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Toy Soldier Blues by Richard Evans coming of age [930 words]
Hero Forever
Jewish Mother by Randall Barfield Trying to make Him and those near Him more alive, more real, and hopefully, with more exposure. [396 words]
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TITLE (EDIT)
Hero Forever
DESCRIPTION
Rick Ferro's heart bleeds every day at his past. It haunts him even to this day....
[1,488 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Suspense
AUTHOR
Sf
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[March 2012]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (5)
Eradication (Screenplays) This is the story of a girl (Katie) and her friends that go to a cabin for the weekend. What was supposed to be a carefree weekend turns into a nightmare that none of them will forget, if even get out... [15,968 words] [Horror]
Fair Warning (Short Stories) A young boy appears on Scott's porch with the ominous message, "If you choose to speak with me, one of us is going to die. [5,139 words] [Suspense]
Malo Criatura (Short Stories) a group of cowboys discover an awful secret about the animal race they are hunting. [2,273 words] [Horror]
The Dream World (Short Stories) Sam is a normal boy who has dreams that are sometimes horrific. tonight is no different.......... [734 words] [Horror]
The Ebanese Pit (Short Stories) A haunting story about the mysterious "Ebanese Pit" and the dark story surrounding it.... [2,855 words] [Horror]
Hero Forever
Sf

Rick Ferro was a hero to someone. He was also in prison for manslaughter. He had a sentence of twenty-five years in the Florida State Penitentiary. Already he had served six years, and the memories of the night that sent him here still plagued his dreams. Unlike hardened criminals his body was racked with guilt every time he looked at himself in the mirror and that guilt wore him down day after day. Today, unlike most days, was especially emotional, for it was the anniversary, though he hated to call it that. Anniversaries were usually happy; in his case they were an immeasurable burden that he was damned to hold for the rest of his life.
He sat in his cell at 7:15 that night, tears running down his face as he stared at a worn picture in his hands. Even after six years he could still recall everything that happened in his home and the murder. As another tear fell silently down his cheek, his eyes drifted closed and he dreamed….

