Thursday, October 14, 2010
TG&SS Part II Synopsis 42
Part II chapter 1
Four girls who grew up on Palomo Grove were out walking on a hot day. Arleen was the oldest, followed in age by Joyce, Carolyn and Trudi. After a night of monsoon rains, they decided to go for a walk in the woods, where it might be cooler. Once in the woods, the girls discover a lake had formed from the tremendous rain. The sudden large body of water intrigued them and they decided to go swimming. The disrobing and swimming was watched from a distance by a young peeping Tom named William Witt. The girls continued swimming and went closer to the middle of the lake, which they found had warmer water.
Trudi noticed that at the lake's center, the bottom dropped off steeply and the water was quite warm. Trudi panicked, feeling darkness below and something warm there, waiting to pull her down. By this time, Joyce also felt the warmth. This distracted her from assisting Trudi. Arleen was swimming toward them both. Joyce relaxed and went underwater; then she panicked. Arleen immediately went to help. Carolyn had remained in shallow water, but when she saw the other three thrashing, she paddled out to see if they needed help. But when Carolyn reached the area, she felt grabbed and dragged down into the water. Carolyn felt she was going to drown. Carolyn felt rather than saw two powers of some sort in the water. They struggled with each other and then with her. Panic took hold of her until she realized that she was reaching the surface. Gulping for air, she realized the others had been released from the grasp of the choking deep. They began to swim for the shore.
Arleen became hysterical, wailing and shuddering. Nobody went to comfort her. Trudi came ashore next. Carolyn then reached the shore. William Witt, who had watched all of this, was spellbound by it. Witt realized there was something alive in the lake.
The girls began to talk about their experiences. Trudi denied that they were attacked, saying there were caves under the town and that currents were what they had felt. But she changed her story when the other three explained what had happened. After some talk, they decided to keep quiet about what had happened. The flood waters would recede, the lake would dry up, and nothing would happen.
Part II, chapter 2
Afterward, nothing happened, not even nightmares. But a sense of languor overtook all four of them. They rarely spoke to each other, but they felt they had become the chosen. Joyce, specifically, felt she had been saved from death for the purpose of getting to know Randy Krentzman intimately. She told him exactly how she felt. Confused and taken aback, Krentzman was surprised, but this did not undo his libido.
Arleen, Trudi and Carolyn had similar thoughts. Carolyn made a pass at a neighbor man in his 50's, Edgar Lott. Lott was startled but took up the offer. Arleen headed for a biker bar and outright debauchery. After a week of this conduct every evening, her father decided to follow her. He caught Arleen on the floor of the bar, servicing someone. He tried to interrupt, but he was severely beaten and dumped outside in the parking lot. He crawled to his car and waiting for hours until Arleen came outside. The next night, due to his social connections, Arleen's father had the bar raided. Twenty-one arrests were made.
Parental controls tightened in the town, but Trudi had found a church gardener to provide what she required. He had a stammer that made him nearly speechless.
But thanks to Arleen's open trysts, all four were to become infamous in the town. The newspapers picked up on Arleen's escapades and reported them in print. Arleen's younger brother had to be taken out of school, as he was bullied constantly about his big sister. Arleen's mother provided the girl with copious amounts of tranquilizers. A nurse attending to Arleen reported to the papers that Arleen was hysterical, cursing and believed herself possessed. The newspapers reported that Alreen had gone swimming in a lake and had been attacked by something that had entered all four of the girls.
The news story caused all the parents to grill their daughters and consider leaving the community. The other three girls took Arleen's insanity calmly and with decorum. Then things began to deteriorate. They kept odd hours.. They paced. Food fads appeared. The girls became moody. Medical attention seemed prudent. Trudi was first to see a doctor and be told that she was pregnant. So were the others.
The parents met. They decided that the three had achieved some kind of secret pact to get pregnant. They sought to locate the would-be fathers and prosecute them, terminate the pregnancies and hush things up so that they wouldn't be treated as pariahs, as Arlene and her family were being treated.
All three goals fell flat. The girls would not reveal the partners. The girls would not end the pregnancies. And the press snooped around, ultimately talking to an indiscreet doctor's receptionist.
This led to more newspaper stories. Without these new developments the story might have faded, but the additional information could mean that a cult was involved. Could it be the same man? Had Arleen been driven to extremes because she herself was infertile?
Part II chapter 3
The three pregnant girls remained calm and unruffled by all of this gossip. The press had labeled them the “League of Virgins.” The town had never wished this scorn and notoriety upon itself, “but, given the fact, was determined to profit by” the fame. Visitors poured in to “that” place, “Crazyville; the place where girls made eyes at anything that move if the Devil told them to.”
Behind family doors, children had to bicker to restore privileges. Fathers withdrew freedoms. Families quarreled. Alcohol use increased and “incidents of drunkenness, adultery, wife-beating and exhibitionism” turned the town into “a sinner's paradise.” Some people left town, changing the social structure of the area.
William Witt, the voyeur who witnessed the attack, was smart enough to keep quiet rather than become notorious and treated as a liar. He didn't want to be punished, either. He kept his memories fresh by revisiting the scene. He saw the lake shrink and disappear, leaving a fissure to the underground caves. Over time, sightseers joined him as they looked for the spot. A few tourists attempted to gain access to the caves, but it was almost a straight drop downward. The actual events of the girls didn't interest Witt, though he read the papers. He was busy spying on seductions, furious arguments, angry farewells and other events. He thought of writing a book about what he had seen in his own distant future.
Witt lost all interest in Arleen when he heard someone say that “She looked half dead” in an institution. “Drugged and dead.”
The following Spring, on April 2, the first of the league of virgins gave birth. Howard Katz was born to his eighteen-year-old mother Trudi. Two weeks later, Joyce gave birth to twins, which she named Jo-Beth and Tommy-Ray. The duel names were Joyce's way of recognizing both Randy Krentzman and the force in the lake. A week later, Carolyn also produced twins. The boy was delivered dead. The girl, Linda, was big-boned and strong.
The funeral of Carolyn's boy garnered a tiny audience. Otherwise the families were left alone. The town ignored them. Friends and acquaintances vanished. The Katz family sold their home and moved back to Chicago. A few days later, Carolyn's family went out for a while, so Carolyn celebrated the anniversary of her swim by smothering her daughter and committing suicide.
Carolyn left a suicide note. It said Arleen had told the truth. They swam. They were attacked. She sensed evil in the attacker, something that was in her and in her child. “Don't judge me too harshly, I never wanted to hurt anybody in my life,” she wrote.
Carolyn's family and Arleen's family wanted the one girl remaining in the town, Joyce, to tell the whole story. First, she refused. The other parents were not satisfied with that. Pressure was applied to Joyce's father. His father's church was unsupportive and sided with the other parents against Joyce.
Sympathetic for the pressures on her father, Joyce told the story to the six parents and to the family pastor. Joyce rocked her babies to sleep as she told the tale. She didn't know who the other men were who caused the other pregnancies. She didn't think her children were evil or possessed.
Arleen's father worked with Carolyn's father to raise money to seal the entrance to the caves. People would sign a check just to get rid of them. Nearly fifteen months after the girls had been attacked,. The fissure was sealed with concrete. “The children of Palomo Grove could play in peace.”