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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Editor

Dear Sequel,

     I've been thinking a lot about you lately. I want to continue you, finish you, and present you to my readers, but you have been strangely illusive. What's up with that?

  Yours Truly,

     Writer

Dear Shadow,

    Yeah! I'm so glad we got past that rough spot. I don't know why it was to difficult to move on, it's not like you had anything horribly awful to present. Now we can get you finished...soon.

  Luvs,

    Endings

Dear Prequel,

     Yes, I know you're still there and anxiously waiting, but I have things to finish, a lot of things, so back off!

  Busy and Distracted,

    MMM

Dear Dash -,

    I don't even know where to begin with you...

  Sincerely,

     Confused

Dear Jorealen,

     I have to admit, no one had come close to you in your absolute perfection, but I think it might be time for someone to challenge you. Hmmm maybe Jason...we'll see.

   All My Adoration,

     Hopeful Romantic

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Shadow 17


At that late hour everything was dark save one tiny light in the back. Marissa tried the back door, but it was locked, as she was certain it would be. Next she searched for a window that might allow her entry. She finally found a small window with a broken latch. 
Taking a deep breath she found a dark corner and willed herself into invisibility and then removed her clothes. This was the worst part of her new ability and she dreaded it, but she mentally placed the invisible skin around her and continued on. She slid through the window gaining a sliver or two and the scanned her surroundings. It looked like she was in some sort of pantry. She tiptoed through and into the kitchen and began exploring the house. 
Everything was silent, making the hair rise on her neck and arms. Once she found herself in familiar territory she made her way to John’s laboratory. As soon as she passed the door to Jarvis’ study she paused. What if he kept his notes and secrets there. If she could find something that might give her proof of his dark work that was all she needed.
She listened carefully for any sound and then slowly turned the knob. The door was unlocked. She opened it a crack, waiting for any sound that might come from inside, but nothing happened. She was about to step inside when she thought better. He could be standing behind the door waiting. She glanced around to ensure she was alone and then shoved the door open firmly. It swung inward unhindered and no sound came from inside. Still she waited. When she decided it was safe she stepped inside. 
The room was empty. Jarvis’ desk sat in the middle covered with an unorganized mess of papers. Sean would have a seizure if she kept anything this messy. She walked over to the desk examining the contents, but not touching anything. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the chaos and she didn’t dare search through it incase messy was his style.
After looking over the desk as thoroughly as she could she turned to leave, but a handwritten note caught her eye. She moved to the other side of the desk and saw it was a paper protruding from the drawer. She pulled the drawer gently until the paper was in full view.
Osborne House, May 17th by 7pm. Was the only thing written on the paper. What could that possibly mean? May 17th was just two weeks away. She would have to figure out what was happening at the Osborne House on that date. She carefully closed the desk drawer until the paper was just as she had found it and then left the study. 
Next she headed toward John’s laboratory. She had gotten a good share of answers the last two times she visited this place and she hoped this visit wouldn’t disappoint. Just like the study, the door to the lab was unlocked. She carefully turned the knob and headed down the stairs. Everything around her was dark, but she was used to moving in darkness.
When she reached the lab there were no lights burning, but coals of a dying fire on the tiny hearth gave the room a faint orange glow. She looked around moving by instinct and feather light touch. The closer to the cages she got, the more she could see. As she approached a sturdy table that looked empty she stumbled over something soft on the floor. Her hands shot out to catch herself from falling and she felt the same softness on the table. 
Even in the dim light she knew there was nothing on the table, yet when she reached out she could definitely feel a material of sorts lying on the table. Her heart pounded in her chest. John had discovered a way to make a material that was invisible! She handled the thin fabric and decided it must be constructed from a mixture of course hair and cotton. She picked up the fabric from the floor trying to figure out how much there was of the stuff. From what she could tell there was at least two yards of the stuff.
