The Seeds of Fate Are Sown

It wasn't lightly that Maxine stopped the car. Never pick up a stranger had been her credo for a long time, no matter what their blog page looked like. None of those strangers had been barefoot little girls in yellow sun dresses, standing sixty miles away from any of the towns and cities in the area, though.

She stepped out of the car and took a wary look around in all directions, then approached the girl who was just watching her curiously. In a few moments she was squatting in front of the child asking in her most soothing tone, "where are you from, hun? Where are your parents?"

The girl stared at her and blinked once, but then went right back to staring. She had never seen a child so unreadable, so guarded. Her hand stretched out almost of it's own volition, "Well, how about you ride with me hun? We'll take you right to the sheriff's station and he can figure out who your parent's are and get you all taken care of! What do you say?"

The girl stood unmoving, time stretching to the breaking point as the two remained totally still. Then finally the girl reached up and took the offered hand.


Jenn walked into the interrogation room slowly, but she hadn't needed to worry, the woman was staring straight ahead, towards the window. Her heart was pounding against her ribcage, the back of her mind running through everything that could go wrong, and how. One unplanned move, one glance the wrong way and the illusion would be ruined.

Finally she dropped to her knees behind the woman and locked the woman in a hug, placing her head firmly against the base of the woman's neck facing away from the mirror.

"Erin." The woman whispered, still looking forward.

"I'm here, right here." Jenn whispered back, keeping her voice low and husky, hoping it would cover the differences enough.

"I'm sorry, Erin, so sorry."

"You couldn't have saved me, don't blame yourself." Jenn whispered back reassuringly. "It's not your fault."

"But. I could have tried"

"And you could have died. They'd never know what happened to me, just that we were both dead when they got there."

"I don't know what happened to you! That black thing just cut through the door... so fast, it was just writhing there, in your chest like it was looking for me! Why!? Why did it happen, why are you gone!? I want answers dammit, why won't they give me any answers, they're all just asking their fucking questions, fuckers won't listen. Won't..."

The woman was sobbing now, too hard to talk. Jenn held her, riding out the storm of emotion the woman was finally releasing. She whispered tenderly in the woman's ear, using her illusion to comfort her just a bit longer.


Arnice could feel her mother's hand on her shoulder as they pulled up to the hospital. The contractions were starting in earnest and it was easily the most painful thing she had ever felt. It hurt in ways she couldn't begin to explain, and why did it hurt so far up her body? But she wouldn't ask her mother, the old whore didn't take well to weakness.

It was so arduous waddling into the hospital, she couldn't but wonder if this was all just a nightmare, like the ones she had been having so often lately. Still onward she walked, hoping the delivery room would deliver her from this private hell

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