Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

1976, South California
The Sandoval couple is worried sick: their daughter, Elizabeth, ran off and joined a cult, the Temple of Concordance. They had no contact with her until recently, when she called them, clearly in a state of distress. The call ended abruptly, without any answer from Elizabeth about her status. The police checked up on the Temple, but found everything to be in order: Elizabeth is 21, practicing her right to worship as she wishes. The Sandovals decide to take matters into their own hands...

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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:33 am

Elizabeth leads July into the house.

Inside, it's musty and stale. Dried mud "adorns" the laminate floor near the entrance.

There are two doors on each side of the narrow corridor, all closed. A small plastic crucifix hangs between the doors on the left.

Elizabeth opens the second door on the right. It leads to a small kitchen. The window opposite the door is open, leading in some fresh air. The furnishing are sparse: an old fridge, a table, couple of chairs. There is a sink by the window. Elizabeth opens the tap, but doesn't bother with a glass. She just gathers some water in her palms and drinks. She fills the kettle. A camping stove lays on the floor. Elizabeth kneels down, fiddles with it, but she just can't get the fire going.

The table is covered in stuff. Leftovers, small, colorful boxes of food, empty bottles. Ants march in line back and forth.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:08 am

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"Here, let me help you get the fire going," says Julie, coming over to the stove and bending low. "Don't they ever clean up around here? There are insects all over the table, eating the leftover food there." She deliberately gives the details so that the others can hear her description over the wire. She's relived that the water is going to be boiled before it goes into the coffee. She wouldn't trust it otherwise, considering the state of this place.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:36 am

Julie gets the stove going.

"The fridge isn't working anyways," Elizabeth says. Probably meaning that the ants save the food from spoiling?

She finds a clean mug, scoops some coffee into it from a tin box.

The water boils. Elizabeth reaches for the kettle, and Julie sees that the girls fingers touch the hot metal - but she doesn't even flinch. Just goes on, pours the water on the coffee grounds, and hands over the mug to Julie.

"Here you go."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:45 am

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"Thanks," says Julie, accepting the mug and sipping the coffee. "Are you okay? You touched the metal part of the kettle. Did you burn your fingers?"
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:07 am

"Oh!"

Elizabeth looks at her hand. There are fresh blisters on her fingers where she touched the kettle.

"It happened too fast, probably. I didn't even feel the pain."

She looks more surprised than concerned.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:14 am

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"Here, let me help you," says Julie, taking some cool water to soothe Elizabeth's fingers and looking around for something to use for ointment. Butter might work in a pinch, if they even have any.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:52 pm

Elizabeth lets Julie take care of her finger, hold it under running water, smear it with some oil.

["So... are you, uh, staying in town?"
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:15 pm

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"Yeah, I am," says Julie. "I'm here for a while yet. I haven't seen you in so long, and I want to spend more time with you, like we used to. How are things here? Is everything all right?"
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:01 am

"Like we used to..." Elizabeth echoes. "Those times... it wasn't that long ago. But it seems to me that it was all a dream. I was... not aware of myself. I was just drifting. Without purpose. Pointlessly wandering in a faceless crowd. I needed an anchor."

"I live a simple life here. I think you would find it boring. Work, meditation, prayer. Sometimes alone, sometimes together... Communion. We learn."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:23 am

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"It's never boring when you're around, Liz," says Julie.
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:39 pm

"Thanks. You are always so nice to me... I miss that, sometimes. The other people here are nice, too. But everybody is tired to be friendly. We have a connection, but it is not about friendship."

Julie hears a car approaching.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:47 am

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"You're welcome," says Julie. "Sounds like someone's coming back. I wonder who it is."
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:17 pm

The gravel in the yard crunches under the car's tires, and the vehicle stops. The car door opens and slams shut.

Elizabeth suddenly becomes more animate.

