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Calumbra 23: The Maid

By strawberryichigo All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi / Fantasy

The Maid

There once was a family that had five children and a husband and a wife. A plague came and soon, all but two members of the family survived: the youngest daughter and the devoted husband. Not long after the survival of the plague, his only remaining child developed a incurable disease that only gave her two years to live. Since this was a time of sadness and not much on scientific discovery, research into this disease was not being done. Instead, many were flocking to the churches in search of guidance from the grievance of the plague as well as the disease that seemed to be taking their surviving loved ones.
Many thought that it was an act of God, for the town in which the man and his only remaining daughter lived in used what is called alchemy. Though they weren't looking into science of the day, many people seemed to think that alchemy was the answer to their problems and alchemists of all ages would leave their homes to search for the legendary 'philosopher's stone', a substance said to have the powers to heal any type of ailment and cure any disease.
The man of which we speak was an alchemist himself and thought many times about going to search for the legendary substance in order to save his loving daughter. But seeing her sad look whenever he mentioned leaving, he would quickly dismiss it, telling himself that he would find a better way to cure her.
Many months went by and he finally found something that he thought would be able to do the trick. He assured his daughter that everything was under control and performed something he learned called bio-alchemy, enabling him to do his experiment directly onto his daughter instead of trying to do something round about. His daughter trusted him explicitly-