She glanced around the room and without a second thought, wrapped the material around her body. Hopefully John wouldn’t realize that some of the fabric had fallen on the floor, since it couldn’t be seen, and thus it wouldn’t be missed. Feeling triumphant, Marissa made her way back up the stairs and into the hall. As she moved toward the kitchen she heard voices from outside and then a key in the back lock.
Panic swept over her and she dashed into the tiny pantry. She eased the window opened and listened. She could see two men standing on the back porch.
“I still can’t believe John did it,” one man said, Marissa figured it was Jarvis.
“What did he use,” the other asked.
“He wove horse hair through the finest wool we could get and then treated the horse hair. It took a while for the solution to saturate all the material, but apparently it took. When he couldn’t find anything the next morning he thought it had dissolved, but then he felt it on the table. I heard his shout all the way upstairs.”
“And it hasn’t reappeared?”
“No. We were surprised, but we figure if the solution is saturated into the material then it will remain until the material wears. We tried it on other fabrics, but it only works with wool or hair.”
“And you can’t see anything beneath the material?”
“If you look closely you can see what looks like a blur beneath the material, but in  the dark or dim light it is perfect. John thinks the solution crystalized the fabric so it reflects what is around it. I didn’t care to get his whole explanation.”
“Excellent work, Doctor. It looks like we can continue with our plan as outlined.”
“How goes your work on the other front?”
“The Lady is back at her home, but I think Sarah will be making an appearance very soon.”
“If she is still alive. John has a theory about that. Are you coming in?”
“No I must return to my place. I have some things to prepare.”
“Tomorrow evening then.”
“Yes.”
Marissa heard the door open and then close and Jarvis’ footsteps down the hall. She glanced out the window, but couldn’t see anyone so she carefully slid out and onto the ground. Her heart was still hammering in her chest as she headed for the corner where she had left her clothes, but she stopped in surprise. The second man was standing in the corner hovering over her pile of clothing. 
Even though she knew she couldn’t be seen she felt incredibly vulnerable. She decided it wasn’t worth trying to get her things back and made her way back to the street. It would be uncomfortable walking home in her bare feet, but that was better than getting caught. She wrapped the material around her tightly and headed home.
By the time she reached the house her feet hurt and she wanted to bathe the grime of London from her body. She slipped in through the window she had left from and went straight to her room. Once inside she grabbed her robe and put it on, grateful to have something visible covering her. She watched her hands reappear as her mind settled back into the persona of Lady Edgington.
She had done it! She had gone to Jarvis’ house and discovered several things that would benefit her investigation and she had returned without being caught or harmed and Sean was none the wiser. She breathed a sigh of relief.
“Welcome back, Marissa,” Sean said, in a strained voice from the dark corner.
Marissa whirled around to face him, startled and chagrined at his discovery.
“Sean you frightened me,” Marissa chided nervously.
Sean stormed over to her side and roughly grabbed her arms. She could see the anger and hurt in his expression and she knew nothing she could say would make it go away. He had warned her not to go and she had gone anyways. She waited stoically for his reproval, but nothing came. He just held her and looked at her and then he released her.
“I can’t do this, Marissa,” he finally said. “You may consider this my immediate notice.”
“Sean please,” Marissa said, feeling even more frightened at the thought of him actually leaving her. 
She reached out to him. Even with all her brave actions and education, she knew she couldn’t run the Edgington estate as efficiently as Sean had done for the last ten years, but that wasn’t really what frightened her. The thought of Sean leaving her and never returned brought a sense of absolute horror to her mind.
He turned on her. “I warned you Marissa, but you went anyways. I asked you not to go and you ignored me. I can’t...just stand aside and wait, hoping you’ll be safe. Goodbye, Marissa.”
He left her room and she just stared at his retreating back, unable to speak or call him back. She felt abandoned and yet she knew she had no right to feel that way. In his eyes she had betrayed their friendship by doing exactly what he asked her not to do. But that wasn’t the worst of her realizations. Now that he was gone she suddenly knew that she cared for him too.
She sank to her knees as a multitude of emotions coursed through her body. What had she done?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Grieving: A way to draw closer to God

