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A Mosaic Story - Third Season - English

Winterfest Online 2011

January 29 - February 6, 2011

Preferences: English | All Season

Welcome to the Online Mosaic Story.

Please note: This is the Third Season Mosaic Story and your entries should reflect that. It's the place for those who enjoyed the third season. No SND entries, please.

Listed Below is the story so far. If you would like to contribute to it, click the Add to Story button below. If no one else is currently updating the story you will be brought to an input screen where you can add up to 255 characters. You will have 20 minutes to make your addition, after that the system will allow someone else to take your place at the writing desk and, if you have not submitted it, your input will be discarded. You can contribute to the story as many times as you like, however you will be prevented from making consecutive entries within an 8 hour period. At least one person has to contribute or 8 hour elapse before you can contribute again.

This story was created by participants of Winterfest, piece by piece to create the collective whole. Thanks to eveyone who contributed in the creation of such a wonderful story.


Young Jacob awoke from his nightmare covered in sweat, his heart pounding furiously. In this nightmare, a dark figure with no name was coming for him. This nightmare had returned in various forms for over a week. It was time to talk to his father. But Vincent knew that his son had woken from a nightmare, although he didn't know what it was about. He walked to the children's chamber (where they all slept until they were 12) and just as he arrived Jacob was coming to him.
"I had a bad dream."

"Tell me." Vincent's soft voice encouraged his son to share what had frightened him.

"I dreamt about a man comimg to get me. I couldn't see his face but I knew lf he got me I would be lost forever ... I'd never see you again."
Vincent silently considered his son's words for several moments. "Jacob, there is such a thing as evil in the world. To tell you otherwise would be a disservice, but you are here now - Home, safe. Perhaps it was only a dream."

"There's more Father..." "Mother, is in a white room", little Jacob nodded actively as Vincent's eyes narrowed. Gentle hands coddled Jacob as Vincent thought about holding Catherine as she "died". Would Diana know more about this dark stranger?
"Sleep, Jacob, angels are watching" Perhaps Diana would know more;it would also be wise to ask Narcissa.Vincent thought of Kristopher Gentian & how he ignored the boundaries. Or it may simply be a child missing his mother as Vincent missed her.His son had given him the strength to continue. The worn path to Narcissa gave Vincent peace on this vexing trip. "Come, son. You are troubled?" She sat at her brazier, deeply inhaling a magnificent odor.
"Jacob says he "sees" Catherine, can it be?"
"When taken by force, she could fight to return"
" She did fight... not wanting to leave you & her child, and now from the spirit world she watches over you both. There is much of her in both of you. You know this child." Narcissa explained and patted his hand as Vincent's eyes dimmed slightly with tears. Trudging back to his chamber, Vincent drew all the comfort he could out of Narcissa's declaration. Sitting Jacob on his knee he repeated the explanation in child-speak. Jacob nodded so maturely and declared, "Heaven is a white room with BIG windows"
Night after night the dream kept returning to young Jacob. Neither father or son were getting much sleep. Each night when Vincent went to comfort his Jacob the child related a bit more to the dream of his mother. After a week Jacob had completely describ ed the dream to his father. "She sits at the window, wondering what was before" the child's earnest heart recounted, "She repeats names over and over, Father, Vincent, Jacob" then Jacob asked,"Poppa, who are Joe and Elliott?". Jacob, nearing 4 would not let these questions end. Vincent sighed and held his young son to his chest. "Those were two good men, who loved your mother very much. And there was a time when because of these men, our community remained safe and secure." Jacob innocently asked "Where are they now Dad?" "I do not know" Vincent's words parsed out long and slow.

Should he contact Diana? Vincent couldn't desecrate Catherine's grave to confirm a child's dream. Vincent lay Jacob down in bed next to him and they hugged a pillow purloined from Catherine's apt. Reconsidering the child’s question, Vincent answered honestly, “One is still among us; the other is gone.”
Nestling against Vincent’s chest, Jacob’s small voice asked “Father . . .?”
“Yes, O Best Beloved . . .?” Vincent replied, referencing Kipling.
“Mother never held me in her arms, did she?”

