First, I need to back up a little bit and start from when I was rescued. The cops were genuinely surprised to find me alive. The crime scene team was collecting evidence and taking samples when they stumbled across my battered form. How long I remained out was a mystery. They assumed I was just another dead body in the carnage to be processed by the forensics squad. Upon regaining consciousness, I startled the two investigators nearest me. Once they realized I was still alive, they took me down the stairs by stretcher and transported me to the hospital.
There I remained for six agonizing days while my wounds healed. As serious as they were, the unseen mental ‘lacerations’ I suffered took infinitely longer to overcome. I’m convinced that a weaker person would have been mentally destroyed by such a vicious ordeal.
Amazingly, just as I was being discharged while still bearing the clear signs of sadism and torture, I was informed that I was an official ‘person of interest’ in the murder investigation. There were more than thirty five people dead at the Home and they wanted answers. Being the focus of anything at that point was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to crawl into a hole and die like all the other victims; but there was no privacy or peace in my immediate future.
To be directly linked with two institutional massacres planted a ‘bullseye’ squarely on my forehead. It was guilt by association as far as the investigators were concerned. Technically I survived the first one because I called in sick but even my verified alibi didn’t matter anymore. It made me look complicit for it to happen again, despite the logistical impossibilities and the gory proof of my brutal assault. Detective O’Keefe had been killed in the battle for our freedom so I had no real ally left at the police station. I was interrogated again by his less-than sympathetic replacement.
The only thing that eventually won my freedom and legally exonerated me was the recordings of the police calls. The dying officers called for backup during the violent siege. The authorities wouldn’t release those tapes but I knew all-too-well what was on them; and so did they. It was verbal proof of a humanoid race of reptilian demons; and that was something they’d never admit. The world wasn’t ready to know.
Instead the detective quizzed me at length about the thinly-veiled scenario I had constructed. One that both of us knew was a complete lie. It was much easier for both of us to pretend there was a ‘satanic death cult’ on the loose, than to admit the unimaginable truth. The two of us continued our dance of deception until a stalemate was reached. Detective Young obviously heard the tapes of his dying colleagues screaming for help. He knew I had nothing to do with the massacre but he had to find plausible deniability before dismissing me.
The public were sure to demand answers and the news-media would make ugly connections between me and both deadly events. The police had to find a clear way to proclaim my innocence while shielding the world from this terrible truth. While he couldn’t openly admit what we both knew, Detective Young began to speak to me in veiled metaphors. He discreetly let me know that he would protect me from the often over-zealous legal system.
His method of instigating the coverup was to release the results of my rape test. While I was already going through hell for all I’d been through, it was the clearest path to win public opinion for me. Once I was recognized as the real victim, the people would stop seeing me as suspicious suspect.
The diversion worked as planned but I was still a marked individual by a judgmental public. My notoriety followed me everywhere I went. People asked what really happened but I stuck to the safe, palatable lie. It was the only way to maintain the unspoken agreement I’d made with Detective Young and the police. It was impossible to find work and with my baby on the way, it wasn’t practical to even look.
I spiraled into a deep depression that no rape counseling or therapy could help. Even in the presence of professionals who held sacred confidentiality agreements, I still maintained the facade. I didn’t want to be involuntarily committed to an asylum and lose custody before my child was even born. I fully realized how crazy the whole thing sounded so I kept my mouth shut. My doctor tried to prescribe a mild sedative but I declined. I didn’t want to risk harming the growing life inside me. Even if I was unsure of what it would be. Maternal instinct is a powerful thing.
The closer it came to the delivery time, the more on-edge I became. I had no idea what to expect. Would I give birth to a living monstrosity? Was my human desire to offer mercy and feel pity for an innocent, unborn child, misguided in this extreme case? I struggled with those moral issues every day but the baby inside was half me. I felt a protective bond that only another mother in crisis could understand. I began to wish it would just stay inside me so I could avoid the tremendous complications it’s birth would bring.
Finally the day arrived. I was rushed to the hospital and my contractions followed the normal patterns. Dread and fear filled my thoughts. Not so much about the normal rigors of painful child-labor; but over the inevitable aftermath. I wasn’t prepared to explain what I expected to happen. I was terrified of how the attending physician and nurses would react. How far does the Hippocratic oath extend? I was in no physical condition to defend my baby, no matter how different it might be, from harsh judgment.
My period of labor was filled with an extra level of deep apprehension. When the baby came out, I surveyed the doctor’s eyes for signs of fear or revulsion. With most of his face covered by a full protective smock, I couldn’t immediately read his reaction. Making for more suspense, the baby was initially beneath my field of view. Neither the doctor or nurses said anything for a long time. I was on pins and needles for some sort of visual or audio feedback. Finally the doctor spoke.
“Congratulations Megan! You have a beautiful little baby girl.”
Once the attending nurse cleaned her up and suctioned out the air passage, she handed her tiny form over to me. We locked eyes for the first time and I openly wept. As much from pure joy as from relief. She was 100% normal looking in every way. I was beyond thankful. From that day forward, I was able to bury most of the painful past and focus on the future. Our future.
Over time however, I started to notice things about my daughter that reminded me of Darcy. While she was physically quite healthy, Ann didn’t meet most of the AMA recommend milestones for her cognitive development range. After she reaching school age, she would often state random, disassociated things that strongly suggested a learning disability. As time went on, these similarities with Darcy’s mental affliction grew in both pattern and overall scope.
I could no longer ignore what I suspected but I had to do a lot of research into Darcy’s past first. If my hunch was right (and if I could prove it), the world would never be the same. I sued the state for information about Darcy under the ‘Freedom of Information Act’ and miraculously won. Although heavily redacted, I was able to glean that her Mother died during (or shortly after) giving birth in a town about two hours away. It didn’t list her official cause of death but I was pretty sure of what I’d discover when I traveled there to interview the locals.
No ‘father’ was listed on the birth certificate and no family members stepped forward to take her in. She had been shuffled back and forth indifferently between several large government orphanages and state institutional systems until her tragic suicide. My heart ached at the thought of her short, disappointing life and all she had to endure. I was determined to uncover the ugly truth, no matter how dark it was.
The attending delivery doctor was still in practice in the town where Darcy was born. The same was also true of the original county clerk at the records office. I spoke with the doctor and was surprised that he still remembered her birth! He had delivered thousands of babies in his long career but Darcy’s birth stood out for a very specific reason. He said that the mother was unusually agitated and nervous. Once born, she demanded to know if her child was human! For him to remember any detail of an event twenty three years earlier, says a lot about how vivid the memory it was.
Darcy’s mother experienced the same panic and fears that I felt on the delivery table. All the numbers and circumstantial evidence was starting to add up. The doctor shook his head at the strange recollection one more time and frowned in introspection. He admitted that she was too troubled to be sent home but the hospital staff overruled his recommendation to keep her under observation for 48 hours. I think he was still carrying around guilt over Darcy’s mother’s death for all those years. A similar guilt to my own.
I thanked him for his recollections and candor. Afterward I made plans to speak privately with the county records clerk so I could delve deeper into the mystery. I didn’t realize it at the time but she was going to bring a whole new dimension to my fledgling investigation.