THE PROHIBITED: VIOLET'S JOURNEY

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CHAPTER 2

Delilah walked to the foot of the bed. Like a preacher to her parishioners she began to quietly speak. As she spoke, she placed her hands on the blanket covering Adelaide’s feet. “Look at me.” She said with compassion. Jacob and Adelaide slowly raised their golden eyes to focus on Delilah. “Remember, there was a time when the first Prohibited was born.” Delilah shook her head up and down in affirmation to Jacob and Adelaide, seeking their acknowledgment. They were still dumbfounded and in a state of shock. They gave no response.

“Those parents saw in their infant daughter’s eyes the color of gold. They weren’t expecting it. It had never happened before. They were in shock, just like you are right now. This was the unknown, and they were gifted the child with the golden eyes. I’m sure they felt the same emotions you’re feeling right now. We know of the first Prohibited’s story, and for whatever reason, your story is special too.” Jacob and Adelaide remained frozen as they listened to Delilah’s truth.

“Your daughter is special. We don’t know what that means yet, but just like the first Prohibited, we will find out.” Delilah again shook her head in affirmation for both of them to acknowledge. As if rehearsed, Jacob and Adelaide responded by slowly moving their heads in acknowledgment.

“Jacob, Adelaide, your daughter is a miracle, and she will have gifts. You will protect her and raise her to use those gifts in strength. Do you understand?” Jacob and Adelaide again acknowledged Delilah’s words with the up and down motions of their heads. “There is nothing wrong with her. Know that.” Delilah reached down and gripped Adelaide’s feet with confirmation that everything was going to be alright. “As long as we remain together, nothing will happen to her. Please don’t be afraid. She’s a miraculous new beginning, hopefully for all Prohibited. We just need to be patient to find out what she is capable of.”

Adelaide and Jacob looked down at Charlotte. “Jacob, she’s right. Charlotte is a gift, and we have been chosen to be her protectors. She may not have the golden eyes, but she is a blessing.” Adelaide sat up and began to caress her fingers over Charlotte’s face gently.

Jacob took in a longing breath and exhaled. “Who knows what our daughter will do with her gift, but it is a good thing. No, it’s an amazing thing. She’s a new type of Prohibited, and we’ll protect her.” Jacob took in another breath and smiled. “She’ll do great things. We’ll make sure of that.” Jacob leaned down and kissed his daughter on the forehead. “Welcome to a new world, baby girl. You are my favorite.” Adelaide looked up at him with a smile. He placed a kiss on her lips. Everything was new, but new wasn’t necessarily bad. This was going to be an exciting future for them and Charlotte.

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The Intruders, clad in black with weapons in hand, quietly made entry into the house. Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto flowed loudly through the radio in the living room. The ominous melody guided the men slowly through darkened rooms. Sounds of orchestrated elegance covered each breath and gentle footstep the men took. They made their way through the entrance making hand motions as they began to clear each room slowly.

They remained as stealthy as possible, not warning anyone of their presence. They had to avoid floor creaking by placing small amounts of pressure on each old wooden plank. Their guns positioned in front of them as they moved in hopes of finding a Prohibited alone. That was the only chance they had to capture or kill one. The bounty was the same, regardless.

They had made their way to the rear of the house to open the back door for the remaining group of men. Music vigorously consumed the air. Fingers were placed in front of lips reminding all to remain silent. They were cockroaches in the darkness. Getting rid of all Prohibited was their goal, and they were very good at it.

______________________

Adelaide and Jacob began to accept and embrace the unexpected with their infant daughter. It didn’t take long for the two to regain the comfort and love that had earlier filled their hearts. Who knows? Maybe their daughter would bring peace and safety to their kind, somehow. Adelaide’s face began to light up with this thought. The prospect that her daughter may be rejuvenating acceptance for the Prohibited into society gave new hope. The fears had subsided, and Adelaide embraced the differences her daughter would bring about. As Jacob went back to his tasks and Delilah continued to clean the room and gather the bags for their retreat, Adelaide looked longingly at her new daughter and had a thought.