"She held you under her heart, grew you safely there in the face of grave danger for all of us"

Vincent nuzzled his son's golden curls in the dim light."I cannot say if she held you in her arms yet I know she will always hold you in her heart". "You will always feel her presence within you. It is her gift to us, and our empathic powers enhance that feeling."
He kissed Jacob's head and smiled widely for his sake. "Now, son, we have a celebration to plan. Where are your candles for delivery?"
Jacob proudly held up his basket and smiled. "Right here!" Little Jacob followed Jamie, the new Helpers office was just outside the Tunnel portal.
The white office seemed stark, yet Angle felt her new offices were full of promise. After delivering Angle's candle, Jamie and her small group of the younger children visited visited Long, Lynn and Henri, and finally, Diana's office.
"Thanks, Jacob!" Diana hugged the child as she gleefully accepted the candle. She would have to think of an excuse for Joe that night, but there was no way she was missing winterfest! She and Joe had been dating for amost a year now, but this was one part of her life she couldn't share. Angie wrapped the Arnica lotion for Father, she'd go below tonight in hopes of meeting the owner of that velvet voice. She imagined him bigger than Kanin. Would he be the handsome Viking type she had imagined him to be? She was a new Helper and curious. Many assumptions and expectations were abounding tonight and Vincent felt all of them. Unbeknownst to him, young Jacob was aware of the feelings also – though his understanding and ability to respond were decidedly different from his father’s. Curiosity of new Helpers was to be handled delicately . . . Angie dressed modestly and warmly, brushing her chestnut hair to a sheen. In minutes she was giving Father a warm hug, "I'm excited about my 1st Winterfest" She listened for that voice and Father saw her expression.
"My son, Vincent, is out till later" Diana welcomed the distraction of winterfest after her recent breakup with Joe. A great guy, but honestly- just wasnt her type. No matter how she tried to deny it her dreams were of tunnels below New York and her type was Vincent- whatever type he was.
Vincent never for-saw 2 lovely yet contrasting women waiting in Father's chamber."Vincent" Father called when he saw Vincent halt at the top of the stairs."I have a new Helper I'd like you to meet, Angie my Massage Therapist. Diana is here too!" He froze Hood pulled forward he waited for Angie's response. Angie extended her hand, smiling."I have looked forward to meeting you!". Vincent put out a gloved hand, their eyes met, she shook his large hand with both of hers.
"Angie has magic hands" Father crowed. Vincent felt strange in the presence of this woman. And a massage -- he had never experienced one before, and didn't know what to expect. Noticing she was attractive made him even more nervous and shy. Also, Diana being there didn't help matters either. Vincent nodded silently, then an awkward silence fell. Father popped up, "she compounds wonderful rubs - you must try some when your muscles are overworked!". The Father shut up, as eyes shot back and forth nervously. Diana jumped in...."Vincent, I thought you might like to share this dessert - we could finish "EAVES OF GRASS?" Diana pushed toward Vincent, producing the small bakery box. Vincent felt pulled in all directions.
Keeping his head down so Angie couldn't get a good look at his face, Vincent said softly, "I'm very pleased to meet you, Angie. Father has mentioned you to me before." He was glad Diana had given him an excuse to leave. "I would love to, Diana." Just then young Jacob dashed in providing comic relief. “Coo-kies!” he shouted, spying the bakery box. Vincent scooped him up effortlessly, “Just a moment, my son! First, you must greet and thank our guests!”
Diana did not miss Angie’s expression, as Angie asked, “Vincent, you have a son? And . . . a wife?”
Inside Diana's stoic expression she was jumping up, pumping her fist "YES, he chose to be with me". Was it crooked to take baked goods to "court" a widower with a child? Meanwhile as they left Father answered,"Jacob's Mother died, leaving Vincent alone". "Diana risked everything to help Vincent- and us all- when we were without hope and lost" began Father. "Eventually, those two selfless individuals, fell most deservedly in love with one another- much to everyone's surprise and joy. Including theirs."
Vincent embraced Diana with one arm while juggling Jacob with the other. "Thank you for rescuing me, Diana."