I know that a lot of my inspiration comes when I read articles and conference talks, but what can I say the Ensign and Conference are inspirational!

So I was reading in the February Ensign in an article titled The Refining Fire of Grief and it made me think of my own journey in dealing with my grief. Two and a half years ago my mother passed away from lung cancer. It was a difficult experience for my family. Each of my brothers and sister and their families felt the loss in different ways. Though I was glad she didn't have to suffer anymore, her absence has been a very difficult and frustrating trial for me.

For the most part I have dealt with my grief by talking through it with a good friend, but there are times, especially when I am alone, that I feel it very poingnantly. I miss my mom a lot and when I focus on the things I won't have her here for it makes the loss more difficult. There are even times when I cry, simply because I wish I could call her and tell her what is happening in my life.

It is during these difficult times that I have worked to try and draw closer to my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ, for I know it is through them that I will gain strength and an understanding of their plan for me. It wasn't in my plan to have my mother absent from some of the most important events in my life. I wanted her at my wedding, when I had my first child, for plays and productions, to see my sons go on missions, but now that wouldn't be possible.

Each time I feel these angry rants building up I try to remember that even though she isn't here physically she is always with me in spirit. Sometimes this isn't as comforting as I want it to be, but it always helps. In the last three years I have had many struggles with this, but I also know that through it I am becoming a stronger daughter of God. I have developed a closer relationship with my dad and siblings. I have been inspired to write and even though she won't physically read my books I know she has been a part of each and every one.

After reading this article I can see that I have been going through a refining fire and I will continue to go through it with each passing day, week, month, and year. We all grieve, whether it is for a lost loved one or simply lost chances. Grief is the way we show our love for others and for the gospel and our Savior. Even though I miss my mom deeply, I know if I do my part I will be with her again and we will have joy together.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ode to Snow

You swirl around in puffs of white
You stick and cling, such a beautiful sight.
And then you cause havoc, chaos, and frustration
to everything you touch.

To skiers and snowboarders you cause delight
And school children's joy reaches great height
But the airline industry you do annoy with the delays, diversions,
and cancelations we hate so much.

Yet here we are again, with your icy white
You fall again, a depressing sight
To the crews of the planes you cover with snow and the knowledge
of a very long day and such.

Go away snow!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dear Editor

Dear Publishers,

     Please, pretty, pretty please tell me that you want to brave the Storm. I'm certain you won't regret it.

   Sincerely,

    Hopeful to be Published

Dear Question Mark,

     Why is it when I am writing that I forget to add you to the end of a question? Is it simply because I'm thinking the person isn't really questioning things? Perhaps it is your ridiculous placement on the keyboard that makes you difficult to use, is that it? I really do have to pause when I use you; it takes a whole separate movement, do you realize this? Did you plan it this way? Or was it some sort of evil plan by government minions to keep us from asking questions? I wish I knew, don't you?

   Tired of reaching for the ?,

     Questioned

Dear GG,

     I can't believe you are so stuck on this quest for power. You didn't get it in V-City and you certainly aren't going to get it from the King. What makes you so certain you will get it anywhere? You're evil. You need to accept the fact that you really aren't special and get over it. Yeah, you might have a 'gift' now, but really it's nothing compared to others, so get over yourself.

   Wishing You'd Recognize the Truth

     AG, JC, JG, L, FA, CG, EG, CG, MG, SU, and all the others whose lives you are destroying

Dear Storm,

     Please stop hovering in the back of my mind. I have other things I need to finish right now, so go take a rest all ready.

   Sincerely,

     MMM

Dear Long Layover,

     Thank you for the much needed rest. I finished editing one book and started reading and editing another. It is nice to get a few things done once in a while.

