Synopsis: An Elseworlds story. A daughter says one last good-bye to her father, who is on death row.
Just a short little story to get my mind off my bigger one・which had floundered off course・again. Acck. I think this one has too. Anyway, just read my little piece・I do hope it・s at least a little good.
He didn・t look up from his bed. They didn・t even call him by name anymore. Just a number. He didn・t respond, because the day he walked in here, he・d sworn he・d never let himself be just a number.
・You have a visitor.・
That got his attention. His gaze flickered to the calendar pasted just outside the small window of his cell. It was a cruel thing that calendar. There was one pasted outside every prisoner・s cell. As if to remind them, your day is coming. For him, his day had been ordained by a court of law, April the fourteenth.
It was April the fourteenth.
The steel door swung open and shut softly. He looked away, not wanting to see who he knew it would be. He had never been really religious anyway. After all, if there were a God, would he be stuck here?
His head whipped around in shock. His eyes widened and he stood up as he took in a vision he・d never thought he・d see again.
She had grown up since he・d last saw her. A short, chic pixie-cut had lengthened into a soft pageboy. She had been petite, not even coming to his shoulder. Now she could see directly into his eyes.
She smiled. ・I・ve missed you.・
・I・ve missed you too, darlin・.・ His voice was scratchy, hoarse from disuse. She frowned at that and handed a thermos to him. She also handed him a large brown paper bag. He looked inside. His favorite food. He opened the thermos. His favorite drink.
・I convinced them to let me see you, instead of the priest, today.・ She winced at the tactless reminder of what today meant. He ignored it and dug into his food. She sat on the bed, watching him devour the food. Finally he sat down beside her.
・How・s everything going?・
・Okay・better than okay. I--I・ve met someone.・ She ducked her head. ・At the psychiatrist. He・s good to me・real good. He understands what I・ve been going through and he makes me feel better. He makes me feels loved.・
He nodded. ・That・s good, darlin・. I・m glad life has been good to you.・
She smiled at him. ・Better than good, daddy. It・s been terrific.・ Then her smile faded. ・I wish you could meet him, daddy. I wish you were free. You don・t deserve this. It was my fault, not yours.・
・I know darlin・. But it ain・t your fault. Never was, never will be. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Besides, I was the one who killed him, not you.・ He was quiet.
・You were defending me.・ She started to cry. ・I・m so sorry I did this to you, daddy, I・m so sorry.・
He hugged her as she cried, rocking her like he used to, when she was a child and had nightmares. He was her protector, her knight in shining armor then. Then she started to grow up. She didn・t really need his comfort as much, and he withdrew, content to watch carefully in the distance. He blamed himself for lapsing in his vigilance one night, the night she got raped.
He redeemed himself by going after the monster, and killing him in a fit of rage. But the damage was done. The courts sentenced him to death, seeing him as unrepentant. It was true. He didn・t regret killing Victor Creed one little bit.
He only regretted the fact that he hadn・t been able to protect his little Jubilee that night.
The door swung open again. ・Your half-hour・s up, Miss Lee. It・s Prisoner 100767・s time.・
She looked at her father. ・I guess this is good-bye.・ She stood up and walked to the door before turning to look at him. ・I・ll miss you, daddy.・
Logan nodded good-bye. ・I・ll miss you too, darlin・.・