The only place that made any sense in the entire universe was the center of the juniper bush. She didn’t even remember running back to the houses. She’d been in the cloud with the papers and then she was running and then she was in the bush. She clutched herself to get warm.
At least she had confirmation that someone, something was making the changes happen.
Almost against her will, she stretched her neck around and looked back at her house. She’d been right about yellow police tape, but it was wrapped across two metal poles embedded in small cylinders of concrete set on either side of the driveway.
The morning sun was well above the rooftops now–she estimated it was about nine. The Bauteil’s house looked dark and empty. She doubted they were still asleep. Maybe they’d already headed off to school while she was walking to the hospital. Miranda couldn’t remember what day it was. She hoped they weren’t out looking for her. She should have left a note.
She wished she had her spyglass. That made her think about Dad and that made her tear up. Weird shapes appeared in her vision when she pressed her palms into her eyes, but it made the crying stop. She was already sick of crying.
The wind rustled the bushes and the mailbox squeaked next to the driveway. Little bits of yellow tape showed through the branches. Why would they block the house all the way out here? She had a horrible image that Alice had stabbed Dad out on the lawn. Had he been trying to get away?
She could suddenly clearly imagine a blood stain on the lawn behind her. She wanted to push forward out on to the sidewalk and run away, but instead she took a deep breath and twisted around.
The lawn looked the same as it always had. No blood or trampled grass or outlines in white chalk.
Maybe they only made the outlines for dead people. She sniffed and wiped snot off of her upper lip. She desperately wanted her spyglass. She desperately wanted to change her clothes.
There was a red and white sticker on the front door. She couldn’t read it, but was pretty sure it would be police legalese for STAY OUT.
It wasn’t a decision. She just started moving and was crawling into her yard toward her house.
She couldn’t help but look for blood in the yard again.