Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Prompt 37.4 Motivations/Writers Muses

Skyes 3

Ficlet: Talk about a situation in your muse's life and their motivations for having done what they did that was in line with their personal beliefs. Even if the beliefs are controversial or out of the ordinary, or if the character had suspicions, guilt or regrets, talk about it. If they have no such inclinations toward such sentiments, explore those.

After my family died, I retreated inside myself. At first it was all I could do to force myself to get out of bed, to eat, to even face another person was unthinkable. As hard as it was, I somehow found a way to do each of those things, my Country was still at war, doctors were in short supply, though I hadn't been able to save my own family, maybe I could save someone elses. With my home gone, I lived at the hospital, I threw myself into my work, often working round the clock, sleeping only when I could no longer stay on my feet, but, it wasn't enough.

As Vukovar fell to the Serbians the hospital was over-run by soldiers, many were killed immediately a lucky few were able to escape, I was among them. I later learned that those who survived, patients, staff, and doctors alike were taken to a farmhouse outside the City where they were tortured and shot before their bodies were buried in a mass grave. Yet again, my life had been spared.

After my escape from Vukovar, I spent time in a Displaced persons camp, I couldn't understand why I kept cheating death while so many others were lost. If I had felt guilty before, it didn't begin to compare with what I felt now, unwilling to allow anyone close for fear they might become yet another casualty I pushed everyone away. Eventually, I returned to my parents home, hoping that I would find the safety there I had found as a young child, but, it was gone, and all I found were reminders of all I had lost. When the chance came for me to leave and come to the States I took it, maybe there I could finally find the peace that so eluded me in the Country I had once thought I would never leave.

With the war in Croatia over and my life in the United States a world away from the reminders of my past it was easy for me to forget the demons I had been running from. I became complacent, and I allowed myself to think I could have a chance at a normal life again. Or maybe I wasn't thinking at all, maybe that in itself was the problem on that night by the river.

The evening had started so innocently enough, a stolen kiss at work, a night out with a co-worker, dinner, drinks, if only we could have known how badly it would end. I don't know that I even thought about my actions when the mugger attacked us, I felt the blow as he hit me with the pipe, I remember hitting the ground, then there was nothing. I awoke to hear Abby scream and I knew only that I had to save her, I had to do for her what I had failed to do for Danijela and my children, for those at the hospital. I don't remember any actual thoughts, just the raw emotions and the hate directed to the man attacking her. In an instant my hands were on him, I drove him to the ground and I remember slamming his head into the pavement over and over again.

I don't remember how many times Abby called my name, I didn't even realize how close to killing him I'd come until we reached the hospital and saw them working on him. I listened to their words and only then understood that I had taken his life, I had killed a man with my bare hands, but, I had protected her, how could one be wrong while the other was right? I remember being disgusted with myself even as the police and those around me were telling me my actions were justified. My faith had always told me that all life was sacred, yet, how far would he have gone if I hadn't have stopped him? The questions were ones I would never have answers for, they were ones that would haunt me as I tried to find a name to put to the face that I'd seen stretched out in the morgue. I had taken a life, and I couldn't help but wonder how that made me any different then him.

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