Chapter 7: Deliverance – part 14
Ashlynn hugged Miss Prima Ballerina closer. She felt bad for rumpling the stuffed bear’s tutu, but Primmy made her feel better. Primmy believed her.
Svetlana’s voice carried through the bedroom door. “I could use your help, Ashlynn.”
Ashlynn gulped from her hiding place under her bed. She wanted to help Svetlana, but It was out there. It had been the last time she’d sensed for It, which had been before lunch. She had to go potty too, but that meant leaving her bedroom. It hadn’t come near her room yet.
She’d tried to warn Mummy and Svetlana about the dark, twisty thing in the shadows. She’d felt it in the living room, kitchen, and Mummy’s room. Mummy and Shane could probably protect themselves, but Ashlynn didn’t think that Svetlana or Jakey could. But no one would listen. She’d gotten yelled at and sent to her room. At least there she’d been safe.
“Ashlynn, honey,” Svetlana called. “There’s nothing out here but me and the laundry.”
Ashlynn screwed up her courage and reached with her mind. She bumped into Svetlana, who was cross with her but trying to hide it, and nothing else. No slimy smoke. “Should we go, Primmy?” she whispered. The ballerina said yes, so she and Primmy ventured out.
Svetlana sat on the couch, folding towels and baby blankets from the basket at her feet. She smiled at Ashlynn and Primmy. “See? It’s all right.”
Ashlynn moved forward, keeping a close eye on the shadows. Nothing moved, so she relaxed a little, enough to spot Jacob’s favorite blanket in the laundry basket. “I wanna fold the blue one. It’s extra soft, so Jacob likes it.”
Svetlana’s smile felt like sunshine. “Of course–”
The front door swished open, admitting a wave of pure fury. –goddamned whore, using me like that. Played me for a fool! I’ll– Ashlynn squeezed her eyes shut and curled into a ball.
“Where’s my son?” Shane demanded.
Ashlynn heard Svetlana stand. Her voice was firm but calm. “He’s with Dr. Harris.”
“‘Dr. Harris.'” Shane made Mummy’s name sound like a curse word. “And where has Dr. Harris supposedly gone?”
Despite her closed eyes Ashlynn saw the foyer of Daddy’s quarters. Normally Daddy’s home made Ashlynn feel safe and happy, but not now. Now she felt angry and hurt and confused. She stalked into Daddy’s living room, unsurprised to find him– Gibson, that motherfucker, there with Addison. The bitch was down to her bra and panties and all over Gibson, the two of them half naked and sprawled on the white leather sofa.
Shane saw red. He lunged for the whore, unsure if he intended to take back what was his or teach the bitch a lesson. But his outstretched arms collided with something invisible and rock-solid. Shane stumbled back, trying to regroup. His eyes met Addison’s and found cool concentration.
Addison sat up, idly caressing the smirking Gibson with one hand. “So sorry, Shane,” Addison cooed. “I was going to break it to you gently. For Jacob’s sake.”
“She took Jake to the infirmary–”
Shane barked a laugh. “Because I wouldn’t know if my own child was sick!”
“–for his one-month checkup,” Svetlana finished. Ashlynn felt the woman’s hand on her shoulder. Like Ashlynn, she was scared, but determined and protective. “Give us a moment please, Dr. Myers?”
White-hot anger rolled over Ashlynn, but Shane said nothing. She felt and heard Shane walk past them and down the hallway. A door slammed, followed by thuds and crashes.
Ashlynn couldn’t hold in her tears any longer. “It’s not real!” she sobbed. “The twisty thing. It got him!”
Svetlana shushed Ashlynn as she scooped her and Primmy off the floor with a grunt. “Come on, honey.”
Ashlynn, still shaking from what she’d seen and felt, threw her arms around Svetlana’s neck. She opened her eyes as she was carried toward the front door. If Shane followed, she’d try to keep him back.
The smashing sounds stopped as the front door opened. Shane’s anger disappeared, replaced with the cool light that she felt in Jacob. It made Ashlynn miss her baby brother even more. “I wanna see Jakey,” she whispered.
Svetlana rubbed Ashlynn’s back with one hand as they moved into the hall. “In a little while. Let’s go to the arboretum first. If we’re lucky we’ll see the big yellow butterfly!”
Ashlynn nodded into Svetlana’s neck. She didn’t want to go to the arboretum, even if there were butterflies. She and Primmy wanted to see Jakey, and Mummy sort of. Thinking about Mummy was confusing. Jakey, Svetlana, and Primmy weren’t.