My mother was Marissa Helens? Ada managed to slice the silence and Stefonie shook herself from the memories. With a glare, Stefonie resumed her waddling.
I forgot how stupid you were, Measle. Now, shut up and let me explain more.
I shot your mother. I won't sugar coat anything because you'll have to put up with it. Your mother was dead with a bullet from my gun and abandoned. Lifeless and not found until five days later. Soon, I realised that I had to look after you for a little while. I mean, what use is a two month old that can't walk, let alone feed itself or do any chores?
I hated you at the time. Not that I don't hate you now, but I really hated you. I realised that once people were looking for Marissa and her killer, they'd track you too. She told me beforehand that you were called Aurelia Helens. So, my crazy friend was called Ada. What better name then dedication to the person who told me about you? Then my surname obviously. Ada Vierel. Aurelia Helens was never found. I wonder why! I decided that I might commemorate my great achievement of kidnapping you and killing someone else. So, I made the Crying Cupboard. Dedicated to Marissa Helens, the dead mother. Or, as I scratched it, CCDMH.
You missed the 'T' for to.
Shut up! I kept every newspaper article, headline and clipping. I collected every sticky note or piece of paper with my plan, every photo of Marissa and you. Then, the most valuable things, are inside the box. Ah, the box. I was hoping you'd open it what with your curiosity. But we can look together and I'll explain even more. Stefonie waddled over to the cupboard, stroked a picture of Marissa, and collected the box. The photo was the nicest one of her. She was laughing, eyes bright and glinting. You could see her teeth and the little dots of lipstick that decorated the white.
Heaving the box onto the bed, Stefonie pushed open the folds.
I left it without tape so you could open it easier, you know. Sticking one hand in, she pulled out a blanket. It was grey, stained with something suspicious, and ragged. Tufts of the soft fabric were clumped together.
This was the blanket you came in with the basket. When you were younger, you wouldn't leave this blanket alone. I had to rip out your hands one day and leave you crying to put it in this box.
The next item was a book, the spine snapped and the pages creased with dried water. Ink stains splattered the front cover and the writing was a little smudged.
Remember this? You learned the alphabet with Ezra, writing out each stupid letter. I used to want to punch you and that boy, especially when he gave you compliments, or when you got stuck on 'q'. Ugh, that Ezra is a rotten boy. Only reason I let him in is to occupy you and teach you. I couldn't send you to school, you have the same features as the newspaper described. It was risky, and if Ezra already knew everything, he was a much cheaper teacher.
Next came the last object inside the box. Stefonie scraped her fingernails against the cardboard as she took it out, watching Ada wince. It was covered in a velvet-type cloth, disguising it.
Ah. Now this, this is the best thing inside this box. In this entire cupboard! If it weren't for this little beauty, none of this would've happened. I would be careful with this one, Aurelia, because it's dangerous. Amazing but dangerous.
Shaking off the cloth, slotted perfectly around Stefonie's fingers, was a gun.
This isn't any gun. This gun was the one that shot your mother. Now, what to do with this, hey? I could put everything back. Put you could run off and tell. The police love stories from girls like you, especially if you've found the murderer of such an innocent woman. Or, I could do something crazier. Much crazier. Stefonie twirled the gun round her finger, letting it create a wind-based sound as it spun.
I like crazy. I was born crazy, Aurelia, and I intend to stay crazy. We're all crazy really. Some lock it away and some let it free. But if you lock a dog up, after a while, it wants to escape. Just like your craziness. The only exception is my dog never was locked up.
Stopping the gun from spinning, Stefonie flipped it into position, finger curled around the trigger. Just like Marissa. Ada was so much like her mother, the way she looked when she was scared, the way she froze with horror. The way she didn't say anything when the bullet hit her. The way she crumpled inwards, like a falling leaf, without a sound. Two leaves, plummeting to the floor, but floating upwards at the same time.