When she wakes up on December 9th, 2005, Molly still expects to give birth days later. In fact, she really only had the sleepy thought that the cabin was too cold and the wind too loud, forcing the shutters to bang against her window. She didn't have the strength to get up; most of her energy in the past few days had been focused on resting or getting warm or cleaning on the few times she could bear to be on her feet.

She falls back into a dreamless sleep and wakes up again at 12.15 PM to the shrill shriek of wind and a cold draft seeping into her bones.

This time, she has enough in her to push herself up on her feet, groaning when the baby moves with her. The gown she wears still feels a bit too tight around her mid section, and she adjusts it with a yank. The phone Aunt Julia left still doesn't have much of a signal, but Molly tucks it in the pocket of her gown anyway as she wobbles upright.

"God, you're way too big," she mumbles, rubbing her stomach, looking around. The window is completely open, the top popped up, snow seeping in. It's a bit too high for her to reach alone. She has to, though; even for this time of day, it's too dark and too cold for any other option.

Molly bites her lip, trying not to think too hard. Her mother and aunt would be back soon enough. One last run to get everything they needed for the hospital and hopefully, not for another fight. She wasn't stupid; she knew that her mother didn't like her decision to keep her child. Her expression had been too blank, and her hands gripped her purse too tight for Molly to believe that she liked her choice even if her mouth said yes.

It wasn't like she'd be going back home, anyway. They'd already made that perfectly clear when they sent her out here.

Resigned, she shuffles her way out of her bedroom and into the hall. The wood creaks beneath her feet as she goes, able to hear the static from the television that she'd left on last night. She shuts that off first, knowing that no signal was going to punch through anyway, picking up the blanket off of the floor, placing it on the old rocker that looked entirely too enticing at the moment.

Next was the one of many parenting books, put onto the counter, and finally, she made her way into the kitchen. The broom she needed leaned against the cupboard, just long enough to get the window from her bed.

She doesn't go for that first. First, she wanted the muffin left in the refrigerator, cold and full of bluberries. It was the last of a dozen she'd gotten at market, and as she unwraps it, all she can think of is how good it'd taste--

--and then the lights wink out.

"You've gotta be kidding me," Molly groans, throwing up her hands. Great. She was going to have to go down to the basement to get the lantern. The basement that had enough steps to tire her out, and if she was lucky, she might not find anything alive.

It takes her a full three minutes to summon up the will to get to the door, and an additional two minutes to finally make herself start to ascend. Her ankles and thighs complain as she makes her way down the rickety, awful steps into the basement. As nice as Julia's cabin was with renovations, the basement was the remaining evidence that it used to be an old hunting cabin that had belonged to her grandfather.

Nothing Molly heard about him was good, from the way he was even stricter than her own buttoned up mother to the way he liked to both hoard his wealth and play at being a hunter. Julia had removed and sold what she could, but a few preserved antlers and mounted animals still remained in the basement.

She found herself nasuated the further she went, smelling the dank earth, feeling the darkness almost coat her in discontent. "Come on, come on. Just get the lantern, and we'll be okay," she muttered to herself as her bare feet hit the ground. The dirt made her recoil, and when she finally, finally spotted the shelf she needed, Molly felt relief.

Quickly, she made her way to it, picking her way around the trophies, the antlers, and some of the old beer bottles (seriously, Julia?) left. There are two lanters there on the shelf. She grabs both; they're both heavy in her hands, grabbing them with both hands and attempting to scurry away as fast as she could.

It's difficult; she can feel her baby kicking, and as she moves, more and more of the basement seems to overwhelm her senses. They smells of the trophies as she passes by them again go straight to her stomach, curdling the little food in her stomach. Relentlessly, she swallows it down, going to the steps as fast as she can. It's even harder to move up the steps one by one, struggling with both lanterns in her hands.

By the time she makes it to the top, she's sweating, tired, and to her dismay, it's clear that only one latern is going to work. "Dammit," her fingers are coated with grime and she wipes them on a blanket, trying to get her beating heart under control.

This was not how she wanted to start her day.

It takes three tries to get the one latern to flare to life, flooding the room with light. Exhausted, mind not even on the window anymore, Molly lays against the loveseat, smearing a bit of grime on her head as she rests.

She's only, apparently, allowed a few minutes of rest. She can feel something warm against her legs, and for a moment thinks it's her bladder again -- maybe her baby kicked it. But there's no sharp, familiar pain, and the smell of ammonia begins to fill the room.

"Oh, fuck," she breathes.