Diana laughed. "Angie was looking at you like you were the best thing on the buffet table."

"Well, perhaps we could introduce her to Denny, William's new apprentice chef" Vincent wanted to be charitable - Just lately the Tunnel women had come out fiercely to "befriend" Vincent. Was it having a cute son that seemed to be a "woman magnet"? He'd heard Jamie say that she'd read somewhere that there was a school of thought that thought that women saw men with children as being responsible and stable, thus making them a more attractive prospect. "Or Sebastian, one of our fine sentries." Diana's eyes gleamed, she had his attention and the night was still young. "Vincent, I'm thinking about taking the next 3 days off, what can you recommend for a get-a-way?" Vincent woke and sat up. Now that was a dream! All the talk earlier about Jacobs dreams must have set it off. Nothing had made any sense, but then that was the way dreams were. He looked around the chamber. It was early, but not too early to get up. "Father?" Vincent approached quietly. "Yes, Vincent?"
"Do you have a Massage Therapist?"
"Yes, I do. A lovely girl - I think it is time you meet her."
Vincent chortled..
"I think she can help your muscle aches, you work too hard, don't sleep well".
"Thank you for the offer Father, but you know how uncomfortable I am around strangers and I couldn't think about allowing a stranger to see me.... well, unclothed." Vincent continued. "Maybe Diana would consent to giving me a back rub some day." "One is quite different from the other, Son. Angie is a professional your body would not be an issue" Father was emphatic."Diana's touch, well that would be more personal. Is that what you seek?"
Vincent remembered Father's issues with Catherine..... Vincent didn’t want to think that Father would purposefully place obstacles in the way of a relationship with Diana. But then again, Father had always been overprotective. With Jacob now, Vincent could almost see his father’s point. Yet, a professional masseuse. Someone touching him without emotion? Vincent thought back to his dream earlier that morning. Regardless of Father's opinion, he *knew* Diana had no qualms about his appearance. He wasnt *seeking* anything-he wasnt sore-but if it came down to it, he'd rather have Diana rub him down. Diana wrestled with the covers on her bed, she had dreamed of Vincent all night. Nothing lurid, just the closeness she missed in her other relationships. Vincent knew how to caress her as he read, how to touch her shoulder, her arm at just the right time.
Vincent felt a pull to go above this night. He could not understand why, but he felt that he needed to be near the one place where he could truly feel the complete aura of Catherine. As he gently landed on the balcony which they shared so many moments he was greeted by the sound of rap music being played *way* too loud. It was about that moment that reality dawned on him gently, like a knock to the head. This hadnt been Catherines apartment in 4 years, and he should probably leave before he's shot at.
Vincent looked through the French doors and he saw a woman dancing to the music. As the woman turned around he was so startled by what he saw. He backed away from the French doors and almost fell over the side of the balcony. It couldn't be. It's her Vincent turned his head away. Blinked hard and looked again.....
There was only one word the Vincent kept repeating to himself over and over. He wasn't sure if he was dreaming or if he had lost his mind. He slowly crept back to the French doors to make certain that he saw what he thought he saw. Catherine he said. He beat a path back to his chamber.....what was happening? The vision materialized again, clearer this time, smiling at him.
"Don't struggle so, my love. I'll always be part of you. But until we meet again beyond this life, you have to let me go. I came to give you my blessing. For us, for our son, be happy."
He knew it wasnt Catherine but it made him think long and hard. He had an ephiany. He had nostalgized their romance. After what he'd been thru with Catherine- the needless killing due to her incessant carelessness- he felt peace, and knew he loved Diana. He was going to go tell her so. Grabbing his cloak, he rushed out the chamber door. This path was so familiar to him. In minutes, he was tapping on Diana's skylight.
She looked up from her desk and smiled.
How beautiful she looked in the lamp light. She met him on the rooftop. “Diana . . .” he began. “I – I need to speak with you.” “I can see that you do,” she replied softly. Suddenly, Vincent was at a loss for words. He reached for her hands, and Diana rested her cheek against their combined clasp. "You have been a true friend, Diana. More than a friend. It's--. I don't know how. . ."
"Just say it, Vincent. Whatever it is."
"I loved Catherine. I did. But she is gone."
"And I am here."
"Yes. You are here. It has taken me some time, but now I... Can recognize the embers of love which I hope we can nourish to the flame of love. Am I too bold to ask how you feel, Diana?" His voice - totally reached deep within her...pulling her answer on honeyed lips reaching for his.

