I paced the living room for the first twenty minutes, but after that I needed air so I went outside to the swing set in the back yard. I plopped down into the swing and sobbed.
“Mom where are you? Please come home. I can’t loose you again. My heart is breaking into millions of tiny pieces and I’m so scared.” My head fell into my hands as sobs took control of my body. When I opened my eyes I realized that I had cried myself to sleep. However I was no longer sitting in the swing but rather sprawled out on the ground. I looked at my watch and found that I had been outside for over an hour. Rushing inside I yelled for dad.
“Dad, is mom home?” I hurried to the living room and found dad on the couch with his phone pressed to his ear. I waited impatiently for him to finish his conversation that seemed to take an eternity.
“Finally dad. Did you find mom?” He shook his head.
“I was just making some calls to see if anyone had seen her.”
“So she really is missing?” he gave a pained look and for the first time since mom’s absence he showed me how truly worried he was.
“Oh daddy.” I rushed into his arms and did my best to comfort him, to be strong for him.
“I’m going to find her dad. I won’t stop until I do; you know that better than most people.” He pulled away and looked at me and the determination I felt showed in my expression.
“We are going to find her.” He took my hand and together we rushed out of the house.
We spent the next hour searching the town for mom. The first place we went was Granny’s to see if Ruby could help us track her. After that we went to the hospital and her vault. After that dad started looking other places and I went back to Granny’s to see if Red had found anything.
“Red?” The bell tinkled as I crashed through the door, and stumbled into the diner, completely out of breath.
“Did you find her or any trace of her?” Red hung her head.
“No Grace I couldn’t catch her sent anywhere. I checked all over town. I’m sorry.” I felt like my world was crashing down on top of me, shattering to pieces on the ground. I closed my eyes and pulled the remaining strength in my body together. Where could I go for help? My thoughts raced wildly, before they struck a target.
“Oh no, not him.” I spun around and dashed out of the diner. My feet carried me down the street towards the ominous pawn shop, and to the one man I hated most.
“RUMPLESTILTSKIN!” I roared his name as I crashed through his door.
“Dearie, dearie, dearie, what seems to be the trouble? You should be celebrating now that you have your v-“ I cut him off before he could finish infuriating speech.
“Where is she? My mother. What happened to her? You have to know! Did she make a deal with you? Is that why she is gone? Whatever the price was I will pay it just bring her back!” I gasped for air and watched as the stunned dark one stared at me.
“What do you mean gone? She was just here this morning, and she was very intent on staying close to her family.” His expression was genuine but I ignored it.
“Don’t you know what happened? You must! Why would anyone else take her?” He shook his head.
“Grace your mother didn’t make any deals with me. She was here for information this morning and I haven’t seen her since. I swear. When did she go missing?”
“No. You have to know. Someone has to know.” I could feel my rage towards this man boiling up under my skin and turning my body red with heat.
“She just gave me my voice back and then she was gone only minutes later. Who else knew she had my voice?” He froze at my words. I watched his strange behavior.
“What?” Did I say something? Do you know something? Tell me!” He grabbed both my arms.
“You said she just gave you your voice back before she disappeared?” I nodded silently.
“Grace I think I know what happened.” He paused as if he were choosing his words carefully.
“Please tell me!”
“Grace I think your mother was taken by one of the merking’s people. It’s the only explanation. When she placed your voice back in your body they would know exactly where she was. They somehow attach themselves to voices they have claimed.” Realization swept through my body. It all made sense. I if they wanted my voice back what better way than to take the one person they knew I would never stop looking for.
“I need your help.” He looked shocked.
“I didn’t expect those words to come from your mouth dearie.”
“Listen I don’t have time to waist. I need something that will allow me to breathe under water for as long as possible. I will give you whatever you want. Please just hurry.” I was desperate. I had to get to mom before they hurt her. I could only imagine what they would do to her before I found her. I had to stop myself as my mind clouded with horrible thoughts of my mother and baby sister. I shook my head to clear it as Rumple came back into my line of sight.
“Here this should last you for several hours. We can discuss payment later; that is if you survive.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” Although I knew he was right. My chance of surviving was extremely low, but that didn’t matter as long as my family was safe.
“One more thing, you can’t tell dad what I am doing or where I am going. He has to stay here and keep the others safe. I know he is scared that he is going to loose mom and I won’t let that happen but I can’t let him get involved either! Please.” All I received was a silent nod before I dashed out of the shop and sped to the ocean.
We watched as Grace made here way to Gold’s and then as she made a deal with him. The last thing I saw was my daughter at the ocean’s shore.
“No,” I whispered.
“It looks like we will be getting our visitor soon enough. Now, now we can’t have you looking so…pristine can we? Grace needs to be worried about you. I can fix that.” As his statement ended his fist made contact with my flesh many times, until I lost consciousness.
How long I was out I don’t know. The next thing I remember was feeling someone gently scooping me into their arms, and whispering to me.
“It’s alright mom. I’m here and I’m going to get you out of here I promise. I love you so much.” No Grace I thought. She couldn’t be here. It was too dangerous, but I didn’t even have the strength to speak. I simply melted into her arms.