   Happily Waiting,

     Flight Attendant

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Shadow 16


Marissa stood firmly with her chin jutted out. She wasn’t about to back down. She was still shaken from her invisible visitor and now Sean was reacting to her suggestion just has she had expected.
“This has gone far enough, Marissa. You can’t possibly consider going to this crazy doctor’s house?” Sean demanded.
“I don’t know,” Marissa said fearfully. “He said I can’t hide and he’s expecting Sarah and me, but Sarah’s not invisible anymore.”
Sean sits on the couch and drops his head into his hands. “This is out of control, Marissa. You need to walk away,” he says finally. His voice is weary and drawn.
“Even if I wanted to I can’t now, Sean. Don’t you see that. I’m too deep. These men will stop at nothing to meet their ends. They can get to you or me at any time. The only person that can stop them is the Shadow.” Marissa moved over to the couch and placed her hand on his. “I know it’s dangerous, but what other choice do I have?”
“Marissa, we can’t risk it,” Sean said. “I can’t bare the thought of you exposing yourself to these men.”
“It’s not a wise move, Marissa,” Sarah said from the doorway.
Marissa’s and Sean’s heads snap up and Marissa went to her mother and embraced her.
“Are you all right?” Sarah asked.
“I’m fine. What happened to you?” Marissa questioned.
“I saw the men take you from the platform. I figured they would head back to London so I bought a return ticket and tried to follow them. I didn’t see you when we arrived though and I figured it would be best to watch your house, just in case,” Sarah answered. “I’m sorry I startled you the other day, Mr. Doveday.”
“Sean meet Sarah Clarence, my mother,” Marissa introduced them properly.
“I’m glad to actually see you,” Sean said wryly.
Sarah smiled.
“Marissa you can’t go back to Dr. Bering’s house. They’ll eat you alive. I can return. The most they can do with me is see that I am no longer invisible and able to do their bidding.”
“They have someone else,” Marissa said shuddering. “He came here a little while ago and told me to tell you that your job isn’t finished and that the Doctor expects a visit from both of us or there will be consequences.”
“If they discover you are the Shadow they will use it against you,” Sarah advised.
“What choice do we have. They have already proven that they can take me at their leisure,” Marissa argued.
“I have a headache,” Sean murmured, shaking his head.
“I can go alone, Marissa,” Sarah insisted. “I will tell them that they scared you into hiding and I can’t find you anywhere. Whatever they want me to do I will do, visible or not. We can’t risk them capturing you.”
Marissa opened her mouth to argue, but Sean stood suddenly.
“Enough!” he shouts. “Neither of you are going anywhere except to bed. Marissa you have a dinner appointment tomorrow with Mr. Anderson and I have some work to do before then and Sarah you need to rest. I’m not about to let either of you waltz into the hands of this doctor and his crazy plan for whatever.” He stormed to the door and stopped. Slowly he turned around to face Marissa. “If I find you have left and gotten yourself captured or killed I will leave your employ and you will never see me again.”
He left the room muttering and Marissa watched him go with mixed feelings.
“This is torturing him, Marissa. He loves you too much to see you put yourself into danger,” Sarah said quietly.
“If he cares so much why doesn’t he just tell me,” Marissa questioned petulantly. “I think he’s just being stubborn and pig-headed.”
“No more than you,” Sarah chided.
Marissa whirled around. “What else can I do. I’m the only one who can still turn invisible and find out what these men are up to.”
“And what then? How are you going to prove it to the authorities? You have to think about that, Marissa Edgington.”
Marissa sat down heavily. She hadn’t thought that far ahead.
“This is impossible,” Marissa admitted.
“We should both sleep on it and attack the problem in the morning,” Sarah said gently.
“Promise me you won’t go to Jarvis, Sarah.”
“I promise as long as you don’t either,” Sarah qualified.
“I promise I won’t go.” But that doesn’t mean the shadow won’t, Marissa thought.
“Goodnight then.”
Goodnight, Sarah.” 
Marissa watched her mother walk down the hall and then headed toward her own room. She waited for an hour before changing into her Shadow clothes. She kept her room dark in case anyone was watching the house. She knew her best bet would be to use one of the lower windows, since everywhere else would probably be under observation. These men wanted to know as soon as Sarah appeared, but they didn’t know that she was now visible.
After changing, Marissa crept silently down the hall and into the library. There was a small window she was certain she could fit through and it was hidden by the hedge from the rose garden. She moved purposefully, keeping her senses alert for every sound. Once she gained her point of exit she carefully opened the window, cringing at the tiny squeak that the opening emitted as she slid the pane up.
She scrambled through landing on the ground with practiced silence and slipped into the darkness of the garden. It only took her a few minutes to reach her usual street access and from there she made her way through the dark alleyways of London to Dr. Bering’s house. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I'm Glad That I Live In This Beautiful World

So I just read this wonderful article in the Ensign that really made me think. It is called Earth: A Gift From God by Tom Reese. As I have mentioned before I have the wonderful opportunity to view this amazing earth from 20,000 feet and revel in the beauty we possess as humans, but as I read this article I pondered many things.

Our Heavenly Father loves us. He loves us so much he commanded Jesus Christ to create this earth that we might live and learn and become like our Father.


“We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these [the children of God] may dwell;
“And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:24–25; see also Abraham 4–5).


As I read these words I thought about my Savior Jesus Christ. He knows me so well that he created this earth so I could appreciate and love it in so many ways. I'm certainly not perfect, but the more I see the world around me, read my scriptures, and pray, the more I want to be like Christ. I am humbled to see the blessings I have received daily in my life including the blessings of living on this earth.

From the window of my airplane, too often my heart sinks at the cloud of pollution I can see hovering over a city, but what I miss is the majesty of the mountains rising above the pollution. It is the same way with my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I look at the "pollution" around me I sometimes forget that the Gospel will help me rise above it to the heights of heavenly peace and spiritual security.

When I go to the beach, sometimes all I can see is the piles of kelp littering the sand and the flies buzzing around. It takes a while for me to focus on the power and majesty of the waves as they slowly cleanse the shore, leaving it sparkling in the sunshine. Thus it is with the Atonement of Jesus Christ, when I allow his sacrifice to powerfully clean my soul leaving it beautiful and sparkling in the sunshine of repentance and forgiveness.

"Whenever I hear the song of a bird or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose or walk by a lilac tree;
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world, Heavenly Father created for me."
“My Heavenly Father Loves Me,” Children’s Songbook, 228–29.

