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   Chapter 9 Brownie Oxford and the Idlewild Incident

Brownie Oxford and the Idlewild Incident: Brownie Bk 2 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 17856

Updated: 2018-03-07 14:36

Chapter 9

Life began to fall into a pattern as the days passed. I woke up and went on my run, stopping by Idlewild to add more lace to my growing length while I chatted companionably with the residents. They were becoming familiar to me and I no longer had to double check the headstones to remember their names. The last twinge of guilt at running away was gone and I felt determined to make this life what I wanted it to be. As winter faded into spring and slowly edged into summer, I still had occasional panic attacks about Swift finding me, but they were becoming more controllable as I settled in.

Mrs. Kensington, the speaker for Idlewild encouraged me in my efforts to create my portfolio and each morning asked about my progress. Not only was she deeply interested in fashion, but delighted in higher education for women, regardless of the topic. Much of her former life was dedicated to gaining equal rights for women. Her views weren't universal throughout the cemetery of course and there were three twittering sisters from an earlier age who sorely tried her patience. Despite their silliness, they saw my entering design school as a fresh source of topics about pretty clothes for them and were quite encouraging, even though it meant I would have to do something as tedious as studying at a University with a lot of boring old men.

My progress on my portfolio progressed nicely and Noah helped me photograph the outfits I created as samples of my skill since I was proved somewhat inept with the camera. No matter what I did, the image always came out tilted with important bits cropped from the frame. When everything was complete, or as complete as it was going to be, I sent the application in, barely squeaking by the deadline. While I received a noticed saying that my application had made it to the school and was being processed, Swift did not show up on my door step.

I did go out for a celebratory dinner with Noah, Christa and Matt. I tried not to envision Swift appearing by morning. I tried telling myself the waiting feeling was just waiting for the University and not me waiting for the day Swift would track me down. I reminded myself that there was no way he was scanning every application that came into every university in the country. He didn't even know I would be applying to a university in the first place. I was only partially successful.

I finished Ricky's dress and after he wore it on stage, he passed my name and number around landing me more jobs repairing, altering or flat out creating a look someone wanted but couldn't find in their size. It was always nice to see the delight others took in the items I made created. It was also nice that the jobs I took managed to pay enough to cover my rent with a little extra included so I at least had the appearance of a steady income and didn't look like I was mostly living out of a box of cash. While I let the recurring rent stand as a charge on my debit card, I was able to put back the money into the account, thus building a credit history without actually depleting my funds. I still tended to use the prepaid cards for purchases of sewing supplies in case Swift was looking into that angle somehow. Of course at the flea market, cash was still king.

In addition to work, I was often invited to parties and clubs, my social life expanding far beyond anything I had previously known. I now actually knew more than a dozen people, all among the living.

I even hosted a dinner party, inviting my three neighbors.

Each Saturday I joined Christa in her flea market scavenger hunt, although to gain a couch I did go to an actual furniture store. I had the feeling there were things living inside some of the cushions of the pieces I saw at some of the stalls. Whether or not it was true made no real difference; I believed they were there and knew I wouldn't be comfortable taking them home. The ancient oriental carpet I picked up at one of the booths could be washed and steam cleaned, there were limits on the couch though as it wouldn't fit into the washing machine, hence the new one, even though I did make the decorative throw pillows. I was becoming adept at finding things that needed little work whereas Christa seemed to favor those that needed a complete overhaul.

My needed-to-be-refinished table did get a make-over, but I paid someone else to do it. Christa brought over some images from magazines and showed them to me. In them, various wooden pieces had been sprayed with a high gloss lacquer in bright colors. She told me her brother ran an auto body shop and for a nominal fee would spray my table for her. Figuring it was at least a more permanent solution than my tablecloth idea, I selected a bright blue paint and had it done, figuring if it went too badly, I could use the table cloth idea as option B. When it came back from the shop, I decided the cloth wasn't needed as I quite liked the shiny blue.

The rest of the apartment was slowly taking shape as I added to the things I took from the Avery's 'Bonnie Brown World' and made the apartment my own. I had a funky nineteen sixties style kidney bean shaped coffee table and an old stereo cabinet from maybe a decade earlier that served as my television stand. My twice cleaned oriental rug covered the industrial carpet of my spare room and with th

y jaundice would come back. I hadn't expected the nausea, the uncontrollable shaking and the odd, indefinable pain that wracked my body even though I wasn't actually injured, among a list of other weird ailments. We made it back out of the middle of nowhere and Swift managed to get me to Dr. Harding and a fresh supply of his medicine. That time, he actually gave it to me in liquid form so my body could absorb the chemicals faster.

When I was more or less on an even keel, Swift took me back to my apartment to rest for a few days. Once alone, I turned on my laptop and found a medical database. While I didn't know anything about chemicals, I typed in my symptoms hoping for some sort of information as this had not been my normal level of bodily strangeness and I was worried, despite Dr. Harding's comments. While the website came up with several possible explanations, informing me I should contact my doctor for a full diagnosis, the most likely scenario the computer came up with was that I was an addict suffering from withdrawal. My symptoms tapered off when Dr. Harding provided me with my fix. That was when I realized he probably added something addictive to the mix and that I needed to start weaning myself off of the dependency.

I had gone slow and steady with decreasing the number of pills I took each day, hiding both the fact I was taking less and the physical effects of taking less from Swift. In the beginning I only shaved a little off the edge of the pills with a razor blade, terrified of the return of the body shaking pain. Gradually the amount I took decreased more dramatically and I was able to skip entire days even though in the beginning, it hurt. I was fairly certain I was successful in hiding those early withdrawal symptoms from Swift.

"Which means he'll be expecting something similar to what happened last time to happen again, " I told myself, putting my book away, my lesson over for the night now that I knew the ins and outs of raising zombies. I went into the kitchen and fixed myself a large spinach salad, topping it with homemade dressing.

"If I were still taking the pills and ran out or was in danger of running out, I could take the pill bottle to a doctor or pharmacist." I thought as I ate. The pills and bottle were long gone by now and nowhere in the apartment was even a residue of the pills remaining. Several months eliminated all traces of the drug and the bottle was no doubt buried in some landfill somewhere.

"Dr. Harding's information is on the label with the phrase 'refill when empty' on the bottle although they would probably call his office. The call would ping on his system and Swift would be sent." I stabbed a tomato slice with my fork, hoping the bottle was deeply buried under a mound of trash at the landfill.

"Swift would know I would run, but also know he could pick up my trail or hope to catch me before I ran, " I said aloud. I ate the tomato. "Or if I didn't get the prescription re-filled, then I would suffer through the withdrawals again. Most likely I would end up at a hospital hoping to get general care, which he might be able to monitor."

I wondered if he would be more likely to watch medical centers rather than the Matheson estate. "He's probably going to monitor both, " I decided. Luckily the physical the university required upon admission was included in the paperwork Avery gave me so I wouldn't need to see a doctor unless something drastic happened.

"Let's just hope I don't become accident prone any time soon, " I said to myself.

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