Valley Of Glamorgan, page 1
Valley Of Glamorgan
By Julie Eads
This novel is entirely a work of fiction.
The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission from the publishers.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by the way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Julie Eads asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work
Copyright © Julie Eads 2013
Publisher: Julie Eads
Front Page Image: © Njron Photography
I dedicate this book to my family who has always supported me. They pushed me to write every day.
Also a special thanks to my dear friend Ann Brady; who has spent endless hours editing the book and giving me much appreciated advice.
This book wouldn’t be possible without any of you!
Every day I wake up, content with being me
But my constituents digress like there's something that they see
Maybe I'm a bit different
Abnormal, a bit weird
But as I stare in the mirror, normalcy is what appears
For years, I've been locked inside my own cage
My brain waves scatter at the thought of the slightest change
Anger and rage is something I can diffuse and contain
But there's a fire brewing like my DNA is fused with propane and it’s been lit like a stove range
My attitude needs adjusting
Change seems disgusting
But I'll embrace it, face it
And won't ever stop loving life for nothing
I sit home alone, scribble out a dumb poem
Look through others eyes; analyze their lives like know em
I'm the story teller
Notes scattered over my dresser
That's why this isn't a song, it’s more like a lecture
So sit down class, I am now your professor
I will enjoy changing
Till my face weathers under the pressure
I’ll leave a legacy behind.
Never settle for bare minimum
Every negative thought disappears
Cause every day I’ll get rid of em
The Alpha, the omega put me on earth for a reason
So I will reach every goal till my checklist reaches the ceiling
Staying plain I should be counted as a self-treason
So next time I stare in the mirror, the mirror will reflect what everyone else is seeing
Electrons fire, Goosebumps
Suddenly I see change is something that I desire
Fire in my heart, crawling out if the dark
Change is in my range
And I can't seem to wait to start
My drive will never park, not neutral
On a million mile journey, with each and every verse
Every memory, friend or family that mentions me
Won't disagree that I evolved for greater and never worse
I disperse words, adjective, nouns and verbs
And from now since birth, I'm breaking my normal curse
So I'm different
Unusual, unique and beautiful
Because I am me,
Eccentric and in oblique
Colorful, happy and a child at heart
Imagination runs wild, no longer lost in the dark
- By Zack Eads
I fought the urge to scream; quickly clamping my icy, cold hand against my frozen lips. The van had been parked with the engine off for at least an hour. We were hoping to conserve the battery for when we got out of here. That was, if we ever got out of here! Obviously, without the engine running, the heater had been rendered useless. With all the technology there was these days you would think they could have come up with a way to fix that. My thoughts were jumbled as I searched for the most useless information I could think of; hoping to keep my mind occupied.
I tried my hardest to keep my eyes away from the strange form that had leapt out in front of my mother’s grey minivan, wondering if what I was seeing was even possible. Searching my mind for rational explanations I questioned if maybe my contact lenses were messing with my eyes. Although, I knew they weren’t as I looked towards my parents, seeing the horrified expressions that lay across their time-stricken features. I could tell that there indeed was an abnormally tall man who was standing about two feet from where my father had slammed his brakes on. He was just standing there, staring at my parents, and me.
I wanted to scream and tell my dad to just push his foot down on the damn gas pedal! If the man had any sense in him, he would jump out of the way. Although something unsettling in my stomach told me that he wouldn’t let us leave, even if we tried. He had a look of determination spread across his exotic features, making me wonder if we were going to live through this night. Swallowing the lump of tears that were building I took a deep breath. If I was going to die tonight then I wasn’t going to die a coward; I would do whatever I could to save my parents. I knew they would do the same for me; I just hoped that I would make them proud. If we did have to die tonight by the hands of this strange man then I decided that I wouldn’t want to die next to anyone else in this world, other than my loving, adoring parents, who had given me life. Looking from my mother’s wrinkled features to my father’s hardened expression; I wanted to hug them both tightly. I hoped for the chance to tell them thank you for everything they had done for me. If we didn’t die or freeze to death, I knew that I would have a new appreciation for them.
It felt as if hours had gone by, when it had truly only been a few minutes. Suddenly the man started to approach the van. My father unbuckled his seat belt, which to my surprise he still had on. As he reached for the door handle I jumped with all my might and lunged onto his back. Then I started pulling his hand away from the door.
“No dad! I exclaimed. “You can’t go out there!”
