Creature of Unknown Origin


way my expression betrayed me. “So long as Riddleso n gets taken care of, you not going through

a portal that could kill you isn’t actually a betrayal of our original deal. Besides, it would be a real

shame to lose a friend like you.”

“Why’d you come out here?” I turned, taking in the soft expression on her face. She stared

out across the woods, a passiveness in her features and voice.

“When I was born, my mother put me up for adoption,” she started quietly, almost detached

from the statement. “Growing up, I had some idea that my parents weren’t actually my parents,

but it never bothered me because I knew they loved me and they gave me everything I could ever

ask for. They were my parents, and as far as I was concerned, I was their daughter,” she paused,

shifting on her feet, “Then one day, my birth mother decided to reach out to me.”

I waited patiently for Dr. Richards to continue. A shadow crept across her face, and I

couldn’t help but think this was a part of her life she never told anyone. “What happened?”

Dr. Richards drew a long, heavy - hearted breath. “ We met for coffee, and we talked, and

she told me that I had some siblings and how they would love to meet me.” She rolled her eyes,

knowing what came next in her tale, but to me, the gesture was something I didn’t yet understand.

“I was so excited! I had siblings, and another family, and maybe all these wonderful things. Two

families!” She laughed bitterly.

“I do have other siblings. Some grew up with their fathers, others were given up for

adoption like me. She never loved us. All she wanted was money, and when I finally tracked down

my other siblings, they all said the same thing: our mother was a nasty woman who seduced men

and went on these benders that in the end produced us.”

Dr. Richards fell silent. Her jaw was set, and if her grip on the rotten railing got any tighter,

I believed she would actually manage to pull it free. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because…” Dr. Richards shuddered away from the dark cloud that had consumed her,

“even though my biological mother wasn’t the motherly type and prob ably the most selfish person

on this planet, I still got the best of both worlds. My brothers and sisters and I all get together a

few times a year and just hang out, catch up. I miss them. I miss my parents, too. My mom, the

one who raised me, passed away a few years ago and my dad… he has dementia. I don’t know

how much longer he’ll know who I am or even who he is, but I know one thing: if I hadn’t met

that selfish woman for coffee and did this or that with her as she buttered me up, I would’ve never

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