Move. Watch. Mute. Feed. Warn.
Warn the others. The children running by are off-limits.
No one will touch you – mourn in peace.
Let them know. Count. Let them know.
You are being watched. You will not touch the children. They travel with a voice in the dark.
Recede. Watch. Cover. Protect. End. Allow.
Chelsea is born. She lives a few blocks from Annette and I. First birthday. Second birthday. Charles is born. Third birthday. Fourth birthday. Kindergarten. Chelsea meets Izzy. First grade. Matt is born. Second grade. First communion. Skips third grade. Skips fourth grade. Fifth grade. Sixth grade. Seventh grade. Eighth grade. Ninth grade. Dead.
Mechanical. Breakdown of cells, cessation of brain activity. Mourning. Confusion. Remembrance. Hope. Repetition. Cycle. Growth.
Chelsea Leigh is dead. Chelsea Leigh is dead.
He killed Chelsea Leigh. Chelsea Leigh is dead. The prison failed – we will have to reinforce it. Matt Leigh is asleep at the Parsons’ house. Annette is asleep at home. Jim and Gret leave the door unlocked. Jim drifts off. I am Orchid Lane and the air outside it.
No one will touch them.
Chelsea Leigh is dead. She was killed in her bedroom. Afraid. I did not stop it. And I will not stop the next one. Or the one after that. Or the one after that.
Will I ever die? If I do, what will replace me?
Chelsea Leigh is dead.
Izzy Parsons and Charles Leigh run in the field below. They are safe. They will not be harmed. I am dreaded. I am a voice in the dark. The children are safe. Mourn.