PROLOUGE

14 YEARS EALIER

"Daddy no!" Faith Woods grabbed at her drunken father as he threw her bloodied mother to the floor.

"Shut up you stupid child!" he screamed and kicked her stomach. The table that had once been filled with happy meals and laughter toppled down over her mother as her father kicked and swore. Clenching her fists, Faith dragged herself towards the couch and cowered behind its structure. Tears sprang to her eyes as she watched her mother struggle to stand. Around Faith were pictures of a happy family, the family they used to be. On the floor were shattered bottles of whiskey and broken furniture.

Failing to stand, Faith's mother collapsed to the ground and began to shake with sobs. Her apron was stained with blood and dirt and her face was cluttered with fear, worry and long, wet streaks. Sketched into her arms and legs were long slivers of blood, wood, glass and dirt. Brown hair matted her head and glassy blue eyes framed her face.

"Mom…" Faiths whisper reached her and she looked up, sorrowfully grabbing at the wooden cross dangling from her neck. Mommy, Faith anxiously worried, why do you still believe in something so not real? At a time like this can you not see that He isn't here?

Suddenly a glass bottle collided into Faith's mother. Gasping, Faith stared at her father staggering drunkenly towards his wife. Faith looked away, not wanting to see her mom get hurt. A scream filled the air. Faith covered her ears, but the scream stayed. It surrounded her in pieces, biting at her ears one after another. The blood in her ears pounded, and the scars in her back felt like fire. Without warning, the scream stopped. Faith whipped around to see her mother race towards the kitchen.

"Get back here, stupid!" Her father's words were slurred and unintelligently placed as he charged after her.

Adrenaline raced through her body as Faith jumped up and followed her father. She raced around the table and stopped dead.

The moonlight filtered in through the window, shining on her mother. In the dark, she saw the glint of a knife just seconds away from his bloodshot eyes. In deathly moments the blade pierced flesh, her father grunted, and he toppled over her mother. They both fell as a lump of flesh, collapsing onto the floor with a grunt and a moan. The edge of the knife slowly poked its way out of her father and blood originated down his back,

"Ahhh!" Faith rushed towards her mom and pushed her dad aside. Her mother's eyes were closed, face drained of its color. Slowly her eyes opened and she gasped.

"Mommy! Are you O.K?" Faith anxiously eyed her mother's pale face and took her hand. "What's wrong with you?"

"Faith… I know it's hard but… this is the way it was meant to be…"

"No, it can't be. That's not right!"

"Listen (sigh)… even though it-it…didn't seem like it God… was always" Pause, "with me and protecting me…"

"No, that can't be right. Look at you, mommy and daddy and our house and Izzy… No, I won't believe it, I can't!" Faith struggled, suddenly hating this 'god' who let all this bad happen.

"Honey, it's the way He runs things… it's his way, God-"

"No!" Faith suddenly screamed and jumped up throwing down her mom's hand. Panic swarmed her, threatening to close off her throat. Why was mommy talking like this? Fear broke out with the panic, squeezing her. Her heart suddenly ached and she panted from the jump. Her mother gasped. God can't be really real or he would save mommy right now. An idea popped into her head. If God can help mommy, then I'll know he's true.

She looked up and murmured gently, "God, hi, it's Faith and my mommy is in real trouble and is hurting and so if you can help her, then I will know that you are real, but if you don't, then I won't believe in you 'cause mommy says you can do anything, but if you can't help her then I will know that you can't do anything and then I'll know you must not be real."

Looking down, Faith felt hurt grip her heart as she watched her mother gasp for air and clutch her stinging hand. Once again she knelt by her mother's side and gently took her mom's hand. "Mommy… please don't go…"

"Faith… I will always love you… and think of you don't… be angry at God… is just my time." With one last longing look, she closed her eyes. Her chest stopped moving and her hand grew cold, as she was lost in a world of spirit and death.

"Mommy no, no!" Faith screamed and buried her head into her mother's clothing. Blood pooled around her parent's bodies as a long, mourning cry from a child losing her family broke into the night.