Category Archives: Dead Child’s Portrate

**News from LC Aisling** 27/01/2016

Hello readers!

Updates on the Huntsman’s Daughter!

The editing is completed and all there is left to do is some basic grammar check – gotta have the comas in the right places and then formating for better reading for e-books.  After long deliberation I decided to change the name of the novel. The new title is called Third Law.  Thank you, John, for cracking the gears with me!

Also, I am happy to present to you the ink fresh cover for the Third Law! I will add the introductory chapter to the homepage soon, so you can peek inside and taste it.

third law testing

You can find out more about the characters and the story on my homepage under the Encyclopedia section as I will keep adding them there over the upcoming weeks. I hope you enjoy their company and the story they take part in!

Don’t miss the next chapter of Flash Fiction this Friday, on 28th of January 2016!

L.C. Aisling

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Filed under Dead Child's Portrate, kirjutamisest, my own works, Publications, Writing

Dead Child’s Portrate updates

3 years later, still working on the story and I am actually beginning to see the edges of it. It was rough writing last night, only got me about a 1000 words, but I realized that out of all the manuscripts I’ve been working on so far, I am actually seeing some logic in this one. Well, if it looks logical to me after I wake up again later, remains to be seen.

There are still problems in the story, mostly slipped in with restless need to get forward. Yeah, that does mean I’m rewriting some of the chapters to fit or add-subtract some things. But it is the first story I’ve been working on for this long and actually doing physical work on it not just picked up few times and read it through.

It’s a strange feeling. One that I hope to get some technique behind and repeat countless times again and again. But with this project – I can so taste it!

…which probably means the finish is still miles away, but one by one, the words get done and so shall be the story.

And that, my dears, is exiting!

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Some you can’t save

A different approach on an on-going story.

oOOo

I slammed the brakes and ran from the car. It wasn’t smart thing to leave the doors open in this area, but I didn’t care.

“Where is he?” I ran up the stairs of an old flat house, painted by the youth that called it home. They were fighting against some old man, who had raised the prices by drawing graffiti over every wall they had access to.

“Where is he?” I demanded some dimwitted girl, who pointed me towards the end of the corridor.

I didn’t see anything, only other young men standing or crouching against the wall, all scared to death. They were useless punch, when it came caring for each other, too young to know anything of the most common diseases, too dedicated to fight against injustice that they failed to learn from the older generation.

Fredrick was definitely the older generation. Not that they knew.

“I can’t find him, where is he?” I yelled over the corridor and some girl finally stepped out, took me by the sleeve and led me around the corner.

My heart sank and I felt my stomach turn up. Fredrick was laying there, his hospital bed – they had got some few months back, he wrote me – pulled out from his room and two girls were eagerly packing everything he owned into black bags.

I watched over his lean body, wide tear filled eyes and his curls like black unruly halo around his head on the white pillow case. He was bleeding bad. It wasn’t seemingly from one main wound, but it looked like every poor and cavity on his body was suddenly giving out his precious blood.

“This disease – we don’t know what it is,” the girl said, who had brought me there, “they had a fight with Mathew and suddenly he began bleeding! We are separating him from others – what if he is dangerous? We don’t…”

I managed to breathe out and jerked her off my sleeve.

“He’s not infectious!” I yelled out and ran straight to his reached out hand. I did checkup on his eyes and hands and ears. He had been beaten, his pulse was rushing through his body like train on the tracks and every touch he’d received appeared on his body as if the hands had pressed blood out of his flesh.

“Hemophilia?” I gasped for air. No, that can’t be right!

I gave him pain mixed smile. He was genuinely happy I was there, crying from happiness as he drag me closer with his hand until I had to sit on his side.

“They gave you something?”

“Painkillers, and then this breaks loose…”

“What kind of painkillers?”

“Ibu… something. I don’t know.”

I checked his eyes one more time to see if they were yellow, but besides the bloody tears, they were white and lovely brown.

“What’s happening to me?”

I gave him pain struck smile. “Bring me some warm clean water and we will clean you up first.” I promised, though inside I was crying. I knew he was prone to bruises after they had to fight, but this was ridiculously stupid way to go.

“Tell me truth, Evelyn!” he demanded.

“Those stupid, stupid youth!” I cried in my head. Had they done something about it before, he would have had a chance, but now it was too late. The blood vessels were too weak, we couldn’t do anything to save him now.

“I’m thirsty.” He said, when I couldn’t get anything out to tell him the truth.

“I have some juice,” I promised him, “I’ll get it from my car.” I sighed and went, reluctantly letting his hand go.

I dragged my feet, when I was going back down to get the juice. I was crying by the time I reached my car. I think I spent there almost five minutes, sitting on the first seat, the multi juice locked between my fingers. They were still covered with the blood I had brushed away from his cheeks and eyes.

Fredrick was dying. How on earth could they let it go so far? He was a doctor after all! Damn good one, too. Yet there he was now, fighting for the youth’s living space as if it was the only thing that mattered. For youth who wouldn’t even take him to hospital. And now it was too late. Even if we did get him to hospital, they wouldn’t do anything, because it was too late.

I was so angry, I could have hit any of them, who would approach me in the next few hours. I pushed up from my seat and fished my bag of band-aids and bandages before retrieving the juice and slammed the door closed.

I took a deep breath, taking good look on surroundings. This was his home now? It was nothing more than ruins! What was he doing here? Street, flat house with blocked out windows, street… A man standing on the corner and watching my every move? I didn’t feel danger from him and it struck me as odd. He seemed worried instead and I frowned. Another one, who would let him die instead of taking him to hospital?

I took a step towards him and watched as he responded with same. But then he saw something behind me and pulled back, obvious frustration written over his face like a stone rock.

They don’t let him, I realized, when one of the boys ran past me on the street and headed towards the city centre.

I did a small gesture, pressing the hand with the juice canister against my heart for a moment and nodded. He bowed lightly and I knew he was still there, when I went back upstairs.

They had brought me small basin with the requested hot water and after I had released him from the  soaked through linen, I started washing him up, ignoring his cries of pain. It had to be done and I soothed him as much as I could. For a moment, I felt the strength and I knew it had to be done. I cleaned his hands, his feet and chest before bellowing some random boy the help me turn him and I washed his back. The moment I covered his wounds, the red fluid started flowing through it once more. The neckline and hands were covered with red before I was finished with the rest of the body. He wasn’t blue anymore. There wasn’t even a hint of bluish tint on this blood covered body.

