Hey everyone! Gosh, has it been that long? I know, I know! Sheesh...I didn't even know if I would remember how to post a story. For real...I had a hard time. Anyway, ritsam sent me this plot bunny for a new 3 Brothers story. It's a little different than what I'm used to writing so please be easy on me. I have three chapters completed at this point...not sure how many chapters there will be. This one is mostly just our three boys, but we will see John and maybe a few others later on. I hope you all enjoy.
TIME AFTER TIME
May 1, 1904-San Francisco, California
The magician paced behind the drawn curtain, his dark cape flapping out behind him as he muttered furiously to himself. "It has to be soon…it has to be soon," he whispered over and over. Finally he stopped, a sudden urge to peek out at the waiting crowd coming over him. He walked to the slit in the curtain and carefully pulled it ever so slightly apart. An easel held his sign…The Magnificent Manfredo – the most extraordinary magician you have ever laid eyes upon! He snorted to himself as his eyes swept over the crowd. "Soon…very soon, I will be the best to ever wear the cape," he murmured. He felt anger as he looked over the small gathering of people. The numbers of visitors had steadily declined until the most he would see on a good day was twenty, maybe twenty five. That would all change once he had what he needed. He would no longer be just another good magician. No, once he found the right one, he would be the best the world had ever seen. The best it would ever see again. He was just about to pull back when suddenly his heart leapt in his chest. "There!" he cried to himself as his dark eyes landed on someone in the crowd. It was obvious that the young man was tall despite the fact that he was seated. He had chocolate brown hair that was longer and shaggier than one would expect from someone so well dressed. He was not from the poorer areas of town, that much the magician could tell. No, he came from money, but money wasn't what interested the magician. What interested him was the young man's age. He looked to be the right age and since the magician was drawn to him, it had to be fate that brought the young man to his show this day.
The magician stepped back, his heart racing as a plan began to form in his mind. He readied himself for his performance then gracefully whisked the curtains open and stepped forward onto the stage. The small crowd began to clap as the magician made a sweeping bow before them. He stood straight and glanced over at the young man. He smiled when their gazes met…dark brown, almost black eyes to soft hazel ones. He reluctantly pulled his gaze away and addressed the audience.
"Ladies and gentlemen…children of all ages," he called in a deep voice that resonated through the auditorium. "I am The Magnificent Manfredo! Prepare yourselves for a spectacle of such you have never seen! Prepare to be amazed!"
The magician began his show and through all of the ohs and ahs he kept one eye upon the young man with shaggy hair. Finally, the time had come to perform his last illusion. He stood tall and proud on the stage and swept his eyes over the growing crowd. "I need someone from the audience to perform my final act. Who will that someone be?" he suddenly called and a few tentative hands went up in the crowd. He ignored those hands then turned his gaze onto the young man. He held out his hand and bowed in the boy's direction. "Will you be so brave as to come up onto the stage, young master?" he asked as he straightened.
The young man glanced nervously around himself, his face reddening when he found all eyes upon him. He turned to meet he magician's eyes and nodded. He made his way slowly to the stage and climbed the wooden steps. The magician smiled as the young man approached him, his heart beating madly in his chest. He was so close he could taste the victory that lie ahead. He took the boy's hand and pulled him to the center of the stage.
"I can see that you are a brave young man. Strapping and strong too. Please tell me and these wonderful people your name," the Magnificent Manfredo said.
The young man looked over at the magician then out over the crowd. "Uh…I am Samuel…Samuel Anthony Worthington," he answered softly, shyly.
"Ah, Samuel! Asked of God is the meaning of your name…how delightful!" the magician called. "How old are you, Samuel?" he added.
"Tomorrow will be the 21st year since my birth, sir," Samuel replied.
The magician's heart fluttered. He had no time to waste if he were to gain what he sought. At the stroke of midnight all would be lost. He needed a man of the age of twenty, nobody else would do. A murmur went up in the crowd as the magician became lost in his thoughts. He shook his head and smiled toward the audience. "Twenty years old…the perfect age I must say. Please stand here, Samuel while I prepare for the final act of magic," he said before moving back behind the curtain. A moment later he reappeared with a deep purple colored velvet cover draped over his arm. He positioned Samuel in the middle of the stage then he turned to address the audience.
"Ladies and gentlemen, in this world, beyond what we can see and touch is a second dimension. Only the most skilled and knowledgeable of magicians have seen it. Today, young Samuel will see it too. For today, as a gift for his impending birthday, I will send him there instead of myself," the Magnificent Manfredo called.
