Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.
*Part Six of the Poppy McLain series. The main character, Poppy, is married. She was formally known as “McLain”. Her new last name is “Verosisca”. (VER-OH-SIS-CA). To my knowledge, I made up this last name. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*
Damien smiles. I mean, he has a permanent smile, with being a porcelain doll and all, but his smile seems to have gotten just a little bit bigger.
"How are you alive?" Bronte asks.
“It's simple. I can't die. If I crack, I get put back together."
Bronte’s eyes are rimmed with happy tears as she hugs him. My heart lifts for those kids.
"Well, it looks like we should go home. All of us." I say. It’s been a long night and going home is something we all want.
Everyone nods in agreement.
We’re going home.
Ashley went back home, as did Chloe. Then, Kaida flew to the sky, towards what she called: "Home." Arachne crawled to the depths of the Earth, which was where she lived. Victoria and Veronica took Delilah with them, to live with.
The only ones left right now are me, Derek, Carmen, Bronte, and Damien. We’re still in the woods, the five of us.
Bronte and Damien start crying. Something about their cries tells me that they have nowhere to go.
Before I can even comfort them, a woman in a pale blues dress runs to Damien from out of nowhere and hugs him fiercely.
"MY SON!" She sobs.
"Who are you?" I ask. I mean, she came out of nowhere.
The woman just shakes her head at me and carries him away. We follow them.
We’re in this very cozy looking cabin. We’re all in what looks like a sitting room. The couches here are very soft, but no soft couch will distract me from the question at hand, which is:Is this woman his mother or a child kidnapper?
Damien sits on a small couch with his new friends,Bronte and Carmen. I squeeze Derek's hand. Who isthis woman taking Damien away?
Damien blinks his eyes at the woman, as if in shock and says: “Mommy?"
The woman takes a deep breath. Her eyes are still red with tears. Now that I’m looking at her, she seems very deflated and weary. There are dark circles under her eyes and telltale signs of wrinkles.
She’s not lying. She is his mother. I can see it now. She has been searching for him for so long. She doesn’t need to say anything. I already know.
Bronte doesn’t trust her, though, and raises an eyebrow at her.
“This is my Mommy. Mommy, meet Bronte. Bronte, meet Mommy.”
The woman smiles weakly at Bronte. Bronte doesn’t smile back. Her eyes are devoid of any emotion. I can’t help but compare them to storm clouds.
"I’m Felicity. This is my son, Damien, as you know.” The woman says. Her voice is so weak, just like her face. It’s like her throat going to spilt open any moment. She points to Damien with a shaking finger.
She rests her hand at her side. Felicity opens her lips again. I didn’t notice before, but now, I can see that her lips are chapped.
“I have a daughter here, too. Ivy is her name. My husband, Edward, is not here at the moment, but he will be soon. We’ve all been looking for you, Damien. And now, I’ve finally found you. You’re finally here.”
Felicity smiles, wrinkles crinkling around her large brown eyes. From what I can tell, she’s not that old. In fact, she looks fairly young. Too young to have wrinkles.
“I missed you so much.”
Damien’s eyes light up. He jumps off the couch and runs to Felicity, hugging her closely. She kneels down and squeezes him tight, as if she doesn’t want to let go.
I know that feeling.
“Oh Mommy, I missed you too!” Damien cries out.
Bronte watches them intently. There’s something cold in her eyes. Something sour.
Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I think that Damien saw the look in her eyes over Felicity’s shoulder, because the flicker of an idea blinks in them and he says:
"Can Bronte stay too? She's my new friend and she has no home to go to.”
Bronte shifts uncomfortably. Carmen wants to comfort her, I can tell, but she doesn’t. She doesn’t understand, but she wants to.
“Of course." Felicity says. Bronte hesitates at first, but then she jumps out of the couch and gives her a great big hug.
Carmen jumps off the small couch and sits next to me and Derek on the big one. She looks up at me, eyes wide and asks:
“Mommy, what do we do now?"
I don’t know. Earlier I wanted to go home, but now? I don’t feel ready to go home yet. There’s still this gnawing feeling in my chest.
Maybe talking about it will help.
So I talk about our ordeal at the circus, how we were all trapped and locked away. Felicity smiles sweetly at us and says that we can stay. I’m so grateful for her help, really I am. I never thought that I’d meet someone as kind as her again, but wow, she’s really amazing.
I wish I could repay her somehow.
“Damien? Is that you?” A voice asks. It sounds like a little girl, but with a hiss to it. Like a snake. Her S’s are especially long.
“Ivy! I missed you!"
A little girl with silver snake scales and bright red eyes runs up to him from behind the big couch and joins in on the hug. I’m so happy for them all. They’re all together.
We’re all together.
“Mommy, Daddy? Can I go play with them?" Carmen asks, pointing at the kids. She loves to play with other kids.
“Not now, sweetie. They’re having a moment. Come here. I love you.” I say gently to her. Carmen looks disappointed, but she crawls over to me and I hug her. Derek joins in by hugging the both of us.
How did I go from the unluckiest woman alive to the luckiest woman alive in a single night?
It’s the next day. We’re all sitting at this small wooden table, eating a breakfast of fried eyes. I wanted to cook the food, but Felicity insisted on doing it, so I let her. Right now, she’s still making her own breakfast.
The door knocks.
Felicity turns off the stovetop and runs to the door, opening it with eager.
From what I can tell, a rotting, maggoty corpse in a suit is standing at the front door. I can smellthe rotand decay from over here. I’m sure the others can smell it too.
I swallow hard on my eggs. We all watch closely as Felicity brings in the corpse, who has an arm hooked around hers, as if they knew each other and were in love.
Ivy and Bronte are the only unfazed ones, excluding Edward and Felicity.
“Mommy, what happened to Daddy?” Damien asks.
“You know what zombies are, don’t you, honey?” Felicity asks.
Damien shakes his head.
“Well, it’s a dead person that is still kind of alive. Your Daddy is a zombie, but he still loves you.”
So this man is…Edward?
Edward smiles at Damien, but his teeth are filled with blood and gunk.
Damien looks a little uncomfortable, but he politely smiles back.
Carmen bites her knuckles. Her eyes have gotten all big and scared, like a deer caught in headlights. I turn to look at Derek and he nods knowingly.
“I think we really ought to get going.” I say.
With that, the three of us head out.