Deep Red, Chapter Twenty-Three

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Muriel Streeter_The Chess Queens

April 14, 1915

Dearest Constance,

We have received your correspondence and are now ready to proceed. This slow revolution must ignite, and must ignite now. It has been too many years since we began talking about rebellion, too long past the time to act. Walker plans to make good on his promise to raze Haven to the ground. The children are all old enough now to help with our plan, and we have enlisted some of the Mirrors as well. All we need now is for you to send your spirit out every night into the forest. My spirit will make contact with yours, somehow, and we will create a rendezvous point. We have fail-safes in place to ensure that the children at Haven will be well-cared for. The children, Walker’s, Garrett’s and mine, will be staying here, in case our plan is unsuccessful. The future must know about the injustice of the Counsel. Dorothy is also with child, and Owen has sworn to protect her until the end of his life. The children are so dramatic, but they act as true-blood siblings. Derek is the most willful of them all. He insists on coming, but has a natural respect for his father that will keep him in Chicago, we hope. Though none of us knew her, Garrett suspects that Derek is very much like his long-departed aunt Dorothy, though–from the history I have read of her, Derek is far more diplomatic and slow to act. Derek is also, by far, the most influential of all of us with the local Mirrors, and he also keeps good company with the human Residents. He has not yet manifested his volemic gifts, but his intellectual gifts impress and astound us every day. We had long discussions about having him come with us to Haven for our retribution against the Counsel and their destructive plan, but Garrett will not hear talk of his son’s involvement. It is imperative, as well, that Victoria not know she has a grandson, or any grandchildren for that matter. We will be with you soon. Until then, please keep hope alive.

Your loving granddaughter,


excerpts from The Diary of Constance Cayce, 1915, trans. Bobbi Cayce, 1983


Chapter Twenty-Three

Nature Nurture

“I know you,” Marlo said once she and Rayne were alone together.

“Yes,” Rayne replied. “I came into your mind when you were in the cabin.”


“Navigating your mind is much easier when you’re asleep.”

“Why do you need to navigate my mind at all?” Marlo asked.

“I was communicating with the mental block that is keeping your wolf from effectively manifesting.” Marlo raised an eyebrow. “The voice you keep hearing,” Rayne explained.

“Is that why it suddenly wants to play ball with your team.”

Rayne smiled. “What an interesting way to put it. And, yes. I convinced her that you are both part of something larger and that we need you both to cooperate in order to accomplish our goals.” Rayne stared at Marlo. Marlo could feel Rayne poking around her mind again. Why was the voice allowing this stranger access? she wondered. “You have some of the most confusing emotional issues for someone who wasn’t physically or sexually abused as a child,” Rayne said. “Your block is a representation of all that.”

“You’re saying that this thing, this part of me that wants to kill people, is my inner child?” Marlo asked.

“Put in human psychological terms…Yes.”

“I have a homicidal kid in my head?” Marlo repeated, trying to fully understand what that could mean. Why would any part of herself want to hurt others? Why would any part of yourself want to be weak and cow-tow to humans? Marlo couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Again.

“Yes and no,” Rayne said. “It’s far more complicated than that.”

“Uncomplicate it.”

“I can’t. Not in the next few minutes. But I am going to make sure that the both of you stay safe.”

What about the safety of others? Marlo wondered. “My human therapist said I need to combine these different aspects of myself in order to be wholly functional, but you’re making it sound like it’s better if these parts stay separate.”

“You are more powerful in your divided state. What I would like to do is strengthen all parts of you. If you become a singular entity, there is no guarantee that you will be as powerful, and we cannot take that risk.”

“So, I continue to hear voices and lose my mind.”

Rayne’s eyes softened. “The fact of what you are does not have to be so dramatic. We are going to take care of you. All of us. That is why we gathered here today. You will not lose your mind or anything you value in your character. On the contrary, you will need to effectively and responsibly use all parts of your mind so that you may become the best version of yourself.”

“Don’t you mean ‘selves?'” Marlo asked.

“If you like,” Rayne replied. “You will have to fulfill many roles once you have fully come in to all your powers. The Counsel will want you to join them, as the females in your clan have done for centuries. You will also be a soldier, capable of fighting on many levels. As we primordials operate, so, too, must you be able to operate.”

“Wouldn’t it be better for me to be in control of myself, then?” Marlo asked.

“Control is something you worry too much about. You need to learn to let go and allow others help you. As I said before, you aren’t alone anymore, Marlo. We’ll work on it together.”

The idea of finally letting go sounded appealing, but way too good to be true.

“For now,” Rayne continued, “You must proceed without questioning. I know this is going to be hard for you, given your penchant for rebellion and stubbornness, but if you allow us to make you into a better, more evolved version of yourself, you will thank us in the end .”

Will I? Marlo asked. She wondered if Rayne could hear her thoughts like Q could, but it didn’t seem like it. “When will I be given back the reigns to my own destiny?” Marlo asked.

Rayne sighed. “I can’t say. Your destiny is bigger than you and more important than a single wish to thrive. You are here to help hundreds of thousands of others thrive.” Marlo could feel Rayne in her head again, and she threw up a wall.

“If you keep me from communicating with it,” Rayne said. “It will get out of control again.”

“So, what are you? My inner nanny? I’m unfit parent to my own fucking subconscious?”

“Yes,” Rayne said. Marlo balked. She wasn’t expecting an affirmation to her worst fears, let alone such a blunt one. “Marlo, you have tried and failed for many years now to control what is inside you. You have been unable to effectively rule yourself, live in your world or live in the human one. Now you are at Haven. You have, in human terms, lost custody of yourself. Haven does not have concrete walls or steel bars, but you are in our custody now.”

“What happens when I leave, then?” Marlo asked.

“By then, your child will be grown and self-sufficient. You will be able to effectively function as two separate people.”

What other choice do you have?

Marlo took a deep breath and tried to pull all of her chaotic thoughts together into one, functioning mental reality. She searched all her come backs and motivations and everything she was raised to believe about herself. Being independent had gotten her nowhere. Free will was an illusion. And she had, appropriately, lost all rights to the parts of herself that she had never been able to control. If she wanted to live, and keep others alive, this might be the way. Her new path.


Chapter Twenty-Four→