Monday, June 30, 2014

Rylan's College Poll!

Hello friends!

I've put up a poll on the right side of the blog. Please cast your votes!

Since Rylan is getting older, he'll be headed off to college pretty soon! *sniff sniff* Baby is all grown up and stuff. I'd love to know if you want to follow him in his college years or just stay at home with the rest of the family whilst he is away.

Thank you for taking the time to vote! Well wishes to you.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Getting Out Again - 5.23

Previously in the Fuller Family: A devastating park trip in spring leaves the family in shambles, slowly picking up the pieces. A funeral has been held for the dearly departed and time is continuing on, though it is heartbreaking.


"I heard mom up early this morning, showering even. I was surprised. What's going on?" Rylan asked his father.

David let out a little sigh and smiled slightly. "She's in the kitchen making some French toast this morning. She said to me when she woke that 'She was the mayor, she can't just disappear from the town for weeks.' I guess she's getting ready to go back to work."

Rylan stared, open mouthed, at his dad. "Are you serious? Wow, that's good for her. It'll be good for her to get out. I know how she feels though. It's time for the girls and I to go back to school too." He sighed. "I'm not sure how well they will handle it. They know I'm there though and I think that helps."

David smiled. "I'm sure they will be alright. It'll be different of course, and they'll have to brace for the questions that the other kids will ask, but it will be fine. I actually have to work tonight too and I'm not really looking forward to it, but we all have to do what we have to do."

In the kitchen, Rosetta had indeed been preparing French toast. She stood by the oven while the bread baked and smiled at her family when they all came in to sit down and wait.

"Smells delish mom." Rylan said to her. Everyone else agreed.

Rosetta pulled it out of the oven and sprinkled the toast with powdered sugar. Setting it on the counter she announced that it was ready and everyone could grab a plate. She got her own and sat to down to eat.

Rylan sat nearby and said, "Dad says you're going in to work today. That's good. I hope your day is perfect."

"Thanks dear. I'm sure I'll be loaded with paperwork actually. My inbox is probably overflowing, but I'm hoping to get through it. At least most of it. Back to school for you. Keep an eye on your sisters okay and..."

Dayna interrupted here, "Oh mom, Caylin and I are big girls, almost teenagers you know. We'll be alright."

Rosetta smiled at her girls. "Yes I suppose so. Speaking of which, with your birthday approaching and all, I want you two to think about how you'd like to celebrate it. Okay?"

Caylin and Dayna both looked at her, unsure of what to say. They nodded. "Okay mom."

The family finished the rest of breakfast in silence, each dwelling on their own thoughts and feelings. Rosetta finished first and dressed quickly since her limo would arrive at any moment.

As soon as she came back to the kitchen and said her goodbyes she heard the horn. "Well I'm off to take care of a town. You know my number if you need to call me for anything. I'm sure I'll be at my desk." With that she walked out the door.

The school bus wasn't far behind. Soon enough the house was empty except for David. He let out a big sigh and went about the things he wanted to do this day. Mostly cleaning up and fixing broken things in the house. By noon though, he had to get ready for his gig.

David left the house at about one o'clock. On his way to Mick's Master Karaoke, he actually waved to Rosetta's limo, which was taking her home, even though he knew she most likely hadn't seen him. Their timing was off just enough, when David worked, that they passed each other on the streets. Rosetta was always home alone for an hour before the kids started getting home. During that time, she went up to her bedroom and talk to Brenna's picture. She told her little one all about her day, what she did and what she didn't do, things she thought of and what she had for lunch, anything, just to talk to her - to feel close to her daughter.

At Mick's, the show was just beginning. David had plans this night. He set up the stage and waited for his show to begin. When the crowd arrived and seemed to be waiting on him, he began. David spent time working his viewers up and asking what they wanted. Everything they asked for, he delivered. He was pretty sure he'd almost worn out ever trick he had when he heard the timer bell indicating to bring his performance to an end. He gave a shout out to everyone and a very large bow. Then told the crowd that, unfortunately, that would actually be his last show. The crown groaned and a few people offered him two thumbs down. Others, like Layla and closer friends, nodded their understanding and gave him a small smile.