Diana looked in Vincent's eyes and for the very first time she realized that Vincent could not love her the way he once loved Catherine. She gently pushed herself away from Vincent a sat upon her balcony wall. Vicent she said, what made you come here? "Closure, I finally reconciled it is time to live again." Vincent looked hopeful.
"I can never be Catherine...." she declared.
"No, you are purely Diana. But I sense this doesn't go both ways". Vincent hung his head, took a step, perhaps to run. Then he turned back. "Diana, I KNOW you are not Catherine; I wouldn't want you to be. The relationship I had with Catherine was not perfect. I'll always love her, but I love you just as much, and I believe our relationship is...healthier. More mature. It is simply a different love. It is just as powerful, encompassing, but special and only for you, Diana. You are nothing that Catherine was, and everything that she was not." Vincent took her hand in his. "i was afraid to admit my love for you before now
"It's hard to look at you admitting to be afraid of anything - all the trials you've been thru" Diana fell into his arms, then he reached up to loosen her rich red hair. Running his fingers thru it, she sighed,"No one has ever done that....Oh, Vincent" "Even for what I am and where I live I would find great happiness in sharing it with you." Vincent felt her softly melt against him. He was a man, yes a man without pretense over his appearance.
Diana's sought his strong neck, ran her hand up his jaw. Her lips sought his in a kiss. She'd waited an eternity and a day for this moment. One shared kiss melted into several, slow smouldering kisses. They softly, reluctantly, parted lips. They both smiled shyly-It was a small step- but a step foreward. " do they expect you home immediately?" Diana asked shyly. He shook his head as shyly."I see you brought a book..." “Yes,” he responded, turning it over in his large hand to show her the cover.
“Coyote Stories . . . by Mourning Dove. I’ve heard of it . . .” Diana said reverently.
“Tales from the Native People of this country; stories of possibilities . . ." It could have been a weather report.....Diana was lost wrapped in his arm, wound up in his dulcet voice. With each page they melted closer."are you thirsty?" She was dry mouthed. He nodded so she retrieved 2 wine glasses and a bottle of wine.
Below, Peter entered Father's chamber. Hello old friend, Father said. I received your note earlier today stating you were coming for a visit. Is this a social visit or are you here in a professional capacity. Peter sighed and sat down in a chair
and drew a tired hand down his craggy face. "Jacob, take a look at this...."

Jacob picked the papers up and pulled his glasses onto his nose, the carefully regarded the paperwork.
"ghastly." sighed Father."the atrocities we inflict upon each other." Peter nodded in agreement, point at the other page. "But there is always hope Jacob" began peter with a tired smile. "This Mandella fellow has some moxie, I think he'll make it." Vincent closed the book, his nerves had run a race as they had shared the wine and the same sofa. Both on a razor's edge in regard to the wide open empathetic path. Both had the hunger as well as the hesitency. He knew she loved him, she knew he loved and desired her as well. she could feel it eminate from his being as heat radiating from the sun. While Vincent knew he didnt want to drag things out forever again, but thought maybe he should try taking things slow-but letting it happen as it does For the first time in his life, he let a book drop the floor. The burning within him sought the fires he felt glowing within Diana. With only the sweeping sound of fabric his arms swept her up across his lap. Their arms tangled, awkwardly at first.

