Dark Heritage

by M.E. Greska

Disclaimers: General: The characters and events portrayed in this story are fictional, and belong to me. I did picture a certain warrior and bard as the main characters though, but that is where the similarity ends. They are mine-mine-mine!

Violence: Yes, there is most likely going to be some extremely violent images in this story so be warned. Bad Language: Not really, there may be some but nothing to get all bent out of shape about.

Love/Sex: This story will eventually portray a romantic relationship between two consenting women though it will most likely not be graphic, I will blush too much if I try to write anything racy, but be warned anyway. If you are under 18 years of age or if such things are illegal where you live I advise you to wait until your older or move whichever the case may be.

I would like to dedicate this story to all of the wonderful bards out there that have the courage to share themselves with us all through their stories. It takes a brave heart to allow yourself to be so vulnerable to a bunch of strangers. I only hope I live up to their example.

This is my first attempt at any form of writing in over ten years, I would really like to know what people think, but a very wise bard once told me that if I wasn't writing it for myself then I was writing for the wrong reasons. If it's good let me know and if you don't like it, please let me know why in a constructive way. I have a very fragile ego so please stop and think before you send any mean and nasty emails. Send any comments to Pegasus972@juno.com.

Oak Lawn, Illinois-April 27, 1975

The blue Chevrolet careened around the corner, tires squealing on the wet pavement, narrowly missing a pedestrian crossing the street. The car did not even slow as the shaken man yelled and rudely gestured at the departing vehicle before he resumed his trek across the street. All the while grumbling under his breath about crazy drivers.

"Hang on honey. We'll be there soon." Jack Medford said as he glanced worriedly over at his distressed wife, Sarah. She screamed as the pain of another contraction overtook her. Spurred on by the obvious pain his wife was in, Jack pushed the accelerator all the way to the floor as he nervously stared out the foggy windshield. The aged car begrudgingly increased its speed as it raced down the city streets toward the tiny hospital. Finally, Oak Lawn Community Hospital came into sight and with a sigh of relief and a screech of brakes Jack pulled up to the emergency entrance. "It's going to be fine, baby. We made it. Everything's gonna be all right. You'll see." Jack soothed as he jumped out the driver side and raced around the car to open up his wife's door.

"This doesn't feel right, Jack. There's something wrong. I just know it. Oh, please God don't let there be anything wrong!" Sarah cried out, tears streaking her face as Jack gently eased her from the car and half dragged, half carried her across the slippery pavement and through the sliding glass doors into the deserted emergency room.

"It'll be all right, Baby. I just know it. It has to be." Finally, they reached the admission desk. There was no one in sight. "Stay here and I'll get someone." Jack said as he carefully leaned Sarah against the desk and raced through to one of the triage examination rooms and down the hallway. Jack frantically ran from room to room finally grabbing the first person that even resembled a doctor "Help me please! My wife is in labor. We normally see Dr. Goodson, but he's out of town. I'm Jack Medford and my wife Sarah is out in the waiting room. The contractions just started about half and hour ago and they are coming really fast now and she's not looking too good." Jack grabbed the doctor's arm and attempted to drag him back down the hallway toward the waiting area.

"Calm down, Mr. Medford. I'm sure everything is going to be fine. I need to get a little info from you and then we'll go get your wife and deliver your baby, okay? Has Dr. Goodson had her on any medication or indicated to you that she might have a difficult labor?" The doctor asked as he jogged alongside Jack back to the waiting area.

"No, everything's been normal so far. We did everything the doctor said. Sarah takes her vitamins, eats healthy, we've both read every parenting book we could get our hands on and anything else you can think of. We've been trying for a really long time and this is our first baby." Jack answered as they finally arrived back to where Sarah waited.

"Oh my god, Jack!" Sarah screamed as she looked down at the rapidly growing red stain on the front of her white pants. Terrified blue eyes looked back up to meet her husband's as her knees started to buckle. Jack barely managed to catch her before she hit the floor in a dead faint. Together he and the doctor managed to lift her and put her on a gurney as a nurse and orderly came running into the room.

"Let's get her to delivery 2. Hurry up people!" Dr. Samuel Crawford shouted as they hurriedly pushed the gurney through the swinging doors on the right side of the emergency room and down the hall to the delivery room. "There's a waiting room down here sir. You can stay there until we have some news for you." Dr. Crawford yelled over his shoulder as he rushed after his patient.

