Marigold’s life completely changed one night when she came home from the shop. The house was quiet, Mrs. Baker had left early, or rather chased out of the house by Mona. Mrs. Baker was out of her mind when she phoned Marigold, telling her Mona was not acting quite right. Marigold rushed home, and was greeted by silence. The baby wasn’t crying, Marigold ran up the stairs into Mona’s room, bending over the cradle. The baby was still, he didn’t move. Marigold picked him up, hoping he was sleeping, but as she placed her ear on his chest, she knew he was gone. From the corner of her eye, Marigold noticed Mona edging closer to her.
“What did you do?” Marigold felt sick to her stomach. “What did you do!”
Marigold, was heartbroken. Marigold called Dr. Stiltwalker, Mona’s doctor, he pronounced the baby dead, caused by SIDS. Marigold knew better, but they were unfounded and they would likely take Mona away. Mona was all Marigold had, she was her family. Dr. Stiltwalker, had warned Marigold of Mona’s weak state of mind, but Marigold didn’t want to listen. Dr. Stiltwater wanted to send Mona to a place where she would be cared for. Marigold did not permit it.
“She stay’s here with me,” Marigold stated. “I am her only family.”
“She needs help,” Dr. Stiltwater argued. “You can’t look out for her. She is not all right.”
“I can try,” Marigold hoped it was enough.
Marigold, took her chances and cared for Mona, even as Mona grew increasingly unsteady. One day, as anyone who witnessed Mona’s behavior would have predicted what happened next when she attacked Mrs. Baker, chasing Mrs. Baker out of the house. Mrs. Baker, who was fond of Marigold, told her in tears that she would not be coming back. Marigold understood.
“Mona, is not right,” Mrs. Baker had blubbered. “You can not turn your back on her. She is not well, Ms. Dizen. She needs help… You cannot take care of her by yourself.”
“She is my mother,” Marigold informed her. “She is all I have.”
“I pray for you, Ms. Dizen,” Mrs. Baker said as she wept. “I fear she will hurt you and nobody will be there to stop her.”
Marigold thanked Mrs. Baker and continue to care for her mother by her self. Mona, was losing touch of reality, and hinged on insanity. Marigold kept this to herself. She went to work everyday with a cheery disposition, never hinting there was anything the matter at home. All was well, until Mona attacked Marigold in her bedroom. Mona, who was taller, overpowered Marigold, pinned her on the floor and with all her might, Mona bit Marigold on her cheek. Mona bit so hard, Marigold felt her flesh being torn away. The pain was profound Marigold screamed at the top of her lungs until she fainted from the throbbing ache.
Marigold awoke early next morning, her arms were scratched and her cheeked burned from the soreness. Marigold, tended to her wounds, she called Stony, her trusted assistant, telling her she was taking the day off, she was not feeling well and was coming down with a cold. Her courage had waned and she felt utterly alone, Marigold locked herself in her bedroom.
After the incident, Marigold was not bold enough to leave her room, and when she ventured out, she would run to the front door and head to the safety of the shop. When it was time to go home, Marigold lingered at the shop, until she was overcome by weariness and eventually went home. She made dinner for Mona, whether Mona ate, Marigold was not aware of it. She wanted to believe everything would get better, but it never did. Mona, rarely spoke and with an unforgiving stare, she would silently watch Marigold when she saw the girl enter her room. Her loving ways towards Marigold had disappeared, displaced by something more displeasing that only an enemy could display. Mona was gone and in her place was someone Marigold eluded.