Friday, September 25, 2015

                            THE LEGION OF NIGHT, CHAPTER 37

                                                        TOPEKA


     There's a cool breeze up here on the roof, not really the place you'd expect the Police Commissioner to be after midnight....still, I'd been waiting for this meeting, for months, and this is the only way she'd see me. You'd think being her father would buy me some consideration.

     Maybe that's exactly what this is.

     I haven't seen Joanie since her mother's funeral, after a bomb meant for me went off with the wrong person at the wheel-Sara. Thirty-one years together gone in a flash of heat and noise, leaving a hole in my heart, and a nineteen year  old child learning the fine art of resentment. Joanie was definitely her mother's daughter, a blessing after three miscarriages, trying, failing, separating, coming together again. Sara didn't blame me, nothing like that, but my job, the hours, the things you can't share with the ones you love, kept pushing them closer together, and me further away. I love my daughter, but I can't understand the choice she made; those people, the Legion, are outlaws, no matter what  public opinion might say. We raised her to respect the law, not ignore it as if it didn't matter at all.

     Suddenly, she's right in front of me, black hair, pale skin, firey green eyes glaring at me just as they did when they were ocean-blue, and we buried her mother. She's wrapped in black, like the night itself, She's taller, I guess because of the Change, and feral-looking, like some sort of nocturnal predator.

     I can't stand the silence hanging between us. "Joanie"- "My name is Luna!" she hurls back at me, "Don't you CALL me that name!" The silence again, broken only by the sounds of traffic  below, and those eyes, like a challenge to....what? Apologize? Take the blame?


     It's my turn to be angry. "You asked me to meet you here, remember? What do you want? To throw this-" I say, pointing a finger at her, how she looks, "in my face, like I made you choose this?
Why? Why this?"


     "For her", she says, softer, still angry, but softer. "No one could do anything....you couldn't do anything. Those animals were still walking the streets while my mother rotted in the ground, and the law mumbled about 'no proof, no evidence'. Everyone knew Dag Roland made it happen, he practically told you in court that he was going to get you- but he missed, didn't he? Well, I didn't!"


     That angry silence again, and no answer to why I'm here. Why does it have to be like this? I don't care who she's become, she's still my daughter, my only child, and all I have left of Sara.  I turn to leave, and I hear a sound, like a tinkling rush of wind behind me. As I turn, I see Luna transforming, not into Joanie, but someone much like her.


  "Dad", her voice echoes in my head, "don't hate me; I just couldn't stand them getting away with it, killing Mom, wanting to kill you. I don't hate you....I hate the fact that your hands are tied.


     "Ours aren't; we're not your enemies." Her voice reaches my ears this time, plaintive, and sad. " I-I miss you, but I can't be who I was. I didn't stay away just because of that, but because I thought it might make things harder for you."


     "Not seeing you makes it harder. I still have lasagna for Sunday dinner, not as good as your mother's, but I make it okay. "


     Before she fades away completely, I see a smile. This is Thursday; better go shopping tomorrow.