Later that evening, Daphne sat in front of the fireplace
in her home. Looking out the window, the redhead noted the raging storm outside. As the rain pounded the rooftop, Daphne thought
of the small girl she had met earlier that day... she looked as if she was hiding a storm...
Sighing, Daphne stared at
the decorative mirror that hung above the fireplace. The frame was a light, brassy gold colour, and it was carved with intricate
designs in a midevil French style. The young lady that stared out at her seemed just as worried as she was... though Daphne
could only see herself through one side. Her right eye was nothing more than a staring greyish-blue orb, blinded by battery
acid several years ago when she was raped by her college friend's brother... Sheridan's father... Daphne squeezed her eyes
shut as the memories came flowing back, turning from the mirror and sitting in the plush armchair, covering her face. One
of her fingers fell upon a familiar mark in her skin; a scar that fell across her eyebrow and down the cheek on the right
side of her face, which she had earned from her disapproving stepfather when she was but a young teenager... Daphne could
never come up with a reason for just why George Blake never took her as his own...
"Come here!" a snarling voice
rang from the other room.
Robin cowered in a dark corner of the living room, having just witnessed her drunken father strike
her mother. She looked at her mother, who now had a little bit of blood running down her forehead. The girl was trembling;
she was so scared...
"Get over here!"
Upon looking up, Robin saw her father clumsily stumbling towards her, his brown
"You made me hit her! YOU!" he growled, lunging for the girl. Robin looked around frantically, and tried to
escape her enraged parent's grasp, but it was too late; the tiny child soon felt a strong hand wrap around her arm, pulling
her down. Then the stinging sensation of his
open hand struck her across the face.
"What... why's it my fault?!" Robin
started to sob.
"Shut up, you little wretch!" her father picked her up and turned her to see her mother, who was still
out cold from his blows. Bruises had already started to form on the woman's face. "Look what you made me do!"
unsure of whether she should cry out for her mother or not; after all, for some reason, her mother had done this to her as
well... She felt another sting as her father struck heracross the back, and dropping the girl a short distance to the carpet.
Robin landed awkwardly, and
she twisted her ankle as she landed all of her body weight onto one foot. THUD!
sobbed, looking up with terror as her irate parent towered over her. He brought up his hands, ready to lunge again. Robin
couldn't stand this much longer... Stumbling to her feet, the girl ran towards the front door, dodging broken pottery and
fallen furniture that
had been the result of her parents' argument. Grabbing the doorknob, Robin dashed outside, into the
storm, and down the darkness of the street. Her father looked outside.
He searched for her, but in his dillusional state,
he only saw a blurry sheet of rain pouring down. The angry father called for her.
"Robin! Get back here!"
looked up from the novel she was reading, to find her young 5 year old son, Sheridan, coming down the stairwell. He rubbed
his brown eye, while the other eye, which was an ocean blue like his mother's, stared out at her.
Setting the book
in her lap, a smile spread itself over Daphne's gentle face. "What is it...?" she smiled, reaching out and touching Sheridan's
face. The boy looked at her with both eyes. Moving the book aside, Daphne hoisted her son into her lap. Leaning her face close
to his, Daphne
asked again. "What's wrong?"
Sheridan leaned on his mother. "I heard a booming sound outside..."
chuckled, wrapping her arms around him. "My child, it is only the thunder. It won't hurt you."
Sheridan smiled, nuzzling
under Daphne's chin. "Can I stay here with you?"
Daphne nuzzled him back. "Of course you can." Laying back, Sheridan curled
up in her lap, his head pressed against her chest so he could hear the steady rythm of her heartbeat as it lulled him to sleep.
"Sleep well, my little boy," Daphne whispered, resting her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes. Her
deep red hair fell across the side of her pale face and cascaded down Sheridan's back as the two of them shared the serenity...
ran blindly through the downpour, searching for a place to hide. Just then, she saw one house that still ha its lights on
- someone was still awake! Running at full speed towards the front door. Reaching the deep tan door, Robin looked up, it looked
so big to her! But she had
no time to think, and reaching up a shaking hand, pounded meekly on the door. She stood there
on the porch, shivering, waiting for an answer...
Daphne snorted, awakening from her light reverie as she heard
the knock. She opened her mouth and gave a deep yawn. Giving her head a vigorous shake to wake herself up a little more, Daphne
looked down to find to see Sheridan; he was still asleep against her warm body.
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!
This time, dispite the pounding of the rain, Daphne turned her head to the front door, clearly hearing the raps of dispair
this time. The young Irishwoman scooped up her son, and laid him on the couch. As a substitute for her body, Daphne slid a
soft throw pillow beneath the boy's
black-mopped head. Then, wrapping her blue robe around herself, Daphne jogged briskly
to the door. Upon opening it, Daphne peered down, to see a trembling girl standing by her.