Jack walked dejectedly to the vacant waiting room across from the door where the doctor had disappeared with his wife. He mechanically paced the floor as he realized that his entire life was in that room, as he contemplated an existence without the woman he loved and the beautiful daughter that they both had desired so much. A feeling of despair washed over him as he realized that he didn't want to go on without them and tears washed down his face. Hours went by, but time meant nothing to Jack. Minutes or hours could have gone by as he paced frantically around the room praying to God the entire time and he wouldn't have known the difference.

"Please, please, please let them both be okay. I'll do anything. I can't live without them. Oh, please God. I love them both so much." He prayed as he circled the room. "I can't live without her and she won't want to live without that little girl. Please don't do this. I'm begging." Having finally worn himself out, Jack dropped tiredly into one of the five empty chairs in the room. He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the back of the chair, tears still leaking out of his eyes as he contemplated the future.

Jack was startled out of his reverie by the sound of someone walking by the open doorway. He glanced up to see a lovely blond woman dressed in green surgical scrubs standing in the doorway. "Do you have news about my wife? Is she okay?" Jack jumped to his feet and raced over to the woman.

"No, I'm sorry. I just got here myself. I was a little late tonight. Are you all right?" The blond asked as she gently took his arm and led him back to his chair. "Is there anything I can get you while you are waiting, maybe something to drink or eat? You need to keep your strength up."

"I can't even think about food, right now. What if she dies? I don't think I can live without her." Jack replied and then glanced nervously at the woman as he realized what he had said to this complete stranger who had the kindest brown eyes he had ever seen. "I'm sorry. I'm just having a hard time being optimistic right now. I know you are trying to help. Are you a doctor here?"

"That's okay, really. I know how you feel. No, I'm not a doctor I just help out here sometimes, when I'm needed. You can call me Maggie." She smiled at him as she reached out to shake his hand. Jack took her hand and suddenly he began to feel hopeful. All the desolate thoughts that had been churning through his head were just gone, wiped away by that sweet smile. Her expression changed as she glanced worriedly toward the delivery room door. She moved back toward the doorway and stood there with her head tilted slightly as though listening for something. Suddenly the lights flickered and a bulb blew in the hallway showering sparks everywhere. Jack could see her outlined in the dim doorway and then the entire hospital was plunged into darkness. Her soft voice carried to Jack through the darkness. "I don't know if it will help or not, but I really think that everything is going to be okay. Things happen for a reason sometimes, but there is always a plan. Believe in that and everything will turn out okay, Jack. You have a very special little girl in there."

"Thank you, Maggie. Wait! How do you know my name, I never told it to you." A moment later, the lights came back on as Jack blindly groped toward the doorway. When his eyes had readjusted to the bright light, he looked first left then right down the hallway. She was gone. An extremely puzzled expression came across his face and then he became aware of another sound, the cries of an extremely vocal baby. It was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. He stood in the hallway listening intently, willing everything to be okay as the delivery room door swung open and the doctor came out. He looked into Jack's worried face and smiled.

"They both are going to be okay, sir. I won't lie to you, it was very touch and go for a while. Your wife was hemorrhaging badly and when we first got the fetal monitor on her there was only a very weak heartbeat. We were having real trouble getting the bleeding under control and we lost the baby's life signs just as the power went out. Then the power came back on and suddenly her life signs were strong and the bleeding had stopped. We couldn't even find the location of the hemorrhage. It's like it was never there. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. It was the darndest thing I ever saw. You've got a true fighter in there. You're wife and baby are in recovery right now and will be taken to room 104 in a moment you can see them then. Okay?"

"Thank you so much, doctor. I don't know what I would have done if I'd lost them. They're my whole life." Happy tears streamed down his face this time as he laughed with joy and started down the hall intent on going to the patient's rooms when he suddenly stopped.

"Dr. Crawford, wait!" He called toward the doctor's retreating back as he trotted back to the man. "I wanted to ask you. There was a woman who sat with me for a while when I was in the waiting room. She tried to comfort me and make me feel better. I wanted to thank her. I'm not sure if she was a doctor or nurse and I didn't get her full name. She was blonde, kind of on the tall side and real pretty. She said her name was Maggie. Do you know her?"

