In an alleyway riddled with trash laid a man barely conscious of this world. Beneath his back, seeping all around him was his life. He reached his bloody fingers up to trace the edges of a nonexistent face. ” Serenity, ” he rasped. ”Serenity, ” he rasped again.

The Imaginary face became a full-blown body. The womans hands reached for his hand. The illusion seemed to clasp around it in mid-air. She brought it to her lips kissing it. He could not see her eyes. ”Do you think you can make it to me. I need to know what happened. Don make me wait, papa. ” The illusion spoke as she started shaking out of existence.

He nearly lost consciousness. ”Yeah, Serenity Daddys coming. I will be over tonight as I promised. ” After speaking, he exhaled releasing a long, painful grunt. Sharp stabbing pains erupted all over his body. His already heavy joints felt weaker than before. The man Struggled to sit up, he forced his weary body to respond. Every second felt like an eternity. He would do it, The man thought. The bloody wound in his midsection continued to leak profusely. His breathing Exhilarated. Every breath consisted of sharp intakes and painful releases. Tears gathered at the corner of his eyes.

The vision of his daughter appeared again. This time she was standing with her back to him. ”You are going to die you know that right. ” The illusion faced forward as she talked.

He somehow positioned himself on all fours; his bloody hand reached out to the vision. ”Stay, ” He rasped. Pushing himself off the ground trying to stand. Only for him to fall back down.

The vision began walking away. The man forced himself to try again; this time he struggled to gain footing. The man stood wobbly, slightly rocking back and forth. The blood from his wound leaked down staining his pants and the ground. Dripping as he leaned against a dirty grey brick wall.

Every wobbly step he took absorbed every ounce of energy he possessed. His legs buckled in against the wall.

The man used one hand for the support, pressing it against the wall. Blood trailed behind him at two different places. One trail was on the ground, and the other was on the wall. He kept thinking that he will not fall, he will not fall. The man made it to the end of the alleyway. His trembling frame nearly buckled going toward the ground.

The vision of his daughter appeared suddenly to edge him on again. ” Come on dad. Come on dad. ” She laughed playfully. You can do it. ” The vision covered the ground. He began reminiscing, memories flashing before his eyes.

A sad realization stung deeper than the constant bodily aches and burning sensation. ”You are not here. ” His vision became even hazier. ”You aren even here! ” The man managed to scream as he slammed his hand against the wall. He pressed his head to the ground. His shoulders shaking as he wept.

He felt her hand on his shoulder. ” Come, home dad. Come, home dad. ” His vision kept repeating itself.

Slowly but surely, with tears filling his vision, The man stood and took a step forward. With his overexerted body and exhausted mind, he nearly collapsed. To him, everything burned.

The vision of the girl began running away from him.

”Come back, wait come back! ” He yelled after her

He tripped forward trying to run. He hit the ground and then pushed himself up. He did not want to be alone. Anything but alone at this point. He began to scurry. Blind panic set in causing him to forget about his condition. The started to run, gasping as he went. Spit slid down his mouth.

He could see her now relief flooded his veins. It slowed him down. Here he could rest. The man Rested on a street sign, as soon as he stopped, the vision of Serenity started running. He darted into the street chasing after her. Cars beeped and honked as he crossed. He collapsed beginning to drag himself through a park toward an apartment complex. Leaving trails of blood as he slid along the ground.

People began rushing to the dying mans aid. Some snapping pictures, others trying to get him to stay still. He ignored the hubbub surrounding him. He kept pressing forward as more people surrounded him. Some began screaming at him to stop moving, and to remain calm.

People tried blocking him from crawling any further. All he could see was their feet. His head moved side to side. ” Get out of my way, ” he Screamed as he continued. ”I need to make it to her . ” He tried changing his route, to press forward. Finding no escape route his hand fell on top of someones boot.

” Move! Move! ” He screeched lifting the top half of his body up. The people jumped back. Someone tried to get him to remain still. But he wasn having any of it. He found away from the group and continued on his way. His vision becoming a dull blur. He wanted to give in. He needed to give in, but he was so close to her.

He crawled toward a set of stairs leading up to the second-floor apartments. Sirens rung in the background. Just as his hand fell on the first step, his daughter was coming out of her apartment talking with someone. ” I can wait for you to meet my dad . ”

The man heard her voice and his head perked up. ” Serenity, Serenity, ” his voice at this point was no more than a whisper. ” Serenity, ” the woman she was with stoped her from going down the steps. ”Look there is a man there. ”

Serenity blinked frowning. Finally, looking down the set of stairs, She recognized his face. The pain etched on to it burned in her memory. Serenity dropped her purse and ran down the steps. ”Daddy! ” Tears were collecting in her eyes. ”Daddy whats wrong. ”

He Lifted himself up for the last time. The father managed to roll away from the stairs.

Serenity finally left the stairs and sat beside her father. Her hands hesitantly reaching for him. She saw the damage and pulled back. Her eyes were wide with tears cascading down her face. She looked at the ground. The person who was with her earlier was on the phone calling an ambulance.

”Serenity, ” The man rasped. ”Daddies sorry he won make it to dinner. ”

He reached his hand up. Serenity shaking managed to grab it and kiss it. ” Its alright; its alright. ”

She then placed his head in her lap. ” Daddy, its alright. ” After, he heard her voice his world went black.

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