The Waking Dead

Friday, July 9, 2010

"I don't feel her kicking, mom... You sure there's a baby in there? Maybe you're just gettin' fat."

Meredith rolled her eyes at Travis, but did manage to give him a small smile. "Yes, sweetie, she's there. She's just probably too shy to say hi, right now. Maybe once she gets a bit more used to your voice, she'll be more excited to feel you. You have to be nice to your siblings if you want them to like you, you know..."

"Yeah, mom, I knoooww. I'm nice to Bradley, arrn-I?"

"I... suppose. Sometimes." However, Meredith gave Travis a bit of a look -- she wouldn't pass judgment on her oldest son just yet, but he wasn't exactly the most honest boy, all the time... Or, he was too honest.

"Can I go over to June's to play? Aunt Tana said they finally finished unpacking, and I really wanna go see her... oh please oh please oh ple--"

"Alright, alright! Just be back by dinnertime. You have school tomorrow, and you can't be late again."

Since the Larson's had followed the Kane's into Twinbrook, the stress that had been haunting Meredith had been becoming increasingly easier to handle. For an easily stressed out mother of two -- correction, three -- she constantly relied on her sister (and only remaining family) for emotional support. Although Jebidiah's mother was certainly willing to be a shoulder for Meredith to cry on, Mere may as well find a steel wool pillow to sob against rather than the abrasive treatment of her mother-in-law. Farah meant well, but her criticisms were not always tactful.

No, the true friend to the Kanes was the Larsons: Meredith had Tana, Travis had his cousin June, Jebidiah begrudgingly befriended Tana's husband Howard, and they all had high hopes that someday Bradley and July would also be close friends. The Jones Sisters -- as they were known when they still had their maiden names -- had an inseparable bond, even if their personalities could be no more different.

Screenshot-188.jpgMeredith had been relieved to hear the news Tana had brought of the happenings in Riverview after their departure. She was finally beginning to ease up on the "retribution" she was (failing at) giving her husband... At least, mostly. He'd cheated on her, lied to her, forced her to make difficult choices, as well as abandon their life -- it was not easy to for her to let go.

It helped, that Tana was taking some of the blame -- and it was so, so difficult to remain upset with her sister -- and now that she finally had someone trustworthy to talk to... a friend... Meredith was finding it easier to forgive Jebidiah for what he'd done.

Screenshot-190.jpgSort of.

If she looked too hard into his eyes, it all came flooding back... And it was still a bit too painful and close to her heart to bear.

"Meredith, are you alright?" he asked with a soothing, sensitive tone... One that almost made her furious to hear.

"Yes, I'm fine," she responded quickly. But, secretly, she thought: "Except... that I wish I could bring myself to hate you."

Screenshot-194.jpgBut she couldn't. No matter how hard she tried, no matter how angry she became, she knew that there would be no life without him. Jebidiah was everything wrong with her life, but he was her life -- even if she tried to leave, she couldn't imagine life without him not being more painful than life with him. "I just have to try to forgive him, and to forget all the things he's done... Focus on how he's trying to change..."

After a sigh, she shook her head, gazing painfully into her own eyes in the mirror. "But I can't even forgive myself." 

Screenshot-198.jpgJebidiah truly was attempting to make things right, but it was plainly obvious to both of them that he could never truly change. He had gotten a different job, yes, but there was a pang of guilt every time he slipped into his detective trappings, knowing full well that he was yet again misleading his wife into believing he was leading an honorable profession. Sure, he was catching the bad guys... But even Tana was managing to do that without blackmail and theft.

"Why can't I stop?" he would mutter to himself, sometimes. "Why can't I leave that life behind?"

Maybe, Jebidiah... it's because you don't want to.

Screenshot-199.jpg"Investigator? Investigator Kane? Yeah, this is Trenton Morris, Caretaker at the Cemetary. We've... Got a bit of a problem. When you've got the time, I need you to stop by the graveyard. I'll be waiting."

As Jebidiah hung up the phone, he realized he felt a bit nervous. Although he was fairly confident that what he'd seen in his basement a few nights ago was just a figment of his imagination, the very idea of going down to the graveyard at night gave him the creeps. He wasn't completely skeptical; he knew ghosts existed and that that for the most part, they were harmless... It was that last little "part" that had had him worried, though.

But, no one was going to be led to believe that Jebidiah Kane was a coward! So -- naturally -- he put on his cap and drove down to the Cemetary.

Screenshot-200.jpgWith his magnifying glass carefully polished, he began to look for clues.

"Some of my night crew are confident that they've seen... Things," the Caretaker had said once Jebidiah arrived. "Sure, there's ghosts here and there: there's dead people buried all over here, of course there's gonna be ghosts! Nah, there's something else funny going on. There's been some digging... Some objects moving... Dark shapes. Things no self respecting ghost can do. I need you to find out what's going on before I start losing employees. This place is creepy enough as is... Don't need to be any creepier."

