Rebirth (Part 2)

2. A Girl and Her Dog

Rebirth (Part 2)

Bambi’s nub started wagging and she curled up in Erika’s lap. Erika put her arms around her and laid her head on Bambi’s shoulders. She soon cried herself to sleep, holding Bambi close.

“Hey kid.”

Erika was being pushed awake. Bambi was there, standing next to a man dressed in a suit.

“You alright?”

Erika rubbed her eyes and got a better look at the man standing in front of her. He had dark hair, slicked back. A nice suit that seemed to be from the 1940s was what he wore. As a matter of fact, he seemed like he just stepped out of page of a history book. He was not menacing, but rather he seemed concerned.

He pointed over his shoulder at the head and the two dead bodies behind him. “This your handiwork?”

Erika nodded.

“Well I guess I owe you my thanks. I thought I could hide out in my childhood home, but this bodiless bastard and his friends sniffed me out.”

He offered her his hand to help her up.

Erika took it and stood.

“How tall are you?” the man asked with surprised look on his face.

“Well, a few years ago I was 5'10", no idea now.”

The man smiled, “Hungry?”

Bambi howled at that.

“Well come on in, it’s getting dark, and I have some food we can eat.”

After they ate the man looked at Erika and Bambi. “You two aren’t lost are you?”

Erika looked confused, was she? She seemed to have been guided there, she never gave much thought to the direction she took, she just walked.

The man saw her confusion, "I’ve been expecting you.”

“How?”

“I know everything. One doesn’t survive in these times with out knowledge. You are a Ransford, more specifically you are Caleb’s oldest daughter, Erika.”

“Who are you?”

He ignored her and continued, “You where guided here, to your grandfather's hometown. A place where your father learned to fish and hunt. Where he unlocked his gift. It was no coincidence that Bambi was here, a place where your family has deep roots.”

Erika had tears welling up in her eyes.

“Who... how?” she managed to get out as she thought of her sister, mom, and dad. Of all the people she knew and loved that had died since the invasion.

Bambi began to lick her face, to wash away her pain. Erika laughed a little and hugged her neck. The man reached out and patted her hand. Erika looked him in the eye, and something happened. She saw life through his eyes. She saw he had an abusive father, and a brave mother. She threw him out with his and his brother's help. The brothers ran the farm and went to school. A new girl moved to the area, he instantly loved her. She was popular, and, for reasons he still doesn’t understand, loved him too. Soon a stepfather entered his life, he was kind and caring. He treats him and his brother like his own. Then war, his brother is drafted, leaving him and his stepfather to run the farm. His brother comes back, gets married and moves to the city. The man soon graduated and married the new girl. They go on to have six kids and they work hard to scrape by. He goes back often to the farm and helps his mom and stepfather. She sees his stepfather get sick and die. Shortly after his oldest has a son, they name him after his stepfather. All through his life he can do strange things. It scares him. Until, one summer day, fishing on the river, his grandson does the same thing.

Erika broke her line of sight. “Are you my...?”

The man cut her off, gently, “I am one of the resurrected.”

It was quiet for a while.

“There is someone you should meet. He needs to eat anyway.” He left the room.

Erika sat there and tried to figure out what she saw and what was going on.

Bambi barked happily as the man reentered the room with something behind him. When it came into the light, Erika jumped out of her seat and gasped. Hunched over and using the knuckles on his right hand to help balance himself it loped into the room. His left hand flailed in the air behind his back. He stopped and squatted on the floor and took the plate offered him. He picked the food off the plate with twisted fingers. It had obviously been a man at one time, but his form had been so warped and damaged that he didn’t look human. One leg was twisted and warped so bad it was almost drug behind him when he pulled himself forward with his right arm. The left arm was thinner than the other and the forearm came out higher above the elbow than it should. His spine looked like a corkscrew. One ear was pointed and lower on his head than the other. He had very few teeth between his thin cracked lips. His nose was broken at some point and healed at a thirty degree angle. His left eye was nearly shut due to the calcification of his cheek. But the right eye was beautiful. It was an emerald green and shown with life.

The man spoke. “Erika, this is Pupil.”

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