The Calloway Chronicles

Do you believe in monsters?

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Forum Home > Exert > Adam meets Helena

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It was chance that drew my eye to her and once it had, I was powerless to look away. She was the embodiment of all things beautiful. I had never seen anyone so lovely and had to remind myself to breath. Her jet black hair was styled to perfection, her features immaculate. She wore a heavy black coat over a baby blue dress of the latest fashion, it's style complimenting her exceptional contour.

She turned toward me with unimaginable grace and looked at me with eyes of the most remarkable blue. A subtle smile shaped her full lips as though she could read my thoughts.

I blushed realizing I had been staring and looked away quickly. I painfully forced myself not to look at her for the duration of the movie. However, all my thoughts were on her. I could not possibly concentrate on plain Greta Garbo when a woman surpassing the beauty of all others sat only a few feet away from me.

When the show finally ended, I followed my mystery woman to the exit intending to engage her in conversation. She was walking just ahead of me and I hurried in front of her to hold the door. She gave me another enchanting smile as I tipped my hat. I could smell the sweet fragrance of her perfume as she brushed past me and into the darkness of the night street.

My manners prevented me from following her as a group of young ladies rushed through the door that I held open. I politely smiled at them and they left in a giggling pack. I exited right behind them but caught no sight of the object of my attention anywhere in the vicinity of the theater.

I returned the next day in hopes of seeing her again, but she was not there.

When relating my trips to Mr. Sullner, I mentioned nothing of the woman and our failed meeting. I don't know why I felt compelled to omit these facts. But they felt very private to me and I did not wish to share them. From the way Mr. Sullner looked at me I could tell he guessed something was amiss, but he did not question me about his suspicions.

As time passed I fell back into routine and gave up on any chance of a second encounter with the woman from the cinema.

As spring approached the theater began hosting matinees of old horror films to which I had a great interest. The first weekend in May they were scheduled to play Dracula and I eagerly awaited the evening show.

Mr. Sullner was out of town on one of his clandestine excursions to London and Allison would not be persuaded to see that type of movie, so I was blissfully on my own once again.

As I was preparing to make my trek to the theater on foot Saturday evening, it began to rain. I sighed and resigned myself to having Tom drive me.

“I believe your probation is up, isn't it?” he ask on the ride over.

“Yes,” I said. “But it seems I've grown accustomed to walking.”

The light shower had intensified into sheets of rain that beat against the Ford's hood in a drowsing composition.

“You would have done just as well to drive,” Tom estimated looking out the front windshield. “This rain isn't going to let up any time soon.”

When we arrived at our destination I told Tom he could come back at nine 'o clock to pick me up if it was still raining. With assurance he said he would be there.

I made my way passed the crowd of people milling about the entrance of the cinema and bought my ticket. I entered the showing room and was in the process of shaking the rain from my coat when I saw a familiar form in the back row. She was seated in the same place as though she had never moved. Her manner and demeanor were the same and she looked as radiant as she did the last time I had seen her.

Noticing the seat next to her was vacant, I summoned all my courage and approached. She looked up at me with her all knowing eyes and I timidly ask if I could sit.

Smiling ardently, she assented in a melodious, thick accent.

I sat and introduced myself to her. Her name was Helena von Strauss.

“It's a pleasure to meet you Miss von Strauss,” I said, relieved when she didn't correct the title. “Your accent, is it Russian?”

Helena laughed a beautiful harmonious vocalization and corrected me. “Austrian. But my grandfather was Russian and my mother French. So it was a good guess.”

I smiled. I had forgotten I was an engaged man in a public venue. Helena made me feel as if we were the only two people in existence.

“Were you raised in Austria?” I ask.

“No. Nova Scotia. I moved to New York when I was sixteen.”

I looked hard at her trying to guess her number of years. Her beauty had an ageless quality that had me stumped and I couldn't convince my mind that Helena was more than sixteen.

“I've never seen you before,” I admitted.

“I have been vacationing in Paris,” she exonerated with a sly smile.

Helena turned to the screen as the movie began. I made myself watch also but I was in a state of unrest. I bounced my right leg and twirled my hat trying to make sense of how I could have lived in the same city with a woman like Helena von Strauss for five years and never hear her name or lay eye on her until a few months ago.

I kept stealing glances at the woman beside me. She was watching the movie with such childlike fascination that I wondered if she had ever seen it. Her eyes conveyed the emotion of someone who had never even been to a movie before.

I was surprised when she leaned close to me halfway through the movie and whispered. “Do you believe in monsters, Mr. Calloway?”

I almost laughed until I caught the look on Helena's face. There was no jest in her lovely features and her ice blue eyes were serious.

“That depends on your definition of monster,” I said. “Philosophically, religiously, morally; then yes. However, if you are referring to vampires, werewolves, reanimated corpses and ghosts; then no. I have never seen anything to make me believe in the story tale version of monsters.”

“Haven't you, Mr. Calloway?” Helena ask with and odd tone of voice.

I felt a chill as I wondered what she could have meant. I was tempted to ask her the same question but found myself afraid of what her reply might be.




Silence is golden. Duct tape is Silver.


August 28, 2011 at 10:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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