“When did it start?” I asked him while desperately covering his last free parts on his neck. They soaked in blood immediately and my hands cramped, pressing the last cover on him. It was hopeless fight, but it had to be done, I assured myself. My head was fuming, trying to figure out how to get his bleeding to stop.

“You know what I have?”

I nodded, looking away. Yes, I knew, but without the right drugs, there was little I could do to make his last days on this life comfortable.

“How long do I have?”

“Enough to enjoy the sunrise?” I offered him, looking straight to his eyes. He loved sunrises.

“That bad, huh? Will you stay here?”

I nodded and hid my hands behind me, sensing the tremble taking over them. My chest was suddenly too small for the pain.

“Sleep for few hours,” I offered, “I promise you won’t die yet. I’ll wake you up hours before sunrise.”

He agreed that he was tired and laid back down, refusing me to change his bed sheets. “They’ll be soaked again.” he said and at that point the tears fell from my red eyes. He reached out to me and cleaned them away, promising that though he was hoping to outlive this foolish fight in the first place, he’ll make it all better.

How?

I didn’t ask him, how. I let him close his eyes and sat there, in front of his bed, his hand locked in mine so I could feel his pulse. I couldn’t move and I didn’t want to.

The youth came and went, all eyeing us from the doorways to different rooms. We were still in the end of the corridor, with wonderful view through half round windows facing south. I wondered what this house must have been before it was taken over by the youth. There were many pipes running under the ceiling and old rug was still visible under the thick layer of rubbish. A hotel perhaps?

In two hours it was all quiet. They had stopped coming out of their rooms. From the far left I even heard praying…

When the Full Moon had risen, I could see it well from the window, I heard quiet steps coming our way. They were hardly audible, but in the sort of silence this house harbored, I could hear them clearly. So far none of the eighteen students I’d seen hadn’t bothered to sneak like that, so I unlocked the knife from my belt and fixed my fingers around it for easy grabbing.

It was the man from the shadow. He was falling closer without sound, stopping every now and then to peak in the rooms before passing the doorways.

I let my knife be. For some reason, I couldn’t see him as the evil one. The moon made his figure glow silvery on the edge. I couldn’t tell what color his hair was. He was close to the same height as Fredrick, but bulkier and when he reached his hands out to me, they were covered with web of veins running over his rough skin. But it made no difference. Right now all I cared about was that he was probably the closest Fredrick had for a friend here and I was interested, what his part was in this game.

“How is he?” he asked, crouching next to me.

I shook my head, wincing. I couldn’t voice out what I feared, but I hoped he was smarter than this punch here and won’t ask.

He didn’t. Instead he reached his hands around my chest and pulled me on my feet. It happened before I could tell him not to, but when my feet suddenly gave in and I fell against his side, I realized it was the only way to get me up and keep me up. My feet had died long ago and now they were filled with pain.

I was still leaning against him, my left hand searching support from his shoulder while the right one was still measuring Fredrick’s pulse.

“They don’t let you in here, do they?” I whispered, ignoring the smoky smell lingering around him.

“I’m their enemy.” He said without elaborating it.

“And Fredrick’s your friend.”

“Yes.” he said and let me go, sensing I was now standing firmly on my feet. “When Fredrick  messaged to me, I called through all the hospitals first, but after I couldn’t find him from any, I realized they hadn’t taken him to hospital at all.”

“I will deal with them later.” I promised. I wasn’t sure what I could have done without revealing, who Fredrick really was, but I will think of something, I was sure of that.

“Take in line.” He murmured. Our eyes locked and I saw from his eyes that I didn’t want to be part of his revenge. I nodded. Whatever he had planned for them, I would accept it gladly and stand out of his way.

Fredrick moved and around all the muscles he moved, the bandages soaked with new blood.

I quietly raised his hand higher and started undoing the knot with one hand. He watched me do it for a minute before taking the knife from my side and cutting it through. I pointed at the water bottle I had on the edge of his bed and he misted the bandage before we peeled it off. He was good at wound care, I reckoned, watching him do it quickly and quietly without me having to release Fredrick’s hand.

“He didn’t tell me he had a girlfriend.” He asked suddenly, after I sat back on his side on the table, studying us openly.

“I’m not. We worked together and he helped me see the reason, where my limited youth got stuck.” We’d only known each other for three years, to be truthful, but I wasn’t telling to a total stranger that his experience, despite his 30s appearance, actually reached more nearly 90 years. Definitely helpful to have a wise-ass like that on my hands. But now his time was limited and it pained me inside that it had to be through such a silly thing.

“Then why…”

“He messaged me yesterday, said he was sick and wanted me here.”

“And like a good friend, you just came?”

He sounded baffled, but I frowned only and pressed his doubts back in his mouth. We were not lovers. Had never been and I’d be damned should I spread lies of that sort about Friedrick.

“Like you, I came.” I reminded him that he was here because of that too. “We’ve always been able to rely on each other.”

“He owes you something?”

I appreciated him worrying for his friend, but that was insulting. My eyes flashed up in his and I punched him hard to his chest. “Let it go! He owes me nothing!” I burst crying and covered my mouth to muffle the sound, and looked away. “He is my friend!”

“I’m sorry.” He said and turned his eyes back on Fredrick. “It’s just you’re dealing with it so well.”

“Huh!” I snorted quietly, drying the tears. “Meet me tomorrow.”

“He wanted me here to tell me something.” He changed the subject. “I should wake him up.”

I blocked his hand. “Not yet. I’ll ask about it tomorrow and let you know what he wanted to tell you. Right now he needs to rest if he wants to see the sunrise.”

“Sunrise?”

“He always woke me up to see sunrises.” I patted Fredrick’s hand and calmed him, swiping gently over his chest when it made him stir through his sleep. “Everybody can watch Sun setting. But when Sun rose, he knew he had one more day.”

“Can’t we sneak him out to hospital?” He was rubbing his hands, eyes fixed on his face. “Steal him away and…”

My chest was tight, when I had to shake my head. I understood his need to do something, but right now all we could do, was give him a better ending. “Even if we could get him out, it would be too late.” My own voice sounded like icicle. “His condition is an end result of their experiment.” I started slowly, unsure how much he knew. “He never said he’d stopped taking the solution – and yet he came back every other month to get it from me! Stupid man…” I sighed. “Henry had proper method to deal with the setbacks. Why didn’t he tell him? Or he didn’t want to, it gets lonely in long term, after all.”

I felt his stare and coughed, stopping right there with my despair. He didn’t know that much, did he?

“You’re telling me there’s a cure?”

“No, there is no cure!” I hissed. Hadn’t he been listening at all? “He should have gotten it months ago! Now… Now it’s too late.”

