by Alex Heinen
Dr. Mike was working in her clinic, it was pouring rain outside. She was looking forward to her day "alone" with Sully. The two babies were staying with Matthew for a few days, because Matthew wanted to spend more time with them. Brian was home, but was somewhat busy working on a project for school. She and Sully needed some time alone. Dr. Quinn was finished restocking, when suddenly Sully burst through the door. "Why hello, Sully" she said.
They kissed each other.
"I'm sorry Micheala, I have to cancel today, lightning struck an abandon cabin on creek road, it's been deserted for years, but we think it might spread. Luckily the rain is helping, but the wind is pickin up, making the fire barely catch branches of nearby trees."
"But Sully, we were finally going to have an afternoon alone!" Dr. Mike said.
"I know Michaela,I know, I am sorry, but I've got to help."
"I know, be home as soon as you can."
They kissed each other one more time and Sully left. Dr. Mike realized that he had to do this, but couldn't help feeling at least a little bit sorry for herself.
"Ma! Ma!" Brian came running down the stairs.
"What is it Brian?"
"Did Sully just say that old cabin on Creek Rd. was burning?"
"Yes, Brian, why?"
Brian seemed nervous"....'Cause."
"What is it Brian?" His expression was making her nervous.
"Cause there is this girl......she lives there...."
"Ma, she lives there..."
"This girl Emily, she's my friend...."
"You mean she could be there right now?"
Dr. Mike grabbed her jacket and her bag. "Stay here Brian," she said.
"Oh Ma, can't I come with?"
Brian grabbed his coat, and the two left. When they got there the fire was blazing out of control. Dr. Mike found Sully.
"Brian told be there might be a girl inside there," she said.
"What?" said Sully. He shook his head, "She would be dead by now."
Dr. Mike was fearing he would say that.
"Brian, what else do you know about this girl, I need to contact her parents as soon as possible," she said.
"Uh, well, I seen her there when I was walkin home from school one day....." said Brian.
"How old is she?"
"Shouldn't she have been in school with you?"
"She was afraid."
"Afraid of what?"
"People would find out......"
"Find out what Brian?"
Brian took a deep breath and sighed. " That she's a runaway." Brian looked upset.
"It's ok, Brian, she could have very well gotton out of the fire before it was really bad." said Dr. Mike.
"Brian, tell you what, when this fire is out, we will both go out and look for her," said Sully. Brian nodded.
"Let's go home," said Dr. Mike.
Sully got home a few hours later. Brian immediately asked, "Can we go out and look for Emily now?"
"Let me talk to your Ma first," said Sully.
"Okay," Brian said.
"I talked to every person I saw, and none of them has seen this little girl," said Sully.
"I wonder how long she had been in that cabin," said Dr. Mike.
"If she is alive, we'd better get goin', it's rainin' pretty hard."
"Maybe you should wait Sully....."
"We can't wait Ma, we gotta help her," said Brian.
Dr. Mike thought for a minute. "Alright, but dress warmly and try to stay out of the ...."
The door slammed shut. Brian had already ran out there. "Bye Micheala, be home as soon as we can," said Sully. They kissed, and then Sully left.
"I hope they find that little girl" Dr. Mike thought.
An hour or so later she decided to start making supper, then she sat down to read. She thought she heard someone crying, but then it stopped so she decided to ignore it. She went back to her book. She started to worry. The rain was still pouring. She hoped Brian and Sully were alright. She heard the crying again. She put on her coat and when outside to investigate. She looked around and couldn't see anything. The crying got louder and louder as she walked, but suddenly stopped and a little gasp was heard. It came from above her, she looked up into a tree, and at first she saw nothing, but then she saw a little boot, a little dress, and then a little face. The child looked terrified.
"Come down honey, I won't hurt you."
The girl paused at first but gradually stared climbing down. Finally the little girl got down to the ground. She had long dark brown hair, and pretty brown eyes. She was a small girl, and thin, but she looked to be very strong. She was very familiar. She was wet and shivering.
