A Tuscany Valley Carol
Written by Laura S.
For disclaimer read part one of this story. Thank you.
After Miss Lynch left the room, Richard decides to read his paper.
About a half hour into this, he hears a pounding at the door, and
then Pamela mentioning Chase Gioberti's name. He can hear her asking
"What can I do for you?" and Chase's response being a
little muffled. Out of curiosity he decides to come out of his office
to see what is going on. Chase barges into the house holding a copy
of the San Francisco New Globe, almost waving it in Richards face.
His blue eyes nearly shooting ice daggers at his half brother "What
gives you the right to print such lies about our new Christmas sparkling
wine, and Falcon Crests Zinfandel being tainted?" He roars.
Richard "I only print the truth brother and you know it. There
is Cyanide in that wine and you know that better than I do!"
Chase smirks but not just because he is amused by his brother's
false belief, but because he is burning with anger. "Cole,
Angela, and I will be taking you to court if you don't retract this
article right away! Call your editor right now and have him print
a retraction or I'll be giving my attorney a call!" With this,
Richard just gestures sarcastically "I'm not printing a retraction,
Chase! Go call your attorney!" Chase tosses his copy at Richard
"I will! You can believe I will!" He storms off and heads
home. Richard just looks at Pamela whose arms are crossed. She'd
been standing there watching the entire scene before her with amusement.
Richards glance turns cold "Well just don't stand there! Pick
up this mess and go about what you were doing before the intrusion"
She does as he says grudgingly. She is so tired of the way Richard
treats her, and his views on the opposite gender which are dreadfully
undignified. Since it is getting late, Richard decides to turn in
and go to bed. Just as he is heading up the stairs, he begins to
feel dizzy again about half way up those stairs and loses consciousness.
The last thing he could hear is Miss Lynch screaming "RICHARD!"
She runs to his side and feels for a pulse. She finds one albeit
a very faint one, so she makes a quick run for the phone and calls
for the paramedics. She gives him CPR until the paramedics turn
up and take over.
Throughout this time Richard has dreams. He sees Francesca Gioberti
come to him in a lovely white flowing gown. She looks very much
like an angel and he begins to question if he's in heaven. Francesca
looks a bit disappointed in Richard. "Richard Channing, you
ought to be ashamed of yourself! Treating your own blood the way
you do!" Richard casts a look of bewilderment her way "What
way am I treating my own blood?" Francesca sighs "Oh Richard!"
The raven haired Italian beauty responds, her big brown eyes meeting
his as she comes closer to him. "Don't you know? Can't you
see what you're doing to your poor family? That article! It was
dreadful!" Richard laughs lightly "Oh Francesca! You should
know me by now! You should know that we all have to do our best
to get ahead in life." With that she just backs away from him
"I don't like what you're doing Richard. Soon, my dear Richard,
you will be visited by three spirits." Richard laughs hysterically
"Oh right! There's something I'll believe when I see it!"
Before he can utter another syllable, the lovely woman vanishes
into thin air leaving him in his darkness to wonder what will become
of him. This is all happening as he lays in a coma in the Tuscany
In the outer realm, Pamela is sitting by Richard's bedside in the
ICU department of the hospital. She is worry stricken and wonders
what the blood and EKG tests will show. "Oh Richard" She
remarks in silence and lets out a deep sigh.
During the course of a week, Richard lays in a coma for reasons
unknown. His blood tests and EKG show no signs of a heart attack
or stroke. On the Eve of Christmas, his dreams become more vivid.
In his dream, he sees a bright, white, light shining through a door.
As he gets up out of his hospital bed, and approaches the door,
he feels a sense of a deep chill. He reaches for the doorknob and
turns it to open it. Once the door is opened, he steps into a room
where he is greeted by the Ghost of Christmas Past. The spirit appears
to look just like Chase and Maggie's blond son, Cole. He even dresses
like him. Richard realizes that what Francesca had told him would
happen, the very thing he scoffed at, is actually coming to pass.
.are you?" He asks the spirit in a slightly
trembling voice. The young man just looks at the older man with
an expressionless look on his face "I'm the spirit of Christmas's
long ago. I'm here to show you the events that have taken place
in the past Christmas's all the way back to your childhood."
Richard glares at him "I'm staying right here! I know who you
are! You're Cole Gioberti and you and Chase are just playing a trick
on me to get revenge for that article I'd written and published
in my paper!" He pauses and shakes his head "It won't
work, Gioberti! It just won't!" In that instant, he finds himself
glancing at the year he was 9 years old. How he and his cousin were
so close. This brings a smile on his face as he sees this and remembers
the good times. "Good old Jack! He was my best friend in those
days" He watched the images of the two boys playing in the
snow back home in New York. The park is full of laughter and good
times. The smile on his face remains until he sees the images change
before his eyes. This image shows Richard with his relatives on
Christmas day, opening presents and having a fun time together.
This brings tears of joy to Richard's eyes. These were the most
wonderful of times. He was innocent of the world at this time. Henri
Denault would just begin to teach him about the Cartel's business
dealings within the next few years, causing Richard to become more
cynical, hard, cold, and unfeeling towards other human beings.
The handsome, young, male spirit standing next to him just calmly
asks him, "Are you ready to see some more?" Richard grins
"I don't think so! I'd like to stay here" He just looks
at the younger man who doesn't look terribly amused and remarks
"You know something? You've seemed to have inherited your fathers'
sense of humor. Very dry and stale, he could never take a joke to
save his life." When he turns back to look at the scene displayed
in front of him again, it has changed. Richard is a dashing, young
man in his twenties. At this time he is dating a woman named Anne.
Anne is a woman who is very much in love with him and wants him
to make a decision soon to move forward and make a proposal. They
are walking in Central Park, holding hands and she is talking about
making plans for their future. It's the sort of future Richard hadn't
taken into consideration. He stands before this scene to witness
one of his first follies in life that he'd ever made, one that he
will forever regret. He watches the young couple as they walk through
the park and the look of curiosity on Richards face, turns into
sorrow as he sees the young man break the young woman's heart by
telling her there is no room for marriage in his life at this time.
Richard finds himself so drawn into the scene from his past that
he yells out "Don't let her go, you fool!" In response
to this, the spirit tells him with amusement "They can't hear
you. You can yell and cuss all you want and it won't make a difference."
Richard's lovely blue eyes shoot a cold glare at the spirit "Get
me out of here! NOW!" The spirit shakes his head in disapproval,
and then raises his eyebrows, "No, Richard. You need to see
more. I'm not through with you just yet." Richard snarls at
the spirit "Can't you see when a man has had enough? I've screwed
up so bad here and I wish I could take it all back at this point!"
The spirit signals him to look in another direction where he will
see the death of his favorite cousin. Richard witnesses the touchingly
sad scene and remembers what had happened, not only as a person
who's just experienced it, but rather someone who is now seeing
a lot more than just the experience itself. This time he is able
to hear Henri and relatives talk about him, and what they're saying.
Henri is telling the relatives that he'll make a fine man in the
business and relatives objecting to Henri's plans for him. Richard
is in tears and a bit shocked. He makes eye contact with the spirit,
his tear filled eyes pleading to go back to the present day. The
spirit just gives him a nod of approval and sends him back to the
He finds himself alone once again in stillness. Two more spirits
to go. He's none too thrilled to encounter any of the other ones
after this experience. What will they bring him? Will they rehash
old emotions just as this one had? Will they frighten the heck out
of him? He will soon find out.
TO BE CONTINUED