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- Story Listed as: Fiction For Adults
- Theme: Drama Stories / Human Interest Stories
- Subject: Mystery
- Published: 12/11/2014
'The Revelations of Emily Rose Carter'Born 1957, M, from Belfast, United Kingdom
The Revelations of Emily Rose Carter
A short story By Will Neill
To say that I was a cynic would most definitely be an understatement; my lust for literature and it’s by product of knowledge has never waned, from the time I was able to read my first book I wallowed in the sea of awareness. Like a sponge my brain soaked up the pools of information swimming around in the pages I read, an addict to the printed word I yearned for my next fix. My youth was lost in the conclaves of the library’s history section, my teenage years to the study of modern science, my twenties swallowed up by the pursuit of answers, answers to every question. The consequences of which has lead me to this exact time in my life. My name is Robert Belhor.
Some questions have predictable answers, others can be arrived at by pure logic. I was a great believer in the latter, while other scholars debated the mysteries of the universe and all it’s creations I preferred the common sense approach – science and its law’s explained it all. For me that was it, or so I thought.
The rewards for my endless years of study has bestowed upon me a prestigious position in the Universite De Marne La Vallee, a vast contemporary campus sixty miles north of Paris, not that I speak a lot of French I might add, thankfully most of my students have mastered the English language to some degree if not fluently.
The fact is, De Marne, for me, is the center of the universe, when it comes to books it boasts the largest library in Europe. The site is tranquil with extensive lawns and numerous ash trees lining the walk ways that weave between the mixture of old and new buildings. Some more than two hundred years old. my humble apartment is situated within the college grounds a stone’s throw from the main hall and two minutes walk from my class room. I lead the idyllic life of a 33 year old bachelor. if the truth be known I think for women I have set my standards too high. To date, no one has stolen my heart or my mind.
But I live in hope.
Each semester brings an influx of young people eager to bathe in the fountain of understanding that flows for nine months in every year through the class rooms and lecture halls. for me, I am their Merlin and they are my apprentice’s.
My story begins in the fall of 1989, it was an October holiday on campus and many of the students had gone home for the week long break. The ash trees had begun to shed their leaves, covering the lawns in a carpet of yellow and brown flora. The days were shorter and the weather had become noticeably colder.
My intention was to finish my paper that I had endeavored to compile since the Easter break, but other diversions put paid to that on most occasions. Some more my doing than outside intrusions if I must be honest. the paper was to be centered on Prophets and Soothe Sayers of history and their influences on our modern culture.
The South West side of the University library always held the winters sun well into mid morning, so it was my favorite place to indulge myself in the vast array of book's that it had to offer and, of course, to be selfish and hide away in a well lit corner - devoid of students and awkward unnecessary small talk.
It was while I was engrossed in a specific passage relating to the Dead Sea scrolls written by Anton Lavey in 1969 that I overheard a muffled argument between a male and female lilting from behind the south wall bookshelf. While the male voice was trying his utmost to be as mute as the library standards expected, the female however did not seem to hold to such ethics. She was increasingly elevating her tone in sync with her anger. Normally I never intervene with love’s true path, and that for the first part I thought was the case in hand, anywhere else I would have walked away, but the vibrato in the building was disturbing me and I liked where I was sitting. With heavy shoulders I rose from my chair and laid my pencil under the line I was reading hoping to return to my analysis presently. By the time I had reached the end of the book aisle I had just about figured out how to say ‘quiet please’ in my best French. It wasn’t necessary as it turned out, both were Americans.
I stood motionless with my arms crossed waiting for them to feel my irritation floating in the charged air, keeping my eyes firmly on both, but they were oblivious and continued to maintain their over heated debate. It was neither obvious nor untenable to try and understand the theme of their discussion, if you could call it that. From where I was standing it was clearly very one sided, the mousey haired girl defiantly had the upper hand. She was certainly giving the guy what for, her poking finger found its mark four or five times on the poor kids shoulder. It was on the sixth that we made eye contact; I felt a raised eye brow and a dry smile would get much more across than any angry words of complaint. It worked instantly, she stopped, and the guy just stormed off.
I could see her wanting to do the same, but she spoke instead-‘You’re Professor Belhor’ she smiled. ‘I’m really sorr-.’
I shook my head and raised my hand; I was annoyed enough and didn’t want to get into any small talk with an over zealous student. ‘its O.K’ I interrupted. ‘Your friend has left’ and pointed at the air. She didn’t look as I had expected, instead choosing to gather her books from the table.
‘He’s not my friend’ she susurated before glancing at me, ‘He’s a-, well I’m not quite sure what he is’ she paused, looking briefly confused ‘We argue a lot’
‘No way!' She smiled.
At that point I began to lose interest and wanted to get back to my work, I really didn’t much care for the tribulations of a young couple and had no interest on how they may reconcile (as most do) in the near future. My train of thought had evaporated because of the interruption and the light had faded in my chosen corner, but my subconscious guess was that she was no student.
