I Died Once (Chapter IV-VI)

by darkjade68

My Self Published Novella Continued, “I Died Once

(Chapters IV, V & VI)

I Died Once CoverI Died Once

A Novella

by DarkJade

Prologue, Chapters I, II & III


My Father From Africa?

That ride was very odd indeed. The rest of the way I didn’t say a word. When I sent that note to my father’s supposed address in Africa, I never for the life of me expected a reply, and certainly not like this.

Perhaps showing you the note I sent him might illuminate a few things.

Dear Father,

Fred has killed mother and wrapped her in your living room rug.

Best fetch me at once, for he just took three close range shots at my bed with his revolver.

Fortunately, I was out in the pool, breathing my last breath.

Your Daughter,


No indeed, a response of any type was not what I expected. Yet, here he was sitting next to me, almost on top of me, really, as I was squished between him and the old man.

Finally, he spoke as he rolled a cigarette. “So what’s this you say about ‘breathing your last breath’.”

“Huh? Oh, the note. It’s nothing.”

He looked at me. “Nothing, huh? Doesn’t sound like nothing.”  I didn’t reply, and instead went on looking straight ahead.  “Oh well, maybe later then.”

“So you brought Fred a rug?” I’m not exactly sure why I asked that. Perhaps some part of me wanted to talk to him on a more intimate level, but instead said something trivial.

“Oh, yeah, you said he wrapped yer mum up in that African rug I had in the living room, so I thought I’d give him a new one.” With this he looked at me. “You know, as kind of a ‘I know what you did’ message to his subconscious.”

This surprised me. “Uh, isn’t that kind of dangerous? I mean, he’s a killer.”

With this he smiled. “Oh no, I’m the killer. You should see my library wall at home. Every hunt-worthy beast in Africa has found their head mounted there. No, old Fred I suspect, as I’ve always suspected, is just a money-hungry, greedy bastard, heh, and a sloppy murderer at that.”

Well, with this I had to agree with dad. Dad? Eww, don’t think I like that. I’ll just call him Sam.



A Diamond Mine

The next hand full of days, I couldn’t say how many, were full of trains, planes, boats, and automobiles, and at last, dirt. Oh, and sky, oceans, and animals. Yes, lots of animals. I had arrived in Africa.

South Africa, to be specific. I dare not be more specific than that, or I might offend a local. As Sam, my father as it were, handed a dark skinned man money. Our very minimal bags were placed into a vehicle, and the two of us were off.

Apparently, Sam owned a small diamond mine with some other men. However, he spent no time there, and instead hunted and traveled the surrounding lands. I suppose his life was an adventure, I dare say. Nothing like my own had been. This was a sort of second life for me. Strange to think, if my mother hadn’t died, I wouldn’t be alive. But I dare not ponder too much on that.

Sam seemed a fairly simple man. One that, in his rustic way, soaked in everything around him. Perhaps that’s why on occasion he’d ask me personal questions. He probably figured he should know a bit about me if I, too, was to be sucked in.

“Tell me about your life, Mady. Did you have any hobbies, or pets, or…” with this he looked over at me “…girl things that you liked to do?”

Yikes, girl things. How appalling. And yet, I tried my best to be polite. “Not so much. Mother took away my paints, as she felt it distracted me from more sensible things, like, clothing, makeup and schoolwork.”

“I see,” he replied.

“As far as pets, I wasn’t allowed any. As she put it, ‘What would be the point?”

“Aye, she wasn’t the most cozy of women, I’ll give you that,” he said, which kind of surprised me. Him discussing anything to do with her and him, that is.

With this, I mustered up some courage. “Did you ever love her?”

He didn’t reply, nor look my way for quite some time, until, “LOOK OUT!!” Suddenly, he hit the brakes and all seemed to slow down as he threw his great musket across the front of me and placed my hand on the wheel. I tucked my head towards him, and he took a shot. BLAM!! In one shot he took down what he called a white rhino. It fell to the ground with a THUMP!  “That thing would have knocked this vehicle over!” he gasped, then looked at me. “Yes, I loved her.”



Dream State


A young, dark haired girl, maybe three, plays with a beach ball by the pool of Mady’s mother’s estate. As she plays, she is distracted by the sound of fighting within her home. The ball becomes loose and bounces towards the pool. The little girl pursues it and grabs it just before it falls into the water. The fighting continues.

She turns toward the house where she sees a man and woman fighting in the living room of the home. The little girl takes a step backwards, and is in the pool. As she falls, she lets’ go of the ball, and so, sinks slowly to the bottom. She stares upward through the water, but does not breathe. Not one bubble. Suddenly, a man is in the pool and pulls her out.

“Mady!! Are you alright!!?” he says frantically. The woman stands behind him and watches.


“I can’t stay here, Scarlet. I must go,” are the last words she hears before…

I’m awake. I find myself lying inside some sort of tent. I ascertain that it must be night, as the tent walls glow a wobbling yellow, like fire light. I grab a sweater and step outside. My father, er, Sam, has started a campfire and appears to be cooking something. His back is turned to me.

“Boy, you really passed out,” he said.

“Mmm,” I replied, as I approached the fire rubbing my eyes. He looked at me while cooking something on a stick.

“Bad dreams,” interesting that he wasn’t asking. He was simply stating it like a truth.

“Perhaps,” I replied. Much silence went by, save the clank of the tin plate as he dished me up some local meat and greens. “Thank you.”

The sounds of the African night were, well, torrential to the senses. But to the darkened soul, what else would they be?

It was at this point that he started to interrogate me again, or rather, make conversation. “So, pool, last breath, anything?” This surprised me, only because of the dream I had just had.

“Was my mother’s name Scarlet?” I replied.

He simply sat there staring at me. “It was, yes. You didn’t know your mother’s name?”

“No,” I solemnly replied. “Fred insisted on calling her Mrs. Holden,” as that was, er, is, Fred’s last name. Frederich Walter Holden the 3rd. Argh. “And she insisted that I call her mother.”

“Well, yes, Scarlet Violet Monroe, er, Vanderbelle was her maiden name.”

“What a tremendous name,” I proclaimed.

“Yeah, well, with a great name came a lot of pressure from her parents and her grandmother, Edith Donday Vanderbelle.” With this he seemed to almost growl.

“I see. Before you ask me a third time about not breathing in the pool, you might consider talking to me about something trivial.”

“Trivial?” he replied.

“Yes, like, where I got these boots, or…” I rise to fetch a glass of water, but he hands one to me first. “Thanks. …or why I never wear my reading glasses, and instead, set a book on my desk, and use the telescope from Uncle Henry to read them, whilst I sit in the comfort of my bed.”

He stood. “I don’t do trivial.” With this he cleaned up and headed for a blanket he had laid out on the ground for himself. I simply watched. Well, no wonder he left my mother. If he doesn’t do trivial, then he couldn’t have possibly “done” her, as the whole of who she was, was trivial. I went to bed.

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