A Rotten Pie

Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Short Fiction
Alyssa's pulses were getting weaker and weaker. A bed near the wall with a magpie painting which Alyssa was lying on. Evans looked at his watch, he realized it had been twenty-six hours since Alyssa's water broke with her first contraction. Evans kept wiping the sweat on Alyssa's forehead and trying to keep her awake. Their first daughter Aurora was too young to help them, but she held Alyssa's hand and tearfully cried "mommy". Alyssa had never given a single response.
All of a sudden, Alyssa rolled her eyes up and her body was shaking hysterically. Evans tried to soothe Alyssa but it didn't work.
"My sweet little pie... You're scaring me... Oh my god..."
He didn't know what to do to save Alyssa. Aurora was crying as if she could feel that she was losing her mommy. The candle wax was dripping, wind was blowing hard through the small window near the ceiling in their suburban shed. The room had gone rather dim and you could see the rain clouds rolling in from Austin, Texas.
Aurora's thunderous screams couldn't pull Evans' mind away from the harsh reality that he was losing Alyssa. At that moment, his mind was full of every moment he spent worshiping her. When she'd fallen down the concrete stairs at the back of the house he had wiped her scraped knees clean and brushed her hair when she'd gotten a nasty stomach flu a few summers ago.
After a while when he became conscious about everything, he'd already arrived at the hospital. While Alyssa was in the operation room, he sat outside with Aurora in the lobby. He couldn't remember when he actually arrived at the hospital. Evans looked at his phone, and he could see the number 911 in his recent call logs. In hindsight, he realized he'd called the police without saying a proper word. His staggered words triggered the 911 operator to send paramedics to his place, they'd thought he might be having a stroke.
One of the nurses came by and suggested Evans bring Aurora to the kids' playroom, but Aurora declined and grabbed Evans's arm tightly. She was petrified and overwhelmed since she had never been to a crowded room, nor met any other people. The tiny shed she was born in was the only world she'd known. Evans started singing her favorite lullaby to calm her to try to get her to sleep.
As the doctors were operating on Alyssa they noted her narrow shoulders, slender hips, and the skin on her delicate fingers. They examined Alyssa and came to the conclusion that she was too young to be a mother of two children. Especially one as old as Aurora, who was two years old and talking. The attending nurse and doctor notified the police officers at the hospital so they could investigate further.
A few moments later when Aurora was asleep, two hospital police approached Evans for questioning. A nurse joined Aurora in the cold yellow playroom.
"Driver's license please."
Evans handed it to them.
"What do you do for a living?"
"Who's that little girl?"
"My daughter."
"How old is she?"
"Why'd you come to the hospital today?"
"Alyssa was having seizures."
"How old is she?"
"I'm not sure."
"What's your relationship to the little girl?"
"She is her mother."
"No, I'm asking what's YOUR relationship to the little girl?"
Evans shifted in his seat and rubbed his sweaty palms on the sides of his jeans.
"She's my daughter."
Evans stared at the cracked tile in front of him. The police voices murmured above him like rain clouds. Aurora watched from a nearby hospital room as Evans was handcuffed and brought to the police car.
Evans seemed to slink down the hospital aisle until he saw from the corner of his eye Alyssa's parents glaring at him. His brother Jared and his wife Amelia. Evans remembered the day Alyssa's parents decided to leave her at the orphanage when she was diagnosed with autism. Amelia was forty-six when she finally gave birth to Alyssa, and was disgusted more than devastated when she found out she wasn't perfect. Jared, who had only wanted to make Amelia happy, submitted to all of her IVF demands and constant doctors' visits. When Alyssa was diagnosed with severe autism, Amelia erased her from her heart and would mockingly call her "my little rotten pie".
Evans was sympathetic and brought her to the shed where they lived. He took care of her everyday, gave her books from the library, and held her close on the nights that were too cold to pass alone. Alyssa never suspected that they were related. Their relationship laid in a gray area. Evans was only Evans to Alyssa. The only person who took care of her. Day by day, he started to feel differently and develop an incestuous relationship with her as she got older and more beautiful. When Alyssa had Aurora, their lives were exhilarating. When Alyssa became pregnant with Abigail, Evans knew their family would be complete. Evans would put his hand on Alyssa's tummy and feel Abigail's tiny feet inside her womb. All these memories and feelings would never wane, they would be engraved inside Evans' head forever.
An hour later, the red light was off. Someone with a surgical gown walked out. Her parents walked towards the doctors.
"Is she ok? We're her parents."
"She is still critical and she will be in our ICU. The baby died in her womb. She'll be asleep for a while. She needs more time to wake up."
While Alyssa was being transferred, the police approached her parents for questioning.
A few days later when Alyssa woke up, she realized she was in the hospital. The room was way bigger, nosier and brighter. It was the first time she'd ever seen a light bulb. It made her eyes uncomfortable and raw. Someone had changed her into a hospital gown. Hearing the sounds from all these unfamiliar machines startled her. Alyssa turned her head around and looked for Evans. Doctors came in and told her everything, including her true relationship to Evans. Alyssa was too shocked to say anything. Tears kept rolling down her pale face.
When Alyssa felt better, she had been transferred to a normal patient room, adjacent to Aurora's at pediatrics. It had been a month after the surgery and they stayed there because the doctors believed them to be severely underweight. The story of Evans' crimes was starting to make its way into the national headlines. Alyssa ruminated about everything that had happened. Evans' true identity, her time in her perfect little shed, and her dead daughter. Deep down she understood everything was a dream.
Alyssa heard a voice coming from the door.
"Come here"
Even though they were under close observation, Alyssa took her first chance to sneak away and found Aurora in a nearby room. She followed the voice that had been haunting her and carried Aurora up the stairs and to the roof. Alyssa didn't even know where she was going, but when she reached the rooftop and pushed the door she felt the chilly wind go through her body. Alyssa felt free.
"Come here Alyssa."
"Mommy, look! It's the magpie on the wall!" Aurora pointed at the blue and petite magpie. "I want to see it a bit closer, can I?"
"Let's go together."
As Alyssa watched the magpie flit through the air, she could hear Evans voice calling her "come here". She took Aurora's tiny hand and ambled toward the bird delicately. Before she could even feel her feet leave the ground, she and Aurora were flying through the air. The last thing Alyssa could see was the dance of the magpie's feather as it gusted through her fingers.
The rooftop was still.