Authors: Willow Rose
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Horror, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #Mystery, #International Mystery & Crime
Emma Frost #6
By Willow Rose
Copyright Willow Rose 2014
Published by Jan Sigetty Boeje
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
Cover design by Jan Sigetty Boeje
Special thanks to my editor Janell Parque
Picture of the Siamese Twin Creepy Clown Doll by Jodi Cain
Connect with Willow Rose:
Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
English nursery rhyme
HE MAN FOLLOWED THE
family closely with his eyes. Far behind him, the big city of Rome lay enthroned with its ancient buildings and ruins…This great city of gladiators, lunatic drivers and sumptuous pasta dishes. They had left behind the Vespas, nippy little Fiats and red sports cars speeding past trendy sidewalk bistros, tourists rushing to climb the famous Spanish Steps, walking through the Piazza Navona or tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain. In front of them was the harbor…the cruise terminals at
, outside of town.
The sun was about to set out on the water behind
The Crystal Bliss
. The man stayed close to the family. He studied the father, whom he knew was a doctor, meticulously as he put his arm around the shoulder of his daughter. They were smiling while they walked onboard the ship, not noticing the strange man following their every move.
"This is going to be great, isn't it?" the man heard the doctor say to his wife. The wife smiled and nodded.
The man walking behind the family smiled too. He had waited for this moment, for this chance while carrying his heavy pain on his shoulder.
They walked up towards the entrance of the grandiose ship and the family stopped for a second to look at the ancient city in the far distance and the ruins in whose name the Caesars sought to claim the world.
"See you in two weeks," the doctor said and saluted the city.
Then he laughed.
"Dad, you're so theatrical," the daughter exclaimed.
They walked inside. The man followed them, leaving a few people between them. He was warm in his big coat and hat. He was sweating heavily. The couple behind him were fighting. A child accidentally pushed his arm. The man growled in pain and looked down at the child.
"Sorry, sir," the child said, slightly shivering once his eyes met those of the man. The child let out a small shriek. Then he pulled back and waited for his mother to catch up with him.
"Mom, that man has a hunchback," the man heard the boy say to his mother. "Like Quasimodo."
The mother hushed the boy. "It's not nice to say things like that."
The man didn't care what the boy said. He rushed towards the entrance of the ship and followed the family closely till they reached their suite on the penthouse deck. He watched them walk inside and stayed until the door closed behind them.
The man remembered the number on the door, then turned and walked down the stairs towards his own cabin.
Moving bodies surrounded him, smiling mouths, with words being exchanged among them. In the distance, there was music playing. Strings were giving the ship a pleasant ambiance, giving the passengers the feeling of luxury that they had paid for.
The man walked down the stairs, carrying his heavy suitcase in his left hand. He found his small cabin on the lower deck. It had no windows, but the man liked it that way. The solitude and the noise from the ship's engine were both perfect for his purpose.
He closed the door and put his suitcase on the floor next to the bed. He was sweating and took off his hat, then his big coat. He looked at the reflection in the mirror in the small bathroom. The voice filled the room.
"Finally. I feel so lonely when kept in the dark."
"You'll never be alone again, Deedee. Never again."
T WAS THE HAPPIEST
day in the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Rosetti. The day they were going to have their baby.
It happened on a Monday and Mr. Rosetti had already left for his job at the railway station at
when his wife went into labor. He was walking across the
Piazza dei Cinquecento
, in the heart of the city when his good colleague Piero came running towards him from the proud building that contained the central station of Rome and had done so since it was constructed in 1867.
"Salvatore, Salvatore," Piero yelled.
"What’s going on?" Salvatore Rosetti asked, startled.
Piero caught his breath. "It's your wife. She's in labor. You better hurry to the hospital. They called less than five minutes ago."
Salvatore felt a dizziness. He could hardly believe his ears. Was this it? Was this finally it? There were still three days till she was due.
Piero smiled and put his hand on Salvatore's shoulder. He laughed. "It is happening, Salvatore. You are going to be a father, you lucky bastard. Now come with me. You can take my Vespa."
Salvatore rushed through Rome's heavy morning traffic, thinking of nothing but how his life was about to change. For the better, of course. That's what they said, wasn't it?
Your life will never be the same again. Once a father, always a father.
Yes, that was what he had been looking forward to for the past many months. He was young…only twenty-one, but knew he was ready to become a father.
Salvatore parked the Vespa in front of the hospital and stormed inside. A nurse told him to wait in the waiting area till the doctor came out. His wife was still in labor, they said. No baby yet.
