“They are not scientific experiments.” Chel added. Their silence was sending a myriad of fantastical ideas through her head. Her parents. She never asked. She had been content to do her own thing. Once they were home, they never spoke about work. It was like an unspoken rule. Don’t ask.

“Chel,” Mel stepped forward. Vic let her. He really didn’t want to say what was on his mind. “This isn’t a Saturday night, made for sci-fi movie. This is real life. We were concerned.”

Chel frowned, feeling guilty for her part in that. She couldn’t help it. Not with her mother standing there giving her a full blown look of disappointment.

“The hospital called.”

Ice filled Chel’s veins.

“I’m fine.” Chel blinked, confused for a moment. Stitches. Swimming. Stitches? Her mind was a whirl of sudden impossibilities and memories she couldn’t separate from reality. It had happened. But this morning, she had gotten up and taken a shower. She hadn’t even thought about it.

“You had stitches on your left shoulder and you went swimming.”

Chel felt the blood drain from her face in horror.