Tree Hugger

Printer-friendly version

Author: 

Audience Rating: 

Publication: 

Genre: 

Character Age: 

TG Universes & Series: 

TG Themes: 

Permission: 

Tree_Hugger_Hands_1.jpg

Tree Hugger

A Whateley Tale

Written by Nuuan

"This is fan fiction for the Whateley Academy series. It may or may not match the timeline, characters, and continuity, but since it's fan fiction, who cares? To see the canon Whateley Stories, check out Whateley Academy at (http://whateleyacademy.net)"

Copyright © 2016 by Nuuan

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the Author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Chapter 1

6:35 pm Friday July 25 1975 Appalachian Forest near Murphy, NC

Giles waited with patience that one as young as he should not have. At seventeen most boys his age were too caught up in the here and now to have that much patience but not Giles, no Giles had inherited both his father’s stubbornness and his mother’s patience. Many would disagree as to whether these were his best or his worst traits since once Giles reached a decision on anything it was close to impossible to sway his persistence. It was his stubborn patience that had Giles sitting cross-legged on a bed of dry leaves in a laurel thicket on the side of a hill in the forest. Armed with a canteen full of water, several peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the professional 35mm camera that had taken him close to a year to save up the money to buy he silently waited, concealed by the thick laurel bushes. Giles thought back at how much his father had complained about Giles spending so much on his camera, but then to Giles it seemed that his father complained about everything Giles did since he announced his plans to join the forestry service after he graduated high school.

‘Shouldn’t parents be happy when their kid decides which direction they want their life to follow after leaving high school? Shouldn’t he appreciate the fact that I am trying to plan ahead?’ Giles though as he unwrapped one of the sandwiches, stuffing the wax paper it had been wrapped in into a side pocket of the dark green backpack lying on the ground beside him. ‘What’s wrong with joining the forestry service? I love the forest, the trees, rivers and streams. Being out here is like being in heaven to me.’

Giles’ remembered the first few weeks in Mr. Garrett’s class. Giles had actually taken the class because he thought it was a class that he could slide through easily. Giles already held a love for nature and his grandfather had taught him all about what plants were edible, medicinal properties of various plants, leaves and even tree bark. And the first couple of weeks in the class were exactly as he expected, with the teacher going over things Giles had learned while so young the material the teacher was going over was second nature for Giles. Then at the end of their second week in class Mr. Garrett gave them a homework assignment that would change Giles’ outlook forever. Everyone was to go out and take at least three pictures of places where man has abused nature.

Giles knew that most his class would end up turning in pictures of the over flowing trash cans at the park that tend to go too long in between emptying or other places simple and easy to reach. Always wanting to show off his knowledge of the woods Giles racked his memories of places he could find that were better than a park that wasn’t cleaned often enough, or something just as lame. Giles was all but asleep when he remembered going with his father to get new tires on their family car, the mechanic had tossed the old tires out the back door of the shop. Out of curiosity Giles had tried to look where he was tossing them but another mechanic had stopped him, telling him that customers were not authorized to walk around in the shop. Giles vigilantly watched out the window as his father drove away from the tire shop, trying to see what they did with the old tires behind the building but it seemed that there was very little back area of the shop before it dropped off into a steep hill. Knowing where he would try to get his pictures for the homework assignment Giles faded off to sleep.

7:05am Saturday September 28 1974 Murphy,NC

Giles woke to the sound of his mother calling him and Lily his 8 year old little sister to breakfast. After breakfast he told his mother about his assignment and got permissions to use the Kodak instamatic camera his mother had. Giles had thought about picking up one of the 110mm cameras but by using his mom’s older Kodiak he would not have to wait for the film to be developed. The trip toward town was easy being down river Giles did little more than let the current take his canoe downstream to the inlet of the large creek that flowed through part of town.

Going up the creek was much more demanding as Giles had to go against the current, although three years of using his canoe had built up the arms strength that made the task doable for the teen. Once the depth became too shallow for his canoe, Giles tied it off to a tree and after slinging the camera’s strap over his head, began wading up the creek closer to the tire shop. As Giles waded upstream he began to notice the surface of the creek, at least in places where the water was calm, had a strange oily sheen on top of the water. Going further it became apparent that the creek bank had begun to turn a strange reddish color. At first he thought it was the red clay that was so predominate in the area, although the color was off, almost too red. While the clay soil was called red clay it was more of a sandy orange in color, what Giles saw looked more like rust colored dirt.

Finally reaching the area behind the automotive tire shop Giles’ eyes went wide at the sight before him. The entire hillside behind the shop was covered in old tires with what he could only guess were hundreds of rusty brake drums and brake rotors laying in the mass of discarded rubber. The amount of tires that had rolled all the way down into the small creek had inadvertently created a dam causing a small pond to form upstream. Quickly Giles began snapping pictures of the atrocity before him before moving up to far side of the hill to view what was behind the tire, trash dam.

The sight of the small pond the trash created sickened Giles. The water had a thick brownish film covering its surface. Several bottles and cans floated in the muck along with dozens of old tires and a couple of dead birds. The trees surrounding the pond were also in bad shape. The smaller saplings were dry and dead while the yellowish color of the leaves on the larger trees showed they would eventually follow the younger saplings. The area reminded Giles of an open wound that had become badly infected.

Knowing he could be charged with trespassing if anyone caught him here Giles moved slowly through the thick carpet of dry leaves using a trick his grandfather had taught him to move silently in the woods. Instead of stepping down in the dry leaves he used the toe of the moccasins he wore to slip his foot in under the leaves. Like the Native American Indians that his grandfather told him that developed the trick, Giles also wore moccasins. The thinner leather sole of the moccasins allowed Giles to ‘feel’ what was under his foot before placing his weight on it, allowing him to avoid snapping any small twigs or limbs that could possibly be hidden under the leaves.

Giles has also chosen his clothing carefully that morning. While he would have been more comfortable wearing the buckskin pants and shirt his grandmother had helped him make, his mother had forbade him ever wearing them in town. Of course anyone seeing him would think he was nuts to be wearing a coat and corduroy pants in the summer heat but he had not chosen them for comfort. The medium brown of the coat and the corduroy pants was a very close match to the color of the leaves on the ground, blending him into the background almost as well if not better than the camouflage clothing many hunters wore.

As Giles used up the rest of the film in the camera he knew what he wanted to do after he graduated but first he would have to talk to Mr. Garrett and the guidance counselor to find out if it was even possible? Would he need to go to college, if so what college and what courses would he need? If it was possible were there any elective courses he could take while still in high school that would help him along this path?

