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Episodes 17 & 18

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  • Ron Janick
    *Strange Paradise: Episode 17* *Episode 17: Slideshow:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2012
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      *Strange Paradise: Episode 17*

      *Episode 17: Slideshow:
      http://tinyurl.com/gem9m<http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g230/ronbella/EPISODES_WEEK%204/?action=view¤t=SP_EP_17.gif>
      *

      Raxl is still using the tarot deck. Vangie and the Conjure Man are also
      working with them. Both set of cards are identical. "Just as Raxl said
      from Maljardin." Vangie tells her father. "Before I die my daughter the
      truth about Jean Paul Desmond and those around him must be told. As the
      truth about the devil. Read them to me." The Conjure Man tells Vangie.
      "Father,
      the Knight of Pentacles sits on the right hand by the Ace of Cups. The
      Queen of Cups is upon her left. The King of Scepter lie upon the Queen and
      the Ace. The Ten of Swords is shadowing the Ace and the Knight." The
      Conjure Man picks up the fool. "And this, the foolish one?" "Your hand
      holds Lamaur, the symbol of divine folly, the perfected spirit approaching
      the one. This is the minister, Mathew Dawson. He's already on the Island to
      conduct a burial service for Jean Paul Desmond's wife." Vangie tells her
      father. "The one that is frozen?" the Conjure Man asks. "In the cryonics
      capsule. But you told me death is decided by the one. Whenever man doesn't
      seem spiritual, he brings upon himself the icy wings of retribution. And
      the evil fires of hell." "Can you see what the cards tell us?" the Conjure
      Man asks. "I've been seeing it for the last week father." "You must see
      that the King of Scepters is no longer Jean Paul Desmond. He's another,�
      says the Conjure Man. "The one that brings harm to the innocent child. And
      also the sister of the wife of Jean Paul Desmond. Death. Thank God for the
      fool. But he'll need help. We must bring the Madge of Coins to the Island.
      How?" Vangie asks. "If there is no other way we must use levitation. There
      is no other way." "Only a believer can be moved,� says Vangie. The
      Conjure Man walks across the room carrying a robe. "You must try." "But I
      am powerless." she tells her father. "The one that wears this will have
      powers." Vangie shakes her head no. "I command you." The Conjure Man
      hands the robes to Vangie. "I must contact Raxl,� he says turning towards
      the altar. After lighting the candles he holds his arms out. "Raxl,
      daughter of the Priestess, keeper of the faith it is I the Conjure Man
      calling." Raxl hears him. "Oh yes oh powerful one." "No more, the Serpent
      is calling me home." "No, not yet! Not yet! The devil is loose again!" "How
      was he freed?" "The Master, Jean Paul he innocently pulled the silver pin
      from the temple of the conjure doll." "The Prince of Darkness must be
      stopped before he can destroy. Where is the doll Raxl and the pin?"



      In the Great Hall Jacques portrait becomes blank. With a smile Jean Paul
      walks from the Great Hall to the crypt. "Conjure Man." Raxl falls to her
      knees. "I plead with you. Help me find the doll and silver pin." "I
      cannot, the Serpent is calling me home. But I will send my daughter!" "No
      wait Conjure Man, wait." Raxl gets up to her feet. "All alone Raxl?"
      Jacques asks her. "Yes Master." "Just you and the caged bird. That's
      strange I could have sworn I heard voices. It wouldn't be you would it?" he
      asks the bird. "Or have you developed possibly a resident baritone. I doubt
      it. Poor little birdie in a cage, all you have is poor Quito who has no
      voice for you to parrot." Jacques looks at Raxl. "Who was here?" "You can
      see that no one is here." Raxl tells him. "I can see no one but who can
      you see?" He walks to the table. "Ah, tarot cards. Are these cards
      Quito�s?" Jacques asks while collecting them. "Mine Master." "Correction
      Raxl, mine." he then hands them to Raxl. "Here you are, amuse yourself with
      them. But don't overplay your hand." Jacques then walks away. Raxl walks
      over to the birdcage. "He knows Chako, he knows. The devil knows
      everything." "Poor Raxl, fear has driven her to card tricks only I hold
      the joker." Jacques says as he stands on the steps of the crypt.