After leaving the stage, he moved through the crowd. Many people shook hands with him and patted his back. Everyone stated that it was a wonderful show and they were sorry he was leaving the business. He was told he'd be missed and that he had set the bar pretty high for other performers. David smiled and thanked everyone. When it quieted down and the fans departed, he pulled out his phone and dialed his manager. All future gigs were canceled and the proprietor paid him handsomely, wishing him a good life.

Rosetta was sitting in what had become labeled as 'her chair' in the living room when Rylan arrived home from school. She smiled at her son and asked how his day was.

"Mostly quiet. No one really talked to me, which was fine. The teachers didn't give me too much homework but I have a little. Actually Prom night is coming up, though I am not sure I want to go."

Rosetta nodded. "I get that. Why don't you sit here and do your homework. I'd like you to help the girls when they get home though, okay?"

"Sure momma."

She smiled at the way he still called her that. He's the only one of her 4 babies that ever did. It was like their special thing.

He had finished up just as Caylin and Dayna had walked in. The girls hugged their mother and went upstairs with Rylan to do their own work. Rosetta sat, staring at the pictures on the walls, and waited for David to come home.

David came in and grinned at his waiting wife, he wondered how long she'd been sitting there. He said in a mocking voice, "Honey. I'm home." He saw her small smile as he closed the door.

"Welcome home." She stood and pulled him close. "How was your evening dear? I'm sure you did splendidly."

David nodded. "Yeah, actually, it was great. Everyone was really thrilled the whole time. That is until I told them that I wouldn't be doing it anymore. I quit today."

Rosetta was shocked for just a moment. "Oh wow. I'm sure they were disappointed." She kissed him then. She wasn't about to ask him why he quit, or even ask if he thought it a good idea. After all, she had the same thoughts today and kind of wished she had done it too.

The following weekend, the girls were enjoying a quiet game of chess. Caylin sighed. "You always win. When are you going to teach me to be better?"

Dayna chuckled. "I don't know. Why would I anyway, when I enjoy beating you?" She got a sour look from her sister.

"Alright, one more game?" Caylin conceded with a grin. "I'll just have to study your tactics."

They had just set up the board again when Rylan came walking in playing his guitar. The songs he had been playing lately were a little more lively than they had been over the last month. Most times he was trying to make everyone smile.

Dayna shot him an ugly look. "Do you really have to do that here? We're trying to think. You're distracting me."

Rylan laughed. "Actually I was sent in here by dad. He says to get ready, we're going to the park for the summer festival. So, put your pieces away and get off your duffs. We're leaving in ten minutes."

Caylin instantly scooped up her pieces and threw them in the hidden cubby under the playing board. She was excited. Dayna followed suit. Rylan wasn't far behind, he just had to put his guitar away before leaving.

A few minutes later they were all meeting out front. Dayna walked through the living room and was a little surprised to see her mother sitting there, in her chair, reading a book. She guessed her mom wasn't coming, that made her a little sad. "You're not coming? Do you want me to stay home with you?" She asked.

Rosetta looked up and smiled. "Oh no dear, not today. That's okay though I want all of you to go and have a good time. Eat a snow cone for me okay?"

Dayna nodded and waved goodbye. She walked out the door and hopped in the waiting car.

The four of them arrived at the Summer festival ready to play. As they usually do, everyone ran to the tent to get a family photo of themselves. David had to stop though, and think of how strange it felt that Brenna wouldn't be in it this time. Neither would his loving wife. His other kids were calling though and he couldn't let them down. No matter how weird it was.

After the picture was taken they each went and grabbed a delicious snow cone and sat down to eat them. For a few minutes they walked around looking at the things vendors had to offer and the different games to play. They thought about doing a hot dog eating contest, just the four of them, but decided against it. They all wanted a funnel cake and needed to save room in their bellies.

