The Mansion in The Mountains
by Stella Brians
Her heart beat quickly and in uneven beats as her phone call to the retreat went out.
“Thank you for calling the Rainbow Retreat. How can I help you?” Eli’s voice sounded more serious than Eloise remembered but she couldn’t contain her excitement.
“Eloise…how are you?” He answered, sounding very queer.
“I’m…well, relatively okay. I just wanted…to speak to Leon. How are you?”
“I am well, the retreat is still hanging in there although we only have about thirty members.”
“Only thirty…what happened?”
“Ever since Leon left to look for you, attendance dropped, people left. Leon’s good at everything, I’m just the boring businessman. Many of the people who stay with us just need a place to crash, so…” he sighed then.
“I’m…I’m sorry Eli. I feel awful….”
“Look, he’s out there in San Fran looking for you, I’m sure you can find him in the telephone book.”
“The telephone book…how long has he been out here?”
“Since you left.” Eli hung up.
Eloise found herself with tears pouring down her face, sitting at her cheap kitchen table in her little place that she had been so determined to run away to. She had hurt everyone, Leon, Eli, the retreat.
Crying, she called Vincent and listened to the phone ring and ring. She called five more times, and after having the same experience she decided to drive over.
“You can’t lock yourself in there forever.” She said aloud.
The way she figured it was that they both needed each other. She needed his friendship and support, someone to talk to. His assistance in finding Leon would also be needed, because he would never have himself listed in a phone book. Vincent needed her to help him get out of whatever the hell was going on inside his mansion. It sounded like a bloody nightmare in every literal sense.
About halfway to Vincent’s home, she noticed a large dark car following her every move. Eloise wasn’t a very good driver, but if anything she was quite a safe one. She thought about pulling over, but if they were after her truly, she was dead. If she sped up however, she could fall off the edge of the mountain road very easily. Eloise felt panic inside as the car drove closer and closer to her until it hit her bumper. Stifling a scream she was forced to pick up speed, hugging the mountain side as much as she could. From behind the huge dark car following her, she could just make out a second car. It only looked like an old sedan, nothing important, but it was following the car following her. She hit the gas even harder, to get away from whatever was going on behind her. There was a crash, and with a quick look behind she watched as the sedan rammed into the large car three times. For a small car, it did much damage and Eloise had never been so frightened. Making a mental note to call the police when she managed to get inside Vincent’s mansion Eloise just focused on getting there. She hyperventilated as she drove the twisting road, the edge only out of the corner of her eye.
Suddenly, there were gunshots and the black car behind her swerved off the road and fell off the edge of the mountain.
“Oh my god…” she breathed, thinking only of how easily that could be her coasting off into thin air.
To her horror, the sedan was following her now though not as closely or dangerously.
An olive skinned arm waved at her, trying to get her attention.
“Eloise! Eloise! Please talk to me!”
She looked behind her, knowing before she saw his face, knew the British accent, knew the voice. Her hands slipped over the window crank in excitement as she rolled it down.
“Leon!!” She screamed.
“Pull over, dear!”
The two loves pulled off to the side of the road, hearts beating quickly.
Before anything was said verbally, much was spoken through affection and entwined arms and kisses. He smelled like she always remembered, how she had missed his light cocoa skin, wavy shoulder length hair, dark eyes, and most of all the personality that made up Leon.
“I’m so sorry, I never should have left. I just want to be with you…Leon..I love you.”
“It’s okay, Eloise. I never stopped looking. I can’t believe I’ve found you, but I’m just glad that I did.” His voice was the soft velvet she remembered, and as he whispered I love you, the sun began to set.
“Leon, we have to save my friend. He’s in trouble.” Eloise finally said, refocusing. She wished she could stay forever in that moment with him, but knew she must save Vincent.
“Why did you shoot those men?” she asked.
“As far as I could see, one of the men shot the passenger, startling the driver who drove off the cliff. I was chasing them because they were my employers; I worked at a health food store that they owned while Iv’e been living here looking for you. They have been acting particularly strange lately so I checked them out and it seems that they are part of a cult called White Dragon. The guy driving was the leader.”
Eloise stared at him. “Vincent mentioned something about a cult.”
She started towards her car, but Leon took her hand gently.
“Where does this Vincent live?” Leon asked.
“In a mansion in the mountains.”
“It all makes sense..Eloise…I think that’s where they were going. They were probably coming to kill him.”
“Do you mind if I ride with you? My car is on its last legs, and I don’t want to leave your side.” he looked at her shyly.
They quickly kissed before getting into the car, and headed towards Vincent’s mansion home.