      Jean Paul is lying on the couch asleep. Raxl comes up from the crypt
      carrying the tarot cards. Seeing Jean Paul she walks over to him. She looks
      at him shaking her head then walks away. "No wonder you're weary. A body
      built for one carrying two, how tiring it must be. Especially when the
      devil is gallivanting about." Jacques wakes Jean Paul. "Now listen, never
      again are you to go to the Main Island. You fool, to leave Dan Forrest
      there." "No, no." Jean Paul says to him. "You should have brought him
      back with you, to join the others as your guest. Now when the day of truth
      arrives." Jean Paul sits up. "What day of truth?" "When the dead shall
      rise, on that day there will be many sacrifices. But the choice will be
      mine." Jean Paul comes to his feet. "Leave me alone, leave them alone!" he
      shouts "Leave me!" "If I leave you where will that leave me, and poor
      sweet Erica?" "No!" Jean Paul cries out turning away. Alison is walking
      in the door carrying flowers. She rushes over to him. "Jean Paul, are you
      all right?" "I'm sorry. I must have been asleep. A bad dream. Did you here
      me speaking aloud?" he asks putting his hand to his forehead. "I heard
      something, but I couldn't understand it." Alison tells him. With his hand
      on the back of his head, Jean Paul walks across the Great Hall. Taking a
      seat he says. "My dreams are becoming as impossible as my life these days
      and nights." Alison walks over to Jean Paul. "Jean Paul, have you been
      taking your tranquilizers?" "When I remember." "When was the last time?"
      "I don't remember, Alison please." "If you don't take them you'll have a
      breakdown. You have to take them regularly." "Look don't talk to me as a
      child, I won't be treated like one." Jean Paul says. With a shake of her
      head Alison says. "I haven't the slightest idea how to treat you. Now where
      are your pills?" she asks pouring a glass of water. "I'm all right." Jean
      Paul tells her. "Please I don't need them." He sees the flower and picks
      them up. "Your flowers could use a little revitalization. They are so sad
      and wilted." "Like everything on this Island. Dead or slowly dying." "Then
      why did you pick them?" "Because Erica loved flowers and I thought they
      belonged at her service." Alison tells him. "Reverend Dawson is still
      undecided, although I'm certain we can bring him over to our way of
      thinking. The flowers will be freshly cut and brought over. I will see to
      that. Uprooted flowers on Maljardin are assured for death." Jean Paul picks
      up the flowers from the table. "For them I mean." "Death is in all our
      destinies." Alison tells him. "Are you on that again?" "Yes, for your
      good and Erica�s. And I'll keep coming back to it, to convince you that
      death is the only positive finality." "But not for Erica and I'll try to
      convince you." Alison puts her hands on the back of Jean Paul's chair.
      "There aren't that many women in the world so blessed to have a man to love
      them so devotedly, that he would deny..." "The will of God. Jean Paul
      adds. "He forced me to, by denying me the right to Erica." "I fear for you
      Jean Paul." "I fear for each and everyone of us." Jean Paul tells her. Alison
      shakes her head and walks up the stairs to her room. On the top landing she
      glances back at Jean Paul. He is still sitting in a chair. Alison then
      walks away. Jean Paul reaches out and picks up the flowers. He stands and
      sticks them into a glass of water. Then walking to the stairs he looks up. "Oh
      she's lovely, delightful and unattached." Jacques tells Jean Paul. "Pity
      you are so attached to Erica. Pity for you that is, not me." "Be quiet!"
      Jean Paul shouts as he spins around spilling his glass of water. "You
      can't destroy me that way, we have been through that before. And if you
      could, just think. You might be destroying all about you, perhaps even
      yourself." With a laugh Jacques tells him. " Aren't I the devil?" Jean
      Paul turns and heads up the staircase tiredly. Thunder starts rumbling
      outside. Jean Paul is warming his hands at the fireplace in the Great Hall
      when Raxl comes down the stairs carrying lit candelabra. It's still
      thundering and lightening. "Looks like something or someone brought down
      quite a storm Raxl." Jean Paul stands. On his hand is Jacques ring. "Well I
      think you should get yourself back up to bed. Or should I..." he reaches
      out to Raxl. "No, no leave me alone." Raxl pulls back from him. "Or
      perhaps you would like a pill so you can sleep better?" Jacques asks,
      taking the bottle of tranquilizers out of his pocket. "With the devil
      roaming, how can I?" Raxl says as she quickly walks away. Jacques is
      standing watching Raxl with a grin upon his face.