"...The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all the eplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." Alma 30:44

I am glad that I live in this beautiful world that my Heavenly Father has created through his Son Jesus Christ. I am also grateful for the testimony all things give of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how all things truly do apply in our lives.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vacation does not always mean rest

So I'm back from my vacation and I need to lay down. :) 
I spent three glorious days in Orlando, FL taking in the sights of:

Disney's Epcot Center 

Universal Studio's 
Wizarding World of Harry Potter 

the Kennedy Space Center

the Orlando Temple

and the beautiful Atlantic. 

Yes, I need a rest.

I had a wonderful time with my dad who met me and my bestest friend in Phoenix and then we all hoped and prayed and then finally made it on the flight and flew to Orlando. It was crazy busy, but it was fun. I got to have all sorts of characters wish me a happy birthday and I even got a song. :) And at the end of the night they even set of a fireworks display for me. I felt so special!!!

Oh the joys of wearing a big pin that says Happy Birthday Melanie!

I got to travel all over the world without leaving Florida and I dined on expensive French deserts.

I got to test drive high powered vehicles and zoom across the dangerous Chevrolet testing grounds.


(I'm still trying to get the snarls out of my hair)

I had to fight off a t-rex and brave the dangerous river conditions


 at

I also had the wonderful opportunity of drinking frozen butterbeer and yummy pumpkin juice, 
and eating pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes from Honeydukes.


I got to see a young girl choose her wand...well actually the wand chooses the wizard or witch, 
and meet the conductor of the Hogwarts Express.


I even felt like a triwizard champion when I held a small replica of the cup!


Unfortunately my chocolate frog wasn't jumping.


At the end of it all we got up early and headed for the airport. Everything was going our way and the flights looked good until everyone decided to make their flight instead of missing it. When we thought all was lost, surprise! There were three seats available, but unfortunately there was one person ahead of us on the list. 

So, knowing I have other options, I sent my dad and Dawn on to Phoenix and stayed in Orlando to discover other options. Luckily working the customer service counter was the absolute best CS agent ever. He helped me book my dad on the flight to SLC and then he searched for options for me. At the last minute he noticed a flight from Orlando to DCA that was leaving like right now and it looked like there were available seats. 

Yep, I took a two hour flight and spent a half an hour in Washington, D.C Reagan Airport. I was there only 30 minutes because the connecting flight to Phoenix was getting ready to board as I left the jet bridge. I got my seat assignment for the Phoenix flight and boarded the plane happily bound for my original destination and arriving about two hours after my dad had already headed to SLC.

Dawn met me at the airport with the dogs and we barely, and I mean barely, caught the flight from PHX to Fresno. I really need a nap! :)

Even with all the drama, it was a wonderful trip. I got to spend some quality time with my dad and see the sights I probably wont see again...well maybe.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Birthday

It's my birthday today. I'm another year older and another year less wise. Hehehehe.

I give all my readers permission to have a cupcake or a piece of cake, cheesecake, cookie, ice cream, sundaes or anything else sweet in my honor.

Enjoy the Delight and blow out a candle for me.

Melanie :)



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vacation

So I'm actually taking a vacation for once. I even took days off from work. I'm going somewhere sunny and warm, so I probably won't be spending any time writing. Don't worry though I'm sure I will be going crazy with tons of ideas for stories and of course I will be thinking about what is going to happen next to the Shadow.

Happy Vacation


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dear Editor

Dear Writer's Block,

    I am NOT a fan. How come you allow me to think of stuff for one story, but not the one I really want to finish. Go away!!!
  Sincerely,
    
    Exasperated

Dear Angelia,
   
   I forgot how temperamental and yet so awesomely nice you are. You really just need to throw a fit and get it out. Then you will be able to move on with your new gift.
  Yours Truly,

    Tantrum

Dear Doggie,

    I love you, my pet, but when you sit on my chest and try to lick my face it makes it really difficult to write. I'll play with you when I finish this chapter.
  Love,

    Mommy

Dear Jorealen,

    I'm so excited to read about you again. Your perfection awaits my anxiously beating heart. (sigh)
  All My Love,

    Waiting for Romance

Dear Exclamation Point!

    Do I really have to be exclaiming something to use you. Sometimes I just am so excited to share what I have to say that I want to emphasize it by using you. That doesn't necessarily mean I am exclaiming from the rooftops...well maybe a little...I guess I do tend to exclaim things when I'm excited...Oh all right, I guess I am exclaiming when I use you. 
  Till The Next Shout!

