“Lauralie?” Eveline asked, “Are you feeling okay?”
She and Lauralie were hanging out in the parlor. Lauralie had seemed out of it for the whole day, and she seemed really pale. Even her piano playing had sounded off.
“Yeah,” Lauralie said slowly, “I’m just tire is all.”
“Yeah, it’s just been a long couple of days,” Lauralie said, “I think I’ll just go up and lie down for a while.”
Lauralie slid off the piano bench and started to head out the door. Before she got to the door she paused and grasped the back of the couch and put her hand up to her head and took a deep breath.
“Lauralie?” Eveline asked.
Lauralie turned to face Eveline and crumpled to the ground in a heap of clothes. Eveline jumped up and ran to Lauralie’s side. She called Lauralie’s name, hitting her lightly to try and wake her up.
“Eveline?” Lauralie asked weakly as she opened her eyes.
“Lauralie?” Eveline breathed, “Are you alright?”
“I think so.”
“Can you walk?”
Eveline helped Lauralie up and into a standing position. Eveline swung Lauralie’s arm over her shoulder. Lauralie leaned heavily on Eveline. It was slow going but eventually they made it to Lauralie’s bedroom.
Gratefully Eveline placed Lauralie onto the bed. Eveline placed her hand on Lauralie’s brow. It was hot and clammy, and her eyes were beginning to glaze over with fever. Eveline tucked a blanket around Lauralie’s body before leaving the room in order to go and search for some help.
She walked into Penelope’s room where she was told the doctor was. Penelope was propped up against a few pillows. She was drained of all color, and looked so weak. Her swollen stomach was the only thing that seemed to keep her from fading off into nothing.
“Hey,” Penelope said tiredly.
“Hey,” Eveline smiled, “Can I see the doctor for a minute?”
The doctor placed his things back into his bag and walked over to her. He looked at her with rapt attention as she spilled everything that had happened to Lauralie. The doctor nodded, and he hurried out of the room.
“Stay here,” the doctor said, as Eveline started to follow, “I want to take a look at her alone first.”
“Alright,” Eveline stopping short in her tracks.
“What’s going on?” Penelope asked from the bed once the doctor left.
“Oh nothing,” Eveline shrugged and walked over to the bed and sat down, “How’s the baby?”
“Active,” Penelope laughed weakly, placing a hand on her stomach, “I can handle it. You don’t need to protect me. Come on, after all, I am your older sister.”
Eveline finally gave into Penelope’s demands and told her everything that had happened in the parlor. Eveline and Penelope spent the next couple of hours catching up on the things that they had missed in the years that they had spent apart.
Time flew by, and before they knew it there was a knock on the door. A nurse came into the room and told Eveline that Penelope needed to get some rest. Eveline squeezed Penelope’s hand before getting up and leaving the room. She was closing the door when she ran into someone.
“Sorry,” Eveline murmured, looking up at the person she had bumped into.
He was very muscular and had a commanding presence. He had a thick, gruff beard and crazy black hair to match. His blue eyes pierced and yet were kind and gentle, and they twinkled like he was constantly joking.
“That’s alright,” he had a deep, almost booming voice, “What are you doing here?”
“I was just visiting Penelope,” Eveline said, looking back down at her feet.
“Oh yes, and how is our patient?”
“Alright, I guess,” Eveline said, “Considering.”
“Good, well I’ll just pop in and say hi,” he moved to open the door.
“Oh, I don’t know,” Eveline said, “She needs her rest.”
“She won’t mind seeing me, I’m sure,” the man laughed, “I’m Charles. Her husband.”
“Oh,” Eveline said, shocked, “I didn’t think you were here. I mean I...”
“I just got back,” Charles said.
“Oh,” Eveline said, “Well, I should be going.”
“Alright,” Charles said, stepping aside, “It was nice meeting you.”
“Thanks,” she nodded politely and brushed passed him and down the hallway.
Eveline walked into a sitting room, where Elaine was pacing apprehensively up and down the room. She was playing with her hands and nibbled on her fingernails as she did so. Eveline walked up to Elaine and took her hands in her own.
“Elaine,” she said, “What’s wrong? What happened?
“Lauralie is extremely ill,” Elaine panicked, “Helena has started acting spacey. If Helena is actually going crazy like all the others that means I’m next! What’s going to happen to me? What am I going to do?”
“Don’t worry,” Eveline said, “I’m sure you’ll be just fine.”
“I’m scared,” Elaine said.
“I know,” Eveline pulled Elaine close to her, and rubbed her back softly, “I know.”
Elaine held onto Eveline tightly, and sobbed into Eveline’s shoulder. They stood there until Elaine had sobbed herself out.
“Hey,” Eveline said, pulling away from Elaine, “I have an idea.”
“What?” Elaine said, wiping tears from her eyes.
“Why don’t we go to the library? We could do some more research. We could figure out what’s going on and maybe find out how we can stop it.”
“I guess,” Elaine said.
Eveline grabbed Elaine’s hand and practically ran toward the library.