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The Hero

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Icy air filled her lungs as she ran beside her dad on their morning jog. The naked trees seemed to ache, wanting to come closer together for warmth; as did she. Gradually, she closed the distance between her and her father, to capture his body heat. She smiled happily until he turned to look at her with a ominous grin. Something sinister burned in his eyes. Instinctively, she nervously withdrew. Those weren't the eyes of her father; her hero. Madness consumed him. And he pushed.

She went tumbling down into a rocky ravine where the sun could not reach her. She was pinned in the dark as she heard his jogging fade and her eyelids flitted shut the last time.

The small town echoed with whispers when the girl and her dad didn't return in time for church. Immediately, they were sought by police and the locals. Around noon, they came upon the dad, who lay on the path with a gash in his head. He stuttered as he pointed a finger toward the ravine and choked his daughters name.

Her mother rushed over to the edge with tears flowing down her wind burned cheeks. She let out a cry that reverberated through the now hushed forest. At the bottom, lay the girl in a heap of blood. The crowd came darting over in disbelief as the dad began to tell his story with a trembling voice and fresh tears.

The paramedics carefully made their way down into the rocky crevice where she lay. They tried hard to steady themselves as they gently lifted her out. The town sobbed as they listened the story from the other "victim." As the last volunteer was climbing up, he noticed that he clung to a boulder with a message in red. In blood.

The man read it repeatedly. It peirced his heart and churned his stomach. He called out desperately to an officer who rushed over in response. He unveiled the sickening message that read "Daddy pushed". Outraged, they quickly made their way over to the dad. He wasn't the victim as he claimed, and he wasn't the hero. He was the murderer.

Those words set the people on fire. They advanced with murderous hate in their eyes. He staggered back in fear and disbelief at the unforeseen turn of events. Suddenly, he went tumbling down into that same ravine, where the sun could not reach him and he was unable to move. The final sounds of footsteps faded away in the wind.





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