It had been a long day. But a good one. The way everyday should be really.
Breakfast, leave the mess til later, then straight out with the family. The 3 of them. Making the most of the freedom that they had for the next few hours.
But that was the advantage of living so remotely. That you could just get up and go. That and safety. Safely away from the people who had wanted to hurt them.
They had done it all. Walked, climbed, chased, splashed in the river. He had fished while his baby and love had slept by the river bank. The memory alone was enough to make him smile.
But it was getting dark. And cold. They should get home. Back to the warmth and safety of the house they had built to get away from it all.
But something was wrong.
He paused. He didn't know what it was but as he approached the clearing he was aware that something had changed.
'What's wrong my love' she said, clutching their child in her arms.
'I'm not sure' he replied 'just something feels. I dunno. Just not right?'
His suspicions rose as they got closer. The lights were on in the house. Their house. Their sanctuary.
No. NO! No more running. He had had enough.
'Stay here, keep the baby quiet. I'll sort this'
She was scared. Worried. She had never seen such anger in his eyes but she knew she couldn't stop him.
'Stay safe my love' and with that he was gone. Silently though what was left of the woods and into the clearing.
She was amazed that despite being so big he could be so stealthily. Her love. Her protector.
He opened the door. Silently into his home.
The kitchen was trashed. The breakfast bowls dumped on the floor. Whoever was in his home had been ransacking it. Looking for something.
He stood still. Listening. Clues. He needed to figure out where they were. He had one shot at this. If he got it wrong...
Deep breath. He thought of his lover. His baby. The life he had rebuilt after the shooting. The wound aching as a reminder.
Upstairs. They were upstairs.
So be it. They would be trapped. This could be in his favour.
Silently, swiftly, he was up. He paused. One chance. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. Where. Where were they?
They were in his fucking bedroom.
The rage built til there was no reason left in his body, the adrenaline pushing him forward, crashing through the door.
In seconds the intruder had been located. They were his.
The child with the golden hair screamed briefly as the bears jaws clamped round her throat. She didn't stand a chance.
'Last time you eat my porridge, bitch'
With that he carried her still twitching corpse to the kitchen. His family would eat well tonight.