Leonard stumbled back. He almost fell. His heart raced and sweat stuck his shirt to his belly and back and armpits. He'd had patients worse off than Bea, patients with bloody ends, with pointless existances, tortured creatures that lived and died hooked to electricity and strapped to beds. None with the relative safety and comforts that he'd been treating Bea in, the comfort of home.

This was a scheduled meeting in the garden, she'd come from the trees, barefoot, bare arms, makeup garishly applied and with the gauzy veil over her face. His boy would laugh, he imagined, would point and yell something like zombie or vampire.

This girl was desperately in need of his firm grip and his expertise. Yes Leonard continued to back off until he fell, breathing and staring in horror. She'd been so normal these past weeks. He'd thought they were standing in the doorway of cure.

Mr. Bramford appeared. His small dark eyes were glinting coals of animation, and Leonard could not tell if they were filled with fear or anger.

"Bea!" He barked. "Beatrice Bramford!"

She turned to her father, and she allowed him to take the bottom of the veil, her mother's wedding veil, and he pulled it slowly, letting it fall to the grass. Tears smeared her makeup and stuck on her lips.

Mr. Bramford held her tightly, she clung to him, her nails drawing a red line against the side of his neck. Still, he held her.

Leonard had to admit defeat.

Neither of them called or acknowledged his departure.


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SelahWrites almost 14 years ago

Nicely done. Makes one wonder where the mother is, what is the true nature of the father/daughter relationship what with the way he removes the veil. Bravo.

Galen over 13 years ago

Read this again tonight. I love the imagery of the veil being pulled from her face by her father. And as Selah notes, it could allude to something sinister. But it seems more to me she's using the veil to avoid responsibilities. Hm.

DazedPuckBunny (joined almost 14 years ago)
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