      Back on the Mainland the Conjure Man prepares Vangie. "Oh Spirit, hear me,
      immortal fire you are truth. Speak." The Conjure Man is standing over
      Vangie who is kneeling. "I am she, hater of evil." "I am he, whose force
      be cleansed!"

      "I am she giver of light." The Conjure Man takes a necklace shaped with
      two serpents entwined and places it around Vangie's neck. He then clutches
      his chest and falls. "No, no!" Vangie cries moving quickly to her father.



      On Maljardin Alison runs up from the crypt. "No, no!" "Alison, Alison
      you're all right." Jean Paul says as he puts his arm around her shoulder
      and leads her to the couch in the dark. "Now, what happened?" "The lights
      went out in the crypt." "Why were you in the crypt?" he asks as he squats
      behind the couch. "I wanted to take some flowers to Erica." she says. "Dead
      flowers? Were you trying to put a hex on our beloved Erica?" he says with a
      laugh. "I'm sorry Alison, that was a very bad joke wasn't it?" Jacques
      stands. "Well maybe we can solve it with a bit of good brandy. Would you
      like a little?" He pours Alison a drink and brings it to her. "It will help
      warn you and ward off the ghosts on Maljardin and all their offspring."
      Jacques tells her as he kneels on the couch to hand the glass to Alison. "What
      an eerie remark." Alison says. Jacques stands and walks to the fireplace.
      Facing Alison he crosses his arms "It's a statement my dear." Jacques
      looks over at his portrait. "He's memorizing isn't he,� Alison stands and
      walks toward Jacques portrait. "He's so real. So serious. Born three
      hundred years ago, yet so lively as if..." "It's the light or the lack of
      it. I do wish someone would repair the generator so we could see our way
      around... Ah." (The lights are back on.) "Speak of the devil." Jacques says.
      "You know I've decided after the service I am going to leave Maljardin."
      Alison tells Jean Paul. "But why? You promised to stay." "Well I've
      changed my mind." Alison says. "But I haven't changed mine. As a matter of
      fact I have made up my mind, I wouldn't like to loose you too." "What?"
      Alison asks shocked. "Only until Erica returns of course."



      Back on the Mainland the Conjure Man is laying on his bed. He tells Vangie
      "You are a Conjure Woman now my daughter. Cherish the name." "Why me? Why
      only me? Vangie asks sitting on the side of his bed. "Because only you
      have the gift." "But I don't want it." Vangie tells him. "You can't rid
      yourself of it." "Rest father please." Vangie tells him. "I have an
      eternity to rest. It's you who will get no rest until you send Jacques Eloi
      Des Mondes back to hell, the eternal hell he brought upon himself." The
      Conjure Man closes his eyes. "Papa? Papa!" Vangie cries. "I go to eternal
      peace, don't weep." "I'll try." Vangie tells him. "I go to the shadow of
      the Great Serpent." Again Vangie calls her father. "When ever you need
      me, call me. I will answer. I will never be to far away. Love you my
      daughter." "I love you." Vangie answers him back. The Conjure Man passes
      away.