6:51pm Friday July 25 1975 Appalachian Forest near Murphy,NC

Finishing his sandwich, Giles washed it down with a long swig of water from the canteen that he always strapped to his backpack. Glancing up the hill from his position, Giles could still make out the old one lane dirt road that he knew the people dumping the chemicals had to be using. The old road was not much more than an old grown up jeep trail originally built by loggers so they could get in and harvest white pines sometime in the past before Giles was even born. The mountains were laced with old logging roads such as the one Giles was watching some so grown over that it was hard to tell there was a road there, although Giles had found recent tire tracks in this road. It looked like the same vehicle came down this road often and always stopped along the road here. Giles had also found boot prints along the road where the tire tracks stopped. While it was possible whoever was coming in and out of the forest here could have been hunters the barrel containing toxic chemicals lying against some rocks down at the foot of the hill and the spot near the road where it appeared that someone had been pouring something terrible smelling onto the ground told Giles that this was where the illegal dumping was happening, he only hoped that the men came before it became too dark to get any pictures.

Giles first clue to the illegal dumping came while he was out canoeing, one of his favorite past times, that is when he had time to take his small Coleman canoe out. Giles loved the outdoors and would spend all his spare time hiking, camping or canoeing or a combination of all the above. On that one spring day, Giles had been stuck inside for two days of solid rain, so when it cleared he could not wait to grab his gear and get outside.

2:00pm Saturday April 19 1975 Nottely River near Murphy, NC

Giles found the barrel, half submerged just upstream of where a large stream fed into the river. Giles could not read the whole word on the label as part of the label was torn, ‘Methylflurohydro…,’ but the yellow diamond with the black skull and crossbones told him all he needed to know, this stuff was highly toxic! Backing out of the stream, Giles pointed his canoe toward home as fast as he could paddle it. While his house was on the river, it was upstream of where he found the toxic chemical barrel and with the rain from the previous two days the current was strong enough to make it him close to two hours to get home.

Putting away his canoe, Gil ran into the house and found his mother in the kitchen cutting some vegetables, “Where’s dad?” Giles gasped between breaths.

“Gil what’s wrong?” His mother concerned about her son.

“I need dad, it’s important!” trying to catch his breath.

“He’s in his study, but…” His mother did not bother to finish as the boy was already out of the kitchen and halfway down the short hall heading for his father’s study.

“DAD!” Giles burst through the double doors into his father’s study
.
Giles!” Forcibly his father demanded, “You know better than to barge in here when I have the doors closed!”

“But there’s, chemicals, toxic, in the river. “Giles blurted out.

“Whoa there son,” his father stood and motioned with his hands for the boy to slow down, “Slow down, catch your breath and explain what was so damn important that you had to barge in here when I have guests.” His father looked toward two well-dressed men in suits, who were sitting in a pair of the large leather chairs in the study. “Sorry about this interruption gentlemen, but if you will give me a moment with my son to clear this up.” Both men nodded their heads. “Now take a deep breath and tell me what happened.”

“I was canoeing south on the far side of the river when I saw this large barrel in the mouth of little bear creek. It was half sunk and stuck in some debris. I paddled over to it and found the label, it is some kind of poison, methyl floral something and it had a skull and crossbones on it.”

“Ok son you did good to come straight to me with this,” Giles father reached down to the phone on his desk, “I’ll call the DNR so they can send someone out to check this. Make sure you close the door on your way out son.” His father stood there with his hand on the phone waiting for his son to leave.

8:17pm Friday July 25 1975 Appalachian Forest near Murphy,NC

Giles was shaken back to reality when he heard the sound of a vehicle coming down the old dirt road toward his location. The truck began to slow down as it approached, then it pulled off to the side of the old worn dirt road. Lifting his camera, Giles began to snap pictures of the truck and the two men that climbed out and began unloading 5 barrels out of the back. Once the men had rolled the barrels a little ways into the woods they uncapped each one and tipped them over allowing whatever chemical they contained to flow out down the hillside toward the stream. Giles watched in silence, snapping a whole roll of film as the two dumped their toxic waste into the beautiful forest. Quickly Giles began rewinding the film, removed it and began inserting a new roll when he dropped the camera and it tumbled down the hill a few feet away. Oh crap! Giles held his breath. Hoping the two would not notice.

“You hear that?” One of the men straightened up and began looking around.

“It was probably a damn tree rat,” The other man hissed, “Help me get these damn things back into the truck.”

“I thought squirrels didn’t come out at night?” The first replied as he pulled a flashlight out of the cab of the truck and began shining it into the dimly lit woods in Giles direction.

Giles froze in place as the beam from the flashlight played over the bushes that obscured him. He knew that they would not be able to see him at that distance, but they would see movement even if they were unable to tell what did move. Giles release his breath when the beam moved away down the hill.

“What the fuck is that?” The man holding the flashlight proclaimed as the flashlight’s beam reflected off Giles’ camera where it has rolled out into the open.

Giles thought his heart was going to explode out of his chest when he saw both men begin walking down the hillside toward him. Fear froze him in place as the men came closer.

“Hey that’s a damn camera!” One of the men shouted as he pulled a pistol out from behind him. The man with the flashlight followed suit pulling his own pistol.

Grabbing his backpack by a strap, Giles bolted out of the bush and down the hillside as fast as his legs would take him, snagging the camera by its strap as he raced past it. Giles knew his only chance was to get to the creek, it was deep enough that he could swim underwater and let the current carry him downstream away from the gunmen. Panicking when he heard the first gun shot, Giles dropped both his backpack and camera in his headlong rush toward the large creek. He was not quite ten yards from the water when it felt like someone had hit in in the back with a hammer. Giles fell forward, the momentum of his run causing him to roll into the water.

2.26am Saturday July 26 1975 Appalachian Forest near Murphy,NC

If not for a broken branch that had been caught on some rocks further downstream Giles would have been swept out into the main river and drown. How he managed to drag himself out of the cold water and up against the large oak was yet another miracle. Leaning up against the ancient tree, Giles did not think he had much of a chance, his strength was gone and he was freezing cold even though the weather was warm. Giles thought he could remember reading that when you are dying you feel cold. Giles thought he was dying.

Giles though how much he was going to miss his little sister, even though she was a brat, he loved her with all his heart and only wished he could be there for her as she grew up.

‘You have a good soul,” Giles heard a gentle female voice. Opening his eyes he saw a woman leaning over him. She wore a long flowing dress that reminded him of the princess movies he would sit and watch with his little sister. Gil noticed the woman seemed to have a golden glow all around her, and her face, her face was that of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. “Are you an angel?” he asked.

“No young one I am not one of your angels or one of your demons, I am a child of nature,” she spoke in a soft comforting voice, “like you I am stuck in this neither, although you may move on, I on the other hand cannot.”

“Why?”

“Why can you move on to your afterlife and I cannot?” she questioned.