Back at home, Rosetta was buried in her book. She flipped pages as she scanned or read every word of a book about pushing through the madness and depression of losing a child. None of the other family members knew she was reading such a book. It wasn't that she didn't want to share the information learned from it, but she felt as if the others hadn't been as emotionally scarred as she had been. She felt like she needed more help than they did. It had already helped her enough to get off her bed and go to work a few times this week.

At the park, the rest of the family started skating. David remained on the sidelines, just watching. It actually looked to him like it was about time to leave. His kids didn't seem to be having much fun, they only seemed to be doing things because they were available to do - not because it sounded like fun. They weren't smiling or laughing, the looks on their faces were dispirited at best. It appeared this trip was having almost the opposite effect he had desired. Perhaps it was not a good idea to allow Rosetta to stay home. They needed her here too, it would feel more normal, more acceptable.

"Okay everybody, let's get some funnel cakes and get out of here. We'll even take one home to your mom. How about it?" David asked his children.

The kids agreed and rolled out of the rink. Caylin was burning up anyway. In her craziness she had wanted to wear her autumn jacket out to the park today. She was very sweaty and was happy to stop moving around. Rylan complimented Dayna on her spinning, she had gotten a lot better since the last time he had seen her skating. David got 5 funnel cakes at the closest food vendor and bagged them all up to bring home. At least this part of the festival could be brought back to enjoy with everyone.

The next Monday, Rosetta went to work, the kids went to school and David stayed home. It was starting to become habit again for this to happen every day. Though David was getting bored at home fast, with not much on his plate to take care of, and he considered getting a part time job somewhere. They didn't need the income at all, he just needed something to do with his idle hands.

Rosetta came home from work and spent some time with him before making dinner. The kids did their homework while she was working in the kitchen. After eating, Rylan, Caylin, and Dayna went to the living room for some fun while their mother and father picked up the kitchen. While drying the dishes David talked.

"You know, tonight's prom night. I guess Rylan decided not to go. He hasn't said anything about it at all. Maybe he couldn't find a date?"

Rosetta stopped washing the pan she was holding and put it in the sink. She quickly dried her hands off and stalked out of the room.

"Was it something I said?" David called after her. "Ooookay. I guess I'll handle the rest. Maybe talk to myself too." He smiled in spite of the oddness.

Rosetta marched into the living room. "Rylan."

Rylan jerked his head around. Her tone of voice wasn't quite angry, but very demanding, and curt. It put him on edge. He answered with worriment, "Yeah?"

"What's this business I hear about not going to prom? I don't think so, you're going to go. I don't want you siting around here while there's a school party going on. You might not get another chance to go, you know. You never know what's going to happen."

Rylan had opened his mouth a few times during her small speech to retort or explain, but the last statement made him close it tight for a second.

"Now, you're already showered, go freshen up and put on the outfit you had already picked out."

Putting up his hand in acquiescence he said, "Alright, alright. Will you call the car for me while I get ready then? Even though I don't have a date I guess I could still go."

Rosetta nodded her head. As she watched him walk out she shouted after him, "I'm sure there will be quite a few girls willing to dance with you!" Turning back to the living room she saw the girls staring at her. "You two, go take baths and get ready for bed. I love you dears, I'll be up soon to tuck you in. We can read a book first if you want."

She turned on her heel and headed back to the kitchen to call the car and finish the dishes. Caylin and Dayna looked at each other for a moment as if they weren't quite sure what they just witnessed. They both shrugged and got up to do what they were told.

Rylan was dressed and ready to go just a few minutes before the limousine arrived to pick him up. He bade his mother and father goodbye and they wished him luck. As he walked out, he was still not quite positive of why his mom had reacted the way she did, or demanded that he go. He gave a mental shrug as he climbed in the car and looked around.

Inside, Rosetta and David both went to read to the girls and put them to bed. After they were all tucked in and lights were out, the couple went to the living room to sit and spend time with one another. Not to mention wait for Rylan to come home so they could bombard him with questions.

"Do you think I was too hard on him? Or perhaps I should have explained myself to Rylan?" Rosetta wondered aloud.

David shook his head. "Nah. I bet he'll understand. It was fine. I am sure he's happy he went. Come here you." He scooted over a little and pulled her close to snuggle him.