He was breathing heavily, his jaw twitching. I reached hand out for his and pulled his rigged palm from the edge of the bed and placed it gently on Fredrick’s chest. His entire hand began shaking hard and he did everything in his power to keep his fingers steady so he wouldn’t wake him.

“I can’t let go, he would wake up.” I apologized quietly, why I couldn’t leave them alone there.

He took a shaky breath and looked straight at me. “Make sure he gets to enjoy it to its fullest! From beginning to the end!” he demanded. “Make sure!”

“I’ll wake him soon.”

“Ask him, what the message is, and then meet me at the cafeteria near the park.”

“I don’t know, where…” but he cut me off.

“It’s behind the house, you get there through the small street on the right.”

“I swear those bastards will pay for this!”

He pulled his hand away and left quietly, making sure he didn’t step on anything that would make unfamiliar sounds.

I found my knife gleaming from where his left hand had been just minutes ago and returned it on my belt. I was tired, but I didn’t dare to fall asleep.

Last hours I could be with my good friend. Even if he was just sleeping.  That’s how our friendship had always been. We could sit next to each other in total silence for hours until he would stand up and say he forgot he had a date two hours ago. He never was keen on them. Brought him more trouble than it was worth. Past. It was all now in the past.

Two girls came home five in the morning, right before the Sunrise began. They came up the stairs, clopping and giggling like fouls, drunk as hell. I stood up to go and tell them off right there, but was caught up with Fredrick’s hand. I didn’t want to let it go, but I wasn’t going to tolerate their sick giggling either. It was so inappropriate I felt like cutting their tongues out.

They got closer, their laughing louder thanks to the empty corridor we had to occupy for this cruel night.

We must have been quite a site, for they stopped suddenly and observed us in shock.

“Oh! I forgot!” said the shorter one with shriveled catnip in her hair. “Sorry, we didn’t…” their voices faded, unsure how to apologize for their behavior, but unable to find the words, they simply disappeared in the nearest door with quick sorry.

Morning came too sudden. It was sounds of the empty house and his breathing, and then it was all gone. The sky began turning and I had no choice but to stern my heart and wake Fredrick.

I pressed gently, where the man had held his hand and shake him gently. He didn’t move at first. I repeated it, seeing the red flood from my hand print. I winched, sensing the fluids under my fingers.

“Hey, Fredrick, time to get up!” I coached him.

He pressed my fingers before slowly opening his eyes and assuring me with his smile. Then he saw his bandaged hand and he remembered it all and panic rose back in his eyes.

“It’s all right. We have time.” I assured him and pulled the sheet away. He sat up and fixed himself on the edge of the bed.

“My head is whirling around.”

“It’s ok, it will pass.” I got up, unsure if his headache would pass, considering the blood loss he must have suffered by now, but I couldn’t think of it yet. “I saw balcony,” I changed the subject, steering it back to why I got him up so early. Every word was tearing my dry throat. “Can we get there?”

“You need to pry the door open, but we shouldn’t have any problems.”

“So like you,” I wrangled, “leave all the work for me!” I turned, gathering the stuff that was still lying around and tossed them in the bag.

“Heh! Up from the stairs and the glass doors on your right. I need to pee first.”

After assuring me, he’d be ok, I left him there, weary if his words were actually to be trusted in his condition. I didn’t go far for the fear he’d faint. But after long time, I finally heard his heavy feet climbing from third floor to higher and went ahead.

The doors were actually open and though the entire house was dark like shadows surrounding us, we had no problem finding safe way through the broken glass to the tin roof edge, where three plastic white chairs were situated.

We landed on them, breathing in the early smells of the city. I watched him, he watched the horizon.

“We should change your bandages.” I said when the sun illuminated the blood soaked clothes, but he refused.

“There’s no point of that. Let’s just enjoy the site.” He entwined his fingers in mine so I would sit still and made me watch the sunrise instead.

The park was clearly visible from here. I could see the S-shapes of the roads between badly kept flower beds and wild bushes. Might be what the architect was hoping for, but it looked dreadful from up there. Behind the second house there looked indeed a small wooden shed and next to it chained up cheep chairs and just as cheep punch of tables.

For the first time in the past dreadful hours I felt good. The little tingling in the heart had eased into background music and despite the aching in my chest, I could calmly sit and forget that anything was wrong. The only thing missing was the glass of wine.

I was brought back to reality by his wheezy breathing and coughing. He brushed the blood away with the bandages around his hands. I ignored it, biting in the cheek. “Enjoy it,” echoed in my empty head, but my lips were sealed.

“You had visitor yesterday.” I remembered suddenly.

“Saul.” He nodded tiredly. “You’re meeting with him today?”

“Yes, he took that promise of me.” So, his name was Saul?

“Let him know that the wasp nest is ready to be killed off.” He said while we watched the cafeteria coming to life through one tiny lady’s efforts.

“He’ll be pleased. He has sworn to take out every wasp leaving this nest.”

His fingers crunched around mine for a second and eased again.

“I believe some of them should be speared…”

I pressed my lips in thin line from the pain.

“…but then again, sometimes filtering the not so smart ones does help the gene pool.”

I raised his hand to my lips and gave it a gentle kiss.

“They are just so stupid! Like in cross-section of a century stupid!”

“Oh, I know.” I agreed without hesitation.

“Actually, I had a message for you, too…” His eyes trailed off the horizon and stopped on the rusty railing. “Your father’s in town.”

Shit.

“He is after Saul’s people now.”

I let out a long sigh.

“He killed two last time and then he disappeared.”

“He stopped, because Rasmus made the whole village leave over one night. Now they have gathered again and Stepan is on the roll. Again.” He paused to breath deeper. It was becoming hard for him. “You know how to find him. You were tracking him long before Saul got his scent.”

“What has this to do with me? He is the killer, not me.”

“Mykola reported you to Social Movement after you took Regina out.”

I rubbed my brows. Was there anything left of our affair with Mykola?

“If they find out, it will be third generation manslaughter, thus – you and everything coming from your line will get the gift from our government.”

“Clean-up kill!” I exhaled. “They know I’m his daughter?”

“Mykola is hunting him down himself as we speak – if he gets to him first, he’ll get the DNA proof he’ll need to get you killed on spot.”

I might have been dead serious for he snorted quietly and brushed my cheek. “You can swear if you want. I know I did, when he told me.”

He was right for I did want to curse. “When did you see him last?”

“A month ago.”

“Is that when you stopped taking the medicine?” I cried out, hurt for his so stupid action. For he had so much promising for him, and yet here we sat, facing the consequences.

