Evelia Veronica

I did it, daddy, she was saying. I swam across the pool all by myself. She kept saying it over and over, but her father wouldn’t look at her. He just kept his eyes straight ahead not listening. She yelled louder, trying to break through to him, yelling in her urgency to get him to turn and look at her. You did it sweetie, I’m so proud of you. The prospect of hearing him speak those words made her heart quicken.

I swam all by myself. Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Please! The sound of her own voice pulled her to consciousness and her father faded. She tried to reach out to him, but he just receded like shadows in the rising sun. Then the present came snapping back at her.

Evelia Veronica was aware only of the cold and dampness and night sweats. Her head was down, eyes still shut, and she crawled toward the lamp. One click and she could see every inch of her bedroom. It was a welcoming sensation that momentarily lifted her spirits.

It all came rushing back to her very quickly. She couldn’t help but to feel like a lost ball in tall grass. In the context of a summer a few years back, a sudden shout and a little bit of dope in the hands of a nut pieced the horrible memory together. The incident was known as the Fairfield Avenue killing, but to Evelia Veronica, it was the end of her father’s life.

A home invasion by three drug addicts several houses away. They heard the police sirens so they broke running. There was no place for them to hide so they broke down her door. Evelia Veronica stood frozen for a moment. A young drug addict by the name of Latroy Taylor took his gun out and held it up to her. He wasn’t thinking correctly. His adrenaline rush was on high gear and was also being enhanced by the drugs in his system. He didn’t see a young girl there. What he saw was someone blocking his view of his escape route.

“Move!” he shouted.

Evelia Veronica nodded and she went into a half faint, leaning heavily against the wall. She felt fear roaring in her ears. Then she found it very difficult to catch her breath. The entire incident was taking on a surreal air. Her mind tried to make sense of what was going on around her. She felt like she was trapped in damped air. She was starting to feel disoriented.

“I said Move!”

She wanted to but she couldn’t. She felt as though she’d been impaled by a spear. Her body made the effort to move, but nothing happened.

“If you don’t move… I’m gonna shoot you!”

Evelia Veronica looked at the young drug addict and thought that what he needed was some religion. Then she thought that if she caused someone to be shot, even if it was her, she’d be guilty of murder. There was no logic in that statement, yet it was filled with logic. Her mind was playing so many word games, she couldn't sort them out.

His eyes narrowed at her retort. Her defiance was going to be her demise is what he was thinking. Two minutes later the gun was fired several times, and the bullets spat out like a train pouring out of a mountainside tunnel. Visions of her death danced through her head as she opened her eyes widely. She was confused as a dark shadow crossed her path taking the bullet hits. At first she didn’t understand what was happening. Then it became clear to her.

“Daddy?”

Evelia Veronica stared up at the ceiling, and then began babbling incoherently.


She turned off the light and forced herself back to sleep. While sleeping she felt a familiar confusion returning.


I did it, daddy, she was saying. I swam across the pool all by myself. She kept saying it over and over, but her father wouldn’t look at her. He just kept his eyes straight ahead not listening. She yelled louder, trying to break through to him, yelling in her urgency to get him to turn and look at her. You did it sweetie, I’m so proud of you. The prospect of hearing him speak those words made her heart quicken.

© 2013 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 44 comments

Shanders profile image

Shanders 3 years ago from Port Huron, Michigan

Beautifully written, wonderful descriptive qualities, you can really feel this young woman's emotion and the deep sense of loss with her father's death. Particularly love the line "she couldnt help but feel like a lost ball in tall grass" very nice :) looking forward to more!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Shanders :)


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

This is such a good complete short story about a tragic event. You can feel this young woman's emotions, and her panic upon waking.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much X-man yeah it felt complete when I finished :)


Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 3 years ago from Central Florida

Wow, Frank! Just wow.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Moms thank you! Just Thank you!


lovedoctor926 3 years ago

Awesome crime story Frank. voted up...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Marlene Kitt


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Very well done. Such beautiful descriptions with a heartbreaking story.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Becky Katz :) bless you


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, this is awesome!...you wrote this tragic tale with so much feelings we can't help but live each moment of the horror. Well done.


