Emily woke up and whined. She was feeling unusual…
Unusual how? Well she couldn’t put it into words. She was too little to know how to explain the grumbly sort of bleh she felt.
The only way she could express herself was to cry for her father.
Her father rushed into the room. She lifted her arms for him to pick her up.
Austen: “Emi?! Are you okay?”
Emi babbled. Her vocabulary was too tiny for this. She balled her fists up in frustration.
Her father made soothing sounds and she heard a familiar word among his sentences. Mommy. Mommy was coming.
Emily: “Not feel good.”
Austen: “I know, Princess. We’re going to make you feel better. We promise.”
Aurora ran up the stairs as fast as she could. Across the room, Austen cradled Emily in his arms. Her skin was snow white now with an unusual hint of pink.
Austen: “We need to get her to the hospital. Think you’re up for the ride?”
Aurora: “Never mind my morning sickness. I’ll deal. I’ll pack her bag.”
It only took a few minutes for Aurora to pack her daughter’s bag. She picked up her child and looked to the heavens. Why was this happening to her family? Was there someone up there that took pleasure in causing misfortune to her and the ones she loved? If there was… could they please spare her daughter?
Aurora knew in her heart that if she lost Emily, there was a chance Aurora wouldn’t have the will to live. She also knew that she needed to be strong for herself and for her unborn son. They were going to make it through this. All four of them: Emily, Aurora, Austen, and their son.
That evening, Saint Sul Medical Center…
Emily Archer-Grofield had been admitted mid-afternoon. Tests had been run with no clear conclusions.
Aurora and Austen sat in their daughter’s room. Tension and worry weighing them down as they sat in the faux cheerful room.
Finally, the doctor came in.
Dr. Moody: “Good evening, I’m Dr. Moody. I’ve been reviewing your daughter’s case.”
Aurora didn’t even bother with the dot, dot, dots.
Dr. Moody checked on the toddler. She was sleeping soundly.
Austen: “So how is she?”
Moody: “We’ve stabilized her. She should be fine.”
Aurora: “Oh thank god.”
Dr. Moody crossed the room and took a seat in the corner.
Moody: “We aren’t out of the clear yet.”
Moody: “We still don’t have a clear idea as to what caused her condition. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Austen: “What does that mean?”
Moody: “Her condition could worsen at anytime and we might not be able to–”
Aurora jumped to her feet.
Aurora: “I’m not going to lose my daughter!”
Austen: “That’s not what he was going to say.”
Aurora: “No! Doctor’s never say what they mean! He’s just being a wiggle worded bastard!”
Austen: “Aurora, sit the fuck down and calm down.”
Aurora: “No! I’m not going to sit around and– I don’t know, but I’m not going to do it!”
Moody: “Mrs. Archer…”
Aurora: “No. Don’t even fucking start. You know what– I’m out of here.”
Austen: “Aurora, come back here.”
Aurora started to run out the room. She was pregnant, so it was it was more like a fast waddle.
Austen stood up and grabbed her by the wrist. He gently pulled her to a stop.
Austen: “Rory… stop it. I know you’re scared, but…”
Aurora: “I can’t lose her…”
Austen: “We’re not going to lose her.”
Austen: “Come here you. We’ve got this. Emi is going to be just fine. They are going to make sure.”
Moody: “Mr. and Mrs. Archer. I’d like to run some genetic analysis tests on the two of you. To see if Emily’s condition could be a hereditary genetic condition.”
Aurora: “Nnn… like it’s our faults?”
Moody: “No, no one is at fault. You said your family suffers from acute chromatic metamorphism. Is that correct, Mrs. Archer?”
Aurora: “Uh yeah.”
Moody: “And I see that you have a distinct case of biluminous retinas, Mr. Archer.”
Moody: “The dual shade of your eyes. It’s a genetic mutation more common in the north. Unlike Mrs. Archer’s eyes which are a most unusual dual tone. There’s actually no medical term for it.”
Moody: “I’d like to take some DNA swabs to take a closer look at your genetic makeup.”
Moody moved into stick a swab in Austen’s mouth. He jerked backwards.
Aurora rolled her eyes and stood up.
Aurora: “I’ll go first.”
Austen: “You’re really good at opening your mouth to stick… swabs in.”
The doctor tried not to snort in laughter as he continued to swab. Aurora shot her husband a dirty look.
Austen left the room to have his done so Aurora couldn’t counter with the same joke.
A few days passed and Emily’s condition stabilized to the new normal…
She woke up cranky and alone. Her parents were getting some coffee.
She sat up and gave a bratty look. She was definitely back to normal. At least as far as emotionally and internally.
On the outside… well the treatments had worked to stop the shifting. Her skin however wasn’t quite normal anymore… She had patches of green on her gray skin. An odd mix of her parent’s colors.
Aurora and Austen didn’t care. Their little girl was whole again and that was good enough for them.
They took her home as soon as they could…
And they were both glad to have her home.
Splotches or not. ❤