      On Maljardin Jean Paul says. "I love Erica so much. I know it's frightening
      for you enough to make you want to leave the Island." Jean Paul (himself
      again) and Alison are standing in front of Jacques portrait. "It's not
      your love that frightens me, it's the strange things it forces you to do."
      Alison says. Jean Paul turns away from Alison. "Jean Paul you're tired,
      you need a rest, a change, something complete and absolute, after the
      service tomorrow why don't you leave too. Leave this place with its morbid
      atmosphere and sad memories." "My whole life is here." Jean Paul says with
      his back to Alison. "Well take Erica with you." Jean Paul turns and looks
      at Alison. "And disturb the entire cryonics process? And assure her eternal
      death, I can't do it and I will not." "She'd want you to. I know." Alison
      tells him. "No I know what I must do." Jean Paul says as he walks away
      from Alison. He sits on the couch. "And leaving here is no answer." Alison
      walks up to him. "Well I'm leaving Jean Paul." "You can't!" "Are you
      physically going to restrain me?" Alison asks. Jean Paul looks up at her.
      "You wouldn't go that far,� she says. Jean Paul comes to his feet and
      stands in front of her. "Please Alison, please stay." "You don't
      understand. It's very difficult for me to stay." "Look after tomorrow
      things will be different." Jean Paul tells her. Alison turns away. "It
      will never be any different no matter how many tomorrows come and pass."
      Alison says as she turns and looks at him. Jean Paul walks up to her.
      "Don't you understand why you must remain?" he reaches out to hold her by
      the arms. "Why I can't go, why no one else can go until Erica is returned
      to me. Then I will see her and you will see her. But until then her secret,
      the secret of her temporary death must never leak out. Can you imagine the
      fuss over the cryonics process, the headlines, the feature stories, the
      ugly rumors, the disrespect to your sister. And to my darling wife." "I
      can't stay here forever." Alison tells him. Looking down at her. "Why not?"
      Alison looks up at him, then brushes past him. "Goodnight Jean Paul." She
      walks up the staircase to her room. Watching her go Jean Paul walks away
      from Jacques portrait. Stopping in front of a chair he covers his face with
      his hands, sitting down he lowers his hands. "Msieu Desmond?" Raxl walks
      up to him. "Yes, what is it Raxl." "The storm is over. Is it to late for
      Quito to leave for the Mainland?" "That's not what you came to say Raxl.
      Speak what's on your mind." Jean Paul says to her. "I'm afraid Msieu, I'm
      afraid the Conjure Man is dead." Jean Paul looks up at her. "Vangie's
      father? I am sorry." "So may we all be. Please Msieu take Doctor Carr and
      all the others and do as she asks. Run from this accursed place before it
      is too late!" Thunder rattles the house. Jean Paul looks up. "Looks like
      the storm is starting all over again!" Raxl walks quickly away.

      Summary by Debby Graham & Slideshow by Ron Janick


      *Strange Paradise: Episode 18*

      *Episode 18: Slideshow:
      http://tinyurl.com/zamdk<http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g230/ronbella/EPISODES_WEEK%204/?action=view¤t=SP_EP_18.gif>
      *

      Holly is asleep on the couch in the Great Hall. Jean Paul comes down the
      steps, seeing Holly he smiles and walks over to her. He takes a blanket and
      covers her. "Hi dad, I had a dream and I thought that..." Holly says in
      her sleep. She awakens and sees Jean Paul kneeling behind the couch. "Mr.
      Desmond?" "Yes Holly, what's the matter didn't you like your bed?" Jean
      Paul asks with a smile. "You're going to think I'm pretty weird but I
      guess I just conked out for a while. I thought I was at home waiting for my
      dad to come." Holly tells him. "I know. I know the feeling only to well.
      Sometimes you know when memories haunt dreams, nightmares can follow." Jean
      Paul stands then walks around the couch to the front. "Now what you need is
      a good cup of coffee." "To down the bumpy feeling that comes in the
      night." Holly says as Jean Paul helps her up. "Well if we are going to do
      that the coffee is going to have to be extra hot." Jean Paul says before
      kissing her hand.



