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Out of the Shadows, Part Eight

7.

Father and daughter Tom and Lisa Smith no longer have the home they had lived in at a time when daughter and sibling Majella had last been with them. A wife, a mother gone so long since before a complete family could become fully complete and be a five-piece in that home. Lisa in her own head can only see brief images of her mother, she had been so young then that she can’t have any real memory of mum. Tom still has dreams of sitting on the sofa with Jenifer on the night she told him that baby number three was on the way.

A first daughter, a big sister now too is gone, taken from this world far too soon. How can this be? Why did this happen? Haven’t they been put through enough? With Majella having been taken and erased from her family’s lives, temporarily as it would turn out, and with all else that has occurred there was no need for the family home that once knew nothing but good and now only holds memories both good and bad. No need indeed in regards to size, a home too big for a father and one daughter.

Also with how life has been for Tom, finances are at a low, they have been at a low for some time, so much so that they currently are almost non-existent. Chief concerns over the past few years were with finding Majella and only recently dealing with the loss of a firstborn. The former home has been traded in for an apartment. It may be small, this new or not so new apartment, but it will most definitely do, for the time being at least.

The surviving Smith’s want each other, they need each other and that need is all the more now with the return of the youngest member. They are now just three though each other is exactly what they finally do have, anything else they could want would be either unimportant, dream longing or wishful regret.

A lack of a family car is something else to be temporarily suffered at this time so public transport is what will bring father and two daughters to their smaller and not so cosy abode. Tom, Lisa and Majella do have each other and that should be an awesome thing and they may not need for much more other than having those who are lost returned to them, though taking a bus with standing room only is a bit demoralizing, a kick while somewhat down, the icing on the rotten cake that life has delivered onto them.

There is nothing wrong with public transport but with having a daughter returned after so many years and with all she has been through, it would be preferable if current transport could be something quick, comfortable and something that belongs only to the Smith Family.

That bus journey home, to add insult to somewhat of an injury, would be somewhat interrupted. Majella only saw it coming just before it was to occur by which time it would be far too late to do anything about it, and this is if anything could actually be done about it. It is not pain to others or to herself, not directly at any rate, though a moment like this was always going to come; he was always going to come.

She kind of figured something would indeed come, she could feel it coming though at the same time she didn’t really know either for as with others who are in more ways than one like her Majella is not quite aware of many things. She had yet to physically see him prior to now despite the fact he had been there in the shadows during key moments of her life, though somewhere deep within her she knew something, she felt something and now she feels something again just before an arrival is made. Darkness royalty is about to properly visit for the first time.

Instinct or other, whether she would want to know or not, she does know she is different, she does know that there is a he of sorts involved and that he is about to make himself known to her.

The bus stops dead. No slowing down, no pulling off to one side of the road, it just comes to a complete halt, frozen as if a pause button on the film that is life had been pressed. The bus is not the only thing to halt. The lighting within and all around dims but not so much that darkness has come whole, it is too early in the day for that.

Everyone, all those who are on the bus have become frozen to the spot, everyone other than Majella, Lisa, Tom and one other, have been put on a frozen pause, and not frozen as in stone-cold but frozen as in being as still as the bus is … a virtual three-sixty movie with an added bonus scene meant for three along with a director controlling this bonus material.

Despite the lack of room on the bus, he has no difficulty manoeuvering. He is shadow embodied. This man’s presence, his on-coming movement is of a more pressing concern than the stillness of the surroundings. And it is Tom who reacts first.

‘I know you! I have seen you before.’

With a glance, Darkness stops any potential physical aggression from occurring. Tom is angered, he is also fearful. He has only just got Majella back and he cannot allow any harm to come to either of his daughters or to himself. The choice is taken away as Tom now too has becomes physically frozen. Still aware, still able to see and hear, Tom can no longer move. He is right though. He does know Darkness to some extent and has experienced it to some degree too. He has indeed seen this man, this physical representation, before.

‘Thank you for raising my daughter’ speaks Darkness as it … as he … comes face to face to stare Tom in the eyes.

Tom so much wants to respond … his daughter? … his daughter, but he can’t respond given his position of being on an incomplete pause, confined to one spot seeing and hearing while unable to accomplish anything at all.

‘But don’t you worry; I haven’t come here to take her from you … not just yet. She has things to do before she gives herself up to me.’

Lisa, not restricted by an imposed personal pause, steps into protective mode and moves in front of her sister. It is clear that the daughter reference was aimed Majella’s way, and darkness is impressed with this sibling step up. He may have even commented on it if he had come here without an agenda. With a flick of a wrist, he makes Lisa disappear from her position of being on front of him and he has her reappear behind him. Upon her reappearance she too becomes frozen.

Majella is paralyzed, her own fear and realization has her this way more so than Darkness' imposing power over her. Anything she has ever seen in others prior to now has only ever been singular, an instance of pain, harm or death but with the current arrival there are layers and layers of darkness and pain on an infinite amount of levels coming at her, slowly at first then more intensely. The pain detected is not felt by what stands in front of Majella, rather it is pain he has inflicted upon others, many others over many millennium.

Exactly what it is that comes at her comes so hard and so fast that it hurts, excruciatingly so as if all the pain ever inflicted by Darkness is moving through her almost all at once. The pain is not hers, though in this moment it may as well be. The pain indeed belongs to others, countless others, harm inflicted or instigated by darkness itself over that infinite period of time resulting in a bottomless pit of death, war and hatred … an eternity of pain. She belongs to this pit and has still to learn this. She won’t want to belong and if she can help it she will do all she can not to belong. She will defy what her existence was intended to be.

The pain right now, however, is everywhere. It is rushing to her, rushing in her, rushing through her. It’s too much, way too much and Majella drops to her knees. There is no off switch, she has no way of stopping or slowing what is coming at her. Her heartbeat quickens, her eyes widen and breathing quickly becomes a struggle as every fibre in her being tenses tightly.

With it worsening by the second Majella feels as if she is going to implode or explode or perhaps both, one after the other continuously for a possible eternity. She soon lets out the most intense scream she has ever imparted. Darkness came prepared for this moment, he came with a lesson to teach, so she will experience what he came to teach rather than speak it out loud himself.

‘Guess you will see what it is I have come here to tell you, let’s see if you are ready to take it on board’ he says just before placing a hand on her forehead.

And just like that, she is gone. The bus resumes its journey unaware that it ever stopped, the people continue as if nothing has happened.

‘No, no, no, no, no, no …’ speaks Tom at a complete loss.

‘Where the hell is she?’ asks Lisa having made her way back to her father.

‘Driver … stop the bus please …’

 

 

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