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Portal of Time III: Fiesole 1489, Part Six

by Jennifer Loyd

“Oh Lisa, you wouldn’t believe everything that’s happened.” Mimi pauses to sip her espresso as the two of them sit in the salon.

“Yes, I imagine a lot has happened in the last... how long has it been since you left us? Four years, I believe?”

Four years... it seems like her whole life now, she can barely remember a time before. But she can’t think about that now.

“I have to talk to Kristen, where is she?” Mimi asks.

“She and André are out... what is it you need to tell her?”

“Lisa, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you...”

“So that’s where DiMera’s taken her,” John says angrily. “I’ve got to go back and find her.”

“It’s too soon,” Josh objects, “we don’t know--”

“Josh, surely there’s some way we can send John back,” Tessa suggests. “I mean, he went to the past before and came back to the present.”

“I don’t think he should go alone,” Josh finally says.

“I’ll go!” Abi volunteers.

“Abi!” Maggie May exclaims. “You can’t go back in time.”

“Why not?” she counters, “it’ll be great experience for my Art History course next semester.”

“You’re not going, and that’s that,” Maggie declares.

“I think Tessa and I should go,” Josh finally says.

“I don’t care who’s going, I just want to go back and find Doc!” John yells....

There is a gentle knock on the door as Marlena sits at her dressing table. “Come in,” she says uncertainly.

The door opens and Emilia enters. “I am Signora Emilia,” she says, “and I would like to welcome you to our court.”

“Thank you,” Marlena replies. “That is very kind of you.”

“You seem tired,” Emilia observes. “It must have been a very long journey.”

“Yes,” Marlena says as though to herself, “I suppose it was.” She looks at Emilia, wondering if she can trust her with the truth. Maybe she can help me, she thinks. “Honestly,” she says to Emilia, “I don’t remember how I got here.”

To her surprise, Emilia does not appear shocked by the admission. “Do you remember where you came from?” she asks.

Marlena tries in vain to remember. “No....”

“Signor diMera, what can I do for you?” the cortegiano asks.

“Franco, have you seen Mimi?” Stefano asks.

“Mimi? No, I have not seen her since last night,” Franco responds.

“Dammit, where could she have gone to? Well, I’ll find her later. In the meantime Franco, nothing must go wrong with the wedding today and I may need your assistance. I trust that you will help me in the event we encounter any unexpected difficulties.”

“Yes, Signor diMera,” Franco agrees.

“She’s going to kill someone, is she?” Lisa asks.

“Yes, and she’s going to be executed for murder unless I can...” her voice trails off.

“Mimi, what’s wrong?”

“I don’t know, I...” Mimi gets up and takes a few steps before the demitasse falls from her hand as she collapses onto the rose-colored carpet.

“Now look what you’ve done, you’ve ruined Kristen’s rug,” Lisa sighs, laughing as the drugged espresso seeps into the carpet alonside an unconscious Mimi....

“The man you are to marry today, Stefano diMera, do you remember anything about him?” Emilia asks Marlena.

Marlena considers the question. “The name is familiar,” she says after a moment, “but... why can’t I remember anything?”

“He says he loved you very deeply,” Emilia continues, “do you remember loving him?”

Marlena closes her eyes. Images are flashing through her mind, too quickly for her to decipher any of them. Last night’s dinner was exquisite, and he certainly seemed to care for her very much, but she couldn’t help feeling that something was terribly wrong. “No,” she says, opening her eyes....

The early afternoon sunlight filters through the evergreens as André and Kristen arrive at the immense mound of the tomb. At the base of the towering structure is a circle of stone, partially obscured by weeds and bushes. “Let’s eat first,” André suggests, “I’m starved.”

“Sounds good to me,” Kristen agrees. They spread the tablecloth over the damp ground and begin to unpack the contents of the wicker basket, including a wide variety of Italian cheeses and meats: mozzarella, fontina, and gorgonzola; salami, soppressata, mortadella and capicola, olives, a fresh loaf of bread and a bottle of Chianti, and fresh fruit for dessert.

As they are munching on celery dipped in olive oil with salt, a large white rabbit hops out from behind the tomb and approaches them. “Kristen, look!” André exclaims as the rabbit comes so close he can see its whiskers quiver as it sniffs the food. “He certainly isn’t afraid of people, is he?”

Kristen laughs. “He doesn’t have to be, in fact some of the people around here are more afraid of him.”

“Afraid of him, why?”

“Well, the villagers tend to be rather superstitious. To them, the white rabbits are supernatural creatures -- the spirits of those entombed here....”

Josh hands John a device that looks like a small radio.

“What is this?” John asks.

“It’s a transmitter that will allow us to send a signal through time when we are ready to return,” Josh explains, taking one for himself as well.

“I think we’re ready to proceed,” Tessa confirms. “Lani, Toni, we leave the project in your capable hands until our return.”

John enters the glowing portal followed by the two scientists. But before the portal is closed Abi rushes in!

“Abi, no!” Maggie yells, rushing in after her and the two of them disappear as well....

To be continued....

Part Seven

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