A Sign for Julio

Julio leaped to his feet.

“Dios mio, la nina!”

Emerging from underbrush at the edge of the back yard came two small figures, arm in arm, hand in hand. Both were muddy, though she more than he. Both trembled, perhaps with excitement, though he more than she. A voice yelled from the house.

Julio fell to his knees.

Madre de dios.

Could this be anything but a sign? The child was lost, and with her would have likely gone the last shreds of the mother’s sanity. The house would have plunged into darkness and chaos…well, more than it already had.

Julio slumped at the shoulders.

“Ai, mi Lavina.”

Such a miracle could only mean one thing, and that one thing tore at Julio’s soul. Salvation could be snatched out of the mouth of the devil. Redemption should be sought, hunted by the weary hero. He would return again to his home, to find the one he had left, to beg forgiveness of the one he had betrayed.

For the wrongs before leaving.

For the wrong in desertion.

For his sins in the house of madness.

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