      Back on the Mainland Vangie is pouring two cups of coffee. "Good morning
      Dan." she says as Dan comes into the room. "It's to early, let's wait and
      see." "Have some coffee, maybe it will help." Vangie tells him. Dan sits
      down. "Two cups? E.S.P, clairvoyance or witchcraft?" "Observation. I saw
      you heading up from the docks." "Let's hope this coffee is better than
      usual." Dan says picking up the cup and sipping from it. "It can't be any
      worse. Perhaps today will also be an improvement." Vangie says. "I never
      realized how short my temper fuse really is. I've toured every dock on this
      Island and I can't find a single soul who will run me over to Maljardin."
      Dan tells her. "To treacherous, to dangerous and to superstitious. The
      channel trip and the belief in that order." Vangie tells Dan. "I can't
      accept that nobody runs that channel except Quito and Jean Paul Desmond." :
      Some have tried. And have died." Vangie tells him. "You're saying there is
      a jinx of some kind?" Dan asks taking a sip from his coffee. "There's a
      fear..." "That's it, fear not fact. That's what's infuriating." Dan
      says. "Combine
      the two, fact and fear. That channel is a cross between a tide and a
      tornado. It's full of rocks and other underwater dangers. Actually it
      hasn't been properly charted. Maybe it's Jean Paul's protection against a
      world trying to beat a path to his door." Vangie tells Dan. "A door that
      seems locked always from the inside. Now, all right that channel is tricky.
      Why can't some native run it by instinct?" "It's the instinct that
      prevents them from even trying. Dan, it's no accident that Island is called
      Maljardin." Vangie says. "Yes the old Garden of Evil legends. That goes
      way back to Jean Paul's ancestors, back almost three hundred years." Dan
      tells Vangie. "It's the history of death that keeps being updated." Vangie
      says. "Oh come on Vangie, it's to early in the morning for me to buy that."
      Vangie lowers her head. "What is it? Did someone else over there die?" Dan
      asks. "Someone controlled by what goes on there. Haven't you heard about
      my father?" Vangie asks.



      Back on Maljardin Jean Paul and Holly sit on the couch drinking coffee.
      "Since my father's death everything has become so complicated." Holly says.
      "I know but that was some time ago Holly." "But not enough time." Holly
      tells him. "Yes but enough time to make an adjustment, don't you think?"
      Jean Paul says. "That's strange coming from you. You, yourself won't make
      an adjustment about your wife's death. You think you can give her a chance
      to make the scene again. You really believe that?" "I do. Erica will
      return again." Jean Paul looks at Holly. "I'm sorry that your father wasn't
      given the same chance to return to you. Well I must be off." Jean Paul
      stands then carries his coffee cup to a table. Putting it down he tells
      Holly. "Quito and the boat are waiting. I have to go to the Mainland to
      pick up some flowers for the service today. You will attend wont you?" "If
      Matt Dawson is conducting it, no thank you." "I'm asking for Erica�s sake.
      Will you come?" Jean Paul asks looking down at Holly. "I guess I'm kind of
      on a swing that pushes me out then pulls me right down again." Holly
      says. "Well
      if your attitude levels off then the swing will stop and you'll be better
      off for it." Jean Paul tells her. "Please, don't you play the good padre
      to. One's enough." Holly says as she stands and walks away." "You've
      already hung Matt Dawson around my neck." She stops and looks back at Jean
      Paul. "Now that wasn't my doing, Doctor Carr asked that he be brought over
      for the service for her sister." Jean Paul says walking up to Holly. "And
      you agreed?" "Well yes, to ease her mind." Jean Paul says. "And your
      conscience?" "It's no trouble I assure you. What I'm doing for Erica is
      correct." "I don't know about ceyronics." Holly says. "No cryonics." Jean
      Paul corrects her. "Cryonics, I sure dig the idea. If you can bring your
      wife back to life go to it." "Nothing on earth or in heaven will stop me."
      Thunder and lightening, rumble and flash. The lights go out. Holly turns to
      Jean Paul. "It's alright it's just the generator. It's about as
      temperamental as the weather." The lights come back on. "Temperamental?
      Wow I promised to pose for Tim this morning. I better get going or he'll
      throw a tantrum." Holly tells Jean Paul, then turns and runs up the
      staircase. Jean Paul watches her go. "Generator indeed, that inanimate
      I'm not. Now that little thunder and lightening show was to change the
      subject so that sweet child will prepare to pose for dear Erica's portrait
      if it's to be finished." "It will!" "Unless the artist or his temporary
      model is finished first. Dear me, it does pose a dilemma Pose, portrait,
      dilemma. A little play on words. But I assure you I'm not playing games."
      Jacques says. "I warn you, even the devil can go too far." Jacques
      says. "Warn
      me, let me warn you to never warn me again or the lights may go out
      forever. Now where were we? Oh yes you were on the way to the Main Island.
      Get a move on and don't just bring back flowers." Jacques tells Jean
      Paul. "That's
      all I need!" Jean Paul says angrily. "How about Dan Forrest? The one loose
      end that needs to be tied." "He doesn't work for me!" Jean Paul says
      angrily. "I want to be sure he doesn't work against you." Jacques tells
      him.