Rosetta smiled. "I hope you're right. I hope he is having a good time and he's not mad at me for making him go."

David assured her again that he was most likely, in no way, mad at her. When she looked up at him, he kissed her softly. They sat together in silence for a while as they waited for their oldest baby to come home.

It felt like not so long ago they had been sitting exactly like this when Rylan was an infant, giggling and squirming right in front of them.

To be continued...

Monday, March 3, 2014

In my Heart's the Memory - 5.22

Staring. That's all I really do anymore. Just stare. Stare at the ceiling, the floor, the walls. Sometimes I do it so long that my eyes start to burn. They are completely out of natural lubricants, I've cried every drop out. Now I just stare. Today, today's the worst. We have to lay her to rest today. It really is going to be final. When I got out of bed this morning my legs were so weak that I only made it to the den, no further. There I sat, for what felt like hours, just looking at the pictures surrounding me. So many. So many memories. When I put these pictures up, I never thought they'd hurt me. The do though, these hurtful sad memories. I should take them down. Look at that one. She was such a cute toddler. Her little green outfit, that one was her favorite. So were those blocks...

I've made my way down to the kitchen, drawn by hunger and the family that I know is down here. I'm not the only one who will need support today. On my way to the fridge I stopped at the window. The trees are green but my mood seems to bring even them to the darker shades. Will the world ever look bright to me again? Will this unavoidably dark hole that is my heart ever be filled again? It sure doesn't feel like it...

"Honey, you're not dressed yet. It's late." David looked into his wife's destitute face and frowned, "I know."

He pulled Rosetta into a hug and whispered in her ear, "This is unimaginable and ridiculously hard. We all suffer, just know we are all here, in this, together. Okay?"

Rosetta nodded weakly. "Yes, I know." She sniffled and still held him close.

"Why don't you go upstairs and take a warm bath?" David suggested to her. "People will be arriving soon, before you know it. I'll get things ready down here as best I can. You go get yourself ready, however you need to. I love you. We can do this, we can."

Tears came to Rosetta's eyes again as she looked at her wonderful husband. She wished that she had the strength he showed. Subconsciously, not even noticed by her own very occupied mind, her back straightened a little and she stood just a bit taller. Nodding her head, Rosetta gave David one more squeeze before going upstairs.

Rosetta did as suggested and ran a very warm bath. It felt good on her skin and helped her brain calm down a little bit. Nearly every thought still revolved around Brenna or how they would go on with life without her. Sponging herself clean and washing her hair, Rosetta finished her bath. As she was stepping out of the tub she nearly slipped because she wasn't really paying attention. She wrapped a towel around herself and dried off.

She blew her hair dry and put it up in a bun. On the bed was the outfit she had pulled out for this bleak day. Rosetta dressed herself and went back into the washroom to apply some makeup. Her eyes were puffy, and though she knew it was expected, she wanted to cover that up as much as possible. As much as she had just 'pampered' herself, when Rosetta emerged from the bathroom she felt old. 'Worn down' and 'weary' would have been words she'd use to describe herself. Even her outfit made her feel elderly. She gave a big sigh and headed down to the kitchen. Everyone always seemed to be in there anymore.

When she entered the dining area, Rosetta first spotted Rylan and David having a fairly muted conversation. David glanced her way as she walked by, when their gaze met she saw nothing but pain filled eyes and a worried expression. Her son, she could tell, had been crying. She frowned but continued her on her path. She had set her mind to making some food for the guests. If she were to stop now, she feared she'd never get it done.

She chopped up the lettuce and added some tomatoes to the Autumn salad. Rosetta placed it all on a serving plate and turned to see father and son embrace and Rylan walked out of the kitchen sniffling a little. Just after Rylan disappeared from view, David buried his face in his wife's neck.

"This is so hard. Rylan hurts so much but thinks he needs to stay strong and he doesn't want Caylin or Dayna seeing him like this." David let out a huge sigh. "I'm just not sure how to help them through this. I'm not sure how to get through this myself actually."

