Prophecy's Refrain

BY : butabara
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 777
Disclaimer: I do not in any way own FFVII or its affiliates. I make no money from writing this story.

A.N. Okay, folks! The you've all (or at least, I'VE) been waiting for! The history of Sassi Flint, revealed! The first flashback was written solely by my co-author, n3rd2u. She's my salvation lol. This story probably would have been abandoned long ago were it not for her help and influence! Enjoy and R&R!

Chapter 31

"Hey, Harmony? Have you seen Sassi?" Loz asked as he apporached the busy woman. The group was loading their packed suitcases and bags into the backs of the three vehicles parked outside the cabin.

"Not recently. Last time I saw her she was loading her bags into her truck. Have you checked her room?" Harmony answered, distracted.

"Yeah, and I checked the meadow. I can't find her."

Harmony paused, and her eyes darkened, becoming almost misty with understanding. "I know where she is." She finished putting her portion of the luggage into the van, and then grabbed his arm. "Come on. I think I might need some help with this."

!#$%^&*()

Sassi dreaded her spring break. Her classmates kept going on and on about where they were headed. One to the French Rivera, another to tour Italy. When asked about her plans Sassi spoke of Ireland and how she would see her Grandfather again. She missed him very much, but her story of crossing the ocean was just that: a story. Her father would never schedule the time off, and heaven forbid if mother and daughter took a trip without Father.

Father was always trying to cut off ties with their homeland, insisting they were Americans now. Sassi watched the clock on this, the last day before break, as all the other children were. They with excitement, she with trepidation. Time was up. She moved sluggishly, last one to leave. She didn't get on the bus today. Father had told her they needed to talk. After she had overheard her parents last fight, Sassi was leery of what his conversation would bring.

She easily spotted the Ford Grand Torino, shiny with a new coat of wax. A strikingly handsome man lounged behind the steering wheel, looking for all the world like a loving father. Sassi wished he would keep up the charade out of site of the school. She inwardly sighed as she climbed into the car. Almost at once he launched into a well rehearsed sermon. Sassi tuned him out. She could spew this particular verbal punishment word for word. All about fitting in with her American neighbors and becoming the model Catholic. His words finally drifted to a stop as he puffed up with pride at delivering a perfect speech without interruption.

Sassi spent the remainder of the drive working out the kinks in her plan. If everything went well, Sassi's mother would start to doubt her feelings toward her husband. Her thoughts were interrupted as her father made an announcement.

"I took time off this week. It's your break correct?"

"Yes," she replied with a slight question in her tone.

"I will be taking over your home study," Father commanded, "I think your mother has been lax in bible study. After all, if she was properly teaching you these incidents at school would not be happening. Your mother hasn't been teaching you the Gaelic has she?"

Sassi knew she needed to be careful here. Mother was doing just that, but part of Father's requirement for becoming American was the complete ignorance if her heritage.

"No."

Father looked at her as if he didn't quite believe the lie, but said nothing more.

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The next few days everyone was walking on eggshells. The slightest crack could set off the angry bomb inside Father. Sassi's parents would argue at every opportunity. Spurred by the simple bursts of emotion Sassi projected into her mother.

One evening Sassi came into the kitchen smelling a delicious aroma. Mother was chopping onions and crying. Not the simple tears one usually gets from the harsh plant, but stifled sobs. Sassi maneuvered to see her mother's face where a fresh bruise was swelling her cheek.

Sassi decided right then that her plan had to be put in motion tonight. The table set, everyone seated, and grace having been spoken, dinner was a tense affair- clinking of silverware against plates and the cicadas chirping outside punctuated by outbursts of anger from her father. He complained about the food, the used furniture, his daughter. Sassi picked at her food, nervous. 'Now or never' she thought, as her father's words lashed about the room.

Quick as a snake she grabbed each parent by their naked wrist. Her hands barely closed around their flesh when she released the power. Time seemed to slow. Sassi drew in their emotions. Anger flowed up her right arm from her father. Fear slid up her left to mingle with the little girls own trepidation. Sassi forced the anger into Mother and planted a double dose of fear into Father. It was high time he knew what he did to his family.

It was over in the blink of an eye. Sassi felt a wave of exhaustion try to consume her. But she forced herself not to pass out. The polarity in the room had shifted. Mother was clenching a knife, knuckles white and angry. Her head jerked up and fixed her eyes on her husband. A guttural snarl escaped her clamped lips. All at once, she leapt up and tried to vault over the table, launching herself at Father. He slid his chair back with a chilling screech of wood on tile. The chair hit the wall and tripped him as he tried to back away.

Sassi tried to cry out, but her body wouldn't respond. She watched as her mother attacked her father, making inhuman sounds. In relief Sassi noticed the projected fear slough from her father, like a black energy being sucked into the ground. She waited for the same to happen to Mother, but the energy didn't dissipate. Sassi's last image before her exhaustion over took her was her father trying to fend off a mad woman's steak knife.