      Back on the Mainland "Forces of evil are at work." Vangie says. Dan is
      standing. "Your father and Erica dead. Are you certain about her?" "The
      tarot cards do not lie." Vangie tells him. "You mean these fortune telling
      cards? I thought you would use something more concrete." Dan says. "I do.
      Erica Desmond is dead." "Based on your bag of E.S.P. tricks. I'm a lawyer,
      I need substantial facts." Dan tells her. "Let's start with these. For
      over a week now, death on that Island has been flashing warnings and signs
      of more to come." Dan sits down. "Come on Vangie purely
      circumstantial." "Then
      how do you explain why the minister was taken there? Why Doctor Menkin
      died? Why Mrs. Desmond's sister Alison Carr never returned and why she
      wrote a letter asking for help? And why was Holly, the little stowaway kept
      there? Why was her mother taken there to join her? And why were you fired?
      Answer one and you answer all." "A series of unique happenings which will
      probably clarify themselves." Dan says. "A convenience of unconvincing
      conclusions that would be thrown out of court." Vangie says. "Along with
      E.S.P." Dan adds. "Before my father The Conjure Man died he told me." "You
      know that little evidence wont stand up before a judge either." Dan
      says. "Except
      the Almighty." "Do you mean to say that when Alison and I first came down
      here it already had happened? Dan asks. "I believe it already had." "Then
      why didn't Jean Paul tell us when he saw us here?" "If it was Jean Paul?"
      Vangie says to him. Dan laughs. "Who else could it have been?" The man
      who signed your document, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes." "Why, he's been dead
      for three hundred years. My office researched it and history proves it."
      Dan tells her. "My father feared and I fear, to that he walks again."
      "Ghosts,
      reincarnation are we back to that?" Dan asks. "Transmutation, perhaps he
      is trying to possess Jean Paul's body." "If he does, and mind you I don't
      for a minute believe it. What happens to Jean Paul?" "And everyone on
      Maljardin? That's why they all need help." Vangie lays down a card and
      points to it. "This way a man of immense wealth and prestige and power in
      the world. Reverse it." Vangie turns the card upside down. "It becomes the
      traditional card of ill-omen. The devil himself." She picks up the card.
      "Jean Paul Desmond or Jacques Eloi Des Mondes." Dan looks at the card then
      looks away.