"Oh! It must be---" Is Elizabeth making a pause here? "Our teacher, the leader of our community," she explains. She takes a few steps towards the exit, but then stops and hesitates. "You know, it's been some time since we've had any visitors. We welcome everybody, of course, but I'm not sure... But maybe it's alright that you are here..."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:11 am

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"I'm sure it'll be fine," says Julie. "You'll vouch for me, after all. Anyway, I like meeting new people."
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:44 pm

"Yes, yes," Elizabeth says, but with a hint of anxiety in her voice. "I caused some trouble, you know, some time ago. Had a moment of weakness... Lost faith in myself and my path. Called my parents. It was stupid. I just had to get through a rough patch, and everything was back to normal. Nobody punished me or anything," she is quick to add. "But I'm still afraid a bit, that you being here will get me into trouble."

She hesitates, then finally makes a decision.

"Okay, let's go. I will introduce you After all, nobody said I'm not allowed to have guests. Just let me talk to --- first."

Again, with that weird pause mid-sentence!

Elizabeth walks out of the house, but signals to Julie to stay on the porch or in the dim corridor (as she wishes).

Julie sees the red car parked in the middle of the courtyard. A tall man gets out from the driver's seat. He is dressed simply, in jeans and a black shirt.

Maybe it's because of the excessive heat outside, the vibrating air, but for a few seconds Julie just cannot make out the man's face. Like looking through a broken camera, that cannot focus any more. But soon this sensation is gone, and Julie sees a handsome face, almost something from a fashion magazine, with clean cut features, straight nose, dark arching eyebrows.

Elizabeth exits the porch, and goes straight toward the man. If she wasn't so tired, she would be running and skipping, it seems to Julie. The newcomer notices her, and opens his arms. Elizabeth stops before, and the man closes his arms behind his back, locking her in a tight embrace. After a few seconds, he lets go.

Elizabeth starts talking. Her voice is weak, and Julie cannot hear her properly. But Elizabeth is talking about her friend, her visitor, and gestures towards the house. He looks at the house, trying to catch a glimpse of Julie. He doesn't say anything, just lightly touches Elizabeth's shoulder, and starts walking towards the house. He moves slowly, but not in the sickly, malnourished way some of the other inhabitants of the compound walk. Rather, he cuts a powerful, slightly menacing, charismatic figure.

Julie notices the two people heading towards the man and Elizabeth from the side of the other building. One is the woman who met her, and the other is a long-haired young man dressed in a flowing white robe, hippie-style.



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"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:14 am

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Julie stands out on the porch. She waves and smiles at the approaching man. "Hi, I'm Julie," she says. "Elizabeth's friend."
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:42 pm

Elizabeth stays behind, standing in the middle of the courtyardin the blazing sun.

The man approaches Julie and extends a hand.

"Hello, Julie. I'm Malcolm. It's nice to meet you."

Now, up close, he seems less menacing. His voice is pleasent, calm, and the uneasy feeling of not seeing his face before has passed.

"A friend of Eli is, of course, always welcome. Do you need a place to crash? I brought some food from town, so later you can join us, we usually eat after sunset, when it's not so hot."
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:54 pm

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"Thanks, I would like to stay," says Julie. "We've got a lot of catching up to do. Why do you call her Eli for short? She's always been Liz or Lizzie to me."
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby evil_scientist » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:03 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:"Thanks, I would like to stay," says Julie. "We've got a lot of catching up to do. Why do you call her Eli for short? She's always been Liz or Lizzie to me."


"To you, yes," Malcolm echoes Julie's last phrase. "And Elizabeth to her parents. And Eli - to herself. Names are strange creatures. Their variations reflect both the person named, and the name-giver. Naming yourself gives you strength, I think. But I'm sure you have your own opinion. And your own reason to call her Liz or Lizzie."

There is a soothing, almost hypnotic quality to Malcolm's voice.

"In any case, you two will have plenty of time to catch up. We will only whisk her away from you in the evening, for an hour or so, when we have our prayer and meditation session."

In the background, the two Church members quietly converse with Elizabeth-Lizzie-Eli. They seem to exchange only terse, short sentences.

Julie feels a strange sensation. The wire tap is starting to get warm against her body.
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: Chapter 4a: Crossing the Threshold (Julie)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:54 am

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"Thanks," says Julie. "Is there a bathroom around here? I haven't gone in a while."
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