Chugging right along. Here are the links for those who need to catch up:
“Do you know where your husband is tonight?”
“Hm?” Paxton’s mother wiped sleepily at her face as she tried to think. “He’s…well he’s at work. He works every night.”
Paxton cowered in the corner. He wasn’t sure his mother knew he was there. She’d put him to bed hours ago, but he’d woken up and snuck out when he heard the banging on the door.
“Your husband’s workplace has been searched. He is not present. You do know the penalty for missing work, don’t you?”
“No…I mean yes I do, but…but please understand…he’s got to be there.” Her voice started to get higher, her speech faster. “My husband…he would never. He wouldn’t do something like that. We have a son to think of.”
“He is not at work and he is not at home. We have no other facts to consider. If your husband returns home tonight, your first action will be to call us. If you fail to do so, well…” The large man in the scary armor paused and turned to stare right into Paxton’s eyes. “There are penalties for that as well.”
Paxton’s mother followed the Enforcer’s gaze and saw her son crouching in the corner. She burst into tears, much to Paxton’s confusion. He couldn’t understand it. Had they hurt her? He only ever cried like that when he fell down.
“Please! I’m sure there’s an explanation!”
“Call us the moment you hear from him.”
They turned and left.
Paxton’s father did not come back that night. Or the next day. Paxton had no idea how to make his mother feel better. She stared out the window most of the day, jumping up and running to the door every time she heard a noise.
He tried everything he could think of – games of hide-and-seek, sitting in her lap, asking her to tell him a story – but nothing seemed to work.
On the third day of this, there was a knock at the door. Both Paxton and his mother ran to answer it.
Nobody was standing outside, but there was a package on their front step.
Paxton’s mother opened it. On top of the packing material was a work schedule with a note that said she would be expected to begin at the factory that very night. She set the papers aside and Paxton watched as she dug beneath the crumpled packaging. Her eyes filled with tears as she drew a hand out of the box. The bloodied stump of a wrist was still dripping. An old, dirty wedding band clung to the ring finger.
Okay, so…that was fun, huh? Chapter Five tomorrow. And guess what? I’m back to occasionally drawing comics! Here’s one for you now!