Screams of people and the rumbling of concrete first came to five year old Kathrine’s ears, the last thing she recalled was her father carrying her in his arms as he ran through a crowd trying to reach safety like many others that ran. She recalled his frantic breath and the pounding of his heart that gave faint comfort to the horror of what was happening around them. The sound of an alarm blaring, muting much of everything else in sound, even that of a building that was falling above them as her father used himself to shield her blanketing her in familiar warmth and darkness. When she awoke the siren and long since stopped, the faint sounds of people shouting in the distance could be heard as she slowly sat up only to wince and grasp her left arm feeling a slight dampness. She pulled her hand away to see it coated in red. Fear came next as she looked around for her father
“Dad? Where are you?” she called out in confusion before the sound of falling rocks brought her to turn around to see what was now the bloody remains of her father just barley clinging to life. The lower half of his body being crushed from the impact of concrete and metal piping of the building.
“Daddy!” she rushed to him with panic and worry, ignoring her own injuries to reach him quickly. When she reached her father, she could see the extent of the damage that had been done to the lower half of his body, the fact that he was still able to breath was a miracle within itself. Or that they were both alive at all.
Even with the debris crushing him, he still offered a smile to his young daughter as he let out labored breaths, life just clinging to his deep blue eyes as rivers of crimson blood ran down his face and darkening his dark blond hair. “Kathy, sweetie, you need to get to safety. Run to the Facility. You’ll be alright there…” he weezed.
Kathrine vigorously shook her head. “No!” she snapped as tears blurred her vision. “Not without you!” she then began to try and remove the fallen concrete from on top of her father, but no matter how hard she tried it wouldn’t budge, the blood from her injured arm began to dye the rest of her dress’s sleeve in dark red but she ignored the pain, she wanted her father out of there and walking again even though she knew deep down she wasn’t strong enough to happen. If only she was bigger!
“Kathy…” her father spoke as his hand gently grasped her uninjured arm so as to not hurt her more then she was. “Don’t, if you do any more of that the ruble may trap you as well.” His words were shaken and raspy as blood flowed in greater amounts, creating a small pool around him now. “You need to listen to me, please… be a good girl and run…” he offered her a smile as the light from his eyes began to fade. “I love you with everything I have…”
His grip slowly gave out as his body slumped to the ground. Disbelief came as she grasped her father’s bloody lifeless hand, the warmth from his skin slowly draining as he lay on the ground unmoving. “Dad… Dad?” her throat became tight and soon she began to cry for her father. Her cries echoing around the destroyed remains of the city that was once her home, no one would help them, no one would help her father.
“Do you miss him?” Kathrine froze, stopping in that moment from crying, eyes going wide, the voice that spoke was soft and melody-like as a soft breeze began. Slowly she looked up to see a man standing before her, above the rubble that now entrapped her deceased father. “Of the man who with many others were now crushed by these buildings that have fallen around us?”
Kathrine could not answer, for the man that stood before her, tall and graceful with beautiful features that could almost be considered inhuman, for he was not of this world. His hair that had grown past his waist was of the colour platinum silver mixed with white, lifting faintly in the wind like white wings. His skin holding a faint tint of green while his ears were pointed and long like an elf from a children’s story book. A singular deep red horn protruding from his forehead with one small red diamond marking the left and right side near where the horn lay. His eyes a deep crimson red, the colour of blood, outlined by the white of his lashes and his nails slightly sharp like claws and the colour of ink. Such a person should not be here whoever he was.
But what struck her the most was not his features, skin or hair color, it was what he wore. His body clad in a black and deep red suite, almost like armor that showed his lean physique. Whatever he wore was like that of a second skin.
When she made no move to speak the strange man looked at her with blank sympathy. “Could it be that the shock of your loss has caused you to go mute?” he asked as he slowly made his way down the pile of rubble, giving her the glimpse of his heeled clad feet as she remained grasping the lifeless hand of her father as this man now fully stood before her in silence waiting for some form of response.
When none was given, he moved closer. The clack of his heeled feet echoing as he drew nearer still. Kathrine quickly closed her eyes anticipating the man to do something horrible, for she was unable to move, only to feel a gentle hand resting on the top of her head. She hesitantly opened her eyes to see that the strange man was now kneeling before stroking her hair offering a small semblance of comfort for the little five year old girl.
“I will not harm you child,” he said softly in that melodious voice as his hands then went along the sides of her face, thumbs wiping away her tears and blood. “I too know what it is like to feel a heavy loss. It is something that the two of us share.”
“You’ve lost family too?” she asked, the man didn’t speak but his expression was filled with only what she could think of as sorrow. Slowly, Kathrine reached up her small hand, still stained with the blood of her father and touched his right cheek, the man seemed not to notice or care about the blood that now brought contrast to the colour of his skin before he drew her gently into his arms. Cradling her gently to his chest like she was his own.
“This senseless violence will end soon, at least for a time but until then I shall offer you something of great value to me.” She looked up at him as he rested his hand along her small chest, that hand of which slowly began to glow a light aqua blue colour. “It will protect you during the times of when you are in peril, but only if your will is strong and your courage never wavering.” He rested his lips lightly along her forehead. “I wish you prosperity in your future in the many years to come…”