My father turned to me and with a stern emotionless expression he told me to sit back and to stay, as if I was nothing more than the family pet. I was shocked; my father had never spoken to me that way before. Although I felt hurt, I did as he told me sitting back against the cold leather seat, which at this point felt as if it had turned to ice. As I tried to fight the chattering of my teeth, I looked towards my mother, surprised at how calmly she watched as my father walked towards the man. It felt as if I was in an episode of the twilight zone. My parents had suddenly become people I didn’t recognize. Maybe the man had put a spell on them or something? I questioned what was happening shaking my head and chuckling to myself. What an idiot, leave it to me to take a moment like this to tune into a Sci-fi channel special.
Staring wide-eyed out of the window I watched helplessly as my father finally reached the path where the man stood. They were both talking in hushed tones. Suddenly the man looked towards me, pointing his finger directly my way. My father turned and looked at me then back at the man. He shook his head and, it might have been the hypothermia setting in, but I saw my father laugh! It wasn’t the gut wrenching laugh that he us
I thought to myself, ‘Great, he has gone delusional!’ Then, the most unexpected thing happened. My father grabbed the man by the arm and knocked him to the ground. He used such surprising force that I was astounded. My father was a thin, short man, maybe 5’9” at the most, and this man towered over him by at least a good five inches. Yet somehow, my father had knocked him to the ground and had thrown him so hard that he was now several feet from where they had been standing. The impact was so forceful that the man was still grounded.
I looked towards my mother and when I couldn’t hold my tongue any longer, I screamed “What the hell just happened?”
She turned with a smile on her face, telling me that everything was alright and that they would explain everything, once the man was disposed of. As she said that, she pointed her index finger at the man and chuckled. In that moment I didn’t know who to fear more. The people who had raised me my whole life, or the man who had jumped out in front of our van in the middle of the night.
Looking back at my parent’s reactions and seeing that they hadn’t been as surprised as I was I begun to assume that his actions were premeditated. How could they have expected a strange man to appear out of nowhere in the dead of night? But, before I could speculate what was going on my thoughts were pulled from me as the man stood up and walked towards my father. I held my breath, anticipating his next move.
He was screaming loudly; I could hear him clearly. His voice echoed off the barren trees and endless road as he roared, “You need to tell her the truth!”
My father stood silent for a moment, and then when he finally spoke, he yelled back, “I have no clue what you’re talking about. I suggest you leave us alone.”
My head started to spin; what was happening to me? Just yesterday I was playing scrabble with my parents at our kitchen table. I remembered distinctly making fun of my father because he was always trying to get away with using random letters, and claiming that they were words. Those same people were right before me and I felt as if I knew the man standing in the road better than my own parents.
The man spoke again, “Jack, you have to tell her the truth, or I will.” He was projecting his voice which sliced through the frigid night air like a knife through butter. It sent unwelcomed chills through my body. He sounded as if he could have been a radio host, or one of those men who do advertisements for upcoming movie premieres. I slapped myself! ‘Snap out of it Mina,’ I told myself, ‘this is really happening.’
Then my thoughts were cut off as I heard my father say, “You will not take her Knoll. I won’t allow it.”
At that point my mother got out of the car and was by my father’s side in moments. The man looked at her in disgust, and then in a condescending voice he said “I am happy you decided to join us Stephanie.” She just stared at him with a look of dismay, before she rolled her eyes.
That is when I made my mind up, I had had enough. Getting out of the car I ignored my parents’ commands to go back. Standing next to my mother I exclaimed, “Well, now that you have all had your reunion, will somebody please tell me what the hell is going on?” I didn’t care much for cursing, but honestly it seemed like the only thing I could say that would fit the situation.
The man sniggered; I mean he actually laughed. Surprised, I found I couldn’t help, through all the confusion I was experiencing, to stop a small smile of my own from breaking free. The man stepped forward. “Hello Mina. I offer my apologies for all the inconvenience and trouble I have caused tonight. I am Knoll,” and he reached his large hand out for me to shake it.
I thought, ‘What the hell, this night couldn’t get any weirder,’ so I shook his hand. This apparently made my parents angry. They both looked at me and growled! I mean, they actually growled; like my dog Banksey does when someone tries to take his bone away. Involuntarily I took a step away from my parents. Suddenly I didn’t feel any safer standing beside them, than by the man who had just introduced himself as Knoll. I would address the strangeness of his name later, along with his thick Irish accent. It seemed as if he was a long way from home. Oddly enough his wardrobe had caught my eye as he had a short sleeve, black t-shirt on; the kind with pockets on the front but as far as I could see the pocket was empty. He also wore a pair of tan cargo jeans. Although he was standing in a snow littered road, it was well below freezing outside, yet not once did he act as if the cold fazed him.
