By Esmee

- - -

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,


"They're coming!"


          "It's a raid!"

"The Shumi's are raiding!"


Mama's going to by you a mocking bird.

          "Watch out!"

"Fire! They've started a fire!"

          "Get everyone away!"

          "Run, run!"

"Take the children!"

          "I don't want to leave you!"


And if that mocking bird don't sing,


"Move out of the way!"

          "Don't stand there, run!"

          "Help me."

"Please . . . please don't hurt my baby . . . "


Mama's going to buy you a diamond ring.

          "It hurt's Mama, it hurts!"

"Where's Dannus?!"

          "Look out!"

          "Hide here, don't speak."

"Don't move."


          "Where's Daddy?"

"Mama! Papa!"


          "Move it!"

Hush, little baby, don't say a word,


"Please, please!"

          "You can't . . . !"

          "Please . . . he's just a baby, he can't harm-"


          "She's just a child!"


Mama's going to buy you a mocking bird.

          "Keep him quiet!"

"Please, please, please, please."

          "The smoke . . . !"

          "Get out of here!"

Hush, little baby,

          "Stay still!"

"They're going to find us!"

          "Mama . . . Papa . . . "


          "They found us!"


          "Please, be merciful, please I have children-"


          "Please . . . "

"Don't hurt her!"

A word.


- - -

          The old Shumi was poking through the burnt remains of a camp they had raided earlier when he heard the lusty wails of a child.

          He wandered over to where the sound was coming from and found a young looking woman, curled facedown over some sort of bundle. Using his walking cane, he nudged the woman off of the small colorfully wrapped bundle, which he now discovered the wailing was coming from. His lip curled slightly at the sight of the woman's tattooed face under a shock of matted and bloody blond hair. "Savages." He spat in a mutter, and then turned his attention on the child.

          The child's face was bright red and screwed up in an ear splitting wail. The left side of his face was tattooed in a twisting black pattern that stood out starkly against the red.

          The Shumi was now in a quandary. It didn't feel right taking a savage with him back to the village, but his sense of honor told him that it wouldn't be right just to leave it here after all it had survived.

          He sighed gustily. "Come 'long brat. Maybe I can get a good price for you." He muttered as he bent down to pick the wailing thing up. He started to head back to the village and the child kept wailing.

          It was a very long walk.

          By the time the old Shumi had reached the village proper, he was ready to just chuck the child-demon in to the nearest river and be done with it. "I never thought a child could make so much noise!" He moaned to himself. It also hadn't helped that the child had squirmed almost continually the entire time. "I swear you are going to the first person I lay my eyes on, whether they want you or not!" He grumbled at the hyperactive baby.

          He had just about made it into the village when he spotted someone. "Lady Edea! I didn't know you where here."

          Edea smiled at him, and brushed a piece of black hair over her shoulder. "Cid is here on business, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to come with him."

          He was just about to reply, when an ear shattering wail came for the child, who had for a moment been quiet, and Edea looked at the bundle he was holding with great interest. "Spawn of evil." The old Shumi muttered, eyeing the child with distaste.

          "May I?" Edea asked, holding out her arms.

          "Why would you want to?" He replied, handing the kicking and screaming child to her.

          The child, who up until then had seemed like a small demon, quieted down immeaditly in Edea's arms. His little face relaxed and he blinked sleepily at the dark haired woman.

          "He's beautiful," she said solemnly. The Shumi snorted in disbelief. "Can I keep him, or are you going to look after him?"

          "Be my guest! Keep him! I don't want him."

          "Thank you." She gentle ran her fingers over black tattoo that twisted over the left half of his face. "I think I shall call him Zell."

          "That's one of those savages words." The old Shumi snorted, disgusted.

          Edea regarded him with unreadable eyes. "It means 'Survivor'."

          "How fitting." He remarked, seemingly amused at something and then walked away into the village.

          Edea looked down at the child in her arms. "What songs did your Mama sing to you I wonder?" She asked gently. "Maybe, 'Hush, Little Baby'?" In her arms 'Zell' cooed. "Alright." She laughed, and began to sing softly,

"Hush, little baby, don't say a word,

Mama's going to buy you a mocking bird . . ."

- - -


First things first, this is my first ever FFVIII (or any RPG fic for that matter).

This is really supposed to be the epilogue to a series I'm planning on doing about how Zell got that tattoo of his.

Now to clear up a few things in my fic that may not be too clear, the first of which is this is a Final Fantasy VIII fic. Hopefully you already knew that. Second is the first half of this fic is very abstract, I wrote it this way for a reason. All the italic words are the voices of the people under attack (I'll explain about that if I ever get around to writing that Zell story I told you about) and the nursery rhyme in the first part is Zell's mother singing to him to keep him quiet so the attackers won't find them. I think that should clear up any misunderstandings.

I hope you all enjoyed it and remember; I would enjoy so constructive criticism!

Oh! And I will do requests if you ask really nicely. Ciao! ~E~