A Mother's Love

Dedicated to my own mother, her ever-lasting love for me, and all that she put up with to raise me.

"Mommy, where did Daddy go?"

"The angels took him to heaven."

"What's heaven?"

"Where everybody goes for eternal rest."

"Why did they take Daddy?"

"It was Daddy's turn to go."

"Don't let the angels take me, Mommy! I never want to leave you!"

Part 1: Mother

Such a boring, white room that just screamed cleanliness and hygienic could only be found in a hospital. With the usual equipment, bare furniture, and white d├ęcor, it could have been any other hospital room. A young comatose girl, no older than twelve, was lying in the stiff bed. A middle-aged woman, her mother, sat beside her, a worried expression on her face.

The mother's hands embraced her daughter's, occasionally rubbing a thumb affectionately across her cold flesh. The doctors had announced the girl's illness was incurable, and she only had a few days, perhaps hours, to live. The medical staff asked that the mother leave- go home, rest for a while, or get something to eat. But she refused, insisting she stay by her daughter for as long as possible. She couldn't leave, she told them, because her daughter was her only family now, and she planned on being with her while she could.

Countless time had passed without the young girl's condition improving. Yet her mother stubbornly stuck by her, hope giving her the strength to stay awake. But the sleepless hours took a toll on her human body, and it could take no more. Drowsiness set in, and she struggled to stay awake. Her eyelids drooped, and finally her head slumped forward. The caring mother's mind soon surrendered to the dreams of slumber.

Part 2: Dream (Mother's POV)

Though I didn't realize it, I had fallen asleep. Unoccupied, my mind began jumping from one meaningless thing to another in its dream-like state. Vaguely, I recalled something about a hospital and I tried hard to remember everything, but thoughts went by too fast for me to pinpoint the memory. As soon as one memory popped up, another replaced it. It was a continuous cycle of thoughts, ideas, and memories, all mixed into one chaotic dream. It was almost like tuning a radio- you know that you're searching for something particular, and each station passes too fast for you to understand it.

Eventually one thought overcame all others, as if my mind had finally found the right station. A vision appeared of a man with no distinct features. He looked like a stranger to me, but his presence seemed familiar. I could feel warmth and comfort radiating from him, and any suspicions I may have felt disappeared. His appearance halted the cycle of thoughts, and thus enabled me to remember everything. My daughter, lying on the hospital bed, sick, dying...

I felt such despair and hopelessness. This was it. After she had battled her disease for nearly a year, it had won. It was so unfair! She was so young, yet she would die shortly while I live on. There was nothing I could do about it.

'But there is something you can do,' the man seemed to say- oddly his mouth never moved and my ears heard no audible sound, yet I understood clearly. Asleep and dreaming, this made perfect sense to me and I didn't think to question it.

How? How can I help her?

'There is a way, but it comes at a terrible price. Are you willing to pay?'

Anything for her!

'You'd do anything for her to live?'

Of course! I'd do anything you ask of me if it could save her!

'Would you even die for her?'

If that's what it takes, then yes I would.

'Are you sure?'

Yes, I'm sure! Just tell me what to do!

The man in my mind thought about it for a while, as I clung to every hope that he would tell me what to do. After only a few minutes, which felt much longer to me, he answered my request.

'Yes, I think we can work something out.'

Thank you, thank you! What do you want me to do?

Instead of replying, a small dagger appeared in the man's hand, and he made a small, precise cut directly in front of him. In my mind, I saw the blade hitting nothing. But my body felt the metal slicing through the skin on my right hand, as though the man was physically harming me.

The logical part of me whispered that this was only a dream, this wouldn't help my daughter, I should wake up from this nightmare and stop this evil man from hurting me. I truly believed this would help my daughter, and everything felt so real! I felt the pain in my hand, and the blood slowly seeping out of the small wound.

'Your daughter can be saved with your own life energy, but every miracle comes with a price: you will have to pay your own life in return. Are you sure you want this?'

Yes! I'm sure!

As the pain in my hand grew worse, the vision I had of the man grew clearer until I could finally see his face. I recognized him instantly- he was my husband! He had come back as a guardian angel to protect our daughter!

Before I could even say anything, the angel disappeared. Pain overcame me, but I did nothing to stop it. I knew it was my very life being pulled out of me, transforming into life energy to help my daughter.

As occupied as my mind was with the pain and the loss of life energy, a small part of me finally realized what was about to happen. I would die for the sake of my daughter, and join my husband in heaven.

Part 3: Battle (Daughter's POV)

Looking like they had just come from a child's nightmare, an army of horrible monsters advanced towards me. Each beast was unusual in its own way- some with huge jaws and sharp claws, others with too many limbs or heads, others shifted around with no particular shape, and all of them used a variety of weapons, from guns to knives to magical spells. Evil wizards, humanoid creatures, demons, mythical beasts, and genetic monstrosities approached swiftly with their typical smirks, leers, glares, and jaunts, forming a grotesque crowd in a rainbow of colors, with only one goal- to kill me.

And, this time, they just might.

It seemed like I had been here forever, but in reality it hadn't even been a year. When I first arrived at this strange battlefield, I had known almost nothing about defending myself, had no idea where I was, or why I was being attacked. But battling for your life helps you learn quickly, and I stopped thinking about the minor details, eventually forgetting everything except how to fight. Soon enough it became easy to defeat them. Of course, before I'd had effective weapons to use against them. By now either all ammunition was used, or the monsters had learned to evade my attack. I had only my body to fight now.

