That Place, Part 18

While Margery and Shrubsbury were traveling back to Druwich, something unexpected happened, Judy returned home. Barty, who had failed to mention their daughter’s disappearance to his wife, secretly hoped that she might just turn up, safe and sound. And that hope was manifested this fine spring morning.
Coming down to the kitchen to brew a strong cup of tea, he found Judy pouring herself a glass of orange juice.
“Morning daddy,” she said with a smile.
Barty, paused for a moment, so many times he thought he heard her come in, or call from the other room, but each time it was nothing but wishful thinking. But this time he could actually see her.
“Judy?” he asked.
She walked up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. This was happening. Barty grabbed her and hugged. Judy was home.
“It’s good to see you too,” she said with a laugh.
“I’ve been worried sick! Where have you been? Never mind, you’re home, that’s all that matters,” he said.
“Let me fix us some breakfast,” said Judy.
And with that she started to cook and Barty sat down, the weight of having to tell his wife that their one and only daughter had vanished. Now, any other parent would be full of questions, most would lay down some sort of punishment, but Barty felt as though he had been pardoned at the last moment. All that he had wanted to was for everything to go back to normal and that was happening.
Of course things were far from normal but in that moment, all seemed right with the world.
After a very large and excellent breakfast, which also should have been a red flag for Barty since his daughter always cooked him breakfast when she wanted something, Judy said this.
“Daddy, I need you to sign something for me.”
“Hmmm?” asked Barty.
Judy produced a document with the place to sign indicated by those bright neon sticker.
“What is this about,” he asked.
“It a permission form, just like when I went on field trips,” she replied handing him a pen.
“Right. Of course…”
Barty, who had left his readers on the nightstand, squinted at the document.
“It’s just the same old stuff daddy,” Judy said with a sweet smile.
You might think poorly of Barty at this moment, but remember, he’d had a rough few days and had little to no interest in questioning what he considered his enormous good fortune. So he signed.

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