Karen hurried over to help Amelia with the laughing teenager, horrified by the circle of blood beneath her. The cop in Marie’s sweater joined them. Slyly, slowly the father joined them too.
No one else seemed to be in the building. Except every now and then between the teenager’s laughs Karen thought she might be hearing a man and a woman talking in reception…but it was so faint she wasn’t sure.
“I know I’m not your mother…” Amelia started.
“Never had one,” the teenager barked, before resuming her laughter.
“…but please lie down,” Amelia continued. “And please stop that constant laughing.”
Amelia tried to lean the teenager backwards until she was lying down, but the teenager fought…and the rate at which the circle of blood was growing increased.
“Lie down, Imogene…Sweetheart.” The father’s voice cracked, almost as if this soft voice was one he’d never used before and he didn’t quite know how to use it. It worked though, but in a way that surprised Karen.
In recoiling abruptly from her father, Imogene ended up flat on the floor. She also stopped laughing.
The growth of the circle of blood stopped.
“Could just be pooling inside her,” Amelia said to no one in particular.
Karen gulped, envisioning the discovery of Irwin’s body and other unpleasant consequences from more outside intervention, but still forced the words out: “Need an ambulance! Someone call 911!”
“Anyone know who and where the father is?” asked the cop.
Karen watched Imogene’s father stiffen at that, probably ready to kill the father of his daughter’s illegitimate child.