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.Wow.I didn’t know Ivy had it in her to expend this much energy in one session.But it would explain why Vicki couldn’t give me a good answer on whether Ivy was okay.In a prison setting, she was likely draining herself to exhaustion at every turn.I was both happy that someone I trusted was staying with Mom to help and distressed that she so obviously needed help.I led Mom to the table and got her seated.Gran was nodding sadly as she touched her daughter’s hand.“This is what I wanted you to see, Celie.I don’t know what’s happened to her.They claim they’re not using any medication on her and that nobody is hurting her.But look at her.What are they doing to my baby?”Tears formed at the corners of Gran’s eyes and I blinked back my own salty wetness.I had a feeling I knew what was wrong.But I was more afraid of that than if someone was hitting her.I touched her chin and turned her face toward mine.“Happy Birthday, Mom.It’s Celia.Can you hear me?” I spoke the words both out loud and into her mind.But there was nobody home to answer.Her eyes were unfocused, staring somewhere over my shoulder.I looked up to the sparkling formation near the ceiling.“Did someone hurt her before you got here? Is that why you came?”The overhead fluorescent lights blinked … and then blinked again.No? That made my brow furrow as a shout came from the other side of the room.“Fix the damn lights! I’m getting a headache!”“Who are you talking to, Celie?” Gran’s voice was nearly a whisper, as though she was afraid who would overhear.“It’s Ivy,” I responded with a smile in a similar whisper.“She’s here and has been watching over Mom.”I understood why Gran was whispering.We were getting way too much attention.The guard at the door was moving closer and two security cameras were spinning in our direction.The staff had already spent plenty of time on me at the entrance.The pale skin and fangs had bothered them no end, despite the fact that I’d walked in during broad daylight and passed through both the outer and inner magic perimeter.I’d even passed the holy-water test and had a cross shoved onto my wrist.But that didn’t mean I didn’t make them nervous.The more things that went wrong now, the more likely I would wind up in the cell next to my mother.“Oh, honey, that’s not good.Ivy’s only a child.Things go on here she … shouldn’t be exposed to.”“It’s okay, Gran.She’s helping.Really.She’s keeping Mom safe from the other women.And I don’t think you can stop her.” I didn’t add that there were quite a few things Ivy had seen in life that she probably shouldn’t.After Dad left, Mom had spent most of our childhood drinking, drugging, and sleeping around.Rather than say something I shouldn’t, I stood and walked over to the guard near the door.“Excuse me.How would I go about talking to the doctor or nurse here? I think my mother is reacting badly to the medication they’ve given her.” It seemed safer to say that than what I truly believed.I was afraid my turning more siren had kicked in my mother’s abilities, too.Here in jail, she couldn’t see the ocean.That was going to be a problem.But I didn’t want to announce she had the same blood.Especially not after my rather public trial.The woman was older, heavyset and dark skinned, with long hair worn in a bun at the back of her neck.She stood just about tall enough to stare at my neck, but I could tell immediately that she was all business and could probably teach me some new things about pain if I stepped out of line.She opened her mouth and I was transported out of California and straight south of the Mason-Dixon Line.“Honeychil’, your mama started doin’ that all on her own.I handle the medication calls on her block and I guarantee not a single pill has passed her lips.I’m worried about her, too.She’s not made for this place.She’s going downhill faster than anyone I’ve ever seen.It’s like she’s pining away, ready to join that pretty little girl of hers on the other side.”The guard’s absolute acceptance and knowledge of Ivy spooked me even more.“You can see the ghost?”“Oh, hell, yes.The women in my family are channelers from back before the War of Northern Aggression.” I honestly could say I hadn’t heard that term for the Civil War since … well, since high school.“You probably see a sparkly cloud, right?” I nodded.“I see a skinny little thing of about eight with long hair and a sad expression.Determined, though.Ain’t nobody gonna hurt her mama [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]