A nervous, yet excited murmur swept through the crowd. Samuel shuffled fearfully as the magician moved behind him. With a sudden flourish, the magician flipped open the cover and draped it over the young man's body. He stood behind the boy and, hidden from the audience's view, suddenly plunged a needle into the unsuspecting victim's neck. The young man tried to cry out, but the effects of the drug he was given worked instantly, quieting his voice against his will. His mind began to float as he felt the magician move to his side. He could hear the crowd, but he could not move nor speak. Suddenly, the magician's voice boomed beside him.
"And now, before your eyes, I will send young Samuel to the second dimension!" the Magnificent Manfredo called. "Don't worry, he will not be harmed and he will be returned safely to our stage in a few moments time!" he added as the murmuring grew louder.
The magician took a step away from Samuel's covered body then lifted one corner of the cover. He placed his toe over the hidden button in the floor and turned toward the young man. With words no one in the crowd had heard before he suddenly whisked the cover away while at the same time pushing down on the hidden button, opening a trap door in the floor that immediately closed when he shifted his foot. The crowd cried out in amazement when once the cover was gone, only the Magnificent Manfredo remained on the stage. Samuel Worthington was nowhere to be seen. The magician smiled as he turned and addressed the audience.
"I will now bring young Samuel back and then he will tell you of the wonders of the second dimension. I must have complete silence so please hold back your voices until I tell you it is alright to speak again," the magician said.
The Magnificent Manfredo held the velvet cover over the spot where Samuel had stood and began to chant again. The crowd seemed to hold its breath as it awaited the miraculous return of the missing boy. There was complete silence, save for the voice of the magician. On his last word, the magician pulled the cover away to…reveal nothing. No tall young man had reappeared. A murmur went up in the crowd, but it quickly rose to alarmed cries. The magician feigned innocence as he faced the crowd and put his hands up to silence them.
"Please good people, do not be afraid. There is nothing to be concerned about. Please lower your voices and I will say the incantation again," the Magnificent Manfredo called. He once again pulled the cover up to conceal the empty spot on the stage and began to chant again. Again, the crowd cried out when the young man did not return.
"Where is he!? What have you done with him!?" a man called out as he shot up from his seat and glared angrily at the magician.
"I can assure you I have done nothing to the young man. It is possible he finds the second dimension more appealing than ours and is fighting the pull to come back," the magician defended. "If you all will please leave the auditorium in a quick and quiet fashion then I can concentrate my efforts to bring him back. He will not be able to resist coming back forever."
"We will not leave! You have him hidden somewhere…bring him back now!" a woman shouted.
The magician stared out over the frightened and angry crowd then suddenly dashed for the side of the stage. He ripped the curtains shut then sped toward the back of the building. By the time the first of the audience made it up onto the stage, the magician was gone. Several men ran to the back searching for the magician while others scoured the stage looking for a way in which the young man could have disappeared. They searched fervently where Samuel had been standing, but none could find the hidden button and trap door. The men searching the back of the auditorium finally found the back door and burst out into the alleyway, just missing the wagon that turned the corner out of view a few seconds before.
The magician stared longingly down at his sleeping prisoner, his body trembling with excitement at what was to come. All of the ingredients were at hand, the incantation memorized. All he needed was for the boy to awaken and then he would begin. Soon, he would be the greatest magician in the world. He would be the greatest magician in history…past and future. His eyes saddened for a moment as he gazed upon the young man's innocent face. In order for him to attain his lofty goal, the boy had to die. He had never killed anyone before and he wasn't exactly happy about having to do it now, but he would be a gift to the world. What would this boy be? Just another spoiled rich kid looking down on those less fortunate than himself? "Most likely," the magician thought as he cleared any guilty feelings from his head. He had no way of knowing that this boy, either in this life or his next, would be instrumental in saving the world and even if he did, the magician would never turn back. He'd worked too hard to find the ritual…had traveled the country in search of the perfect sacrifice. His search had brought him to San Francisco where he had found this young man. He was convinced it was fate, that he was meant to do what was about to transpire.
The magician stepped back from the table on which the young man lie and smiled. "I will be back soon, young Samuel," he whispered as he walked from the candle lit room and shut the door behind him. He turned the key in the lock then moved quickly and silently down the long, dark hallway. He descended the sweeping staircase of the large house he had procured then headed to the back of the house and out the back door. A large hole had been dug in the garden, a garden large enough to fit a grown man, and the magician headed for that hole. When he reached it, he knelt down beside it then glanced up at the window of the room that held the sacrifice. He turned back to the hole after a few moments then pulled a small pouch from his pocket. Inside were various herbs and other ingredients meant to keep the dead from coming back to seek revenge upon the living. He had acquired the herbs, and the knowledge of the ritual he would soon perform from a hoodoo priestess in Louisiana. The magician opened up the pouch and carefully sprinkled the contents over the bottom of the grave. He smiled as he pushed to his feet and stood straight and proud. In one hours time he would be king of the magicians. He giggled insanely to himself as he walked back toward the large house. Soon his dream would be a reality and the world would have one less rich snob to worry about.
