White Rooms
by Buffonia

"You were very hard to get a hold of," she says, small voice deceptively innocent. Her tone is somewhat mocking underneath the polite smile. "We were just pulling our hair out looking for you, Samara."

Samara says nothing, ignoring the joke. She is dirty, hair dangling, head bowed, and eyes raised to stare at the little girl who is sitting across from her.

The girl is clean cut, with pretty short hair that is brushed and clipped to the side with a barrette. She seems very satisfied with the whole occasion.

"Do be social," continues the haughty little girl. "I'm not going to hurt you." The smile is growing. "We're going to be very good friends. Isn't that right, Miss Morgan?"

"Very best friends," says Lilah, flatly before swallowing. Lilah is nervous, and it's a waste for her to try and hide it from either child. These girls see through facades, they see into people. This makes Lilah very nervous, not one for transparency.

"Thank you, Lilah," the girl waves her hand dismissively. "You can go be scared somewhere else now."

"Of course." Her sigh of relief audible, yet not disrespectful, as she turns and boards the elevator. Lilah's jaw is tight as the doors close, swallowing her image.

"Do you like your chair?" The girl is acting like she and Samara are just kids on a playdate. She remains seated primly, hands folded in her lap. "I had them make it specially for you, you know."

Samara does not reply.

"You can call me Eve," says the girl. "If you ever decide to speak."

"It can't be stopped." Samara does not blink. "And I'm sorry."

"They tell me you're only an echo of a damaged child." Eve pauses. "Don't prove them right. I know that you're much, much more. Why do you think I sent Lassie Morgan to fetch you from your well."

Samara continues her stare.

"Your cause is noble and tragic, I respect that. Especially the gruesome deaths, the very best kind." Eve speaks patiently. "The riddle itself is a brilliant touch. But you best remember where your powers come from, Samara. We all have our prices."

"I want to see her." Samara takes a great interest in her scabbed fingers, transfixing her gaze downwards. "Or I won't give them to you."

"We're clear then?" Eve's not really asking. "All those souls..."


Eve nods. "Don't let me interrupt your crusade. I'm quite a fan of it. So organized. I do love a good system."

A gentle hand on Samara's shoulder ends the meeting. Samara stands and turns, not showing any emotion. Anna bends down to her daughter's level, a loving smile on her worn face. Her hair is whisked up in a bun, the hair a loose curve around her face.

Maternal fingers sweep the dirty, damp strands from Samara's round cheeks. Anna leaves a light forgiving kiss on her forehead before bringing the child into a hug. A moment passes, Eve says nothing.

Mother and daughter join hands and enter the elevator. Anna's face lighted and glowing, Samara always stoic and loveless.

Eve raises her palm and gives a wiggling wag of her fingers, a child's wave, in farewell.


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