"There's nothing you can do, Mackenzie!" She jabs a crooked finger at me. "When I find that child, I will take her in as my own."
My hands shake with raw, uncontrollable anger. "She will not be raised by that fucking cult you call a community."
She laughs facetiously. "If you think your plan is working, I'll let you in that I'm well aware you were the one who forged Alex's suicide note. All in a pathetic attempt to stall time so you could stash away the granddaughter that belongs to me."
"Of course you would know," I respond, my voice half a whisper. My face is cold. "You murdered Alex, after all."
She smiles casually and cackles, her shriveled eyes crinkling. This hag knows that her 'community' has taken care of the evidence for her. "And what of it?"
I spit on the ground next to her, sneering in disgust. "You... you killed your own daughter, and yet you show no remorse. You are a sick, sick monster, an excuse of a woman who never should've had Alex or the grandchild she brought you. And the only thing you deserve is a life locked inside a prison cell, rotting away for a leisurely, torturous death-- and for the rest of your disgusting, worthless life."
A slap comes hard across my face.
I retaliate by sinking into the cover of my hands, my left cheek stinging like she'd struck me with the palm of God himself. I take a deep breath as I lower my hands, clearing my expression of any satisfactory emotion, and back towards the door.
The door... the door locks on the outside. Don't get the police involved until you've found evidence to turn her in. Don't screw up yet Ken.
"You are the sick one, you filthy, fucking transgender cunt!" she shouts. "Whether you like it or not, she will be raised by the church once I pinpoint where you two are hiding. She's practically mine!"
"I'll see you then." I step back through the doorway and slam it shut. I lock it hastily, adrenaline coursing through my blood as her scream ripped through the corridor, echoing through the hallways of the cathedral.
I bolt away, running as fast as my legs can. Away from Alex's mother and her tormented wails, the sound of wood splintering, and the fears that someone might be watching me as I boot it into my car and drive away.
He sits rigidly on the couch, his face sickly pale.
I shift closer to him. "So, the suicide note... she didn't write it?"
He stares at the ground, his eyes weighted with guilt. "No... I did. I'm sorry."
I internally scowl, feeling partially shortchanged as I recall that I read Alex's suicide note countless times, poring over the words again and again. Stomaching a concoction of grief and guilt.
I shake the image from my head. "Do you know who the father of the child is?"
"I don't know. She said it was a one-night stand. I never met him," Ken snaps with an especially bitter voice.
"Ken..." I gently slide my arm over his bony shoulders and pause for a moment, wondering how to phrase my sympathy.
"I just want you to know that you would've been much better for Alex than I ever was. I'm sorry that this situation has played out so badly for you."