"Maggie? Mr. Medford we have several nurses and doctors on duty tonight, but I know them all and there isn't a Maggie among them. As a matter of fact, I'm fairly certain we don't have a Maggie who works on our medical staff at all. Are you sure about the name?"

"Very sure. She didn't say she worked here all the time. She said she helped out when needed here. Does that maybe help?"

"I suppose she could be a registry nurse, but I don't remember anyone from the registry working tonight. We are a small hospital and don't often need to use outside nursing assistance. I'll find out for you. Did you need anything else?"

"That would be great. Thank you again for all you've done for my family. I can't even begin to tell you what it means to me." Jack smiled, shook the doctor's hand and raced toward the patient's rooms.

Less than thirty minutes later an orderly wheeled in an exhausted Sarah and helped transfer her from the gurney to the hospital bed. Jack could only stare at her pale face and sweat soaked hair and tears again began to slowly leak from his eyes. He stumbled to the bed and collapsed down on the edge throwing his arms around his wife. He clutched her tightly to his chest as he sent up a prayer of thanks that she was okay.

"I thought I'd lost you. Don't you ever scare me like that again"

"I was so afraid, honey. Is the baby okay?"

"The doctor said it was touch and go, but she's a fighter just like her Mom. She's going to be just fine." Just then the door opened and a nurse walked in carrying the baby a huge smile on her face.

"Here's your baby girl. She's a real beauty and so quiet too. She hasn't made nary a single sound since she came into the world." The nurse said as she leaned over and gently handed the baby to Jack. "Look at those beautiful blue eyes. She's just looking around taking everything in. Amazing." Jack took the baby and shifted so that he and Sarah were both looking down at her.

"She's a miracle, Sarah, our own little miracle. I love you, honey. So very much." Sarah looked into his eyes and smiled. Tears of joy began to flow from her eyes as well as she looked down at the sleepy little bundle in her husband's arms.

"Our family. That's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. Love you too, honey."

March 15, 1976

"Honey, can you find me her pacifier?" Sarah shouted from the nursery as the lights flickered again, the desperate tone of her voice only accented by the lusty cries coming from the crib. Sarah picked Casey up from the crib and began to hum softly as she rocked her gently trying to soothe and distract the miserable baby. Casey's cries diminished a little as her attentions were focused up at her mother. Strangely intelligent blue eyes stared innocently into Sarah's eyes as her cries slowed even further until they were just wet sniffles punctuated by a half hearted cry as if Casey suddenly remembered that she was unhappy.

Jack finally having located the missing pacifier entered the room and frantically handed it to his wife. Sarah eased it into Casey's mouth and the exhausted infant drowsily closed her eyes and started to drift off to sleep again. "That's got it. That kid sure has some lungs on her." Jack whispered as he eyed the light in the ceiling. "I can't wait until she's done teething. Got to check the wiring again I guess? I've changed the bulb three times. That damn incompetent electrician swore to me that there was no short anywhere. There's got to be something or else why does the light keep flickering? Strange, don't you think?"

Sarah looked at her husband in exasperation. "I don't know, but I think it upsets Casey when the lights flicker like that. She always seems to cry more. I don't like the thought that there may be a short circuit in here somewhere. I mean, what if there's a fire or something? Just call the electrician again. I'll feel better if you do, okay?" She placed the now docile baby back down in the crib, placed her finger on her lip and motioned for Jack to precede her to the door.

Just as they seemed to be about to escape unscathed, Casey seemed to realize that she was alone yet again and began to scream with even greater fervor. As her cries gained in volume, so the lights began to flicker again. Sarah and Jack just looked at each other for a moment and then moved back to the crib. As soon as they came into view, the cries calmed and the annoying flickering ceased. "Honey, play along with me a minute. I've got a theory." Jack said in a low, puzzled voice as he took Sarah's arm and led her away from the crib toward the door. Once again, Casey's cries rose and the lights began to flicker.

