Ashes of the Mirage

*Byron*

Every time he looked at his daughter he saw her. Relived once again holding her in his arms, then the horror as his father-in-law told him.

It was just the vault, she was researching.

They were safe.

No one knew how it happened.

How they got in there, but she was the first one they attacked.

She was the first to fall.

They wouldn’t even tell him what she died for.

His wife who would never get to know their daughter, their daughter who would never know her beyond stories told.

There wasn’t even a funeral. There had been no body left to recover in the destroyed vault is what they told him.

He didn’t even get to mourn his wife. So now he did.

3

Now that he was here, his daughter quickly growing up. She’d be turning seven this fall. Right now, she sat outside in the sand box with Willow, their normal afternoon haunt. He listened to Willow’s laughter mixing with the high pitched giggling of the girl. She would be so ashamed of him right now. He knew what she would say, but even knowing he couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Their voices faded as he walked away from the open window to refill his drink.

“Bit early, ain’t it?” Honey Dew drawled, walking in the door in scrubs.

He just shrugged, tossing back the first refill.

“How long do you plan to live like this?” She sighed, rattling around in the kitchen.

2

He shrugged again.

“Look Sweetie.” Willow’s voice approached.

1

“Honey’s home!” A little girl came running in, right past him and into the kitchen where Honey was waiting with open arms.

He knew that despite appearances there were little stubs on top of her head where slowly ears were goring and that soon her tail bone would begin to change and by the time she turned thirteen she would noticeably be a werewolf.

Just like her.

Their daughter would look just like her mother. He could only hope she didn’t meet the same fate.

He was damned if he would let it happen, he’d find out just what Anima Coupe meant.

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