I was supposed to do this last month, with this entry inspired by/including the word “revolution…” Goldie, who I’m borrowing these prompts from, already has done the entry for March… which… is almost over, isn’t it? I feel like now would be a good time to mention that I’m terrible with time. Anyway, if you care to, you can find the story that this is an extension of here.
“It starts like this, little sister:
With a silent, failing song
And we find we know the steps
And we start to sing along
And people call it revolution
As if it’s something new
But it’s as old as the world
And even older too
See, here comes the crescendo:
If we can keep in time
Then perhaps we’ll solve this mystery
And might one day solve mine.”
20 years ago:
The little girl screamed and screamed as her father’s hand, open or closed, found her brother’s head again and again. She cried and begged for the ten year-old’s sake, pleading for the staying of her father’s drunken rage. But in his red-tinted eyes, he saw only her age; not the age that he and a bitter world had made her, but the one that told him she was three years more of a child than the small monster upon which he now poured his temper.
“You’re no son of mine!” slurred the drunken man, smacking the boy again, who inched fearfully backwards. “You’re the devil’s son, you are!” Another blow, another retreat. “If your mother were alive, I’d throw you into the fire, spare her the pain of having to see the beast that you are!”
At the words ‘your mother,’ the boy froze, and fear gave way to fire. He became aware that he was standing just before the furnace, and at his father’s words, something rose up within him. “Do it, then,” the boy hissed, and for a moment he felt he might truly be some son of the devil. But he went onward, the words spilling out almost before he was aware of them. “If you were more of a man you might, but you’re not. You’re a coward and a fool. She’s dead, because you’re weak.”
The room went deadly silent as they stared at each other, the one with such a look as made the other flinch, the other with eyes that grew wider with each second that passed. “You really are a monster,” whispered the latter, horror slowly dawning into righteous anger. He went into motion, grabbing the boy by the collar, thrusting him into the furnace and shutting him in. There came up screams like a howl, and they seemed to go on and on as the father staggered backward, hand over his mouth. The little girl stared in shock, tears spent, as her brother’s screams finally died off.
The drunken man, much sobered now, turned toward his daughter. His eyes softened at her pitiful countenance, and he took a step towards her. She flinched. “It’s alright, Joy,” he said, coming closer, beckoning. “It’ll be alright, just come to me, child.” She shook her head, tears finding their way to her eyes again.
“I had a dream,” she whispered. “You tried to hurt me… But Cynric saved me.” She looked up at her father. “He was all burned up.”
“You…” The man groaned, a sound like a strangled animal; something faded from his eyes. “You too?” He grabbed a length of pipe from a nearby table, debris from a project he never began. “I see now,” he said, nodding sagely. “I should have done this before. Demon children, both of you.” He took a step forward. Then another, and another. Her fear was a glue that held her to the wall as he approached, and she sat crouched, shaking, when the first blow came. It hit her on the head and knocked her sideways, and the next she was aware she was on the ground, helpless as the second blow came down upon her side, accompanied by a cracking sound and a terrible pain.
Consciousness was beginning to take on sand-like qualities; but she looked up, and the last thing she saw was her father’s slumping body, and her brother standing behind him, clothing — what remained — in burnt tatters, a bloody knife in hand.