You Promised (A Short Story)


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Why, Papa?

Young green eyes looked up to to pain-filled stone-gray ones. “You promised me, Papa. You said you wouldn’t let it happen,” Elize said, emerald eyes watering.

“I know, honey. I know,” Francisco’s voice broke as he tried to console his daughter.

One promise in all the eight years the girl had lived. One promise, through the good, the bad, and the dirty.

When Elize had gotten a puppy for her birthday, she hadn’t made her father promise the dog could stay with them forever. She had known better, even at age five.

When Francisco was deployed, she hadn’t asked him to promise to come back. She had know better, still so young.

When her mother had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Elize hadn’t made her promise to get better. She knew better.

“You- you pruh- prom- promised me! Why, Papa? You said I w- wouldn’t become one of th- them,” she cried. Elize could barely speak around the sobs racking her body and the teeth elongating in her mouth. Francisco’s cold eyes widened, the pain sharpening to fear and regret.

“Honey, I know, but you gotta calm down, alright? You gotta calm down.” He tried to follow his own advice, but the words came out scrambled and shaken. Francisco involuntarily took a step back.

“You promised! The one thing I ever wanted from you!” Elize was yelling now, her own sadness fueling the deep scarlet of her anger. “Why are you running, Papa?” She managed to choke out the words. Elize wasn’t doing as her father said, for the first time in her life. She was breathing heavy, and as her anger grew, so did her teeth. Her eyes became animalistic, her skin darkening.

Francisco took five more steps. Ten. Then he turned around and ran, bumping into walls and tables as he tried to escape the monster his daughter was becoming.

Elize followed. As she ran, her feet grew claws and she quickly caught up to her father.

Francisco tripped over his own feet, landing on the WELCOME mat by his front door. He turned up to face his daughter, wanting to beg for forgiveness, trying to explain that he did what he could, it wasn’t his fault, we could deal with this, the people wouldn’t get you! 

But the words couldn’t seem to get out fast enought, and he balked at the weight of them on his tongue and filling his throat.

He stared at the midnight skin, the striking emerald eyes, the sharp fangs as long as his forearm. The last sight he would ever see, and he regreted everything that had led to this.

“Don’t leave me, Papa. Why did you try to run? I don’t want to be alone, but- but-“ Elize couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence.

Francisco wasn’t even able to scream before Elize tore into him.

She trudged across the house, back to the hallway where this whole nightmare had begun. She noticed something glittering on the floor, a relflex reminiscent of her time spent as a human. She bent to pick it up, examining it, keeping it as a prize.

Elize realized she was holding the bow she had worn since her first birthday. She had refused to take the sickeningly pink thing off, basking in the way light caught the jewel. It had fallen off in the chase, in her hunt for her first prey.

Elize fell to her knees on the gray carpet, suddenly exhausted. Bloody footsteps trailed her; the thick liquid matted her brown hair. It dripped across her face, from her fangs, down her clothes. She hadn’t gotten hurt in the scuffle. None of the blood was hers. 

Suddenly Elize couldn’t stand the sight of it. She tried to tear at her once-pretty-pink dress, all filled with frills and sparkles, now drooping under the weight of what was left of her father.

She managed to take much of it off, scratching herself with her quickly growing claws in the process. As she sat there huffing, she stared into the depths of the crystal that seemed to reflect light coming from nowhere. Elize felt sobs forcing their way up her throat, and the crystal worked for its intended purpose.

She left scratches everywhere: her arms, her throat, her chest. In her final breathes, she thought of what the crystal’s job was. She had been stupid to think she hadn’t gotten one, that she was just that pure. But as she lay there slowly dying, she wondered only one thing, that seemed to fit everything. 

“Why, Papa?”

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Author’s Note

 Hi! It’s me, as you may have seen. I’m new to actually publishing things on Tablo, so if you readers could be so kind as to tell me how to put a cover on this, that would be amazing. If I do get such comments, I’ll unpublish the book, but omly for as long as it takes to get rid of this author’s note and add a cover (drawn by me!) I already have the cover, I just don’t know how to put one.😞☹️ 


                                    Alina J.

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