Grey skies greeted Laura as she opened her eyes. The clouds that were building the night before coalesced into a sea of darkness, shutting out any hint of sunshine. She padded softly over to the window, pressing her flushed cheek against its cool surface. She was so hot. She wondered if she was getting sick. The room was icy cold, the wood floors biting her bare feet.
Movement on the street below caught her attention. A flash of red and blue disappeared behind a stately oak tree that graced Miss Evelyn’s front yard then reappeared suddenly down the street.
“Aiden.” Laura didn’t let the oddness of his vanishing act sink in as she grabbed her robe and dashed down the stairs. The house was eerily silent. Miss Evelyn was always puttering around doing something. Laura pushed the thought back. She’d worry about Miss Evelyn later. She needed to speak to Aiden. The overwhelming need pull her along.
She burst out the front door, almost tumbling down the few steps to the porch, as she darted down the sidewalk. Aiden’s distinctive red and blue plaid lumberjack coat disappeared around the corner of the street.
“Aiden!” Laura picked up the pace, running as fast as bare feet on gravel could. She winced as a sharper rock tore into her heel but refused to slow. “Aiden!” Her voice broke into ragged sobs. A gust of fog crept across the street, shrouding Aiden from view. Laura stumbled to a stop as the fog grew to thick to navigate safely through.
“AIDEN!” She screamed into the mist. A hand on her shoulder made her jump.
She whirled around to see who stopped her. The mist was suddenly gone. Laura stared up at a dingy white ceiling. She pushed herself up and locked eyes with Beth.
“What…where am I?” Laura scanned the room, her eyes wide with panic. Beth lunged at her and wrapped her arms tight around Laura’s body. She began to tremble.
Beth loosened her grip and eased back. Her face was white and her eyes hollow with fear. She tried to smile but tears began rushing down her cheeks.
“I was so scared, so scared I’d lose you too.” Beth buried her face in Laura’s shoulder and sobbed. Laura laid a hand along her back, rubbing in slow gentle circles, just like their mother had when the girls were younger. As she let her sister cry out her fears she realized her body felt different. Her stomach was pressed up tightly against Beth’s side.
“Beth.” She whispered. “Where is my baby?” She sucked in a deep breath. “Did it…was it…what happened?”
Beth began to cry harder, her nose rubbing against Laura’s shoulder as she shook her head ‘no’. Laura pushed her away, cupping Beth’s tear ravaged cheeks in her hand.
Beth chewed her lip before answering. “I don’t know. They took her.”