Mallard Lake Detox Center

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datatime: 2022-09-27 10:41:59 Author:OZszuBiT

'That's the smell of summer nights in New Orleans,' he answered. 'Of walking alone, and whistling, and beating the iron pickets with a twig.' She loved the deep vibration of his voice coming from his chest. 'That's the smell of walking all through these streets.'

The frogs were singing here, that loud grinding woodland song, and far away a bird cried in the night. Impossible to believe that streets lay near at hand, and that people lived beyond the trees, that the distant tiny yellow lights twinkling here and there through the glossy leaves were the lights of other people's houses.

'No, it doesn't matter, leaving here,' she whispered. 'I like it here. It doesn't matter where I go, so why not stay here where it's dark and quiet and beautiful?'

She pressed herself more closely against Michael. She locked her hands behind his back, resting her weight against him.

And it draws its strength, this big secret, from the same root from which I draw my strength, both the good and the bad, because in the end, they cannot be separated.

'That's the smell of summer nights in New Orleans,' he answered. 'Of walking alone, and whistling, and beating the iron pickets with a twig.' She loved the deep vibration of his voice coming from his chest. 'That's the smell of walking all through these streets.'

'Stella built this,' he said. 'She built it over fifty years ago. It wasn't meant to be like this at all. It was a swimming pool. And now the garden's got it. The earth has taken it back.'

He was looking off towards the front of the house, and when she followed his gaze, she saw the high gable of the third floor with its twin chimneys floating against the sky, and the glint of the moon or the stars, she didn't know which, in the square windows high up there, in the room where the man had died, and where Antha had fled Carlotta. All the way down past those iron porches she had fallen - all the way down to the flags, before her cranium cracked on the flags, and the soft tissue of the brain was crushed, the blood oozing out of it.

She pressed her face against his shirt. She started to shiver as she had been doing on and off all night, and when she felt his arms come down tighter and almost hard, she loved it.

But she couldn't shake the evil spell. It seemed to be part of the sky and the giant tree looming over her head, and the glittering water down deep in the rank and wild grass. But it was not part of any one place. It was in her, part of her. And she realized, her head lying still against his chest, that this wasn't only the remembrance of the old woman and her brittle and personal malice, but a foreboding. Ellie's efforts had been in vain, for Rowan had known this foreboding long ago. Maybe even all her life, she'd known that a dread and dark secret lay ahead, and that it was a great and immense and greedy and multilayered secret, which once opened would continue to unfold forever. It was a secret that would become the world, its revelations crowding out the very light of ordinary life.

'What is it, darlin'?' he asked. A low rumble from his chest.

The frogs were singing here, that loud grinding woodland song, and far away a bird cried in the night. Impossible to believe that streets lay near at hand, and that people lived beyond the trees, that the distant tiny yellow lights twinkling here and there through the glossy leaves were the lights of other people's houses.

She didn't answer. She didn't confess this dark fear that they weren't going to survive, that somehow everything that had ever given her consolation would be lost. And then she remembered the old woman's face, upstairs in the death room where the man had died years and years ago, and the old woman saying to her, 'You can choose. You can break the chain' The old woman, trying to break through her own crust of malice and viciousness and coldness. Trying to offer Rowan something which she herself perceived to be shining and pure. And in the same room with that man who had died, bound helplessly in that rug, while life went on in the rooms below.

They turned and walked deeper into the garden, finding the flags in spite of the weeds that pressed against them, and the bananas that grew so thick and low that the great bladelike leaves brushed their faces.

He was looking off towards the front of the house, and when she followed his gaze, she saw the high gable of the third floor with its twin chimneys floating against the sky, and the glint of the moon or the stars, she didn't know which, in the square windows high up there, in the room where the man had died, and where Antha had fled Carlotta. All the way down past those iron porches she had fallen - all the way down to the flags, before her cranium cracked on the flags, and the soft tissue of the brain was crushed, the blood oozing out of it.

She pressed her face against his shirt. She started to shiver as she had been doing on and off all night, and when she felt his arms come down tighter and almost hard, she loved it.

She didn't answer. She didn't confess this dark fear that they weren't going to survive, that somehow everything that had ever given her consolation would be lost. And then she remembered the old woman's face, upstairs in the death room where the man had died years and years ago, and the old woman saying to her, 'You can choose. You can break the chain' The old woman, trying to break through her own crust of malice and viciousness and coldness. Trying to offer Rowan something which she herself perceived to be shining and pure. And in the same room with that man who had died, bound helplessly in that rug, while life went on in the rooms below.

'Rowan, let me get you away from here,' he said. 'We should have left before. This is my fault.'

And it draws its strength, this big secret, from the same root from which I draw my strength, both the good and the bad, because in the end, they cannot be separated.

'What is it, darlin'?' he asked. A low rumble from his chest.

He looked down at her, struggling to make out her face, it seemed. 'Rowan, whatever happens, don't let this house go. Even if you have to go away from it and never see it again, even if you come to hate it. Don't let it go. Don't let it ever fall into the hands of anyone who wouldn't love it. It's too beautiful. It has to survive all this, just as we do.'

This long day in the balmy tropical city of old-fashioned courtesies and rituals had merely been the first unfolding. Even the secrets of the old woman were the mere beginning.

The shrubs closed out the kitchen light behind them as they climbed the low flagstone steps. Dark it was here, dark as the rural dark.

The shrubs closed out the kitchen light behind them as they climbed the low flagstone steps. Dark it was here, dark as the rural dark.

'No, it doesn't matter, leaving here,' she whispered. 'I like it here. It doesn't matter where I go, so why not stay here where it's dark and quiet and beautiful?'

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