Persephone Marchand arrived home from work that night right on time, and she was miserable. With every step she took, the weight bearing down on her heart compounded.
“I can’t do this,” she convinced herself by the time she reached her front door. She went inside and had a shower, and some of her anguish mingled with shampoo and escaped down the drain. She soon found herself upstairs, pacing back and forth, and re-thinking her earlier conviction.
Finally she worked up the courage, steeled herself, and went into the bathroom…
“Oh my goodness,” Persephone sighed and shook off that unpleasantness, while she grabbed her phone to reach out to her favourite friend. “Hi V, I hope I’m not bothering you!”
Varvara sounded distracted but she said it was no problem, so Persephone continued. “Well, you remember I mentioned my little upstairs pet to you? It seems something terrible has happened, and I need your help disposing of the body.”
Disappointingly, Varvara replied, “There aren’t any police in the District, so you shouldn’t worry about it,” and then abruptly said goodnight.
Meanwhile, in Willow Creek, Daria Sayansky was babysitting her boyfriend’s children for him. She had a lovely time earlier in the evening–telling funny stories to the kids and reading sweet Iris to sleep–but once the older children fell asleep, the silence in the house made her sad. When she heard Lily cry for attention, she raced up the stairs.
“Sshhh, Lily, don’t cry,” Daria said softly as she looked through the supplies at the base of the baby’s bassinet. Finally she found the fresh diapers and baby wipes. “Okay, I’ve never done this before,” she confessed nervously as she picked up Lily.
She cleaned and fed the baby like a pro, even though it was her first time. Lily continued to cry though, until Daria cuddled the infant close. The moment the baby relaxed and stopped crying was when tears began streaming from Daria’s eyes.
She fought to hold them in for hours, but she couldn’t keep them inside anymore. She tried not to disturb the baby when she sniffled, but Lily woke up and wiggled a little in her arms.
“I’m sorry, Lily,” Daria smiled at the baby through her tears. “I hope your mommy comes home safe.”
In an instant, Daria wished she hadn’t spoken such a dreadful thing to a baby! “I meant soon, I’m just tired,” she explained. Soon Lily was asleep again and Daria went back downstairs until the older children got up.
“I can cook eggs and toast,” she offered, but the children asked for the leftover sandwiches their father had made for dinner the night before. Daria thought, “I don’t blame them; they want food made by one of their parents.” She grabbed some leftovers too.
“Did you sleep all right?” Iris asked Daria.
“Actually, I didn’t sleep yet,” she answered. “I wanted to do a good job watching out for you guys.”
“You look sad when you’re tired,” Jack pointed out, and Daria realized she needed to pull herself together.
She cracked jokes with the kids again and the three of them had a fun morning, despite the circumstances. Soon Jack and Iris were getting ready for school and Daria started washing dishes, just as Darren got home from work.
He headed straight for the shower on the main floor to freshen up. While he was in the shower he realized he’d been functioning in a bit of a daze, doing what he would do if his wife wasn’t missing.
He rushed to greet Daria and then he saw the heartbroken look on her face.
“Daria, I’m so sorry,” he apologized. “I should’ve come to talk to you right away. I’m sure you want to get home. I hope the kids didn’t give you any trouble.”
Certain there were a few more apologies coming down the pike, Daria interrupted him. “No, it’s no problem, really,” she insisted.
“And your kids are amazing,” she added after rubbing her temples a little.
“This just isn’t how I wanted them to meet you,” Darren continued. “It’s not how I wanted things to go for us either.”
“Truly, it’s fine. But, can I ask you a favour in return?” she wondered. Darren nodded and she asked him, “Would it be all right if I stay here for a while, at least until Skylar comes back? I don’t know what it is, but after you left yesterday morning, I got really freaked out by scary noises…” She realized what she said sounded insane and immediately blushed and wished she’d stayed quiet.
“Of course you can stay,” Darren replied.
“You’re a lifesaver!” she thanked him and felt so relieved.
“I was going to ask you to stay, but I already feel like I’m making a thousand mistakes a minute,” Darren confessed. “Not that it’s a mistake for you to stay, it’s just, I’m glad you asked!” They both agreed awkwardly.
“Now, what about these noises?” he questioned seriously.
“I don’t know what it was!” Daria explained and began telling her story of how she went back to bed after he left the day before. “Then I heard this sound that was the spookiest thing I ever heard!”
“It was like the voice of Death or something,” she suggested. “And when you called me, I was happy to run out of that place!”
Meanwhile, in Oasis Springs where Death had paid a visit, Persephone was just waking up and getting ready for a brand new day. She walked into her office and picked up the cube on the table. She shook it angrily and asked, “My gracious Queen, will my life ever get any better?”
She flipped it over and read the response, “Oh Persephone, how I adore thee! But if you fall in love, you’re worthless to me.”
“What the…?” Persephone wanted to smash the stupid cube, but could it be true? Was he the one? She would’ve asked, but she knew there would be no more answers today.
Just then her phone rang, and she hoped it was Varvara calling to ask where she hid the body.
“Hello,” she answered casually.
“Persephone, have you done something to Skylar Randall?” She recognized Joshua Lords on the other end of the line.
She laughed, “Good morning, Joshua. Of course, I didn’t do anything to Skylar. What are you talking about?”
“It’s all over the internet that you’re a serial killer and you killed Skylar Randall,” Joshua explained.
Again Persephone laughed. “And you believed it? It was a man, Joshua, you know what team I bat for.” Of course, she followed up with her trademark evil cackle before hanging up the phone.