Through the door came a mystery woman that Anasia had never seen before. The woman was strange. She looked human, but for whatever reason Anasia had felt a chill as soon as the woman had stepped into the room. It was almost like she was a goddess but not so much in the peaceful sense Anasia had always assumed.
Robuert, on the other hand, wasn’t afraid of the woman at all. He was, in fact, astounded once she’d walked into the room, for she’d bared a sweet scent that even Anasia’s baby boy was taken by. Although, most kids liked sweet things.
But still, there was something about the woman that Anasia could not seem to put a finger on. And she didn’t like one bit of the mystery.
“Ahh! There you are,” said Robuert.
“Yes, Mr. Jackson. What may I assist you with?” asked the woman, with a robotic voice.
“Yes, I’m going to need you to help Mrs. Pumber find a safe place to stay. Maybe have her set up in one of our rooms above.”
“Yes, Mr. Jackson. I’m on it. Whatever you say,” said the woman.
Anasia felt confused. Why stay when her husband was still out there fighting his traumas alone? They’d done everything together, and surely, they weren’t going to stop now. But seeing how she had a newborn literally by her chest, there really wasn’t any other options for her to take. It was too much of a risk. Well, that’s if everything Robuert had told her was true. Which none of it Anasia had at all doubted.
Just the word ‘Undertaker’ alone put Anasia into a panic. And what kind of person carried the ashes of the one’s they killed? More so, what kind of people were they collecting?
Following the woman up the stairs Anasia looked down as Robuert stood in the middle of the lower level with cynical smile. What the hell was there to be so damn happy about? But then Anasia felt it best not to even bother to answer the question, for there were more important things to take care of. Like a smelly diaper for instance.
“Here is where you will be staying,” said the woman. “There are comfy blankets in the closet and a few night gowns. For the child we have a crib as well. Should be to the right of the bed.”
“Thank you. But if you don’t mind me asking. Why exactly do you guys have a baby crib at the ready?” asked Anasia, curiously.
The woman had done a slight twitch with her right eye as if she was being deprogrammed. Her smile was faint and crackled. But being quick with her words the woman had found the words to speak.
“Mr. Jackson has a sister,” said the woman.
“And?” replied Anasia, still with no satisfaction to the answer given.
“The baby crib is for his sister. She just gave birth a month ago,” the woman continued.
“Hmm… That’s funny I don’t recall Mr. Jackson ever having a sister,” said Anasia.
“Well, that’s funny because he does,” replied the woman, aggravatingly.
And there would then be an awkward silence between the two.
As the woman left, Anasia had taken little Ramsey to the bathroom to change his diaper. She could already smell that something was cooking underneath it but once she’d pulled them off found that it was much worse than expected. Anasia’s face squinted as if she’d just had a lemon squeezed into her eye. She thought she’d gotten use to it by now, but, felt no one could ever get use to such a smell.
After she’d finished cleaning little Ramsey and setting him in his crib, Anasia went back to the bathroom and found herself staring into the mirror. The hot water had run for nearly 5 minutes before she couldn’t see her face anymore. She’d wiped away all the fog that had built up and whispered:
“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” Anasia joked.
She was kidding herself. There wasn’t anything but sadness and worry in her chocolate eyes. And although she didn’t like thinking of it because for the most part, she hated negative thinking, Anasia hated the woman she was now seeing. She even envied the mysterious woman Robuert had had for hire but had reminded herself that being that type of woman came with a price. Whatever that price was.
Having a change of mind of only rinsing her face, Anasia ran some bath water, hoping that it would maybe clear her mind a bit. The only thing that was missing was a few candles and a bottle of chardonnay. Sadly, none of the sort were around. Which was a shock seeing how fancy the bathroom was.
The floor was completely marble, warm and shiny enough that Anasia could see her own reflection. The bathroom had smelt of incents. It smelt of lavender. And had all sorts of soaps a woman could only dream of that surrounded the bathtub.
Nevertheless, Anasia had stayed in the bathtub all until her hands became wrinkled. She hadn’t done such since she was a child. For once, there was something nice that had come out of the night.
Before she’d gotten out of the tub, there would be the sound of a window opening. Quickly, Anasia leaned her body over the side of the tub to see who it was. She didn’t like Robuerts assistant but hopefully it was her she felt.
“Hey! I’m in the bathroom! Robuert I swear if that’s you!” Anasia shouted.
There wasn’t a word given. Little Ramsey was quite as well, thankfully. Anasia knew someone was in the room for her motherly senses had told her so. She didn’t know quite how, but it was almost as if she could hear the persons breath. It sounded anxious and nervous all in one. And there was no doubt about it that the feeling was mutual.
Anasia then hoped out of the bathtub and wrapped a burgundy towel around herself. It was then she noticed the burgundy on the walls and the burgundy bars of soap, as well the burgundy toothbrush and hairbrush by the sink. It was unusual for a guy like Robuert. If anything, he was more of a blue color guy Anasia felt. Then again, maybe she was wrong.
Next to Anasia was a wooden plunger that sat nestled behind the toilet. There wasn’t really any other object that she felt would do the trick, so she’d grabbed it to ensure her safety. Now let’s be honest, a plunger really wouldn’t hurt anyone, but it was a fact that no one would ever want one in their face.
Anasia clanged onto it tightly and shouted.
“Whoever’s out there you’re going to be sorry when I come out!”