    Excited!!!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Shadow 15


Marissa opened her eyes in an unfamiliar room. She felt confused as the remnants of her dream seemed to melt into reality. She had been running away, not as Lady Edgington, but the Shadow.
“Finally, you’re awake,” Sean said, sounding relieved.
Marissa looked up into his worried eyes. “Where am I?”
“I’m not sure exactly, but I know we are somewhere in London,” he answered.
He gently took her hand. “I thought you would never wake up. You kept murmuring in your sleep and then fading away and coming back.”
Sean looked worn out and now Marissa understood why.
“Did anyone see me disappear?” she asked worried. Dr. Bering must not know she is the Shadow.
“I don’t think so. I kept the blanket over you so when they looked in they could see you sleeping.” He shook his head. “Marissa what in blazes were you thinking, going to the country estate?” he suddenly demanded angrily.
“We were checking to see if they actually took you there before I reported you missing,” she replied, with a humph. All the tender emotions and feelings she had experienced on the train were washed away with his accusation and she felt very defensive at the moment.
“We?” Sean questioned.
“Sarah and I. She’s mostly visible now. Jarvis got her with the antidote when we tried to trick them,” Marissa admitted.
“Who is Jarvis?” Sean asked, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Dr. Bering. He’s behind all this mess.”
“A mess you got yourself nicely mixed up in,” Sean grumbled. “I was going to take you to the estate house to get you away from this madness. After we argued I knew you were in more trouble than you could handle. I asked Peter to take me to the station so I could arrange travel and I woke up here.”
Marissa thought about the argument and her temper flared. She had been worried about him and how her actions had hurt him, but he didn’t seem concerned at all about the things he had said to her. His words still stung, mixed with the accusations of her creating this mess.
“Peter is working for Jarvis,” she snapped. “So you can’t blame me entirely. In fact if I hadn’t got mixed up in this we would be here without even understanding why.”
She folded her arms across her chest, daring him to contradict her. Sean eyed her carefully. He knew her temper well enough not to challenger her.
“I suppose knowing the why gives us a degree of advantage,” he admitted.
She looked at him and her heart softened. “Would you really have forced me to leave despite my intentions to solve this riddle?” she asked, her tone colored with annoyance.
“I would have done it because of your intentions, Marissa. You are determined to destroy yourself and your father’s good name and I wasn’t going to let that happen,” Sean said proudly.
Marissa eyes narrowed. “My father’s good name?” she said slowly, anger building in her chest. “That’s all you really care about is his good name. I’m just some stupid, arrogant woman who’s spoiled all your plans because I don’t fit into the Lady Edgington ideal just the right way.”
She flung the blanket away and jumped off the couch where she had been laid.
“Well, I’m not like Lady Edgington. I’m like Sarah Clarence. I’m independent and willful and I will do what I think is right and nothing you say or do will stop me, Mr. Doveday.” She marched over to the door and pounded on it.
“Marissa, please,” Sean began.
“Let me out of here,” Marissa shouted, ignoring Sean’s pleading.
Suddenly there was a loud bang somewhere in the house, beyond their prison room. Both Marissa and Sean fell silent and listened to the shouts and sounds of fighting. Almost as quickly as it began the fighting stopped. Marissa leaned closer to the door and then jumped back in surprise as it burst open.
“Marissa? Are you all right?” Simon Anderson demanded, entering the room brandishing a pistol.
“Mr. Anderson? What are you doing here?” Marissa asked surprised.
“I’ve been searching the town for you,” he declared gallantly.
“But how did you ever find me?” Marissa asked in awe.
“I went to call on you and the servants said you went to the station early this morning to go to your country estate, so I took the next train out.” He took her hand familiarly. “Forgive my forwardness, Marissa, but I had to see you again. Your beauty and intelligence has bewitched me and I’m afraid I’ve fallen in love with you.”
Marissa blushed deeply, moved by his praise.
“That still doesn’t explain how you found her,” Sean said from behind them.
Simon turned to Sean and glared. “Who is this man that is keeping you prisoner?” he demanded threateningly.
“Mr. Doveday isn’t keeping me prisoner, Mr. Anderson. He is being held captive too,” she answered. She emphasized isn’t for Sean’s benefit. “I went looking for him at the estate house. I received a message that supposedly came from him, but it was D...these men instead.”
Marissa almost mentioned Dr. Bering, but held back. She didn’t feel like she could completely trust him just yet.
“So how did you find us?” Sean asked pointedly.
Simon glared at him again. “When I arrived at the estate house, your people said you had never arrived. I became concerned so I returned to the station and questioned people to see if you had even made it to the country. I finally found a man who said he saw a woman meeting your description being carried onto the train that returned to London.”
He brought his intense gaze back to Marissa. “You can imagine my concern when I heard you were being carried. I just knew the only way they could force a woman of your courage and stamina would be to incapacitate you.”
Marissa lifted her chin just slightly at his praise, but remained silent so he would finish his tale.
“I took the next train back to London and proceeded to question everyone at Kings Cross until I found a trace of you. It was simple to question the cabbie they hired to bring you here and when I was certain you wouldn’t be harmed I stormed the house with my men servants,” Simon finished with a flare.
“Oh my,” Marissa said.
“Why didn’t you simply call the police?” Sean asked, unimpressed.
“I wouldn’t dare leave the fate of such a woman as Lady Edgington in the fate of a common policeman,” Simon replied snidely.
“Nevertheless we should report this, Simon,” Marissa said, stepping between the men. 
She carefully took Simon’s arm and allowed him to escort her out of the room. Sean followed closely behind them. Marissa took note of her surroundings as they left the house so she could give a complete report to the police, all the while keeping up a dialogue with Simon.
“I won’t let you out of my site from now on,” Simon declared as he helped her into his private carriage. “Who are these people who have so blatantly kidnapped you? And what do they want from you? Ransom?”
“I don’t know, Simon. I’m still trying to understand the purpose behind this act,” Marissa lied.
“I will personally see that you are watched and protected from now on,” Simon declared.
“My staff will ensure my safety, Simon. You don’t need to make any special efforts,” Marissa said firmly.
