“Frances: go back to bed,” ordered Mara, with as firm a countenance as she could muster; her crumbling voice betrayed her true wishes: she was in need of rescuing.
Mara was an expert damsel in distress: when she broke the customary silence that was appropriate for her reserved demeanor, a raspy voice emanated from a forced chest, occasionally failing some notes and even vanishing altogether when the lump in her throat swelled up in firmly denied anguish. Her loved ones—especially her children—never failed to notice the purposefully subtle but definite signs of distress: a quick glance into mother’s eyes or a single word uttered by mother would suffice to activate the full rescue operation and ensure their complete cooperation and support in all matters.
Frances’ inquisitive eyes met with a vitreous shield that kept her mother’s eyes safe from further scrutiny; the reflective glassiness effectively conveyed pain while concealing the clues to its possible origin.
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