“Medicine?” He burst laughing. “Oh, darling!” He pulled my hand up and kissed it with red tear rolling over his bruised cheek. Then he reached for my head and pulled me closer for a long, last kiss on my cheek. “Kill the whole experiment! Please!”

I embraced his hand with tears and kissed it before hugging him strong.

“Go now, Saul will come soon.”

I left him there, rushing down the stairs like a fool. I wanted to cry, scream or at least yell, but couldn’t manage even a wimp on his address. I left the car in front of the house, unwilling to check if all my things were still there. How could that have mattered right now?

I landed on the cold plastic near the cafeteria in less than two minutes, back against the house, where I knew Fredrick was still sitting there. I ordered strong coffee, though I knew it would irritate my stomach straight up. But I needed the waking effect more.

I emptied half of it in one go, tears clouding my vision. I saw Saul running towards the tables with someone else. He slowed down and crotched in front of me, grabbing for my hands to pull them away from my face. I hadn’t noticed I was doing it.

“Saul!” the young man next to him called out and he turned his eyes towards the shown direction. He sounded horrified and my eyes filled with renewed flow of tears.

He jolted up and stood next to me, falling back with horror.

I kept my eyes straight ahead, but it didn’t mean I was ignorant of what they were witnessing. My stomach crunched with caffeine and turned upside down. Did I have to drink that tar?

Fredrick was climbing over the balcony. No, first he would remove all the bandages, one by one until he was free of everything but his trousers. Then he would climb over the edging and hang himself securely over the void, rocking his body back and forth until his head seemed too dizzy to think. Then he let go and fell. Like ripe apple, his sweet already bleeding body would go down the railing and fall flat from the fifth floor.

I think I heard his body hit the pavement. It was impossible, for we were too far from it, but I still believe I heard the sound.

I sat there, hands crunched in fists in front of me and shaking.

“Hey, hey…” he soothed, “it’s ok.” I heard him sooth, his voice cracking. He didn’t believe what he was saying himself. He was trying to pull my hands free around the plastic and after some prying he got them free and pulled me in his arms instead. I hang on to his shirt, crying like helpless child.

“What a man…” I heard his companion say.

“Malek! Shut it!” he ordered, hurt and locked me in his arms, fearing I’d do something about it.

“I guess I’ll call at work then…” the younger man said without any emotion and fell backwards to call somewhere.

“Come on, darling, we need to go.”

“But…”

“He’ll be cared for. Come on, you need to come with us.”

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Teddy

I was in a research lab, doing some basic tests there. It was nighttime, evening perhaps, but far from midnight. I felt like ten in the evening. It wasn’t a hospital, but a regular research facility with several smaller rooms, basic equipment, things like that.

There was a celebration, because some archeologists had come back from their diggings with a bone they said would prove the link between the apes and humans. They showed it up and it looked like the Wishbown on the chicken, only much larger and slightly curvier, I remember thinking it would fit nicely around the newborns ass. Pardon that, but it was a dream.

On that evening I remember watching aside as a woman and a man were brought in on a carrier, somebody said they had an accident. The woman was pregnant, on the last verge and she had a baby right there, in the facility. It was a boy.

There was a storm outside, so the paramedics stayed there too. The archeologists told their story to them, too. Shortly, people didn’t have that bone duo genetic disorder, which simply didn’t grow it to them. But the apes did and that bone had a genetic material, which proves that humans were nothing more than freaks of nature. That we would still be apes if we did have it and that it turns out that human form started off as a disease – we were missing the important part to be an ape. Odd thing was, they theorized that should the bone be put back we would turn back to our normal form, which would be an ape. That the sickness would be cured through a simple operation.

I guess they tried it out.

Next time I remember I was already running. There were screams and yelling and people running pass. I was in the room, where they kept the baby in, with a very old teddy bear, because it was warm there and it was empty of all the chemical things. They kept the hospital trolleys there. Some man ran to us, grabbed the child from the cradle.

Then I saw the huge gorillas and I hid under the farthest trolley and he tossed the boy to me, also hiding under the trolleys. I tried to keep very quiet while the gorilla was going around, it was odd he didn’t see us. Then the man moved one of the trolleys by accident and suddenly that huge thing was above us and dragged the man away.

Then came a moment of silence, which I filled with maniacally dismantling the teddy bear and I hid the baby in it. I knew the gorillas were the humans, who got the bone back and they’ve turned back into gorillas (go figure how, but I seriously believed it was an epidemic) and thus they would think the teddy is a teddy and wouldn’t make the difference and if they weren’t thinking like humans anymore, then it meant they still wouldn’t think twice when seeing a lifeless thing.

The next vision came when I got out of the house. I was at my home and it was all black and I couldn’t recognize half of it – it was all ugly, old and most buildings had either burnt down or crashed in.

I held the teddy against me hard so I wouldn’t loose him and just ran on the road towards the river. I had to get pass that and into the woods, though it was heavily raining and I knew it would be all wet and hard to move in. Somebody shot at me and the two other men, who were running with me in the same direction.

Suddenly someone grabbed me from back and pulled me back down on the road side. I looked up and saw men with guns. Not local, dressed oddly, sort of like a mix of cowboys and… odd. People around here don’t dress like that. The one that pulled me down was dressed in black denim and vest and had this bolo tie? He was tall, Croatian I think, dark neck-long hair. He was dusty, like he’d just fell face-in into some powdered road dust? It was creepy seeing that in the middle of a rain. He tossed his smoke away and gave his rifle to men standing behind him.

I pushed the baby against my chest and only begged that they wouldn’t hurt him. They looked baffled, like I was crazy and I realized they weren’t seeing me holding a baby, but a teddy bear. The man grabbed the teddy from my hand and I think I screamed. He almost dropped it, shocked, I think it was then he realized he was holding a living creature.

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Filed under Short stories, Teddy

The Little White Bible

I had to wait until four for mom to finally arrive. She came in her small blue car that sparkled against the bright sun. She drove in, honked the horn and came out, shouting hello. Her voice to me sounded like grinding up my back skin. But you can’t be so impolite to actually tell that to your mother, so I reserved all my inner feelings for some other target and waved from the window.

Why did she have to honk that horn? Like it wasn’t obvious I was entertaining?

“I went through the shops today! Found something wonderful for you!” she chatted away and flew right past me straight to the kitchen. “Just look at it! What a hemline! You should try this on, I promise you’ll look good in theatre!”

What theatre?

I came around the corner and looked at a short V-neck gown. It was gathered up under the breast with black lace that also ran around the neckline. The lace was the only decoration on this dark green dress.

