Deanna Anderson stood in the front hallway of the house she shared with her husband of six months waiting for him to come home from teaching at the local police academy. She was looking at the portrait of their wedding day that he had selected from the hundreds of photos that his cousin and her new company had taken. They had four albums from the day.
It was a moment of peace in the house as the triplets and baby were taking their naps, and Deanna could have a moment to herself. It was a rare thing for her during the day. She looked at the photo next to it as well. It was the one taken on the day she had graduated from college, which was five months ago. There were two photos in that frame. One was just her, and the other was that of her with the family the two of them had built together.
Henry, Poppy, Clover, and Michelle had become her focus in life instead of continuing with her goal of becoming a forensic tech for the police force. She had helped write the classwork for Max’s new classes at the academy. That had been one of the easiest things she had done in the past few months. Max’s classes were a smashing success. Though that wasn’t anything, she was surprised about. He may be a taskmaster at being a professor, but underneath it all, he was a giant teddy bear. At least she thought so.
The next photo was the day the two had officially adopted the four children. There was little doubt of the fact they all had begun to thrive with the care of the two people. They had made strides in their ability to talk and express themselves in the past few months. They all seemed to be perfectly normal children now. Though underneath the surface, Max and Deanna knew that could change in a heartbeat. The five people that were originally Watson’s, now Anderson’s, were the product of a sick and twisted family.
She had called her family was nothing more than a plague on the planet. Max often agreed with her, knowing he had saved the best parts of the family and made them his own. She hated thinking about them. Though she had tried to erase them from her own memory, it was impossible. She was still in the storm they had caused.
The trail of the century was going to begin soon enough. Her brother and father, who was the same person, was set to stand trial for the murders of his parents, sister, and two unidentified young women. Her other siblings were still being held indefinitely at a few local asylums. For them, the insanity plea that was offered to them was accepted, and they would be locked in there for the rest of their natural lives. Their respective children were in intensive therapy to help repair the damage the siblings had inflicted upon them by believing in the family’s curse.
An ancient curse that was supposedly placed on the family during the witch trials in Salam. One that required two lines of the same family to join and create a child. The child would have to be tortured and then murdered to save the rest of the family. Deanna, herself, was the result of this curse. Her mother, was the same mother to her father, David. She had been the result of her mother’s insanity and incestuous cravings.
It had been found out that her mother had grown up believing in the family’s curse to the point that she had taken on the role of the chosen one, though she was not the one chosen. The one chosen, Joyce, did not to take part in the curse, to begin with. She had thought it would die with her. Deanna’s mother, Carolyn, had taken on the role and twisted it even more. She had the same relationship with all of her sons. She had also encouraged her daughters to take part in it as well. All of her children, with the exception of Deanna, had a part in it. They all knew, and they all continued the practice with their own children.
The man who Deanna had known as her father, who was her grandfather actually, was no better. He had assumed a different perversion, which was just as bad. He had taken in women who were high risk on the streets and cleaned them up, fed them, and then locked them away in the secret rooms in the house he shared with his family. He then got them pregnant, and after they gave birth, he would take the babies away from them. They were raised in another secret area of the house. They were then sacrificed in Deanna’s name to protect her. In a practice that was barbaric and a twisted form of satanism. The ashes of the children then were scattered throughout the garden and around the house.
Though it was impossible to actually know the total number of children, he had done this too. The birth certificates that were found in his office had reached over fifty children that were missing. The girls they had saved the day they had been at the house searching for the third time, which all had names that were flowers were also thriving in their new homes. They had been saved from the house of horrors in the nick of time. After they had been removed, it was found out they were near out of food. That was the day they found Poppy and Clover and realized that the two were actually Henry’s sisters.
Deanna was lost in her mind thinking of how everything had turned out in her life when the front door opened, and Max walked in. Dressed in one of his darker suits, he removed his jacket as he set his briefcase down and looked over her as she stood looking at the pictures on the wall. He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms over her shoulders, and then ran his hands down her side letting them rest on her growing abdomen. “How are you two doing?” he asked in her ear before he placed a quick kiss on her cheek.
“Fine.” She said with a soft smile.
“Just fine?” he asked as she turned in his arms. “He isn’t bothering you so much today?”
“No,” Deanna said as she looked up into his golden-brown eyes. “He is being nice today.”
“Where are the other little monsters?” Max asked as he stood up to his full height and looked down at her.
“Finishing up their nap.” She said with a smile.
“What are you doing up here. You should be resting as well.” Max said as he looked at her.
“Thinking,” Deanna said with a smile. “These three days were the best in my life. I was also thinking about the storm that surrounds all of them.”
“Don’t stress yourself out.” He said as she led her to the couch. “The trial is going to start soon, and it is going to be long and detailed. They are expecting it to be three to four weeks long.”
“I know,” Deanna said. “I wish he had just taken the deal.”
“The problem with our brother’s is they have to be in control. At least that is what they think. Neither of them was actually in control of their situations. Yours was being controlled by your mother. Mine only had the control he thought he was taking from my parents. The fact was they were all being used by each other.” Max said.
“Well, at least Michael took the deal,” Deanna said.
“Ten years for what he did isn’t enough,” Max replied as he ran his fingers through her hair as she leaned against him as they sat on the couch. He chuckled at the thought.
“You only say that because he hit me,” Deanna said.
“For that, he deserves death in my eyes. I doubt my parents will take him in again, but that is something we will have to deal with when it happens.” Max said, “Right now, we have enough to deal with because of your family.”
“Daddy!” three small voices screamed as the pair looked up to the stairs as the three were scooting down the stairs carefully. “You be home!”
“I am home,” Max said as he laughed. This was the reaction of the triplets every day when he walked in the door. It was nice to have one day where he got to talk to Deanna without having the three little elves climbing all over him. Their lives were hectic beyond belief with the two-year-old triplets and an eight-month-old Michelle who was sound asleep still. Soon they would be adding another baby to the mix. As the triplets launched themselves at him, he moved to the floor as he wrestled with them all. “Be nice to mommy. She is still cooking your brother.”
“Well, at least you can distract them while I get dinner ready,” Deanna said as she struggled for a moment to stand up.
“I can do that,” Max said with a grin as he looked at her as she moved through the house to the kitchen. He knew if they had lasted this long and they had weathered the beginning of the storm that surrounded them, nothing could stop them now.