Still there was silence. But regardless of that silence Anasia had slowly wedged herself forward with precaution hoping that the silence she heard wasn’t false. As she’d gone through the doorway of the bathroom, Anasia saw a man standing at the corner of the room, right next to the window.
The man was dressed in all black like a ninja but nothing about his attire was at all ninja-like. The top hat was as well a huge indication of that, humorously. The man wore black boots that were shiny enough that Anasia could see her own reflection in them. And like the mirror she saw nothing but worry. But for the situation that she was in, Anasia had made an aggressive effort to change that.
Anasia was speechless. If she said another word, what would the man say? What would he do?
Oddly, little Ramsey was standing up in his crib, reaching up to hug the man as if he’d known the man for a lifetime. Which was strange because only until now did she know little Ramsey could stand. Let alone, he was kind of a shy baby. but for the man he didn’t seem to be that at all.
“How old is he?” asked the man.
Anasia then ran over and picked little Ramsey up, holding him tighter than she’d ever held him.
“Who are you? What do you want?” she asked, nervously.
“I…” the man paused. “Am no one special. Just a man seeking answers.”
The man then spun himself around, with his head remaining pinned to the floor. He was taller than what he looked from behind. His chest was the size of a moving box—square and brawn. And his shoulders, Anasia wondered how he’d gotten through any window or door in the first place.
“Get out!” she shouted.
The man didn’t move.
“I said get out!” shouted Anasia, emphasizing the OUT.
Gradually the man tilted his head up. And instantly Anasia could feel her skin crawl a bit. It couldn’t be him. How? And if so, what happened to his face.
“Ramsey…” Anasia swallowed.
“Hey love…” said the man.
“Oh my… I thought you were…”
Tears rushed down the side of Anasia’s face like rain to window glass. She felt herself gasping for air. Just what happened to her handsome husband?
Ramsey had looked much older. At least 10 years more if Anasia had to put a finger on it. But that wasn’t the part that made her uncomfortable.
By Ramsey’s hip was what looked to be 8 tiny containers with ashes in them. Just the sight alone formed goosebumps around Anasias arms.
“I know what your thinking,” said Ramsey. “Who and why?”
Anasia kept quiet. She’d even tried her best to stay calm in the moment, but it seemed little Ramsey was more excited to see his dad than she thought he would. Afterall, he’d never seen his dada, he kept saying. How’d even know the word? Anasia wondered. It was without a doubt a strange connection between father and son.
“Soon I’ll tell you love… But right now, it’s very important that we leave this place,” said Ramsey, urgently.
“What? Why?” asked Anasia.
There would then be a knock on the door. It was the woman again.
“Hello Mrs. Plumber! Is everything alright in there?” the woman asked.
Anasia cleared her throat.
“Yes, yes everything is fine. Just wrapping up for the night,” Anasia replied.
The woman said nothing else after that. And as the clicking and clacking of her stilettos had faded, Anasia turned back to the window of where her husband stood. He was gone like the wind. But then a tiny pebble had hit the edge of the window.
“Spph… Anasia. Spphh… Anasia get down here quickly,” whispered Ramsey.
Anasia walked over to the window and looked out it. Ramsey had climbed himself down with the rope he’d tied to the ledge of the bed.
“What are we high school kids…” whispered Anasia. “I can’t just climb down there so easily. If you haven’t noticed I have a newborn in my arms.”
“Well then just toss em down,” said Ramsey.
Anasia had then given Ramsey a look that any mother would.
“Right… Well I’ll just climb back up and carry you both back down. You know, how that knight did Rapunzal.”
After a few more pleas, Anasia would finally agree to letting Ramsey carry her down with their child.
“Okay. Now that we’re out of the…” Ramsey paused.
From out of nowhere I bright light had struck down on them.
“Not so fast you son of a bitch!” shouted a man from the shadows.
“Robuert… Is that you?” asked Ramsey. “I… I thought you were…”
“Dead! Yeah… About that…” said Robuert, pissed.
As he’d stepped out from the dark Robuert would have a look in his eyes that Anasia had never seen from any man. It wasn’t human.
Not long after the woman would appear as well by his side.
“You know Ramsey… You were one of my best friends. We could’ve have achieved so much together. But then you had to go in fuck it up chasing goddamn ghost!” shouted Ramsey.
“No Robuert! I wasn’t. I found her…” said Ramsey.
“No way… You’ve got to be shitting me,” said Robuert.
“You found who?” asked Anasia clinging by Ramsey’s side.
“My mother…” said Ramsey. “And my father has her.”
Robuert spit a fat loogy on the ground.
“Shit! I never thought it be possible… Maybe that bastard does have a heart after all,” said Robuert.
“Not quite… You see these containers around my waist happen to be the same people he sent to have me killed…” said Ramsey.
Robuert then had an ashamed look on his face.
“Robuert. What did you do?” asked Ramsey.
“Well… I might’ve sent a few men to take you out. But hey… on the bright side at least you have a collection now. Your one of the undertakers now,” said Robuert.
“Yeah and not by choice you sick fuck! I should…:
“Ah, ah, ah… Now I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” smiled Robuert.
Next to him the woman had held a remote with a big red button in the center of it.
“And just what the hell is that?” asked Ramsey.
“This my friend is where your journey ends!” shouted Robuert. “Now!”
TO BE CONTINUED.
Author: Patrick Starks