The story so far:
As she drove away from St. Stephen’s Adara’s first thought was that she should move her daughter to another school. She glanced over at Paige who was starting glumly out the passenger window. It would be hard on her, especially since she had attended St. Stephen’s since the 7th grade. Inwardly, she sighed. There was really no reason to mistrust Father Preston. Still, the cramping she had experienced earlier worried her. Usually it meant a natural catastrophe but what if it meant something else this time?
“Mom, you missed the drug store,” Paige said pointing.
“Sorry dear, I wasn’t paying attention.”
Adara made a U-turn, pulled into the nearly empty lot and parked. She grabbed Paige’s arm as her daughter started to climb out of the car and pulled her back in.
“Wait a second. I need to talk with you a bit.”
“What about,” Paige asked suspiciously.
“Don’t worry; it’s not another sex talk.”
Paige looked relieved. “So what’s the problem?”
“After you called I had one of my premonitions. That’s why I picked you up. Have you ever met Father Preston before?”
“No. He was introduced at the morning assembly on Monday but I have never seen him up close. Why?”
“I don’t know. He told me something once that I didn’t like – nothing illegal,” she quickly added, seeing the look of alarm on Paige’s face “but that’s it. I haven’t heard anything bad about him. Just stay away from him, okay?”
“Okay. Now may I please get some pain killer?”
“Go ahead. I’ll wait in the car.”
As Adara watched her daughter go into the store another cramp hit her so hard that she almost passed out. She slumped forward and hit her head on the steering wheel. Another cramp hit her midsection and she did pass out. Immediately she began to dream. It was another vision like the one before but this time she knew the girl. Adara tried frantically to stop the man, to hit him or take the rope from him but she could do nothing. Crying she watched as her daughter was stabbed and crucified and the words “Honor Your Father and Mother” were hung around her neck. She dropped to her knees at Paige’s feet and sobbed, feeling her own heart breaking. She heard her daughter calling her, but when she looked up Paige was not moving. Was she dead? Someone was shaking her. Not the man, surely. He couldn’t see her. She heard Paige’s voice again as if from a long distance away.
“Mom, mom wake up.”
Suddenly she realized it was a dream. Not real. Paige was alive. She opened her eyes, grabbed her startled daughter, and pulled her close.
Paige hugged her back for a few seconds then pushed away. “Are you alright mom? I couldn’t get you to wake up. Should I call 911?”
“No, no. I’ll be fine in a bit. It was another premonition. It was very painful this time. I think I passed out.”
“Do you want some Midol,” Paige asked holding out a box.
Adara forced herself to smile, “No. I think they are done for now. Get in the car and we’ll go home.”
As calmly as she could, Adara put the car in reverse and backed out of the parking space. Inside she was shaking. Generally, whatever she saw or felt coming happened within 48 hours of a vision or premonition. Could a vision be wrong? Could she change the future? She had never known the identity of any of the people in her previous visions so she wasn’t able to warn them. But this time, this time it was her daughter. She prayed silently that all would be OK, that her daughter would be spared. She would have to take Paige somewhere to be safe. She racked her brain trying to think of a suitable place. Maybe she should just go home, pack, and start driving.
By the time they entered through the front door of the house Adara had calmed down, but not much. She tossed her purse and keys on the kitchen counter and grabbed a cup. Her hand shook as she filled it with water from the tap. Still looking out the window she spoke, “Paige, I think we should go away for a few days. Go to your room and pack whatever you have clean and we’ll leave as soon as you are done.”
“We’ll call in sick, both of us, and take a girl’s only trip.”
“Mom, I can’t just take off. I have a huge test on Friday and Mr. Baker’s make up exams are impossible.”
Adara turned and looked at Paige. What could she say that wouldn’t frighten her daughter but still convince her how important it was that they go? Several seconds ticked by as they stood looking at each other. Finally Paige spoke up, “It’s about your vision isn’t it?” Adara nodded.
“I can’t tell you. I don’t want to remember.” Adara turned to look back out the window so her daughter wouldn’t see her tears.
Paige stared at her mother’s back a little while longer. Her mother had never told her any of her visions but she could sometimes hear her in the night moaning or sobbing. She had even heard her scream once. Whatever she had seen it must have been bad. Did her mother ever have good visions she wondered. “I’ll go pack,” she said softly.
Adara heard her daughter open her bedroom door down the hall. Sighing, she placed her half-empty glass in the sink and went to her own room. She quickly grabbed some things from the closet and threw them in a large pink duffle bag someone had given her as a gift one Christmas. In the bathroom she made one swipe with her arm and knocked all the items littering the counter on top of the clothes. She was back in the kitchen before Paige so she took the time to call Franco and tell him not to worry because they were going on a mother-daughter trip.
“On a school day?!?”
“Yes dear. We have to go. It’s very important. I’ll explain later.” She was just hanging up when Paige came out of her room rolling a carryon-on suitcase behind her.
“All ready,” Adara asked.
“Let’s go then.”
Where they were going she still didn’t know. She decided to head east because there was more room to run.