I was blown away, I really liked it. This was new to me, because usually our tastes didn’t match up.

“I bought the shoes, too. Otherwise you’d go bare feet and paint the shoes on ya!” she ruffled through her bags.

Sounded about right.

She brought out two flats with massive amount of cord running through the limited leather edge.

“How am I supposed to wear those?”

Her face clouded up and she shoved them back in the bag. “You’ll learn! It’s in your instincts!”

Right! As a woman, I’m supposed to have instincts on everything, included on the latest fashion of ridiculous shoes.

“Mom, what theatre are you talking about?”

“What, you don’t have a date yet?”

She sincerely sounded appalled. I frowned hard and then blushed just as hard. I might be interested in a man, but I was still twenty eight! I didn’t need my mother to play the fairy god mother on me!

“Mom!” was all I managed in one breath.

“He fancies you, I could see it in his eyes!”

“S-s-so?”

“Oh, god! Are you frigid? Don’t you know how to play yourself on a man?”

I don’t think there was any place left on my body that wasn’t competing with beetroot. It made me sick just to think I was so obvious. I must have been obvious to Saul-Erik, too.

“You know, in your age I could play out to any man I wanted!”

Not if the man was on a mission and you tried to avoid destroying it by flipping him in relationship that might end up in a scandal. For greater good… How often had I already heard it in my life? This had to be karma fooling around.

“If you’re too afraid, I can ask him myself!”

“What? No!”

“Then get your ass moving, girl! No good man stays single for long!”

“No, thank you, I can handle my love life myself!”

“You’re still moping about August?”

“No, I’m not.” This was not her business. None whatsoever.

“Yes, you are! And the best cure for that is to pick yourself up, dust your bum off and get back in the saddle!”

I slid myself on the chair. My throat dried up, like every time I tried to tell her it wasn’t August, who ended our engagement. I fell in love to another. But try explaining that, if as far everybody else are concerned, you just lost the best man on the planet.

“Saul-Erik is not a horse!” I huffed silently.

“He could be! I bet he’d love some gentling.”

Oh hell! I banged my head against the table.

“There, there! No need for an ugly bump!” She jumped up and started settling the new dress and the accessories on the chair next to me. “When you get time, put them away, please?”

“Alright.”

That settled, she started the tour in my house. Commenting every little detail she could find. I knew this day would come and gave the cleaning a whole new meaning. I had prepared for this inspection meticulously and removed all the dust from the rooms I had opened. The ones I hadn’t had time for, stood in dead silence behind locked doors. I simply wouldn’t have the key. Lie, but necessary for my sanity.

When we reached back down, I saw my front door open and a tall man standing on my open door and knocking on doorframe.

He was slim, hiding his tall figure in a raincoat and vest. His fingers seemed especially long and angled, when he neatly wrapped them into a fist and hid them in his pocket. His grey mixed dark brows were arched over brown eyes and he smiled. Those eyes, they never seemed to stop on something for long, constantly searching for something. Another spy?

“Yes?” I asked protectively.

“Hi, I’m new around here and thought I’d say hi!”

I looked at the open door behind him.

“Oh, the door was open!” he  quickly defended himself.

I didn’t recall leaving it open… The tall frame – I thought I knew him from somewhere.

“I’m Janay Davodov, I just moved in to St.Pierre street and they told me you’re new here and so am I…”

I felt my world grow smaller. So that’s what he looked like, when he wasn’t breaking in.

I stepped off the stairs and watched him closer while he chanted on about just walking by. He looked quite charming with his shoulder length grey mixed Mediterranean hairstyle and perfectly groomed face. Only his eyes glint, hinting we both knew what trick he pulled here yesterday.

“Yes, well.” I didn’t know, where exactly to begin, but mom did it for me. But there again, she didn’t know.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Davodov, I’m Mrs Sharon Helder, this is my daughter, Miss Evelyn Helder.” She quickly chatted away, pressing on me being single, and left me the part of forcing a smile. “I’m just visiting,” she explained further, “Evelyn’s the one, who lives here. She has done wonders for the house, thought I do hope she’ll change that door out soon! Such an old wooden door with one lock – not the best choice for urban neighborhood!”

Any other information you would like to give out freely for a burglar? I asked him in my head and pumped in her to make her stop. Though I didn’t understand why he was so public about where he lived?

“Alright then,” he backed out politely, when he read from my stern face the one message I was desperately trying to give forward, “I better go then. I just wanted to say hi and wish you good luck here.”

He bowed lightly and I returned the favor. “Good day to you, too.”

We watched him walk swiftly over the grass and close the gate after him.

“Nice men come in both doors and windows!” mom jokes and clapped her hands over her own joke.

If only she knew how spot on she was with that.

“Now!” she got back in business of telling me what I should change on the house. “Your kitchen! Didn’t I tell you to get rid of it?”

The picture! How in hell did Martha manage that picture? I should have asked her when she was here!

After two hours horror of my mother’s visit, I could finally lay down on the sofa and relax. It was already seven in the evening and though I felt hungry, I didn’t feel like doing anything any more that involved pushing my bump up from the soft fabric. I had earned my heaven.

The phone ringing from the kitchen, however, cut my dreamy state short and for a moment I listened the soft tune of waltz getting louder and louder. I hoped it would stop, but after it got to the end, it sat there only a second in silence and then regained its singing abilities.

“Why?” I cried. I should have switched it off right after I got back from the tour.

Because it didn’t stop even after third round, I got up and went to pick it up. Of course it finished the point , when I reached after it and I smiled in hope it would not start again. But it did. I grabbed it, ready to yell “WHAT?” in the microphone, but saw then it was mom.

“Mom? You forgot something?”

I couldn’t yell at mom. No matter what happened, I never could yell at her through the phone.

“It would be polite to say hello first!” she bristled.

“Sorry, mom.”

“Yes, in the matter of fact, I did forget something.”

Which is? I waited through dramatic pause.

My white Bible, have you seen it? I’m sure I had it with me, when I came. From you I went straight to Church and I couldn’t find it anymore. I forgot my handbag open. It could have fallen on the sofa.”

I was pretty sure it had not.

“I’ll look for it.” I promised and after listening few more minutes of her ranting wished her good night and put the phone away.

I was furious. I admit leaving the door open was stupid, but there was only one thing that was different between things going missing and them staying on their place. And that someone just made face to face introduction.

I started by calling to Saul-Erik. At first I got no answer, but after a minute it got through.

“Hello!” game singing voice from the other side that did not belong to Saul-Erik.