“Uh yes.”

“Your mortal body has expired, therefore this neither realm is but a stop on your journey.” She explained, “I was trapped here by a great evil.”

“I don’t understand.”

“My soul is anchored to the mortal world and when my previous body was destroyed I would have been pulled back into my anchor, but magic was used to prevent me from returning. So I have been stuck here slowly regaining my strength and waiting.”

“Waiting for what?”

“Not what, Whom.” She smiled at Gil.

“Me?”

“Yes Giles,” her smile widened, “I have been waiting a very long time for you.”

“Why me?”

“Our souls are compatible.”

“What does our souls have to do with anything?”

“Take my hand,” she held her hand out. Gil could feel a tingle when they touched that became a warmth that spread from the touch up his arm and soon spread across his whole body giving him the feeling of joy, contentment, belonging and love. “You see that our souls are harmonious.”

“Ya, yes,” he whispered, knowing he never wanted to lose the feeling he now felt.

Releasing his hand, “My soul, on its own, may never re enter the mortal realm, but if joined with another soul, one that is harmonious with my own, we both may reenter the mortal realm together.”

“So you want me to give you a piggy back ride?” Gil tried to understand what she was explaining.

“No, once our souls have joined, they cannot be separated. If you agree to this accord I will never leave you and you can never leave me. In essence we will be two minds sharing one body for eternity.”

“I can see my sister again?”

“Yes, but remember your body has expired, we cannot go back as you were.”

“Then how?”

“Our anchor will draw us back into the mortal realm and create a new form for us to inhabit.”

“What will we look like?” Gil asked.

“Do parents know what their child will look like before it is born?”

“So I can go back, but only if we join our souls together,” Gil began, “We do not know what I’ll look like, I’ll have you in my head for the rest of my life, is there anything else I should know?”

“You will need to learn to control our magic.”

“We will be able to do magic?”

She giggled, “My young friend, we are magic. Magic flows through our veins like the blood that keeps mortals alive.”

“You won’t try taking control of us once we return?”

“My young friend, I will have no more control than you will, that is why I had to wait for one such as yourself. One that has similar wishes and desires as myself so there would be no need of either soul fighting for dominance, a fight that would end up devastating for both of us.”

8:45am Saturday July 26 1975 Undisclosed location Murphy,NC

Fear shown in the two men’s faces as they stood in their boss’s office in front of a heavy wooden desk. Behind the desk, smoking a large cigar sat the one man that terrified them both. The man did not look terrifying in his three piece suit, no his appearance was that of a very well dressed businessman. It was the things the two men knew that their boss was capable of, hell they were only hired muscle, nobodies in his organization, but they had done and seen enough over the years to know being called to his office was not a good thing, especially after the trouble they had during their last haul.
“So did you get the guy trying to take pictures?” The well-dressed man asked.

“Yea,” the shorter man purred, “Johnny got him good.”

I told you to get him, not kill him!” The man shouted at his minions, “What did you do with the body?”

“Uh, well boss,” The taller guy spoke, “he fell into the river and got washed away from us. We tried to follow him, but the current took him down stream fast.”

“No way he coulda lived through boss,” The short man continued, “There was a lot of blood, A lot!”

“What about the camera?”

“Got it right here!” The short man pulled it out of a bag and laid it on the boss’s desk.

The man behind the desk sat looking at the camera for a few moments without saying a word, then suddenly, “I’m gonna have to get rid of the gun you used, hand it over.”

The tall man took his gun from his shoulder holster under his coat and laid it gently on the desk, “Here ya go boss.”

Reaching over their boss picked up the gun, pulled the clip out and inspected that it was loaded and chambered a round as he stood up examining the gun. Quickly he pointed the gun at the shorter man and pulled the trigger, then at the tall man and did the same before either could do anything to stop him. Unloading the gun, the boss then laid it back on his desk and spat at the two dead men lying in his office and screamed, “That’s my son’s camera you fucking shits!” Sitting heavily down into his chair and was silent for a long time before he pushed on the intercom button. “Debra, I need you to get touch with Mr. Snyder. We are going to need his specialized cleaning services.”

Picking the camera back up the man started at it for some time before muttering, “Dammit Giles why did you have to be a fucking tree hugger!”

Chapter 2

3:26pm May 12 2015 Medical center Murphy, NC

“Yeah Tom?” Doctor Wright spoke on the phone, “I may need some help down here in a few, Got two incoming and Ted is prepping for an emergency surgery.”

“I’ll be right down,” Doctor Wright heard her boss over the phone. Abigail Wright hated days like this, everything slow as could be all day then suddenly BAM, the Emergency room filled up in seconds. Tuesdays were usually boringly slow, and having two doctors always on call in the ER during the week was usually two more than they needed, but not this afternoon. Five patients in less than two hours on a weekday afternoon was not just uncommon, it was an all-time high for their small town hospital. Abigail thought to herself, this is more patients than we have stop lights in town!

“What do you have Abby?” Tom said as he jogged out of the elevator and over to the ER desk.

“Got two ambulances incoming, one is a possible fracture of the Tibia and fibula, the other is an unconscious girl found in the woods. Paramedics have the fracture stabilized, the girl is unresponsive but vitals are good.”

“Which one do you want me to take?” Tom asked.

“Could you take the girl?” Doctor Wright urged, “I got my hands full with two other patients and do not think I could devote the correct time to her condition.”

“No problem, I got it.”

A few minutes later the double doors opened as paramedics wheeled in a man strapped down to a gurney, the man’s left leg wrapped in an air split. “Is that little girl ok?” the man raised his head focusing on both Tom and Abby.

“Let’s worry about you right now sir,” Abby insisted as she directed the paramedics to room 2.

“To hell with me Doc, make sure that little girl is alright!” he demanded.

“Can you tell me what happened?” Abby tried to redirect the man’s attention.

“Harry and I were clearing the timber over by little bear creek,” the man explained. “Harry had just begun the back cut on this large one when a gust of wind twisted it back on him. Harry shut down his saw and jumped back. I was off to the side that the wind was gonna blow the tree into and just as I began to run out of the way I saw her. She was lying there on her side curled up into a ball downhill of me right in the path the tree was coming down. So I hauled ass down and picked her up and ran like hell. Is she ok?”

“Doctor Blankenship is going to take good care of her,” Abby smiled, “So let me take care of you and when you are both up and around you can see for yourself, ok?”

“Alright doc.” The man calmed down.

The second gurney came through the doors and Tom held up his open hand and mouthed the words “Five” to the paramedics which quickly moved the girl on the gurney to room five. “Tammy, would you assist me please?” Tom turned to one of the nurses manning the desk.

