Lucy had not spoken much to Chris since that terrible day. If his brother had folded in on himself, so had Chris. Lucy thought that it was like a house of cards, when one was taken away, the whole thing collapsed. Where Michael had fallen, his brother and mother could soon follow.
She was grateful that Laura had taken to her. Chris, on the other hand, had seen the urgency of his brother’s situation and had devoted all of his efforts and time towards him. This left Lucy stranded yet concerned. Her thoughts about the eldest brother were complicated. He had been there in her dreams and she had witnessed the power he could harness. He had destroyed the Leathers and had chosen to appear from nowhere, just at the thirteenth hour, to save them. Yet it was not Michael who had been their saviour, but that dark and troubled archangel. Well, that was everybody’s belief.
Laura had snuck out of the room some time ago, her steps speaking of her desire to mask her exit. Lucy had played along, closing her eyes and taking deep sleeping breaths. When she heard the door close behind her, she slowly sat upright before making her way to the wall between hers and Chris’s room. She placed a glass to the wall and listened to the barely audible conversations beyond. She listened as the voices of mother and son fell little above silence and then she heard the whispered opening of their bedroom door.
Lucy adjusted her position and moved towards her own door. Once more, she placed the glass quietly against the old wooden panel and rested her ear on the cold base. Now she could hear more clearly. Chris’s voice was raised in panic. She dragged at the handle and was outside her room as Chris struggled with the stiff figure that was his mother.
“Chris, what’s happening?” she almost screamed.
“It’s Mum. She found this thing,” he said pointing at an item that was about thirty centimetres in length and was glowing, “and now she’s just gone blank. I can’t wake her.”
For a moment, Lucy looked upon the older woman and saw an unwanted resemblance to the expression she had seen on Michael’s face. It was an unlikely marriage of happiness and grief. Her knuckles were whitening around the object she was holding and the strain was in her face.
“Get that thing out of her hand,” she rushed out.
The spell around Chris was fractured. His eyes turned towards the flute his mother had lifted from the bedroom floor and he made to grab it from her.
Lucy saw that something was wrong. The woman whom she had come to know as Laura, a person whose kindness and consideration stretched out as caring arms, was now changed.
Laura snarled. She actually snarled and a bared her teeth at her middle son. There were no words, nothing that was language. The noises coming from Christopher’s mother were primitive and defensively aggressive. Before she knew what next to expect, Laura was falling upon her middle son. Lucy could stand no more. She attacked the mother.
The object in the mother’s hand was a needle, a hypodermic needle, and it was moving towards her son’s eye. Chris was struggling to keep it at bay, but he was losing. Laura had to do something significantly more than just pulling.
She scanned the corridor for a weapon. She wanted something heavy and blunt, something that would impair yet not kill. A red fire extinguisher lay on its side and she grabbed it.
The distance between the tip of the needle and the boy’s eye was reducing to nothing. The madness of the world was falling around her. Without thinking, she raised her weapon and prepared her assault.