“Jacob?” Adelaide’s quiet voice questioned. There was no fear or concern in her voice this time.

“Yeah?” Jacob responded while he continued to help Delilah prepare for their departure.

“I know this is going to sound strange.” Adelaide’s response was confident.

“Strange is commonplace today, Adelaide. What is it?” Jacob looked at Adelaide with the trash bag in his hand.

“I know we agreed to name her Charlotte, but that name seems inappropriate given the circumstances. Don’t you think?” Adelaide continued gently touching her daughter’s face and hands as if she were memorizing every feature.

Jacob grabbed for the last sheet to place into the bag. He walked back towards his wife and daughter. Delilah removed travel bags for the family into the escape room. She would let this be their moment. “What are you thinking?” Jacob asked as he approached them.

“I know this is going to sound very cliché and somewhat silly, but when I look at her now, all I see is Violet. I feel that she is, Violet, and not just because of her eyes. It’s her character, her quiet strength; it’s who she is. I can feel it.” Adelaide continued to caress her baby girl.

Jacob held his words for a moment. This was a strange request. But this day had been anything but ordinary. He looked down at his daughter and quietly began to call her Violet. He envisioned her playing in the yard and him calling to her. He envisioned her teachers, advisors, spiritual leader calling her Violet. He saw himself placing band-aids on Violet’s scrapes and taking care of her when she was sick. He imagined walking Violet down the aisle. It was a good name, a strong yet compassionate name. Albeit cliché, it was her name.

“I love it, Adelaide. It fits her perfectly.” Jacob finally replied.

Adelaide smiled as she continued to memorize every feature and breath of her daughter. “I agree. Hello Violet. I’m your mommy, and I love you dearly. You’re our heart and soul from now on. Violet.” She whispered.

At that, Delilah entered the room. “I have all of the bags ready in the other room. We’ll wait a little while so you can rest before we leave. Is that okay?”

“That’s perfectly fine.” Adelaide responded. “Oh, and we made a decision.”

“What’s that?” Delilah asked as she made her way to the bed, and lovingly looked at the baby.

“We have decided to call her Violet.” Adelaide said, uncertain of Delilah’s response.

Delilah continued to observe the infant. “I think that is a perfect name for this perfect being. Hello Violet. I’m Delilah. It’s nice to meet you.” The baby continued to suck on her fingers as she began to sleep. “I have a bottle ready for her. Why don’t I take her to the other room to feed her, and you get some rest? We can turn down the lights a bit. When you wake up, we can leave.”

Adelaide gave a slight frown. She didn’t want to let Violet leave her side for even a moment, but she knew she needed rest. They had a long journey ahead of them. She gave Violet a soft kiss on the cheek as she handed the bundled baby to Delilah. Delilah made her way into the escape room while Jacob began to dim the lights. He helped lay Adelaide down and cover her with the blanket. He stroked her forehead and realized he had never loved her so much as he did at this moment. She had always been resilient with a fighter’s spirit, but she was also compassionate and loving in a way that no human had ever been. He adored her, and there was nothing but greatness in their future. Adelaide reached for Jacob’s hand. “Can you get me a glass of water, please?” She asked as she slowly sank into the softness of the bed. “Sure.” Jacob responded. He made his way to the bathroom inside the birthing room.

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The music continued through the house as, room by room, the Intruders continued to search. The top floor and main floor revealed nothing but dust. The men gathered by the entrance to the basement as one of them motioned downwards. If the Prohibited were in the basement, the stairs would possibly alert them to the danger if one single plank creaked. The lead Intruder, Xavier, motioned for the rest of the group to remain at the entrance as he slowly placed his foot on the step below. Not only must the Prohibited not know that they were in the house, but they needed them to be separate. If the Prohibited heard a sound, they could gather, and the Intruders would have no power over them. They had been on many of these missions, some successful, some not. However, each mission was carried out with great precision. This mission was no different. In fact, a newborn Prohibited resulted in an even higher bounty. This mission had to be handled with great caution. Meticulousness and vigilance were Xavier’s greatest qualities, which made him the most qualified Intruder for hire.