      On Maljardin Jacques laughs. "Card tricks but fascinating aren't they."



      Dan looks at Vangie. "All I know is that I'm going over to that Island and
      get some answers." "You should be warned though, your mission is a
      dangerous one." Vangie tells him. "I've faced that before." "When you can
      see your enemies that's one thing." "Search and destroy, that's a modern
      technique of warfare." "Or be destroyed." Vangie says. "You can't
      frighten me anymore Vangie, I'm already as frightened as I can get." "The
      boat from Maljardin should be over here." Vangie says. "And I'm going to
      on it on the return." Dan tells her standing. "I've got to find out what's
      going on over there."



      Back on Maljardin Tim is working on the portrait. Holly is posing in her
      chair. "Hey, don't squirm." Tim tells her. "My neck is killing me." Holly
      says. "Some model. I wonder if Whistler had as much trouble with his
      mother?" "I wish my mother was on canvas instead of always being on my
      back." "Cool it Holly will you." Matt Dawson walks down the staircase
      "Capturing all her beauty?" He asks as he walks up to Tim "May I?" "No you
      may not, no admittance while under construction." "All right." Matt says
      with a smile. "You have a real talent for butting in where you don't
      belong." Holly tells him. "Cool it Holly." Tim tells her. "Well he just
      knocked me that's all." "I didn't intend anything." Matt apologizes to Tim.
      "That's not the picture I get Reverend." Holly says.



      Back on the Mainland. "And when you get the picture of what's going on over
      there. Then what?" Vangie asks Dan. "I'll take whatever steps as
      necessary." Dan says walking back to Vangie. "Provided your still on your
      feet."



      Back on Maljardin. "Take a walk Reverend. Tim and I have work to do." Holly
      tells Matt. "I belong just where I am Holly." Walking over to Holly. "I've
      decided to conduct the service for Mrs. Desmond after all. I think her
      husband would appreciate cessation in all our hostility." "Temporary."
      Holly says. "The Reverends right, let's pack it in. Better clean up." Tim
      says. "I didn't mean any disrespect." Holly says, then looking at the
      Reverend she stands. "At least not to Mr. Desmond." Holly leaves and heads
      upstairs. Tim looks at the Reverend as he covers up the portrait.
      "Underneath the pretty blond hair and protective armor she's really a nice
      kid." "We don't have any quarrel Tim there is no need to defend her to me.
      It seems we both know Holly. It's a pity she can't learn to know
      herself." Moving
      the portrait out of the way, Tim asks. "You ever met Erica Desmond?" "No."
      "I really wish I were painting Holly instead of substituting her for a dead
      woman." "They say that Mrs. Desmond was very beautiful." "Oh yes she was
      a knockout alright. Just like Holly who is a very much alive knockout,
      isn't she." "You are the artist." Matt says with a smile. "You're a man."
      "And a minister, and I know my place." You know it doesn't feel right what
      I'm doing. It's like going to one of those county fairs. You stick your
      head through a hole with a painted body beneath it, it all comes out
      distorted." "Like death. Here you are painting a portrait of a dead woman
      and here I am planning to conduct a service for her. Both at the bidding of
      Erica Desmond's husband, who is positive she will live again." Matt
      says. "Strange
      isn't it." "Strange enough to make me wonder if what I'm doing is right or
      wrong." "You mean conducting the service?" "I can command a soul to God.
      I can comfort a bereaved man, but I can also condemn his actions." "You
      mean you think what Mr. Desmond is doing may spoil his wife's chance for
      eternal rest?" "A welcome to God's heaven, no. No the question is Mr.
      Desmond himself." "He doesn't think so. His rent isn't due, like he owns
      half the world." "An obsession more powerful than all his little world."
      Matt says, "You know enough about cryonics to doubt his faith in it? It's
      success?" "I'm only trying to understand it and it's a great strain. It
      might be to much even for Jean Paul Desmond." Matt says as he and Tim walk
      out of the room. Jacques portrait goes blank.