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Sassi woke to the high chime of crashing glass. She was huddled under the dinner table, cold tile supporting her cheek. Another crash of shattered glass pulled her attention to the far side of the kitchen. Mother was in the process of emptying the cupboards and hurling any object she could find at the closed door that lead to the living room. Mother was hurtling curses and foul words along with the glass. Sassi began to shiver with shock. She scuttled further under the table, back pressed against the wall and knees drawn up to her chest. The keening of a police siren halted Mother's next throw.

"Fucking asshole! You called the police? Too cowardly to face your poor simpering

wife? By all means, let them come in! I'm sure they would love to hear what you've been doing to your darling family!"

Red and blue lights bounced methodically through the kitchen's sliding glass door. Sassi could hear the slamming of several car doors. How many squad cars did they need? Men's voices came muffled through the window and dark figures were outlined by the flashing lights. Sassi's mother mumbled, eyes narrowed, rifling through a drawer. The glint of metal caught the girls eye and Sassi could see her pale reflection in the broad flat side of the large blade.

A sharp rapping broke Sassi's trance. A peace officer was knocking on the glass door. Mother hid the blade behind her back as the man spoke.

"Mrs. Flint, this is officer Gates, your husband is concerned for your daughter, where is the girl?"

"My daughter, MY daughter. Is she not his too?" she shouted back.

"Mrs. Flint, open the door and we can settle this peacefully. Your daughter would be safer out here. No one needs to get hurt." he replied

Sickly sweet Mother rounded on Sassi, "Little bird, would you open the door?"

That tone sent chills down her spine. Yet she did as asked all the same. Once the handle was unlocked Gates pulled it open and herded Sassi outside with a hand on her shoulder. He placed the girl behind him and Sassi noticed his other hand was poised on the handle of his pistol.

"Mrs Flint I'm going to need to see both your hands." Gates said. "Both hands empty and at your side"

"Where are you taking my girl? Don't give her to HIM. Whatever he has told you, it's a lie!" Mother spat.

"Final warning, hands empty and at your side!" Gates commanded. Sassi began to shake again, she had a feeling this would get worse if she didn't stop it. Three more officers were in battle formation behind her. Sassi darted toward her mother, intending to suck all emotion from the deranged woman. The girl knocked Gates slightly and her mother saw that as the time to strike. The woman slashed the air centimeters from the policeman's face.

"Mom no!" Sassi screeched. Clamping her hand against exposed flesh the child began to seep the anger from her parent. At that moment Gates large hand tugged Sassi's arm. 'No!' she screamed internally as the power flowed in the same manner as earlier. The process was halted halfway through as backup arrived and tore Sassi away, dragging her to a squad car. A shriek tore the night air, sounding eerily like a screaming panther followed by a short blast as a gun was fired.

"Mommy! Mooooommmmyyy!" Sassi yelled, straining the limits of her voice. She struggled against the arms holding her, but an eight year old girl was no match for a grown man. Sassi cried herself hoarse in the deathly silence that filled the area.

!#$%^&*()

"Sassi?" Harmony's voice jolted Sassi from her disturbing memory. She turned around to find her coven-sister and Loz standing a few feet away.

"Oh, hey Hari."

"Are you okay?"

Sassi thought about her answer. 'Am I okay?' She wasn't sure. This place had a deeper meaning to Sassi than any other place North America. She hadn't meant to be here so long, to lose herself in thought as she had... but she wanted to see it again. She had a feeling that this might just be the last time she saw this place, or the cabin, either.

At Sassi's silence, Harmony understood the thoughts rolling through her mind. She nudged Loz forward, encouraging him to go to Sassi's side. As he did, Harmony slowly slipped out of sight. She knew that nothing she said could make Sassi feel better right now, but maybe, just maybe, Loz could.

!#$%^&*()

"Hey." Loz said, resting his gloved hand on Sassi's bare shoulder. Even though the touch was feather-soft, it still made Sassi flinch.

"Hi." She answered blandly.

"Wanna talk about it?" He pressed.

Sassi chuckled ruefully. "Are you going to keep pushing until I tell you, even if I don't want to talk about it?"

"Yeah." He answered simply.

So Sassi sighed and launched into the tale of her untrained power and the death of her mother. When she was finished, she looked at Loz, surprised to find tears leaving pale tracks down his slightly dusty face.

"I'm sorry." He said. Suddenly, as though a switch had been flipped, he became almost violently angry. "What happened to your father? Is he still alive?"

Sassi had a feeling that if she answered in the affirmative, he wouldn't be for long. Luckily, that wasn't the case.

"He's dead. Ten years ago."

"How?" He just wouldn't let it drop!

"I don't want to talk about it, Loz."

"Tell me!"

"Why do you need to know?"

"Because I want the satifaction of knowing whether or not he suffered as much as he made you suffer!"

Sassi blanched. "Stop Loz. Please. You have no idea."

"You're right, I don't. That's why you need to tell me!"

Okay, now she was pissed. "You want to know what happened so badly? Fine. I'll show you!"

