The note said:
Gone to town for a few errands. I’ll be back by 3pm. My neighbor Jack has a key and knows to expect you. Make yourself at home and help yourself to whatever but DO NOT EAT THE PIE! it’s for desert.
How the hell did she know I was coming?
William Michael Taylor, Corrie’s youngest son, dropped his bag at the door and sauntered over to Jack Fortin’s estate to pick up the key. He spotted the older gentleman tying up a 14 foot Glasskraft runabout to his dock on the lake. Jack looked up, waved, then finished his task before he started up the dock ramp.
Laughing and shaking his head, Jack extended his hand, ” You must be Will. Your mother never ceases to amaze me. She said she dreamed of you last night and that you would be arriving today.”
Grabbing the outstretched hand offered, Will replied,” Yeah, that’s me. So much for my surprise visit. I forgot that my mom has her ways of finding things out.” and then added, “You must be Jack.”
“Well come on inside and I’ll get you the key to the house.” Jack said as he turned towards his home, ” You got time for a beer first?”
Corrie Taylor, Lake Cowichan’s own Crone, did her best to hurry through her errands. She was excited to see her son. Last night she dreamed of him standing at her front door, but she also woke with the sense that upset was also about to arrive at her door. What she didn’t intuit was whether that upset was from William or if someone or something else was responsible for her unease.
When she finally pulled into her driveway, her cheeks stretched with a mega watt grin. Will’s luxury sedan was parked at the front door. He was actually here.
Corrie had not seen Will in over a year. Her oil executive son had been gallivanting around the world securing oil deposits for his employer. She hurried out of her jeep and practically ran to the door, she was so eager to see him.
Will was out on the deck with Corrie’s neighbour Jack when she finally spotted him. He quickly got up and engulfed her in a big hug and kissed her cheek. “Hi Mom, did you miss me?”
“You cheeky monkey, you know I did”, she sniffed as she blinked the tears welling in her eyes. “It so good to see you. You look great!” Corrie pulled back and surveyed her son, mentally taking note of any subtle changes since the last time she saw him, while sending out her energy to meet with his to see if she could sense any imbalance that might be the cause of this mornings uneasy feeling. Nope, his energy was vibrant and healthy. Relief flooded Corrie, her baby boy was just fine.
The phone rang later that night just as Will and Corrie were about to settle down in the living room for an evening of good conversation, good wine and maybe a piece of apple pie. “Who could that be at this hour?”, Corrie puzzled as she reached for the phone.
“Grandma, it’s Layla”, a sobbing voice announced. “Can I come stay with you?”
The same un-ease from this morning twisted at the Crone’s gut, “Layla, what’s wrong honey, where are you?”
Will sat up, and tensed, like a cat about to pounce, ” Is that Layla? Is she alright? Where is she? Tell her I’m coming right now.”
Corrie put her hand up to halt any more questions from Will as she tried to hear what Layla was saying through her sobs. “Where are you Layla?” she repeated, “Your dad is here, we’ll come and get you.”
“I’m in Duncan at the bus depot, mom and me had a fight and I just had to leave. Can I stay with you for a while?”
“We’ll be there in a half hour, stay there, don’t go anywhere….okay?.”
“Okay, thanks grandma.”
“Let’s go Will, I’ll drive while you phone Lexi and find out what went on with her and Layla. I don’t want to get in the middle of some parent/teenager power struggle with out hearing both sides of the story.” Corrie looked grimly at Will, ” Might do you some good to spend some one on one time with your daughter while you’re here.”
Will and Alexa had been high school sweethearts but the relationship couldn’t handle the stress when Lexi found out she was pregnant when they were both just nineteen. They parted ways soon after Layla was born but have always remained close and committed to their daughter. Neither of them ever married.
Corrie settled Layla into the extra room upstairs beside her own. Her mom, at home in Victoria, had been beside herself with worry until Will had phoned and assured her that Layla was fine and would stay with him and Corrie for a few days.
Lexi was confused with Layla’s abrupt personality change. Lately, she had been confrontational and angry with everyone and everything. Lexi wasn’t even sure why she even took off. They’d always been able to talk things out, until recently anyway. It was like the girl was possessed. Hopefully her grandmother or her father could get to the bottom of what was bugging Layla, she sure as hell was stumped.
The sun broke into the kitchen window just as the blueberry muffins came out of the oven and the shuffle of sock covered feet came around the hallway door. “Good morning Layla Rose”, Corrie sung out with out even turning to see who it was. “It’s a warm spring morning out there, let’s sit out on the deck and have our breakfast so we don’t wake up your dad, shall we.”
They settled in the floral cushioned chairs and ate quietly for a bit, enjoying the fresh morning air and the breeze off the lake. ” Want to tell me about it”, Corrie started. “You know I sense something and you know I can help, that’s why you came to me isn’t it.”
Layla, picked at her muffin for a few moments then, with tears in her eyes, looked at her grandma and blurted, “I think I’ve got what you’ve got. You know… your gift thing!”, and then she broke into sobs.
Shocked by the emotional outburst, the Crone just stared at her beautiful fifteen year old granddaughter for a few seconds then burst out laughing. “Is that what this is all about?” relief in her voice, ” I thought you where going to say something really bad like you were pregnant….you’re not pregnant are you?”
“No grandma, I am not pregnant and stopped laughing at me this is the worse thing that could ever happen to me! I told my friend Ashley and she promised not to tell anyone but she did, and now everybody at school thinks I’m going to go all “Carrie” on them. My life is ruined!”
“Okay honey, why don’t you tell me why you think you have my gift.” her grandma calmly said. What’s been happening.
“Well for one thing, I just know things sometimes. Like before they actually happen and sometimes I can feel things about other people, like if they can be trusted or if they are good or bad.” Layla sat quite for a moment and them in a very soft small voice she said, “Grandpa has been visiting me in my dreams. He says I have to talk to you. That you will help me understand how to use my gift.”
“Grandpa Taylor has been visiting you!”, she exclaimed. “Did he give you any messages for you to give to me?” Corrie had missed her husband everyday for the past three years since he’d died. Even though she felt his presence from time to time, she had never had his spirit visit her even though she had tried and tried to contact him. She felt her hands tremble, please God let him give me a message.
“Grandpa says to tell you that he Loves you and that he’s still with you,” then Layla added, “and who is Two-Toes? He says he sent him to protect you.”
The tears were streaming down Corrie’s face but she was beaming. “Oh my God! It is really him! Layla, my dear sweet girl, never be ashamed of this divine gift you have been given. You are blessed”, and then she gathered her granddaughter up in her arms and hugged her fiercely.
Before they both knew it, another set of arms came around both of them, “Is this a private hug or can anyone join in?” Will’s strong male arms held his mother and daughter tenderly as he kissed each of their foreheads. “What’s up, what are you two talking about?”
“Well”, Corrie began, ” It looks like I have just acquired an apprentice”, and with love brimming from every pore, the Crone also kissed her granddaughter’s forehead and smiled.
More excerpts about Corrie Taylor are listed in topics under The Crone of Lake Cowichan