The Missing Stocking



Also Starring:

wf_elaine2_icon.gif wf_kendall2_icon.gif

Scene Title The Missing Stocking
Synopsis Christmas isn't the same without all the stockings.
Date April 08, 2011

In Dreams

Green and silver garland wraps the edge of the fireplace strung with holiday cheer. The interior of the house boasts similar decorations, with an aire of character and money. Art hangs from the walls, and everything is kept clean. Two large stockings and one smaller one hang from the tree. Storebought, without names.

Blonde hair pulled back out of her face, Melissa catches a glimpse of her reflection in a mirror. The make up covers most of the lines of age quite well. There's no time to look, because the doorbell rings. Middle of the day visitors don't tend to be for good reasons.

And the hooded and scarfed woman isn't there to sing Christmas songs.

Middle of the day visitors have never been good things, in one way or another. Melissa grimaces, though the expression is gone by the time she reaches the door. The paranoia isn't though. That's been there since she first manifested. There's a peek out the window, just to make sure that it's not some lunatic with an uzi, before the door gets opened. "Can I help you?"

"A Muse sent me," a soft voice says with a smile, pulling the hood back enough to make her face partially visible. Red hair and kind brown eyes mark the woman even more than her voice, glancing back away from the house for a moment, before she reaches into her pockets.

"It's an early Christmas present," the woman she knows as Elaine explains, holding out a small packet. "Junie's doing fine— healthy and strong. I brought some pictures."

For a minute Melissa says nothing, then she steps back, letting Elaine come inside, even as she's taking the packet. "Good. That's good," she murmurs, taking a step back and opening the packet.

A cautious eye is cast around, as if Elaine's worried about who might also be in the house, or who might be listening in. She doesn't stray very far from the door.

"She's getting big— and she's quite beautiful. She wrote the letter herself, though she did have help." And from the cautious smile, it's likely that the letter was checked many time.

For clues as to location.

The pictures show a young, half asian girl, around ten years old; in play, in rest, in good lighting and in bad, dirty and washed up, but she looks happy. And most importantly, free.

Seeing the first picture has Melissa tearing up and leaning back against the wall, brushing a finger across the girl's face. "She's gorgeous," she whispers. A smile tries to form on her lips, but it's overshadowed by sadness, longing for the girl she adopted years ago. "She ever talk about me?" she asks, glancing up to Elaine.

A hand reaches up to tug on a red lock of hair that fell into Elaine's eyes, distracting a little from the hesitation. "She talks about your letters, but she was very young last time she actually saw you. I know Quinn usually does this, but we've been forced to leave most of the city, and… we don't know when we'll be able to come back. Not with what's happening…"

Another cautious glance toward the windows. Paranoid, but…

"Do you have your letter written? I'll make sure she gets it."

The answer has Melissa's eyes closing, and it takes a long moment before she responds. She nods and pushes away from the wall. "Yeah, I have it," she murmurs, moving to the coffee table, where a fat envelope sits, Junie's name meticulously printed on it. It's retrieved and offered to Elaine.

The letter is taken and disappears into the folds of her clothing for safe keeping and carrying. Elaine looks around the house, eyes straying to a picture on the wall. "I almost forgot to ask. How's your son— "

The question is cut off by a loud bang. A gunshot going off within the house, upstairs. In one of the bedrooms.

In Kendall's bedroom.

Melissa forgets all about letters and questions. She's off at a dead run for the bedroom. "Kendall!" she screams, forgetting all about Elaine. She's in such a rush that she hits the wall at the bottom of the stairs, unable to stop and turn as quickly as she did a decade ago. But panic has her moving very quickly up the stairs, casting out with her ability. Pain would be good. Pain would mean life.

There is pain— a lot of pain.

The bedroom door is pushed open and Melissa runs in, seeing the twenty-something man she recognizes as Kendall laying on his bed, bleeding out of a hole ripped through his chest. No holes in the wall, no shooters in sight—

Only a still warm gun held in his own loose hand.

There's the sound of something spoken in another language behind Melissa. Elaine had followed up the stairs. "I have to go, I have to go— I can't be here when the police arrive." She reaches for a wireless phone with her gloved hands, to hold out to Melissa.

Blood comes out of the side of his mouth with a wordless attempt to speak, blue eyes looking up. The pain is intense.

The words from Elaine don't even register, though the phone is taken automatically. "Why?" Melissa asks on a sob, rushing towards him, moving to gather him up to her, using her ability to null the pain. "Why, Kendall?" she asks softly, clinging to him with one arm, while trembling fingers dial 911, though it takes a few tries for her to manage it. "I need help! My brother, he's been shot! Hurry!" she cries, tears streaming down her face.

The young man stops struggling as the pain is pulled away, but the breathing still comes out with blood as much as air. Breath that sounds worse by the moment. Kendall's life is fading away. By his own hand.

Before she can even give the police information, name and addresses, she catches sight of two things in the room she'd not noticed before. Somehow the details stand out, more than she thought they would. A store bought stocking that was supposed to be on the fireplace laying folded up nearly on the night stand near his bed…

Right next to a bottle of prescription medicine that she knows quite well.

Negoxan. The negation drug.

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