What was his phone doing in mortuary?

“Malek? Where’s Saul?”

“Picking Rasmus up from work. Why? Is something wrong?”

“Do you know where Janay Davodov lives?”

“On St.Pierre’s.”

“Where exactly?”

“On the second floor in the flat house. Why?”

“Which one?”

“There only is one. Evelyn, what are you up to?”

“I just…” I didn’t know how much I should tell him. “I just need to speak with him, that’s all.” I ended the call.

That information would make sense if I knew which direction that St. Pierre even was.

The phone rang and I read the caller’s ID. It said Saul-Erik.

I picked it up and set it next to the ear.

“Second street on the right goes straight up to St.Pierre.” said Malek calmly. Something clung in his background.

“You’re gonna tell Saul I called, aren’t you?” I didn’t ask. I stated the fact.

“It’s his phone. Yes.”

It was oddly warming that they knew where I was.

“Thanks.” And I ended the call.

This time I made sure I locked the door before heading off. I found the street exactly as Malek described and saw the four storage high building shining against the evening sun standing high over the rest of the residential buildings. It was painted dusty blue, probably with whatever paint was available in 1960s. Its concrete walls desperately screamed for newer paint job and the doorframes demanded attention of their own with some street artist’ gentle hand painted white scribbles. The door was made out of steel nailed on the wood underneath and stank of cat’s urine.

I tried the big metal door on the ground floor and it opened with ease. I expected it to be locked.

I went straight in and saw simple concrete stairs heading up in the darkness. The green handle hardly held my weight. I read the numbers, trying to decide, if 10 and 12 I saw before me meant I was already on the second floor or should I be going higher. Two doors on either side with no other access in the house or any other doors for other flats.

I checked the next floor, just in case, and saw numbers 24 and 26. Again, two doors and no other to lead anywhere else.

I tried the one on the left first. It had small mud carpet with extra yellow cat hair ruffling out. I knocked hard and listened, ear against the plastic imitation of wood. Someone came to the door shuffling their feet and I knew before they opened the door that this wasn’t him.

An old lady appeared on the door with purple bath robe covering her dress.

“I’m sorry, I must of got the numbers wrong, I thought Janay lived here?”

“Next door!” she spit out and the door landed shut. “Living here a week and all shitty blonds come searching for the dickhead!”

It was usually the younger kind that had such foul mouth, I retorted, still standing there like a fool, nailed on the spot by her ugly rant. I was closer to light brown, I said to myself, ashy brown. Not blond.

This door had small white square bell and I pressed it so hard my finger turned red. I didn’t get any answer this time, but I tried the handle then and discovered the door was open. I walked in and saw him sitting in the middle of a dark living room, reading newspaper against the last of the sunlight.

“You have something that belongs to me!” I demanded and stretched my hand out.

When mom called me earlier, saying her family heirloom had been stolen, it didn’t take me long to figure out, which direction the compass would turn. I didn’t like, when someone touched my things. Even less when someone ransacked my mom’s purse while she was visiting.

He looked dumbfounded at first, but then sly grin ran over his grubby face and he put the newspaper down.

“Do I?”

“Yes, the small white bible with blue cross on it? Give it here!” I shouted at the him while he raked his vest pocket for a tobacco. Why did his vest have so fine material when the rest of his fashion didn’t match up?

He didn’t respond for a while, but kept blandly rolling his smoke as if his gangling fingers helped keep cigarette round. Despite his throws, it kept its flat shape and travelled between his lips. He lit it immediately and then raised his questioning look on me.

“If you ask nicely?”

“With the blue cross!” I reminded him.

He thought a second and smiled. “Alright.”

He walked in the back room and returned with the requested book. If one could call it a request.

“Why did you take it?” I asked curiously. He might be a thief, but his actions were not very dimidiating. “Why steal a bible? You can’t sell it, the cross on it is made out of glass…”

“I wanted to know more about my new neighbor girl! Is that so wrong?” he commended. “Bible, miss, is a very important book, by the way. But in this case, I liked the attractive decoration of it, it’s true personal value. The man, who made it, carried much love for the receiver.”

My father. Back then he might even loved mom.

“It wasn’t enough to just drop by for five o’clock tea or something?”

“Don’t you know it’s dangerous to go asking thieves give back stuff they stole, miss?” he asked instead.

I knew, but I didn’t think of it, when I discovered that figurehead turned out to be a thief with exemplary manners.

“Why did you do it?” he asked.

“Because it has value one can’t measure in money.” I answered with his own words. He studied me for a long moment, before saying he didn’t believe me. I rolled my eyes like a teenager. “I give it back to mom and say it fell out in the living room. Then she can’t call my new home nest of thieves.”

His smile vanished.

“I only take what I like.” He explained immediately. “I borrow, if that’s a better word for you. Mostly I forget to return what I…borrow. And usually I don’t look good on break-ins. But hop away now, bunny, I shall think over this invitation for tea then.”

He stayed obnoxiously polite and one might think of him as someone with good side, but I left the reeducating monsters to princesses in fairy tale books. If monster told you to get loss, then you didn’t think twice and left the place as fast as your feet took you.

Saul-Erik, unfortunately, was not that happy about my little trick. He made no secret of it, when I got back.

Malek was waiting for me on my porch. He was dead serious and said he won’t be leaving before I made a small visit to their place. So I admitted the defeat and followed him back on the street and in from the next gate, still clinging on to the Bible.

His rage filled the room. I stood seven feet from him and I still felt his breath on my skin.

“You asked Janay your Bible back? Are you deliberately going around searching for trouble?”

“Hey, no need to overdo it now, Saul…” Rasmus tried to cool his temper, but was pushed away from his way and backed out, hands up.

“Janay – he eats your kind for breakfast! You don’t just walk in and make demands!”

“Got it!”

“Doesn’t look like you did!” He pulled back a bit and turned around, gulping for air.

“He stole my Bible! How else do you deal with thieves if you don’t have police? You face up to them! If they know they are caught, they won’t be able to steal for long, bec…” I watched as their faces grew long before they changed odd looks.

“Janay is not a thief.” Malek said slowly.

“What?” I whispered, head immediately filled with all the possibilities he might be if not a thief. Not one of them made me feel better and soon I was searching for a seat.

“He is an assassin!” Saul-Erik repeated. “I hired the man to kill the Huntsman.”

“You hired a man to kill…him?”

I looked from one face to another, trying to get my wits together. He like said, he hired him. To kill someone. That was no small thing in my book.

I had to get away from here. Now!

The chair fell over, when I jumped up and ran from the living room. Quick jump over the bush and I could hide behind my front door and grab hold of the candle stick.

