Ch.5: Four Days Remain
💙 Sienna’s POV 💙
Opening my eyes, it took several minutes for my brain to register that I was staring up at the fractured ceiling of my bedroom. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sat up to look at the digital clock sitting my nightstand. It read, 5:34 pm. I slept more than twelve hours, and yet I still felt exhausted, my eyes begging to be allowed to drift closed.
‘Mom,’ I thought anxiously.
Twelve hours should be enough time for her to come back from wherever she had gone. I got out of bed, not bothering to change. I walked over to her room, my heart pounding anxiously in my chest. Once again, I noticed the deafening silence of the house. As I stepped on a creaking floorboard, I cut through the silence like a knife cuts through butter.
The door to her room was ajar, just as I left it this morning. The room was still untouched. The bed was still neatly made. I checked her laundry basket for clothes she would have worn today, but it was empty.
Taking a deep breath, I made my way down the stairs, my heart wrapped with thorns. Deep down, I knew I was alone here in this old house. I checked every single room, but could not find my mom. I knew I shouldn’t race to conclusions, but I couldn’t help but feel like I had lost her somehow. That she will never return home, just like dad will never return home to me.
My head filled with unpleasant memories of the night dad packed his belongings and left. No matter how much my twelve-year-old self begged, he simply stared at me with hatred and disgust. Without a word of goodbye, he shut the door on my life. Believing for a long time that I was the cause of dad’s departure, I despised myself. Mom taught me that some things were just out of our control, held in the palms of fate. She helped to soothe my aching heart, but the doubt remained.
The kitchen was the last place to check. As I approached the doorway, the faintest sound of sizzling reached my ears. “Mom?” I called, running into the kitchen.
Taking in my surroundings, I found no sign of her, but there was something strange on the wall near the fridge. Glowing a pale blue, was some sort of symbol scrawled out on the wall. I realized the sizzling sound came from there. Every few seconds, it would hiss as if it had a life of its own. It resembled a cobra wrapping around a shattered skull, exiting through the gaping mouth. The symbol was housed inside of a rectangular outline, resembling a doorway.
I don’t know how I could’ve missed this earlier, perhaps my eyes were half-closed as I looked for mom this morning. If this was mom’s idea, we were going to have a long talk about what was considered acceptable redecorating. That is, if I found her. I had a feeling she didn’t do this, there was something unnatural about it. Whatever it was, it seemed to be slowly fading.
An open window lets through the cool breeze of the night. It rustled the bills that were sitting on the kitchen table, almost blowing them entirely off. I quickly placed a salt shaker on the stack of bills, keeping them in place. I pulled the window closed, wondering why it was open in the first place. My mom never liked opening the kitchen window. There were always bees hovering over the forget-me-not flowers she planted in the front yard, directly under the kitchen window.
Thinking that my mom’s friends may have some information, I turned to leave the kitchen. I tried to call her friends, not that she had many. She was a woman so decidedly against the supernatural and anyone who believed in it. The majority of the town folk believed. No matter who I called, not one person seemed to have seen her today.
Using her cellphone, I dialed my mom’s workplace. My mom has been a nurse at the Saint Iverstan general hospital for two decades. I was hoping she was there, on-call because I really didn’t know where else she could be.
“Hey Anna, what can I do for you? Did you forget to take something back?” Answered a woman.
“Hi, it’s actually Anna’s daughter. My name is Sienna.” I said politely, but my voice quivered under the stress of my nerves. This woman may or may not have the information that would put my heart at ease.
“Oh! Little Sienna, I remember you. Your mother brought you to one of the staff Christmas parties when you were just a little thing. How are you, darling.” She said, her voice high pitched and excited like the chirping of a bird.
“I’m doing fine I just wanted to ask, is my mom at work?” I said, my voice muffled as I bit my lip, worry eating my mind.
“Oh, didn’t she tell you, dear? She quit Friday morning out of the blue. It was so sudden too. I’m sad to lose a great coworker.” She said sadly, and my heart sank six feet.
“No, she failed to mention that. Sorry to bother you, I have to go,” I said quickly, hanging up the phone. I tried to swallow the lump in my throat, but it grew larger.
“Mom, where the hell are you,” I whispered to myself walking back upstairs.
I laid on mom’s bed, hugging her pillow tightly. Her scent was all around me, doing a spa service for my worry seized mind. I wanted to report her missing but, she hasn’t yet been missing for twenty-four hours. I shouldn’t overreact so much, she could be with a friend I’ve never met and forgot her cell phone here. However, a note would’ve been nice, it would’ve saved me all the heartache.