Peter and Jacob sat talking to catch up on events Above. Suddenly there was a tug at Father's sleeve... little Jacob looked up at his grandfather. "When is Daddy coming home?"

"Excuse me a moment Peter... " Father shifted to look at the small face. Father looked at the clock, had he been lost in chat til 1:23am?
"He should be home soon, he went to see Diana". The child grinned and bobbed his head, "lib Deeaana".
"Yes, we all love Diana", Father agreed."kisses now", Jacob said before he left for bed. The moon cast a bright light across Diana's bed. Her auburn locks and his golden hair mingled on the pillow they shared, she only had 1! Slight movement in her sleep woke Vincent, he never remembered Jacob's conception, yet this memory was for the ages. In his heart he apologized to Catherine for his doubts and fears which were, obviously, quite unfounded. But it was her courage that gave him faith and hope- both now and in the past. He brushed Diana's fiery hair and softly kissed her brow. "Diana, we've begun quite a journey" He sighed, holding her to his chest. "Would you come for dinner this evening?" She knew their time would be greater Below, she could not bear seeing him only in the dark.
"If only I could keep you all night and day!" "Our challenge will always be enough time" Vincent declared as he moved toward rising from the bed.
"I'll wait for you, tonight. Would you pack a bag? Jacob misses you"
"Just Jacob?" She grinned.
"By then I will miss you greatly" Vincent demured. Their parting physically pained them, Diana followed him to the wall where she watched him disappear into the wee hours of the morning. He walked, head high, a burning satisfaction within his heart. He carried her sweet taste on his lips to the morning. When he finally got back to the hub, Odd. Very faintly, he heard music. Vincent saw as he walked into the chamber- Father with Jacob on his lap, and Peter in the chair next to them-the Victrola on the table- and all fast asleep in Jacob's nursery. Thru his life V had been blessed, now he gathered his son a padded to his chamber for sweet dreams of a joyous future. He whispered,"poppa has such a surprise for you, Jacob!".
Diana dreamed, in Tunnels they would be each others light.
Father and Peter awoke,washed, and hit up Vincent's chamber.With tea and biscuits(hell, it was sunday after all)rattling in hand Vincent already heard them-"Come" he answered.Father noticed Vincents calm pose and smiled. "You're at peace finally." Father and Vincent embraced. “It’s true,” Vincent admitted with a small smile. “Daddy,” called Jacob plaintively, reaching up with both arms, “I have to tell you . . .”
“What, my son?” Vincent replied, lifting him up between the two men. “I have to tell you that Mother is sending us another . . .”
Now little Jacob had the attention of every man in the chamber. Father and Peter nearly dropped their tea and biscuits that they'd just helped themselves to. What in the world could it be that Catherine was sending them *another* of, from up in heaven? "A true angel to luv us both" Jacob grinned.
"Yes, son, Diana will be with us. We will both enjoy her love" Vincent nodded.
Father enveloped his boys in a warm hug.
Diana spent the next 12 months settling, each month working fewer hours, fewer cases until one Friday she stepped below only returning to file her income taxes, heaven forbid the IRS come below to look for her! she would always do *some* work, but there was a young man that was going to need her around more actively for at least the next 10 years. There would probalby be more time up here, when Jacob was able to begin being responsible- maybe middle school. Or perhaps her time would be spent nurturing one or two more red-headed children? Vincent brought out the "nurture" in Diana.He brought out her best and her love had him hold his head a little higher, love even more if that was possible. Couple of red-headed children? Odd. It was as though a light went on. She'd never even really thought about that until just now. A smile crept across Diana's face. She never thought she'd even *think* it, but she could *really* get used to that idea!