Marshall: A Short Story, p.1Jamie Fade / Science Fiction / Romance & Love
Marshall: A Short Story
Copyright Jamie Fade 2013
Marshall: A Short Story
By Jamie Fade
A faint shiver went through her body; he held her tighter. Although she’s arrived a month early and a smaller size was expected she still seemed unbelievably tiny, fortunately not tiny enough for her to be unhealthy. Just a few minutes ago she was crying, hollering from the end of her long laborious journey into the world but now she was quiet. He couldn’t believe he was a father, of course you wouldn’t know who he is, he is Marshall. Marshall stood now with his new daughter held in his rigid muscular arms, terrible things had been done with that arm and Marshall had the deep-cut scars to prove it but they somehow managed to soothe the baby as they rocked back and forth. Sarah looked exhausted, the ordeal of labor had finally come to end and yet she had a certain excitement about her, like the end of this journey was only signaling the fast approaching starting line to another. Marshall looked at her now, his never-ending fondness for her filled him with fuzzy warmth, a feeling that irritated and entranced him. He loved her. No matter what happened he would always remind himself that out of everything in the world he loved her the most, he loved her with a kind of love so potent and attached it would only be rivaled by the love he had for his newborn daughter. Marshall slowly walked to the mirror placed on the corner of the room. The way he looked might convince someone that he was the one who gave birth; he had heavy bags under his eyes that hung like parasites from his face, his brown hair that normally would effortlessly compliment his head (only going down to half of his forehead) was now styled in a wild boisterous mess, his hazel eyes were bloodshot and his veins were boldly visible through the skin on his forearm. Despite his aesthetic disarray he still looked handsome. Marshall knew he was handsome, he always had and he hated it. The soft brown hair, expression ate eyes, abs that stuck out from his stomach like the smooth rocks of a pond, stubble around his face that felt like luxury velvet, a chiseled chin that made him look like he was fresh out of ancient Rome and even his tall sturdy stature made it truer. Marshall hated being handsome because of the bad memories it brought him, Marshall’s long deceased father didn’t resemble him at all. His father had a thick oily mustache that smelled of motor oil, jagged teeth that crissed and crossed like the laces on a pair of shoes, a head so bald that it could blind a driver half a mile away if any direct sunlight shone on it, a slinky skinny body and a wretched voice that alarmed everyone when he spoke. Despite this his father had been good to him, or at least he tried to be, it hurt Marshall to see the shame it brought to his father when people didn’t believe they were related. Bringing shame and humiliation to somehow who always tried their best for you stacks up guilt mighty quickly. Marshall acquired most of his looks from his mother Evangeline who died when he was four, supposedly the world couldn’t handle two impossibly good-looking people existing at once, at least that’s what his father had told him. Something caught Marshall’s attention in the mirror; he looked down to see the pair of blue eyes looking up at him. He smiled. He and Sarah had picked a small selection of names for the girl. If the doctors were to ask him at this very moment what her name was he wouldn’t even have to talk to Sarah because he knew she would agree. Lots of names would suit her just fine but only one name was perfect; Emily. Emily was the name of Sarah’s mother; Sarah’s mother was the only person in Sarah’s family that approved of their relationship. Marshall couldn’t complain, his dark past and even darker secrets caused him to cringe sometimes. It would all have to change, he knew that now. There would be no more hits on corner stores, no more back alley brawls, and no more gun fights. The Suprinety Gang would have to find another member to replace him with, Marshall thought of the tattoo he had on his right arm, the Suprinety Gang’s trademark python coiled S in black and red colors. Sarah wanted him to remove but he couldn’t bring himself to do it, partially because the laser removal procedure that was necessary to do so was far out of their budget and partially because the tattoo would be a constant reminder on the man he used to be and must never become again for the sake of his family. He still remembered the night when he promised Sarah to stop. It had been after midnight when he got home to their old run-down apartment, Sarah was still pregnant then. He had just gotten back from a brawl with a rival gang, he remembered closing the offset wood door as quietly as he could to avoid waking Sarah up but the door squeaked and rattled so that being covert was impossible. It didn’t matter because she was already up. In fact she had been sitting at the kitchen table waiting for him. “How long you been up?” He had asked her. She stayed silent, like she was too hurt to speak, a certain kind of silence that was so unlike her it instantaneously made him feel ashamed. “I’m sorry.” He apologized before she could scold him, only she didn’t scold him. All Sarah did was get up holding her stomach and talk to him; she had tears in her eyes. “You’re hurting yourself.” She pointed to the bruises on his face and the pocketknife cuts on his shirt. “I didn’t do this; it was some idiot from the brawl.” He informed. “Who made you go to that brawl?” She asked. Marshall didn’t answer because she already knew. “No one made you go Marshall. I’m sick and tired of you putting your life in danger. You need to grow up and stop with this gang nonsense. I love you and you’re going to make a great father but not if you don’t live to see your own daughter.” She cried. Marshall moved towards her, wrapping her in his arms but making sure to provide ample space for the bulge in her belly. “Honey the only reason I do this is so we can have money. The gang’s dangerous but it makes the cash and right now that what we need the most.” He pleaded. Except it wasn’t the only reason he did it, he liked the adrenaline and the edge it brought to him. The dangerous life he lived was like bathing in nails and hammers that continuously chipped away at his flesh, molding him into something better than the original. Of course he restrained himself from telling her this, she didn’t need to know because she was right, whatever the reason he did what he did it wouldn’t matter because he would have to stop. She was right, he was going to be a father and that took priority, not just for her but for their baby. His daughter wasn’t going to grow up without a father. “What I need the most right now is a loving husband who’s always going to be there for me no matter what. Marshall you have to promise me that you’ll stop, please promise that you’ll stop. You can get a real job, I don’t care what it is but I’d rather be the poorest person on and be happily in love than have money while you’re risking your life.” Sarah stained Marshall’s shirt with her tears, “Please promise me.” “I promise I’ll stop sweetie.” Marshall vowed holding her close to him. He looked back down at little baby Emily; she had her mother’s eyes.