I concentrated on the mirrored wall. One-way glass—the good stuff, not the kind
they have in cop shops, where you can press your face against it and see through.
Seeing through this type required a special talent. A demonic talent. I slitted my eyes.
The mirror blurred, then the other side came into focus, wobbly and distorted, like
looking at it from underwater.
Straight across from me was another cell. Inside, a man watched television, his back
to me. Dark-skinned and dread-locked. A supernatural of some kind. What kind
didn’t concern me. Not yet.
I peered down the hall. More cells. More people inside. At the end of the corridor
was the exit door, complete with a flashing red light and some fancy fingerprint
reading machine. Damn. Well, what did I expect? A wide-open door with a neon
"escape here" sign?
"See anything, mom?" Savannah whispered behind me.
"Not yet. But don’t you worry. I have a plan."
And I would. As soon as I thought of one. Savannah sat on the bed, legs crossed,
reading a teen magazine given to her by the bitch whose flunkies had tossed us in
here. What was her name? Baker? No, Bauer. Sondra Bauer. Perfect suit, perfect
hair, perfectly phony smile. Oh dear, I’m so sorry we had to kidnap you, little girl,
here’s a nice magazine to make it better. When I got hold of her, that smile wouldn’t
be nearly so perfect.
Savannah returned to her reading, as carefree as if she’d been sitting on her bed at
home. She knew I’d get her out. She trusted me.
If only I’d made Savannah go to school today . . .
She hadn’t been sick. Any normal mom would have made her go. But I wasn’t
normal, never pretended to be. As a kid, I’d hated school—used to fake sick at least
once a week to avoid it. The first time Savannah did this, I’d made a decision. I
could do what my mother had done—draw up a list of sick day requirements:
temperature over 101, vomiting, rash, broken bones, blah, blah, blah. Or I could toss
the parenting books out the window and do things my way. So I made a deal with