The first step did not creak with the dark boot’s placement, so Xavier took great pains to place his other foot on the second step slowly. The step did not betray him. He must be light on his feet despite the heavy gear he wore. Although Prohibited are not known to cause pain or hurt others, he took no chances. Slowly he lifted his foot and placed it on the stair below. The stair did not creak. He continued this process until he reached the dark landing into the basement. He motioned for the others to remain on the upper floor while he cleared the rooms for any Prohibited. He was determined to find one.

The basement was gloomy, but the beam of his small flashlight broke through the darkness wherever he pointed it. He painstakingly searched under every piece of furniture and behind every door, ever so slowly and quietly. The music could barely be heard from above him, so there was no drowning out the slightest noise. He had to be silent while he made his way. Step by step, he crept through rooms and hallways. They were clear.

There was no sign of a Prohibited. However, their tip was very reliable. They were confident that Prohibited had been hiding in this country home. This was a perfect home for Prohibited, who wanted to hide from society. This was an old multistory country home absent from all civilization. They were told there were multiple Prohibited in this home and yet, nothing.

Xavier had two rooms left to clear at the end of a hallway. He noticed a small amount of light escaped the bottom of the door to the last room. He slowly made his way to the room before the last. He gently opened the door and maneuvered his way through the small room, using his flashlight to guide him. The room was dark, damp, but most importantly, empty.

He gradually made his way out and approached the door from where the light escaped. He listened for a moment but heard nothing. He turned off the flashlight, placed it in his belt, and raised the gun. He put his hand on the doorknob, and as quietly as he could without being heard, he turned it. He slowly opened the door. In front of him, he saw a woman lying in a bed with her eyes closed. She did not hear him. He gently pushed the door open and began to quietly walk into the room, searching for any other Prohibited. He saw none. This was his moment. Another kill or capture to his resume. He had been chosen for this mission because he was the best, and he did not disappoint.

As he quietly approached the bed towards the sleeping woman, he heard a noise from behind one of the room’s doors. He couldn’t chance that this was one of the additional Prohibited. He aimed the gun at the sleeping woman and, without hesitation, pulled the trigger. He immediately turned towards the door from where the sound had come.

“Adelaide!” Jacob’s voice screamed as he frantically opened the door. He saw the Intruder and behind him, his sleeping wife, who was no longer sleeping. She was gone. “Adelaide!! No!!” Jacob cried as he ran towards the bed. Footsteps rang out as other Intruders raced through the basement with guns drawn and into the birthing room.

Jacob kneeled at Adelaide’s side, grabbing her, kissing her, begging her to wake up. He implored her to breathe. He laid his head on her chest as blood filled her nightgown. There was no consoling him. He had just become a father and a widower in one hour. This was the life of a Prohibited. They thought they had been overly cautious. They had made sure no one knew where they were. But in reality, they had made the mistake of becoming complacent in their surroundings and a false sense of security. He had not protected his wife even though he had the ultimate power to do so. He had slipped up by leaving her side, and she paid the ultimate price with her life.

Giving Jacob no time to mourn, the Intruders grabbed Jacob and dragged him from the room as he screamed for his deceased wife. They needed to get him to the car before another Prohibited could intervene. The Intruders began to clear the bathroom when they heard a noise from behind another door. Placing his finger over his mouth, directing the others to remain silent, he grabbed for the doorknob.

The door flung open as the Intruders burst in. There were bags and clothing strewn about. They upturned furniture and rummaged through closets. Xavier knew he’d heard something. They punched holes in the ceiling and walls to no avail. They removed the rugs looking for any hidden openings, but there was nothing.

Whoever was in there had gotten away somehow, but their time would come. The Intruders exited the basement and made their way out of the house into the waiting vehicles. Jacob’s screams and wales could be heard for miles. These were the sounds of a broken man, husband, and now father. His heart was emptying for all to hear. Jacob would delve into the world of the captured Prohibited, and Xavier would gain another bounty.

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