Beatrice was torn. Now she could remember her life, blips and memories she forced herself to suppress, but those memories brought new questions, and opened old scars. She thought perhaps those had been better forgotten.
Despite lacking the lengthy training of Arthur and his coworkers, and despite her current pallor and frailty, her mind jumped into hyper-drive.
“Mom, they won’t let you stay in here long,” she whispered, “especially if they realize what just happened to me.”
“What did just happen to you, Birdie? Did you really not know? You seemed stunned -”
“It doesn’t matter now. My cousins’ technical advantage no longer exists, though I expect they have another surprise coming our way.”
Her mother stared at her bewildered, but unable to break her gaze. Birdie transformed in front of her. She walked into a sickly looking woman with deadened eyes and a fatigued spirit, but suddenly Birdie had not just a glow in her eyes, but a flame lighting her face and an urgency pulsing from every atom of her being. It reminded her of Beatrice’s father and why she was captivated by him. He was the adventure she could never get enough of, and the most painful adventure she ever had. Beatrice’s change was contagious. Tess felt her heart rate increasing, and her senses heightening.
“What are you going to do?” her mother stammered.
“I need you to tell Arthur that I remember – everything. You seem to have the most freedom here, see if you can convince them to let me, too. Finally, I know about everyone who was at my apartment and Arthur’s, but I can’t help but feel we are missing something. I think more than my generation are here. We need to know as much about that as possible.”
Her mother took a deep breath and closed her eyes – practicing a memory mantra. “I carry my tasks with me and commit them to memory,” she mumbled three times.
“Now,” she started straightening up, “if you say it is so important they don’t know, it is our turn to act.” She immediately resumed fiddling with Pepe’s collar, but kept up the chatter.
“Your gruesome second cousins have also discussed dyeing poor Pepe – with Kool-Aid! They said Great-Aunt Millie told them about doing it to a cat, naturally they want to test it out. Janelle was holding Roderick yesterday and I could not help notice his resemblance to your grandfather, Gerald the First. Especially with his fat, bald head,” she continued, droning on about family members Beatrice had not heard of in years.
She quickly realized her mother was already fulfilling one of her requests – information about everyone at the house. Her mother flawlessly pieced together a monologue sounding like complaints to any of the cousins, but giving Beatrice a wealth of information.
Soon, her mother was ushered out, leaving Beatrice to consider her mother’s information, her new-found memories and the wounds they reopened. She fell asleep staring at the cross-stitched, violet flower she and her grandmother made years ago.