"Sins of Omission"
Disclaimer: Roswell? Nope, don't think I own it, although it might be
under my bed somewhere...
Summary: Maria and Michael make some startling discoveries which uncover much more than they ever wanted to know, stirring up evil along the way.
|The Next Day…
Maria was running late for the third time that week. For once, she was glad that Liz had started catching rides with Max, so she didn’t have to worry about making her late as well.
The bell sounded as she was trying to squeeze her car in-between two huge trucks. Once parked, Maria realized her mistake. Her door wouldn’t open more than two inches. Pushing back visions of a horrible death stuck in her mom’s car, she cursed her overactive imagination. She rolled down her window and tossed her bag out onto the ground, which she soon followed, by shimmying herself out the window as well.
Her backpack flopping against her back, she ran as fast as her short legs could take her into the school lobby and down the hall to her right. Remarkably, she slid into her English seat just seconds before the second bell ended.
“Okay guys, settle down please.” Ms. Granfors waited until she had as much attention as she was ever going to get from the class before continuing. “We’re starting a new unit today which you may find interesting.”
“Don’t count on it,” Kyle mumbled loud enough for everyone to hear.
Ms. Granfors chose to ignore the comment and continued. “It’s on fairy tales and nursery rhymes.”
Maria joined the rest of the class in their snickering, and stole a glance at Michael who, not surprisingly, wasn’t listening.
“Wasn’t that taught to us when we were in kindergarten?” Kyle asked from the back of the room.
Ms. Granfors smiled patiently. “I’m sure it was, but I bet you didn’t read the original written version of Sleeping Beauty by Giambattista Basile in 1634. It included elements of cannibalism, rape and adultery. Not exactly written for children.”
Maria was shocked. That was her favorite childhood story. She never knew it was so gruesome. Again she peeked over at Michael only to meet his eyes. Flustered, she quickly turned away.
“Now some people believe that these stories and rhymes are all based on actual events—“
“Wait a minute… Are you trying to tell us that the wicked stepmother and a talking magic mirror was real? Give me a break,” Kyle interjected.
“Not necessarily. But the *concept* is what may be factual. Okay, here’s a more believable example. You all remember that nursery rhyme ‘Ring around a rosie?’”
The class nodded.
“’Ring around a rosie’ is referring to the marks of the plague. The survivors would stuff the corpses ‘Pocket(s) full of posies’ in an attempt to mask the odor of the rotting corpses as well as to honor them. ‘Ashes, ashes, we all fall down’ is talking about burning the dead bodies because there wasn't enough room to bury them, and waiting while the plague kills off every living being.” Ms. Granfors was impressed. She had never had the class’ undivided attention before. Even Michael Guerin was listening.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t deal with magic, witches and fairy godmothers.”
“Okay…” The teacher slowly paced the front of the classroom, trying to think of a relevant situation. “Take this town, for instance. It’s obsessed with aliens. Truthfully, how many of you actually believe in aliens?”
Maria tentatively raised her hand with a few other students, smirking when she saw Michael’s glare out of the corner of her eye.
“See, while most of you are skeptics, there are many who believe the story of the 1947 crash to be factual. It also is the same back in the 900s with fairy tales. There were those who believed that the stories were real because there was no proof otherwise. Just like now. We have no proof that aliens DON’T exist.”
The teacher smiled, happy to see her class interested.
“Today, we have a special guest. He has his doctorate in linguistics and is an expert in fairy tales. He is also my fiancé.” She smiled brightly. “Dr. Jeffery Wilkins.”
Maria watched her teacher open the classroom door for a wiry looking man with thick glasses. Upon the sight of him, Maria knew that half the class had already tuned out. The guy *looked* boring.
She was right. Dr. Wilkins rattled on for most of the class period without his voice ever changing pitch. It was excruciating to sit through. Maria could really care less about how fairy tales relate to modern society. She felt sorry for the young and vibrant Ms. Granfors if this guy was like this in bed, also.
“And now for the exciting part,” Dr. Wilkins said with the first hint of emotion so far.
‘Oh, goody,’ Maria thought.
“Recently, a co-worker died, leaving me with the only copy of an undiscovered fairy tale/ nursery rhyme. It is a little bit of both since it’s long and tells a story, like a fairy tale and also rhymes and has meter, like a nursery rhyme.”
The man rifled through a briefcase full of scattered papers and pulled out a folder.
“I'm currently working on translating it, which is extremely difficult. It seems to be a mixture of Gaelic, Latin and English which I have never see before. I'm dating this story to be around 400 AD when English spurred from Latin, and Gaelic was in full use…” he trailed off, no doubt entertaining himself with all sorts of boring thoughts.
“But anyway,” he said, snapping out of his temporary stupor. “I have translated the first four lines, if you’d like to hear it.” He didn’t wait for an answer, which Maria thought was just as well because it wouldn’t have been the one he was expecting.
“I haven’t been able to decipher a few words because I suspect they may be names of some sort.” Dr. Wilkins cleared his throat. “It’s entitled Launtica. I'm not exactly sure what that means yet. It starts out…
“Once upon a time, Three were born to shine. Triplets by the Sphona, Uriah, Zimri and Tarikan.”
“That’s all I have finished right now, but you should feel honored to be the first to ever hear this story in over a millenium!”
“What kind of names are those?” Kyle asked, surprising Maria that he was still paying attention.
“I'm really not sure, to be honest with you—“
Luckily, the bell cut him off before he could start another lecture.
Maria quickly gathered her pen and paper and slipped out the door before Michael got near her. At a distance, he didn’t seem to affect her as much.
Her feet moved swiftly, navigating her through the swarms of students who were scrambling to class. She turned a corner and someone slammed into her, knocking a book from her hands.
“Walk much?” she asked exasperatedly as she picked up her fallen biology text. Straightening, she finally looked up and found Michael. “You,” she groaned. “Why did it have to be you?”
“Look, we need to talk,” he said, looking around.
Maria almost laughed. It was so typical of him. No apology for running into her, just straight to the point. “I thought we did last night,” Maria grumbled.
“I really can't explain right now, but I will later. Do you work tonight?”
Maria eyed him cautiously. “Yes. I get off at ten.” She hesitated, questioning her sanity. “Why don’t you meet me at my house? I live at….”
As Maria rattled off her address, Michael nodded and acted as if he were trying to remember when in reality, he already was fully aware of where she lived.
“Are you sure your mom won't mind me coming over that late?” he asked.
“She’s away for the weekend,” Maria said discretely.
Michael felt his heart speed up at the thought of being in Maria’s house alone with her.
He tried in vain to think of something to say, anything at all but his heart’s incessant pounding drove any kind of rational thought away.
He longed to touch her cheek. It looked so smooth and soft. He wanted to—
“Hey Liz, Max,” Maria said.
Michael panicked. This was what he was trying to avoid. The last thing that he needed was Max lecturing him again.
“I need to go,” he mumbled before slipping away to his next class.
Maria watched him go and thought about her dream the night before.
“What did he say to you?” Liz asked, worried.
Maria opened her mouth to tell them about their meeting later that night but shut it just as fast.
“He was just apologizing for kinda freaking me out last night,” she lied.
‘Why aren’t I telling them?’ she questioned herself. Maria wasn’t sure, but she felt the need to keep it secret.
“What DID happened last night?” Max asked.
“It’s really not that big of a deal. He just wanted to talk to me so that I wouldn’t be so scared of him.” Now that wasn’t a *complete* lie. “I really need to get to class though. Talk to you later, Liz.”
Maria resumed to weaving her way to class.
|Part 3 | Index | Part 5
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