I did at least go and shine a flashlight into her eyes to see if her pupils would dilate, which they did. Thus my knowledge of head injuries was exhausted. The hand she’d smashed into the wall was all shades of purple and black, but none of the bones seemed to be broken. I’ll ask Trina to pick up some finger splits when she and her brother go to the store for more ice creams, a daily affair with no freezer in which to keep them. I know Trina will remember even if Ron is too disinterested to care. There are many things which disturb me about him, beginning with the fact that I can barely sense him and ending with his attitude and his propensity for being wherever there is trouble. Though perhaps the last is unfair. He’s not always around when something happens, just most of the time.
It seemed like I had only just fallen asleep, having resolved to take Lullaby to the hospital if she wasn’t awake by morning, when a shriek from the root cellar had me leaping back out of my hammock. Trina woke too, but I refused to let her come down to see Lullaby under any circumstances. Ron appeared from one of the openings in the walls and comforted her while I grabbed a smoldering stick from the fire and scooted down into the root cellar. I had set up some wood and had a small fire burning within seconds. This was small consolation to Lullaby who stared at me in terror.
“Sorry about the ropes.” I picked up the bottle of water I’d taken down earlier and some painkillers and offered them, but she turned her head away. “Look, I’m sorry. I’m not sure who I’m talking to, but you attacked me. I couldn’t just tuck you into bed and hope you woke up sane.”
“I- I did not!” she said.
“Yeah, you did, as soon as you saw these.” I held up her stained clothes, and she flinched.
“What did you do to my clothes? Why are you doing this to me?”
I shook my head with a sigh and pulled out my phone. The battery was nearly dead, but there was still enough juice in it to pull up her web page, which I showed her.
“Why would you write that?” she demanded.
“Look, Lulls…. I haven’t even known you long enough to figure out your favorite foods yet, let alone the password to hack your blog. We both know Dollmaker’s been hyperactive lately, but I really hoped being here where you were safe would make her calm down a bit. Obviously I was wrong.”
“Are you- are you going to kill me?”
I was speechless for a moment. I mean, what - the - hell? If that were the case, I sure wouldn’t have waited for her to wake up. That would just be inhumane. “No. Now you’re just being ridiculous.”
“You should.” She started to cry. “I killed…. The truck driver and the police man. I k-killed Jessica, and I don’t even know who else. I’m a monster!”
|the doll, from Lullaby's camera|
“You are not! But this Dollmaker thing is out of control.” I set the doll on the ground between us and she looked confused. “I’ve got an idea I can try if you want her out, but it’s going to take a couple days.”
“Anything,” she said and meant it. Gods, I hope my idea works. I didn’t tell her all of what I have planned, on the off chance that Dollmaker could somehow interfere, and I won’t waste time typing it out here… But if it works, I’ll give every detail for the sake of posterity. I don’t think Dollmaker is a normal proxy, but I don’t know what else to call her. If my idea works, maybe it can be utilized on others He’s touched.
I took out the shackles we’d had Sunshine in and fastened them to Lullaby’s ankles. We still have no idea how he got out of them, but they seem to be sound. At least I could untie Lullaby and let her rest more comfortably. I left her her laptop too, not that she has an internet connection down there, but if she wants to make a post, I’ll take it to Shady’s house and hang out outside until I can get a signal and post for her if she trusts me with the password.
More soon, by Wednesday at the latest if I can get everything I need for the ritual I’ve worked out.