Jebidiah looked high and low, and immediately, he began to notice some suspicious things as well. There was one set of footprints that was a bit more common than others, that went all over the graveyard... And where they were most frequent, there were thick patches of goo on the ground. "Ew," he muttered, taking some samples to bring to the lab. "Well, I know one thing's for sure... Ghosts don't leave footprints... At least, I don't think."

Screenshot-201.jpgHe brought in the goo to the lab, and they confirmed his suspiciouns. "Ectoplasm, for sure," the scientist said. "But along with footprints? No, no way... That's impossible, unless..." The scientist got a scared look in his eyes. Jebidiah had an idea what he was thinking, and it was an incredibly frightening thought.

But no matter what their wild imaginations contrived, he only had one option -- tonight, he needed to choke back his fears and see what was really going on.

... However... He had other things to take care of, first.

Screenshot-207.jpgMeredith had to be taken to the park. Yeah, yeah, she was a grown woman, but a man has his duties... And when his wife is shy around new company, extra so because of pregnancy hormones, sometimes she needs a little boost out the door. Although Jebidiah is a loner, too, Meredith always had more confidence when Jeb was by her side -- even if this time around, he was several yards away, frying a bug with his magnifying glass.

It was incredibly juvenile, but it was the type of thing that made Meredith laugh... Even if it was also incredibly mean.

Screenshot-208.jpgBut, of course, Jeb's worst fears were realized: Meredith had to run into the reason that she never liked to go out by herself. "This town doesn't need to get any bigger!" Max Racket began to yell into her face, approaching seemingly out of the blue. "It was just fine, until you came along... Then you brought that snub-nose doctor, and those Larsons -- this town just needs to be left in peace! We don't need no outsiders! Go back where you came from!"

Meredith was pretty sure she was going to cry, but before the man could continue with his insults, Jeb came to the rescue.

Screenshot-209.jpg"Don't you dare talk to my wife like that! If you need to criticize our arrival, then you pick on someone your own size: me." Jebidiah snarled, pushing Meredith to the side so he could approach the man berating her.

"Why you so upset that we came to live here, anyways? Unhappy that your son's little crime ring isn't safe anymore because there's a new investigator in town? Or is it because your daughter isn't first in line for Chief of Medicine, now? You really should be careful, Max. Don't give me any reason to look a bit closer at what's going on in that big mansion of yours, and I won't, but so help me, if you don't leave my wife alone..."

Screenshot-211.jpgAs Jeb turned away, he smirked to himself: he knew his words were successful... and Mr. Racket proved himself to be a complete and utter coward. Not far away, Gala Ball continued to read her book, totally unphased by what had happened... "This sorta thing always happens in this town," she would probably answer, if asked.

"Don't worry 'bout old man Racket, honey, he's just got a first class wedgie and needs to take it out on the first flower he sees," Meredith's previous acquaintance said softly, after Jebidiah had walked away. "Not everyone around here is like that, just give us a chance and you'll see what I mean."

"Thanks, I appreci-- Wait... Oh my gosh," Meredith said, suddenly realizing something as she finally got a closer look at the man's face. "Holy plumbbob!"

"You're... You're--"

"DeAndre Wolf... Yeah, yeah, you caught me. Sometimes it takes a town like this to make a face like mine disappear. Since you seem real nice, I'd give you an autograph... but I don't have a pen on me."

"Oh, no, seeing you is enough for me! ... Eeee! I've been listening to your music since... since before you went mainstream! Oh, Travis is never going to believe this! Or Tana! Oh, I can't wait to go home and tell them!"

"Haha... Well... You know... I haven't seen a pretty face like yours in these parts in quite some time... If you ever want to go 'home' somewhere else, for a little bit of different company... I'd love a sweet face like yours to wake up to in the morning... and I could use some new inspiration for a song I'm working on..."

"Oh... No... No, sorry, I'm quite... happily married, thank you," Meredith stuttered out, doing her best to show that she wasn't at all interested.

"Well, if you ever change your mind," DeAndre continued with a smart look. "Here's my card. I'm always willing to give a girl a good time, just give me a call and maybe we can... schedule something."

As DeAndre settled his hand on her shoulder, she looked over at Jebidiah, who was playing his silly little game of 'hide in the bushes' not far away from where they were talking. "... Al... alright," she answered, pocketing DeAndre's number with a bit of hesitation. She doubted it would ever come in handy, but... You never know.

"I have to go back to the graveyard tonight," Jebidiah remarked as he moved his knight into check-position on the chess board. "Not sure when I'll be home. Are you going to be alright by yourself?"

"Oh sure, I'll have Travis and Brad to keep me company," Mere replied as she contemplated the movements of her own pieces. "Tana's only a phone call away, too, so I'm not worried... Oh hi, Marc."