As I sat there like that, still panting, white Bible in one hand and candle stick in another.

Memories flashed before my eyes like crazy. I stared at the table in the end of the corridor until it blurred out of my view. I was dead scared.

It felt as if I had just faced my future assassin. They were serious about having him dead and if they’d find out that I was his daughter, I was pretty sure I’d face the same faith. They wouldn’t make an example of me, put things in papers. They would actually get me killed.

I heard mellow knocking above my head.

It startled me. I hadn’t heard anyone approach the door.  Someone tried the handle and with a thud the door ran into my back.

“Evelyn?” Saul’s voice asked calmly. “It would be easier to come in if you moved away from the door.”

I didn’t want him to come in, but I gathered it wouldn’t leave a good impression if I had him press me off the way with the door. He was strong enough to do it.

I swallowed hard and rose up. I clutched harder to the candle holder and held it out like a battle ax, pressing the Bible tightly on my chest. He waited until I was few steps away and gently pushed the door open.

His eyes fell on the candle stick and he let out disgruntled growl. “It will break if you toss it to me. Plus, you’ll be losing your weapon and I might use it against you.”

“I don’t think you would. It’s not for you.” I said and let the heavy candle holder down. I never could hold it up for long so I let it slide on my side before taking it back on its place on the small table next to the front door.

I already knew the rules for wannabe fighter – never toss your tool of trade against your opponent. It was one of the first things Mykola told me, when he taught me to use it.

“Then what?” he asked.

I went to the living room and he followed. “I…”

I should tell him, who I was.

“You’re overreacting.” I said, voice trembling. “Janay can be quite understand, if given the chance.”

“I’m not overreacting! I’m serious, Evelyn!”

“About what?” I set the Bible on the living room table and turned to the window. He was standing just feet behind me, but I didn’t dare to look him in the eyes.

“You can’t go around on your own without…”

“I called you! Malek knew exactly where I was.”

He snorted and I turned around to see, what it was about. “Oh, I know! He made sure he stood six feet from me with hooks turned my way, when he said you called!”

I was appalled. “What?”

I hoped he was joking, but the surprised face I encountered didn’t bare any such signs.

“You are trouble!” he changed his tone. “Keeping you alive is trouble!” He paused. “Everything with you is trouble! The hell did you come here for?”

“To find my father, I told you.” I said, but my mouth dried up and breathing over sandpapery tongue scratched.

“You’re not telling me everything.” He accused.

“We all have our secrets.” I responded with cliché. He wasn’t about to get them out of me.

“You want exchanging of the secrets or something?”

“No.” I shook my head.

“And then you’ll leave?” He asked with a raspy voice.

“Yes.” Why did it hurt to say that? “You are quite closed community, it would be better for you and them if I leave.”

“You don’t even know them, but already judge what is best for them? Or me?” he asked, menace growling back in his tone.

“You know very well, what I meant!”

“You know NOTHING of what’s good for them!” He yelled, pointing at me. “Nothing! And good for me.” He finished and went, banging the door after himself.

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Phobia

We all have something in our past we are reluctant of coming public. I wish it was something embarrassing that I could simply get embarrassed with and get it over with. Unfortunately, I liked being special and being the only possible child for another very special person, I just loathed publicity.

“I thought you told them you’re searching your father?” Mykola innocence didn’t save him this time.

Saul-Erik asked something.  He was loosing his patience, asking this what felt like sixth time, but I wasn’t paying him much attention. I was busy beheading Mykola with my eyes.

Drops were forming over my hair, I could feel my hair greasing up. Or was it sweat? My throat was dry and my muscles suddenly ached from all the running yesterday.

Suddenly I felt Saul’s fingers close around my elbow and it was jerked from under me, forcing me to look at him.

“You are Huntsman’s daughter?”

I still didn’t see his eyes, only the gritting teeth and tense jaw muscles.

Oh great, I was near finding my beloved daddy and now this!

“Are you Huntsman’ daughter?”

He shook me violently, pressing me off my chair and forcing to look up. I didn’t like what I saw – his entire face had turned into grimace and for the first time in my entire life I actually felt the threat, the need to get away and hide as if being caught up by a grisly bear.

“Don’t you dear faint on me!” his yelling brushed over my hair and I felt the heat from his slap mix with pain. “Answer me!”

“Yes! I am Huntsman’s daughter!” I screamed, pulling myself away from his arm, but it didn’t happen. He was out of this world and everything I had imagined him do, this was worse. I never imagined him hit me. Get angry, turn away, but no hitting.

Suddenly he let me go and I fell away from his reach. I immediately thrust myself further away and hit against the wall. This wasn’t far enough, but it was furthest from anybody else in the living room.

His slap worked its way to my brain and the light throbbing from the red mark changed into headache. I wanted to cry.

This was why I didn’t want to tell them before I could reach my goal. Before I could finish the terror my father brought and make them understand I wasn’t the same. I am not my father, I don’t kill for pleasure!

I had to get Mykola away from here. If he says I have already taken a life, they would never believe I was different.

With that I gasped and I wanted to beg. In my entire life I had never had to beg, but tonight I was willing to do it, beg for Saul’s forgiveness and make them see that I wasn’t same with my father!

But if I even made a sound, he would have simply tossed me out on the street and I knew it. It didn’t matter right now that I had helped Rasmus or Malek or Harry. They were sitting there behind their round table and gagged by Mykola just as much as Saul was.

It was better to leave myself, I decided and dragged myself up from the corner, eyeing my chance as Saul had left in the bedroom.

I froze on the second step, Mykola standing on my way.

“That’s what happens if you hold back information, darling!” he whispered and grinned.

“Like you were much better!”

I only felt the wind as Saul pushed himself between us and pressed me back to the corner. “You knew and said nothing to me! That is hardly honesty!”

“Saul –“ I started, but he responded without looking at me.

“Get out. I will have no-one related with that monster in my house!”

“Yes sir.”

I didn’t even know why I had said it, but I used the moment and ran back to my house, out of their way and hid myself under my own rusty bed. I should have run further, but I reacted by hiding myself under my bed like I did whenever they showed my father on TV. Back then I waited friends to call and mock me for it, realizing I was his daughter. Tonight I was hiding for my life and that only because I was his daughter.

Six hours later I didn’t hear anything from their house anymore, but I didn’t come out either. The floor was cold and the wall molted, reeking of wetted wallpaper and old newspapers that I saw under it.

Suddenly I heard footsteps on the stairs. They were heavy, wearing big boots and I knew it was Rasmus, because no one else had such boots around here. The kind that clings every time the chains brush against the buckles.

