I know it’s been a while, but I had a bug to work on some more of my little tribute to Stephen Kings Firestarter, one of my favorite books -and- movies of all time. Definitely worth watching/reading. Also, if anyone has the time, look up a song by Julia Ecklar, called “Daddy’s Little Girl”…it’s pretty hard to find, but has an awesome take on the story as well. (Edit…don’t you just adore the internet? Follow the link above to hear the song on Youtube, or just wait for my next post, which will be the lyrics. Yay, internets!)
Charlie noticed her father as he left the store, frowning as he stumbled, leaning against the sliding door a moment to catch his balance. Leaving the creaking sails and shouting voices of fantasy behind, she moved to open the passenger door.
Looking away from the brightly lit store a moment, she didn’t notice her father drop the bags in his hands and begin a stumbling, panicked run toward the car. “Charlie! Get back! Get back in the car, lock the doors! Now!”
As she turned toward him, quick as lightning it seemed, a hand landed on her shoulder. Her mind registered the distinctive ring, and the pattern of scars, just as she frantically pulled away and slammed the door on the arm attached to the hand.
A hoarse exclamation came from the owner of said arm. It was quickly followed by another as she opened the door just a bit and brought it in again, a bit harder. Her mind was so focused that she barely reacted to the “THUMP” on the drivers side door, merely glancing in that direction then back. As the arm was finally withdrawn with a curse, she quickly slammed and locked the door, only then turning to the other door of the sedan.
Looking at the door, all she could see was the back of her fathers blue work-shirt, pressed against the window, and she stopped, torn between her fathers last command and the current reality.
Outside the door, he struggled with the large dark-skinned man, his exhausted state and mental fatigue making the job difficult, if not impossible. His head and body both screamed with pain, but with a groan, he took a deep breath, and…”reached”…at the man. He shoved directly at his opponents mind, straight for the pain centers, a portion of his talent he’d sworn never again to use…but for the sake of Charlie, for his little girl…
With a scream, the big man snatched his hands away, backing away from Paul at a speed that could almost be mistaken for a scramble, eyes wide. With a heartfelt groan, Paul scrabbled behind him, reaching for the door handle just as Charlie slammed it open.
Falling into the front seat, he barely noticed that the car was already running, or the other large man attempting to break the passenger-side window. Mind on auto, he pushed down on the accelerator, maneuvered his way through the maze of trucks, and out onto the dark highway again before allowing the tears of pain to leak from his eyes.
Charlie, meanwhile, watched the scene unfold behind her. Watched the man with the ring frantically attempt to get his partner to stand from where he crouched. He pulled, pushed, and finally kicked at the other man before giving up and pulling what looked like a cell-phone out of his pocket.
Once they were on the open road once again, and her eyes had readjusted to the darkness of the car, Charlie looked at her father, tears of her own streaming from her beautiful blue eyes. “I’m sorry, daddy…I’m so, so sorry…”
Startled, he glanced over at her, then took one arm from the wheel long enough to pull her shaking body against his. Feeling her tears wet his shirt, he took a deep breath to clear his mind before speaking. “Sorry? For what, baby? None of this is your fault…I promise. And you know I’ll never lie to you…don’t you?”
Sniffing, hard, she spoke into his shirt, her words muffled but the pain in them still clear. “But, daddy…you -know- what I mean. You know. If I hadn’t done…the bad thing…the bad men would never have found us. The…what happened…the thing…would never have happened! It -is- my fault, it is!” Her sobs overtook her words, and wordless himself, he simply held her tightly against him as they continued their seemingly endless escape into the night.
Just a little fan-girling…I -love- Stephen Kings “Firestarter”, I have ever since I first read it, at twelve yrs. old. I didn’t watch the movie till years later, didn’t want to spoil the book…but I was surprised to find that I liked both. As long as I thought of them as separate but related stories, they were both awesome. I love Drew Barrymore, and she was so cute in her angst-filled rage… ;p
Anyway, here is my little tribute, a short-story-ish non-canon look into the world of the Firestarter, part one. Enjoy. 🙂
The old cars long familiar motion failed to soothe, and Charlie shifted, restlessly, head pounding with the rhythm of the wheels. “You ok, baby?” Her fathers voice was intentionally low, and his eyes sympathetic as he met her pained gaze. Forcing a shaky smile for his sake, she nodded…and winced. “It’s ok, daddy. Just a little headache. Just need to sleep…”
His nod said that he knew the truth, but like her, he would let it be for now. “You do that, baby. Get some sleep. We’ll be stopping for gas pretty soon…maybe even get a motel room. You’d like that, hmm?” She smiled again, and kept her exhausted sigh as internal as she could. “Mm-hmm. That’d be nice. Love you, daddy.” “I know you do, baby. Love you more…” A tired grin was his reward, before she turned her face to the darkness outside the window and deliberately closed her eyes.
He sighed, carefully keeping both hands on the wheel although he longed to reach out and touch her soft hair…to reassure himself that she was still real, still there, still with him. Not like…the other. He shook his head, quickly, banishing the thought before it could take hold. All his concentration must be on the road, on keeping them safe, keeping moving. But god, he was tired.
The lights were sharp and white when Charlie woke from her half-doze, glaring through the windshield, reflecting the exhausted face of her father pitilessly in the glass. She winced again, and deliberately pasted on a bright smile before shifting in her seat as if just waking. He glanced over at her as he pulled into a spot under the canopy. “Just getting gas, like I said. Do you want anything? A soda, some chips? We can get some real food once we get to the motel, ok?” She just nodded, then shook her head, gently. “I’m ok. I…I’m not hungry.” He searched her eyes, then nodded as he got out of the car. “Just let me know, ok?”
She was pretty sure she’d never be hungry again, not with the memory of her last meal still so fresh in her head. The phantom taste of her mothers grilled cheese sandwich stuck like glue to her mind, mingling with the scent of tomato soup…and the other. Angrily, she brought her hand to her cheek, brushing away the memory and the tears that began to leak from her eyes. No. Not thinking of that. They were both scrupulously avoiding any hint of what they’d left behind, and as far as she was concerned she’d like it to stay that way forever. “Ok, daddy. I promise.”
Curling into herself, she watched him move around the car, pumping gas, moving to go into the brightly lit store that stood like an island port in the darkness, the big rigs like ships around it. This image amused her, and she began to embellish the picture, adding the sounds of creaking sails and excited voices, her active mind keeping itself busy as it always had, her favorite toy.
In the store, he gathered a few bottles of soda, a box of crackers, and a brightly furred little bear, and moved quickly to the cashier. Placing his items on the counter, he kept a bright but somewhat harassed look on his face. “Hi. I’m sorry to ask, but is there any chance you can cash a hundred? I’m traveling with my little girl, and I forgot to get change…” She sighed, smiling down at the little bear, then up at him. “I’m not supposed to…but all right. For the little one.”
His smile warmed, and he reached in his pocket for a worn one dollar bill. Holding the bill folded close in his hand so that their hands touched as he passed it over, he summoned the picture of a one hundred dollar bill into his mind. Worn, but not too much, a crease across Franklins face, a reassuringly recognizable bill. Holding the picture, he concentrated with all his strength as she carefully counted out his change, bagged his items, and handed them to him. He almost staggered as he pulled away, the sudden exhaustion that always accompanied use of his gift almost overwhelming him…but the thought of Charlie waiting out in the car gave him a burst of manic strength as he hurried back out the doors into the night.