Sarah immediately moved as though to go back and calm the shrieking child, but Jack placed a hand lightly upon her shoulder and stopped her in her tracks. "Wait, I want to see something." They watched in amazement as the lights began to flicker faster and faster, creating an almost strobe effect as Casey's cries continued to rise in volume. A look of puzzled awe was etched on Jack's handsome face as he watched the scene unfold. A loud banging filled the air accompanying Casey's cries as the shelves that were filled to overflowing with stuffed toys began to shake, spilling their contents every which way. Sarah shook off Jack's hand and bolted to the crib, scooping Casey up into her arms and humming. Once again trying to calm the distraught child. As if by magic the lights stabilized and the room was quiet once again.

"Forget about the electrician. I think we may need a priest instead." Sarah said ruefully as she looked worriedly at her now sleeping daughter. "What the hell was that?" She whispered as she looked into her daughter's sleeping face quickly examining her for any injuries or problems. "What are we going to do?"

"She's okay. We just need to watch her. She's very special, Sarah. Someone told me that once. Now, we just have an idea how much. Everything will be all right, things happen for a reason sometimes, but there's always a plan. I believe that. I really and truly do. Our little girl is very special indeed and a gift from God. But just to be on the safe side, I want to put a case of pacifiers in here just in case. Are you all right?"

"I'm just scared. Not so much for us, but for her. What's happening to her?"

"I don't know, honey. I just don't know."

December 25, 1979

Casey anxiously jumped from her bed and raced down the hallway, making little scuffing sounds as the rubber soles on the feet of her pajamas rubbed over the carpet. She skidded to a halt at the door to her parent's bedroom and hesitantly reached up for the knob. As she stood there a private war was waging within her as she wavered between waking up her parents and possibly getting scolded for coming in without knocking again and the overwhelming desire to open up her presents.

'Daddy acted so funny the last time.' She thought to herself 'Maybe Santa brought Mommy and Daddy a new bed for Christmas, so Daddy won't have to sleep on top of Mommy anymore. It sure didn't look very comfortable, especially the way Daddy was groaning and moaning while he moved around trying to find a comfortable place to lay.' This thought served to make up Casey's mind for her as it was very important that her parents were comfortable, they meant so much to her. She opened the door a crack and peeked in at her sleeping parents. With a happy giggle she opened the door wide and ran to the edge of the bed.

" Wake up, it's Christmas! Mommy! Daddy! Get up! Santa's been here and I want to see what he left me." She shouted excitedly as she shifted from left to right bristling with nervous energy. "Come on, come on, sleepyheads! It's been Christmas for a million hours already."

"Okay, honey. We're up." Sarah's sleep roughened voice grumbled from beneath the blanket covering her head. "Go downstairs and wait and we'll be right down." Sarah threw the blanket aside and attempted to rub the sleep from her eyes as she leaned over and nudged her husbands back. "Wake up, dear. It's god-awful early o'clock in the morning and there's a very impatient little girl waiting for us downstairs."

"Just five more minutes. Please?" Jack whined as he clutched his blankets tighter and screwed his eyes shut as though trying to will himself back to his dreams much to Sarah's amusement.

"Don't make me get a cup of water to dump on you." She slapped him on the behind. "Up, Mister! Move it, Move it."

"I hate mornings!" He groaned as he groggily raised himself up and put on his robe. A silly grin lit his face as he drew Sarah to him and planted a big sloppy kiss on her mouth and offered her his elbow. "Shall we, my lady? Let's go see what Santa brought, hmm?"

They marched arm in arm into the living room to see Casey hopping ecstatically around the tree. They all sat down in a circle by the tree and Jack began handing out gifts. Not much later, the room looked as if a tornado had struck. There were bits of wrapping paper strewn all about the room and stacks of toys and games along with the dreaded stack of clothes that all children lament receiving every year. Casey had just rolled her eyes at those and focused her attentions on more interesting presents until all were opened and a now very tired Casey sat groggily leaned against the couch, a doll clutched loosely in her hand. She valiantly tried to remain awake as she fought a losing battle against her chin, which would simply not behave and stay off her chest, and her eyes, which fought valiantly to stay open, but were fading fast.

" Casey, honey. Why don't you go back up to bed and take a nap? I'll come get you up in a couple hours and you can play with your new toys. How's that sound?"

The trouble with sleepy children is that they are too stubborn to admit they are tired and the fact that they are exhausted does absolutely nothing for their mood. Obviously, Casey was very cranky right then and wanted to play with all of her new toys and being the independent almost five-year old that she was she had made up her mind to do so. As most four year olds know, the quickest and easiest way to do whatever you want is to simply ignore adults, who have no concept of what is fun anyway, and do whatever they pleased. Unfortunately, this never seems to set well with equally tired adults, especially of the parent variety and Sarah was no exception.