"Ms. Tate? Ms. Tate?"
The young woman who had been sitting in a formal red velvet chair in the waiting room of a huge mansion looked up and met the eyes of the young maid who was looking at her.
"Ms. Tate, Lord Blackwood will see you now."
The young woman nodded and stood up, smoothing out her skirt and fixing her petticoat. She threw the messy platinum blonde braid back over her shoulder and walked after the maid that was in front of her. Ms. Tate looked about the long hallway, reminiscing, for this wasn't the first time that she had come to Blackwood Manor.
The maid opened a lovely chestnut door into a study and gave a quick curtsy.
"Milord," she said.
A middle-aged man with graying black hair looked up from signing papers and gave a smile to Ms. Tate, pushing his paperwork aside.
"Ah, Ms. Tate, I'm glad to have finally met you." He shooed the young maid out and circled around to the front of the desk he had been working at. "Please, take a seat. Make yourself comfortable."
"Thank you, sir." She said, sitting on the bench against the wall.
"I didn't get to properly introduce myself over the phone, I apologize, my name is Dominick Blackwood-"
"I know who you are, sir." She said with a smile. "We've met before."
"We have?" he said, slightly amused at the brusqueness of this young woman. "You don't look like anyone that I would know."
"You wouldn't remember it, sir."
"I see…" he said, not quite understanding what all she was getting at. "When I spoke to you on the phone you made it seem like it was something of importance that you see me. No offense, madam, but you don't seem like a duchess or a countess."
"No, I am neither. Actually, I came to ask for work."
"Yes. I am a fully qualified maid in all lines of duty, including some men's work if need be. I can surely drive a car."
"I see… Might I ask why you wanted to work here?"
Ms. Tate folded her gloved hands in her lap and looked around the room a little.
"Well, I grew up here and I would like to be back where I feel I belong."
Dominick laughed boisterously. "There is no way that you could have grown up here, Ms. Tate. This piece of property has been owned by the Blackwood family ever since-"
"Ever since it was sold to them in the early 14th century by a dying man by the name of Samuel, correct?"
"I know because that's my father. This is my home, or at least my land."
Dominick looked at her for a long time and narrowed his eyes at her.
"Ms. Tate-"
"Delaware, please. The formality is making me nauseas." She said, waving her hand in front of her face.
"Ms. Delaware, are you trying to tell me that you are from the 14th century?"
"Yes, sir, I am." She held out her hand to him. "Nice to meet you, Lord Blackwood."
"Hold on. I don't understand."
"Well, it's simple, really. I'm immortal."
"What are you trying to say? I'm not in the mood for games, Ms. Tate." Dominick quipped.
"I can explain thoroughly if you would like me to." Delaware said, not looking the least bit scared of the anger seeping from Dominick Blackwood's eyes nor like she was trying to pull a joke. "I can demonstrate if you like."
"I want to understand what kind of joke you think you can pull here. I am a sophisticated man and I don't have time for silly games of lies."
"Alright then. How about I just ask you two questions: Do you know what alchemy is?"
"Yes. It was a form of chemistry that was used sometime before the 10th century. Why?"
"Do you know anything about the 'philosopher's stone'?"
"What does this have to do with this?"
"Please answer the question, Lord Blackwood, it's imperative that I know all you understand."
Dominick sighed harshly and crossed his arms. "Yes, I know what it is."
"Good, then you'll understand what I am going to say, I hope. You did study some of the basics of alchemy in school, yes?"
"In science class."
"I will explain then. My name is Delaware Tate and I am almost eight centuries old. I was born here on this land that Blackwood Manor is now built upon. Here is where the plague struck hardest back then and killed off all of my family saved me and my father. I survived the plague only to contract a deadly disease that was going to kill me sooner than hoped for. My father, a man of great knowledge and a love of science, delved into many ways to treat me when he came across a book at a neighbor's house that talked about alchemy. After doing further research, he found out that there was something called 'bio-alchemy' that allowed one to use their abilities directly on the person.
"So, putting full trust in his usage of alchemy, I allowed him to do as he wished. Sometimes I was on the mend and sometimes it would make things a little worse. One day, on a dark and stormy night, after a month and half of practically sleepless nights with my father poring over books and theories, he finally cracked one. He used it that rainy night… Something happened when he activated the chemicals just as the lightning struck in the place where he was doing my cure. I was cured but I was sucked into a void, some sort of abyss that held nothing. When I got there, I found a door floating in front of me and I ran to try and open it to get back to my father. The door wasn't that far away but as I ran closer and closer to it, it seemed to just get further and further away. I grew tired of running after the door and just sat there. In a matter of minutes, the door was right next to me. I reached up and turned the knob. Lightning crackled around me and when I opened my eyes I was back home.
"I was home but it didn't seem like it should be. After I looked around for a moment, I realized that the place looked older, like it had settled. I was ravishingly hungry and so I began to make some soup, my father's favorite. I had hoped he wasn't too worried about me. I had only been out for about five minutes so I didn't think he would be gone… Why was he gone? The door opened and I turned to see my father as a bucket of apples fell from his arms. He looked older and seemed sickly.
"I asked my father what happened and he told me that after the lightning struck, I had not been gone five minutes, but five years. He told me he stopped with his sciences and had soon become too ill to run his little business in the village. I helped him get back to health. But it was as I watched him grow older and older in front of me and I never aged that I realized more than just that strange abyss happened. On his death bed, my father told me that the bio-alchemy he used on me was from a different country and it would be held in place by words. Apparently, the words he had used from his own mind did something, along with the lightning and the strange abyss.
"So, does that answer you, or do you need further detail?"
Dominick kneaded his temples and finally squeezed the bridge of his nose.
"I'm having a very hard time believing you, Ms. Tate… I've heard the story before as a little boy but I never knew… I thought that it was just a story."
"Well, it's not." Delaware said with a shrug and a smile. "I'll give you more proof if you like."
"Some present evidence would be good, yes…" he said, still pinching the bridge of his nose.
Delaware looked around and found a metal letter opener.
"May I use this?"
Dominick nodded and she took the letter opener. She looked at her hand for a moment and then shoved the pointed object into her hand. Dominick yelped as Delaware winced, pulling the opener out.
"WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!" he yelled, jumping back over the desk.
Delaware sighed and wiped her hand on the skirt of her dress and then held it up for him to see. His blue eyes widened at her perfectly non-bleeding and non-holy hand. Delaware smirked and held out her hand to him.
"Do we have a deal, Lord Blackwood?"
Dominick looked at the perfectly good hand and then grasped it, shaking it.
"I believe, Ms. Tate, there is a great deal more I need to learn about you." Delaware winked at him. "Not hiring you would claw at my curiosity so much that I would have to search the country for you again."
"You wouldn't have to worry, Lord Blackwood, I always return. Always."

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