then, and she knew that the paramedics were bringing the body to the van. After that, there followed more quick, clipped conversations between the paramedics and Warren; Dromy woke with a start as she heard the van close and the medics drive away.

She opened her eyes as the tears began spilling again. She couldn’t believe that this could happen to her, in such quick succession, she had lost everyone she held dear to her; her entire family annihilated before her very eyes. And each time was as unexpected as the last, each loss the harder to handle….
She sighed as Warren came quietly to her side. ‘My love, Inspector Andrews from the police department wants to question us both.’ Dromy didn’t respond, which alarmed Warren even more. ‘Dromy? Babe, reply, please…come on…tell us your ok!’ ‘I’ll see him...with you,’ she said in a hoarse whisper. ‘Alright,’ Warren replied with a sigh of relief.
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‘Ms. Rhodes, first of all, may I say that I’m very sorry about your loss… If I have it right, Ms. Rhodes was your paternal aunt?’ asked Andrews.
‘Yes she was….my only known living relative.’ Andromeda choked back a sob.

Andrews’ face softened. Upon closer inspection, he saw that the girl was young and exquisitely beautiful. He had heard how tragedy after tragedy fell upon her like waves upon the sea-shore against this young woman; at the same time, he was wary. It seemed like no mere co incidence that everyone around her kept dropping dead.

The time that she lost both, her father and sister, she had a safe alibi, where more than fifty people could vouch for her presence at City Hall, whereas now, again, it seemed unlikely that she would murder her own aunt.

Also, there seemed to be no sign of a struggle, and the body was intact…. Or so the medics said so. The woman was fit, just entering into her dotage, a regular sight at the beach, swimming and keeping herself active, thought not well loved around Sunset Valley. Her health reports were all fine. The reason, though yet to be discovered, was most probably a heart attack. 'Still,' he thought to himself, 'I should keep watch for any signs, just in case….’


‘When did you say you came across the body, and what made you suspicious in the first place, Ms. Rhodes?,’ queried Inspector Andrews.
‘Ebony and I call each other every day,’ whispered Andromeda. ‘If it isn’t me, it’s her. It had been two days since I had last heard from her, and I wanted to know what had become of her…. I never thought that…..’ Dromy took a large gulp of air before continuing on.

Warren gave her a quick squeeze before she continued with her story. Andrews noticed the love they both shared, but, at the same time, he saw a glint in the eyes of the young man, which disturbed him, something hinting at over possessiveness and…power over the young lady. He shook his head minutely; whatever happened between the young lovers was none of his business. He turned his attention to the grieving girl before him.


‘I came visiting after work, and as Aunt Ebony had given me a spare key long ago, I used it to open the door when she didn’t open it herself. The moment I stepped in, I knew something was wrong…. Ebony is…..was,’ her eyes welled up again and her hand shook in Warren’s grip.

When she continued, though, her voice did not quaver, almost as if she drew strength from his love. ‘Ebony was a perfectionist; she cleaned the house every day without fail, whatever condition she was in. When I saw the dust and the musty smell in the air, I suspected the worst.’

‘I called out for her, but she didn’t respond. I walked up the stairway and looked through all the rooms; leaving her’s for the last. And that’s when I saw….’ She couldn’t continue, the poor, broken thing, and Andrews sighed as the couple held each other.

‘That’s when you called us, is that right, Ms. Rhodes?’ She nodded her head, too grieved to speak. ‘Thank you. I’m sorry to have to disturb you at such a time...it’s just, in these circumstances…’ his voice trailed way.


‘It’s alright, officer, I quite understand. Thank you for being so kind. ‘She smiled as she dabbed at her eyes fervently. ‘I’ll leave you to yourself now. We might have to call you to the station for a more formal report when the autopsy reports are released.’ She nodded as Warren got up to see him to the door.

‘Thank you for your time, Mr. Ravenheart. The police department might expect a report from you too; a full account of what happened today.’ ‘Oh, that’s quite alright, officer,’ replied Warren sweetly. ‘When the time comes, I’m sure.’


‘Bad business, this,’ muttered Andrews. ‘That poor young woman…losing everyone close to her..and in such a short span of time…’ Andrews sighed. ‘You take care of that girl, young man, and don’t leave her, no matter what.’ ‘Yes, officer, I will,’ said Andrews in a tone as grave as his.

As the officer was about to walk out, he felt an arm touch his shoulder. ‘And, Officer?’ ‘Yes, Mr. Ravenheart?’ He turned around to look at Warren one last time. Inspector Andrews’ eyes glazed over for a moment, as Warren said, with a small smile, ‘Thank you…again.’ And with that, he closed the door behind him.
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When Andrews got to the police station, the secretary told him that the Lieutenant was waiting for him in his office.


‘Inspector Andrews,’ said the hardened veteran gruffly. ‘Your report.’
‘Lieutenant Griffon,’ saluted Andrews, before delivering his report. ‘That poor child…muttered Andrews. Life can be a bit of a bitch sometimes, can’t it?’ Griffon looked at his inspector sharply. He was quite unmoved by this; after all, he had seen and witnessed death first hand; this was nothing to him.

‘Any suspects, anything out of the way or seemingly wrong? Anything suspicious at all?,’ asked Griffon. ‘No, Lieutenant, nothing.’ ‘Hmm….muttered Griffon. After all, the girl had lost all of her family in little less than a year’s time… he wondered what it meant.

‘And was there any one else with her at the time of questioning, or during the witnessing of the death?’ Griffon looked at Andrews for just a second, but when he saw the expression in his Inspector’s face, he straightened up.


Andrews suddenly looked…..glazed and bland; all animation was wiped from his face and he looked without seeing; as if he was in another world all together. ‘Andrews? Was anyone there with the woman when you questioned her?,’ asked Griffon sharply.

Suddenly, Andrews shook his head and looked around. Without missing a beat, he said, ‘No, no one else, Lieutenant. She was completely alone….poor girl…no one at all around for her anymore…. Poor girl… I hope she won’t lose herself…………to the demons that haunt her….’






NOTE:- I hope you guys are liking the story so far...this chapter was more difficult to write, but I liked how it came out Hope you guys enjoyed the read...and PLEASE, PLEASE tell me you guys understood the last bit? and what it meant, actually? Rate and comment as you feel fit!

Thanks,

The Observant Lefty.

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