"Casey Renee Medford, I know that you heard what I said. Don't sit there and ignore me. Now put the toys up for now and go lay back down. I'll wake you up when breakfast is ready. Scoot!" Sarah raised a hand effectively silencing the objection that Jack appeared to be about to raise. "Jack, you know she'll be cranky all day if she doesn't take a nap. She's already been up God knows how long."

"Mommy, I want to play. I'm not tired at all, honest." Casey pleaded, as she couldn't quite stifle the yawn that came out.

"Go on, sweet pea. Your mom's right. You'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed and be able to play when you wake up."

"I want to play, now!" Casey's voice was rising in volume and becoming more strident by the moment as she glared at her mother.

"Don't you give me that look, young lady or use that tone with me. Now go lay down or I know a little girl who is going to be without some Christmas toys in a second."

"I hate you! You never let me do anything! I wish you weren't my mommy!"

For the most part, the strange incidents that occurred around the house had been sporadic at best; finally all but disappearing by the time Casey was about two years old. Casey was growing up a very mild mannered and loving child, so this temper tantrum was very out of character for her. Casey screamed and flung herself to the ground her arms and legs flailing violently.

She screwed hers eyes tightly shut and shrieked over and over again. "I hate you. I hate you. I hate you." The lights upon the Christmas tree began to glow brighter and brighter and the tree began to shudder and shake. The air was filled with the sound of the tinkling crash of ornaments hitting the floor and walls, the sudden popping sounds as the tiny light bulbs in the tree burst and by Casey's continued yelling. Jack raced over to Casey and yelled for her to stop it. Nothing seemed to work. Desperation finally winning out, Jack slapped Casey across the face. It wasn't a hard slap, but Casey had never been struck in her young life so it was shock more than anything that snapped her out of it.

The air was filled with the smell of smoke as the lights of the Christmas tree sparked and the boughs of the tree smoldered and burst into flame. "Jesus!" Jack yelled as he raced over and unplugged the lights as wisps of smoke filled the air. He ran into the kitchen and filled a pot full of water and hurried back into the living room, dousing the whole tree with water. The stench of melted plastic mixed with roasted pine needles filled the air.

"What were you thinking? Look what you did! You hurt your mother!" Jack yelled angrily as he gestured toward Sarah who was leaning against the living room wall clutching her forehead trying to stem the flow of blood from a deep gash. Jack rushed over to her and gently led her to the sofa and made her sit down. He ran into the bathroom and grabbed the first aid kit and hurried back to his wife. All the while, Casey just stood there staring in horror at what she had done. Her breath hitched and tears streamed down her cheeks as she looked at the wreckage of the tree and ornaments, unable to look at her parents.

Jack cleaned the cut on Sarah's head, which wasn't really that deep, but was bleeding heavily. Finally, he managed to stem the flow of blood and taped the gauze in place. "You okay?"

"God, that hurts. I have a headache from Hell, but I think I'm okay."

Jack turned again to Casey grabbing her arms and yanking her roughly toward him. Tears ran down her face as she raised red, puffy eyes to her father and then looked down to once again study her feet. Jack studied his daughter for a moment taking in her disheveled hair and clothes and her blotchy red face. He paused and tried to calm himself down as he watched her breathing grow even more erratic almost on the verge of hyperventilating.

"Casey, calm down. Look at me." Casey raised her eyes again and flinched at the now loving expression on her father's face. "I want you to listen very carefully to me, okay? What you just did is bad. Do you understand why?"

"Because I hurt Mommy and wrecked everything. I'm so sorry Mommy! I didn't mean it! I love you more than anything." Casey cried as she hurled herself into her mother's open arms and pressed her tear stained face against her chest.

"I know, baby. I know you didn't mean to hurt me. It was an accident."

"Casey, that's not the only reason it's bad. Do you know the other reason?" Jack prodded as he gently reached over and tugged Casey around to face him, lifting her to perch upon his knee. "It's bad because you couldn't control it. You could have burned the whole house down and we could have all died. You lost control because you didn't get your way. What if next time you don't like something, we're driving in the car or God forbid you throw a tantrum in public and hurt some innocent bystander?"

