Annabelle finds herself in the company of Bedelia on a rare occasion on which her appointments are light for a Friday evening. She takes a moment to sip at the aged wine in her cup stirring it lightly.
“Motherhood is something that doesn’t come naturally,” she says with a frown.
“Why do you say that?” Cecelia answered similarly crossing her legs that Annabelle does when she is digging into a patient’s mind. They do technically not have a session, but somehow they can’t turn off their professional habits.
“A child needs emotional support especially when who’s experienced a great trauma.”
“Do you find yourself feeling more maternal or less so?” The other woman asks taking a sip of her wine. The motion is slow and rather conventional.
Annabelle looks into her eyes trying to figure out where this conversation is going.
“You believe me to not have any feelings that are ‘motherly’?”
“What are motherly feelings to you?”
Annabelle cracks a smile allowing herself to get roped in.
Her own mother was sometimes but a static figment in her mind. She was young when they were killed. She wasn’t devastated per say, but maybe it left her broken somewhere. She honestly didn’t believe in the rationality of love or it’s existence until she met Will. Such love of ravenous as two strong independent entities are greedily at the heart of what the other had to offer. The conceit didn’t come without its humor. Such a cannibalistic love they shared, but the flame held upon their burning bodies like Virgil and Dante in the hearths of the inferno remained. That is the emotion of love she knew. However, it ghastly didn’t resemble how she felt about the child.
“Her soul leaks and spills into the portraits painted, ” Annabelle looks away a moment of silent contemplation. “Her eyes are literal windows to the labyrinth tucked away.”
“And what guards this labyrinth?” Bedelia leans forward slightly intrigued.
The case of Jameson Lotus being the lone survivor of the Radio Killer (a rather apocryphal name as he was meeting with the people in person or speaking to them individually over the phone after the radio show aired) had become a marvel in the journalist and psychiatric community. Annabelle just happened to be living with the two epiphanies of nature or so she had been told.
“How is it you get the mind of the century and the mouth of the moment under your roof without so much as a bride?” Dr. Chilton moped as she met with him to reevaluate one of his patients. The man spent most of their time trying to pry information out about her family which earned his business card to join her stack though it remained untouched.
“Children often become what their environment breeds them to be.” Annabelle states and that earns her a nod.
“Do you think she will become like you?”
The question is simple: no.
Jameson harbors many secrets and one being the identity of the killer, both her father and the man, later known as Robin Hubert. She had listened to the broadcast and even sat with them during one of their meetings. Still, his brainwashing tactics had no use on her mind. Annabelle found that rather intriguing considering some of his tactics were ones she used. Could it be possible for someone to be more impotent to psychological manipulation at such a young age?
The question of how she could separate reality from the fantasy the man planted into her father’s head and his other victims go unexplained. It is beyond what Will has: epiphany for he is more susceptible to manipulation. It is why Jameson Lotus is dubbed, “The Pure Flower Effect” in one of Freddie Lounds 's journals.
“Jameson Lotus is a rarity amongst humanity for her purify of essence allows her to flourish in darkness. How could a child of like be able to stand in the darkness and grow? Does this make her more attractive to monsters who seek to taste the nectar of this flower?”
The article was published and the Radio Killer came to visit Jameson in the hospital two days later. He had brought flowers and a small pocket knife. Of course, he was no match for a trained surgeon turned psychiatrist, and a Forensic professor who was a part-time profiler.
And together, they hunted.
“The labyrinth is protected by a creature resembling a stag and its shadow. Jameson suffers from sleep paralysis, but she insists that a creature with horns of ivory and skin of tar watches her from a shadow that surrounds it like a halo.”
“That is quite an imagination.”
Annabelle would agree if not for the bull’s skull that lays in the center of their dining room take as a centerpiece; it surrounding by vases of beautiful flowers. It is a display that catches the girl’s eyes on the second day of her stay. She a creature lured easily by the unorthodox; Jameson blends in well with a society that one could say she is a chameleon.
“Do you love her Dr. Lecter?”
Annabelle sips at her wine. It is a fruity taste with an acidic bite to it. She likes the burn as it goes down her throat. It’s not hard to swallow-it is hard to imagine what exactly makes it so satisfying, but that is the charm of this particular wine: it is unique because it can be out into every category, yet defies what wine should be: sweet and acidic. Bittersweet.
“I am but a creature charmed by the petals of a flower that kisses the day and flirts with the night leaving her roots bare.”
Bedelia says no more as they let the weight of her words linger in the air.