“If I don’t find the darkness so dark then maybe the light will be ever so bright. And maybe the creatures that go bump in the night will forever be gone. After the creatures are gone then maybe the nightmares will disappear back to wherever they came from and alone I shall be again.” Her voice as calm as ever. She looked up from the notebook paper she had just read off. The faces of her classmates showed no sign of interest nor did they clap when she had finished.
“Well,” the teacher began, struck with silence, “That was good.” Nodded her head with a questionable tone.
The girl, walked back to her desk, turned to the teacher, “It’s okay if you don’t understand what real literature is.” She continued to her desk and sat down.
“Why must I attend a school where education is laughed at?” Elinor asked her father.
“Why must you always be a pain, my dear?” Father asked back. He wore a pair of black trousers, with a high straight collar shirt, and a black silk vest. He had a silver pocket watch laying right inside his vest pocket with a chain that clipped onto the side of his trousers.
“Why must you always dodge my questions?” she lifted an eyebrow when she asked. Father could see her half smile.
“A lady is to be seen not heard.”
“You know that’s just a load of sh…”
“Watch your mouth.” He said.
“No, I do not believe that women are to remain silent but this area believes it. As long as no one is around talk to me however you please. Now, if company is to be here then your mouth will be shut. You have no opinions or ideas of your own.”
“Now, why do you say education is laughed at here?”
“Well the teacher doesn’t even know what good literature is.”
“What did you read?”
“Cornell Beech of course.”
“I know you are my daughter due to your choice of poets.”
“Well I’m glad to see you know who I am. I would hate to be someone else’s kin.”
Father chuckled as he stood from his seat. He walked over to the bar cart and started to pour himself a drink, “Could I offer my daughter a martini?”
“Extra olives, please.”
“You are funny.”
“Funnier than you.”
“Only because of your looks.”
“Ouch, father, you hurt my feelings.” She said smiling.
Chuckling he grabbed a club soda and brought it to her, “Could a soda fix that?”
“I believe it will.”
“Good to hear.”
“Miss?” the maid asks. Elinor shaking out of the haze.
“Yes?” she replies
“There is a man at the door for you.”
“Well bring him in, please.”
A man in a dark suit slides into the room. Wearing dark brown trousers, a white straight collar shirt, and a brown frock coat.
“Mr. Marlin, it’s been so long.” She says.
“Ms. Elinor,” he walks toward her, kissing her on the cheek, “I heard you were in town for the next month on business so I thought to myself, ‘I must stop by.’” Smiling ear to ear, “What’s it been?”
“Oh, I’d say just about ten years.”
“Well, you haven’t aged a bit.”
“I could say the same to you.”
“But that would be lying.” Both guffaw at Mr. Marlin’s comment. “I must say I was anxious to see you.”
“Well, the last time I saw you it was your father’s funeral.”
“Ah, yes. It wasn’t even an hour after he was buried that the board tried getting me to sign the company over to you.”
“Yes, and I will forever apologize for that.”
“No need. The board now knows that without me they would still be in the same spot that they were in ten years ago. I have taken this company further than anyone ever thought.”
“Yes, I see that. That is partly why I’m here actually.”
“You’ve heard of a company called TeleCode, right?”
“I certainly have.”
“Well, as of three nights ago they are filing for bankruptcy. It won’t be stated to the public for about a week.”
“So, you can help them out.”
“Listen for a minute.”
“Okay. You are a multimillion dollar face. Your company is a multibillion dollar brand.”
“If you put your brand on the TeleCode they will be saved and your company numbers will rise.”
“You will own sixty-five percent of the company making it the majority yours.”
“I know business. Why would I want TeleCode?”
“The moment this goes public Marcus Grey will try to take it.”
“I thought he was in prison for fraud.”
“He was. Just about four months ago he was released due to overcrowding.”
“Why do you believe he would want such a company?”
“He’s trying to build his brand back up from the ground.”
“Why would I care if he takes the company?”
“TeleCode is in control of forty-five percent of the communication around the globe. The moment he sticks his brand on their it will raise the percentage and with power like that Grey will certainly use it.”
“So,” she stands pausing for a moment, “Who is the head of TeleCode now?”
“Roseline can you get the telephone for me, please.” Looking towards Mr. Marlin, “I will call up Mr. Banc and offer to buy the company.”
“That’s a great...”
Elinor cuts in, “If you split it with me.” Speechless Mr. Marlin sits there. “I will buy sixty percent only if you buy the other forty.”