"Your name is Emily isn't it?" The girl nodded. "Come on, let's get you inside."
Once they got inside she felt the girl's forehead. "You're a bit warm, how long have you been in the rain?"
"Three hours I think, but I don't mind the rain at all, in fact I love it."
Dr. Mike looked worried. She want into the closet. "Here is a towel, and my daughter Colleens old nightgown, I'm afraid it will be a bit big on you though," she said.
"Thank you ma'am," the girl said shyly.
"You can call me Dr. Mike."
"You're a doctor?"
"A real lady doctor!" said Emily in amazement.
"Emily, you can stay here for a while until we find out what to do with you."
She knew what she would have to do, send her home again, if she really was a runaway.
"Thanks Dr. Mike, but I'd better not stay here...."
"But Emily, it's pouring rain outside, you are lucky you got in here in time, before you got phenomena or something else."
"But I don't want him to find me!"
"Who is "him", Emily?"
Her accent sounded familiar.... An accent from New England. "You aren't from around here are you?" Dr. Mike asked. Emily shook her head, then shuttered.
"Sweetheart, go and put on the nightgown, so we can get those wet clothes off you."
The little girl turned around and started to get out of her torn, ashy dress. When the dress was below her shoulders, Dr. Mike noticed something on her back. Bruises, not new ones, though some were newer than others. "Emily, how did you get those?"
"Oh, I was playing and fell off a seesaw."
Dr. Mike could tell she was lying. The girl finished getting dressed, and stood quietly. Dr. Mike took the girl's hand and sat her down on the bed. Just then she noticed how thin the girl was. Dr. Mike had hardly any trouble lifting her up. She was practically as light as Katie. Dr. Mike then started to dry her hair.
"Emily, why did you run away?"
"I can't tell you," she said.
"Please Emily, I need to know."
Emily thought for a moment. "Cause my papa..."
"What Emily? Did he ever hurt you? " She said thinking about those scars.
She nodded. "Did he make those bruises?" Dr. Mike gave her a hug.
"That's why I can't let him get me."
Dr. Mike realized that this little girl had placed a trust in her. "Do you know why he did this to you?"
She nodded. "He says that I made him..."
She took a deep breath. " hat I made him kill momma."
"He killed your mother?"
Dr. Quinn was shocked. The girl nodded. "Oh, honey, why did he kill your mother, and why wasn't he arrested?"
"He said she was annoying.....that she was in the way.... He blamed it on one of the servants."
"Servants? Was your family wealthy?"
"My Papa is the Governor of Cherubsville New York."
He was one of the most famous governor in all of New England! She had read about the story in the gazette about a week or two back. His wife had been beaten to death with a poker stick. She also knew Emily's face. She remembered seeing a photograph of her in the newspaper in Boston when Emily was just a tiny baby. She looked just like her mother.
"So, that's why you ran away, you were afraid.....he would do the same to you."
She nodded and broke out in tears. "I know he has a whole bunch of people coming after me. They said I ran away 'cause I couldn't live with my momma's death. He's gonna get me, I know he will!"
"Oh, Emily, I won't let him hurt you. It's ok, shhh," Dr. Mike said, trying to comfort her. She could tell the girl was being truthfull.She knew keeping her safe was going to be hard, but she was prepared to do it. She felt Emily's forehead again. "You are still warm. You can sleep in my son Brian's bed."
"Brian? He's YOUR son? He's my friend."
She relaxed a little, "But where will Brian sleep?"
"In the barn, but don't worry, he loves sleeping there." She started remaking the bed. "There you go." Dr. Mike said. She heard the door open downstairs.
"Ma, we're home. But we didn't find her." Dr. Mike heard Brian yell from downstairs.
"Brian!" Emily squealed. Emily jumped off the bed, and ran downstairs.