Meredith and Jebidiah looked up to see Marc Brandt, looking in on their chess game with his usual swatch of hair hanging over his eyes. The corner of his mouth pulled into a stiff smile, but he said nothing in return -- he only turned, and walked away.

"That was weird," Jeb commented, but just shook his head and moved his queen-side castle. "Check mate."

Jeb needed to go home immediately, and did his best to try and fall asleep. He had no idea what might be waiting for him, tonight, but to be on the safe-side, he wanted to be as rested as possible.

As he was heading out the door. Meredith was just getting ready to sleep herself. "Good luck tonight, honey," she said with a soft kiss on his cheek. She, too, was a little worried. After he'd mentioned what he'd discovered, she was a bit scared with what might happen... especially with what she'd seen in their very own house.

Jeb didn't have time to be worried, though, and no room to be scared: he had to be brave, regardless of what he was up against.

The graveyard was dark, but not so much that Jeb couldn't see. It was perfect, for a stakeout... All he had to do now was get friendly with his branches, and stay awake long enough to catch the culprit in action. Nervous? A little. Jiggling in his boots? Perhaps. He kept looking behind him, certain that something evil was going to come crawling out of the ground... Like a zombie from one of those late-night movies Meredith refused to watch.

The anticipation was killing him, but... All he could do was wait.

After about an hour, he heard a noise coming up the road -- a car. Well, that explains the footprints -- and, a person wasn't nearly as scary as a waking dead. But, now he needed to know who it was, and what they were up to... But most importantly, why.

From the road, a dark-haired figure approached, meeting up with a man that looked like he'd been hanging out -- or maybe working -- inside the mausoleum.

"Any success?" he heard a woman whisper, but after that, it was too quiet to make out what they were saying. He did his best to try and sneak closer, desperately trying to catch any more of what they were saying, or to see the faces of the mysterious gossipers...

But he saw one that he certainly did not expect.



Unknown July 9, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

I lied. I couldn't go until after the weekend to post something. :) God help me, I enjoy writing too much to take a break!

Please don't read the version that got sent through email, I didn't proof-read before hitting publish and it was Error Heaven. Bah!

I have a feeling next post is going to be ultra-huge. Hopefully good, though. Finally, you get to hear more about Farah!

Di Al Martini July 10, 2010 at 12:31 AM  

What was Farah doing there? Once again, another great update. I love the way Travis tried to talk to the baby inside and I also loved the way you connected everything. And whoa, De Andre ... are you sure hitting a pregnant woman? Marc is a weird dude. I bet he knew that Kane was someone in the crime organization.

Dee July 10, 2010 at 5:21 AM  

*laughing* That's just like a kid. "Maybe you're just gettin' fat."

Ooh Jeb, I do believe you scared the pee out of that old man. that'll teach him.

Andre should be ashamed of himself. Just because he's famous he thinks he can have anyone he wants.

Farah is up to no good. I still think she was involved in some way. I won't go into detail about why I think she was involved and just how involved I think she was. I would probably be wrong anyway.

No worries about me. I never read updates in my email. I always zoom to the bottom of the update so I can go to the blog itself. I don't even let myself look at the ending. It would be like reading the last page of a book first.

I just went back and read all those little hidden captions. Hmmm, makes me wonder if Meredith is going to get payback for Jeb's infidelity.

Anonymous,  July 10, 2010 at 11:13 AM  

Andre knows a good looking woman when he sees one. Meredith did take his card. That could come into play later or it's just a red herring.

Ninja kiss!

Maybe Farah is meeting her new boy toy in the cemetery for a quickie? Nah.

Anonymous,  July 10, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

Darn it, Kaleeko! I still have more questions. If this blog was a book, I'd sure as heck look at the ending to find out who did what and why. Darn tootin'!

Unknown July 10, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

Marc has always been really creepy in my game... The type of looks he always gives people is kinda scary!

DeAndre is... something else. Twallan's SP assigned him the position of Town Gigolo -- I'm pretty sure I've had pop-ups of him having relations with half the women in town... He could be a Red Herring though, yes. Or a precursor. Or Meredith's future lover! Whooo knows? ;)

I hope your questions get answered, Chrysame. ;) I did do up an outline and this storyline will be a bit shorter than the last one, so you won't have to wait quite as long for the resolution... Now, if only I didn't need to eat, sleep or clean...

mmmcheezy225 July 10, 2010 at 5:05 PM  

I ditto what everyone else said.

And one word: "wow". I love your pictures! They're so clear. :)

Jen August 11, 2010 at 9:29 PM  

Oh god what in the blazes in Farah up to?
Thought it was funny that Jeb was waiting in the bushes scared that something evil might jump out. lol Um, I think he is that evil thing! lol

I'm sure Meredith is relived to have her sister in the same town too. It will be good for her to have someone to talk to.

Maybe I'll make my comments shorter so I can get through more chapters... ;)

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