      Back on the Mainland Jacques takes over Jean Paul's body as he walks into
      the French Leaf cafe. "Well, well, well Dan Forrest as I live and breath.
      You look as though you lost your last friend." Jacques says walking up to
      Dan's table. "I thought I had. You." "That was yesterday, today clasp
      friends in friendship." Jacques says extending his hand. Dan stands and
      shakes hands. Jacques lays his left hand over their clasped hands. "Or
      whatever." Jacques says. "Jean Paul answer a question. Is Erica dead?" "Now
      you know why I wasn't really myself yesterday." They both sit down. "Vangie
      guessed it. I couldn't believe it. Why didn't you tell me?" "Well I just
      can't dispense sorrow and gloom all the time. Isn't there anyone to decant
      a little cheer me up?" "They aren't open yet. Anyway for a man so recently
      bereaved, you seem almost to cheerful." "Purely a pseudo. Inside I assure
      you I'm in proper mourning." "Knowing how much you loved Erica, I can
      appreciate your courage." "Well it was either that or letting myself go to
      the devil." "You have to much at stake, to much ahead of you." Dan
      says. "That's
      what enables me to go on, and on, and on." "It must have been very sudden?"
      "What?" Jacques asks. "Erica's death." "Oh yes, it was a terrible shock
      to all of us. Me especially." "I still can't believe it." "I know
      sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure it's not just a hellish
      dream." "I can understand that." "Can you really?" Jacques says with a
      smile. "Well Erica wasn't my wife but I think I can imagine how I would
      react." "Well, sometimes it's beyond the wildest imagination some of the
      things I've been through and what lies ahead of me." "Well all our futures
      are unknown, except perhaps to Vangie Abbott." "Yes but if one of her
      cards or all of her cards should tear or burn she would be just as much in
      the dark." "Provided one believes in witchcraft for beginners." "Don't
      you?" Jacques asks. "Do you? Dan asks back. "Well for years I've doubted
      it." "You mean you don't anymore?" "After what's happened to me, I can't
      gamble on doubting anything." "No it hasn't been easy for you has it? Even
      with all that you've got, because you no longer have Erica." "I will have
      her again." Jacques says. "Vangie thinks something funny is going on at
      that Island of yours." "Funny? I assure you no one is laughing." Jacques
      says. "Well I was ready to break down the wall to get over there to see
      just what is happening." "Why bruise yourself, be my guest." "Exactly
      what I've been waiting for. It'll be my pleasure." Dan says. "Believe me
      the pleasure will be all mine. Well, I came for some flowers for a little
      service for Erica. Why don't you pick up your bags and meet me at the
      dock." Jacques tells him. They both stand. "I will, thank you." Dan tells
      him then walks away. Jacques takes a couple of steps; he knows Vangie is
      coming up behind him. "Did you hear it all Vangie?" With a smile he asks,
      with his back to her. "Enough to make me wonder if I should contact the
      newspapers. Let find out really the kind of man you are." Jacques no
      longer smiling nods his head, turning towards her he says. "You wouldn't do
      that, because you are afraid of my power." "In this world or the next?" "Next
      world? What are you talking about?" he says with a laugh. "You have been
      playing cards to much, it's dulling your senses." "My father is dead. I am
      now the Conjure Woman. My senses are greater than ever. There is evil
      roaming on Maljardin. It must be destroyed." "Vangie, you and your
      witchcraft. It will be the death of me yet." he says grinning. "I'm after
      the devil." Jacques with a serious look, nods. "And he's after you." He
      turns and walks away.

      Summary by Debby Graham & Slideshow by Ron Janick


      --
      Ron and The Boston Babe:
      Daisy and at the Bridge: Bella, Tiki, Coco, Pepe, Tiny and Flower

      *"Dobby never meant to kill, Dobby only meant to main--or seriously injure."
      *
      Dobby, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Part1"


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