He pulled his head up and looked into his wife's eyes. They were red. "That part will pass, for Rylan." Rosetta mumbled. "Not the pain, but the hiding. At least, I hope it will. As for all of us, like you said, we're here for each other. Always."

Just then the doorbell rang and hand in hand they went to answer it.

The first guests to arrive were Velina, Logan, Olivia and Layla. David ushered them in and walked everyone toward the family room. Just as Rosetta was closing the door, Sonia and her son Nicholas arrived. She let them in as well. The first thing Rosetta noticed about her best friend was that a second pregnancy was showing. In the light of recent events though, Sonia had kept this fact to herself. Rosetta felt a sting in her heart. She wasn't sure if she was hurt by the fact that her friend hadn't told her, or because she just a little bit jealous. The thoughts evaporated as she felt Sonia's warm arms hugging her.

Nicholas offered his condolences, He had just started going to school with the girls but they had hung out many times before that. Rosetta thanked him and gave him a hug as well. She told the two of them to meet her in the kitchen, that she'd be right there.

Rosetta went to the family room and informed everyone that the salad was ready, and if they so wished to come and eat. No one seemed to want to pass on the food.

After eating, everyone migrated back into the den to sit and comfort each other. Brenna wasn't known well by everyone, because she was such an aloof girl, but her death affected everyone none the less. Dayna spent much of her time with Brenna's picture, crying her eyes out. Caylin was no where to be seen, though she was said to have been in her room, unwilling to face the day. Everyone seemed to understand and no one pressured her down.

Sonia sat by where Dayna stood and silent tears wet her cheeks. Rosetta approached and sat next to her. The two of them sat together, staring at the wreath and picture. Someone had lit the candle. In her mind Rosetta thanked whoever it was because she had forgotten to do it herself. She could hear conversations around the room about things Brenna did or didn't do, things she said or did at school. As she listened to each little story, a stream of tears soaked her face. She was finally actually crying again, and it was a bit of a relief.

Even though it might not have been the best time, Rosetta congratulated Sonia on her pregnancy. That brought on a wave of tears from her friend, which surprised Rosetta a little.

"Oh I'm sorry, thank you. Thanks. I'm sorry I didn't say anything, I wanted to, but you're going through so much right now. Such sorrow. I didn't want to seem..." Sonia's voice trailed off. She wasn't sure which word to use.

Rosetta was just about to say something when Velina addressed the crowd. "I've brought a pie with me, would anyone like some?" Everyone agreed, and the group moved back into the kitchen.

Velina served up the pie and silence fell over the room while everyone ate. Rylan finished first and left the room, Rosetta wondered where he was going. Just as everyone else put their plates in the sink, Rylan showed back up with his guitar.

"I learned this song recently and well, I'd like to play it for you." He had said. Without waiting for agreement, he started playing.

All guests gathered around to listen, or sat close by. The notes he played moved everyone to tears again. There may not have been words, but each chord and tune held so much meaning, so much emotion that it affected everyone whether they wanted it to or not. Rosetta couldn't help but be proud of her son for having learned so fast and for playing so well. She didn't even know he had gotten so good.

Rylan's song brought the funeral to an end. One by one, guests offered condolences and left the house. Once everyone had gone, Rosetta wrapped Rylan in the biggest hug ever.

"That was wonderful honey. Thank you so much. You were perfect."

David, who was nearby, agreed and patted Rylan on the back. Then he looked at his wife. "Honey. It's time to go. Caylin and Dayna didn't want to come, so Rylan is staying here to watch them. It's just us two."

For a second, Rosetta wasn't sure what he meant. Then it hit her and her face pinched up in pain.

It was almost time to bury the coffin which contained their little girl's body. Rosetta and David brought her picture with them to the graveyard as they planned on saying their own goodbyes there. The two of them stared for a bit before saying anything. Rosetta cried hard when she heard David softly say "I should have said no to them that morning."

She knew he meant the morning they had all gone to the park. She also knew that David was well aware that none of this was his fault. Survivors guilt was affecting them all it seemed.

