Lio bit down on his lip as tears ran down his cheeks. His eyes burned from such torturous sorrow. Why did this have to happen? Why did they have to do such a thing?
He looked down at the blood soaked body of his sister, her skin now cold. Her long wavy hair was caked with blood, making it stick to her face. His young, innocent sister had been caught up in the calamity of their father.
Lio knew the men that had forced their way into his house were there for his father, to collect money that his predecessor never bothered to pay back. They never even hinted he needed to get his sister, Xio out of the house and to safety.
His father was a dead beat and brought only violence into the house. Men like that, he thought, should be sterilized, never allowed to bring innocent souls into this world. His father did nothing positive for them. Well, unless being an abusive, drunk and teaching your children how to steal just so they could feed themselves, counted as being a good dad.
Lio was always protective of Xio. He looked down and placed her lifeless body upon a thriving patch of grass along a hill they called their own. It was the hill they always met at when they ran out of the house to get away from their abusive dad.
Their mother had died giving birth to Xio and after such a traumatic incident, Lio made a promise from that moment on he would always protect his sister. His eyes looked at her fatally wounded body and he knew he had failed not only his promise to her but himself, as well.
Why would men kill an innocent child? Why was he not able to save her?
He raised his hand to wipe away the tears at the edges of his eyes but he only succeeded in smearing his sister’s blood across it. As he lowered his hand, he saw her blood and threw himself backwards, his psyche beginning to crack. “No, no, no!” he screamed.
He smashed his face into the grass, the morning dew still upon the soft blades but it only soiled the crimson across his face triggering it to roll down his neck. The tips of Xio’s brown hair still flowed in the wind, giving him a false sense of remaining life. He wished he could see her lively blue eyes. She had always been so eager to see him but he knew that would never happen again. He yearned to have his mother here to tell him what to do. What did he have left on this planet to keep him happy? His dead beat father was nothing to him. His sister and mother were dead. What purpose did he have left?
As he looked at his sister, he wished he could have changed the outcome. All he could remember distinctively was the shots.
Then his sister fell to the floor, her chest bleeding and the men around the room snickering.
He had just gotten home, a day of stealing food just to feed his sister and himself. His fingers felt frozen, his breath misting through his lips. He opened the door, excited because he knew that his sister always ran to the door greeting him. But this time was different. There was no joyous reunion, no hugs or smiles. There was only an eerie silence and then, murmuring.
He had placed the food on the floor and quietly made his way to the end of the hallway. Turning his head around the corner, he saw his sister gagged with a cloth and beaten, her eye swollen, the flesh quickly turning purple. He remembered the feeling the energy in the room. He was still and silent, as if the universe held that very moment frozen just for him. The sound of his sister gasping for breath began to ring in his ears. His sister’s body screamed for reprieve, to lift the internal agony that asphyxiated her. The faint smell of the gun powder floated into the air, the blood now beginning to soak through her dress. Her once warm and lively body slowly morphed into a cold and frail corpse.
The blood started to pool at her feet, staining the carpet around her. He wanted so desperately to jump to her aid but the intruder’s gun was pointing his way. “You can thank your father for this.” The leader of the gang snickered as he passed him, walking
out the door.
His father was in his bedroom. He had not even come out to see what the loud shot was about. Then again, he was undoubtedly passed out from the booze and drugs, the substances that acted like sugar to his addicted body. Lio wondered what life would be like if he ever had a different father or, if his mother was still alive.
Looking at his sister’s now cold body made it all too real that the dream to get his sister to a safer place and environment was futile. His body grew cold itself, as he wished life could be different. Lio wanted to see his sister happy and that was now something he could never accomplish and never would. He snapped back to reality and watched as his sisters body appeared to stiffen. Lio leaned down, rubbing the cold skin on her face, his warm tears dripping on her forehead. His tears held no magic to jolt the warmth back within her body. He felt useless and entirely alone.
He let out a yell of anguish, the anger so powerfully injected into his cry that the birds in the trees screeched in fright as they leapt from their shelters. He pounded his fist into the ground and pulled at his hair. “Why me?!” he screamed, beginning to choke on his tears. “W-Why couldn’t Xio and I live a normal life?! What did we do to deserve such a thing?!”
He directed his screams to the sky now and towards a God that he no longer wished existed. If a God was really there why would he allow all this to happen? Why would he allow innocent children to fend for themselves, to have their mother die and to take away the life of a child that had no say in anything that went on around her? He crawled over towards his sister, cradling her body in his arms, “Xio, Xio, no please! Xio, don’t leave me! I can’t go lose you!”
She would never respond back. He would never be able to hear her sweet voice or play with her under this very tree that held the only primeval memories of their childhood. It was Xio’s favorite spot because she was able to look over the whole town—a town that offered nothing to them.
As he began to finish the hole he would bury his sister in, he had to bite his lip to keep himself from losing what he had left of a rational mind. His beloved sister was dead, his mother taken too and now he was stuck with a father that cared about nothing but drugs and alcohol.
He looked down at the grave he made, placing her blood soaked body into it. He leaned in close and kissed her forehead, “Forgive me.” He grabbed the soil around him and pushed it on top of her, covering her with the dirt, signifying the end of her existence. He knew he would be able to see her again in the afterlife but that just felt so hard to believe right now.
What family did he have left to go to? He hungered to have his loving family back, before his father’s heart turned black. That was when the thought came to him. It was his father that destroyed everything he held dear. If it was not for his father he would still be happy and his sister would be alive. Ironically, the humans that were innocent and pure were the ones taken by death. His father however, was still among the living. Why was that? Why would death coil itself around his mother and sister when the real one deserving of death still evaded it?
This new idea circled and infested his mind. It was not rational but he came to terms with a plan in his mind. Why not make it fair? Why not allow death to take away the one that deserved it? Lio knew where his father kept his knifes and guns, so why not end a life that was the cause of all his heartache?
He raised his hand to his lips and kissing it, placed it back down on his sister’s grave. He rubbed the dirt softly, feeling like he was holding his sister once again. It was as if he could see her loving face, now splashed with red blood, a blood that was prematurely departed from such a small and innocent child.
“I will avenge you, sister.” He looked up towards the sky, “You, as well, mother.”
Lio moved his gaze back down towards the ground and stood up. He balled his fingers into fists as he began to walk back to his house. He felt a breeze caress his face and he closed his eyes for a split second before his anger mounted again. “Forgive me,” he said before he walked into his front door.