2007-12-02: Deliverance

Starring:

Mariska_icon.gif Felix_icon.gif

Special Guest Star:

???

Summary: Mariska gets a surprising visitor — and is led down an unexpected path in her wish to be reunited with her beloved daughter, Sasha.

Date It Happened: December 2nd, 2007

Deliverance


Felix and Mariska's Apartment

Queens

Late in the afternoon, nearly four o'clock, the December sky seen outside of sixth floor windows has already begun to grow noticeably dimmer as the sun prepares to race the rush hour traffic right down to the horizon in an attempt to see who might make it home first. With Felix still presumably stuck in an office somewhere, Mariska makes herself busy with preparations for dinner in a stroke of true domesticity. There's water on the boil while she holds a metal bowl betwixt her knees and peels potatoes at the small table that sits beneath the benevolent Mother's icon image on the wall. There's a glass of something amber accompanied by three ice cubes in a tumbler on the table but she has little time to see to it until she's at least skinned the last spud.

Was she there before? Hiding, disguised by a trick of the light? Or did she appear out of thin air like Mariska herself can do at will? Whatever the case, she's here now: a girl, seeming small and delicate as she sits on the kitchen floor, her back to the woman keeping house so closeby — the child is just beside her, in fact. A long, cream-coloured scarf trails on the floor behind her from her neck, atop long brown hair, the only remnant of winter gear. Otherwise, she wears a denim dress with colourful flower patches sewn on; white tights, mary-janes. Quiet as a mouse, her head is tipped up toward the icon of Mary and infant up in the corner — examining it. Reflecting. Or perhaps praying.

CLANG! Metal bowl? I'd like you to meet black and white checkerboard floor! The sudden apparition startles Mariska with all the apparent shock of a miser confronted by Marley's ghost. She all but bounds up from her chair and frames herself in the doorway on the kitchen, hands gripping either side of the doorjamb like white-knuckled vices. That's not her little girl, is it? No, it can't be! Perhaps if she blinks very hard…

It becomes obvious as the little girl gets to her feet that no, she's not Mariska's child. Her hair is a touch too light, her face a too rounded and matured, and she's too tall for the age of six. This girl looks to be more along the lines of ten or eleven. She has a bright, carefree smile even as Mariska bolts in fear. "Don't be scared!" she giggles and holds onto the ends of her scarf, bobbing back and forth on her heels on that checkerboard floor. "I know your daughter!"

This is the last time she take any advice from anyone who works in an Amsterdam liquor store — their idea of a 'good scotch' apparently comes laced with something that makes you hallucinate 'tweens! Mariska blinks again for good measure and then tilts her chin to the side until she nearly touching it to her right shoulder. Begin the rapid-fire inquisition in startled and slightly broken English: "Who are you? What you doing here? How you know my daughter?"

The girl's eyes widen, but her smile doesn't dissipate. In fact, she looks a tiny bit smug. "She's my friend," she says, and her smile widens, child's eyes twinkling. "It's okay, I swear. I'm not a ghost or anything. I'm not here to haunt you!" The notion seems to be awfully silly to her and she giggles lyrically. She lets go of her soft wool scarf and steps around the table, trailing a hand along the top of a chair. "I go visit her. She lives in a cabin. It's beside a lake. It's really pretty."

"…how did you get here?" wonders the stupefied Russian, green eyes still somewhat wary in their narrowed gaze but lacking any genuine hostility. There's a hiss on the stove as water boiled in anticipation of naked potatoes now begins to protest its temporarily forgotten condition. Very slowly, Mariska inches back in to the kitchen, keeping her gaze on the girl for as long as she can until the task at hand requires her to turn down the dial to something less volatile and willing to wait. It's then time to fetch the bowl from the floor and collect what scattered peelings there are to be found and make them garbage-bound.

