Etty was relieved to slip from her family home into the absolute quiet of the limbo between that realm and the mortal world. Almost everyone she knew, family, friends, or otherwise, spent as little time as possible in the mists. For her, it was a kind of refuge where she could be alone with her thoughts.
Neither floating, nor standing, or even sitting, but simply existing, she conjured a window to see what was going on with her husband and his friends. It was her original intention for the morning after discussing her accidental treasure hunt with her family.
She certainly hadn’t expected it to be such a huge thing. Rather, she’d hoped that it wouldn’t be, even in the face of accidentally turning three people into her slaves. Luckily, the logic of magic prevailed, and she was able to undo what she’d done.
Of course, now it fell to her to never do it again. It was a kind of vigilance she’d never been particularly good at. Her life had been safe, bucolic, and free of much of the pain, and trouble, other people endured. Consequently, she’d never learned how to curb her impulses effectively.
She frowned. It seemed that whatever else might be true, she was on the path to growing up, regardless.
While she considered these issues, the mists appeared to part, and she could see across an immaculately manicured lawn where well-dressed people were milling about. She could see the Manleigh Cheese truck, and Donna conversing with people from inside the order window.
“John is probably inside, cooking things.” She thought to herself, and couldn’t help but smile.
From her vantage point, Etty could see that the people who were eating were enjoying themselves. It made her happy to know that the event was successful.
Etty’s good feelings were short-lived. She saw a woman… a girl, really… standing alone by the corner of the big white building. The young woman’s lower abdomen was glowing with an awful, putrid light.
On the mortal side of the mist, Alexandra Horsheit was feeling sick.
She’d excused herself from her peers, and walked slowly over to the nearest wall. That way, if she needed something to lean on, it wouldn’t be another human being.
“At least,” she whispered to herself, “I didn’t throw up the sandwich. That would have been really embarrassing.”
The cramps, centered behind her navel, felt like her intestines were fighting like a basket of boa constrictors. She took a deep breath, and leaned against the wall.
Etty watched her, and could see the root of her problem very clearly. The woman had a parasite in her womb, and it was starting to eat her alive… very slowly.
“If it were a human disease, I wouldn’t be able to see it.” Etty thought. “Someone, or something, from my world, put that horrible thing in her. Is there some way to save her before it is too late?”
Almost instantly, she knew the answer. The ring on her finger, and the power it gave her, could be used to coerce the monstrosity out of the woman’s body.
“That’s a worthy use of power, if you ask me.”