“Your staff let you be taken right out from under their noses. Where was your travel companion when you were taken?” Simon demanded angrily.
“My people do not control my every action,” Marissa said meaningfully. “I am a free person and I move about the country where I will. My staff are loyal and would never willingly let any harm come to me.” She kept her tone firm, hopefully reminding Simon of her independence.
She knew she couldn’t blame Sean entirely and she also knew none of her people would have let anything happen to her. Simon sighed and nodded and Marissa knew he wouldn’t press the matter further.
The carriage moved quickly toward her house in London and when they arrived Tom and Eliza met her at the door with relieved exclamations for her health and safety. Marissa let them take her inside and fawn over her a bit, relishing in the attention just enough.
“My Lady, had I known it was all a ruse,” Tom began.
“Tom, I don’t blame any of you. We all acted in good faith with the information we had. How were you to know that Mr. Doveday hadn’t sent the message?” Marissa consoled. 
Sean carefully took Tom aside while Eliza and several other servants followed Marissa into the parlor. Simon followed, looking quite out of his element.
“Eliza, will you bring some tea in here for myself and Mr. Anderson?” Marissa finally asked.
The maid nodded and quickly left the room followed by the other servants. Marissa sank into her favorite chair with a sigh.
“You look worn out, my dear,” Simon said coming over and sitting as close as he could get.
“I am tired, but we need to call the police and file an official report.” Marissa sighed. “This is going to give the old cats at court a field day.”
Simon opened his mouth to respond, but Sean interrupted. “I see no reason for this to reach anyone’s ears, Marissa. I will talk to Inspector Anthon privately tomorrow and he can send his men to search the house. There’s no need for you to take any public part of this investigation.”
Marissa looked over at her steward with an eyebrow raised. She couldn’t be certain of his motives. Was he saying that to spare her the public fiasco that would arise, or did he want to spare her father’s good name from any more humiliation?
“Very well, Mr. Doveday. I will leave it in your capable hands,” she said simply.
Sean’s eyes narrowed at her words and he nodded and left. Eliza returned with the tea and Marissa poured for her guest.
“Is there anything I can do for you, Marissa?” Simon asked, exuding genuine concern.
“No, Mr. Anderson. I think I’d best get a good night’s rest,” she replied carefully.
“May I call on you tomorrow?”
“Yes. Perhaps we could have that dinner you mentioned at the ball. I think, since you have rescued me, I can allow you that much,” she smiled and he grinned.
“I consider myself privileged to have the opportunity. I will come around at seven tomorrow evening,” Simon said, kissing her hand.
He rose to his feet and bowed before leaving her alone in the room. She heard Tom thanking him as he escorted Simon from the house. Marissa closed her eyes, her head ached from the solution used to render her unconscious and the arguments with Sean. It was several minutes before she realized she was no longer alone. She looked up and saw Sean watching her.
“I don’t trust him, Marissa,” Sean said stiffly.
“I didn’t think you would,” Marissa replied, just as stiffly. Then her thoughts shifted. “I need to find Sarah. I’m certain she saw some of what happened at the station in  Canterbury. We need to send someone to look for her and bring her back here.”
“I’ll ask Tom to send one of his men, but do you think she’ll trust anyone?”
Marissa bit her lip. “Probably not. I should just go myself.”
“You should wait. Sarah came here before. If she saw you taken then she either followed you back or she’ll figure out you were rescued and come back here. You should rest, Marissa,” Sean said anxiously.
“I’m not a frail, helpless woman,” Marissa said, angrily sitting up. “I don’t want to rest, I want to find out what Jarvis is up to.”
“So you’re just going to waltz over there and demand an explanation or are you going to fade into invisibility and break in? I’m sure either way he’ll just tell you everything,” Sean snaps sarcastically. “Not only are you being arrogant, Marissa Edgington, but you are a fool as well.” He turned and walked out.
His words were like a slap in the face and Marissa just stared at him speechless. She knew he was right. She was being arrogant to think she could outsmart Dr. Bering and discover all his secrets without coming to any harm. She was a fool to think her night time job would never affect her life as Lady Edgington. Her temper flared and ebbed as her mind coursed through the different train of thoughts.
After several minutes, Eliza poked her head in the room. “Are you ready to turn in, M’Lady?”
Marissa got to her feet slowly. She felt worn inside and out. She followed Eliza up to her spacious rooms and let the maid help her change into her night dress and robe. She wanted to change into her Shadow clothes and go out searching for Sarah, but she also felt she should stay. She was backed into a corner with no answers.
It was long after Eliza turned in that Marissa returned to her study. She paced the room anxiously, uncertain as to what she should do, and eventually collapsed on the reading lounge. She woke to the sound of the window opening and closing. Her head snapped up and she scanned the room. It was empty. A chill ran down her spine as she got to her feet and backed toward the study door.
“Going somewhere, Lady Edgington?” a deep voice asked behind her.
Marissa let out a frightened squeak and stepped back toward the window. “What do you want?” she demanded, her voice shaking.
“Just to let you know that you can’t hide from us. If Sarah comes here, tell her her job isn’t finished,” the voice said next to her. “And the Doctor expects a visit from her and the Shadow or there will be consequences.”
“Sarah who?” Marissa asked, feigning ignorance. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“Just tell her. She’ll come,” the voice answered behind her again.
Marissa jerked around ready to fight. The window opened slowly and then closed. Fear filled her chest and she stumbled toward the study door, yanking it open. The passageway was empty and Marissa ran out of the room. She pressed up against the wall, staring at the open door to her study, her heart hammering in her chest.
“Marissa?” Sean asked coming out of his small study.
“Ahh,” Marissa cried. Her knees gave out and she sank to the floor, frightened.
Sean was at her side in an instant. “What is it?” he asked concerned.
“He...he threatened me,” Marissa said, trying to regain control of her emotions.
“Who threatened you?”
“A man...a man in my study.”
Sean leapt to the door of her study ready to fight the intruder. He looked around the empty room and then back at Marissa.
She shook her head. “He was invisible,” she whispered, her shoulders slumping.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Burst the bonds...

