She kept the photo of Dad and Alice and the photo of herself as a little girl. Strangely, the picture of her hadn’t changed.
Her only option was to fold the two photos and stick them in her back pocket. She held onto the flashlight too.
Back in the kitchen, she got a glass of water and sat at the dinner table. At least the water still worked.
She needed her notepad. She needed a way to track what was changing. She needed to track what happened before things changed.
A hollow feeling went through her. What if the things she wrote down changed too? How would she track anything?
Her eyes hurt, so she rubbed them. She couldn’t worry about that now. She’d have to do the best she could with what she had.
She felt a return of her ability to think clearly. She’d change her clothes, get what she needed and go to the hospital and make sure Dad was okay. If he was well enough, she’d get him to tell her what he knew. It was a plan.
The flashlight made the hallway look tight and claustrophobic. She moved slowly, holding her hand to the wall. She had a horrible feeling that she shouldn’t look in the living room. The flashlight made the house look worse. Everything became darker around the corners of her light and now she could only see inside a small circle.
Her vision was worse with the light off, but she was so worried about the living room, she preferred the darkness. She actually closed her eyes against the light from the thin window next to the door. The room smelled like copper.
The stairs creaked and she had the ridiculous thought that she’d wake up Dad and then be in trouble. Reality hit her again, so hard she had to sit on the stair and cry.
The copper smell was worse upstairs. She wiped her hands on her pants and got up. She should just get new clothes, her notebook, maybe her spyglass and get out of there. Maybe her toothbrush. Was she was ever coming back?
The carpet in front of her door crunched under her sneaker.
She froze. The smell of copper was overwhelming.
She almost turned on the flashlight. She almost ran back down the stairs and out. Instead she held her breath and pushed the door open. She hopped over the dry pool on the carpet.
Her room was the brightest in the house so far and it took her eyes a few moments to adjust. She leaned her back against the door and stared at the window till her room was clear. Maybe Dad had picked this house because it didn’t get very much light. Her whole life he’d wanted to keep them in shadows.
She had the sudden fear that something would happen in the hospital and no one would be able to reach her. She should grab what she needed and get out of here.
Her room was still split into piles. Take. Leave. The spy glass was where she’d left it.
Of course it was, why would Dad or Alice move anything.
Alice, she must be so scared.
Miranda sat on the floor. It would be easier to hate Alice, but she wasn’t able to do it. Would the police would let her see Alice?
She flicked on the flashlight and shined it at the door. Underneath it was a shallow parabola of dark brown.
Dad had been at her door when Alice stabbed him.