Looking at this it all seemed wrong. The yard was empty and there was too much silence. By this time of the day, the Children’s Home should’ve been the noisiest place ever. The entrance gate was wide open, swinging with every soft blow of the wind.
The bad feeling Lilian got when she looked at the place she knew as home, was now as loud as a church bell. She already knew what happened, though she didn’t want to. Walking through the yard, this place appeared hunted, with all life removed.
When she got to the front door, any hope she still held was gone. Written in blood, now almost brown, on the door was “Never bite on more than you can chew, old man”.
She was a strong woman, she’d grown up to be, but the sight inside the Home would’ve shaken anyone. More so Lilian, because these people were her family.
At the base of the stairs stood Samer. A deep cut split him from shoulder to hip. His face was frozen like he was still shouting at the kids. Four of the older boys spread around him, standing in their own blood. It looked they were trying to keep the ones to do this from going up the stairs. But it was no use.
She didn’t want to climb the stairs, but she had to. She had to see everything, so when the time to pay back the people that did this came, she was ready. At first, she thought, maybe she was wrong. Things were where they should be on the top floor. Except for the little kids. There were no kids. Until there were. In one of the two big rooms, she found them. They were all fifteen of them, huddled in a corner, holding their training swords. Little good it did them. They were cut all over, like the one cutting made his way through the bushes.
Lilian dropped to her knees. She took Jasmine and held her close. At only four years old, she was the youngest. Her face was as beautiful and serene as always. The rest was not. The sword came upon her between chin and shoulder. At least the one that ended her. The blow was so brutal, her small body split chest-deep.
After her father’s death, Lilian promised herself to never cry or feel lost again. But now, the tears started coming on their own. And for a moment the feeling of being lost crept in. She let her pain go crying out loud. Enjoying the burn of her tears. When she was finished, it was already night. She went downstairs, picked up one of the askew chairs, and sat down by the table. She needed to think. Who would do this? And why? She knew Samer was involved in small pilferage, to provide for the kids and himself. But he was smart enough to know where to poke around and when to live things be. Or not, as things panned out.
Anyway, before doing anything to find the animals that did this, she had to tend to her family. One by one she brought them down and laid them on the floor. It was late into the night by the time she finished with this part.
Looking at all of them, still, she found herself frozen. All her tears went dry. Her mind was becoming clear. There was nothing to do for them now. It was of no help. Once she finds the ones responsible she’ll do plenty. Not now.
Now all she can do is to give them the leave of warriors. Send them to Mesa with the fire burning. She said her goodbyes and told a prayer for their souls.
She then took the lamp oil bottle and pour it over the bodies and everything else. In the fireplace, there were still hot embers. She used one to lite up the oil. The flame slowly grew covering all.
Lilian Alstro stood in the doorway until the entire house was engulfed by fire. She then left, on her own again, taking the world on with nothing to lose anymore.
As she walked away from what will be the Children’s Home no more, she stopped on top of the hill for a final look.
By now the Home was one big flame. Soon there will be nothing left. But they will be in her heart and give her the strength to make this right. To make the slayers of her family pay.
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