Samuel groaned as he came to, his hazel eyes blinking slowly in the candle light as they adjusted to the dim light. "What?" the young man whispered as he rolled his head and squinted at the unfamiliar surroundings. "Where am I?" he further asked as he carefully sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the hard table he was on. He lifted his hand to back of his neck and hissed when his fingers found the spot where the needle had pierced his skin. His eyes widened as memories flooded his brain. The magician, the crowd with all eyes on him, the sudden pain and then the inability to speak or move. He remembered the floor falling out beneath him, the pain as he crashed into the dirt floor beneath the stage. He remembered the muffled voice of the magician above him then the sound of running feet. Then he was being hauled across the floor, his body unable to put up a fight. He was dragged from under the stage and out into the cool night then hoisted up into the back of a waiting wagon. He remembered watching the stars as the wagon began to move and the sounds of shouts as they turned onto a dimly lit street. Then everything went black and he remembered nothing more.
Samuel eased himself off of the table and as quickly as his weak, shaky legs could carry him, he moved to the door. He tried the knob and nearly cried when he found that he was locked in. Shaking his head and telling himself to stop being a baby, he hurried to the window, but found that it too was locked. He looked out of the window and sighed in frustration. Even if he could open the window, the drop to the ground would either kill him or break both his legs. He was about to turn away when something caught his eye. Out about thirty feet from the house was a large garden and knelt down in the middle of the garden was the magician. Samuel's eyes widened when he realized what the man was knelt next to. It appeared to be a grave and suddenly the young man knew that if he didn't get out of this room, he was going to die. He rushed back to the door and grabbed at the doorknob again. He frantically began to pull at the door, but it would not budge. He stepped back and began to pat himself down, hoping to find something, anything in his pockets that would help him get the door open. Suddenly, he heard the sound of footsteps coming down the hallway outside the room. He searched for a place to hide, a plan already forming in his genius brain. He moved to the side of the door opposite the knob and pressed himself against the wall. He heard a key being inserted into the lock then the door slowly swung open. The magician stepped inside and as soon as he was clear of the door and before he could comprehend that his sacrifice was no longer on the table, Samuel lunged forward and drove his hands into the center of the magician's back. The magician tumbled to the floor with a loud grunt, the wind temporarily knocked out of him and Samuel immediately went for the open door.
The magician cried out when he realized that his prisoner was escaping. He quickly gained his feet and ran for the door. If the young man got away, all would be lost. He could always look for another sacrifice, but that could take years and besides, if the young man got away he would lead others back to the house and the magician would be caught and killed on the spot. The magician ran into the hall and saw the young man as he headed for the staircase. He wasted no time in going after the boy. He finally caught up to his captive at the head of the staircase, the magician thanking his lucky stars that the boy had not yet fully regained his strength. He reached out and caught the young man by the collar of his shirt, but the magician wasn't expecting the boy to fight back, so when he turned around and grabbed him by the arms, the magician was caught off guard. Samuel screamed out as he jerked the magician around and slammed him into the wall. The magician lost his grip on Samuel's collar and when the young man released his arms, the magician grabbed for the railings when he felt the floor give way to the stairs. His hands just missed their target though and in seconds, the magician was falling, his head hitting the railing he had tried to grab hold of. His body rolled and bounced down the stairs until finally, he came to rest in a still heap at the middle landing, his right leg bent at an unnatural angle as blood pooled beneath his head.
Samuel stood in shocked silence at the top of the staircase, his hazel eyes wide as he stared down at the horrible sight. He slowly made his way to where the magician lay then knelt down beside him. The man's eyes were wide open, but no life appeared behind them. Samuel could tell that the magician was dead, but when he suddenly heard a faint whisper he had to lean in closer to see if it was the magician speaking. He reached out a trembling hand, but as soon as his fingers touched the man, the whispering stopped. He stood on shaky legs, the young man realizing he had to be hearing things. He moved around the magician's body and carefully descended the remaining stairs then as quickly as he could he left the house and the horror that lay inside behind.
May 2, 1983-Lawrence Memorial Hospital – Lawrence, Kansas
"You need to prepare yourselves," the old doctor explained as he stood at the bedside of his dying patient. "Your father and grandfather lived a long and happy life, but now it's his time to go."
