For Katherine Marconi, an unassuming prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, the countdown to 2012 really started in the 1980s when she discovered the murder of her brother, a new age guru. Never did she expect that the investigation into his death would lead her into the world of enlightened beings, professional football, and a prophecy for the future of mankind.
|Publisher:||Beaux Reves Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Chanson Duvall, a modern American mystic, grew up in the deserts of Arizona. He began having visions and spiritual experiences around age six and they have continued on and off for over fifty years. He discovered meditation at an early age and went through the various teachings of all religions discovering his own philosophy and teachings along the way. He now writes and teaches in-depth meditation in Southern California to serious students and small groups seeking enlightenment.
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Our Lady of Dreams A prophecy for the new age
By Chanson Duvall Greenleaf Book Group Copyright © 2007 Chanson Duvall
All right reserved.
Chapter One A Saint is Never Known in His Own Town
Now we begin. I'm back in my house in Los Angeles, or, more precisely, in Santa Monica. It's another beautiful Sunday. Beautiful days are frequent here, and Sunday is the day I've dedicated to writing the modified, edited version of my diary and Thomas' diary, to try and put it all together. I rest or play on Saturdays. The rest of the week I'm an attorney, and that occasionally spills over into my weekends. In the beginning twelve years ago, I was one of the few female prosecutors in town and, as such, tended to get the cases that stretched out and needed more research than others.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself. My maiden name is Katherine Marconi. My heritage is Italian-American. Five foot seven. Black hair (the white is covered up now) with dark brown eyes. Beautiful, if I may say so -'the eyes, that is.' Not that I'm shy about my looks. My family called me the typical Italian beauty. Men have always treated me with respect. Well, most of the time. I'm currently on my second marriage and my husband and I are very happy. I couldn't ask for a better husband, but you'll learn more about that later.
I love my work but have a love-hate relationship with L.A. After all, I've lived in this area for my whole life, having been raised on the opposite side of town in southern Orange County, in a typical middle class family. Medium-sized house with white fenced yards, front and back. Perfect picture of that generation, now gone forever. That's enough about me for now. I'm a part of the story, but it's mainly about my brother and others, and subjects you probably don't want to read or even think about. I don't want to scare you off. After all, it could change your life too, and, more importantly could change the world. I'm sure most of you would doubt that; and most of my life I was a doubter too. Until, that is, I witnessed the events I'm about to relate.
Actually, I remember very little about John Paul. Everything I'm about to tell you came from other people and sources, coupled with the few odd memories that I do have. My diary helped me keep the memories intact, after I began to realize how important all the events were. It seems strange now to talk about someone you should have been close to. Someone like your own brother.
We were the only two children; I was eight years older than John Paul. I now know how unusual it was for an Italian Catholic family to have only two children. My father, however, had been sick off and on for years before my brother was born. He died young when my brother was only two and I was ten. There was a large insurance settlement from my father's company, so my mother didn't go to work until John Paul was in junior high. Even then, she only worked part-time in a neighborhood bookstore. Off and on, she also did charity work for the church. I was a good student and very well behaved, so my mother mostly let me do as I pleased. I ran around with my girl friends, trying to get in as little trouble as possible. I stopped going to church somewhere in my late teens or early twenties, moved out of the house to go to law school, graduated, and got married. That part of my life happened so fast; it seems so now anyway.
My little brother was the exact opposite of me, quiet, shy, and not a good student. He seemed spacey and distant most of the time, reading books or listening to classical music in his spare time. He went to church sometimes twice a week or more and spent many hours just sitting in the back yard. In those days, I thought he was just wasting time.
What we did have in common was our looks. Only his eyes were bigger and even more beautiful with long lashes like a baby doe. John Paul's eyes would reflect everything like a mirror. When you looked at him, you could see yourself in the clearness that lay on top of the deep dark brown pools. Looking back now, I think that it's his eyes that I have the most vivid memory of. He had very few friends, even though he was likable enough and sociable to a degree, but he was always very selective. After I left for college, we seldom communicated. With only the occasional birthday and Christmas letter or card from him. The gifts he sent were usually books, which at the time I had no interest in reading. Some friend would borrow most of them, and would usually never return them to me. Once in a while we would both come home for a holiday, and we'd talk a little. He would always suggest that we go for a walk or go to some quiet beach area. He really loved just to sit and watch nature and people. All the stray dogs and cats would come up to him and he'd talk to them as if they were human, and they seemed to respond as if they were. He always apologized to them for not being able to take them home. He'd pat them on the heads or rub their chins and promise that they'd have a good life. Then he would always whisper something, I ever knew what, in their ear.