When David and Rosetta left the cemetery it felt like they were leaving their world behind, and venturing into completely unknown territory. They were both scared, but both knew they were not alone in it.

To be continued...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spring Awareness - 5.21

Early one spring morning, Rosetta woke, showered and dressed before heading down to the kitchen for breakfast. The kids were not awake, nor her husband, so she decided to make some French Toast for her family. She was thinking of things to do for the weekend when she felt someone dash by her. When Rosetta looked up, she was startled to see David standing there in front of her - butt naked.

"What the..." She started, but was interrupted by a kiss.

It only took a second for everything she had been thinking to be wiped from her mind. All she could think of now was his hands on her. The rest of his body, still warm from being in bed, pressing up against hers made her head swim a little. He stopped kissing her, but held face close to hers. She concentrated on his lips, they looked as soft as they felt. She yearned to feel them again but instead, he spoke.

"I was hoping we could have breakfast in bed." David said with a grin.

Rosetta chuckled lightly. "Mmm, sounds good. I am hungry."

David smiled back and kissed her neck before letting her go, then he strutted off. His wife followed behind him, watching his toned muscles contract, loosen and contract again as he moved. Her eyes drifted from his head to his feet and she suddenly couldn't wait to have her hands all over him. When they entered their bedroom they locked the door behind them. Rosetta had assistance removing her clothes before the two of them slid between the sheets. The couple proceeded to enjoy a very good morning in each others company.

About an hour later, they had taken a quick shower together and went down for an actual food breakfast.

Coming into the kitchen for the second time, they saw Brenna eating some leftover waffles from the day before and Dayna standing on one of the chairs apparently making a speech. Dayna had already eaten and was now pretending she was a queen presiding over her royal court. She issued orders to Rosetta to cook her father a meal fit for a king.

"Yeah! You heard the Queen!" David winked at his wife. "Fire up the ovens."

Dayna and Rosetta both laughed, even Brenna giggled. Rosetta curtsied, "Of course. I'll get right on that."

She made some pancakes, since she was too hungry to wait for French toast. Rylan and Caylin came in as soon as the food was on the table.

After breakfast, while Rosetta tended her garden, the rest of the family watched some television in the family room. Caylin was the last to come in, but she had other plans.

"Dad, can we go to the park? Please please?"

"Uh, well. Let me check the weather. If it's to rain, the answer's no. Otherwise, I don't see why not." Caylin bounced up and down while she waited for him to change the channel. He obliged and looked for a weather update. "Nope, no rain. When do you want to go?"

"Now, oh now, now. Please. Every one's dressed! Can we go now?"

Rylan butted in, "Geesh, excited much? Do I have to go?" he asked. Apparently he wasn't feeling the family spirit this morning.

David rolled his eyes, but smiled. "Yeah, you know, you do. It'll be good for you. Loosen up dude. I'll go get your mom." He stood and left through the back door. Rosetta had just finished taking care of her plants and after washing up everyone left for the park just around the corner.

 When they arrived, each person went off and did their own things. Rosetta and David spotted a small pond and pulled out fishing poles to see if they could catch anything. They weren't expecting to, but it sounded relaxing. Both of them actually did end up catching some minnows, but threw them all back.

Caylin went off to the slide and happily climbed to the top. She threw her hands up in the air and squealed as she slid down. The giggles from her were heard by everyone, and each of them smiled at the joy she was expressing. Brenna had gone off to sit in the grass and play with her doll. She wondered what it was that triggered her doll to be a real friend, it seemed that whenever she carried it around - it remained a doll. Though if she put it down on it's own for a bit, it became her real friend. After a while she just laid in the grass and drifted into daydreams.

Rylan sat on a swing, just hanging out. As much as he thought he hadn't wanted to come, he was glad he had. It was a very nice day, and great to get out of the house and breathe some fresh air. Dayna joined him on the set and started swinging right away. She'd go as high as she could, launch herself off and land on her feet and then do it all over again.

Everyone was having such a wonderful time. Each one of the family members had a smile on their face and joy in their speech.  