Robin cringed as the light fell over her when
the door was opened, and she looked up at the sillouhette that was Daphne; for a moment the towering woman took the shape
of her mother... The same mother who had lashed the girl across the back with a wooden spoon a few nights
ago. For a split
second those bruises stung as if they had just been inflicted, and Robin cowered before her. Looking up at Daphne with fearful
eyes, she replied, "Y-yes..."
Daphne felt a stroke of worry wave through her body, and she knealt down to the girl, to
her level. Her heart went out to the shaking child.
"Robin..." she said in a soothing tone. "Robin.."
The girl looked
into Daphne's eyes. The woman's compassionate gaze made Robin wonder if she could be of any comfort but she was still very
tense. Daphne reached a hand towards her, and the girl flinched at Daphne's gentlest touch upon her arm. Daphne drew back
small gasp. Again reaching out, but a little slower, Daphne's face bacme solemn and saddened by the girl's
"Tell me what's wrong, honey..." Daphne whispered, managing to rest a hand upon Robin's tremulous shoulder. The
girl could only shiver, wrapping her arms around herself.
Daphne looked out at the storm - where were her parents? The
streets were empty, only the tiny girl in front of her was who she saw.
Robin felt a slight warmth as Daphne wrapped her
arms around the girl and hoisted her up. The girl became tense again, stiffening her bosy in fear as Daphne held her.
with me..." Daphne said softly, backing into the house and closing the front door behind them. She took a quick glance to
her son, who
was still sound asleep upon the couch, nestled in the blankets, his arms wrapped around the green pillow.
She smiled a little, then sat in front of the fireplace, Robin in her lap. The woman wrapped her arms around the girl.
alright..." Daphne whispered, as Robin broke down and began to sob into her chest. The girl held on tightly to Daphne's lavender
nightshirt, balling her tiny fists until her knuckles were white. Daphne gave the girl a nuzzle.
"Hush..." she soothed,
allowing the girl to sob for a while until she calmed down.
Robin's heaving sunsided as Daphne wiped away the remaining
tears. Their eyes met.
"Tell me, Robin," Daphne said softly, "What is troubling you...?"
Robin turned away from Daphne's
stare. "N-nothing... I.. I just got lost in the storm."
The girl heard Daphne's voice grow a little more stern. "I know
that's not it, Robin. Please... tell me what's wrong."
Noticing the firmness in Daphne's voice, Robin began to tremble,
as it reminded her of the tone her parents usually used with her, and she sniffled, starting to cry again. Daphne's heart
went out, reaching out to the child. Robin trembled, and flinched away.
"D..don't hurt me.." Robin quivered, looking pleadingly
into the elder woman's greyish eyes. Daphne placed a soothing hand on Robin's shoulder. The girl blinked, squeezing out another
tear as she searched Daphne's eyes with uncertainty.
"Shh..." Daphne soothed. "Come, now... there's something wrong. I
can sense it..."
How did Daphne know? Because she knew how it felt to be abused...
Robin shook her head and wrapped
her arms around herself and biting her lip, drawing away from Daphne. The elder woman looked at her, but kept herself from
attempting to cuddle the child.
"Robin... you can always tell me. I'm scared for you." Daphne felt tears welling
in her own eyes as she felt her right hand clench into a fist...
seeing this type of thing happen to a small child
is unfair. Daphne hated to see another person to go through what she had as a child. With a sigh, Daphne unclenched her fist,
reaching up with her opposite hand and stroking Robin's cheek.
"Please, Robin..." Daphne was on the verge of
crying, she knew she had to do something! "...just tell me what's wrong, honey. There's something wrong, you and I both know
After a moment of silence, Robin shakily showed Daphne the bruises on her arms by pulling back her drenched sleeves.
Daphne took the girl's arm in her hand, inspecting the wounds. Looking up in sympathy, Daphne asked, "How long had this been
"A long time..." Robin said monotonously, turning around. She pulled her chestnut hair aside, and Daphne
lifted the back of the girl's green shirt. It astounded the woman on how so many red marks could cover someone's back...
God...!" Daphne gasped, starting to cry silently. It was happening, history was repeating; Daphne saw the awful memories of
her own childhood, the beating, the yelling... But here was a tiny little girl, barely even six years of age, suffering just
Robin couldn't see anymore as her large blue eyes filled with hot tears; moments later, she was weeping.
here," Daphne whispered, putting an arm around Robin and guiding the small girl to her body. Robin sobbed into Daphne's stomach,
as the older woman wrapped her arms protectively around her, as if to shield her from both of their pasts...