Even though we hardly talked then, there was always a deep feeling of closeness. I guess there was nothing much to say. In those early days, he told me he was studying to become a priest and that he loved studying religion. I realized later that he never said 'the church.' I would respond how nice that was, but he always caught the slightly cynical look in my eyes and give me that little boy grin he had. I always felt he had some tremendous secret; he was way too good-looking to be a priest. Years later, I would find out that his secret was vaster than I could have ever imagined.
Other than these rare conversations I did not know my brother at all. My mother would always praise him when he wasn't around and repeatedly told me how much he loved me and prayed for me. Thinking she was just trying to lay a guilt trip on me, I would reply 'yeah' and then ask what was for dinner.
Chapter Two Love and Death in L.A.
Years have passed since then. Before my divorce, when my first husband and I used to go home for Christmas. John Paul was never there. Mother would just say he was busy with his studies or travels. So time went on, and I never saw him. I'd just get a very cheap Christmas card, usually from some foreign country I had never heard of, with a note saying he was doing well. Sometimes a postcard with a wonderful nature scene from some remote location in New Mexico or India, Nepal or Europe. Then one day, my whole life changed.
It was just another morning at work, when my boss handed me a folder. It was a faxed copy of a sheriff's report detailing a murder that had happened the day before. The case had been transferred to L.A. County, though it had taken place in a remote mountain area, but the local sheriff had his hands full at the moment. Besides, the victim and the suspect's last known addresses were in the L.A. prosecutor's area.
My boss, Philip Barsetti, the District Attorney, also stated that he could trust me to keep it quiet, because of the sensitive nature of the case. The accused was a two-year rookie quarterback, a semi-famous football player. The D.A. then winked at me and said I needed to make a name for myself. I should have known when he said that, it meant trouble. Little did I know how much.
Barsetti said that the file wasn't much to start with, but there was more detailed information at the police station. The detectives assigned to the case had gone up north to the mountains, where the crime was committed, and had brought back the sheriff's report and film that morning. He implied that I should drop everything and run down to the police station, which, of course, I did dutifully.
As usual, the station was a mess of people and paperwork. It was a wonder anything was kept straight.
After asking five different people I found out that Detective Peter Hanson had been assigned to the case. I hadn't seen Hanson in years, back when we were both married; and getting started in our careers. At that time, he was a low-ranking detective. We had worked a few cases together, but he was reassigned to another district. Now I learned that he had been recently promoted and was back at the main station. I remembered him as a tall, rugged, good- looking cop with sexy, wavy black hair. He always looked me over and flirted with me, and I was very much attracted to him, so I tended to avoid him like the plague.
The file I'd been given had 'John Doe' one and two, for the victim's and suspect's names. I guessed the person who faxed the information wanted to keep the real names out of the public eye, which was routine, at first, for high profile cases.
Hanson wasn't in at the moment; but some rookie detective who had gone with him that morning handed me their file with the freshly printed photos of the crime scene. They still smelled of the developing chemicals. I booked a briefing room, so I could have some privacy, hopeful that no one would interrupt me except Hanson, for whom I had left word.
There was no way I could have been prepared for what I saw when I opened the folder. I had seen hundreds of crime scene photos, winced at some, been sadden by others. But never had I gone into total shock, as I did when I opened that particular folder. There, throat cut from the ear down, eyes rolled completely back with only the whites showing, covered in dark, dried blood, was my brother, whom I had not seen in so many years. No matter how much I just wanted it to be some stranger, I knew there was no way it could have been a look-alike; his face was too familiar, his eyes too definite. To confirm my finding, I looked at the report newly printed from the computer. Name: John Paul Marconi. I caught my breath. Feeling faint, I turned and stared at the wall. With tears starting to leave my eyes and not even a moment to compose my thoughts I heard Detective Hanson burst suddenly into the room. He startled me and I let out a slightly audible yelp.
Apologizing, he sat down and looked me square in the eyes.
"Don't I know you?"
"Yes." I replied. "I worked with you on a few cases several years back."
"Of course." He smiled remembering. "I remember, yeah ... over three years ago."
He paused for a moment and looked again into my eyes and said in a very deep and slow voice, "You look worried."
"No, no, it's just been a long week."
I tried my best not to reveal anything before I had time to absorb the shock of what I had just learned. Hanson looked down at my left hand. I could tell he noticed my missing wedding ring, and my eyes responded by nonchalantly noticing his was also missing. Cautiously, I reminded myself that many modern men do not wear their wedding rings anymore. It seemed to be the trend these days. I swiftly covered the photos up with the paperwork, so that I couldn't see them, and tried my best to compose myself.
"Too bad." He sighed with a heavy breath.
"About what?" I mumbled, giving him the most puzzled look I could muster with my face still frozen in shock. He looked just as puzzled back at me.
"The murder of some quack, new age guru by an up-and-coming quarterback. Just doesn't make any sense. But then, the way the world's going, not much does anymore."
