“Hello Dear.” The greeting sounded sincere but Hannah knew better.
“Where is he?” Hannah’s voice squeaked out as a whisper. She felt a tremor in her hand and she tried to keep the gun steady.
“Who darling?” Her mother asked, her smile unwavering. Hannah scoffed,
“You know who!” The strength in her voice returned as the anger bubbled to the surface.
Evelyn Carmichael took a step closer, her eyes on the gun. Hannah looked behind her mother to the open doorway. Two large men stood at her only escape and Hannah took a small step backwards. The smile on Evelyn’s face widened and she took another step closer.
“Stop playing games!” Hannah said, firming her stance. Evelyn stopped, her smile dropping. She motioned for the two men to advance and they slowly took steps forward, hands on their own weapons.
“You’re not going to shoot me dear.” Evelyn said, her smile returning.
“Where is he?!” Hannah’s voice cracked and she fought to keep her hands steady. Evelyn clicked her tongue and shook her head.
“What kind of mother would I be if I knew where Zeke was and I didn’t tell you?” Hannah stepped closer to her mother. The two men stopped moving forward and pulled their weapons from their holsters. Hannah moved the gun from one of them to the other then back to Evelyn.
“Hannah, you are outnumbered and outgunned. Put it down.” Her mother’s voice was calm but harsh. Hannah heard voices outside the small room and knew more were coming. With new light illuminating the room, Hannah searched for a window. Evelyn followed her frantic gaze and chuckled.
“Oh darling. You can’t escape without going through that door.” She pointed behind her and Hannah scoffed.
“I could shoot my way out.” She said, taking a small step closer to her mother.
“Perhaps, but then how would you find Zeke?”
Hannah sighed and lowered her gun. Her mother’s companions grabbed the gun from her and pulled her out of the room. Her eyes readjusted again with the new light and she blinked.
Mannequins were scattered in the abandoned dressmaking warehouse, giving the large room an eerie feel. Hannah was thrown into a chair as her mother moved to a table with a silver tea set. She poured from the teapot and the steam fogged the silver.
Hannah scanned the room for the exits and windows, the nearest being guarded by a muscular woman. Evelyn turned and sipped from the cup, raising her eyebrows.
“Oh! I’m sorry, did you want some tea?” She asked, sipping again.
“Where is Zeke?” Hannah asked, watching her mother carefully. Evelyn smiled,
“What makes you think I know where Zeke is?” She asked, sitting across from Hannah.
Hannah sighed and looked at the ground.
“It’s been ten days.” She said, looking back up with tears forming in her eyes.
“Yes.” Her mother said, sipping her tea. Hannah tried to stand and felt a hand on her shoulder, pushing her down.
“Where is he?!” Hannah yelled, the echo caused heads to turn and hands to position above weapons. Evelyn cleared her throat and stood, walking back over to the teapot. She started humming as she poured more water into her cup and Hannah growled quietly.
“Frustrated?” Evelyn asked, facing away from her.
“He’s innocent. He doesn’t deserve-“
“He’s no more innocent than you are!” Evelyn interrupted and slammed her cup onto the table. Spinning around, Evelyn’s casual smile had been replaced by a scowl. Hannah shifted in her seat and stared straight ahead at nothing. Evelyn sighed and returned to her seat.
“Hannah?” She waited until Hannah turned to look at her. The smile had returned and she reached forward, putting her hand on Hannah’s leg.
“I can help you, but you have to tell me what I want to know first.”
“So you do know where Zeke is?” Hannah asked, leaning forward. Evelyn smiled,
“Let’s say I do.” Evelyn leaned back and crossed her arms.
“You know what I want in return for his location.” Evelyn’s smile disappeared and Hannah glanced back over to the nearest exit. Her mother uncrossed her arms and leaned in closer.
“Where is it?” She hissed. A small red spot appeared on Evelyn’s forehead and Hannah smiled.
“What?” Her mother asked, standing. The red spot followed her. Hannah let her smile fall away and stared at her mother with no emotion.