Forcing a smile on his face he lifted his hand and softly knocked on the door. He waited a few minutes with the smile still firmly held in place, but no one answered . He knocked again harder and waited, the false smile slipped off his face and he turned to leave tears gathering in his eyes. Just as he reached the rusty gate at the end of the path he heard a small click and a quiet voice mumbled out into the night.
Martin turned around and looked at his son, and this time for real, he smiled. He slowly walked down the path and knelt down so he was eye to eye with the young boy, who was remarkably tall for a Three year old.
“Daddy, where have you been, and why is your face all hairy?” he asked puzzled.
Chuckling his dad replied “Why it’s a beard Dean, maybe you’ll have one soon, you’ve grown up a lot since I saw you. You can even open the doors now!”
Dean smiled and reached out a hand to his fathers face. Attentively he touched the beard and giggled.
“I don’t want one of them things, they’re all tickly!” squealed Dean.
“Yes, it is fairly annoying, now Dean where is your mother?” He was serious now and he lowered his voice to a husky whisper.
“She’s in the bath, why, what’s wrong Daddy don’t you want to say hello?”
“No! Dean listen. You can not under any circumstances tell your mother I was here or that you talked to me, do you understand?” He reached out and grabbed Deans arm.
“umm, ok, why not?”
“Because, I don’t want her to know… what I’ve done or were I‘m going.”
“Were are you going daddy? Please don’t go, I miss you.” Deans lip trembled.
“Dean I’ve done some bad things and I’m involved with some. . .bad people. I’ve got to go somewhere and I’m really sorry.” Martin tried to hold back the tears that were threatening to fall but a few escaped and rolled down his cheeks.
“Daddy’s done some bad things and he’s going to have to go away tonight Dean, and I’m afraid that he’ll never be able to see you again, I came to say goodbye.” He openly cried now, salty tears fell into his mouth.
“Daddy please. Don’t go, I miss you, I love you.” the boy threw himself into his dad’s arms and hugged him tightly.
Martin stumbled up the path his vision blurred through tears. When he turned around the door was closed. He tore his eyes away from what used to be his son and home and carried on walking.
Before Martin even reached the end of the street he came face to face with a hooded figure.
“You either serve the dark lord, or you die.”
Martin didn’t even get the chance to utter a word before a searing green light blinded his vision.