“Sure Doctor Blankenship.” Tammy knew it was procedure to always have a female present when examining a female patient, especially when it could be a possible rape as she thought this could turn out to be, why else would a girl be found naked and unconscious out in the woods?

“Oh Sue,” Tom turned to the other nurse behind the desk, “Could you contact officer Lynes?”

“Already done Doctor,” Tammy frowned, Jill Lynes was the only female officer their small town had, him asking specifically for her meant the doctor was thinking the same thing she was, “She’s on her way.”

“Good call,” Tom looked at Tammy, “Let’s hope we’re both wrong.” Tom realized what Abby meant about devoting the time this case would need, and it would save having a second pelvic exam being done to the patient, since in the case of a rape the court would insist on the exam being done by one of the chief medical staff, which he was.

Walking into the room Tom stopped in his tracks and gasped when he saw the patient.

“What’s wrong doct...” Tammy peered around the doctor’s shoulder, “Oh my!” she held her hand up covering her mouth, “Is that…”

“No, no it’s not Chloe,” Tom breathed a sigh of relief and proceeded into the room, regaining his composure and professionalism.

The two paramedics helped the nurse and doctor move her from the gurney to the exam table before leaving with their gurney. One of the paramedics held out a silver necklace with a strange pendant hanging on it, Tom grabbed a small clear plastic bag for the paramedic to place it in, then shoved the bag into his pocket to give to Officer Lynes when she arrived.

Partway into their examination there was a knock on the door. The door cracked open and they could hear, “It’s me Lynes.”

“Come in Officer,” Tom looked toward the door, “Did you bring a rape kit?”

“Yes, “handing the sealed clear bag to the doctor as she entered. “Tammy sounded like we may need one. My God is that…”
“NO!” both Tom and Tammy chorused.

“The resemblance is uncanny,” Officer Lynes confessed.

“Look at this,” Tammy pulled back the girls hair showing Officer Lynes the girl’s ear.

“She has pointed ears!” Officer Lynes gasped. “She an elf or something?”

“No idea yet,” Tom answered, “Could be cosmetic surgery. We’ll know more when the test results come back.

Tom began the pelvic exam using both the nurse and officer as witnesses for the event it went to court. “Well that is a relief, her hymen is intact so it’s not rape,” both Jill Lynes and Tammy sighed in relief.
7:30pm May 12 2015 Home of Dr. Blankenship Murphy,NC

Pushing the button for the garage door opener as he turned into the driveway, Doctor Blankenship first noticed his wife’s car missing as the large door slid upward. He was placing his own car in park inside the garage before he remembered his daughter had a soccer game that night and that would explain why her car was gone.

Getting out of his Ford Explorer, Tom failed to notice the plastic bag containing the necklace he had forgotten to give to Office Lines fall out of his pocket onto the garage floor. Walking over to the door that led into the house from inside the garage, he first pushed a button on the wall beside the door, then entered the house as the garage door motor began its normal groaning noise as it lowered the large door back in place.

On the kitchen table he found a note, “Took Chloe to soccer, Billy is with us. Should be home by 8PM. Kids have their heart set on your homemade pizzas, they even started the fire in the backyard oven by themselves so it would begin warming up for you.” Tom chuckled after reading that part, knowing full well their mother would have been watching them like a hawk while they did that. “All the fixings are in the fridge and the dough under the towels on the counter.”

“Normal Tuesday night,” Tom chuckled again walking over to the back door and out to check on the wood fire oven. Tom had wanted a wood fire oven ever since his first taste of a pizza made in one. That night in college when his friends drug him into the small hole in the wall pizza place changed his thoughts on what a good pizza was. He went back again and again, eventually got a part time job working in the small restraint while he was in college. Working there he learned quite a lot about cooking with one and the variety of things that could be cooked in one, including some of the most delicious loaves of bread imaginable.

The first thing Tom had done after they bought their house was have the outdoor wood oven and the covered patio built in their backyard. His wife, Lillian, had complained about the cost, but her complaints died quickly after she began tasting the cuisine Tom would produce with it. Once the kids grew older Tuesday night had become their official pizza night. As the kids grew, so did the amount of people that came to ‘pizza night’. At first it was one or two of Chloe’s friends, then their parents, then a few of Billy’s friends and so on until pizza night became a gathering of several families, their children and many coworkers.

Opening the small steel doors of the oven, Tom stirred the fire to check how many hot coals the fire held. Throwing several more sticks of wood onto the fire he closed the metal doors and went back inside to change.

8:15pm May 12 2015 Home of Dr. Blankenship Murphy,NC

Lilly could already smell the pizza cooking as she waited in her idling minivan while the garage door rose. The kids could smell it too. Both her children and the two teammates that had all but begged to ride with their friend Chloe, knowing they would be the first to arrive and feast on Chloe’s fathers homemade pizza. As everyone climbed out of the minivan Chloe saw the plastic bag lying on the garage floor and picked it up. Looking at the necklace through the clear plastic Chloe realized what it was and held it out for her mother to seem, “Mom isn’t this yours?”

“Let me see honey?” Closing the driver’s door and walking around the front of the minivan to meet her daughter, who handed the bag over. Examining the bag and her necklace inside, “Why would your father put my necklace in a medical evidence bag?”

Chloe giggled, “If dad's in trouble, can you wait till after he finishes making pizzas.”

“Oh, I am sure there is a perfectly good explanation…” Her mother trailed off realizing all the kids had raced away toward the backyard.

Making her way through the kitchen to the backyard Lilly spotted her husband dressed in blue jeans, a white tee shirt. Bright neon orange crocs and a tan chef’s apron that had ‘Trophy Husband’ written in large black letters across the front. “You need to throw that pair of shoes in the fire!” Lily laughed.

“What? They’re comfortable!” he chuckled.

“Looking at them hurts my eyes,” Lily smiled, knowing her husband loved tormenting women with his awful tastes in shoes. Looking over at the nearby picnic table Lily could see that all the kids had found a seat and had surrounded a large 25 inch circular pizza that had steam rising off it in the middle of the table.

Holding up the bag, “Care to explain this?”

“Oh shoot, I forgot to give that to Officer Lynes!” Tom explained, “I got so busy it must have slipped my mind.”

“Why would you give Jill my necklace?”

“Your necklace?” Tom looked confused, “That came from a patient that came to the ER today.”

“No Tom, this is mine,” She explained, “I have had it since I was 5, Gil made it for me.”

“Are you sure you still have yours?” Tom questioned his wife, “When was the last time you saw it? As it was found with a girl that was brought into the ER this afternoon.”

“I’ll be right back,” Lilly spun and ran into the house.

Tom had pulled the second pizza from the oven and was placing in a third when Lilly came back carrying both the bag and another necklace identical to the one in the bag, “Oh my god Tom, this is Gil’s necklace!”

