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Cuckoo in the Nest – Part 3

She was only out of the room for a moment, before she decided to check on the girls. The pretty one with the violet-eyes was still in the middle of the room, but she could not see Claire. She frowned, certain that she had left Claire playing on her mat. She couldn’t have started to crawl so suddenly could she? With a rising sense of excitement and pride Angela glanced around the room to see where her little girl could have crawled to. Claire was not in the room, but before Angela could begin to panic, she noticed that the other girl was watching her from the mat where Claire should have been. It doesn’t really matter, she thought vaguely. I still have a little girl to look after and Claire won’t come to any harm while the doors are closed. Distractedly she collected the strange baby into her embrace and inhaled deeply the odd pop-corn smell of her hair.
“What beautiful eyes you have,” she mumbled into the top of the girl’s head “I shall call you Violet.” They sat together like that for a while, Angela enjoying the sense of peace that seemed to ooze from the girl like a heavy perfume. Claire rarely allowed Susan to hold her like this while she was awake. She was already too independent and would wriggle and squirm to reach her toys rather than rest peacefully. Being able to just sit and relax for a moment was intoxicating. She smiled into the little girl’s hair. Perhaps once Violet’s mother came to collect her she would indulge herself with a whole hour’s sleep. The way Ben went on about the tablets she was sure that he wouldn’t object to being asked to look after Claire while she slept.
“Well love, I think we’ve sat for long enough now.” She eventually decided, standing up but for some reason unwilling to put the captivating child down just then. “We should really find out where your friend has got to before she realises we aren’t there and gets upset.” Arms and legs still heavy with the unaccustomed lethargy of relaxation, Angela stood and walked back into the kitchen, carrying Violet with her. It was a small house and there were only so many places that even an expert crawler could have gone.
Claire was in none of them.

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