2013

The Face Outside - Delilah

Writer's Digest post

You’re awoken from your midnight sleep in your favorite chair to your dog barking wildly in the living room. Pulling her aside, you look out the window, only to see a face staring right back at you. Whose is it? Why are they there?

*  *  *

Delilah woke up to Wells’s barking. Not again, she thought. Don’t they ever give it a rest? It’s the middle of the damned night. She pulled her housecoat tight around her lithe figure and slid out of the comfortable chair. Wells was sitting by the time window, barking her doggy little head off. This was the fourth time tonight.

She picked Wells up and petted her. Wells was a purebred beagle, the only species of dog that could naturally see into the timestream. She got a treat, which was devoured rapaciously, and then went back to lie on her cushion.

Delilah turned to the window. She looked through to see the scene. It was Dad’s study, circa 2105 from the looks of it. He was staring straight at her, but she knew he could only see what was outside his window. Of course the fact that she was seeing this meant Mom was somewhere around. It was bad enough when their marriage fell apart, but then he broke her time machine and had her buried alive in a sarcophagus in Egypt. Little Delilah took Dad’s backup time machine and rescued her, and the fight was on in earnest.

It had been going on for almost 30 years now, Delilah time. She was often tempted to just let one of them win, but she couldn’t settle on which one. Mom was a psychopath and Dad was a sociopath; potayto, potahto, as far as she was concerned. And they both had working time machines.

She opened the french door and stepped through, right into the barrel of her 63-year old daddy’s revolver.

“Lenore?”

“No Dad, it’s Delilah. Would Mom come after you in a housecoat?”

“Point taken.” He lowered the gun but kept it ready. “What are you doing here? Going to save her again?”

“If I have to. Look, Dad, have you considered calling off the feud? Go back to the good times?”

“The good times were an illusion, dear. The killing, this is the real us. You know Carl’s gotten involved now.”

“I know. He got her away from the Inquisition, but he’s having a little time-out right now.”

“He’s dead.”

“Same thing. And he’s not coming back until I explain to him why 12-year olds shouldn’t time travel.”

“You were only ten when you started.”

“Don’t remind me. Dumbest thing I ever did.”

Lenore chose that moment to come inside. She didn’t say a word; they all knew each other. The first two bullets went into Dad; the third grazed Delilah's torso. Dad’s return shot got her right through the heart. Guess she had one after all.

Delilah limped back to her sanctuary. It would take a few days for their support people to pull them out of the mutual death, and she looked forward to a good night’s sleep for once.