The woman before the doctor nodded sadly then moved up beside the bed and looked down at the old man lying there. She took his hand in hers and patted it lovingly. "Well, papa, you wanted to live to be 100 and you got your wish," she whispered. The woman leaned over the bed and tenderly kissed the old man's cheek then turned her head and whispered into this ear, "Happy Birthday, Papa…now let go…it's time to be with your sweet Lucile."
The woman stood and smiled when a gentle hand took hers. She looked over then leaned her head against the man's shoulder. He kissed her head then looked down into the dulled eyes of the old man. "He's going to be with grandma now, Mom," he said softly.
"I know, David. I know."
The old man lay upon the bed, his eyes open as the machines beeped continually beside him. He wasn't seeing the hospital room, nor his daughter and grandson. No, he was seeing something that happened many years ago and halfway across the country. A lonely tear spilled over onto his cheek as the memory played itself out in his dying mind.
Samuel ran as fast as his weak legs could carry him. The house was well out of town and he had a long journey, but he kept running. Tears streamed down his cheeks as he recalled what had happened to him and subsequently what happened to the magician. Finally, after what seemed like hours, he reached the city. He kept running through the streets until finally he came to a large mansion on the east end of town. He could see lights in the windows. He ran up to the grand front door and burst into the foyer. The foyer was filled with men, all talking at the same time, but when he appeared the room went silent and all eyes turned to him. One man stood out from the rest. He was tall, his shoulders wide, his hair dark as night. He had his back to the door, but when the other men fell silent, he turned and followed their gazes. His dark eyes widened when he saw the bedraggled young man standing in the doorway.
"Samuel?" the man called as he moved toward the young man. "Oh, thank God."
The man rushed toward Samuel and pulled him into his arms. "I thought I had lost you forever," he whispered into the young man's ear. "What happened to you?"
Samuel hugged around the man then finally pulled away. He looked into the man's dark eyes and sighed. "I am sorry I scared you, Father," he said softly.
"Oh, Samuel, do not apologize. Just tell me what happened. Where did the magician take you? Are you alright?" the man asked, his voice filled with concern.
"He…he drugged me and then…the floor gave way. I fell to a chamber beneath the stage floor. He dragged me out and put me in a wagon. He took me to the large house outside of town…"
"You mean the abandoned one? The old Jamieson place?" one man in the foyer asked.
"Yes," Samuel answered.
"Then what? What did he do to you?" Samuel's father asked, his hands ghosting over the young man, obviously looking for injuries. When he was satisfied his son was okay, he stepped back.
"He…he had a grave dug in the garden. I think he meant to kill me. I woke in a room…lying upon a table. I didn't think about it at the time, but I saw a table by the wall…it…it had jars and bowls on it…and black candles. I don't know what his intentions were, but…"
"How did you get away, my son?"
"I couldn't get out…I was locked in. Then…he came. I stood behind the door and when he entered the room, I pushed him down onto the floor and I ran. He caught up with me at the top of the staircase, but I…I…"
Samuel's father stepped forward and placed his hand on the young man's shoulder. "It's alright, son…you are safe now. Just tell me what happened."
"I grabbed him and…he lost his footing. He fell down the stairs to the landing. He…he's dead, father. I killed him. He's still there," the young man said with regret in his voice.
"You did what you had to do. He took you against your will. He deserved to die," Samuel's father said.
"But…I will be tried for murder…"
"No! There was no murder committed. You protected yourself…"
"Do not argue with me, Samuel. Now go up and see your mother. She is sick with worry and has not left her bed ever since we received word of your kidnapping."
"What will you do, Father? We need to summon the police…"
"My men and I will go to the house and dispose of the vile man. You will tell the police that the magician took you, but that you escaped and the matter will be forgotten. Now go, boy."
"I'm going with you, Father."
"No…you have been through enough. You…"
"I have to see for myself that he is really dead. I have to be there…please, Father," Samuel pleaded, hazel eyes wide as he gazed at his father.
Samuel's father sighed. He could never deny his son, especially when he looked at him the way he was at this moment. Not that his son was demanding, nor spoiled. No, Samuel was quite the opposite. He had a kind and generous nature and always had his nose buried in a book it seemed. He always put others before himself, even the little ruffians who stole apples from their orchards. The man smiled as he nodded toward his son.
"Fine, you may go with us, but you stay at my side at all times. I will not have any other harm come to you this night," the man said.
"Thank you, Father," Samuel said.
