MAT WAS FUMING. He and Debbie returned home, they stacked the precious volumes in the living room; he counted them twice to be sure none were lost. There was damage caused by the rain, but Mat hoped they would dry out. He had gently peeled apart some pages and left the wet books spread around the floor. The one Debbie fetched from the 'operating' room was on top of the stack. Idly Mat picked it up and flicked through the pages.
"I'm so pleased this one kept dry," he said.
"No thanks to me?" said Debbie.
Mat slammed the book down and glared at her.
"Who do you think you are doing, talking to me like that?"
"Oh, nothing, I'm miserable because of the weather, I guess."
She shrugged and wondered what she had seen in this guy.
"Weather, weather, fuck the weather. What about all my plans back to the beginning? I have to start the whole process again. All the effort I've put into this has come to nothing."
"What about all the work I've put into it too?"
"You little bitc..."
Mat held his tongue. He realised his hold on her was weakening. He would have to put that right. But all his spells, potions, and equipment were in the cave.
"Unless?" he thought.
He went to the third bedroom.
"Are you old enough to help me?" Mat asked his son.
The answer was a lop-sided grin, and he then croaked the words, "Bring the bitch here."
"Oh Debbie, pop upstairs a minute can you?" said Mat sweetly.
"What is it now?"
The girl flopped her way up the stairs.
"Come in here," ordered Mat.
The baby dressed only in a nappy was sitting cross-legged with his hands on his hips.
"He looks different?" quizzed Debbie.
The baby looked at Mat, tilted his head to one side and backwards. With a tight-lipped smile, he flicked his gaze to her.
"You'd better believe it, baby," he rasped.
For a second, she thought Austin Powers was hiding behind the curtains. She looked at Şeytanoğlu and shivered.
"Do you feel cold, my dear?" Şeytanoğlu asked. "You should."
With his arms crossed, Mat stood in the doorway. Debbie looked around and decided not to run.
Instead, she spoke, "Wow, haven't you grown up. Are you hungry, I'll fetch you something?"
"I do not need sustenance. But, I have a question for you," the boy growled.
"Go on," she said warily of what could be next.
"Why did you let that idiot Englishman have the envelope?"
She was genuinely puzzled.
"What do you mean?"
"You're as stupid as him. Mat senior left a message when he died. Mat here," he pointed at the older man, "he looked after it with great care all these years. And now, you have lost it."
Mat hadn't noticed it was missing. He rushed downstairs and grabbed the book.
"Aaagh! Where is it?" howled Mat.
He bounded up the stairs to confront the girl. The open-handed slap shocked her.
"Don't worry, it is safe with the Englishman," cackled the baby.
Debbie's tears fell, she did not understand what they were talking about.
"I must go back to the cave to get it," Mat shouted.
"No need, he will bring it to you," said Şeytanoğlu.
Mat calmed and smiled, believing what the boy said.
"Now, dear child hold my hands," said the baby to Debbie.
In slow-motion, she leant forward with outstretched arms, as a mother picks up her child. She held the boy's tiny hands. They both looked deeply into each other's eyes. Şeytanoğlu stretched his arms as if to clasp Debbie's hands, then suddenly pulled out of the move, reached his hands above hers and clapped once loudly above her head. Debbie fell to the ground and hugged her knees as she slept on the floor.
"We won't kill her just yet, we may have use for her," the child smiled at his father.
Mat placed the baby in a backpack and set off to the church.
Scared of children? How about babies? Maybe a vote will take away the fear?
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