‘I’m Emily,-Emily Rose Carter’ she said confidently stepping forward juggling her books while extending a limp hand.
‘Professor Belhor’ I grunted back, ‘But then you already know that, don’t you’ ignoring her offer, electing to keep my eyes on my work that I reluctantly decided was now a lost cause.
‘Can I help you with those’ she asked, pointing at my desk with an air of humble caution.
I noticed her push her hair behind her ears.
‘Please, no’ I sighed and felt my shoulders drop, ‘I can manage’. she was so close I could smell her perfume, ‘Thank you-ah-I’m sorry I-?’
‘Emily Carter’ she assisted.
‘Yes of course, I’m not very good with names.’
She ignored my refusal and began to collect together my papers much more quickly than I would have liked, inadvertently congealing them into a mess. ''Please, Miss Carter stop!, I insist-I do not need your help''
My agitation was apparent by the level of my voice, I felt as if I had been sucked into her chaotic life. She stopped and again brushed her hair behind her ears, only this time she dropped her eyes and placed her hands on her hips. ''I'm sorry''
''It's fine'' I sighed. this was all I needed, a guilt trip from a hot headed woman. We waited through the pregnant pause, then she looked at me. ''listen Miss Carter'' I said with as much emotion as I wanted to muster, ''I'm sure you’re a lovely young lady and I'm sorry you had a run in with your Boy friend but I--' from her facial expression I could see I had just hit a nerve, ''I’m sorry, I'm sorry your er..colleague' I corrected, this brought on a smile. 'But as I was going to say I would rather we left it at that if that’s Okay with you.'
'Fine, Cool, Okay, whatever' she mocked me, shaking her head back and forth while raising her eyes. 'Geeze, take a chill pill Mr Professor hard ass'
My preference was to ignore the last remark and give her no more leverage for argument. quietly she handed back my bundled mess.
'You study the occult Dr Belhor, don't you.'
'Among other things, Yes, why do you ask?' Just then above us the Library lights came on and bathed her in a warm honey glow, her mousey hair shone like silk and the light mellowed her complexion. I dropped my eyes for a second, distracted by her beauty.
'No reason' she smiled back at me catching me in my stare. Outside I can hear the rain begin to spit against the stained glass windows.
'I,- I, had better go Miss Carter' I heard myself awkwardly mumble 'Its beginning to rain and I have left my umbrella in my study, please forgive me, I must rush'.
'I came here today to see you Professor' she said, touching my arm, suppressing my exit gently.
'Of course, I have no idea why, but I'm sure you will enlighten me presently'
'The argument you saw, well it was,--let me explain' she paused again
for what I suppose was for a thought gathering assertion.
I leaned back on my table and folded my arms in anticipation, in that moment I was uncomfortably aware of my unfashionable attire- brown woolen polo neck and scuffed black corduroys finished off with ancient leather brogues. A Stereotypical hurricane.
'My friend, or ex friend by now' she began 'Tom, the other American-he--'
'Yes, Yes, miss Carter I get it!' I intervened 'Can we just get to it'
She spun on her heals in a full circle, emanating a soft groan while placing her hands on her head.
'Okay! Okay! Here it is, Tom wasn't too keen on me telling you this that’s why we were arguing'
'Telling me what exactly'
I watched her blow air from puffed out cheeks, 'I know where the holy grail is— I've found it!- there I said it!'
I looked at her above the rim of my spectacles, 'Is that it?' I sighed.
'Is this your great revelation Miss Emily Carter?'
'I beg your pardon?' I responded, perplexed.
'Emily Rose Carter,- my name is Emily Rose Carter' she repeated, I could see she was annoyed.
'Look' I said 'Do you know how many times someone has claimed to have found the cup of Christ?' I watched her shrug her shoulders.
'Most probably in the hundreds'
'It is not the chalice, Dr Belhor, it is the Little Flower, I have found the Little Flower'
For a second I was stunned by her claim.
'That is impossible!' I shook my head 'No, No, No, quite impossible, Francoise -Therese Martin died in 1902 aged 24.'
'She is alive and well and living in Lisieux, less than 130 kilometers from here, I have spoken with her Professor, two days ago- I can take you to her.'
I felt my head begin to spin, I had read a paper a few years ago about Louis Martin asseveration to meeting the daughter of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ, and how he wrote about her in 1886 and most lately Donovan Joyce in 1973. Both authors giving credence to the holy bloodline. I dismissed it all as nonsense, hell I even wrote a paper myself debunking both men. Could I have been wrong?
'That got your attention Prof' she smirked 'I thought it might'
'Do you know what this means?' I replied 'This could be the most important discovery of the century, we must tell the Dean about this.'
I began to collect my papers with the nausea of excitement.
'Whoa'- back up there Doc- I said I would tell you about her, shit I even said I would take you to meet her, but she must remain clandestine, that was her wish.'
It was like she had kicked me in the stomach, like the little boy at Christmas who is expecting a bike but gets a girls doll. All my emotions crashed into a train wreck.
