Beacon of HopeMature

Gerard stood and stretched. It was now morning, yet it had taken almost an eternity to get there. 

He walked back to the rear of the cave, where Lilian and Melody slept. He found them curled up together, making Gerard almost smile. They hadn't been very close since Lilian had turned five almost three years back. Melody had started to grow jealous, causing Lilian and her to fight constantly. Now, after the horrible event they had went through, they seemed to be growing close once more.

"The village is burnt down, but the tavern is still standing," Gerard whispered, remembering the quote that his brother had told him. He hoped that Frank was still alive. 

"Good morning, papa," Lilian said, waking up finally. Melody rose right behind her. Gerard's heart sank when he saw she was still expressionless. He wished she would cry and let her pain out. Gerard had done so for hours the other night. Though he was still devastated, he could move on. For his girls.

"Come on, we need to head out," he said gently. Lilian scratched her head, causing hay to fall free from her long hair. Melody simply plucked the hay from her own hair. "Ok, you girls need a bath." 

Both girls let their heads drop and their expressions darkened. Gerard immediately felt terrible. Their mother usually gave them baths. This would be the first time they would have a bath without Shayleen giving it.

"You girls are growing older," he said, trying not to show his own pain, "You are old enough to bathe yourselves." Both girls looked up slightly and Lilian even smiled slightly.

"Ok, papa," they said, making Gerard feel better, if only a little bit.

Gerard walked to the entrance of the cave and fetched his crossbow. The creatures never came out in the day, but he wouldn't take chances. Besides, in the day he could hit any that came his way. He wouldn't be inhibited by the darkness of night.

Lilian and Melody, now in the water at the base of the waterfall, bathed, while Gerard took watch on a large rock. Luckily, the waterfall wasn't far from the cave, so he had a good view of both it and his daughters.

"PAPA!" Lilian shouted, "You should get a bath, too!" 

Gerared just laughed. "Don't need one," He shouted back, "I'm cleaner than you!" He stuck his tongue out at Lilian, who reacted likewise.

It was odd how he could play with Lilian like this after just two days, but Gerard had realized something. If he didn't do his best to keep his daughters safe and happy, Shayleen would never forgive him. For that reason alone, he would move forward. 

After the girls had washed and gotten redressed with clothing Gerard had packed, they headed off to Homerson, the town where Frank lived. Maybe they would have protection from the creatures.

The End

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