"Well, thank you for that brilliant bit of insight." I said sarcastically, trying to hold my hurt and anger inside. I was still using my married name at the time, so he would not have made the connection between me and the victim, at the moment. I was very glad of that, considering the typical macho bullshit, which I felt was going to be a little thicker in this case, due to the sports aspect.
"What jail is he in?" I queried, wanting to change the subject.
"Oh no, haven't you seen the news?"
I just looked at him. This is going to be a wonderful relationship, I said to myself jokingly; the man's got an IQ of a warthog.
"I work in an office all day." I said, almost in anger. "The television is in the D.A.'s office, not mine."
"Okay, don't bite my head off." He replied giving me that 'I'm so perfect' smile again.
In my emotional state, I wanted to slap him. I guess this wasn't the best re-introduction to each other. I could hear him thinking; "sassy bitch," but he just kept smiling, with those big white teeth that definitely were not stained with tobacco, unlike those of the majority of the detectives I had met.
"He's in the hospital, in one of those high security rooms on the top floor of that famous celebrity hospital in Santa Monica. What's it called "Saint Something ..." He said smiling, slightly down at me.
"Have you interviewed him?" I queried.
"Oh no, he's unconscious. Besides, we can't get close because the doctors have had him surrounded with monitors and attendants night and day. I've posted a few men there to guard him and to call me if and when he can be questioned. The media is having a field day, trying to figure out who it is, because we haven't released any names yet. We still have to notify next of kin; and find out a few things, before it's public knowledge and people have time to change their stories. The media has found out, however, that 'a football player' is in the hospital and suspected of murder. That's all they know at the moment."
"Well, they're doing as well as I am at the moment, because that's all I know too!"
I was clearly speaking with my emotion and not my brain, being on edge. His smile went away, and his thick black eyebrows shot up in a questioning look.
"We can't be sure right now of anything. I'm just going by what it looks like. But there are a lot of strange things that don't look right here. I think there's much more to it than we see at the moment. There's still a lot of evidence to be analyzed and a few theories to be considered. When we were up in the mountains this morning, one of the sheriff's deputies told me that when they arrived on the scene, that Thomas Mattkins came to for a few seconds, while the paramedics were working on him. He kept mumbling under his breath, 'He should have told me this was going to happen,' over and over again, until he lost consciousness. There was no knife found, only a bloody club, a small broken tree branch, which looked more like it had been used on Mattkins because he was beaten up badly. He also had bruises on his knuckles, liked he had been hitting someone. You've seen him on TV, right? You know this guy's a big mother, he's like six-two or three, and 220-40 pounds yet he was pretty beat up. I don't think the dead guy could have done that by himself. He was only about six-foot or so, maybe 160 to 180 pounds. He was in good physical shape, so they tell me, but not overly muscle-bound like our football player. So I know there has got to be more to the story than what we see here at the moment."
A young woman stuck her head in the door.
"Pete," she said, "you have an important call on line six." He jumped up immediately to get it. There was no phone in the briefing room, so he left but soon returned. I just sat still, trying my best not to cry during the few minutes he was gone. My first thought was to call my mother to see if she had been notified. I didn't want to take a chance of someone overhearing my conversation here. I wanted to deter any chance of someone finding out about the relationship until I knew more about the case. Besides, my mother wasn't the easiest person to find. She rarely stayed home during the day and had no answering machine. Before I could even finish my thoughts, Detective Hanson was hovering over me once again.
"The guys at the hospital are telling me he could be conscious. They're not sure because the doctors won't say anything. They also said the media is getting out of hand. I think I'd better run down there and see what's going on."
"Do you mind if I come along?" I said, not wanting to go back to the folder at the moment.
"Oh no, that's fine. We'll just stop and get some coffee along the way. I've been up since four," implying that we would be riding together. I looked at my watch; it was one-fifteen already. I shoved the folder and all the rest of the paperwork back into my briefcase, trying not to think of my brother at the moment. I decided it was best to remain as stoic as possible, so that I could gather as much information as possible. Inside my mind was churning in pain, but all I wanted to know at the moment was the reason why. I vowed to myself to find the answer.
Excerpted from Our Lady of Dreams by Chanson Duvall Copyright © 2007 by Chanson Duvall. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of ContentsContents Introduction....................ix
1. A Saint is Never Known in His Own Town....................1
2. Love and Death in L.A....................5
3. Body of Light, Body of Strength....................21
4. The Exit: Gone, Gone, Gone Beyond....................55
5. We Are Children Playing with Fire....................83
6. All We Have is the Mother of Dreams....................147
7. River of Fire, Mother of Darkness....................177
8. Silence from the Roof of the World....................251
9. Dust at Your Feet....................351
10. Reflections in the Heart....................401
11. Life is Perfect Even in a Dream....................447
12. The Final Flame of Chance....................507