"Emily!" said Brian. The two hugged.
"Supper's ready. Oh, Emily. I forgot to ask you, are you hungry?"
Brian, Sully, Emily, and Dr. Mike gathered round the table and ate their meal. Then Dr. Mike and Sully took a tired Emily up to bed, and tucked her in.
What are we going to do about her?" asked Sully.
"We can't take her to the authorities."
"Why? He father is probably worried sick about her." Dr. Mike told Sully everything she knew about the little girl.
"Micheala, are you saying that she should stay here?" asked Sully.
"Well, I was thinking that....just for a little while...."
"Micheala, you have a good heart, why not?"
"Oh, thank you, Sully!"
They kissed passionately, and then went to bed.
In the middle of the night. Dr. Mike woke up to a terrifying scream. She knew it as coming from Brian's room, from Emily. She dashed into the room as fast as she could. She lit a candle. Emily had a terrified look on her face, and she was sweating a lot. She looked very pale. Dr. Mike took her pulse, it was racing. She was burning up. She went and got a basin of cool water, and put it on her head, and got some medicine from her bag to make Emily's fever go down, and gave it to her.
"Did you have a nightmare?"
At first she didn't respond, but then she nodded. Dr. Mike gave her a hug. Soon Emily's pulse slowed, and she stopped sweating. Then she fell asleep. Dr. Mike was about to leave, when Emily squealed. "Please, stay with me." Dr. Mike nodded, climbed into the bed, gave her a kiss, and they soon both fell asleep.
The next day Dr. Mike woke up, and checked Emily's temperature. It was normal, but she decided she'd better let her rest a bit more. She went to her bedroom, woke up Sully, and then got dressed, then she woke up Brian and started making breakfast. A little while later Emily came downstairs. "Oh dear, we have to get you something to wear, don't we? How are you feeling?" Dr. Mike said.
"Much better thank you," said Emily.
"Good, uh, I don't believe I have any clothes that will fit you. Colleen's will be much too big on you, we could alter them for you..."
"Is there a store in town? I have money."
"Yes, and they have some but they are pretty expensive....maybe I can talk Loren into lowering the price, why how much do you have?"
"How did you ever get that much money?"
"Oh, I used to get $50 to spend as I pleased on Christmas, and my birthday, and other holidays. Papa never took me anywhere, so it just kept adding up."
Dr. Mike was amazed, 50 dollars! "Well, I'll see if I can take you to the store, after I have an appointment with Mrs.Lecher. I will go get one of Colleen's dresses, and pin it up for you."
Later that day, after her appointment with Mrs.Lecher, Dr. Mike took Emily to the general store.
"Hello Micheala" said Loren. " Who is this?"
"This is Emily, she is going to stay with us for a while." "Oh, hello, Emily," Loren said. He spotted the roll of bills in Emily's hand.
"Well, what could I interest you all in today?" he said.
"Emily is looking to buy a dress for herself," said Dr. Mike.
"Oh, I believe I have a dress right here that would fit the little lady," said Loren. He took them to a gorgeous blue satin dress, with pearls and lace and ribbons and such. Emily fingered the pearls.
"Loren, why on earth did you even buy such a dress?" asked Dr. Mike. "Well, I thought maybe someone would want it....look I bought it from this guy who gave me half off what I would have had to normally pay for it," he said.
"Oh, well, I think something a bit plainer should suit her for now," said Dr. Mike.
"Alright," said Loren, looking and sounding disappointed.
Dr. Mike's eyes where drawn to a little light blue calico dress. "How about this?" she asked.
"Top of the line, five dollars," he said. Dr. Mike gave him a "Loren you should know better" look, and he said, "Ok, ok, three."
"Do you like it Emily?" She nodded happily. "Ok, she'll take it."
Emily also picked out a red, and a light purple dress, then she tugged at Dr. Mike's sleeve, and whispered something in her ear. "Oh yes, we also need a nightgown and some underthings," Dr. Mike said. Emily blushed.