“You brother’s are you sure?”

“He made this himself, he wore one and gave me one,” Lilly explained, “I have to talk to this girl, she may know what happened to Gil.”

“We can’t go now, everyone is starting to arrive,” Tom nodded toward the side of the house where two men, two women and three kids were walking towards them. “We can drive down in the morning. She will still be there.” Tom thought about how closely the girl resembled their own daughter. “She may be Gil’s daughter.”

“Really?”

“Uh yea, there is a strong family resemblance.”

“To who?”

Tom nodded his head toward Chloe.

Lily held her hand at her mouth as she gasped, “Chloe?” she whispered.
He nodded.

“How close?” her voice low so only Tom could hear her.
Lilly’s eyes grew wide when she saw Tom mouth the words silently, “almost twins.”

“I have to talk to her.”

“We can swing by the hospital in the morning, I want to check on her progress anyway.”

5:30am May 13 2015 Medical Center Murphy,NC

Giles woke to find himself lying in a strange bed. The room was dark, but enough light came through the window that he could see that he was lying in a hospital bed. Noticing a strange weight across his chest as he sat up, Giles looked down to find himself in a hospital gown just as something fell across his face obscuring his vision, brushing it out of his face he realized it was his own hair. Grabbing a handful, Gil held the hair out to get a better look, his hair was not only long it was extremely long, falling all the way down into his lap. Even more concerning was how his chest looked, pulling the neck of the hospital gown away he looked under to find he had boobs, huge ones from his point of view.

Before Giles could inspect his body further he hears the muted sobs of someone in the room with him. Looking over the sobs was coming from the other side of a curtain that partitioned off half the room. Carefully getting out of bed so as not to upset his new point of balance, Giles walked over and pulled the curtain back to find a young girl of no more than seven or eight years old lying in another hospital bed gently crying.

“What’s wrong?” Giles asked as he walked up to her bedside.

The girl turned her head to face him, “I, I have cancer. They have been giving me medicine but I heard them say it isn’t working.”

“What kind of medicine?” Giles asked.

“They call it Key-mo.”

“Is that why you have that wrap around your head?”

“Yes, because the medicine made all my hair fall out,” her sobs turned into full-fledged tears.

Giles reached down and took the small girl's hand, trying to console her. ~I wish I could do something to help her~ Giles thought.

~We can~ Giles was startled by the voice of the woman from his dream. ~It was not a dream, we are together, we have been reborn through our magic and we can help this young girl.~

~How~

~We feel the malignant growth within her, we can make it grow back as it should and purge her body of these poisons they are trying to use to kill the growth.~

~Show me how~

The girl’s eyes grew wide when she saw the older girl’s hand begin to glow a visible golden aura. The golden aura spread quickly to encompass both girls and began to pulsate in intensity. After several minutes the glow began to fade. Giles reached up with her free hand and wiped away a tear that had formed in her own eye, then unconsciously pulled the locks of hair that had fallen in front of her eyes behind her ear.

The girl’s eyes even wider in amazement when she saw Gil’s now exposed ear. “Oh my god, you’re an elf!” The girl almost shouted.

“I’m a what?” Giles was surprised.

“An elf,” The girl giggled. “This is so cool, I got a real live elf for a roommate!”

“Why would you say I am an elf?”

“Your ears, you have elf ears!” the girl lowered her head shyly, “And you’re so pretty, prettier than real people.”

Giles blushed, “You think I am pretty?”

The girl nodded her agreement. “What other magic can you do?”

“Ummm, I’m not sure,” Giles giggled, “I just woke up, this is kinda my first day as an elf.”

~We are not an Elf!~ Giles heard her inner voice snort.

~Then what are we?~ Giles thought to his spirit.

~We are part of the Sidhe although the closest word I can find in your vocabulary to our race would be Nymph,~ the inner voice replied.

“WOW, your first day?” the girl’s mouth fell open. Giles smiled and nodded. The girl beamed a wide smile back as asked, “What’s your name? My name is Hanna.”

“I’m Gil, Gillie,” thinking quickly to use the nickname his sister used to call him since it sounded more feminine.

8:00am May 13 2015 Home of Dr. Blankenship Murphy,NC

Chloe had overheard enough conversations at the party last night and she was determined to go with her parents to the hospital, so instead of laying around wishing she could go back to sleep when she woke, she jumped out of bed and ran into the shower to start getting ready. 30 minutes later she went downstairs wearing the white sleeveless top and purple peasant skirt she had picked out, her hair in a high ponytail with a matching purple ribbon.

“Just where do you think you’re going today young lady?” Her mother smiled to Chloe as the girl entered the kitchen.

“I wanted to go with you to the hospital.” Chloe beamed her best smile.

“Who’s going to watch your brother?” Her mother’s smile never wavered. Billy looked up from his bowl of cereal at the two discussing him.

“Oh,” the corners of Chloe’s smile turned further upward, “I knew he would want to go over to Tommy’s to play, so I called Mrs. Warren and made sure it was OK that he stayed there while we were gone.” Billy smiled at his older sister before turning his attention to shoveling the remaining cereal into his mouth as fast as he could.

Lily's smile turned hard as she looked at her daughter, “Well, if it’s alright with Tommy’s mother, I guess it’s OK for you to go over to Tommy’s.”

“Woohoo!” Billy yelled as he finished devouring the cereal and raced out of the kitchen before his mother could change her mind.

“Now,” Chloe’s mother looked sternly at her daughter, “Why the sudden interest in going with us today?”

“Uh, mom,” Chloe lowered her gaze turning slightly red,” I heard about the girl dad treated.”

“What did you hear?”

“That she could be my twin cousin.”

“You know that a twin cousin is impossible.”

“Well I didn’t have a twin sister that you gave up for adoption did I?” Chloe giggled.

“Chloe Renee Blankenship!” Her mother scolded then giggled herself at the idea.

Just then Chloe’s father walked into the kitchen pulling on his jacket, “I just got off the phone with the hospital,” looking at Lily, “There was a development that I need to go see about, so we need to leave immediately.”

“Something wrong?” Lily questioned.

“No, but Dave said that I needed to see this for myself.”

Chloe looked pleadingly toward her mother “Come on,” Lily motioned for Chloe to follow.

“You guys take the minivan,” Chloe’s father said as he entered the garage, “That way if I am stuck there for a while you don’t have to wait around for me.”

“All right,” Lily hit the garage door button beside the door as she entered the garage. “I need to stop by the office to pick up a couple of things anyway.”

