The bullet hit her square in the sternum, knocking her backwards onto the mattress. The shield had broken.

            Agony to the likes of which Grace had never known now devoured her. The pain grew from her chest and spread rapidly throughout her every surface. Blood rained into her lungs with each stifled breath. The shock from the pain was overwhelming, and hampered her ability to move her extremities.

            Grace lay dying. She was unaware that her brother was viciously beating her captor. Her mind had become completely devoid of thought. Blood had begun to spill from her mouth. She wanted to cry aloud, yet was unable to muster a sound. Each failed attempt only resulted in more pain. To struggle would be futile, for there was nothing left she could do except wait for the fear to take her. And on the Devil’s bed she waited…

             The fear never came, and her pain had begun to subside. Gentle warmness had emerged it its place. And with the warmth came the memories.

            The bedroom faded from view, and suddenly Grace laid on her back in a soft grassy field. A bright sun radiated against the crystal blue sky. Staring down from the heavens was Joan. Her golden eyes now swelled with tears. 

            Grace smiled.

            She reached upwards to the blue and attempted to say hello, yet was unable to speak. Joan pressed a finger to her lips and shook her head. The fiddler’s tears descended freely to the grass below.  

           The crystal sky had begun to fade as the warmth now reached its zenith. Grace was swept by the winds of nirvana, lifting her soul from body as the peace took her.

           She was never conscious of when the darkness took its hold. Unaware that she died wilting in her brother’s arms…


             The End