When my father finally spoke again, he turned towards me commanding, “Mina-Bear go back to the van! Allow us grown-ups to have a talk. Then we will be on our way to your grandmas, sweetie.”
I looked at them in utter amazement, and before I could stop myself, I said firmly, “I am not going anywhere with anyone! I don’t know what is going on. Who is that man dad? And how did you throw him to the ground so hard? And fourth and foremost why did you and mom just growl at me?”
The questions seemed to ramble out of me so quickly that I wondered if anyone had understood the jumbled mess. Then I felt a warm tear stream down my frozen face, which I didn’t bother to hide as I was so confused and scared. ‘So much for not being a coward,’ I thought to myself.
As everyone looked at me in silence, my mother walked towards me. I took several steps back, “No mom, don’t I warned. I don’t want you to be close to me right now!”
She stopped in her tracks, “Mina Bear let me explain.”
I looked at her with a peevish look on my face before answering, “I am listening.”
Pointing at Knoll she said, “This man is trying to take you away from us.” I stood with my arms crossed, letting her get it all out before I responded. She continued with, “He believes that you are meant to do some things with your life that we do not agree with.”
Trying to understand, I thought to myself, ‘Way too vague, Mom.’
Continuing she spoke again, “We are protecting you Mina-Bear. I am sorry if we frightened you. You know that your father and I love you, and would do anything to protect you.” As she finished speaking silence reigned on the small scene.
Finally I spoke, “No mom, I don’t know that, not anymore. You let me sit in that van scared to death. I actually thought this could have been our last night together. Maybe even our last night on this earth! You have stood here having a pow-wow with this strange man who, it seems, wants to take me away.” Pausing, I thought back to when I had heard Knoll tell my father that he needed to tell someone the truth. Looking at him I pointed my finger in his direction, startling him by saying, “And you! Jumping in front of the van and nearly scaring me to death! What is wrong with you?” He didn’t answer, just stood there in bewilderment, letting me go on ranting as I continued, “And what did you mean by needing to tell her the truth? Were you talking about me?”
As I stopped speaking Knoll stepped forward; walking slowly towards me as if I was a fragile animal, apparently not wanting to scare me away. “Yes Mina, I was talking about you,” he responded calmly, “Stephanie was right in a sense but, they are not telling you the whole truth.”
My father stepped between Knoll and myself, shouting, “I am warning you Knoll that is enough! One more word and I will kill you!” That is when I did something I never thought I would do. Stepping in front of Knoll I told my dad to step away. One way or another I wanted the truth tonight, even though that meant making my parents angry at me.
Knoll turned towards me, declaring, “I am here to take you home.”
“I don’t understand; my home is about three hours that way,” I declared as I pointed to the barren road behind us.
“No it’s not,” replied Knoll. “I am trying to be delicate in the way I tell you this Mina, but I fear that we are running out of time.” My body began to shake uncontrollably. What was he talking about? We were running out of time for what? As I began to ask he continued speaking, cutting me off mid-sentence. “Jack and Step
I looked towards the couple I knew as mom and dad. They both had fear spread across their faces. As the saying goes, just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. I searched my mind for a logical explanation, maybe this man had me mixed-up with someone else; it was the only one I could come up with. I looked at ‘my parents’ again and couldn’t help but question their love for me. They had growled and treated me as if I was nothing to them. No matter how hard it was to ask Knoll to continue, I had to. I had to know the truth even if it hurt me.
I looked at Knoll, who was standing perfectly still between my parents and me, as if he was shielding me away from the lies he claimed they were telling. Finally I found the courage and looking Knoll directly in the eyes I asked, “What happened?”
Stepping closer towards me he responded with, “Mina, you were kidnapped when you were three years old. I am your guardian and I have come to take you home to your real family.”
I couldn’t help but flinch at his last words; it was as if they had physically struck me. There was a truth in his eyes that frightened me. Trying to swallow down the fear and disgust I looked to my so-called parents with surprise; I was heartbroken. How could this be? I would have denied what he was telling me, hell any rational person would have, if not for the look on Jack and Stephanie’s faces, which was all the truth I needed. Suddenly I was so angry! I wanted to just turn around and run until my feet wouldn’t carry me anymore but I knew that I needed to figure this out. All that my weather-worn lips could muster was, “Why?”
Stephanie looked at me, “Oh hell, Mina-Bear, we had no choice,” She announced. “We had to protect you from those people.” The last word was spoken with such disgust, as if she had a bad taste in her mouth.
Knoll stepped forward, anger radiated off him and he shouted, “Stop that is enough lies. I will not stand here while you torture and confuse her anymore.”