There seems to be an invisible barrier around the mayor's house.
At least, that's the best that Emma can conclude since she can't seem to cross from the sidewalk into the front yard. It's like something is simply stopping her body when she tries to move forward.
Walking into this barrier doesn't hurt. In fact it really feels like nothing at all. But she can't pass through.
The rest of Storybrooke has come to the same conclusion. They gave up trying to track down the mayor, or the evil queen now Emma supposes, almost an hour ago. David, now going by the name James, led the mob away to try to track down the help of Mr. Gold. Or Rumpelstiltskin. Whoever.
This whole thing is a little too much for Emma to take in. Curses that are real. Men made of wood. Dragons. Magic.
And most of all, the strange new way Mary Margaret and David are looking at her now.
So she focuses on the one thing, the one person, that hasn't changed.
Henry, still in his hospital scrubs, is shivering beside her in the cold. He's wearing Emma's jacket and a thick pair of socks, but they're not doing enough to cut the cold wind that has sprung up over the past hour.
His hands feel along the invisible barrier carefully, his expression somewhere between impressed and dismayed. He doesn't seem to notice the cold, or the fact that his body is shivering, but Emma notices and she worries for him.
"Regina, come on!" Emma's voice rings out, frustrated.
She had seen the pain in the mayor's eyes when Henry was dying, too raw to be faked. She knows Regina has nothing but contempt for her, but surely there must be some compassion for her son.
"Regina!" Emma calls out again. "Let us in! Henry is freezing, he needs his clothes!"
And then suddenly Henry stumbles forward. Now standing on the front walk, a quiet "whoa" escapes his mouth.
Emma hesitates. This is her chance to bolt. Henry can return to Regina and she can get out of town before things get even stranger.
And yet she can't leave. Not after finding out that everything Henry has been telling her from the day she met him is true. His adoptive mother is the evil queen for christsake. She can't just leave him.
She steps forward gingerly. She's not sure if Regina will allow her to pass, or if a bolt of lightning is going to split the sky and strike her down where she stands.
One step, then another. She's standing beside Henry on the front walk. Apparently they're both invited in.
"Let's go, kid." She places a hand on his shoulder and he smiles up at her.
They've just started forward when they hear a shout from behind them.
About a dozen townsfolk are storming across the street holding shovels and baseball bats. In a sickening realization Emma notes that one of them even has a gun.
Their cries are angry and determined. "They're inside! Get them! Get the queen!"
Emma realizes that they must have been watching, waiting. The front lawn offers nowhere to hide and they'll never make it to the door in time. Damn Regina and her massive, perfectly manicured yard.
"Regina!" Emma's voice rings out, raw and desperate.
And then there's nothing but silence.
The mob has reached the sidewalk but can proceed no further. Emma can see their mouths open, yelling, but she cannot hear them. They pound ineffectively at the barrier, their faces twisted with frustration and anger.
The man with the gun raises his weapon. Emma throws herself and Henry to the ground but the bullet is equally ineffective against the evil queen's magic. The crowd quiets after this, momentarily stymied, still angry but no longer trying to pound their way through.
Instead they watch, their hard stares sending a shiver down Emma's spine.
Trying her best to ignore them, Emma helps Henry to his feet. He's dirty but undamaged. She realizes just how quiet it is inside the barrier. There is no wind, no sound of birds, no noises from the street. The whole things creeps her out even more and she ushers Henry to the front door.
"Come on kid, let's go get you some clothes."
Emma doesn't know what to expect when she steps in the grand front doors of the mayor's mansion. Maybe that the inside of the house will have been transformed into some sort of medieval castle? With Regina, now the queen, sitting atop a throne in some ridiculous dress of purple velvet with a high collar?
But no that's Disney, not Storybrooke. Here in Storybrooke the inside of the mansion is the same - vacuous, cold and sterile.
And what she certainly does doesn't expect is to find the mayor standing quietly in the doorway that leads to the kitchen, arms wrapped protectively around her middle. Her black dress pants are wrinkled, the white dress shirt untucked. Her feet are bare.
The mayor looks lost, smaller than usual, regarding them with dark, unreadable eyes.
Henry comes to life, safe now inside his home. He tosses an absent "thanks mom!" over his shoulder as he bounds up the stairs.
Emma doesn't think he realizes what he said, that he still referred to the evil queen as 'mom'. But Regina certainly heard it, and her eyes widen as they follow Henry's retreating figure.
Emma tucks her hands in the back pockets of her jeans. Her eyes flit about the foyer, landing anywhere but on the mayor. Right now Regina doesn't look anything like the woman Emma knows. But she doesn't particularly look like an evil queen either.
Emma wants to gloat, wants to enjoy watching this woman suffer. Isn't it true that Regina brought this upon herself? She's been completely horrible in both worlds. Doesn't she deserve the mob out for her blood?
Emma tries to bring up those feelings. That hatred for this woman, her anger and frustration, her worry for Henry.
Yet this Regina in front of her is so broken. And perhaps Emma is just overwhelmed because she can't seem to find any feelings toward this woman, one way or another.
Henry's feet pound in the upstairs hallway and suddenly Emma can't handle the silence.
"Got anything to drink?" she asks.