The girl, contrary to all horror movies that came before her, doesn't wield an axe or turn into a demonic beast the moment Mariska looks away for a fraction of a second. She stays exactly where she is, pleasant smile and all, save to swivel about on her heels to always face the woman. "How did you get here?" she counters with childish sass. "I think it's really unfair that you can't visit Sasha," she says. Bit by bit, that carefree smile leaves. A shame, because her sad little frown and big, sympathetic eyes can be pretty heart-clenching. "You know… the people you work for now… they're never going to let you be her mom. They're gonna keep her locked away forever."

Mariska's expression, meanwhile, goes suddenly sullen with the little girl's commiserate revelation. Just the thought of being deprived forever of her daughter makes Mariska go all gooey and weak in the knees and she returns to the chair that she had previously occupied with a slump in her shoulders. Instead of asking any sort of logical question, something along the lines of 'how do you know who I work for?' or 'what was your name again?', the Russian woman declares, "No, they're not. It's just until she can control herself." And that's probably the mantra she repeats to herself every night in order to find some semblance of peace in her sleep.

"Even if she gets really good at control, they're gonna keep her, forever, 'cause of what she can do. They own her." The girl takes a singular step forward and presses her pink lips together, brow furrowing as much as a child's can. "I know 'cause it happened to me too, once." Funny, the way she says that; she can't be older than eleven, and somehow she has this experience? "But— someone saved me. They can save her, too. They can save you."

It takes Mariska a moment to drudge her way out of her brief appearance at the pity party and she stiffens her expression into something much more stern and much less reflection of the fretful pout worn by her young companion. "I don't need saving," she says assertively. In an attempt to defy any objection to the contrary, she is quick to ammend, "But… I do need help…" Her green eyes can help but rove upwards on the wall and settle onto the icon of the Madonna and Child before she then adds, "Who saved you?"

"Someone…" The girl follows Mariska's gaze, staring up thoughtfully at the Madonna and Child until a peaceful little smile tugs her lips up. Her gaze doesn't stray. "…somewhere that's gonna make the world a better place." She looks back to the other Mother — the flesh and blood one here in the kitchen. Wide-eyed and full of hope and sincerity, she says, "There's … so much you can learn."

The very corporeal mother deposits her gaze back down onto the possibly less than corporeal girl by her side and wonders aloud, "And are you to be my teacher?" Because that would just be… kinda weird.

Oh, that Mariska! She's so funny! "No, silly!" The child giggles, scrunching up her nose and flipping the end of her scarf whimsically. She grows serious again, lifting mousy brown eyebrows. "Check your mailbox," she says. "You can do it right now, can't you? You can just—" she makes a *pop!* noise with her mouth, smacking her lips. "Go downstairs?"

Er, well, technically yes, but — is this some kind of trick?? For a moment, Mariska considers discretion… it's a very fleeting moment. Curiousity unleashed, Mariska makes a few bold steps over to the hook by the door where hangs her so oft-forgotten house keys and then KRAK!

What a coincidence. Because down at the mailboxes is the husband, just home from work. He's ruffling through junkmail and discarding it in a convenient trashcan, only to look up in startlement when Misha appears out of nowhere like a genie. Fel blinks at her mildly from behind his glasses. "Honey. That eager to see me?"

A small white card, business sized, flutters from the pile of junkmail as Felix rifles through it. It falls on the floor between the couple, face-up.

www.pinehearstresearch.com
PINEHEARST
C O M P A N Y

26877 Century Drive
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
877.309.7463

The girl who was, just a moment ago, in Felix and Mariska's apartment, is now outside looking through the glass in the door. She raises a finger to her smiling lips: shh. Our little secret.

Well, hello there. Finding a Fed at the mailbox certainly wasn't the sort of serendipitous surprise that Mariska might have been expecting. She parts her lips as if in an attempt to explain when the business card falls out and flutters to the ground, catching her attention and striking her momentarily mute. She stoops to retrieve it and catches a glimpse of the little girl on the other side of the glass and takes pause. Creepy. Cue the oddly wordless and indescribable look offered to Felix.

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