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 As the arm was finally withdrawn with a curse, she quickly slammed and locked the door, only then turning to the other door of the sedan.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.
The rest was almost laughable in its anticlimax…at least, someday she’d laugh about it. For now, she simply relished the relative ease of making the careful stretch and scrabble to the next few rungs, then slipping sinously up onto the roof to look down on the milling, furious pack below. Sighing softly, she called down toward the street, couching her voice in as casual and concise a way as she could, considering her condition. “Here, boys…it’s over. Just go home now, like nice doggies…and maybe next time we’ll find time to play.” This had the expected effect of stirring them to frenzies of scrabbling and leaping after her, and she simply shook her head and turned to head home over the rooftops. The path was clear from here, and with the pack occupied below, as safe as any she’d find on street level.
It was a very tired and dirty Blue that slipped in through the gate at the back of The Mall that morning…not that anyone there would’ve recognized her in her current condition. She padded slowly down the cool floor with its tile pattern of blue and green waves, hearing the soft stirrings of morning in the stores as she passed. Head hanging low, she slipped under the curtain and into her current home, tossing a soft smile up at the ever-smiling head of the stores mascot/angel, above. Careful to find her way to the spot that she’d prepped behind a pile of boxes in the back storeroom, she collapsed on the cool cement floor, and fell asleep licking her wounds…
The sound of The Mall opening for business woke her several hours later, and she stretched, wincing as her elbows hit the sharp edges of the boxes, and her knee came unstuck from the floor, reluctantly. Sighing, she reached for the clothes she’d left here before heading out the night before and slipped them on, taking the time to examine herself from head to toe as she did. Apart from the long scrape on her side, and the cut on her knee, and the usual wicked headache, she seemed to have once more slipped through without taking any serious injury. How long this state of grace would last was unknown and unknowable, but for now she’d settle for being grateful it existed, instead of whining about it.
Tying her hair back in a loose messy knot, she made her way down the hall and out into the main store, carefully not meeting the accusing eyes of her “boss”, and the resigned pair belonging to her best friend. They sat curled up with each other in the soft corner, Jamie with one hand on Spikes head, stroking him like a pet. Jamie obviously felt that Blue was hiding something from her, (which to be fair, she was), and when Jamie was upset, Spike felt it as well, even though he had no real clue what. Blue sighed, already seeing the loss of yet another “family” and home in her near future.