Joy fills me, quickly followed by horror. Rose had said something different, but she had also prophesized her own doom. What had she said? 'It's getting closer,' 'it's coming for me?' What could she mean? What could be coming for Rose? What was 'it?' Was 'it' really coming closer? Was 'it' really hunting my daughter?
"It's coming," says Rose from the back of the car.
"I know," I say. "I know it's coming. I know it's following you. I know, I know!" I pause and sigh. "But I'm going to find out what 'it' is. I'm going to find out what's following you if it kills me."
"But, mum, it will kill you. It's coming," insists Rose.
"Rose, tell me what 'it' is!" I cry. "Tell me what's coming! Tell me what's following you! Please! Tell me what's going to kill me!"
"It's coming," she repeats, her voice emotionless, her brief period of alertness gone.
I pull into the driveway and park the car, step out of it, and shut the door behind me. I take a minute to admire our house. The brick and the gingerbread trim make it look so adorable. Then I open the door for Rose. She climbs out of the car and her eyes linger on an oak tree, the tallest tree in the yard. Fear fills her eyes, but she can't seem to be able to look away as if she's looking at a freak accident.
"Rose, are you okay?" I ask.
She continues to stare at the tree, looking horrified. "It's coming... she's coming back."
"She?" I ask. "Are 'it' and 'she' the same thing?"
Rose doesn't reply. "She's coming. It's coming."
I take Rose inside. Ron is waiting for me.
"So?" he asks. "How'd it go?"
"Apparently she suffered some kind of shock," I reply. "That's why she repeats the words over and over again."
"What shocked her so badly?" asks Ron.
"How would I know?" I ask.
"So why can't we use Linguinimency or whatever it's called and find out?" Ron replies.
"I am not using Legillimency on my daughter Ronald!" I snap.
"It's coming," says Rose. I sigh and shake my head.
"I'll see you later Ron, Rose," I say.
"Wait," says Ron. "One more thing. If we can't figure out what's wrong with Rose, how are we supposed to know that the baby isn't going to get the same thing?" I glance down at my swollen belly and then back at Ron.
"Shock isn't hereditary," I reply. Then I turn to walk out of the door.
"Wait!" says Rose. Ron jumps. "Wait! Don't go near the tree! She'll find you! It'll find you!"
"I'll be fine, Rose," I say. Then I walk out the door and into the yard, leaving a worried Rose and a startled Ron together in the house.
I head for the oak tree, disreguarding the cold and gloomy weather. Upon reaching the tree I glance up and down it's gnarled surface. I place my hand up against the bark and quickly withdraw it.
No, no, I must be wrong, but closer inspection proves that I am right.