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A short story of a man dreaming of his little girl after his wife has died giving birth to his daughter.
[1,375 words]
Ben-Ibn Balzac
I enjoy writing short stories, science-fiction, and poetry. I enjoy reading the same, but my main interest is history. Mostly military history dealing with the how, why, and who of history. I have written poetry that reflects my main interest but have also written some that deal with human emotions.
[June 2000]
Ben-Ibn Balzac

Her nickname was “Lillie” and her skin was like brown cinnamon. Her hair black as a summer night’s sky, her eyes like sweet brown chocolate. She was smart as a whip, witty, charming, generous with her time, possessions and with anything that she could freely give. She always volunteered her time at school to tutor other students that were not as quick to pick up the materiel. She volunteered at church, singing in the choir, bible study or delivering meals to the elderly.
She always helped around the house doing the chores that were expected of her, such as doing the dishes, washing clothes, or simply cooking for her siblings when her parents could not. She did her homework and stayed up till almost midnight studying Latin, the foreign language required for graduation. She could have taken the easy way out and studied Spanish her natural second language but she told her parents that Latin was a challenge and she needed challenges to improve her life.
She had many friends from all walks of life, from the kids who wore the trendy clothes, the so-called geeks, the jocks, and those from the same barrio. She was popular, she was the vice-president of the student council, and she was on the A cappella choir, chess club, debate club and of course the Latin club. Her time was occupied from morning, noon, and night, at home, at school, and away.
When she went to bed at the end of the night she slept on her own bed. This is nothing strange to some of us, but to Lillie it was something of a privilege. See she had three brothers and two sisters that her parents also worried about. That she had her own bed was something that her parents had decided to give to her since she was the oldest. Her other sisters shared a bed in the same bedroom on a somewhat larger bed that both fit in. There was a small dresser painted two different colors with flecks of paint falling off from the sides and behind the dresser, which her parents had gotten for her from the thrift store. It stood at the foot of the beds that all three sisters shared. The dresser covered a hole in the wall that one of her sisters had made while playing on the bed.
The nightstand stood between the two beds underneath the windowsill. It had a little mermaid lamp slightly wobbling because the other sister had pushed it to the floor when she thought someone was coming through the window, but she was only having a nightmare. On Lilies’ side of the nightstand was an old beat up tape recorder her father had given her for her birthday. Lillie used it to play back the Latin tapes she checked out from the library to study. The recorder laid on a bible that her grandmother had given to Lillie when she was thirteen, and her mother had given to her grandmother. The curtains fluttered in the late evening breeze. There was no central air and heat, and her parents had a small fan that the girls used when it got too hot in the evenings.
There were posters on the wall not of rock stars, athletes, or the teen idols that normal teenagers would put up, but of people that Lillie admired in her heart. The posters were of Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, Benito Juarez, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, and Plato. She would lay in bed awake at night and dream of being Governor of Texas, or a scientist discovering cures for all types of diseases, a poet writing stories that would take the reader to far away places.
She would walk to the bus stop each morning and wait for the bus taking all of the neighborhood kids to school. On her way there she would always stop at her best friends house, outside the gate in front of her house and wait for Becky to rush out, fling open the door, and run head long down the stoop towards her. Becky always had something in her mouth eating breakfast on the run. After picking up Becky they would both walk down to the bus stop and gossip about school, or Becky’s newest boyfriend. This particular morning Lillie was extremely happy.
She had sung her favorite piece of music in church the night before, Ave Maria, and she was still floating on air. Today was also the day she would learn if she had been accepted at Harvard for the next term, and if she qualified for a scholarship as well. She was going to be the first one from her family to graduate from high school, and the first to attend college, but not just any college, Harvard. Lillie was happy and her parents were so proud of her they were bragging on her with anyone that would listen.
The car as witnesses described it was driving down the street very slow and that was a bad sign. Kids know when they see a car driving that slow it only means trouble, and it was. It was a dark blue car with a dent in the front passenger side. It had extremely dark tinted windows, and super white walled tires. Witness’s say that they saw the rear window slowly roll down and the barrel of a gun slide out very slowly. Lillie was standing with her back to the car in front of Becky at the bus stop. The car then began to pick up speed, as was the case when they are going to do a drive by.
Lillie turned around to see what made the noise and immediately knew what was going to happen. Becky was turning around and was beginning to run away from the direction of the car. The shooter saw her and right away targeted her for a kill, and the barrel began to track her. Lillie saw the barrel move and for whatever reason moved her body in front of Becky’s’ as the shot rang out. Lillie was thrown on top of Becky by the impact of the shot and her and Becky were thrown to the ground. Becky was screaming at the top of her lungs and the other kids waiting at the bus stop were on the ground waiting and wondering if there was going to be another shot, but the car just drove on and the shooter was satisfied by their kill.
Becky was still screaming hysterically, as the blood was streaming out from the wound in Lillies’ back. Alberto woke up with a violent jerk and bolted straight upright on the bed. He bounded out of bed and headed out to his daughters’ room, which was right next to his. He opened the door and flicked on the light switch next to the wall and hurriedly walked up to her crib, and looked down with a sad face. He saw her angelic face and noticed that the light was bothering her, he saw her small head moving from side to side trying to avoid the harsh light. He turned around and turned off the light and walked back to her crib.
He bend over and slowly reached for her sliding his hands underneath her fragile body. He took her small body and put her against his chest and went over and sat down on the rocking chair he had bought for his wife to use for rocking their daughter. His wife had died giving birth to their daughter and now he was on his own with her. He sat there in the darkness slowly rocking back and forth his hand behind her head. Remembering back to the last words his wife had spoken, “Al please look out for our little Liana,” tears were coming down in buckets as I held her hand in the hospital room watching her slip away from me. “Please take care of Liana Al, was what I remembered as tears were running down my face in the darkness of the room as I rocked Lillie back and forth in the night, remembering my wife, as I cooed my daughter to sleep.

Ben-Ibn Balzac, November 1999



"Gawd baby that is a wonderful story, i cryed, you have a wonderful talent, a wonderful heart, to be able to write such a touching story,, please dont stop,, write more baby,, i love you ,, heide" -- Heide, Kelowna.
"Needs a lot of editing. Break up into paragraphs and a basic story format: introduction, body, and summary. You have a lot of run on sentences. This story has potential." -- Kate.


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© 1999 Ben-Ibn Balzac
June 2000

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