So I had this amazing revelation during my scripture study the other day. I was reading in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi chapter 7 . In this chapter Nephi and his brothers are traveling back to their father in the wilderness and his brothers want to go back to Jerusalem. They are tired of the whole camping thing and want to be back where their riches and comforts are. Nephi tells them to go right ahead and go back, but just know that Jerusalem is going to be destroyed (this is approximately 600 BC) and they will perish if they return, but that is their choice. Well Nephi's brothers get all upset because he is being honest with them and they know he is telling the truth, so instead of agreeing with him they try to make Nephi change his mind. So they tie him up. Nephi isn't about to return to Jerusalem so he prays to the Lord to give him strength to burst the bands and the Lord does so. His brothers get angry again, but then they are calmed by others in the party. They realize their mistake and beg for forgiveness which Nephi quickly gives.

After reading this chapter I came to some awesome conclusions: 1. We need to remember the Lord and the blessings he has already given us. 2. We need to have faith in the Lord. 3. All things are possible according to the Lord's will. 4. We have the ability to choose what our actions will be. 5. The Lord will give us strength to do things that might seem impossible. 6. We should forgive other's trespasses immediately.

All of these conclusions touched me deeply and forced me to think of the many miracles and blessings I have been blessed with over the years. I truly have been watched over and cared for!!!