Archived Newsletters

Adora Skye

“Flight 117 to Denver is now boarding. Passengers Patrick O’Neal and Carmen Moore please….”

I looked around, tuning out the sounds of the busy airport as I watched Fowler and Laila walking together. She was a few steps ahead of him as he kept close behind her like a personal bodyguard but everyone stopped to eye the beauty. Somehow, with both of her parents being on the darker side in complexion, she grew into a beautiful shade of caramel, coming out lighter than us with a wild streak of curls and dark brown eyes that mirrored his. She had small ears that pointed up and sharp little baby teeth that snarled and growled any time she didn’t like something. Otherwise, she was her daddy’s child. She was already talking, in attempts to finish complete sentences, reading and understanding the most basic things above her age and trying new things that I wasn’t ready for but I was told they develop faster than the average toddler.

Maybe even too fast.

I flipped through my magazine, pushing the brim of my baseball cap down as I continued to eye the models and fashion. Didn’t even notice the person walking in front of me until they plopped down beside my chair. I looked up, confused as to why they were so close when there were plenty of seats available further down but the man leaned back into the chair with his own hat and face mask concealing his face and just checked his phone. I looked around again, realizing Fowler went into another store with our daughter, following behind her so I started to gather my things. I pulled up my face mask some more, ready to move a seat down when the man stopped me.

“You’re the last horsemen?” he asked as I froze. I wouldn’t dare look at him but the voice was familiar, I just couldn’t place a name nor could I recognize the face fully but he was familiar to me. “You’re one of the horsemen, I know you may not remember me but…”

He became quiet as a family walked by us before sitting down a few seats away from him.

“Do you remember anything about–––”

“I remember everything,” I hissed with emotion, feeling my eyes water, “I remember just about everything.”

“Then you know you’re job is far from over,” he said. “It’s either you or your daughter will be taken away. The way you were, the way your mother was...the way my father was. It’s never ending. I…”

He became quiet as he looked around again before slowly getting up just as I watched Fowler step out of the store with Laila.

“I just came here to warn you,” he whispered as he leaned in close against my ear, “they are going to take her if you’re not careful. They’re taking them younger and younger these days. The younger the better–––”

“Who?” I asked, looking up at him, “who is going to–––”

“I can’t say or they’ll know I said something but this shit goes much deeper than you and me will ever realize,” he said, piercing brown eyes staring me down, “you need to watch her. Be careful.”

“Aye nigga,” Fowler let out as the man stood up right, towering over him and my daughter like a lanky pole, “the fuck you in my wife’s face for–––”

“Fowler stop it,” I sniffed as the man just walked right past him, not even bothering to acknowledge him. I had to grab Fowler’s arm to keep him still before he turned to glare at me.

“And why the fuck you crying? You know him? What…” calming himself down, realizing this was serious, “what’s going on?”

I tried to wipe around my tears but now as I looked around again, everyone was starting to look suspect to me until I saw someone I knew...a face I surely recognized. I knew it was her and the moment we locked eyes, she tucked her hoodie down and started to walk off but I got up, shoving my phone in Fowler’s hand, ready to go after her until he snatched my wrist with a deathly grip.

“Point em out for me,” he threatened through his teeth, eyes scaling the place like a hawk, but before I could say anything, Fowler took off, pushing past an older white lady who screamed out. I grabbed Laila, throwing her over my hip and our things as we followed in the same direction. I could see where Fowler cornered the girl near the bathrooms. I didn’t wait a second longer when I pushed the doors opened, thankful that nobody was in the bathroom and pulled our stuff in with Fowler and the girl following. As soon as the door closed, he gripped her by the neck and slammed her up against the door as she tried clawing at his hands in panic.

“Adora!” she struggled, trying to cough as I shook my head, she looked so familiar to me. I knew who she was, I just couldn’t place a finger on it, “Adora, please...It's meee…”

“I’ma tell you like this baby girl,” Fowler went on, yanking his mask down, “I don’t ask questions, I don’t wait for fucking answers when it comes to these two right here. So tell me something or I’ma snap this neck in half–––”

Her eyes grew so wide as he leaned in for a deep inhale, trying to figure out what she is, who she is, where she comes from when she pointed to her neck to speak.

“I used to be like her,” she strained as he loosened his grip. Someone started to knock on the door, calling out to use the restroom but we kept it blocked as my daughter and I looked on.

“I sent my brother over there to talk to warn you that they will take your daughter if given the chance,” she coughed. She kneeled over to wheeze and hack up spit before standing up right as she looked at me with tears in her eyes, “I didn’t mean to scare you but we have to be very careful how we move from now on. A lot of them are starting to leave...walk away from all of this the way that we did...but now they’re taking our children...they took my son a few months ago...My husband thinks…” she placed her hand on her chest to keep from crying, “my husband thinks our son died in the hospital but no...I saw him again….I saw him with someone else, being raised by someone else…”

My eyes grew wide, realizing what she was saying.

“They are born before they die–––”

“Only to come back to life to provide judgement and balance,” I finished.

“Don’t let them get to her,” she said as someone knocked on the door again. “Be careful. I’m trying to warn as many people as I can, as many mothers and fathers that left...we’ve been stolen and reborn–––”

“What you mean you saw your son again?” Fowler asked.

The tears started to swell up again as she looked at the floor.

“He was with another family, same face...same complexion and didn’t recognize or remember me as his mother. I’ve tried to find him, to follow him, see where he is, where he’ll be but it's too late. Of course my husband thinks I’m crazy because he has no idea who I was before I met him but the more you remember, the crazier you become, the more dangerous it is…They want you to forget…they want the children to forget. It’s how we were taken.”

I looked at Fowler who kept his eyes on her just as the door shoved open again with security breaking through. We all backed up as they began asking questions and escorting us out only for Fowler to clear up any confusion they may have. By the time I looked around for the girl, she was gone. Disappeared just that fast along with her brother.

“Daddy, I wanna see,” Laila said softly, pointing at the window as she sat in Fowler’s lap. Everyone was still boarding when she continuously climbed from one seat to another until she settled back in his lap with her arms around his neck as he reached to adjust her pink silk face mask. I got her things ready and situated from coloring book to her juice and blanket. Some snacks already in my purse, waiting as the final row was being filled. Laila sat between us, getting comfortable as Fowler started texting on his phone. Neither of us speaking after the incident until we were well into the air, most of the cabin was asleep with the windows drawn. Fowler leaned back in his seat on the aisle as I caught his eyes looking at me.

“What?” I asked, seeing a particular look, “what is it?”

“You know I’m not gonna let nobody take her,” he said in a low voice, “you know that?”

I looked down at the sleeping cub with drool hanging out her mouth and a red crayon in her hand.

“I know you won’t,” I said, feeling his protective energy nearly suffocate the plane, “I know you, Fowler Skye.”

“Good because know that I will kill, steal, fight, and bleed for mine on my best and worst day,” he smiled with a crazy wink, “I ain’t worried about lil bitty right here neither. She’s got more alpha in her than most of these pussy ass niggas out here,” he spat. “So stop worrying, don’t think about it. Let me do all the worrying and thinking...I need your mind to be strong and clear for my sake because when you panic, I do stupid shit.”

I looked down at my hands, trying to calm myself.

“Handle it then,” I demanded, staring him down. Fowler’s eyes squeezed tight with his wide grin as his teeth that almost mimicked fangs pressed against the silk face mask before closing shut.

“Not everyday I get to bring the monster out in me,” he said calmly. “About mothafucking time. Shit was just starting to get boring out’chea.”