The group of men rode out into the night and within the hour they were standing over the body of the magician where it still lay on the landing of the staircase. A priest stood over the body, a bible in hand. The priest silently prayed as he sprinkled holy water over the corpse. A few men suddenly appeared at the top of the stairs and peered down at the group below. Samuel and his father looked up and met their gazes.
"What did you find?" Samuel's father asked.
"We found the room, Mr. Worthington. It looks like…I don't know…some sort of voodoo or witchcraft or something of that nature," one man called.
Samuel's father thought for a moment then looked back up at the men. "Leave everything as it is. Let the police sort it out. Come down and help us move the body to the basement. We can't take the chance of burying it outside. We'll bury it in the wall where no one will find it," he commanded.
The men nodded and hurried down the stairs. Once the priest was finished, they joined two of the other men present and lifted the man from the floor. They descended the stairs with the magician's body between them and disappeared from sight. Samuel's father turned to the other men.
"Clean this blood from the floorboards. I want no trace left behind," he instructed.
"Yes, sir," the men said as they immediately went to work.
"Father…shouldn't he have a decent burial? He…"
"He was a heathen…he was using dark magic, Samuel. He does not deserve the rites Father O'Niell just gave to him and he does not deserve a burial any better than what he is getting."
"Charles, I think young Samuel is right. To bury him in this way can only bring trouble in the future. We need to give him a Christian burial to keep his soul…"
"His soul is black as night! He will be buried in the walls of this cursed house and that is all there is to say about this!"
"He…I am sure I heard him whisper something, father. I thought I was hearing things, but I am not so sure now. He must not have been dead at first," Samuel said pleadingly.
"He could not have survived long enough to whisper anything, Samuel. You were scared and had just been through an ordeal. You were hearing things," Charles said calmly.
"But…I killed him, father. I didn't mean to…I just wanted to get free. He is dead because of me."
"And you should not feel guilt for that. He meant to kill you…for whatever dark purposes he had. He deserved to die. Now, I will hear no more about this matter."
Samuel watched as his father quickly descended the stairs then turned to Father O'Niell. "No good can come from this, Father. What can we do?" he asked fearfully.
Father O'Niell stepped toward the young man and smiled warmly. "I think that your father may be correct, Samuel. Dark magic was at work this night, but good prevailed. I did what I could to cleanse the dark soul. Just forget about this night and move on. You are a good man, Samuel…you did nothing wrong…in the eyes of man or God."
Samuel sighed then nodded at the priest. Together they descended the steps and left the house. They waited for the others to come out and when they did, Samuel gazed expectantly at his father.
"It is done," Charles said as he mounted his horse and rode away.
A steady beep sounded as the old man's eyes closed for the last time in his long life. His daughter and grandson wept as the doctor called the time of death of Samuel Anthony Worthington. After many minutes the doctor and nurses left the room to the grieving family. Mother and son approached the bed and looked sadly down at the still form that lie there.
"Mom, what do you think he meant?" the son asked.
"What are you talking about?" answered the mother.
"When he whispered 'it is done'…what do you think he meant?"
"I don't know, Tony. I don't know what he meant."
Meanwhile, in another ward of the hospital
"Push, Mary! You're doing good…just one more push!" the doctor called from behind his mask.
"Oh, God, John…it hurts!"
"I know it does, but it's almost over…just one good push and our son will finally be here."
"He's here…you did good, Mary," the doctor said as he pulled the red little body into his arms.
"He isn't crying! Why isn't he crying!?"
"Just give him a second," the doctor replied, and as if on cue, the baby started to wail at the top of his tiny little lungs.
The doctor stood and moved around the bed. He gently set the baby in his mother's arms and smiled as mother and son began to bond. He looked up at the dark eyes of the father and nodded. "Do you have a name yet?" the doctor asked.
"Samuel. Samuel Anthony Winchester."
John cocked his head and looked into his wife's blue eyes. "I thought you weren't going to name him after your father," he said.
"I don't know…it just suddenly came to me just now. I want to name him Samuel," Mary said with a tired smile on her pretty face.
"Samuel Anthony Winchester it is then," John said proudly as he turned his gaze to his tiny son. "Hey, little Sammy…you're going to have the best life, I promise you that. Your brothers are going to love you so much, just like I already do," he whispered as he tenderly stroked the baby's cheek.
Mary smiled as she pulled her newborn son up and lovingly kissed his head. "Our family is complete, John," she whispered softly as she slowly drifted off to sleep.
Well, that is the first chapter. This story has taken a very long time to get the three chapters done that I have completed so...it may take some time inbetween postings. Please be patient with me. Thanks for reading.