A True and Honest Peace
by SL Watson
The sunlight crept
across the porch slowly, touching the warm wood and showing it as a near iridescent
color -- dancing yellows, browns, and a few flecks of black or red. It cast
shadows across, but those shadows would fade and soon most of the porch would
be thrown into the red light of a setting sun. Trees whispered a near lullaby
in the quiet serenity, breaking up the perfect silence with an equally perfect
It was summer in Canada, and the kids splashed down in the lake that glittered brightly, their laughter occasionally floating up the path to the large log cabin and the man who sat there, enjoying for once a sense of true and honest peace.
Peace was not something Victor Creed had a whole lot of experience with. His whole life had been defined in chaos and more blood than even some of the most hardened soldiers had ever seen. Wars, battles, missions... all of them were tainted red and reeked of the fresh metallic tinge that meant another life had been lost or taken.
Millions of lives.
Now there was peace. He smiled in a moment of unbloodied joy, leaning back on the old chair and putting his feet up on the railing of the porch. Soon the kiddies would run back and climb all over him, and he actually looked forward to it. There were several times in his long life than he cursed the fates that gave him such a lifespan, but he didn't anymore. There were advantages to long-lasting youth, and one of those was keeping up with kids.
The sun crept lower, crawling under the awning of the porch and he closed his eyes to keep from being blinded by it. It felt good to relax instead of fight for once. No wars, no battles, no missions.
He must have dozed off in the warmth, and the next thing he knew, there were high pitched shrieks of laughter coming his way. The sun was now low and crimson, and Vic opened one eye then the other, watching the children run up the path. Behind them followed the slim and graceful figure of their mother, and the closest thing Victor had to a daughter.
Clarice hadn't changed much. After years of battle, she still retained a poise and grace only hers, and having two children hadn't taken away that slender figure. Mostly, though, she was still able to melt Vic like so much ice left out in the desert. Ever since she was just a kid, younger than the two that ran up the path. She was the reason he didn't crave the fight, and the reason that he could live in peace.
Both of the children, one boy and one girl, looked more like their mother. Violet skin, slim, quick, and kind. They hurled themselves headlong onto Vic, shouting with innocent glee, "Gran'pa!"
"Hey, give an old man a break, wouldja?" Vic grumbled, good-naturedly.
"We saw a fish this big," the girl said, holding her arms as far apart as she could, nodding solemnly.
"Didja, Tory, or is that just a fish story?"
"Nu uh! It was bigger," the boy added, with the same serious look.
Vic stood, picking the two of them up as though they were nothing more than feathers. "Suuuure it was, shrimp."
Clarice finally caught up to her children, a patient smile running across her face. "Are you two spouting nonsense again?"
"No, Mom," the children replied in unison.
Vic just shrugged. "Kids'll be kids. C'mon, whole bag o' marshmallows waitin'."
The four headed inside, kicking back by the fireplace where Kyle had been snoozing on the rug for most of the afternoon. He was getting older, and sometimes it seemed as though he was asleep more than not, his face twitching in dreams of other days, near two decades before and sometimes more.
Still, retirement had been good to all of them. No more wars, no more battles, no more missions.
No more blood.
A red haze, unbroken by the steady rain, covered his vision. He hurt, that much was certain, and slowly black was starting to invade the red. Vic didn't move, no strength left and no more will to fight. He had fought his wars, his battles, and had accomplished his mission. The bastard who left him for dead was still alive, but soon it wouldn't matter. The whole world would be destroyed, and there was a certain satisfaction that if he wasn't dead by then, Holocaust would be too.
They all would be.
So, for the brief moment before the blackness, Sabretooth was gone and only Victor Creed remained. He let himself think about what might have been, were he and his family to live past the wars, battles, missions and blood.
And he found a true and honest peace.