Chloe tried being patient in her mother’s law office by looking through some of the magazines that were in the waiting room, but they were all the boring magazines that adults read like National Geographic, Forbes, Goodkind Financial and such. Time seemed to drag for Chloe when almost an hour later her mother was finally ready to leave the office and continue to the hospital where Chloe could meet the girl that everyone was calling her twin. Looking at her watch Chloe sighed as she saw it was already after ten, she figured they would be running out any visitors in an hour or so to let the patients eat lunch.

10:30am May 13 2015 Medical center Murphy,NC

Following her mother to the elevators Chloe bounced anxiously, waiting for one to arrive to take them up to the girl’s room. While waiting her father, along with another doctor walked up to them with a nurse who was pushing a small girl in a wheelchair. The small girl’s eye grew wide when she saw Chloe. “Hi Daddy!” Chloe smiled at her father as he approached.

Once in the elevator Chloe felt something tugging at her skirt, looking down she saw the girl was trying to get her attention, “Hi.” Chloe smiled at the little girl.

“Are, are you an elf too?” The Little girl all but whispered to Chloe.

Leaning down to talk to the girl better over the conversation the adults were having Chloe giggled, “Why would you think I am an elf?”

“I, I just thought since your sister was…” The small girl lowered her eyes.

“My sister?”

“Yes,” The small girl looked back up at Chloe grinning from ear to ear, “She is sharing a room with me.” She was almost bouncing in the wheelchair, “She is really nice. She even played with me until they came to take me for more tests!” Looking up at the doctors, the small girl motioned for Chloe to come closer. “I think the doctors are mad at her.” She whispered.

“Why?” Chloe whispered back to the small girl.

“She made my cancer go away with her magic.”

The elevator doors opened and everyone exited into the hallway. At the entourage walked past the empty family room Chloe’s father stopped everyone. “Lilly, Chloe, would you both mind keeping Hanna company here for a bit?” He waved toward the room that contained a couch, a table and some chairs a TV and a couple of recliners.

“Sure?” Lilly’s brown furled as she looked at her husband.

“We just need to speak with Hanna’s roommate privately for a moment, it’s nothing to be concerned about.”

The nurse wheeled the girl into the room and locked the chair’s wheels, then kneeled down in front of Hanna, “Now I know you’re feeling better, but I don’t want you running around and over doing it, OK?”

“Ohh Kaaay,” Hanna grinned devilishly as the nurse turned and left the room.

“Hi Hanna, My name is Mrs. Blankenship,” Chloe’s mother sat down on the couch near Hanna’s wheelchair,” So you have met Chloe’s sister?”

Hanna bounced out of the wheelchair as she looked over where Chloe still stood, “I knew she was your sister! What’s it like having a twin sister? I have always wanted a sister but mommy said that her and daddy could not have any more. I hope when I grow up I am as pretty as you and your sister, you both are so pretty.”

Lily gently took Hanna’s hand, “Slow down sweetie, remember the nurse said you have to take it easy. Maybe you should sit back down?”

“You know,” Hanna continued looking at Chloe as she sat back down in the wheelchair, “If your and Gillie’s eyes were the same color no one would be able to tell you apart, unless they saw your ears of course, but most of the time Gillie’s ears are hidden by her hair too. Are you sure you aren’t an elf too? But your ears are normal looking, but I guess you could make them look normal with elf magic. It’s OK if you are, I think Elves are really, really cool and I told Gillie that I would keep her secret, but since you’re her family you already know she’s an elf too, so I’m not telling anyone that don’t know about her being an elf already.”

“You called her Gillie?” Lily's gaze widened slightly.

Hanna nodded. “She told me that was her name. Is that a secret that I’m not supposed to tell?”

“No sweetie that isn’t a secret.” Lily frowned as the name brought back the pain of losing her brother.

“Mom?” Chloe saw the painful look on her mother’s face. “Are you Ok?”

“Yes dear,” Lilly looked up to her daughter, “Just some unpleasant memories.”

“Like what?” Chloe insisted on finding out what was bothering her mother.

“Gillie is what I used to call your uncle when I was little.” Lilly explained.

10:30am May 13 2015 Giles’ hospital room Medical center Murphy,NC

After the nurse had seen the miraculous change in Hanna that morning when their breakfast had been brought in, the room had been full of doctors and staff trying to determine how the sudden change in her health had occurred. Even if the Chemotherapy had been successful, which the doctors knew was only a holding action for the girl’s condition, it would have taken days for the effects of the drugs to run through her system and weeks if not month for the small sick child to even begin recovering from this latest session of chemotherapy. Neither Hanna or Gillie had volunteered the information on how this miracle had happened. After a while they loaded Hanna into a wheelchair and took her away for testing.

Gillie sat around for a while getting progressively bored until she discovered the remote controls that were mounted in her beds railing also controlled the TV. Over the next couple of hours Gillie channel surfed, amazed at the multitude of channels the hospital had. Back home they had a whopping five channels and two of them were always snowy and sometimes impossible to watch. One show she found about some man that went out into the wild by himself and survived off the land caught her eye so she settled back to watch it. While the show was entertaining, Gillie found it difficult to believe that this man was an expert since she spotted several types of plants that were very good to eat that he walked right past while complaining about being hungry. The next show was even worse, in that one a group of people were divided up into two teams and placed on an island they were supposed to survive on. Apparently they had been on this island for several weeks already and the two groups worked against each other and even those within a group worked against their own group. It appeared to be more of a popularity contest than anything to do with surviving so she began channel surfing again. Stopping she heard the TV say something to the effect of “now returning you to Battlestar Galactica”, She sat upright in bed to watch. Gillie loved watching this show when her father had let her, well back when she was a boy that is.

Although when she realized that Starbuck wasn’t Starbuck but some blond woman and Boomer was also a woman, she felt like the world was trying to tell her something.

~Why is everything so strange?~ Gillie though.

~Time runs differently here than in the realm we were trapped in.~

~Yes but even the characters on TV are different. That TV show, The woman who was called Starbuck in it, that was a guy and the ships and everything in it looked so much more real than before.~

~I do not have an answer for you.~

~Did we accidentally return to a different place, not my home?~ Gil questioned.

~No, this is the realm of mankind. I know it well even though it had changed considerably since I became trapped.~ The voice replied, ~Even if there were more realms of man, our anchor is located in only this realm, the realm in which you were born.~

A gently knock on the door pulled them out of their inner discussion as the door cracked open and an older man with gray hair leaned in through the partially open door and asked, “Are you awake?”

“Yes,” Giles looked away from the TV and to the older man, who opened the door further and walked in. He was followed by another man with short mousy brown hair. Both wore the white coats and a stethoscope draped around the back of their neck with the ends hanging down in front of their shoulders that distinguished them as doctors.

“I’m Doctor Williams and this is Doctor Blankenship.” He waved his hand at the man following him. “Doctor Blankenship was the doctor who first treated you in the ER when you arrived.”

