No Place Like Home
No child should know that for them to live could mean for someone else to die… And never has this been more true than now. To keep Sirena safe David had decided along with Margret, Ed, Sandra, Lillian and a few others, to keep the fact that that why these people were after her was due to her sister, Pearl, who seemed to not have ever existed at all. They had four months to figure out what to do; fearing that another girl would end up dead like the others as a month neared, relieve came when no new missing people were reported at all since the news channels were hacked. Four week now and now trace of the Black Pearl Murderer or as was now confirmed murderers.
Knowing that there were more than just one killer, un solved cases were being pulled where there was a constant similar threat that held at least one thing in common. Turns out not just black haired beauties were killed, but the MO changing ever so slightly. Instead of pearls left behind, another murderer left sea sand, his victims all light blonds, another left shells of various forms with his victims who all had dark blond to brown hair. Red heads were found with handmade accessories, either a necklace or a ring bracelet even rings and small tiaras. All of these victims found near water; be it sea. Lake, quarry, dam or river…
“Teach me to swim, please!” Meriam pleaded with Sirena. She was finally released from hospital care, but instructions were given that she should overdo anything.
“I would love to teach you! Clair’s is pretty good already too; she’d want to teach you as well…” Sirena looked to see if Clair was nearby then proceeded to whisper.
“Just make sure that she doesn’t drown before you.” Sirena joked causing Meriam to stifle a laugh.
“Meriam! Come on!” Clair grabbed Meriam’s arm to drag he off to the slide.
“Clair!” Margret scolded.
“Don’t make her run so much! Be patient!” Clair slowed down and allowed her friend to walk by herself.
“I don’t like slides…” Meriam said watching Clair slip down the slide and climb up the steps just to go again.
“But it’s fun!”
“Why don’t we go play on the beach rather?” Sirena suggested.
“We can build sand castles!” Clair slid down the slid and ran straight for the beach.
“Come on. She’ll have chased off all the crabs by the time we get there.” Sirena sighed. She liked watching the crabs crawl across the sands, as did Meriam, but it was too late, Clair had chased them beneath the sand and was already building the towers for a castle.
“I’ll build the outer wall.” Sirena offered.
“Can I make a river? One of those rivers that protects the castle?” Meriam asked, not wanting Clair to throw a fit again as the previous day when she insisted that sand castle couldn’t be made of shells when Meriam placed shells around the towers.
“Yes you may! You can start there, I want to make a huge castle, bigger than last time’s!” Meriam started digging deep into the sand piling the sand on heap for Sirena to use to build the walls around the castle and the river. Their previous castle had been destroyed by the high tide and seeing as they were building it so close to the sea again, the walls had to be even big and thicker this time, hoping that they would find their castle standing still the next day.
“Have you asked her if she wants to live with you and David?” Lillian asked watching her granddaughter play.
“Not yet. We want to have everything in order before we tell her, if she says ‘yes’, we don’t want her to be disappointed when we find we can’t adopt her.”
“Perhaps for the better, that way. I haven’t seen Meriam this happy in forever! Look at them, they remind me of how fun my own childhood was. Can’t believe the years can pass by so quickly… You must treasure these moments, they don’t always come often.” Lillian spoke like an old woman she was.
“I feel old just watching them. Even Clair has gotten more active since meeting Sirena. Clair used to come home from school and just go sit in front of the TV or play on my tablet. But in just a short few days she became hyper. Jacob, I think, feels left out some.” Margret kept her attention between watching Jacob play with some giant chess pieces on a giant chess board.
“He isn’t like most other boys, he’s going to be real smart when he grows up!” Lillian stated seeing the little boy push the pieces over the black and white blocks.
“He’ll go play with them if he wanted to. He is fond of Meriam. She even asked me yesterday if she could bring Jacob home to be her brother!” Lillian started to laugh.
“She’d make a wonderful sister…” Margret’s spoke her thoughts.