Roseline enters carrying a rotary phone. “Here you are Miss.”
“Thank you, Miss Roseline.”
“You add titles when you talk to your maids?”
“They are humans, aren’t they?”
“Well, yes, but they are the underclass.”
“Under class or not they respect me and I respect them and I do not welcome haters into my home.”
“I do apologize.”
“Seems you do that a lot.”
“More than I probably should.”
“My father believed in equal rights.”
“That’s why you are not quite like most women.”
“Father approved of my opinions and ideas.”
“He was the only man who did at the time.”
“So far none of that has changed. Most men are dumbfounded when I speak at public events.”
“Most men are astonished by your ideas.”
“How would you know?”
“I have heard your name muttered amongst many men during parties and events.”
“Have you now?”
“Yes, many times. You are not one to be forgotten about.”
Both laugh at the remark.
“May I use your laboratory?”
“Yes, sir. Just down that hall and the second door on the left.”
“I’ll hurry back so we can make the offer.”
“Why do the men not women to have rights?” Elinor asked her father
“Men are scared they won’t be in control anymore.”
“But why would they think that?”
Father looked around, cautiously, “At one time, women had rights.”
“Really?” Elinor’s eyes lit up.
“You have to stay quite.”
“I will.” She paused and looked up at her father, “Promise.”
“Okay,” He looked around once more, “Back and back before we were the United Continents there were women rallying for rights. Especially in Kingdom Home.”
“Why in Kingdom Home? That’s the home of peace.”
“Well, at one point the world wasn’t united. There were different countries and states. Kingdom Home was once known as the United States of America.”
“Nuclear warfare.” He paused to let everything sink in, “In 1951 the United States launched a nuclear missile and hit what is now known as Lost Land.”
“What was it called back then?”
“It was the USSR.”
“Why did they shoot the missile?”
Her father sat there a moment, “Another time sweetheart.” he got up and walked away. He was sadder than she had ever seen him that night.
Mr. Marlin, “This is a very nice home.” He stands there saying as Elinor stares off into space. “It’s defiantly nicer than some of the others in the area.” He looks at Elinor while she is still off in her head. “Elinor?”
She snaps back into focus, “What, sorry.”
“I was just saying you have a lovely home.”
“Yes, well, let’s get on with business. What do ya say?”
“Right you are.”
Elinor getting ready for bed that night.
“Yes, Miss Roseline?”
“I would just like to thank you.”
“For what you said to Mr. Marlin about equal rights.”
“Yes, well, my father believed in them and he taught me to care for others beneath us.”
“Thank you, Miss.”
“Your welcome.” Roseline starts out the door. “Miss Roseline,” she turns towards Elinor, “I would like you to work for me full time.”
“What does that include?”
“That includes you traveling with me.”
“Oh, that would be wonderful.” Elinor nods and smiles and Roseline skips out the door. You can hear her as she whistles down the hall. Elinor knows that means Roseline would no longer have to live with the abusive husband she unfortunately got sold to. Roseline’s husband is not a good man and if Elinor could help she would. Her father would have.
A few days after her father told her everything.
“Why would they shoot the missiles?”
“The United States thought the USSR was going to shoot one first.”
“So, the United States are the bad guys?”
“No.” he paused a moment trying to give the best possible reason she could understand, “The U.S. were under the influence that the USSR was going to attack due to some information getting leaked and then being translated wrongly.”
“Then what happened?”
“Well, the capital, Moscow, was destroyed along with many other cities. The United Kingdom, which is now known as Monopoly, called all the leaders of every country together. They said something had to be done. The leaders all agreed. By 1981, twenty years after the nuke hit, the world came together as the United Continents.”
“Why don’t we learn this in school?”
“Only people at the top of the toppest know all this.”
“You’re at the top?”
“So, did people just forget about what happened?”
“Most everyone who was alive at the time was told never to speak of it. But some governments erased the memorizes of their people.”
“That is wrong. But there was nothing else that could be done. The people had to forget if they wanted the Untied Continents to work.”
“If we weren’t the United Continents where would we be?”
“You mean in the old world?”
“Well if we were in the old world we would be in Germany and we would be speaking German.”
“It’s another language.”
“Yes, English is not the only language. At one time, there were many languages.”
“Yes, but as we united they got rid of all the differences. Now it’s against the Nobles to speak anything other than English.” He looked at her and smiled. Father leaned towards her putting his mouth next to her ear. “Ich kann dich lehren.”
Elinor’s face lit up so bright that her smile could not be contained.
“I can teach you.” Her father said.