~Do not trust the elder one, I sense he has ill will toward us.~ Gillie’s spirit companion warned.

~What about the other one?~

~He, he is curious about us.~ The spirit paused ~He has compassion toward us. Yes he has feelings like that of a father toward a daughter, but we need to be cautious none the less.~

“I’m one of the doctors who have been treating Hanna during her stay here with us and was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?”

“Umm sure,” Gillie shrugged her shoulders.

‘Do you have any idea what happened to Hanna this morning?”

“No, not really.” Gillie lied.

“Well then could you tell us what you saw?” He asked.

“When I woke up I could hear her crying so I went over and began talking to her, she told me she was hurting a lot and feeling really sick. I just held her hand and tried to make her feel better by talking to her.” Gillie kept looking at the TV and doctor Blankenship trying to avoid looking directly at doctor Williams. “After a while she stopped crying and said she started feeling better. By the time the nurse came in with breakfast Hanna said she was feeling a lot better.”

~He knows we are lying~

~Well I don’t like to lie and I’m not very good at it, mom always knew when I was trying to lie to her!~

~That is because you do not look them in the eye when you do it child. Lying is a fine art that I will have to teach you one day.~

~Have you lied to me?~

~That is impossible child, we see into the depth of each other’s souls, there can be no lies or secrets between us.~

“Gillie? Gillie?” Doctor Williams was trying to get her attention.

“Uh sorry I guess I kinda spaced out there for a moment.” Gillie smiled weakly.

“Ok did anything else happen before we came in this morning?”

“Uh no, not really.” Gillie was able to tell the truth, “We played around for a while after we ate breakfast, then everyone piled in to see Hanna.” Gillie turned her attention to the Ad that was running on TV, more shocked than interested as she could not believe that they were showing women in their underwear on regular television.

“Typical teen girl,” Doctor Blankenship grinned, “Clothing ads always catch their attention.”

“OK,” Doctor Williams sighed, I guess I’ll leave you with your patient Tom.”

Doctor Blankenship walked over and sat at the foot of Gillie’s bed as Doctor Williams left, closing the door behind him. “Do you remember what happened to you? How you got here?”

Gillie shook her head side to side.

“But you do remember your name,” He asked.

She nodded her head.

“Ok so what is your full name?”

“Gill, Gillian,” She quickly said, “But everyone calls me Gillie.”

“So do you have a last name Gillie?”

“Ander…” She looked down.

“It’s ok, if you’re afraid to tell me right now, I understand,” He patted her leg. “I do have one surprise for you though.”

“Oh?” she looked back up to the doctor.

“Yes visitors,” pausing to look her carefully in the eyes, “But only if you are ok with them coming in to see you.”

“Who are they?”

“My wife and my daughter,” Holding up his palm facing toward Gillie, “But I need to let you know that it may be a bit shocking.”

“Why would I be shocked to meet your family?”

“When you first arrived here, everyone mistook you for my daughter.”

“Why would they think I’m your daughter?”

“Because you both look very much alike.”

“I would love to meet them,” Gillie beamed.

“Ok, I’ll be right back with them,” The doctor rose up and walked out the door, leaving it open as he left.

Chloe’s father walked into the room they had been waiting in with Hanna, “Well that is a different look.” Tom noticed his daughter had actually let her hair down out of the pony tail she always kept it in.

“I like it,” Her mother smiled, “I only wish she would wear her hair that way more often.”

Chloe began blushing, “Hanna talked me into it.”

“Doesn’t it make them look even more alike?” Hanna grinned up at Doctor Blankenship.

“Yes, I guess it does at that,” Tom chuckled. “You all can go in to see her now.” Chloe was out the doorway past her father in seconds.

“No running in a hospital young lady!” Her mother warned before Chloe got out of hearing range, causing Chloe to slow down to a fast walk down the hallway.

“WOW!” Chloe gasped when she entered the room and saw her twin lying in the hospital bed.

“Oh my!” Gillie unconsciously covered her mouth with both hands, “You look just like me!”

“Hanna said our ears are different,” Chloe pointed out. Gillie brushed her hair back showing Chloe her elf-like pointed ear. Giggling Chloe did the same, showing Gillie her rounded ear as she sat on the side of the bed with Gillie, “I’m Chloe.”

“Hi Chloe, I’m Gillian,” a wide smile spread across her face. The two teen girls kept staring at each other until they both began giggling again.

“OH MY GOD!” they heard from the doorway.

“Mom?” Gillie squeaked in surprise. Her eyes began to cloud up as tears ran down her cheeks.

“What?” Chloe quickly looked back and forth between her mother and Gillie. ”That’s my mom.”

“You, aren’t Melissa Anderson?” Gillie’s lip quivered as she tried to speak.

“Uh, no that was my mother,” Lilly replied, “I’m Lily Blankenship, my maiden name was Anderson.”

Gillie’s eyes went wide as if she was terrified as she drew up her knees to her chest under the thin hospital blanket, “You, your, lil-lil?”

Lilly’s eyes grew at hearing herself referred to as lil-lil, her brother Giles was the only person that ever called her that. “Gillie?”

Lillie nodded her head trying to hold back tears.

“My Gillie?” Lily choked out, “This is impossible. You’re a teenage girl, my Gillie would be almost fifty years old.”

“Almost fifty?” Gillie gasped, “How long? How long have I been gone?”

“My brother disappeared thirty years ago! You can’t be him!”

“I was born February twenty-ninth, 1964.” Gillie proclaimed, “You were born on May twenty-second, 1972.”

~Tell her something only you would know about her~ Gillie’s companion spirit told her.

“Your favorite doll was a Gabbiegale doll you begged and pleaded mom to buy for you at a yard sale. You named it Miss Abby.”

“A lot of people knew about my doll when I was a child,” Lilly looked between her husband, Chloe and Gillie.

“Ok how about the time you poured water into the cigar box on dad’s desk and I got blamed for it.”

Lilly’s eyes grew large at hearing this, “No one knew about that!”

“I knew because I didn’t do it!” Gillie scoffed.

“You never told dad it was me either.” Lily looked down at her feet. “You got punished but never said a word.”

“I had to protect my baby sister.”

“Oh my god it is you, “Lilly raced over and wrapped her arms around Gillie and began sobbing, “But how, we thought you were dead.”

“I think I was dead, or really close to it.” Gillie confessed.

“But they never found a body.” Lily sobbed.

“I fell into the river trying to get away from them after they shot me,” Gillie explained.

“You were shot!” Lily gasped.