“You think I should adopt a baby brother for her?” Lillian asked more as a joke.
“Why not? But I don’t think you have to go through all the trouble, I give her permission to be Jacob’s sister too! And Lillian?” The elderly woman glanced at the young mother of two, giving permission to speak up.
“Me and David were wondering if you would be their legal guardian?”
“I would be honored, but why me, why not your parents or David’s’; maybe one of their aunts or uncles?”
“We were both the only child’s in our family. David’s parents passed away last year and mine are too old, they have no energy to take care of such hyper children.”
“And I do?” Lillian said with a teasing smile plaster to her face.
“You’re no old granny that is for sure!”
“You are right about that! I’ve still got plenty of years ahead of me!”
“I don’t want these days to disappear… I do hope they catch those monsters soon, I just don’t think I’d be able to bare the possibility of losing Sirena! I don’t want her or my children’s happy, innocent and naïve days to end.”
“I know. I understand the feeling, it’s draining for sure, but it’s what gives us mother the strength we need to protect them!” Lillian comforted Margret who fought her tears back.
“It’s why I haven’t given up on Meriam, even with her failing lungs and weakening heart… I’ll make sure she lives to see her own grandchildren!”
“Let’s get go get them. It’s getting late and David should be getting home soon enough.”
“Which reminds me, I do hope that man isn’t planning on going out to war again?”
“No, he said his going to retire, get a job close by, take care of us where he can see us whenever he wants to!”
“Good!” Getting up from the bench drew Jacob’s attention and had him rush to his mother’s side towards where his ‘sisters’ were playing.
“Almost finish?” Lillian asked watching them finish the last few detail, Sirena writing something in the sand.
“No place like home…”
“Yes. My home’s with Uncle David and Aunty Margret. And even you Granny Lillian! We’re… Family!” Sirena said smiling.
“Let’s head home then!” Margret said, a joy overwhelming her at the girl’s thoughtful words.
They were a family, not by blood, but something much stronger… Love…
“Can I call Chris when we get home? I want to tell him something?”
“And what might that be?” Immediately Sirena’s cheeks went red, though she had no reason to be embarrassed.
“That I decided to stay with you and Uncle David, no matter what! And Aunt Margret?”
“Yes?” Margret was giddy with pride.
“Please don’t let them take me away?”
“Who?” Margret asked thinking she was referring to the ‘monster’.
“The police… and those other people that take children from homes that we watched do to that boy in the magic box… on the TV last night!” Sirena pleaded.
“Of course! I wouldn’t dare let them take you away!”
“Me too! The will have to go through me too! You’re my big sis and no one else can have you! Except Meriam.” Clair chirped in having heard Sirena, casually throwing a thumb over her should toward the girl who had stopped to look at an abandoned nest…
“Si-Si is Si-Si!” Jacob help up his hand to ask Sirena to pick him up.
“And Jacob is the best little brother anyone could ever ask for!”
“He is isn’t he?” Clair said proudly.
Even though they lived so close to the beach, it was still a long walk home. Lillian had been invited over for dinner and to stay for the night. It had somehow became a thing to sleep over either at David’s or at Lillian’s homes since they saw each other nearly every day. Clair’s school was close to Lilian’s home and since Meriam and Clair was now friends Meriam had begged Lillian to let her go to school. Not having had any real communication skills and having had a preschooler’s writing skills Sirena joined in on private classes, the teachers were kind and loved to let Sirena play with the other children.
One teacher in particular had said Sirena was like a bright shine light that gave life to everything and everyone around her. Few people had made the connection of who she was, most just thinking that she had one of ‘those’ faces…
A constant watch was on every move Sirena made, making sure no one suspicious got close. The people being as efficient as possible to insure no one knew, not even David had an idea who was watching from where or for what.
Another moth had gone by with no incidents or reports of missing people matching any kind of connection to the previous cases, which was both good and bad, as it made it hard to find the murderers; not that anyone wished for something to happen just to catch the bad guys.