Bullets Cry Of Red Tears
by Ersatz Sobriquet
It was a cataclysmic nightmare, spiraling out of control, every inch and fiber of my being being torn and ripped apart, unable to come to grips with what lay before me. And all during this time, during these peculiar moments when I was so obviously nothing more than a toy puppet being used within fate's universe, there was not a solitary thing which I could do to and cease the occurrences set before me.
Red liquid splashed across my helmet's visor as I heard the sickening sound of flesh being forced apart, paving way for the new anomaly. I turned to see my comrade fall to the hard linoleum floor as a large weapon, a sword whose massive blade seemed nigh impossible to control, was quickly and smoothly removed. I needed no physician to inform me of his current life existence. The blonde hair fighter looked at me with those cool blue eyes, motionless facial expression and hair that stood high in fear of him as well.
I didn't want to die, and just couldn't, but I was the last one still standing out of a platoon of eight that came to intercede these mercenaries. The prospect of life was the least sure thing that stood in my sight right now.
The blue-eyed wonder's stare kept me frozen in my tracks. I was completely oblivious to the other fighter that accompanied this sword wielding man and was only reminded of his presence when the cock of his gun woke me from my stupor. I looked up in time to see the red-garbed man take aim at me with his modified shotgun and pull.
Time itself slowed down and everything around me became a blur as I could clearly see the two bullets move and cut through the stiff air. One bullet was ahead of the other and it seemed as if they were racing to catch me. It was all so clear, the bullets! But I couldn't do anything. I couldn't move to save my life, which length seemed to be pre-determined right now.
As the bullets sailed my way, I saw two eyes seem to open from the tip and lazily stared at me. A mouth was soon formed which was soon turned upside down, a very sad expression marking it. A red tear fell to the side and the mouth dropped open in pain, eyes tightening to hold back the pain. The cries continued until they made contact with my chest and I was flung back to the ground.
She was such a beautiful young creature to behold. She was simply full of life and energy the likes Caster had never seen in a child before. Especially considering all she'd been through. She wore a pretty yellow dress that day which fell to her knees, white roses littering the whole of it. He red hair bounced and danced alone with her as she skipped along. The street was more or less a back alley, so the fear of vehicles coming along was less than likely, and her father was fine with her playing her games there. She carefully tried to avoid any puddles that served as a reminder of the previous nightfall's rain.
"Iris, be careful not to get your new dress dirty, honey. You know what a pain it is to remove stains out your dresses." Caster cautioned her as he adjusted himself in his chair which sat in front of the cafe' where he received his coffee from.
He took another swig of his drink as she smilingly tried to reassure him that she would be fine. "Daddy, stop worrying so much." Iris tried to comfort her father. Looking up, she continued, "I'll be as careful as... as careful as..." She couldn't get the last few words out as she placed all her powers on not falling, a slight slip from one of the cobblestones causing her footing for be fading fast. Arms flailing, followed by a short yelp ended with her firmly seated in a muddy puddle, red hair mated to her face from the dirty water.
Caster looked on, trying to avoid saying "told-you-so" and trying to keep from laughing. He set his drink aside and pushed his chair out as Iris looked up, a slight tear escaping from her soft green eyes. Walking over to her, she felt so ashamed at the act just performed. Caster knew his daughter and realized that the way she felt was enough scolding that he didn't need to do.
Picking her up into his arms, he parted the few strands of hair that clouded her vision and waited for her to look up before smiling. She wiped her eyes before she mumbled, "I got my dress all dirty after you told me not to. I'm sorry."
He chuckled some and responded, "It's alright honey. You didn't do it on purpose."
She only sniffed some as he gave her a hug and burying her head in his shoulder, she mumbled some more, "No daddy. You’ll get all wet." She couldn't resist hugging back and laid her head on his shoulder as she rested safely.
Caster simply walked back to his drink with Iris still in arms, water running down her bare legs onto his pants, and took a few more sips before leaving more than enough to pay for the drink before leaving to get his little precious in some dry clothes.
Kids will be kids, he thought to himself.
He could never really be mad at his little precious since she was the only one left in his life that gave him reason to press on. His wife, after being hooked on various narcotics for several years, finally committed suicide, hating living that life she led. It was a miracle during these times that Iris still grew up to be such a wonderful little lady.
Caster lived in the slums of Midgar, and it was no great surprise that Angel, Caster's deceased wife, felt nothing but angst and despair over her then current lot in life. After living by the cool sea that sat off the coast of Costa del Sol, filthy environments proved to be nothing short than contemptible to her. But she was still willing to move and make the change from her beautiful homestead to the deplorable conditions of Midgar for her love.
