Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.netHeaven Help Me By
Robin Renee Ray
Timothy walked up to Lynn, taking her shoulders in both hands. “You need to calm down, Beth…I mean, Lynn,” he laughed. “You’re jumping to some silly writings of a crazy woman.”
“How do you know what I’m talking about, and who the hell is, Beth?”
“You saw the books in the chest, right?”
“You already knew about that and didn’t tell me? Who is Beth, Timmy and how do you know Emma was crazy if you never knew anything about her?”
“I talked to the lawyer, honey,” he turned her around, hugging her tight and walking her back toward the house. “I don’t know who Beth is other than the name I read in one of those books, it just slipped out.”
“They lost all but two of their children, Timmy, and Emma your great grandmother thought this land was cursed and that was why they died on or close to their sixteenth birthday. Doesn’t that freak you out?”
“Not in the least. I tell ya, she was crazy. Lots of people lost their kids back in those days. And really, do you believe in things like blood on the moon and something like land having a curse on it?”
“Well, no, but…”
“Good. You go fix us some lunch and I’ll get rid of the junk in this old chest. I don’t want you reading any more of that garbage.”
While in the kitchen making sandwiches, Lynn tried to remember when Timothy would have had a chance to talk to the lawyer when she wasn’t around. They had gone to town together every time, because he didn’t want to leave her alone in her condition and they still hadn’t had a phone line put in due to the fact that they would have to pay to have poles put in and they just couldn’t afford it. There were times when their cell phones had reception, but it never lasted long enough to have a long conversation.
Later that evening the two were sitting on the front porch drinking cold tea after supper. Lynn noticed that Timothy’s demeanor had changed. Every evening before he had sat close with his hand on her stomach while talking about the things they still needed to do before the baby came. This night he just kept looking up at the darkening sky in a chair that sat on the other side of the porch.
“What are you looking at, babe?”
“Just relaxing, it’s been a long day. Sure is a nice night, but gotta get the south field ready for seedin’,” he stood, walked over and kissed Lynn on the top of the head. “I’ll be sleepin’ in the spare room so I won’t wake ya, Beth. Got get up mighty early. Don’t worry ‘bout my breakfast.”
Lynn didn’t say a word, and she pretended she didn’t hear the way he was talking or the way he called her ‘Beth’ again. What she did plan on doing was going out to the barn and find out what he did with the chest that he took out of the house before lunch earlier that day. Something was very wrong with her husband and she felt it had something to do with the home they had moved into months prior.
Lynn was very careful when she opened the old screen door, so that she could go in and make sure that Timothy was asleep. What she heard was almost as shocking as what she had found in the chest. He was snoring, something he had never done before. She could hear it before she ever made her way down the hall to the spare room by the kitchen, but she had to look in to make sure it was her husband. That’s how odd it seemed to her. Sure enough, Timothy was lying flat on his back sound asleep and snoring out a sound she had never heard in the four years that they had been married.
After finding the flashlight, Lynn made her way out to the barn that Timothy had been working on for the last few months, getting it in order for the things he would need to get the fields ready to plant a good harvest for the coming fall. Along with plenty of hay for the horses he planned on buying when they had the money. She walked in and found a trap door propped open in the center of the dirt floor. “What the hell is this?” she whispered making her way closer. She moved the beam of the flashlight over the opening and saw the chest among several other old pieces of furniture down in the strange hole.
She went down two steps when the first pain hit in her lower abdomen, so bad it took her breath away. “No, it’s too soon,” she moaned sitting down trying to breathe past the agony. She crawled up and out of the barn door. “Timmy!” she cried, then laid over on her side. The moment she looked up fear struck her heart. The moon was coated in red and what she had read in Emma’s journal came flooding back in. The words ‘Heaven help me’ became the words that now repeated in her mind over and over. “Timmy, where are you?” she screamed with everything she had, but he didn’t come.
Lynn saw the jeep and knew the keys were always in it. She forced herself to her feet and stumbled to the driver’s side and got in. That’s when she noticed the moisture between her legs. “God, please, no,” she began to cry harder. Thoughts ran through her mind of honking the horn but she knew something was horribly wrong with her husband, so she turned the key and backed out of the driveway as he came running out of the front door of the farm house. She made it to a hospital in the little town closest to where they lived, hitting the side of the building outside by the Emergency Room. The two nurses on duty ran to her aid.
Timothy got a ride from a neighbor, who dropped him off a few hours after Lynn had arrived. They stopped him before he could go past the receptionist’s desk with him yelling, “Where is my wife, she’s pregnant. Lynn!”
“Sir, please. You need to have a seat. The doctor will be with in just a moment.”
“Where the hell is my wife?” He pushed the nurse and the security guard ran through the double doors that went to the main hall and subdued him.
They took Timothy to a private room and stayed with him until a man in a white coat came in. “I’m Doctor Harold, I was the one who took care of your wife Mr. McCormick.”
“Where is she? Can I see her?”
“I’m afraid I have some bad news, Mr. McCormick.”
“It’s the baby, isn’t it?”
The doctor lowered his eyes then looked back up at the large eyes of Timothy. “I am so sorry to tell you this, but your wife and child didn’t make it, Mr. McCormick.”
“No!” Timothy stood then fell into the wall and slid down and began to weep.
“What was she doing driving herself here, Mr. McCormick?”
“I don’t know, I just woke up and she was driving off. I couldn’t find the keys to our other car so I had to walk to a neighbor’s house. I saw a trail of blood from the barn and knew she had to be here. What happened, how’d she…”
“We don’t really know, but it looks like she went into premature labor and bled out. It just wasn’t meant to be. I am truly sorry. Can we call someone for you?”
“There isn’t anyone to call. We are all each other had. If you could show me where our vehicle is I’ll come back and take care of…things tomorrow. If that will be alright.”
“Of course, I’ll see to it you have what you need.” The doctor held out his hand and Timothy took it and stood. “Are you going to be okay to drive?”
Timothy nodded and then walked out the door to wait outside the emergency entrance for the security guard to bring him the keys and walk him to where they had parked their jeep.
Timothy buried Lynn with the baby right beside Beth McCormick, his great grandfather Allen McCormick’s first wife. Two months later while down the road at the feed barn buying seed he laid eyes on a beautiful young woman working at the counter. “Howdy, I need fifteen bags of corn and seventeen on the wheat and you can just put that on the McCormick ticket.” Timothy spoke as he read off of the order slip he had pulled out of his back pocket.
“Yes sir, Mr. McCormick. I’m Emilia Baker but my friends call me Emily. I’ll be working here until my dad gets better. Sorry to hear about your wife, Mr. McCormick.”
“Well, thank you, Emily. It is alright to call you Emily isn’t it?”
She blushed, “Sure, that’ll be just fine, Mr…”
“Nope, you gotta call me by my first name as well. Please call me, Allen.”
“Allen it is.”
“Maybe I’ll just call you Emma, you look much older than an Emily,” he smiled and she giggled. “Would you like to come over for dinner some time, Emma?”
“I would love to, Allen.”
And the wicked circle of life begins!