The constant fighting was taking its toll on me. I rested only the few minutes between the defeat of one group and the arrival of the next, and my body was becoming weak. Minor scratches I'd received began adding up to the amount of a fatal injury, yet they still kept coming. My life would end very soon.

It was hopeless and I knew it, yet I still slid into my customary fighting stance. If I was going to go down, the least I could do was take them down with me. The army came closer, and closer, and...stopped a few yards away from me.

A creature pushed its way to the front and approached, stopping half way between the monsters and where I stood. It was a beautiful woman, with long hair and flowing robes that billowed around her. She had no demonic features, and her expression was warm and kind. I became entranced, and let down my guard.

'Come with me and rest, child. Cease your endless fighting, and give in to your body's needs,' she beckoned. I could hear her clearly, but heard no sound. However, I thought nothing odd about it at the time.

I didn't know what to do. After fighting endlessly for so long, a chance to escape was a miracle to me. Should I go? The creature before me was offering me everything I wanted, and I truly wanted to give in. But something made me think twice. There was just something odd about how perfect she appeared. Not a single feature looked out of place. Her body was the perfect vision of femininity.

I was certain she couldn't be a monster. The woman looked so pleasant and beautiful and the monsters fighting me were ugly and vicious, so surely she wasn't one of them! But if she wasn't, then what was she?

An angel? She definitely looked like one, and offering me assistance couldn't be the act of a devil. Maybe I would be right to trust in her. Have a little faith, and perhaps I would be rewarded in the end.

'Come! Follow me to eternal rest!' she called.

Hesitantly, I took a small step towards her, then another, and then I paused. Eternal rest... I suddenly recalled the conversation I'd had years ago with my mother, upon my father's death:

"Mommy, where did Daddy go?" I had asked.

"The angels took him, honey, to heaven," my mother replied.

"What's heaven?"

"Where everybody goes for eternal rest."

This creature was an angel, and she was taking me to heaven! Instead of continuing my walk forward, I took a few steps away from the angel of death. I wasn't going to fight for so long just to give up in the end!

I shook my head at her beckoning, finally seeing her for who she was- a siren, calling me to my death.

No! I won't fall for your tricks. Go away, angel of death.

'Child, why must you be so difficult? Surely you want peace after such long battles.'

I'm not going to let my mother down. She needs me more than I could ever need the anything you have to offer.

'Oh but your mother struggles alongside you. While you are here battling, she is worrying over your safety. She doesn't eat or sleep nearly enough-surely if you rest, she will too.'

Leave me alone, siren! I'm the only family she has, and I plan to stay alive for her.

'Fine, if you insist on fighting, I'll give you your battle.'

The monsters she had stopped began advancing once more. I faced them defiantly, waiting for them to come. Running as fast as they could, only seconds passed before the first wave of them hit me.

And then, I was being attacked from all over. I had no weapons, hardly enough strength to even let loose the random battle cry, and no hope to live on. I gave them a few weak kicks and punches, but they were too strong for me. My fighting spirit diminished, and I felt like giving in to their need to destroy me. Let them, and it will be over soon.

I was already badly hurt, and the wounds they inflicted upon me began taking their toll. Death was approaching. I was ready to leave this place forever. There was no hope...

Part 4: Savior

Had there been anyone in the hospital room, they would have witness an odd scene. A cut appeared on the mother's right hand, and from it, there came a strange white light. It took only seconds to gather itself into one form of pure light, and then it dived into the daughter's body, seeping in through the skin wherever there was room.

Upon reaching its destiny- a battlefield inside the daughter, filled with monsters of all kinds, and one girl struggling to fight them all- the light spread over everything. The monsters vanished instantly, and a lone siren had the time to wail in despair before disappearing completely.

Then the light merged into the figure of the mother, and she held her daughter's hand. She smiled warmly at the worn figure of her daughter, and her energy seeped out of her and into the young girl. The energy took the form of light again, and went about healing the girl's injuries. After doing so, it faded away into nothing. The daughter was now completely healthy, and staring at her mother in awe.

"I love you..." the mother whispered. Then she slowly disappeared along with her life energy, but lingered long enough to hear her daughter say, "I love you too..."

Thus, the mother gave her life to her daughter, and went on to heaven.

Part 5: End

Years later, doctors will still be puzzled as to what exactly happened. In the morning, the mother was found dead in the hospital room, while the daughter was completely healed. The only possible cause found was a strange cut on the mother's hand.

The daughter, however, knew everything. She remembered her mother's sacrifice, and the battlefield with the siren and monsters. Her mind thought about it often, but never would she tell anyone- not because she would be considered crazy, but because it was a sacred memory to her. It was a shared secret between mother and daughter, and nobody would be allowed to break that by hearing the truth.

Life continued on. The daughter had a daughter of her own. She always remembered her mother, but no longer did she mourn. Her mother made the choice to let her live, and so she did. She would make the same choice when it came to her own child, was she unlucky enough to suffer the same thing.

Another angel joined her guardian angel. They were the spirits of the mother and father, and these loving souls would always watch over their daughter and her family.