Caster was rising, slowly though, through the ranks of Shinra and knew that if he continued working there he could be somebody someday and be able to raise his family in a better place. But at the time, he was stationed in Midgar so that would be where his family would live. Everything within that doomed dome of a city was more expensive than anything the inhabitants of Costa del Sol would ever consider charging, and the cost of living went with the package. Caster and Angel had to consent to living in the slums, the place where the middle class lived.
Now and again, Caster still silently curses himself for not realizing just how much of a toll living in such wretched conditions slowly seeped away all sorts of sanity his dear Angel had until she couldn't and wouldn't bear it anymore.
And the images of that day still haunt every part of his psyche.
He had opened the door to his very inadequate three-room apartment and there sat his daughter, huddled against the wall holding her knees to her chest, blood spotting the right side of her body and a big mess of blood and bodily fluid splashed almost across the bottom half of the wall. Startled, scared and confused, Caster dropped his bags and precariously began to move to his daughter, the whole time trying to ensure that there was no attacker still lurking around the area.
Iris never looked up at him, but kept on staring at whatever vision was placed in front of her. Finally he reached her and gently called her name out. She never left her gaze, but only softly whispered, "What's wrong with mommy?"
That was when Caster looked over in shock and horror to see his wife, slouched against the wall, arms and legs spread, head clocked to the side as one half of her face was completely exposed, gone, the languid fluid still dripping ever so slightly. Falling out her grip some was a .44mm Special Issue Shinra Patroller.
He had called his suicidal wife’s name out. He had ran over to the corpse. He had cried tears that were for naught. He had read the very short note, hurriedly scribbled out, that lay next to her saying she couldn't live her life like she was anymore. He had realized his four-year-old daughter still watched on, confused and baffled as to what was happening. He had tried to explain to her later that her mother was dead. He had remembered how confused she still was.
The police had long gone from the scene and nightfall had settled over the dirty city. Tucking his little precious in, she again asked what was wrong with her mother, remember seeing the hospital workers taking away her mother in a big black bag.
"She's..." the words were impossible to formulate. "She's dead, Iris. Gone, you see? She'll never be able to talk to you, will never say how much she loves you and hug you..." and once again the words choked themselves on the flood of emotion Caster was washed over with. He buried his face in his hands and began to cry, tears seeping through the cracks of his fingers.
Iris watched the tears trickle and hold onto the edge of his chin before plummeting to the bed. "Mommy's tears were red.” she plainly said.
Caster looked up as he began to see her face starting to sag. "If your tears are clear," she paused for a second as she looked out into the distance. "And mommies were red and you're here and..." she trailed off, the connection finally making sense and she could only hold tight to her father, overwhelmed by the newly found emotion surging throughout her body.
This is what it feels like to die. Is this how Angel felt? I hope it didn't hurt as much.
I'll be joining you soon, honey.
No! I can't die! Who would watch over Iris? Would make sure she grows up right? How could she lose both her parents within two years time? God, why did I bring a beauty like her into the world with me working such a dangerous job???
Oh man. I remember what she said last night, too, after she noticed my gun on my waist.
"Daddy, you gonna make people cry red tears?" she quietly whispered.
She remembered that today is the second year Angel hasn't been with our lives.
I could only answer, goose bumps running throughout my body, "Maybe."
I tried to have her forget about it as I lay her down to sleep and sang her a song. She looked so beautiful as she drifted off to a safe realm. Where she didn't have to worry about losing anyone, and could dream of being with her again.
No. No, no, no, no. I can't die! I have to fight back! I have to...
Oh. He's right above me; his form now blocks the bright light that has been shining down. God, he looks like some kind of demon, I mean. His eyes are glowing. Red!
Uhhh. It’s one of Hojo's own works of destruction.
He's pointing the shotgun barrel at me. I can see straight up the shaft. Oh, I'm so weak; I can barely move my hand.
I can't die now. I need to be there for my daughter. She needs to grow up with some sort of support. Some sort of comfort in this piss-ridden world. If I get out of this, I'll move with her to Costa del Sol. Angel would have liked that.
Maybe if I plead. Yeah. Plead.
"Please." God. This blood. Go back down! Go back down! "Please. Spare me. I have a daughter. Please. Have mercy!!"
But the shaft of the gun never moves. It never moves.
I was in a train station one day (not a ghetto subway, but a train station) and looked around at all the people that were sitting down waiting for their train and I realized that each and everyone of these people have a story to tell about where they’re going and what they’ve done thus far in their life and what they expect to do in the future. Everyone has a story behind them.
That got me thinking about all the people, the soldiers that the heroes kill in the various RPG’s, the Final Fantasy’s. All those people whose lives are ended have to have a story behind them, thus where this story came from. The thought of just trying to make a living came to mind and a sad state which made the person who was facing death wish with all his might that they be shown mercy but wasn’t, like all the people who were in the game weren’t shown.
Don’t know, just an idea that not only the heroes were facing impossible odds and that not everybody you fought was evil, but was just doing their job.