I waited for my mom to return. However, as midnight grew closer, no longer could my mother’s scent calm my nerves. I jumped as the grandfather clock on the staircase stuck midnight, letting out the chiming of bells ring throughout the silence gripped house.
I lay there, staring out the window watching as the sky broke into pink, purple, and orange hues. On any other day, I would’ve been in awe. On any other day, I would’ve enjoyed watching the sunrise with my mom.
As my phone alarm went off, my hands reached to turn it off. Swinging my legs over the bed, I went to get ready for work. My body moving on its own automatic rhythm. My mind felt empty, if you dropped a coin, it would echo for years. My body moved by memory, completing the same repetitive morning routine.
It all felt surreal. This has never happened before. My mom never stayed out the entire night before. I didn’t know what to think anymore.
I walked down the stairs and past the kitchen. I had no appetite and no desire to eat. My mom’s absence has turned the house that she loved hostile and unwelcoming. I didn’t even care to notice the markings on the kitchen wall were no longer glowed blue. Now it was replaced by a faint burn mark on the wallpaper. I left to go to work, my heart heavy with worry and assuming the worst.
Outside, the sky had darkened with dark, angry grey swirling clouds. By the time my truck reached the diner, my wipers were struggling to keep the windshield clear enough to park.
As I walked to the back door, shielding my head with my bag, Rob was there waiting with the familiar scowl on his aged face. I didn’t pay him any mind, brushing past him and went to work. All I had to do was finish work and then go to the police station to make the report.
Due to the rain, the usual morning rush was limited to a handful of regulars who braved the drive here through the downpour. Since my section was empty, I stood behind the counter, drying coffee mugs. My job has been the only thing stable in my life, the only normal thing.
As I got into the same old routine, my pounding heart calmed a little, and I began to have hope that mom will be home soon. I think it was the empty house driving up my paranoia.
The bells over the door chimed, indicating a new customer. I felt him before I saw him. My hands trembled slightly, as they gripped the mug I was drying. Slowly, my eyes rose up his body starting at his feet and then traveling higher.
He wore a white shirt over a long-sleeved black leather jacket that covered his muscular figure to well above his knees. His jeans are simple and narrow and reach down to his well-shined black leather boots. What struck me as bizarre was the lack of rain on his body. He was as dry as a hot towel fresh out of the dryer.
His glistening blue eyes were watching me before mine reached his. They stared into mine with the same emotion of intense longing as the night of my birthday. Walking towards me, he took a seat on one of the barstools in front of the counter where I stood. Not once did our eyes break contact. I couldn’t look away, I didn’t want to look away. It was like I was watching a gem at the bottom of the ocean. It was burry at first, but the closer I got, the more it sparkled.
“Sienna, Will you please help me? Oh, what were you looking at?” I was snapped out of my trance as someone spoke behind me. My head whipped around so fast I almost broke my neck.
It was Lexi, and she was looking at me anxiously. “N-nothing. Um...what did you need help with?” I said nervously, struggling to find my voice behind the raspiness in my throat. She didn’t see Luthias, sitting right in front of us. She was the type of girl who would go into an excited rant about any and every hot guy she would come across. However, she stayed oblivious to the one who sat across from us. Luthias was beyond handsome, more perfect than any human. Thats because he wasn’t human. It looks like he was for my eyes alone as no one else seemed to see him. He was the kind of man who would turn heads as he passed by.
“That old man over there is making me so uncomfortable. He’s got these slimy hands, and I am so grossed out. Rob isn’t gonna help, he’s already gone to buy a pack of smokes from the gas station.” She said, her eyes pleading as she tugged on my arm.
“Don’t worry, I will handle him,” I said confidently. I’ve had my fair share of perverted old men in my years of work here. A discreet little jab where the sun doesn’t shine usually stops the advances. How can a respectful wisened old man call on the manager and report getting hit in the jewels? It just doesn’t happen around here.
I traded places with Lexi, and I went to deliver the old fool his breakfast and coffee hoping he chokes on it. “Here’s your order sir, is there anything else I can get yo-” I said in a monotone voice before I felt a hard slap on my behind. Hot like fire, my own anger almost burned me.
I was about to give the old man a nice jab where it will hurt for days, but I froze when his coffee mug began shaking. Its shaking increased with every second, the black flaming hot coffee with no sugar spilling over the sides.