"I won't do it again Daddy, I promise. Not ever again."

Jack folded her into his arms and hugged her tightly. "I know, baby. All I'm asking is that you try. People just wouldn't understand if they saw. You can never do this again. I don't know what's inside you that allows you to do these things, but I want you to bury it. Bury it so deep that you forget it even exists. Can you do that for me and Mommy?"

"I'll try, Daddy. I love you." Casey closed her eyes. "I love you, Mommy." She murmured as her head lolled against Jack's chest and she lost consciousness. For just a moment Sarah panicked as she reached for her daughter.

"Is she all right? I thought we were through with this. It's been so long since anything's happened." She whispered shakily as she pressed her hand to Casey's chest and then to the side of her face. "Her breathing is kind of shallow. Do you think she's okay? Maybe we should call the doctor."

"And tell him what, Sarah? Oh, hello Doc. Can you please take a look at my daughter because she seems to have exhausted herself by throwing objects around the room with her mind and almost setting the whole house on fire? Oh and by the way, please look at this cut on my wife's forehead, as it seems she got in the way of a flying ornament. So how was your Christmas? We can't tell anyone, Sarah. You know that."

"I do know that, but we have to do something. She's got to be all right."

"Every time she's had an episode in the past, she's gone straight to sleep afterward. I think she uses up a lot of energy when she does whatever it is she does and her body needs to recuperate. She's just used up more this time. We'll keep an eye on her, but I think she'll be okay."

May 15, 1981

Time went by as it usually does and Casey was true to her word. After the terrifying events on that Christmas Day, she never lashed out again. The human mind can be easily traumatized, but the brain also has a wonderful defense mechanism that allows us to forget the things that hurt us badly, especially the minds of children and Casey was no exception. She simply couldn't bear the thought that she had hurt her mother and since Jack and Sarah thought it wiser to never mention it, her brain stored those memories away in some forgotten corner of her mind. So it came to be that their lives together were good. Casey was a happy and well-adjusted child, intelligent beyond her years. She was the apple of her parent's eye and loved beyond measure by them. Life or fate, whichever, has a cruel sense of humor and good things always must come to an end. Unfortunately, human lives are no exception to this rule.

Casey had just turned six the month before and was so excited. Her parents were taking her out for a movie. This was a rare treat, because though Jack and Sarah tried to encourage Casey and help her develop in all ways, they worried. They worried because Casey, while being a very precocious six-year old, had an imagination unrivaled by most. They wanted her set firmly in reality, so even though she was allowed to pretend and imagine, movies and television were a pleasure usually denied her. Until, one day, she heard of a movie that she just had to see. She begged and pleaded and begged some more, until finally her poor browbeaten parents relented and took her to see Clash of the Titans.

As they exited the crowded theater, their shoes making little crunching sounds as they stepped on spilt popcorn and fighting valiantly to keep their shoes on against the pull of the sticky floor, they talked about the movie. "Well, what did you think, Casey? Was it what you expected? Did you like it" Sarah asked amusedly as she watched her daughter skip and hop excitedly around them.

"Oh, Mom, it was wonderful. I want a flying horse just like Pegasus. I really loved it, though they did get some things wrong."

"What do you mean, honey?"

"Well, for one thing, that lady didn't look anything like Aphrodite and that Poseidon guy was all wrong. The guy who played Zeus was close, but they didn't even show Ares. What was that all about? Oh yeah, and that Andromeda was kind of a wimp. Why didn't she just tell that Calli-whatshisname to take a hike and then she just let herself be chained to the rocks as dinner because some stone head said so? That's just silly, but I still thought it was pretty good." She finally finished as her parents gaped at her and then burst out laughing. "What?"

"Don't you ever change, Casey." Jack chuckled as he led them around the back of the theater toward the darkened parking lot. As they rounded the corner of the building a dark figure came at them from out of the shadows, using his bulk to shove Jack against the wall of the theater and grabbing Sarah.

"Gimme your money and no one gets hurt." A menacing voice grated as a strong arm wrapped around Sarah, pulling her roughly against him, his other arm pushing the blade of a wicked looking hunting knife against her throat. As the serrated edge pressed against her neck, thin beads of blood formed and started to run down her neck. "Don't do anything stupid or your little wifey is gonna get hurt."

