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Bloody Ice Part 1: Sylvia's Vision
"It wasn't a dream."
"So you're saying you can see the future?"
"No! No one can see the future. People are free to make decisions at any time and form their own future. What I saw has already began."
Joseph placed both elbows on the table between him and his daughter Sylvia. Peering at her above the steeple his hands formed he asked, "So if it has already began, what do you intend to do about it? Do you think you can change the outcome of what has already been set in motion? Going there will not help you or whoever you saw in that dream…"
"It wasn't a dream Papa!" Sylvia shouted as she doubled over the table in tears. "I saw him, I felt his pain, I felt my pain, and it couldn't have been more real. Even if you don't believe me Papa," she sobbed, "please just help me. I need to find out the truth."
Joseph changed his position at the table and stared at his daughter before him. He could not dare ignore what she was saying. He had made that fatal mistake before with his wife. She too had the ability to prophesy. He would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and see her huddled in the closet or on the bathroom floor praying; all the time racked with pain, tears streaming down her face. When the vision had been good, she would be cleaning, singing, and preparing a gift for whoever the lucky person was.
He had seen her prove her visions repeatedly but he refused to believe. In his mind, believing would mean that he was as troubled as she was; that demonic forces were at work. His parents had thought the same thing and insisted he choose between them and her. He loved her too much to throw her aside, no matter what. If he had believed her when she had prophesied about herself, she would still be alive. He would not have argued with her and forced her to go out into the unforgiving cold to fetch more blankets from the storehouse
The lump in his throat doubled in size and the tears stung hid eyes. If he had not forced her she would not have fallen into that lake of ice.
"So what are we going to do about it then?"
She smiled, she knew he did not understand but he believed and that was enough. "We have to find him Papa. I need to find out if he's ok and what's really happening. I didn't realize until now how much I really love him. He and his wife were a big help to us when mom died."
"Tell me again what you saw."
"Well, I was at the University walking along the corridors and looking into the classes, and then I ended up in his office. He seemed a lot younger than I suppose he is. We started talking and walked out of the office and into the parking lot. That was when he started to sound dejected and hurt, as if something that meant the world to him was forever lost.
"I hooked my arm in his elbow and stared at his shoes while we walked. Those shoes were unique and strange. They were shaped funny at the front with a strange gold pattern at the sides. Then I saw a block of bloody ice in his hand. I began to feel agitated and scared. I asked him what happened but he wouldn't tell me. The pain he felt made me cry but he wouldn't even admit that something was wrong. I didn't know what to say so I just hugged him, and when I let him go he just walked away. All I could think of was how much it hurts." She slipped off the chair, her body shaking as she cried. "It hurts Papa. It hurts so bad."
Joseph knelt by his daughter and ran his hand over her silky red hair. He placed a finger beneath her chin and lifted her head so she was looking at him. "We'll leave first thing tomorrow morning," he said.
The three hours passed silently, Sylvia and Joseph both lost in their own thoughts. Finally, they pulled up at the gates of the University. Joseph rolled down the windows to allow the security guard to scan the contents of the car while he signed a logbook. It was not a very big campus; in fact, there was more space at the high school Sylvia attended.
"Do you want me to come in with you?"
"No thanks Papa, I'll be OK." She left to find her dear professor while Joseph parked the car. Sylvia and Professor Lyndham had formed a very close relationship when Sylvia was very young. Back then, he had been good friends with her mother. He moved out of the city when he was offered a job to lecture as a Physics professor but Sylvia had kept in touch with him; she was even a part of his wedding two years ago.
Due to the availability of rooms at the university, or the lack of it, the professors had to share offices in their respective departments. The Math, Physics, and Accounting professors shared an office at the far end of the parking lot. Sylvia stood at the door, smiling at the sight of Professor Lyndham doubled over his desk, writing away. His straight black hair fell over his forehead and danced above his papers, as his hands seemed to struggle to keep up with his brain. She walked up to his desk, knowing he was too engrossed in his writing to notice anything around him. She figured she would just stand there until he came up for air.
She did not see anything physically wrong with him; he seemed as healthy and as energetic as ever. She looked pass his chair, scanning for a crutch, cane, medication, or anything that would prove some kind illness or wound. That would explain the bloody ice in her vision. She could not even feel anything wrong. His aura was completely positive.
"Ahem, found what you are looking for?" he teased, a radiant smile on his face
He bounded out of his chair and grabbed her up in a bear hug. "Hi Princess, how are you? I haven't seen you in ages."
"It’s only been two months Uncle," she giggled. "And I'm fine. What about you Uncle?" she stepped back and stared into his face, "how have you been?"
"Great! Awesome even. We're having a baby!"
"Wow! That's great."
"Everything is flowing smoothly. I've never felt better in my life."
"Oh, that's good." Could she have been wrong? Did she make a mistake?
Professor Lyndham waved over her shoulder to someone at the door. "Come, come Mr. Todd. There is someone I want you to meet. This is Sylvia Parkins. Sylvia, meet Mr. Nathan Todd, he is the newest member of our team. Fresh out of Waterloo University wouldn't you believe it."
Sylvia spun around, her hand extended for a handshake. "Hello, nice to meet you Mr. Todd." She was so struck by the unadulterated handsomeness that clothed this man that she forgot to shake his hand and let him flop her arm around.
"Ah, this is Lyndham's famous Sylvia," he smiled. "It’s a pleasure to meet you."
“The pleasure's all mine," she replied thinking how fitting that overused phrase is. Her eyes followed him as he sauntered over to his desk that seemed too small. He looked like the kind of man that would have a million teenage girls practicing to write 'Mrs. Todd' surrounded by hundreds of glittery hearts. Her stomach fluttered as she remembered the feel of his muscular hands in hers.
Lyndham sat on the edge of his desk, enjoying the effect his coworker was having on Sylvia.
Her heart skipped a beat and her breath caught in her throat causing her to choke. "It was you," she whispered. "Where did you get those shoes Mr. Todd?"
"Are you OK Sylvia?" Lyndham asked. "You've suddenly become pale."
Todd smiled down at his shoes, "I had them professionally made for me. Designed it myself too. It is the only one like it. Do you like it?" he looked up and saw her blanched face etched in pain and fear. "Are you OK? Is she OK Lyndham?"
"It was you," she whispered again, looking into his eyes. "It wasn't Uncle Lyndham, it was you. But how…"