You can imagine the weekend we’ve had.
We got the hell outta that horrible, animal-death themed hotel literally like within 12 hours of Cara’s rifting.
I mean, definitely I think if I’d woken up and she was just gone I would probably be in full on regression melt-down right now, so yeah, I think I’m glad to have been there. But I can feel my brain starting to wear tracks on the image of her climbing off our chair and being suddenly far away. Lifting her bag. Looking up at the strange landscape for a few unbearable moments before walking briskly away.
It was a bad situation. It was bad. Just like Lodge said: We should never have allowed it to happen.
I think everyone knows that at this point. Everyone’s pissed, and I mean everyone. The Allens, despite being the face of the entire movement to put her through a rift in the first place, are currently insisting that if we just had a proper system of punishment — execution, is what they mean — than we never would have had to resort to such a cowardly, unreliable form of punishment. Personally, I can’t imagine shooting her behind a barn would make anyone feel any better, but they’ve pretty much convinced themselves that it’s this specific form of punishment that feels so fucking rotten, not all punishment in general.
I say punishment here, but they’re all using the word justice, as if those two things are any different.
Meanwhile, the Kellihers, and Molly and Sharp Becker — who I literally love so much btw, with their short haircuts and their hiking boots — are pissed that the Walthers and Lana let themselves get bullied into this.
“Silas can be a hard son of a bitch,” Lodge said the other night over drinks. “But I thought he had a fucking backbone.”
Meanwhile Mercy and Zinia are pissed that Lana would use her “gifts” to enforce inhumane punishment.
“This is the leadership we’re supposed to trust?” Zinia asked, somewhat pointedly as we loaded up the car to get out of there Friday night.
Julian did NOT like that.
One thing we all agree on: rifting people is inhumane. I wish there was a way to describe the absolute wrongness of it, because I don’t know who you are reading this. Maybe you believe the state should be allowed to murder people if they “deserve it” so magical banishment seems like the soft option.
If that’s you idk what to tell ya. You’re just going to have to trust me, a person who’s seen it done: it’s bad. We got out of there as quickly as we could.
Initially we were going to caravan with Knock and Daryl’s van back to the Crossroads with Jasper and Beverly. I can’t really say it helped, because right now nothing really helps, everyone’s pissed and miserable.
But still, I spent Saturday in the van with Rook, Knock and Daryl. Bev and Jasper rode in the Rabbit with Neal and Julian. It was at least peaceful, laying with my head in Rook’s lap listening to dad music while Rook played with my hair all day. And it was nice to have a room just the two of us Saturday night.
Rook is so reserved and cool-headed, right, but like… I don’t really know how to explain it. When I cry, he never looks away from me, and he doesn’t change his tone, he just carries on the conversation. I feel like I can’t scare him, like no matter how big my batshit insane feelings get, he’ll have space for them. We lay in bed all night just like, facing each other and talking.
And then, Sunday morning, the news I’m sure you all saw this weekend:
Kelvin Rademaker is dead. Him and SIXTEEN of his companions. And to be clear here, that’s an additional sixteen from the bunch that breathed in fog.
How’d they go?
They were hung. Like, strung up, hung by their necks until dead, pirates-of-the-Caribbean-style, HUNG.
Julian immediately got on the phone, first to Lana, who knew nothing but sounded very frayed and frantic.
“He was in custody with you, wasn’t he?” Neal demanded.
“He was,” Lana said.
“Then how —”
“You know where I’ve been, I have no idea how,” Lana snapped.
The Walthers also knew nothing and were scrambling to find information same as we were, so Julian finally called our informants.
None of them picked up their phones, except Katie. Katie was the first we called, the one who’s house was taken by the Infirmament, the one who left when Kelvin started paying other members more attention and she was forced to see what kind of place it was.
Katie didn’t pick up the phone herself though.
“Hi, Katie? This is Julian,” he said. “I’m calling about —”
“No, I’m sorry,” the woman on the other side of the phone said. “I’m Susan, Katie’s sister.”
“Is Katie there?”
“No,” Susan said, and then after a soft gasp, “I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’m afraid Katie’s dead. She was —” she stifled a sob. “I’m sorry, she was murdered. Hung at that horrible old town she used to live at.”
Julian made all his apologies, spoke gently to Susan for several minute and got all the information he could.
Apparently all evidence suggests that someone broke into Katie’s house last night. The back door was broken, glass all over the kitchen. There was a gun shot in the wall, but no blood anywhere.
When Julian got off the phone though, the news was full on calling the situation a mass suicide. Cult members return to their ruined town to kill themselves together.
“No,” Neal said, listening. “That doesn’t track. Kelvin doesn’t escape Lana and a world of magic just to kill himself. And even if he did, there’s no way he convinces 16 others to hang themselves. Too violent. Poisoning, maybe, but not hanging. And that’s not even trying to explain why Katie went back to die with them.”
“What do you think?” Julian asked.
“You know what I think,” Neal replied, and there was a DEPTH in that anger.
They think someone decided to take justice into their own hands. And I’m not sorry Kelvin’s dead hahahaha, but Lana told us just last week that if we didn’t put Cara through that rift, hunters would start killing civilians. And what happens this week?
Anyways, after that realization, we pretty much split ways. Beverly has to get back to the Crossroads — things are bound to only get more fucked up from here on out. Knock, Daryl and Rook are bringing Jasper and Beverly back there. They might join us in a couple days, depending on how things go.
We’re heading back to the Infirmament. We need to see what’s happening out there on our own.
We’ve spent all Sunday and most of today just driving. No one even put on music. Neal drove almost the whole time, silent, elbow propped against the window, chewing on his thumb. Julian has spent the whole drive on his iPad, doing whatever it is he does.
None of us are talking about Cara, because every time I think of her, I wonder: is she alive? Does time work differently in whatever world she’s gone to? Has she aged into an old woman in the last three days? Or is she still walking away from the portal, just a few steps from where I last saw her, listening to the sounds of her new world for the first time?