"Oh yes, I believe we have some over here..."
After their excursion at the store they went back to the homestead. A little while later they heard a knock at the door. Dr. Mike answered it. "Oh, hello, Dorothy!" she said. "Come in!"
Dorothy entered the homestead. "Hello Michaela, who is this?"
"This is Emily, she will be staying with us for a while." Dorothy looked at Dr. Mike in question. "Uh, Emily, will you go upstairs, and put your new things away?" Emily followed Dr. Mike's orders.
"Where did she come from?" Dorothy asked. Dr. Mike explained the whole thing to Dorothy. "Should I put an article in the Gazette?" she asked.
"Oh no, the last thing she needs is one of those people her father hired, finding where she is and then taking her away, and then beating her to death,,just like her mother," Dr. Mike said worriedly.
"Alright, alright, Micheala, it was just an idea! Besides, it can't be *that* bad, can it?" said Dorothy.
Dr. Mike sighed. "Emily, can you come down here a minute please?" she said. Emily came down. "Yes, Dr. Mike?" she said.
"Sweetie, will you please show Dorothy your bruises?" Emily hesitated.
"It's ok honey, I won't hurt you," Dorothy said.
Emily slowly turned around, unbuttoned the back of her dress, and slid it down a little past her shoulders. Dorothy gasped, horrified at the site. "It's ok Emily, you can go back upstairs now," said Dr. Mike. Emily did.
"Oh my goodness, Michaela, I had no idea! How can anyone do that to their child?" she said.
"I honestly don't know."
"That man must be dangerous, you sure we shouldn't post somethin'?"
"We'd better not take any chances," said Dr. Mike.
"Well Micheala, I have to go, good-bye!"
"Bye!" Dorothy then left.
The next day Sully took the whole family to the creek to fish. That day Emily got quite close to Sully and Matthew. Sully taught her how to put a worm on the hook, while Matthew was pretending to throw her in the creek. Dr. Mike noticed that she had a good chemistry with her family. She even got along with baby Katie quite well, teaching her how to play " Patty Cake" Dr. Mike knew that she couldn't send Emily to an orphanage. That night her and Sully got to talking.
"Sully what do you think we should do about Emily?" Dr. Mike said.
"What were you thinking we should do?" He had a good feeling what she was getting at.
"Well, I couldn't just send her to an orphanage...."
"You want to keep 'er?"
"Well I was thinking about it...."
"Well, if you could handle it, It would make me happy, she's a sweet kid."
"Oh Sully really?"
"Yeah, I was thinkin about askin ya myself."
They hugged, and then made love. "I love you Sully."
"And I love you."
The next day Emily was playing with Katie, and Dr. Mike said, "Emily, come here sweetie, we need to talk."
"Yes, Dr. Mike?"
"Well, I don't know what to do. We obviously can't send you back to your Pa, and I don't want to send you to an Orphanage, so I was thinking, maybe if you would like, well Sully and I were talking, we were wondering if you would like to stay with us."
Emily's face lit up in happiness. "Oh thank you, Dr. Mike! Thank you so much! But what about my father?"
"He probably won't look all the way here in Colorado springs!" She ran onto Dr. Mike's lap and gave her a big hug. "Is that a yes?" Dr. Mike laughed. Emily nodded happily. "We'll put you in school with Brian. What schooling have you had?"
"Oh, I left off at Grade 6, but my teacher said I was too advanced, so she was going to try grade 9."
"Wow, your tutor must have worked very hard with you!" she said. "How long did you live in that cabin ?"
"About two weeks."
"Well, what should we do about your name?"
"I guess I have to change it."
"Well we can't legally change it, but how about, for now, Emily Quinn?"
"I'm really yours aren't I?"
Sully came in. Emily gave him a big hug. "I like it here. I love all of you."