Salvatore nodded humbly and sat down in a chair in the waiting room where another expectant father was waiting impatiently and anxiously. He was sweating and walked around restlessly. The two of them shook hands.
"My brother's wife had complications," the other man said. "They told him there was nothing they could do. That's why I'm nervous. Most of the time, it goes perfectly well, but sometimes…well sometimes, things simply go wrong."
Salvatore nodded. He had never thought of the possibility that something could go wrong. It was, after all, something that happened every day all over the world, wasn't it? It was the most natural thing in the world.
Finally, the door to the room opened and a doctor showed up. He looked at both of them with a serious expression.
The other man in the waiting room looked anxiously at the doctor. "That's me. Is she alright?"
Finally, the doctor smiled. "She’s fine. They're both fine. You had a baby girl."
The man roared with joy. "A girl!" He turned and looked at Salvatore with a victorious expression. "Did you hear that? It's a girl. It's a girl!"
," the doctor said. Then he turned around and left the room.
Salvatore felt a huge lump in his throat.
"Congratulations," he said to the man who was still cheering loudly.
"I'm a father. I'm a father! I can't believe it. And you will be soon too. We will both be fathers. Ha ha ha. This is amazing. I tell you."
Salvatore nodded with his head bent. He had no idea how long this would take. He stared at the door the doctor had gone through, while biting his lip. His hands were getting sweaty. He got up and walked to the window and looked out at the many people transporting themselves from one place to another. Happy smiling faces from people going to work or tourists exploring his great city. Meanwhile, he was hearing his older brother's voice in his mind.
Your life will never be the same.
Finally, the door opened and another doctor came in. His expression was as serious as the first one had been. It didn't have to mean anything, did it?
"Signor Rosetti," the doctor said.
"That's me," Salvatore stuttered.
"I'm afraid I have some bad news."
Salvatore's heart stopped. His hands were shaking. "Bad news? What kind of bad news?"
Please, oh God. Please!
"There were complications. Your wife…well we didn't know…"
"My wife what? What didn't you know?"
"There was more than one. You had twins. Unfortunately, they're what we call conjoined."
"Conjoined? What does that mean?" Salvatore asked, confused.
"Conjoined twins are identical twins that have been joined in utero," the doctor said. "Some people call them Siamese twins."
"I…I don't understand."
"Their two bodies are fused at the abdomen and pelvis. Other than that, they're in perfect condition. They are boys."
"I'm afraid she didn't make it. There were…complications. She lost too much blood." The doctor drew in a deep breath, then put his hand on Salvatore's shoulder. A nurse appeared behind him.
"Ah, there they are," the doctor said. He grabbed the small wrapped bundle that the nurse was holding and handed it to Salvatore. "There you go. Say hello to your sons."
Salvatore looked down at the two babies wrapped in a white blanket. The nurse next to him forced a smile. The doctor cleared his throat.
Then he turned around and left. The nurse gave Salvatore another of her pitiful smiles, then followed close behind the doctor. Salvatore removed the blanket and gasped when he saw the two faces joined in one body. The babies’ eyes were open and they looked up at him. Salvatore cried and shook his head. He remembered having seen people like this as a child when he went to the big circus that always set up outside of town in the spring. Freaks. That's what they were. That's what people called them.
Salvatore walked down the hallway of the hospital with heavy burdened steps and continued out into the street, carrying his sons in his arms.
That's what they call them. They'll call them freaks.
Salvatore walked across the street and blended into the crowd. In a state of pure shock, he walked without knowing where to go. He didn't notice the faces of the people he passed on his way, he didn't hear their voices. All he could sense was his own heartbeat and his many thoughts. He felt like crying for the loss of Guilia and the future he thought they would spend together. He didn't even look at the small faces in the bundle he was carrying. He didn't want to look at them.
They'll be nothing but a disgrace to you and your family.
Salvatore walked for what could have been hours with the crying babies in his arms, hearing nothing but his mother's voice in his mind.
I told you not to marry that woman, Salvatore. I knew she would get you in trouble. Didn't I tell you so? Didn't I?
Salvatore walked past an alley and finally stopped. He turned and walked into the alley. Tears were rolling heavily across his cheeks as he came closer to the dumpster.
I know I'm going to Hell for this. Forgive me, Father. Forgive me!
He opened the lid and carefully placed the babies on top of the garbage, then closed the lid and shut out their cries.
Then he ran. Ran for his life.
E'RE GOING ON
a cruise. I can't wait!"
My mother laughed and turned to look at me. We were sitting in a taxi-bus, going from Rome to the cruise-ship terminals outside of town. We had left our island the same morning and flown there from Copenhagen.