Everyone's out of the house now. I suggested they go and get all their ducks in a row. Still have to earn money so they can get the heck out my house, though it's probably the safest place for them right now. I'm watching E-Bear. No school for her today all things considered. She's sleeping again, but I had a chance to talk to her after everyone left and before she conked out, poor baby. Ran over to the canal shortly after that, and well... I'll get to that.
I can't help but think that this fire was meant to keep me at home, and obviously it worked. How can I leave now? Shady would understand. I know she would. She wouldn't blame me for thinking of E-Bear, helpless... innocent.
It's hard for me to sleep in a house full of people, especially people who have no respect for me or my boundaries. I didn't get much rest, and the yelling woke me. I'm glad I could convince them to go out, if only for a little while. The topic of argument, E-Bear and matches. It was one of the few times I've shown my anger to my family since I was small. I told my mother to take E-Bear outside, and I pushed my sister into a chair, turning on her husband.
I didn't yell. People who know me know that it's only when I talk very quietly that I am supremely pissed. "You will be careful of your tone in my house, and you will be careful what you say in front of that child from now on. I have seen you say cutting things about her while she is right next you. You are insensitive, ignorant, and your only saving grace is that I have never seen you strike my sister or my niece. And believe me when I say that if I ever even heard a rumor to that effect, you would be dead, and I would be in prison. As it stands, I have considered calling child services on you more than once."
"How dare you!" It was my sister who spoke, and I turned on her next.
"How dare you?!" I spat out. "She is your baby, and you are supposed to protect her. Not tear her down or let him do it. You have no evidence that she did anything, but you're ready to jump to the conclusion that she was playing with fire. So you found a pile of matches and lighters in the basement. Who knows how long they were there before you noticed them? They could have been there from a tenant three years ago."
"You don't know that E-Bear is responsible. One, you know that there's been a string of arson's in the area... that pizza place down the street was just torched, not to mention barns and houses. And two, until the fire inspector comes back with his findings, you won't know. But I am telling you right now... green fire does NOT come from a little kid playing with matches. Now you both need to get out of my house... go to work, go talk to your insurance agent. Do whatever the hell you need to do, but when you come back here, you will NOT say anything about the fire to E-Bear. And when you leave, you will hug her and tell her you love her and that you didn't mean what you said."
They stared at me in shock. It's so rare that I put people in their place. Usually I hold my tongue and let them walk all over me. But this wasn't about me. This was about a little girl who loved them and who they didn't even realize they were ripping to shreds. They kind of mumbled about what they needed to do, and I left them to discuss their plans.
When I went outside, my mom had E-Bear in her lap, and they were just sitting. E-Bear looked absolutely miserable and exhausted, and she was still grubby from the fire. Mom was quick to point out that she needed to get to work. So I told her I had off till Wednesday, and I'd take care of E-Bear.
My sister and her husband took quick showers and left, doing as I had instructed while not looking at me- as if afraid of my steely glare. That seemed to help E-Bear a little, whether they meant it or not. I ran a bath for her, and we picked out her pajamas together. She's very particular about her clothes, but at least I have some stuff here for as often as she's over.
While she was in the bath, I asked her what happened....
I'm not sure what game the Shadowchild is playing, but it- she's the only reason anyone got out of that house. She dragged my niece out of bed and tried to take her out, but E-Bear smelled the smoke and ran to wake her parents. Shadowchild was long gone at that point, but they all managed to get out. By the time I got there, the firemen were finally making headway with the flames, but it was an inferno. At least my sister's husband had the presence of mind to both grab his keys on the way out the door and to move their remaining cars out of the driveway and well away from the house. The heat just poured off the place, and two exploding vehicles would certainly not have helped anything. E-Bear was crying the whole time, saying she didn't do it. I promised I believed her, and asked if the Shadowchild did it, but E-Bear shook her head on that too. Mr Slim and the big man did it, she said... her description fitting you-know-who and Wildman to a T.
I fed E-Bear and the combination bath, food, and emotional release made her pass out soon after. That's when I grabbed some food, a piece of paper and a pen, and ran over to the pavilion. E-Bear is safe enough in my house, even without her teddy bear, and I didn't expect her to wake for a good long time. Though I didn't plan to be across the canal for more than a few minutes.
Wildman was nowhere to be seen, which was a good thing for him. I've never killed anyone, but he seems like a good place to start. As much as I would prefer helping all the proxies be free, you don't hurt my family and walk away no matter who is directing your actions. You especially don't hurt kids around me.
The Pavilion was quiet, but I expected it to be. Stalkerman wouldn't be stupid enough to give away his location (I hoped). I ran up to the loft and knocked, identifying myself... but something already felt off, empty. And the room was...
Stalkerman was gone.
But it looked like he put up a hell of a fight. No blood except for a few droplets, but everything scattered about and a wooden crate smashed to bits.
I really don't know what to make of this. Everything is... confused. Did Wildman get him? But the kitchen door was locked (self-locking), and the loft door too (for his own peace of mind).
I set everything to rights and went home. And that is where everything stands at this point. I'm sorry Shady. I really am, but I can't leave E-Bear... not until I make sure she's safe.