The sun glares down on the Marina District.
Something must be wrong with the HARP-Cass thinks as we join her on the journey home. She’s a mess, but no one seems to notice. Her hair under cap, her eyes forward, Frank always said hide in plain sight. So that’s what she’ll do. She walks, boots hitting the pavement in furious rhythm, not knowing what she’ll find. She tries not to race, but it’s difficult.
Turning the corner she sees it: her childhood home. Dad’s fossil truck still sitting in the driveway waiting for her. She stops. Everything’s suddenly cold though the sun burns her pale skin. The house. The truck. Swallowing hard she continues. The door knob freezes in her hand-it’s open. Jaw clenches as she walks in. The air is stale, the walls tremble.
“Mom? Dad?” if something’s waiting for her the last thing she needs is a jump scare. No answer.
She heads upstairs, bypassing all safety checks, nearly running to their room.
“Mom? Da-” she gasps, covering her mouth.
Her parents lay in each others arms unmoving, their chest don’t rise, and their lips are blue. Tears don’t build. No, our girl has cried them all. The truth is she knew. She’d hoped not coming here immediately would save them, she knew better. Crossing herself, she doesn’t bother to question what if. Cassi simply closes her eyes and says goodbye.
Breathing in stale air she opens her eyes finally noticing the paper in her dad’s hand. It’s a newspaper, The Liberation Times, a paper he stopped reading years ago. The headline reads: Mother Mary Lives! mother and wife murders husband and infant daughter. Their family picture as the image.
“Frank…” she pauses running a black nail across his visage, “you bastard, you Goddamn bastard.”
Throwing the paper down a broken picture frame catches her eye. Her baby photo has been ripped, the corner pulled out just slightly. Instinctually she tears it open turning the photo around revealing her mother’s scribbled handwriting-They’re coming Cassidy. Know we love you. We know the truth. Let the world think you’re dead.
The Grey can read between the lines, see the men enter her parents home, and the struggle. Her father gave her mother time.
“Sorry Mom. Dad,” she knows they meant well, “I just can’t do that,” but some girls just don’t learn.
It’s time to leave, but not without a little departing gift. Our girl is like Santa Clause pulling coal right from her sack.
These boys in blue won’t know what hit’em.
blew them up.