I pressed myself further away. I knew I should have pulled the blanket lower to hide myself better from being seen from the door, but it was too late. He had already reached the door and the door handle creaked.

The door opened and he looked in.

“Evelyn?”

I held my breath. My shoulder was in the light and I instinctively pulled it in the shadow.

He was about to close the door, when he probably heard my movement, because he reached his head out one more time and eyed lower.

He held his breath for a moment and I knew he had seen me, but instead of coming straight after me, he simply sighed and closed the door and left.

I panicked. I wanted to leave, but I could still hear him on the stairs, so instead I crawled up against the most darkest place  I could manage and I begged God to forgive me the killing in Sandlewoods, for trusting Mykola and for any misleading action I had ever taken, as long as he would keep me from their revenge. Moment later I cursed him for letting me be born, because this faith, I assumed, had to be punishment for doing something very bad in my youth. Or my mom doing something wrong, but there was only one thing my daddy was and that was our punishment.

I saw daylight sneaking in from the curtains. No one came, but I was sure they were just outside, waiting me to walk to them, spreading this news to everybody. My dad had killed nine of them – there couldn’t be a family out there, who wasn’t related to them one way or the other.

They could just torch the house? I was allergic to the mold, I was reminded by it when the tears mixed with the dust and it burned my cheeks, but why bother with cream if all they had to do is fire my house up?

I hit my fist against the wooden base, then again and again.

Right then I heard the door open again and it was enough to make my heart jump. I pushed myself back against the molted wall and held my breath.

I didn’t know the man, who entered, but he didn’t seem angry. Instead he seemed relaxed, looking around, getting acquainted with my papers on the nightstand.

Something cluck in his jacket pocket. He sat down on the bed and I heard it come out of his pocket right before he put it on the floor and tossed it to me.

“Here,” the low voice said, “Saul said he’s sorry.”

I looked at the bottle that had hit my elbow.

It was the one unmarked blue plastic water bottles Saul used to carry with him. The one that no one else was allowed to touch. The ones that had painkillers added to the water

He waited and I waited. I still didn’t say a word, didn’t even breath properly.

After ten minutes he had enough and he rose. “Anyway, Saul wants to see you when you get over this childish hiding game. Bye!”

“Childish?!?”

I was out from under the bed and up before I understood he tricked me.

“See? That wasn’t that hard now, was it? Oooh!”

What ooh, I frowned.

“Perhaps shower first, then Saul.” He suggested chuckling and nodded towards the bed. “Unfortunately you need to climb after the bottle yourself,” he looked at me again, “but you already know the way I guess?”

He burst laughing and went, leaving me standing there like fish – gutted, molded and dehydrated.

But while I was there, contemplating my own death, I realized that it wasn’t gonna be that easy with my neighbors. Especially if Saul had the mentality to first cure his victims and then torture them again.

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Browning, not Browner!

I was eight, when my father walked out on us. I can only remember the shape of his face and unshaved beard that touched my face when he kissed me in the middle of the night. Mom can’t remember even that. He never said good bye to her.

My friends know it and they pitied me. Their parents wanted them to be considerate, so they never asked, why my father wasn’t around, but I knew from their dirt grey eyes that they knew. That was the life in our town – no one was left untouched by the ratchets of gossip, even children, who got all they needed to know from their parents. But I was lucky and pretty, made friends easily and they stayed, because we had big TV and free cable television.

On that fateful September night we had just branched out in our fully lit living room and dug out our study books, when Maybre turned the TV on. She searched through the channel with her usual rushed movements until she stopped on the news.

I never watched the news. They were horrible mix of death and despair and as I child I only wanted happy memories. It wasn’t because I was touched by the horror, but I simply chose not to take part of it. I had my broken heart. I didn’t need to add to the burden that would rip the wound farther.

She turned the volume on and one by one we all looked at the TV.

“I can’t believe someone could do that to a woman!” Hallee whispered from the sofa.

The news anchor was describing a murderer, who used needle work on the victim. I wasn’t listening her, but I remember seeing the bright image in my head of a lady sitting on a chair, head sagged on the back. Her legs were tied together and pulled together like piece of meat ready to be pushed into the oven.

I shrugged the image off.

“How many victims does he already have?” Maybre asked no one particularly, but she did look straight at me.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged, “I haven’t watched this.”

“You should!”

I was speechless. Why?

“Until they get that bastard you and us – we’re all in danger!”

“Don’t be silly, May! The killings take place in Tolsveren!”

“This one didn’t!”

We weren’t convinced. She did like drama and add to her truths. Hallee rolled her bright smart eyes and turned back to her homework as did I.

Maybre looked so distraught I couldn’t help but ask: “Then where, May?”

“In Montfort!”

“That’s still far enough,” responded Hallee and we left her sulking, delving in our books.

“Just imagine he could be someone from our city!”

“May! Montfort is hundreds of miles away!”

“Still, imagine if he was my father or your father or…” She pointed to Hallee and then turned her finger at me, frozen on spot. “Or your father!”

I probably grew gray hair right there. They did look dull after that fall.

It was outrageous, but all I could do at that point was to stare at her. I couldn’t even manage a smile.

“Uu!” she wheeled suddenly and shook herself so hard all her brown hair flew around, reminding me of jelly fish in deep-sea. “I wouldn’t wanna know you then!”

My heart sank. “What?”

“You don’t know who your father is – you might be daughter of that serial killer!”

Hallee shouted her name, deafening me for a moment.

“Oh come on, Hal! The murders started after her father left and she did receive a birthday card from Tolsveren only weeks before the first victim was found!”

“I should be afraid how much you know about that killer!” Hallee murmured, amazed by her facts.

When on Earth did she already connect me with that monster?

“They did say that he loves to use hunting rifle!”

“And this relates with me, how?”

“Because your daddy was in Hunters Society with my dad and he told me he took it with him!”

“And you can give the mold num…” Hallee mused.

“Probably semiautomatic Browner!”

“I’ll be damned…” I started, but Hallee burst laughing.

“It’s Browning!” she corrected Maybre

“What?”

“Browner does not exist, darling!”

“Yes it does!”

“In your dreams! Your dad may be master hunter, but he is obviously lousy on gun models!”

“HE IS NOT!”

With this they continued on different route and I was forgotten with my probable ancestry. But I sat on, frozen on my chair and staring at the screen behind Maybre. The newswoman had already moved on to some petty political argument, but I couldn’t get May’s logic out of my head. As long fetched as it sounded – what if she was right?

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