Caylin was the first to see it. "Mom! Check that out!" She pointed to the sky. She hesitated a moment, "Wait a minute..." 

Rosetta had turned to look at what Caylin wanted her to see. She was smiling at something David had just said. That was quickly wiped from her face and replaced by utter terror. Her eyes darted around.

"Brenna!! Caylin!!" She screamed, but she feared it was too loud to be heard and too late for running.

A meteor had chosen that moment to strike the planet. When Rosetta had shouted, everyone did hear and turned to see. Each person only had a moment to realize what was happening before they felt the blast of air hit them. Everyone covered their heads to protect themselves from anything else.

Most everyone was far enough away to not get hurt by anything. Rylan glanced up toward where the huge rock had hit the ground, and dashed forward when he noticed his sister so close to it. He shouted for Brenna. Unfortunately he wasn't fast enough. He gasped a breath and covered his face so he wouldn't see the strike from a huge chunk of debris. He let out a wail.

The meteor had struck the more empty area of the public park, but it was not empty enough. Nearby was where Brenna had been laying and day dreaming. She had heard her mother yell and stood to come to her, but she hadn't been fast enough. When she heard the strike, instinctively she curled up in a ball to protect herself. In all the noise, she heard her brother yell and tried to see him. From out of nowhere a rock hit her, hard. She blacked out and went down, never to come up again.

"Oh my simgods! NO!" David screamed.

The disaster was over, but the true terror had just begun.

Rylan was still standing next to the meteor that had caused the death of one of his sisters. He was unable to move, or speak. He just held his hands over his mouth as he stood in shock.

Caylin had also been close, and her clothes had been shredded by flying objects. Her body was scratched as well, but mostly she was unharmed. She stood with her mouth open, unable to process what had happened. All she could hear was her father yelling and crying, pleading with Brenna to wake up. Her mother was begging both Brenna and David, unable to control her sobbing. She looked around for Dayna, and found her close-by, crying. What was even worse was what Caylin saw at her sister's feet. It was Brenna. Something wasn't right though, she was just a foggy image of her normal self. Caylin watched as Brenna tried to stand, and when she finally rose, she faded from sight. Caylin let out a breath of despair, she just knew that had been her sister's ghost and that she had now been taken from them forever.

David knelt by the now lifeless body of his once smiling daughter. He fought his tears so he could concentrate on what he was doing. His hands shaking, he checked for a pulse. Nothing. More blood than he ever cared to see in his life was staining the grass beneath her. He tried breathing life back into her. Nothing. He sobbed, unable to control it any longer. Involuntarily he shook his head as tears dripped from his cheeks. Close-by he heard a heart stopping wail, it was coming from his wife.

Rosetta had been watching her husband work on their little girl and saw the ineffective attempts at bringing her back to them. When he shook his head like he did, she recognized the slump of his shoulders to mean it was not going to happen. She screamed until all the breath was expelled from her lungs. Then she fainted. She fell face first onto the grass, causing David to jump to his feet and run to her.

First he checked her pulse, she had one and it was strong enough. Not really knowing what else to do, as he was a magician and not a medic, he glanced over his shoulder looking for his son. His heart shattered again when Brenna's body drifted into view, but he called out for Rylan to call the police. Rylan did as he was asked, though he wasn't sure what to say. David's attention went back to trying to wake his wife.

It wasn't long before police cars and ambulances arrived on the scene. The EMT's worked fast, but knew the little girl was DOA. A policeman was asking David questions about what happened while the EMTs checked over Rosetta. She was just unconscious but they loaded her on a stretcher and placed her in one ambulance headed for the hospital with lights flashing. The other ambulance was loaded with the small child and pulled out for the hospital too, though no lights or sirens were going. The police escorted the three remaining family members to the hospital as well. 

David, Rylan, Caylin and Dayna were told to sit in the waiting room as they looked over Rosetta and did what they could for her. A coroner approached and apologized about the situation.

"I understand you're still in shock, but I need to tell you about a few things. Can I do that?" He had said.

David numbly nodded his head.

