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Fathers and Daughters
A Request Story
By William Rendfeld


   Snow lightly fell as she drove along the secluded road, her black motorcycle a stark contrast to the loose bits of white that fell from the midmorning sky. She shivered as she motored along; the coat she wore gave her some protection from the cold, but not as much as she liked. It was a relief as she pulled up to her destination.

   With practiced ease, she moved the bike’s kickstand into place and dismounted, her black boots making a crunch in the snow. Beneath her black sunglasses, her narrow brown eyes scanned the area; a cemetery. An involuntary chill went up her spine; despite it being the daytime, little light and the fresh snow did little to reduce the eeriness of her surroundings. She rubbed her gloved hands, drew her coat close around her small but curvy body, then started walking.

   Short strides took her through the gravestones, memory leading her to her destination as she removed her sunglasses and pocketed them in her coat. She knelt down before a simple marker, a small obelisk marked with the name of her beloved old friend.

   A fond, sad smile crossed Nia Black’s lips. “Hey old man.”

   Interred before her was her mentor, Kyoei. As she brushed snow off the monument, her mind reflected on the events that led to his death; her former career as a gun for hire and thief, the revelations concerning her and her family, and the life she led not to long ago. The old man been killed in an explosion, the victim of circumstance and a cowardly enemy. After the killer had been brought to justice, she’d made certain to find her guardian’s body and give him a proper burial. It was the most she owed him given all he’d done for her.  Sure, he’d been hard on her, stern on occasion, something of a taskmaster...but he was the closest thing she’d known to a father. Much closer than her real father turned out to be at least.

   Nia closed her eyes in an attempt to hold back tears, the fingers on her right hand gently taking hold of the marker.  Not even a year had passed since his passing, and every day, she found herself missing the old man. At some point, deep down, she felt like it was her fault that he was gone...the life she’d lived before then had indirectly led to his passing. And as much as she tried to put it out of her mind, the thought nagged at her.

   As she found herself in her reverie, a voice drifted into her attention. “It’s been quite a year, huh?”

   She looked up, then rose to her feet. A fair distance away, kneeling at another gravestone and brushing it off, was another young woman roughly her age, a long hooded cloak draped over her body and brown gloves over her hands. Just from this distance, Nia could tell the girl was taller than her – not unthinkable, given Nia was herself roughly five-foot-two outside of her boots, but this girl appeared at least a foot taller. Her eyes moved away from the girl to the gravestone; upon the obsidian marker was marked an ashen grey name partially obscured by the elements; “Masters”.

   “It was bad enough after you were killed. Losing you was terrible enough. Then when everything happened, and Mom and Grandma told me everything...I wished you’d been there for me. I still do. And not just because I’d lost you, but because I needed someone to help me through it. A girl needs a father, and people are stupid to think otherwise. And when Mom died...just brought everything back.” The girl’s head turned, revealing her youthful light-skinned face and deep brown eyes. “I’m sorry. Was I disturbing you?”

   Nia shook her head. “You’re alright, I don’t mind.” She gestured to the stone. “Your dad?”

   A nod. “He died five years ago tomorrow, murdered. I was thirteen.” She rose to her feet, her hand still resting upon the gravestone of her father. “I come here every once in a while, just to talk to him. Doesn’t do me much good; if he can hear me, no way can he answer back. But it makes me feel better at least.” She shook her head. “I sound like an idiot, don’t I?”

   “Nah, I know where you’re comin’ from.” Nia’s own hand found itself resting on her mentor’s gravestone idly. “What was he like? Your dad, I mean?”

   The girl smiled. “He was a good man. Grew up without a father, raised just by his mom. Had a good life; married a young widow with a kid on the way, raised me and my sister...always had time for us, always encouraged us, always kept us going, always kept us fed.” The smile widened into a grin. “I still can’t get some of his recipes right.” Her hand tightened on the marker as the grin returned to a smile. “And I can’t just let go.” She turned to face the shorter girl. “You can relate, huh?”

   Nia cast a quick glance at the gravestone she’d been visiting, and smiled despite herself. “Yeah, you could say that.”

   The tall girl smiled. “Probably the only reason that a couple of attractive young women would be stuck in a cemetery at Christmas Eve.” She turned away with a wistful smile. “Still...they wouldn’t want us to mourn forever.” She then slipped her hand off her father’s marker. “Well, I won’t take up any more of your time. It was nice speaking with you, miss...”

   “Nia.”

   “Alex.” The tall girl turned from her father’s grave and waved as she walked away towards the parking lot, a red coupe waiting for her. “Give my regards, okay?”

   Nia didn’t answer, merely shook her head at the tall white girl as she climbed into her car and drove away. It occurred to her right then that there was so much about Kyoei that she didn’t know. It probably wouldn’t have been a smart idea to ask, but still...so much never said between them. Now she’d never know...though perhaps, it didn’t matter. As Alex’s car left her vision, she turned back to the marker. “Strange kid, huh? Still, she had a damn good point.” She laid a gentle hand upon it. “I won’t be forgetting you, old man. Promise.”

   With those words, she turned away from the marker, and made her way back to her motorcycle.
:icondualmask:/:iconniablack:'s requested story. All that he asked for was a story revolving around his character, Nia Black. My initial thought with starting this story was to have her meet and spar with my own character, Alexandria Masters, but ultimately decided against it; getting to that would have been a bit too convoluted for my liking. So, thinking over what I'd read from Nia's story, I decided to do a smaller, more subdued story featuring the two with something that links them; the loss of a father/fatherly influence.

It's a little short, but I'm satisfied.
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:iconladygoth88:
LadyGoth88 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018   Writer
Another good read as always on your part Echo, it was moving and beautiful great work
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I'm just glad the person who requested it was so happy with it.
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:iconladygoth88:
LadyGoth88 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2018   Writer
That's really all that matters in the end
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:iconlonelynightrain:
lonelynightrain Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Very sad and emotional. You did a really great job with writing the story!
Very awesome job!
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks - thinking over it now, I can't help but think I could do better, but I'm still pretty proud of it. :-)
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:iconlonelynightrain:
lonelynightrain Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
You are welcome!
It is really good I enjoyed reading it!
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:iconstorm-blue:
Storm-Blue Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good story, the sentence flow was smooth and really easy to read.
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, and thanks for the fave too.
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:iconstorm-blue:
Storm-Blue Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome.
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:iconschmedderling:
Schmedderling Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007
"-the life she led not to long ago. The old man been killed in an explosion," two typos here. 'To' should be too and there's a word missing in the second half.

Beautiful amount of emotion here, I really did love it; very sweet. Great job Echo. ^_^
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Well crud...how do I keep on making these blasted typos?

Glad you liked it nonetheless however.
Reply
:iconschmedderling:
Schmedderling Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007
*shrug* It's nothing the spell checker would catch, and it's hard to search for stuff like that in your own writing because you know what it's supposed to say and your mind just fills in the blanks.
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:icondualmask:
Dualmask Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
Coincidentally enough, Nia's father is also named Alex, well, Alexander. The name is my middle name.
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
It's my middle name as well oddly enough; an interesting coincidence.
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:iconniablack:
NiaBlack Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007   Writer
That's awesome, with a world more emotion than I've been able to manifest out of my own writing. I almost shed a tear. :) Thanks a lot, I love it.
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:iconechowing:
EchoWing Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Glad you approve.
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Submitted on
September 26, 2007
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