With that, she thrust her hands out and planted them on Loz's bare chest. With little thought for how he may react to her power of projection, she forced her memories to the surface, over-riding his thought process and shoving his consiousness into the back of his mind.

!#$%^&*()

"She's a real pretty one, Jimmy. Real pretty." Crooned her father's business partner. Her father and the man had been drinking nonstop for nearly three hours, and Sassi was becoming agitated. With eery shot, the man - Johnny, she remembered - became more and more enamoured by her. He had already pinched and grabbed her hind-end twice when she walked by to pour their drinks.

"She's just a stupid bitch. You can have her if you want." Her father answered with a slur. Sassi froze in panic.

"You hear that, beautiful? You're one lucky little lady. Your Daddy cares about you enough to let his best friend take care of you." He reached for her and roughly dragged her into his lap, planting wet, disgusting kisses along her shoulder as he pulled her shirt off to the side.

With every brush of skin, Sassi was given sickening glimpses into his twisted mind. Visions of her spead out on a bed, him on top of her, abusing her teenaged body. Of being tied down while he forced his-

"No!" She cried, beginning to struggle. A lucky shot to the chin had Johnny dropping her onto the floor.

"Not very well behaved, is she?" He snarled, turning a glare to Sassi's father.

With a fierce growl, Sassi's father, humiliated that she would disobey him before his peer, grabbed her by the shoulder and hauled her to her feet, forcing her into the den where he could punish her away from prying eyes.

Jimmy Flint was always very careful when he 'punished' his daughter. He wore gloves, always, to keep her demons from penetrating his mind. This time, however, the mixture of alcohol and outrage drove him beyond the point of reason and he raised a bare handed fist high above his head, bringing it down across Sassi's cheek with furious force.

Sassi cried out, screaming and begging, her pleas only seeming to infuriate her father even more.

With the next blow to her bruised and bloody skin, Sassi's retro-cognitive ability picked up the thoughts she feared the most.

'No more! Demon from Hell! Her fault! All her fault! Witch! Witch! WITCH!'

Her connection ended with the vision of her broken and bloody on the floor, eyes open but unseeing, blood pouring, but heart not beating, lungs no longer straining for much-needed air.

Terror overtook her, and she did the only thing she could think to do. The one thing she had not yet attempted. With a desperate push, she kicked her father off of her, gaining her feet. She didn't even look behind her to see if he was following her as she ran. She didn't know where she would go. how she would survive in the desolate forest, but she did know that she would rather be killed by the elements, than be turtured to death by the man that called himself her father. Tree branches scratched bleeding lines across her cheeks as she stumbled through the darkness, large, thorny bushes leaving gashes in her bare feet.

'Oh, please, God, no!' She sobbed internally. Ahead of her, the ground gave way to a towering drop. She had no where to go.

Hearing her father crashing a cursing behind her, she thought desperately of a way to survive. Before she could form a rational plan, her father was on her again. She struggled in his grip, both teetering on the edge of the cliff. Sassi tried with all her might to push the evil and hateful thoughts that seeped from her father to her out of her mind.

She didn't know why she did it.

Looking back, she realizes that she meant only to share her pain with her father before he expelled her from this world.

Her hands gripped his wrists in a iron hold. He struggled, somehow knowing that the tables had suddenly turned in her favor.

Taking a deep breathe, Sassi steeled herself and pushed.

All of the saddness. All of the fear. The hatred. The physical torture. The emotional scars. Every moment of the Hellish existence that Jimmy had put his daughter through in the fifteen years of her life all crashed together in one half-second.

Jimmy screamed, yanking himself from his daughter's grasp. Sassi watched in horrified fascination as her father crumbled to the ground, his head in his hands and wailing like a banshee.

His screams were mostly incoherent, but Sassi could pick out a few words. Mostly curses, and then pleading. Pleading for it to stop. For the pain to go away. For forgiveness. For mercy. For "Please, I'll never do it again, just make it stop!"

But Sassi could not, would not make it stop.

After agonizing minutes had passed, her still shrieking father managed to gain his feet, stumbling in zigzags and shaking his head, trying to rid the vicious memories and emotions once more.

For the first time, Sassi felt a different kind of fear. This time, not of her father, but rather for her father as she watched the man stumble closer and closer to the edge of the cliff. She reached out with a gasp, a last minute effort to catch his flailing arms as his already-unstable balance was lost.

Her scream echoed throughout the forest as Jimmy Flint slipped from view, crashing to his doom two-hundred feet below.

!#$%^&*()

Loz gasped as Sassi yanked herself away from him. Tears were streaming down her face, her whole body shaking with rage and anguish at having to relive that memory.

"There," She spat as his panting form. "You're not crazy, and you know what happened." She began to stomp away from him when his hand grasped her wrist.

"Wait!" He pleaded, "I'm-"

"Sorry?" She cut in, her Irish accent again making it nearly impossible to decipher what she was saying. "Maybe next time you'll listen to me and leave me the hell alone!"

Loz could only watch, tears threatening to fall once more as Sassi slipped through the foliage, leaving a very confused and apologetic Remnant at her back.



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