Keraleen began mopping the floor again. Her normally cool composure was being put to the test.
“You must relax. Annabelle will be fine, you'll see.”
“I know I know, it’s just… well… it’s already been 24 hours and the clock is ticking. I just need her to come back with us. I have a bad feeling she may change her mind.”
Kerry looked confused. “Is there something you’re not telling me? Why has this girl got to you so much?”
“Ah Kerry, It’s nothing, really, I suppose it’s just that she is the same age as my daughter would be now. I know my chance of being a mother has gone, but seeing Annabelle so hurt and lost broke my heart. I just wanted to save her.” Keraleen burst out laughing. “My goodness, we've really been on earth too long, you know how this place effects my emotions!”
“Just stay sat down. I will fix us a coffee.”
At that very moment, a stray walked in, shifting the energy in the room. His long spiney fingers and discolored nails spoke before he did. He was clearly taking a chance coming in here.
“You look lost friend. Can I point you in the right direction so you can be on your way?”
The creature moved with haste and hissed in Kerry's face whilst drawing a nail down his cheek.
“Lost I am not, but soon your friend Annabelle will be if you don't help her.”
Karaleen shot out of her chair. “Explain yourself!” She demanded.
There has been too much activity on the human side. The powers above are watching and they are not impressed. You know they care little for this ‘other’ you are protecting, and this surge of energy has drawn out the wrong kinds.
Kerry laughed, “Well that explains you then.” The creature hissed once again.
“Why would you be telling us this, what do you have to gain?”
“For those of us lost on the human side, a war still rages. I didn't always look like this, but being abandoned destroys you if you are full blood. My family is at risk from the others that are emerging. It wont be long before there is enough energy to bind their bodies, and that is a great danger to me. I need this activity to stop. Too many people are chasing your friend. If you don't bring her back here soon then lets just say, the next 24 hours on earth will be very bleak indeed.”
“Can you help us?”
“I can, but my help is not free.”
“Name your price.”
“I want you to accept my youngest boy through the gate before it closes. I want him to have the life he deserves, not a punishment that burdens his father.”
“Karaleen, you know you can’t do this.” Said Kerry urgently.
“There is a way Kerry, and we can make it happen if our friend here promises to get Annabelle back here today.”
“Consider it done.” With a final hiss the creature left, back into his hell on earth.
Annabelle reached for the door handle, and swung the door open with a surge of anticipation. She felt no fear despite recent events, and longed to meet her real parents.
The corridor looked dark and hollow, her eyes adjusted to the blackness as she heard a gasp from Moya. But it was too late. The void pulled her in and in a flash, she was gone.
“Annabelleeeeeeeeeeeee” Screamed Mary. The horror on her face was matched by Moya and the Leprechauns.
‘My, this Annabelle is really is stirring up some trouble for ye all”
“Shut up you stupid Leprechauns. If you hadn't gotten involved this wouldn't have happened” Snapped Albert, who was now standing by the door.
There was nothing to be seen on the other side. The darkness had faded and the corridor was as motionless as ever.
“You said Annabelle’s parents were coming. Was that true?”
“Yes Sir, I swear it on every ounce of clover”
“Why would they risk coming here, when Annabelle was set to return through the gate?”
“It was predicted that young Annabelle wouldn't make it back. The were willing to risk getting lost here, so they could be with Annabelle again. I guess they hoped her untapped magic could help them along.”
Albert looked frustrated, looking deep into Moya’s eyes, as if conveying a silent message.
“Tell me Albert, what is it?”
“The gate is being closed early. The powers above are furious. In just over one hour, those left on either side will remain. There is nothing more we can do for Annabelle. Her fate is decided.”
Moya held a sobbing Mary, who feared she would never see her friend again.