'Do you agree to this? yes and I will take you to her - no, I walk away - your choice Dr Belhor.'
'What choice do I have?'
'Take it or leave it.'
'Okay, Okay you win' I reluctantly answered. 'Can I at least bring a tape recorder?'
'Pencil and Paper' she laughed, 'that’s it - see you tomorrow.'
And with that she was gone, only her perfume lingered.
Emily arrives just after nine thirty, her early model, forest green Citroen Orphee convertible is splattered with mud on the doors and fenders. She's wearing a green check head scarf and vintage ray-bans, brown turtle shell frame with a gold cross band. She looks every inch like Katheryn Hepburn in 'Guess who's Coming to Dinner'.
She smiles and waves at me, I wave back and return the gesture even though she has kept me waiting for half an hour. Once again I am self-conscious of my out of date attire.
'You're late' I joke pointing at my wrist watch.
'I know' she laughs back before throwing the car into a stone crunching start, the sudden acceleration pushes me back into my seat - instinctively I reach for my seat belt.
The open air convertible accentuates her Guerlain Shalimar perfume as we drive along the La croixs de fer, a small back road that will take us to the Lieu Cadet main D road to Lisieux. The morning air is fresh after the previous nights downpour.
'You kept me awake last night' I admit after fifteen minutes. 'If your claim is true, you must realize what it means - it confirms that all the theorists were indeed right. That the Holy Grail does in-fact refer to the daughter of Christ and Mary Magdalene and that 'The Little Flower', or Francoise Martin, are one and the same.'
'I spoke to her last night by telephone, she is looking forward to meeting with you professor.'
'I have so many questions' I shouted over the noise of the car and wind.
'She will talk, and you will listen.'
Questions like, what is her true age, where has she lived through time, things that she has seen, people she has met, again I felt my head spin with boyish excitement.
For the next hour and a half I took notes with my pencil and pad, speaking only to ask if certain questions would be appropriate.
Most were not.
The streets of Lisieax are narrow, with a mixture of old and contemporary french structures, typical of lower Normandy. As we cruised along the Boulevard Jeanne D'Arc I could see some buildings still bore the bullet holes of German invasion.
'Not far now' Emily stated.
We turned quietly onto the Rue Saint Jacques, then stopped at the rear of a Church.
'This is it'
Emily pointed to four steps that seemed to lead up into a tree covered court yard. 'Come' she said taking my hand 'The Little Flower is here.'
She took me through the light starved court to a small side door, we paused briefly. I held my breath, then stepped in.
Inside the small conclave the air hung thick with the smell of dampness, ancient stone coldness raised the hairs on my arms and in the far right corner three tea lights floated and flickered in a paper thin glass bowl. In the semi darkness I could make out the outline of a person sitting. Emily squeezed my hand gently. 'Step forward Professor Belhor' a sweet voice whispered from the twilight. 'We have much to talk about.'
Slowly she became visible, her skin was smooth and perfect. She wore the habit of a carmalite nun looking much younger than I had seen in old photographs. But I recognized her instantly.
'Come sit with me' she gestured to a chair on her left.
Emily eased me out of her grip, 'Go Professor' she whispered.
'Little Flower?' I heard myself speak.
She nodded and smiled. 'I am known as such'
'I have many questions' I said nervously. 'May I' pointing to my pencil and note pad. Again she nodded and agreed.
When she began to speak her voice sounded like music, she told me of how her death was conjured to allow her to fall into a clandestine life, a life she wished for and how she desired to be unknown.
She spoke of the past and revelations of the future, she predicted details of disasters such as an earthquake in Haiti in 2010, wars in Iraq, Syria, and the fall of dictators. I noted all in my note pad. She told me things about my life only I could know, things that would happen, and I will see them.
'The world must learn of these revelations' I said when she had finished.
'Who will believe you Professor?' She replied, placing her tiny hand upon my shoulder. 'This knowledge is for you alone, not everything can be explained by science or logic. Take this time with you, and remember, try not to be a cynic.'
Emily emerged from the shadows and lead me out into the afternoon sunshine, the air felt still and the onset of more rain echoed in distant thunder.
Needless to say the drive back was more subdued than the morning journey, conversation was light. Soon we were back at the University.
Emily stopped just where she had picked me up, we had avoided the rain.
We sat motionless briefly.
'I cannot reveal any of this can I'
Emily shook her head. 'No' she answered.
'What would stop me disclosing Francoise's location?'
I felt my heart sink, 'No, I suppose not'
'I knew I could trust you Professor'
'Will I see you again' I asked looking into her stunning green eyes.
'Maybe we will bump into each other in the library' she laughed. 'I know your favorite place after all.'
I got out of her Orphee and closed the door with a gentle click.
'We hardly know each other'
'My name is Emily Rose Carter and I'm the protector of the holy Grail, the 'little flower,' and I am a direct descendant of Nostradamus,' I heard her shout as she sped off with a stone crunching start.
To date only one woman has stolen my heart.
Will Neill 2013.