"Okay, just calm down. Don't hurt her. I'll give you whatever you want." Jack reached back and drew out his wallet and thrust it towards the man. "Take it. Just leave us alone." Just then, a car backfired and startled the would be robber causing him to jerk around toward the sound. The suddenness of his movement caused him to draw the knife across Sarah's neck, cutting deeply. Sarah made a wet, gurgling sound as she clutched frantically at her throat blood pouring from the ragged wound.

"Oh my God! No!" Jack screamed as he charged toward Sarah in an attempt to help her. The already panicked thug thrust Sarah away from him and pointed his knife toward Jack. Jack's momentum carried him forward, right into the knife. He screamed and sank to his knees, clutching his stomach in agony and fell forward against Sarah's unmoving body. Casey stood there in shock, unable to move as she saw the two people who mattered most to her in the world lying on the ground, a large red pool forming beneath them. Shock and pain welled up inside her as her attention was jerked from her parents to the monster that had just hurt her family. His body radiated menace as he looked down and realized he was still holding the knife tightly in his hand and started to move toward Casey.

"No! You leave her alone!" Jack screamed as he struggled to rise and stop the man. " Run, Casey!"

"Come here, little girl." The man sneered as he lunged toward her. Casey was too frightened to move and just stared in shock as she saw her daddy struggle to his knees and fling himself against the attacker's legs, knocking the man to the ground. This infuriated the man even more and he raised the knife and stabbed Jack in the chest. Jack collapsed on the ground and moved no more. The attacker wiped the blade on Jack's coat and stood again, moving toward Casey.

Casey looked at her mother's still body and her father's face contorted in pain and concentrated all her energies upon them. Casey's world closed in until the only occupants were her parents and the thug who was still leaning over her father's fallen body. Pure blue light radiated from Casey's body as it flooded the scene making the shadows flee away from its pulsing brilliance. The energies surged forward like a cat and engulfed her parents within. Their bodies shook and began to rise into the air as if they were marionettes, at the mercy of an insane puppeteer's whims knocking the attacker to the ground in the process. The shaking became much more violent as their bodies hung suspended from their invisible strings and then the light began to fade as John and Sarah Medford were lowered gently to the ground never to rise again.

"It's too late!" Casey cried brokenly and fell to her knees, panting and out of breath. She studied her parent's bodies and then turned her attentions to the man who was currently cowering before her. "Why? They never did anything to you! They were all I had!"

"What the hell are you?" He asked as he started to stand in preparation of running away. "Just what the hell are you? Stay the fuck away from me, you freak!" Casey once again stared at the still bodies on the ground, trying to make some sort of sense from something so senseless. He backed away his hands held out as though to ward her away from him, as he finally turned his back and started to flee. Casey stood once again.

"No." Just one word spoken ever so calmly as rage welled up inside of her. Anger such as the world has ever seen before and hopefully will never see again. She raised her gaze from her parent's lifeless bodies and looked again into the eyes of the man that had just destroyed her world. 'His eyes look human, but I can recognize a monster when I see it. Daddy said there are no monsters, but Daddy was wrong.' she thought as she channeled her rage, compressed it into a tiny ball and then let it spring forth. Sending it all out at him in one massive burst of energy. A blinding flash of light filled the night sky as he screamed.

He howled in agony as his flesh cooked and crisped, turning black and burnt. The air filled with the acrid stench of burnt meat. Wave after wave of faint blue light pulsed out of Casey's body into the pain-wracked form of the man-monster. After what seemed like hours, but was really only seconds the pulses began to weaken even further and fade until they were almost white. And then everything just ended. The night was no longer split with the sounds of his ravaged screaming. The silence was deafening. Where had once stood a man, there was only a pile of ashes and where there had been life and happiness now laid the corpses of those Casey loved best and most in the whole world.

Casey looked around confusedly as she swayed back and forth, barely able to stay on her feet. Images filled her head as she remembered all the happiness of her short life and amongst all of these confusing images one thought came through the loudest. A memory. Of a promise given, that had now been cast aside. "I'm sorry, Daddy. I tried." She whispered her breath hitching as she fell to her knees and the welcome darkness claimed her.


Back To Main Page