It was after eleven at night when Robert gave up with the catalogues. It would probably take another day until anyone was finished completely but they’d made a good start.
Robert left the warehouse a little while after the others. He went straight to the living room, where he assumed Beth would be. He walked in and looked around, seeing everyone but Beth.
He frowned slightly, heading towards their bedroom. He knocked on the door. There was no answer so he opened the door. Inside, it was completely dark and Beth wasn’t there.
Frowning even more, he went back to the living room.
“Has anyone seen Beth?” he asked, looking around.
“No, I thought she was with you,” Onyx said, looking up from Aaralyn.
“Just after twelve she left to come back here,” he said.
Aaralyn shook her head. “I’ve been in here since ten and she’s not come in.”
Robert began to worry. He left quickly, checking all the rooms along the corridor. She was nowhere to be found.
“Beth!” he shouted, running around, room to room. “Beth!”
There was no answer, no response, nothing. Robert pushed his fingers through his hair, panicking. He realised there was somewhere he hadn’t checked.
Running to the door leading to the cells, he stabbed at the zero key six times. He pushed the door open and froze solid.
Rosalyn’s cell door was wide open.
As were the others.
When Robert was finally able to move again, he sprinted back to the living room, bursting in.
“The demons are gone. All of them,” he said quickly.
Zeke came in behind him. “The feathers are gone. There’s liquid nitrogen all over the floor.”
“But where’s Beth?” Aaralyn asked.
“I don’t know. Those cell doors aren’t able to be opened from the inside. Someone opened them,” Robert said.
“You think she did it?” Zeke asked.
“I... I don’t know. She wouldn’t have done it of her own volition.”
“What’s going on? Why do you all look like the world is about to end?” Isabella asked, coming through from the bedrooms.
“Beth’s disappeared, all the cells are empty and open and all the feathers have gone,” Robert said, thinking it was an adequate summing up of the situation.
“What? Please tell me you’re joking.” Robert just stared at her blankly. “No, you wouldn’t joke, not when it involved Beth... They’re all gone?”
“All of them,” he said.
“But... I was in there this morning,” Ibby said disbelievingly.
“When?” he demanded.
“About twelve probably.”
“Did you see Beth there?”
She shook her head. “I saw no one and all the doors were securely locked.”
“Beth must have been the one to open them then,” Onyx said. Robert was about to shoot him a glare when he continued, “We all know that Rosalyn’s been able to plant thoughts in peoples’ minds since she was young.”
“It requires eye contact though,” Isabella pointed out from her knowledge of the gift that she’d passed to her daughter.