“Um yeah,” Gillie blushed, “I was trying to get pictures of some men that were dumping toxic chemicals. The saw me and came after me shooting. I tried to get down to the creek hoping that I could hide underwater and swim away. They, they shot me and I fell in, I finally managed to climb back on dry land somewhere downstream. I crawled away from the river bank as far as I could and leaned against this tree to rest. There was a lot of blood and I was pretty sure I was dying, Then this spirit came to me and we kind of helped each other to get back.”

“Is, is this spirit with you now?” Lily choked back her tears.

Gillie nodded, “Yes, we are part of each other now.”

“Tom,” Lilly looked up at her husband with tear filled eyes, “You're her doctor right?”

“Yes,” He replied, “Since I admitted her, Gillie is my patient.”

“Good, then she is coming home with us now.” Lilly looked into Gillie’s eyes, “I lost you once, I am not about to let that happen again!” Lilly bean rummaging in her purse until she fished out her car keys and held them toward Chloe, “I think your soccer bag is still in the back of the van, go get it so Gillie can have something to wear home.”

“Yes mom,” Chloe took the keys as she stood up and left the room.

“Are you sure it’s OK?” Gillie looked back and forth between Lily and Tom.

“Of course it’s OK,” Tom quickly answered before his wife had time to even think about giving him the evil eye. ”Family is family!” Which even though he may have had his reservations about this girl being who she said she was, as outlandish as it appears, his wife was convinced that this girl was in fact her long lost brother. Even if she did turn out to be someone else, what was the harm in giving the girl a stable place to stay for a while, she couldn’t remain here in the hospital and she didn’t even have any clothes to leave with. While they were not rich by any stretch of the imagination, Tom and his wife had done well by themselves with her law practice and his job at the hospital, they could easily help the girl.

“I’ll go get the paperwork ready to release her.” Tom turned and heading for the door.

While they waited, Gillie and Lilly spent the time reminiscing about their childhood together. At one point the spirit in Gillie said that Lilly was in fact testing Gillie, but Gillie paid no attention to the warning his companion spirit as it was so much fun to sit with Lilly and answer her questions and tell those stories from her perspective. If Lilly had not been convinced before she was by the time Chloe arrived with her gym bag, no one could have known as much about her and her brother as this girl knew.

Chloe sorted through the bag and gave Gillie the spare clean set of underwear and soccer uniform she kept in the bag, then her mother pulled the curtain so that Gillie could get dressed in private. Gillie had a bit of trouble with the sports bra but managed to get it on by herself, the rest was simple. As they sat waiting on Lilly’s husband to get all the paperwork ready so Gillie could leave the hospital with them, Gillie began to find the clothing highly irritating, so much that Lilly even noticed how much Gillie was fidgeting around and scratching.

As the three women discussed Gillie’s issue with the clothing Tom walked back in with the paperwork and got into the discussion. Pushing his wife and daughter to Hanna’s side of the room, he began examining Gillie.

“I believe you are allergic to these fabrics Gillie.” Tom stated, “Lilly could you come over her please?” Once Lilly had come past the curtain, “What is this made of?” he asked as he rubbed the lower hem of the jersey between his finger.

“I believe it's nylon, so are the shorts.”

Tom’s brow furled, “Gillie, You need to get these off immediately. I am sure you are allergic to this fabric!”

Without hesitation Gillie pulled the jersey top off, then stood to remove the shorts. Tom looked carefully over her skin and she had a severe rash anywhere the material had been in contact with her skin. “Ok those clothes will not do, I’ll get you a set of scrubs to wear home, cotton does not appear to be a problem with your skin.”

“Oh jeez, it looks like I am going to have to go shopping for things you can wear.” Lilly giggled.

“I’m sorry,” Gillie lowered her head shamefully.

“What?” Tom chuckled, “You just made her day! If shopping were an Olympic event Lilly would win gold!”

“Oh god!” They all heard Chloe groan from the other side of the curtain. “Not shopping with mom!”

“You don’t like to shop with your mom?” They all heard Hanna on the other side of the curtain.

“You have never been shopping with my mom!”

“But it’s for your sister.” Hanna said.

“Oh!” Chloe’s voice sounded much more enthusiastic, “That’s right mom can dress her in all that girly girl stuff she wants to buy!”

The curtain swung and Chloe’s head appeared in the opening, “I think this could be fun!”

“Sister,” Lilly thought out loud, “I think that would work. I’ll draw up the paperwork Monday to make it official.”

“What paperwork dear?” Tom looked over at his wife.

“The adoption papers for Gillie of course.” Lilly grinned, “Giles was declared officially dead, so we need to make Gillie official in the eyes of the state. Adoption would take care of that easily.”

“Are you sure of this Lilly?” Tom asked.

“I have never been more sure of anything in my life Tom.” Lilly sat with her back straight, “Whether you believe this or not, this is my brother sitting here. I know it after taking to her while you both were gone, She knows things that no one but my brother could know. I don’t know how this happened but it has happened and I will not, I repeat will not let social services, MCO or any other government organization take her away from me. She is family and you know how I feel about family!”

“I don’t want to cause problems.” Gillie interrupted.

Tom sighed, “At this point Gillie, not going along with Lilly would cause the problem.”

Chloe and Lilly both smiled, Lilly knowing she had won and Chloe had hoped this would happen. Chloe had the one thing she had dreamed of for so long, a sister. Well maybe Gillie wasn’t her real sister she was really more like her aunt since Gillie was her mother’s brother now turned sister, but not only did they look the same age, they looked like sisters, twin sisters. And her mother had said something about adopting, which would make Gillie her real sister.

“Ok Gillie, I need you to sign these forms,” Tom picked up a clipboard he had sat aside when he came in and needed to examine the rash she quickly developed wearing the synthetic fabric of his daughter’s soccer uniform.

“Wait!” Lilly stopped her as Gillie began to sign the first page. “Sign them using Gillian Blankenship for your name.”

Gillian cocked her head as she looked over to Lilly, “But that is not my name.”

“It will be after Monday,” Lilly grinned. “ And it will make everything easier in the long run since we won’t have to go through the hassle of a legal name change and such.”

“I thought you were going to use the adoption process to make Gillie legal?” Tom quizzed.

“I have another idea I want to discuss when we get home,” The grin on Lilly’s face widened. Gillie looked back and forth between Tom and Lily trying to determine if everything was alright.

Chloe giggled, “Mom used to be a big name lawyer in Atlanta.”

“Tom and I decided to move back home after Billy was born.” Lilly explained, “We felt it was a better atmosphere to raise a family.”

“That and it gave us both more time to be with our family,” Tom put in.

“So you both get those papers signed,” improbable as it seemed Lily's smile widened further, “and I’ll go get a nurse to help me find something for Gillie to wear, so we can get both of our daughters home.”



If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
up
191 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 11739 words long.