His life had been almost perfect. He lived in a quiet town, and, though divorced, had his daughter Chelsea to keep him company. Just twelve, she boasted well potential and her smile lit up Rick’s face when he came home from work every night.
His downfall was, ironically enough, his past. In his youthful days he had been involved in somewhat of a crime-ridden existence. His parents did not care; his mother was dead and his father was a drunkard, coming home well after midnight most always, and sometimes barely acknowledging Rick. His years of crime landed him in jail several times and though he had changed and hadn’t been the same naïve kid for more than a decade now, the last time he had been in he was warned that one more serious violation would result in harsh punishment.
The night of July 4 brought back past wounds that Rick hoped would never be opened again.
The excitement of our country’s independence day was still in Chelsea’s head and at 9:30 Rick tried to get her in bed one last time. Finally he persuaded her with a promise of a trip to the zoo the next day. As she jumped into bed Rick sat beside her and pulled up the flowery covers over her matching nightgown. He looked in her eyes and found peace, as he always did.
“Dad?”
“Yeah sweetie?” he asked her.
“Can mom come with us tomorrow?”
Rick closed his eyes. He was afraid she would ask this. He knew the answer, but the look of want on her face softened him.
“I don’t know Chels. Your mom’s a very busy person. We’ll see.”
“So no?” Rick shook his head and smoothed back her dark hair. He could never trick her; she was too smart for her own good.
“No baby. I’m sorry.”
“It’s all right,” she said as she settled deeper in the covers. “I know she’s busy.”
“Yeah. But we’ll have fun, right?”
“Yeah!” She said excitedly. “You know you’re my hero, right dad?”
“I know baby. I love you so much.”
“I love you more, dad.”
Rick smiled, kissed her on the forehead and walked to the bedroom door.
“Good night dad.”
“Good night sweetheart.” He turned off the light and walked down the hall to his own bedroom. He was frustrated at Terri for abandoning them. He would never tell Chelsea this, not for a long time, but his wife was off with her lover with whom she had been sleeping with since two years after their daughter was born. Only by luck had he been knowledgeable of her misdoings. Luckily she hadn’t sued him for custody of Chelsea, but he was sure that day would come.
The doorbell started a spiral of horror for Rick, though he didn’t know it yet.
He unlocked the single latch that held the door and came face to face with the barrel of a gun. At first glance he was confused, didn’t understand what was happening. He only saw the object and not the goal or the person behind it. But within seconds he knew that it was a large caliber pistol and the man holding it was larger than him with a black leather jacket and a chain hanging from his belt.
The gunman pushed the weapon forward until it rested against Rick’s forehead. The coolness of the barrel made him flinch, but the intent of the man made him shiver all over. His life could be over. Just like that, in an instant, the existence he held so dear could be gone and he would leave his daughter defenseless.
“Please,” he whispered. He didn’t dare speak too loud for fear of setting off the trigger finger. The gunman didn’t answer, instead nudged the barrel into Rick’s face more, and he quickly caught the idea and backed up with his hands raised high. He heard the door shut as they came into the house, though he didn’t see it--his eyes were on the shiny silver object stuck fast to his forehead and an instant away from stopping his thoughts.
At first all he heard was the pounding of his own heart in his ears; the rest of the world was blocked out. Then he heard faintly the sound of a voice telling him something, but he couldn’t make it out. The voice repeated itself, but again to no avail. Apparently Rick was supposed to do something, for the pressure of the gun increased and he drew back cowardly. He was shaking now, and desperately wanted to do what the gunman was telling him to do. But the loud thump-thump in his eardrums, the sound of breathing, the sound of footfalls against the carpet all amplified beyond normality and Rick could not hear.
In an instant the gun was pulled away and flipped around and smacked into Rick’s head with full force. He wasn’t aware of the ground coming up to meet him, but soon he was looking sideways at two black leather boots and smelling his musty rug. The sound in his ears only increased, and though he tried to keep a clear head he couldn’t move. He struggled to reach out and trip the man as the feet moved past him, but found his arm wouldn’t respond.
Time was distorted and Rick had no idea how long he actually laid on the floor, though it couldn’t have been much more than a few minutes. Slowly the noise in his ears subsided and he found he could control his limbs again. With the freedom, though, came the pain that had been subdued until now. His forehead was swelled and Rick felt liquid, most likely blood, trickle slowly over his skin.
Where was the intruder? Noises from upstairs garnered his attention. Chelsea.
He moved without knowing he was moving. The stairs never seemed so small; the hallway never so short. Within seconds he was at Chelsea’s partially open door. He pushed through and came upon the gunman on the bed over his daughter with the gun shoved in her face. When Chelsea saw him she cried out and her howl of help pushed Rick past choice and launched him into instinct.
The man didn’t stand a chance. Rick cascaded into him with full force, ignoring the pain and grogginess from his head wound. They collided and were thrown off the bed. Chelsea screamed. Before the stranger had time to react Rick punched him with full force. He heard and felt teeth crack, skin break, and a scream from Chelsea as his hand hit his mark with extreme precision. But the intruder was fast; his knee came up and Rick was thrown forwards.
He landed sideways at the foot of the bed where his daughter’s screams still echoed. He felt the gun beneath him. Adrenaline was fueling him, the desire to save Chelsea from this monster were ruling his mind.
Strangely, he didn’t hear the shots as they rang out. He merely felt the recoil of the pistol and saw the gunman fall to the ground. But the silence that followed was weird. Hadn’t Chelsea been screaming?
The gun fell to the floor and Rick was on the bed in a flash. His eyes scanned what he saw but his mind didn’t believe it. His breath was inhaled but it didn’t exhale. His arms felt his daughter’s warm skin in front of him. His eyes saw the blameless flowers on her pajamas. They also saw the colors mixed with a deep red of indescribable quantity, soaking up and drowning out the other colors of the innocent petals.

Rick Ferro awoke, his heart pounding, his face sweaty, and his hands clutching a picture of his daughter laughing, giving two thumbs up to her dad, her one and only hero.

      
      
      

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2008 Sf
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
April 2008
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1500
 

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