She was dreaming.
"Stop. Wait." Shalee called out as she ran, chasing a wisp of a girl with long strands of red hair hanging to her waist.
She followed the child down a long corridor that seemed to stretch on for miles. Each step seemed to put more distance between them.
"You have to run faster!" The child urged as Shalee followed in pursuit.
The little girl turned her head to yell at her, "Hurry!"
Some part of her wanted to protest. "No...don't make me go there."
"Hurry!" she yelled, "You have to remember!"
The corridor morphed into the foyer of her brother's house. An enormous crystal chandelier hung, reflecting shards of light into the smothering darkness.
Someone was crying though it seemed very far away. She glanced around, searching for the source.
Her fingers curled around the staircase railing as she looked into the shadows, "Who's there?"
"Are you going somewhere?" Her Father approached the staircase.
"...I'm leaving this place."
"Where will you go?" He asked as he took a few steps up to meet her.
"Home," she said resolutely.
"This is your home." He replied calmly, smiling to her.
"This place is nothing to me." Her voice was eerily calm despite her trembling, despite the fear he ignited within her. "You are nothing to me."
"I am your Father." He said patiently.
"You are a monster! All my life you have used me as a pawn in whatever game held your interest at the time. I am done with it. I am done with you."
"You should not say such things. Listen to you, disobeying your papa. You've been away too long, you have changed." He stepped closer, "But don't worry, I'll change you back." He stretched his hand out to her face, grazing the back of his fingers across her cheek. "My sweet little girl. So like your Mother."
"You killed her!" she accused.
"She was disobedient," he explained in a soft voice, addressing her as if she were a child. "You have no idea the things she was capable of, Shalee."
"You have no idea what I am capable of, 'papa'..." she warned, her tone full of fury.
Anger flashed across his face as he backhanded her, leaving a mark across her cheek. "Do not use that tone with me. You will apologize."
She cupped her stinging cheek, "I hate you. I hate everything you've done, everything you are. You're nothing but a liar. Your whole existence is based on what you've created in your mind papa! You are nothing."
He slapped her again, this time hard enough to send her to her knees. "I am still your Father," he said through clinched teeth.
Blue eyes blazed with fury, "She didn't want you to be my Father, she was going to leave you! She would have been another man's wife, I'd be another man's daughter, I wouldn't even have remembered you," she taunted, crouched on the steps, her pale blue gaze locked on his.
His hand darted out and wrapped around her throat, fingers digging into the soft flesh. "She was mine, she died belonging to me and so help me God you will suffer the same fate if I can't beat this disobedience out of you."
She gasped, choking for air as she frailed her hands at him, trying to push his hand away. "Stop."
"I'm...leaving..." she choked out the words.
"I'll kill you first." He loosened his grip slightly as he forced her to her feet, shoving her against the wall. His face twisted with evil. "No. I wont kill you first, that'd be too easy, you care nothing for your life."
She dropped her head back, hitting it against the marbled wall, gasping, feeling dizzy.
"And I wont bother with killing any capsuleer you know either. They'll just clone." His voice was whispery soft against her ear, "I'll kill that son-of-a-bitch Aldrith's bastard. You think I don't know he is married now? Expecting a child? He doesn't deserve his happiness, he doesn't deserve a child, to be a Father, a husband, when he stole that from me."
Her eyes widened with terror, "No..."
"It will be too easy, to have Mitara kidnapped. To bleed her out, sacrifice her unborn. Make him suffer. Make them all suffer for the sins they have committed against MY family."
The next few seconds were a blur. Instinctively she grabbed at the silver handled dagger that he wore at his side, a blooder weapon disguised as a Ni Kunni ceremonial piece.
Her fingers grasped around it and with all of the strength she could muster she forced it into his stomach.
Shock froze across his face as he realized what she'd done.
"Bitch..." He gurgled the word out as he inhaled a sharp breath.
She yanked the blade up his torso as she felt his blood spilling out onto her fingers, wetting her wrists.
He opened his mouth to speak again but he'd lost his breath. His eyes flashed with a mixture of emotion; rage, anger, and hatred. Betrayal.
She sucked in her breath as she watched the life drain out of his eyes, felt the blood seeping from his body. He slumped against her and slid down to the bottom step.
Her hands started to tremble as she looked down at them.
"Papa." she whispered as she looked to his corpse, moving down the steps to kneel beside him, her silk dress soaking up the pool of blood that oozed from his torso.
"You shouldn't have made me do that. You shouldn't have...I wasn't going to kill you, I was going to leave! They wanted to make me kill you but I couldn't! I thought you changed! I thought you changed, oh god." She sobbed against his chest as hysteria set in.
She curled her fingers around the dagger and yanked it from his wound.
Sometime later Eran and Karmilla had found her in the foyer drenched in the blood, the scene something straight from a horror movie.
What was left of her Father was scattered about the room with ritual symbols smeared in blood across the walls.
"Shalee...what have you done?"
She turned her head, her gaze unblinking as she stared just beyond Eran's shoulder, "He made me do it. He made me do it."
Eran approached her and pulled the bloodied dagger from her hands, dropping it to the floor as he scooped her up into his arms, "Hush. Shhhh. It's alright, everything is alright."
She buried her face against his shoulder, sobbing as he instructed Karmilla, "We have to get her out of here. Now."
"We can't leave this place like this.." Karmilla said as she looked around the foyer again.
"We don't have time. Torch it. Let it burn. Let every god damned thing in this house burn."
Shalee woke suddenly, jolting straight up in the bed. Her head was pounding and tears streaked her face where she'd been crying in her sleep.
Beside the bed the hologram of a small, redheaded child stared at her. "You had to remember. You had to remember Karmilla and what she did for you. Try to remember it, don't block it away again. She cares about you okay?" the little girl urged.
Shalee's head throbbed and her nose started to drip blood, "Who are you?"
"You already know, Shalee. You know. I am you," the hologram said just before she faded away.