Gone Baby, Gone

The mother, holding back tears, frantically pulls at blankets and sheets. The effort is in vain but required by maternal instinct, as is the glance around the dimly lit room. The window is closed. The closet door is closed. The ceiling is a swirl of blood red clouds and indignant stars.

“Darryl,” says the mother, her voice thin but stern.

No answer.

“Darryl,” she repeats, a little louder, eyes fixed to the impossible heavens above her.

No answer.

“Dammit, Darryl, get your lazy butt in here!” She watches the clouds begin to fade and the baby blue of the nursery’s paint reappear at the margins.

Eyes half closed, brain less than a quarter active, her husband appears in the doorway, “Wuzzat whodat, huh?”

“Charlene’s gone again. Get the hunting bag, and my good crossbow.”

“Goblins again?”

“I’m guessing fae, but whoever it is I’m gonna skin the bastitches alive.”

“Right,” Darryl nodded, “I’ll pack the good knives out of the kitchen and some wet wipes.”

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