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Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

Splinters 4 – Rewrite history

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Rewrite history

Annabella Hanners kept tracking the police news for few more months, but after the twelfth child was found nearly dead, but able to speak, and gave details on how her adoptive parents had handed her over to a scary man with big hands and a knife, a state-wide advisory on screening the prospective parents was issued and suddenly the cases of fake adoptions ceased.
She had some qualms about keeping the girls still listed as triplets, but they seemed to be the happiest children in the whole world, just on their own. She couldn’t just take the extra sister away without harming the other two… So she kept watching them, as they grew more and more attuned to each other.
Clothing them in a similar manner was not a problem. Whole group home was functioning on low funds, so everyone wore the same model of shirts, jeans, skirts or shorts. Making the three look next to identical required only some adjustment of their hair styling and nobody could tell them apart.
If sometimes Elsa was a tiny bit faster, nobody really noticed.
If Elena was a bit taller, at this age it didn’t make that much of a difference.
If Emma seemed a bit more thoughtful and closed, well, it wasn’t often enough to be visible.
After all, they were sisters. And they were so sweet. Nobody would have had heart to give them away separated.
Of course, there were suggestions from various prospective adoptive parents that maybe splitting them would do the children good – after all, they wanted only one girl, and this one (pointing out a random sister, almost never the one that they wanted a minute before) was just perfect. Annabella calmly and very politely told all of them to get lost.
The only risk to the whole setup was August. Whereas all of the employees who knew could be trusted to keep quiet – after all they did see how the girls were with each other – the boy also knew and could make trouble, simply by not guarding his tongue.
He was sitting there, in front of her desk, painfully erect, his face an innocent picture of eagerness.
“I need…” she trailed off as he smiled, his smile slightly uneven – she always thought about the probable beatings he must have received for his face to be that asymmetric “I need you to do something for me, August.”
He nodded, eyes wide and focused on her.
“I need you to remember to always say – if someone asks – that the girls were in the same basket.”
He finally blinked.
She bit her lower lip for a moment.
“We have entered them into the computer as triplets. Now, you know and I know, and Pauline knows it’s not true. We also know that the little ones are better off like this, all together, right?”
He nodded slowly, blinking.
“So, even thought they are not sisters, they are sisters?” he asked, uncertainly.
“We know they are not triplets, yes. And this will stay between me and you. We both will remember. You are a good, smart boy, August, and you know that it’s better for them like this. If we wrote that they were not found together, someone would find out and then they would make me give the single one away.”
“And they would all be sad” he concluded. “And she would be alone.”
“And the two we’d keep wouldn’t be able to get her back, ever. So…” she leaned forward, looking at him intently. “You must help me, August. You must make sure you always say that they were found in one place and looked exactly the same. The computer already thinks they were found as one-day-olds. Now you must remember that too. In case anything happens, someone comes and asks about them or… Or anything! You must keep this in mind. They were found together and they are sisters. All three.”
He nodded, but still seemed worried.
“And if someone wants to adopt all three?”
“We’ll be happy for them and we will hope for a good home.”
He bit his lip.
“Would I be able to visit them then?”
She could only shake her head.


Written by Srebrna

2016/09/20 at 23:14

Posted in Splinters

Tagged with , ,

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