I was in a state of shock.
In the flesh.
She was older now, 18 years now, and tougher. She looked tougher than Queenie, which must've been hard for the poor girl.
But Kennedy didn't look alright.
Not at all.
She was unconscious.
I had moved aside as Midnight and Thomas barged in. They went straight to the nearest sofa and gently put Kennedy down. I heard footsteps, many of them.
Great, I thought, The whole family’s come to have a look.
As everyone came in I heard gasps and a few quiet screams. "Everyone! Give Kennedy some space! Zoe, where's Queenie?"
I moved towards the door and saw Zoe glancing at her siblings, stuck for words. "Where is she?" Midnight snarled, irritation clear in her voice. Then, Bex spoke up, bravely, her voice clear. "Queenie's in Poland."
"Why is she in Poland for God's Sake!" Midnight yelled,
"She said she went to fight in the war. She was old enough to go. She signed the forms and left two weeks after signing them.” Bex replied, her voice as cool as ice.
"How long ago?" Midnight grinded her teeth.
"When she was nineteen." I said. Midnight looked up. "She left; we couldn't have stopped her anyway. I'll send her a letter letting her to get back."
“You said that Queenie had been behaving!” Midnight yelled.
“If I said that she was in a war, either yourself and Thomas would’ve come back and that would have left you at a disadvantage and you know it!”
"Fine." Midnight grumbled, I knew she wasn’t happy.
She bent over Kennedy and moved her gently so she was on her back.
Kennedy didn't do anything. I rolled my eyes at Midnight, however, she didn’t see and I left, heading straight to Queenie’s room to get some new clothes for Kennedy. The clothes were bound to fit her. I came back down the stairs and walked into the living room where Kennedy was.
She looked pale and Midnight was brushing hair out of Kennedy’s eyes. I put the clothes down next to Kennedy’s feet and kissed Kennedy on the check. If she was awake she would’ve scowled but not now. She smiled and I left the room, heading to an empty room to send the letter to Queenie.
Queenie, I hadn’t seen her in seven years. She had sent letters saying how she was and that she was saving up her leave for a time of emergency. She had seven months. That would be more than enough, I hoped. I walked past a dozen rooms on the ground floor, full with supplies or either unsuitable to send a serious letter. Then, as I walked past the front door again, I saw a letter on the floor, it must have come earlier and we hadn’t noticed.
I picked up the envelope. Captain Shadownight.
That was all it said on the envelope, apart from the address that is.
Could it be Thomas? He wasn’t a Shadownight.
Midnight? She was a Mercenary.
Could one of my daughter’s gone for the secret high life on the Oceans?
I left the letter on the table next to the door; someone would take it sooner or later, I presume.
My main priority was to get the letter sent to Queenie and get her back here.
The sooner she was here, the sooner we could get something done.
I walked into the library and headed over to the desk, covered in paper, pens and ink. I made the letter short and brief. It had enough information to satisfy her, I hoped.
As I sealed up the letter my thoughts begun to go back in time.
Before Kennedy had been taken.
Before Queenie had left.
Before all of our lives had gone mental.
I quickly wrote the address on the envelope and sealed the letter inside and as I heard letters fall to the ground I raced to the front door throwing it open. I handed the letter to the boy who looked scared. “Go. Get this to Poland, as fast as you can, please?” The boy just nodded. He turned and ran, heading up the road too fast for my eyes to follow.
“Well, the family’s back to normal, eh?” A voice said behind me. I turned to see who had spoken, Midnight. “Yes, yes it has.”
“Something on your mind?” Midnight asked, tilting her head
“Nothing major, I’m just wondering about Queenie. I haven’t seen her in seven years. I’m worried about what she’ll do.”
“Well. Nothing ‘s changed there then!” Midnight laughed and I must admit, I had to as well. I couldn’t count how many times I’d been worried about Queenie. “I’ll get you a cup of tea.” Midnight said and she guided me to the kitchen.
I could feel the tension slowly crumbling to dust. I wanted to be calm and chat, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to. Too many thoughts were going through my head.
If Queenie and Asa ever ended up in the same room, talking about battle plans, I would go insane! I could never get my head around all of it.
As Midnight poured the tea I smiled, the family would be together again and things could begin to improve, slightly. Things would be perfect again when Kenny was awake.
Queenie would be back, filling the house with fights, weapons and just being her usual self.
Kennedy would be with Queenie, yelling and training.
Bex would have someone to talk to and someone to train with again.