"I'm sorry. Sir, your daughter didn't make it." David's heart sunk to the floor, even though he had known this fact, someone else saying it made it even more final. The man continued, "Her body is here for now, but we need to make arrangements to have her picked up. I'll give you some cards to look through at your earliest convenience. They are for funeral homes in the area. I'm so sorry for your loss."

David reached out and took the cards. His brain was foggy. It took everything he had to stand there and face this man telling him these horrible things. "What about my wife?" He asked.

The coroner shook his head, "I don't know but I'll have someone give you an update as soon as possible. Again, I'm so sorry."

David nodded his head and sunk into the chair he had claimed. His children surrounded him and collapsed in his lap, on his shoulder and at his feet. They were all crying.

After Rosetta had woken and been looked over, she and the rest of her family were advised to go home. It was the last thing they wanted to do, but they could do nothing where they were. So they went. Rosetta went straight to her room and collapsed on the bed, drifting into misery.

David wasn't sure what to do. Rylan, Caylin and Dayna were unsure as well. They followed their father. He paced around, trying to sort through the thoughts and emotions in his head. Sometimes he'd stop and stare out the back door - in the direction of that park - for long periods of time.

Rylan didn't know how to go about his day either. He'd try and do things, only to find himself staring at nothing, zoning out. He would always go back to his father thinking he would ask what to do, or if he could help. The moment he saw his heart broken dad though, his mouth dried up and refused to speak.

Dayna felt empty inside, something was missing from her and she could feel it. A space left unfilled would remain in her heart. She felt horrible that she hadn't played with Brenna more often, or believed her when she talked about her 'imaginary friend'. Dayna stuck to Caylin more than ever before, hardly ever leaving her side.

Caylin's heart was heavy. She replayed that day in her head over and over. Eating breakfast with mom and dad, begging to go the park. It was her idea. She should have never asked. Why did she want to go? She felt it was all her fault and she would never get past this. No matter how hard she tried.

My life is over. My baby, my baby girl. What happened? Why? I don't know what to do, how will I ever get out of this bed again? I feel like my heart's been ripped from my chest. There's nothing there anymore. She's gone, that's what they told me. I woke to a nightmare. She's gone. I didn't even get to hug her one last time. Just yesterday I worried about you spending so much time alone. Now you're more alone than ever. How can I help you now?

My body aches, I've got nothing left. I don't want to move, ever again. I feel David lay beside me sometimes. He cries. It hurts me more to feel and hear him this way. I need to help him too, and Rylan, and the girls. I just can't. I don't have it in me right now. There's nothing left in me.

You had only just begun.
Your story ended too soon. Would you have gone to college? Met a great guy? Would you have been a doctor? An investigator? I'll never know. It's not fair. You shocked me when you came into this world and have ruined me by leaving it. I can't believe you're gone. What will your sisters feel? How can I help them? Will I ever be able to? I'm reminded of that movie "Flowers in the Attic" when one of the twins died. Back then I could never imagine how they felt. It was so sad. Now I know, I don't even have to imagine, and it's horrible.

A few days have gone by. Rosetta finally was dragged off her bed by hunger. She had lost a few pounds by ignoring the hunger pains for so long. Stress and sadness have elongated her face and have driven early wrinkles into her cheeks.

The house has turned unkempt. There are piles of dirty clothes everywhere, no one wants to wash them. Dishes from the morning of the disaster still sit upon the table. No one wants to clean them up. Rosetta's beloved plants suffer from lack of attention. Some have died completely. She doesn't care for them anymore. No one seems to want to go back to a normal life. The girls won't sleep in their room, they're too uncomfortable without their sister. They've packed up their favorite toys and moved into their parents room. Neither David nor Rosetta objected. Rylan plays his guitar, but nothing joyful anymore. All his notes are dismal and forlorn.

Brenna's toys sit on the floor, brought home from the dreaded park, relinquished and unaccompanied. Even the stuffed doll seems heartbroken.

David did call one of the funeral homes and made the necessary arrangements. The funeral was in one day. No one was ready for it.

To be continued...