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What If Liv Was Telling the Truth?, Part 1
"They attacked me!"
After pressing the button for the elevator I heard someone’s door slam. Glimpsing down the corridor I observed Liv sprinting across the marble tiles. She was barefoot and wrapped inside a large pink bath towel. Numerous blue and purple marks were on her face, arms, and legs. I figured they were self-inflicted. Another ploy for attention. “Jane help me!," she yelled.
I ignored her cuz she cursed me out that morning. Probably high on some illegal drug or off her meds again. I thought the young woman should check into a rehab. Instead of prowling around Los Angeles on a stretch leash. Unmonitored by a clinician and clearly a menace to herself and a threat to others.
Obviously she was the problem child. The daughter leasing a downtown condo not far from her parents' Bel-Air estate. And whose Melrose Avenue boutique was often closed. On the other hand, her siblings resided in New York, London, and Paris. Making names for themselves in the entertainment, fashion, and real estate industries.
The Woman-Child Grabbed My Arm
When the black lacquered elevator doors opened the woman-child grabbed my arm. “Don’t leave me, Jane!” I jerked my arm away, stepping forward briskly. I swallowed her sobbing face and boarded the elevator. I was about to select Parking Level 1 but exited the cab. For the reason bereft of her haute couture regalia, make-up, and rude demeanor, Liv appeared almost human. And she surprisingly resembled Charlotte my daughter. I plucked my cell phone from my purse and called 911 for an ambulance. The elevator buzzed and closed. After I finished the call Liv cried out, “They attacked me!”
- “Liv -”
-“Stop looking at me like I’m crazy!”
What a cockamamie tale I concluded. A few residents gathered around us. Someone called Ted. Our round-shouldered residential manager. I stayed with her until the ambulance arrived and departed. The residential manager requested I accompany him to Liv's condo. I was of course eager too. Given her incredulous story.
The front door wouldn’t budge. So we pushed it open. Stumbling over a pile of expensive leather purses, belts, high heels, boots, and flat shoes entangled in silver and gold chains. Ted cringed as he inspected the numerous dents and heel marks defacing the interior of the door.
I Daresay As Though Murdered
In the living room I spied Liv’s red leather purse capsized on an East Indian settee. The handles were dangling by the threads of the frame and the seams unraveling. Allowing the keys, wallet, comb, cosmetic bag, and smartphone to spill out. Next I glimpsed the carpeting. “Ted look!” I pointed to a trail of scorched high-end clothing. The pathway led into the bedroom. He inspected the carpet and indicated only the apparel was burned.
As we passed the 1940s vintage bathroom, I cast my eyes on a twisted silk dress, knotted bra, heelless pair of red shoes, and pantyhose with multiple runs and holes. All submerged inside the clawfoot tub. I daresay as though murdered.
On entering the bedroom, I noted the ash laden trail petered in front of the walk-in closet. Where hundreds of stark empty wooden clothes hangers lie sprawled on top of each other. Like a valley of human skeletal heads, necks, and shoulders baring their souls.
We left after inspecting the other rooms. They were all intact. Ted locked the door mumbling, “Liv really needs psychiatric care." I remained mum and inwardly agreed. I happened to notice a silhouette of a gargoyle posted on a corridor panel. It was my second brush with the ghoul. I dismissed the encounter and boarded the elevator. Hounded by Liv's dark brown eyes I pressed the Parking Level 1 button.
Within a Deep and Nameless Chamber
What if Liv was telling the truth I mulled over. Come to think of it. Hadn't I heard an invisible cat meowing in my condo. Weren't my personal items rearranged. And what about the tenant who was found dead on the rooftop. The rumor is he'd aged beyond recognition. These occurrences weren't figments of my imagination. Just as Liv's bruises weren't fiction either. There was something sinister present. And probably responsible for my weird experience the first time I visited The Stele Towers...
The renovated hotel was towering and big-boned like my Harry. With many rectangles, circles, and ornate flowery motifs segmenting the facade.
I hesitated at first to enter because three hideous gargoyles hugged the ledge above the entrance. They made me shudder, then I remembered seeing the original building. The Grande Mademoiselle Hotel, in the 1950s noir flick, Cry Danger.
A charming attendant escorted me to the lounge area. Where I settled into a tufted loveseat and flipped through several magazines. I'd arrived 20 minutes early for my appointment to view a condo and tour the complex. Oddly a wooziness began to gather about me. Though I’d drunk plenty of water and eaten lunch. However, far more mystifying were the electrical sensations pulsing through my body. Likewise another matter as well. An object was stirring within a deep-rooted and nameless chamber inside me. Up until that moment I'd been unmindful of.
I sensed the organism detaching itself from its chamber and rapidly whipping upwards. As if climbing rungs on a ladder past my abdomen, chest, neck, and throat. When it burst forth, I flew about the room gazing down at myself in my pink pantsuit and black heels.
I Remained Skeptical and Listened to Humor Him
In the next instance, I was sitting on a blue blanket in Venice Beach with Harry playing a spirited game of dominoes. We used a cardboard box for a table. He was wearing a Laker’s tee-shirt and Bermuda shorts. And I was attired in a white tank top and yellow culottes. We laughed, talked, and joked with one another. The sun was tolerable. Some beachgoers waded near the shoreline. It was as though the airplane crash never occurred and I was a widow.
“Good afternoon Mrs. Brown.” The real estate agent’s voice startled me. Everything began to swirl. Harry and the beach disappeared. And I was hastily snapped inside the pink pantsuit and black heels. After regrouping, I wondered if it was a daydream. It couldn’t be I told myself on account it felt so real.
Though Harry frequently discussed his out-of- body experiences along with other occult subjects. I remained skeptical and listened to humor him. There was something to it I now thought. While glancing at the shadow of a gargoyle looming over the rose ceiling. As I walked beside the agent.
On exiting the elevator I heard a cat meow. It sounded identical to the phantom one. I glanced about attempting to spot it and I was abruptly swept away.
To be continued.
© 2016 Irma Cowthern