The Warrens could make a home out of anywhere as long as they had one another. They had done it time and time again in their line of work. Lorraine had observed this over the years. No place was the same without Judy, but somehow they managed to make places more comfortable when they were around. All of the homes that they investigated in a way became their home for the time being. They would almost integrate seamlessly into the lives of the people that they were desperately trying to help. Ed was a handyman at heart. He had to keep moving and going and doing something. He would put himself to work when everything was still and quiet. Lorraine of course took to the children more than anything, missing her daughter. Sometimes she would cook while Ed was busying himself with anything from plumbing to a broke down car. Lorraine believed that their inherent domesticity brought a little peace to those around them.
It was no different in the Hodgson household. They weren’t supposed to be there for long, but it was already a home for them. They were settling in for the next three days to investigate the hauntings here. Lorraine was filled with a sense of overwhelming dread. She found herself staring at Ed, her eyes tracing the outline of his nose and lips, the fine wrinkles that had begun to form on the face that she loved so well. It was like she was trying to memorize him in case that her visions came true. She was hoping against hope that this would not be the place that Ed died. The idea of a life without him was inconceivable and the idea of it carved a hollowness within Lorraine that she could not fully put into words. There was no life for her without Ed. All the good in her world would be wiped out. The one person that knew her, knew all of her even the dark and ugly parts that she didn’t show the world would be gone. He was the first person who believed her, who didn’t look at her like she was telling them some elaborate attention seeking hoax. He was hers in every way possible and she was his. Ed was her home. She had built a home inside of him and burrowed herself into it deeply to the point that most days she could not extricate herself from Ed. They were truly a unit in the most pure and sincere way. Maybe this was why it was so easy for them to create a home wherever they went.
Lorraine could not escape that sense of dread that was permeating her being. She couldn’t feel anything besides a family filled with fear. It was like no otherworldly being dwelled in the home.
It felt normal in that sense, other than the terror that painted the air in a thick and hideous layer. The fear was real and that was enough to convince Lorraine that something genuinely horrendous was befalling the family. And oh, little Janet. She was wan and frail looking, like she had not had a good night’s sleep in weeks and Lorraine suspected she had not. The mother looked just as sickly and tired to her bones. The other children were staying across the street, though Lorraine didn’t like that idea much. Family should stay together. There was strength in numbers and in love. Love could deliver a person from a multitude of evils and horrors.
When Lorraine settled into the twin bed it seemed strange to not be slipping in beside Ed. She had thought that perhaps they could push the two beds together, but Lorraine decided that might not work at all, it’d be her luck at least one of them would fall through the crack between the mattresses. She looked over at Ed, who appeared just as lonesome as she did in his own temporary twin bed. Lorraine wanted to go over and curl herself around him, let him hold her. She wanted to cling to him and bury her face in hollow of his neck and breathe in the cool musky scent of his aftershave that she bought for him his past birthday. He would press his lips to the crown of her head and all would be right in the world. Nothing could be wrong when she was in Ed’s arms. His arms were like her favorite room in their home, welcoming and nurturing and healing. No one would take her husband from her, yet there was the threat of that happening. That nun with the sulfur yellow eyes and the gaunt skin haunted her, even when it was not around. The unholy vision it had shown her left no room for interpretation. Her husband impaled on a rough shard of wood.
She looked at Ed now, warm and alive and perfectly disarming. He was a charmer. Those crooked smiles still made her heartbeat pick up like it had when they first met. He was methodical as well as dashing, her perfect opposite, yet her perfect other half. What she lacked, he made up for and vice versa. Often she was bowled over by how complementary they were to one another. That was not to say that they didn’t have their problems. Both of them had a stubborn streak that caused a fair share of clashes between the two. Even their clashes came from a place of love.
“I don’t think I can sleep this far away from you,” Ed said suddenly, look at her from his bed that was facing hers. Her lips quirked at his observation.
“Well, you’re gonna,” she replied with a smirk. “It’ll give you something to look forward to when we get home.” Her words held a hope, a promise. They would make it home. They always did in the end. They always made it out on the other side together. She would make it worth his while when they got back home, she decided, pushing the insidious thoughts from her mind. Perhaps she’d slip on her favorite nightgown, the nice one with the lace that she had kept on occasions when she felt like dolling up for her darling. She’d spritz on some perfume and put a record on after Judy was fast asleep. Some couples let having children dull their romance, but Ed and Lorraine had been more creative than those couples were. She’d dim the lights, maybe even light some candles, and wait for Ed to come to bed. Yes, this is what she’d do. They would make it back home together, and she would deliver on that promise.