Chapter 2 - Leaving (Part 2)Mature

“Papa! Papa!”

I groaned as awareness came to me. The first thing I saw, of course, was Melody. She was alive! I jumped up and hugged my daughter, feeling joy spread through me. I had thought for sure I wouldn’t wake up and, if I did, I would find myself alone. Another form was beside me, so I pulled Lillian into the hug and sat there in my joy. Shayleen had done it! She had driven the beast off. I would have to be especially nice to…

I let go of my daughters as the room around me came alive. The first thing I should have noticed was the beast – dead on the ground and covered in its own blood – but I did not. I didn’t notice the wreckage that had taken the living room. I didn’t even realize the pain my body was in. All I noticed was Shayleen, unmoving, on the ground beside the beast. She had claw marks on her torso… How…

How could this have happened…

I pushed my daughters to the side and crawled across the floor. The sight of me must have been pitiful. A large man with dark unruly hair making his way across the bloodied ground – though I forced myself not to think of the origins of that blood – while two little girls tried to tell him not to go. I couldn’t care in that moment, though. All that mattered was getting to Shayleen. Perhaps…

It took only a moment to pull her into my arms. Tears welled up in my eyes, betraying my true realizations. I still checked for the pulse of life, like a hopeful fool. I knew she was gone, but at the same time… I refused to believe it. Even if I knew it. It couldn’t be true, dammit!

She had been the only one! The only one in this whole accursed world who believed in me! I had been a vagabond, taking dirty jobs for scraps and killing as I saw fit, yet Shayleen saw me as the man I could be. The man I had inside. For her, I had released my inner self. I had learned to love, to trust, and to truly live! Why!?

My sorrow turned to anger. It was like a switch of an executioner’s stand. One minute my very being wept with the loss of my beautiful wife, the next… I found myself on top of the beast, pulling out the silver knife I found in its chest and planting it right back in.

“I had everything!” I yelled, uncaring of anything else. “I had EVERYTHING because of her!” The silver of the blade, not tainted with dark red blood, flashed again and again. Each time, blood sprayed into the air. “You cursed beasts took her! I’ll kill you all!” Crying forced me to stop.

I pulled the knife out for the last time and looked to where Melody cried while holding Lillian in her arms. That’s right… I dropped the knife. It was a gift for my wedding from Shayleen’s brother. He had given his all in his job to buy the silverware. I couldn’t disgrace it further…

For a moment, I had forgotten about my daughters…

I stood, though stumbling as I did, and walked over to my two girls. I felt the fatigue rush through me as I walked and nearly fell before I could kneel down and pull Melody and Lillian into a hug. “I’m sorry, girls,” I said quietly with my course voice. It hurt to talk. “I’m so sorry. I promise everything will be alright.”

The End

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