Valleypoet 3 years ago

I loved the way you took us from the dream to the story, which then led back to the dream...impacting more the second time...very sad but an awesome read Frank:-))


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

Something else! What a terrific read.


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 3 years ago from Georgia

You are such a wonderful spinner of tales. Your style is unmistakable, superb and supremely enjoyable. Thanks for putting it out there for us to read. Sharing.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

This is a character who should, in my opinion, not die here.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Tobusiness for reading my shorts.. and as always thank you for commenting Valleypoet , it's always good to see you on my pages bro :) bless you both


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks for stopping by Jackie and Mhatter.. and Cyndi10 you always say the kindest things bless you :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

This pierces through like an arrow. Such a tragic event would produce a lifetime of nightmares for me.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Gypsy :)


beingwell profile image

beingwell 3 years ago from Bangkok

Very moving hub. It's a very well-written piece. Good job on this frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you beingwell


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Frank,

This story has a great start, middle is descriptive and end is approving. I like your storytelling style.

Cheers


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Vin :)


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 3 years ago from Fife, Scotland

There is such an awesome tension in this story that grips from start to finish! I could feel myself tensing up through the description of the young girls trauma with the drug addict and her father's death - beautifully written but with a reality that jolts the heart and imagination like an electric shock!

I love the way you've managed to get inside this young girl's head - from her waking confusion to her memories and then making her self sleep. An awesome and beautful piece of writing Frank!!!

Shared + voted up!!!!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

seeker7 one of the best comments I had in a long time for one of my short pieces :) thanks so much


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

As often is the case I found myself holding my breath through the descrition of that tragedy. The thoughts and confusion that pass through her mind in those vital seconds are very believable. Then wanting to sleep again away from the nightmare memories and yearning for her Daddy's praise which would deny the facts


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Rosemay50 bless you


Sueswan 3 years ago

Hi Frank,

Gut wrenching! I can only imagine her fear and helplessness.

V0ted up awesome and sharing


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks so much Sueswan


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

This just pulls at the heart--you are a master at that I think--


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Audrey :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

You own this 'genre' Frank --- and did I ever mention that you're one of my favorite writers?

Frank-Hub-noir ....... that's what I call it.

These are tiny perfect 'slabs' of writing - as in morgue slabs, lol, well that's where a lot of your 'bodies' turn up .... lol

lake erie time ontario canada 8:43am


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton Author

LOL clever epi thanks for visiting Evelia Veronica :)


pochinuk 2 years ago

Frank,

Like Shannon's comment, I too embraced this sentence.

"...She couldn’t help but to feel like a lost ball in tall grass. …"

It seem to govern my thoughts giving full sway to the energy of your story.

...and somehow think I might feel a bit freaky when children misplace their playthings on the grasslands this Summer.

Thank you for fine examples of writing, and your recent challenge; I am thinking of giving suspense fiction a go!

-pochinuk


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Pochinuk.. thank you and give it a go.. what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? Is that a song? LOL


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

Frank this one tears my heart out! I mean it takes me beyond tears for that little girl. At first, of course, I thought the "Daddy" was a jerk but then oh Frank....amazing. You have such a talent!

Voted all but funny.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Surreal and chilling, this is the nightmare that would haunt us forever if it happened to someone in our family. You told a powerful story in just these few paragraphs.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Wonderful Frank...tear jerker it's true but masterfully written. Voted up.


Sky9106 profile image

Sky9106 2 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

Alright Frank , thanks for that smile, which quickly dissipated, like only you can make them do that, then that almost teardrop and then the smile tripled, especially when remembering, that I am reading the works of Mr. Frank Antanacio...always engaging and suspenseful, thanks for the thrill here .... what an intro for me...it shines, so up and away we go.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Til... two years later and it still has that effect.. LOL thanks for reading... thank you so much Pegcole... and Jodah good to see you and welcome back sky106 bless you all


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 13 months ago from sunny Florida

How many times this very scene must play out...much closer to us than we think. None of us knows the demons that haunt some....you captured the moment and made it real....

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you pstraubie for reading my shorts :)


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 9 months ago from london

Wow! You're the master, Bro. I bow to you, man. Keep going!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much manatita for checking this out

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