Then it exploded. Exploded right in the old man’s face. All eyes were on him as he screamed, flesh scorched raw. Ignoring the weeping old man, my eyes founding themselves looking into Luthias’s. Something was wrong.
His blue eyes burned with a fury half a shade shy of Jealousy. He stood across the diner, his fists clenched at his sides, body shaking as his emotions sprawled out of control.
I was so oblivious to my surrounding that I didn’t see the customers pushing me back away from the old man. “What the hell is wrong with you? He needs medical help.” Someone shouted at me. As I returned to my senses, I ran to the landline telephone hung up on the kitchen wall by the back door.
I picked up the speaker and was about to dial emergency services, but a hand slammed the phone down. I became aware very quickly of the heated body standing right behind me. I shivered as I felt Luthias wrap an arm around my waist and pulled me closer to his front.
"Four days, and I will take you away from the scum who call themselves humans. He dared to touch what was mine.” He growled, running his nose along my collar bone. Tingles followed wherever he touched, and I trembled in his hold.
“Sienna! did you call yet?” Lexi yelled anxiously as she came running into the kitchen, her cheeks flushed. Just as she entered, I felt Luthias’s heat dissipate as he disappeared. I hated how he comes and goes like that, like a very firm, hot ghost.
“I was just about to,” I said, my voice coming out breathless, and I blushed.
“What’s the matter with you today? First, you were staring at the stool as if you wanted to fuck it, and then you stood over a man who’s faced was burned with hot, almost boiling black coffee. Now, you are just standing in the kitchen, not calling for help.” Lexi yelled, looking at me with complete disbelief. All I could think about was how wrong she was. I would never sleep with Luthias.
“Look, I’m sorry, ok? I’m just going through some stuff.” I said, truthfully. I was going through things she could never imagine in her wildest dreams, a man she could never imagine in her wildest dreams. Forget the last one.
“You need to get it together, girl, now hurry and call. The guy is gonna have a heart attack.” She said, giving me a pointed look. Why was she so mad? Wasn’t she the one who asked me to take his order? If he does have a heart attack, thats one less horny old tart in the world. Thats why you learn to keep your hands to yourself.
Rushing into the police station, I went straight to the lady behind the weathered front desk. The white paint on the wood, chipping away from the claws of time. The interior of the only station in town smelled of dust, urine, and alcohol. The alcohol and urine smell came from a man handcuffed and sat in a chair by one of the dozen desks the officers used. As he caught me staring at him, he turned to give me a creepy toothless smile, and I shivered in disgust. It was my first time here, and I knew I would never want to come back.
I approached the receptionist and waited for her to notice me. When she didn’t lift her head, I cleared my throat. Then her scornful eyes looked up, looking me up and down.
“Yes?” She said with an annoying sigh. “kids these days, so impatient,” she added under her breath, but I still heard, and I knew she wanted me to.
White, tightly curled short hair framed her rounded, time-seasoned face. Narrow brown eyes, set low within their sockets, watched me with all the inconvenience in the world. She chewed her gum impatiently as she waited for my response.
“I want to file a missing person report,” I said nervously. I couldn’t believe I would one day file a missing person’s report for anyone, especially not my own mother.
“For?” She asked, even more impatient.
“My mother, Anna Ramones,” I answered, biting my nails. It was a horrible habit that left my nails always close to the groove. I couldn’t help it, I was so anxious to find mom. The receptionist clicked along with her keyboard before looking back up at me. Her lips stretching into a smile of mockery.
“What did you do?” She asked me.
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused by her question.
“You must’ve done something, cause your mom changed her address just Thursday. Said she was leaving town.”
“What? There’s gotta be a mistake! I saw her just on Friday!” I shouted, drawing the attention of several officers. I lowered my voice and said with desperation, “Please check again. Please, she’s all I got.” The woman was tone-deaf to my pleas and looked at me with warning eyes.
“I told you all I know. Anna left town. Thats it. Now leave before I have you sit next to that filthy drunk in handcuffs.” she snarled, pushing her seat back and standing up. Her short height would’ve been laughable in any other situation. However, right now, she looked threatening, meaning every word she said.
Reluctantly, I Forced my body to move and leave the police station, it resisted, but with great effort, I slipped back into my truck. The flood gates opened, and tears dripped down onto the steering wheel I gripped so tight my knuckles turned white.
So many questions swirled around in my head. Where did mom go? Why did she quit her job? Why did she change the address on her file? What hurt me most was, why didn’t she tell me any of these things? I felt absolutely betrayed. My tiny little world shattering around me, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.
She always had to keep her secrets.