Zoe would be so happy to see her twin again. When Queenie had left she hadn’t come out of her room and spent most of her time in the Library, training room or at the back of the garden, shooting arrows furiously at the targets.
Myself and Asa had tried asking her about it but she all she would do was go to her room and slam the door in our faces.
Bex handled things in a less traumatic way.
She kept quiet for a week or too but then she went back to her normal self, very slowly, she entertained herself by perfecting her moves, hoping to challenge and beat Queenie when she came back. Bex was almost a replica of Queenie now.
The glint in her eyes, the cocky smirk on her face. The attitude and the body; slim and muscular.
I shook my head, getting rid of all those thoughts. You can’t let the small things bring you down.
That was rule number one in this family. You can mourn the larger, more important things in life, but not the smaller, less important things.
“Georgie, are you even listening?” Midnight asked, leaning forward.
“Hmm? Oh, sorry, Midnight, got lost in my own thoughts.”
She laughed. “It’s fine. What I was saying was, won’t it be great to see everyone?”
“Yes, yes it will. Queenie’s yelling through the walls, Zoe’s happiness at seeing her sister, Bex’s joy to have someone to actually talk to. Oh the joy.”
“It’ll be fine. Queenie will be much more mature. She’s in her mid twenties now.” Midnight smiled. “And I’m sure she’s found someone out there, in Poland.”
“I wonder who he is...and if he’s still alive!” I laughed.
I glanced at the clock, ten o clock.
With any luck the letter would be one quarter of the way to Queenie.
How long would it take for her to get back?
“I should get going. It’s late and I should turn in for the night.” I told Midnight and rose from my chair, leaving the empty mug on the side-board next to the sink.
I’d clean it up later. It was too late now. As I ascended the stairs I sighed, leaning against the wall.
Why did it have to be this family that had the problems?
Why couldn’t we just be a normal family with normal needs, like every other family.
I pushed myself off the wall and walked up the remaining steps until I reach the floor my room is on and I head across the corridor to mine and Asa’s room was. I opened the door and floped down on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
I raised my head as the door opened and Asa walked in. He laughed and layed down next to me, with a lot more grace than I did. I looked at him and he looked at me.
“Do you think...do you think things might actually go back to normal?” I asked, biting my lip slightly.
“Of course! With Queenie back and all the arguments, what could go wrong?”
I admit, I had to laugh at that.
“Asa, do you know the boy that Des was with?”
“Ted. Thomas hates him.”
“So, that’s who Ted is! I can see why Thomas hates him.”
“He tried to show me something about saving the rainforest.” Asa grumbled. “I gave him the slip before he begun.”
I chuckled. Asa wasn’t the man to stay still for long periods of time. Giving him a long speech wouldn’t do him good at all.
“Georgie, do you think Kenny will be back up and awake soon?” Asa asked, turning his gaze to the ceiling.
“Yes. You don’t give up on family.”
“Now you’re sounding like Midnight, Georgie! But, I agree, you can’t.”
“Kenny’s a tough girl, she’ll pull through, she’d tear through the gates of hell if she had to.” I said, my gaze also going to the ceiling.
“We agree then, Georgie, Kenny will pull through and we will return to normal.
I closed my eyes and just stayed where I was, my legs dangling off the edge of the bed. My arms spread out.
I quickly opened my eyes. Asa was the same as me.
I forced down a laugh and smiled, brushing the loose strands of hair out of my face.
To freeze time would be perfect in one sense and imperfect in the other. Kenny would be stuck in the state she’s in now and we would never see Queenie again. Zoe would slowly come out of her brooding and Bex would still adjust as well as anyone would.
It would be the same with the rest of the family.
Alas, there would be calmness for most of the time, but the family would not be the same.
Oh Kennedy, poor little, well, older Kennedy. She would be able to pull through, the problem was, how long would it take? It could take days.
It could drag on for weeks.
It could drag on for months.
It could drag on for years.
I opened my eyes and glanced at the clock, eleven o clock.
I really should’ve be getting to sleep. But I couldn’t. Too much was going on in my head. It’s all too much to comprehend. My second oldest daughter will be coming home in a few weeks, hopefully.
I closed my eyes and forced my breathing to slow down. I needed to calm down and sleep. I knew I’m not going to move to get under the covers.
It’s too much effort for tonight. I just lay there, feeling the softness of the duvet under my fingers and the heat radiating off my body. That’s the bliss of sleeping. I smiled as I fell into the unconsciousness of sleep.
All the family will be home again.
All the family will survive.
And all of the family will get through this, no matter how painful it will be.