The Day You Slipped Away Part 3

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Part three of The Day You Slipped Away.

Submitted: December 04, 2015

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Submitted: December 04, 2015

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The Day You Slipped Away: End

“Dammit… Just let me go… I need to get back to them, for god’s sake!” The blue chain on my right wrist was stronger than the orange one on my left, and it was the same with my ankles. I was able to break free of the orange chains that bound the left side of my body, whereas the blue chains were strong and the more I struggled to get lose the more my wrists and ankles bled from my efforts. I finally gave up and fell into the blue pit of my depression, while the orange pit of my happiness remained empty.

 

Blinking, I picked up a wet white rose that had been affected by the morning rain, sniffing it gently. To me, every flower smells like pollen, except a rose. If love had a smell, I imagine it’d be the sweet and tender scent of a rose. I like to think of certain things and give them smells. Most people would say that Death smells horrible, like five week old trash, while Life smells pure and simple, like a freshly baked vanilla cake. I, personally, think it is the opposite, for, as I said before, Death is truly the better thing, and it is no secret that I do not like Life.

My own smell would be like delicious caramel, or at least I’d like to imagine it would be. I think I only want it to smell like that because the word “Karma” reminds me of caramel. Or perhaps it’d change depending on if I was giving punishments out or rewards. When I deliver a punishment, I probably smell like home brewed beer. I do not know about you, but I hate that smell, much like I hate delivering my punishments. On the other hand, I’ll smell like cherry blossoms fluttering in the wind when I deliver a reward… One of my favorite smells and things to do.

Love came forward, a hand on her now bloated stomach. In order to save you the boredom in a large period of time where nothing really happened, I have skipped forward seven months. The baby was able to kick now, and it frequently did at night, and we knew it was a girl. We had agreed on Annabelle for the name. It was a name that we both felt resembled purity, simplicity, and innocence, all of which we hoped our unborn daughter would posses. We were quite excited for the new baby, to say the least.

She kissed my neck softly, grabbing the white rose gently from my just as white hand. “They’ve bloomed beautifully this year.” I nod, wrapping my arm around her shoulder once she sat next to me. “Yes, they did. They are almost as beautiful as you. Almost.”

She grinned and put her head on my shoulder, her arms wrapped around my torso in a tight embrace. “Is Thomas awake yet, Love?” “Yes… Woke up about ten minutes ago. He’s in the kitchen drinking some hot cocoa. He got all excited when I told him that it might snow today and he insisted on drinking the ‘drink of snowy days,’ as he put it.”

I chuckled lightly. “I personally prefer apple cider on snowy days. Always makes me feel warmer than hot cocoa does.”

“I like hot cocoa with a little bit of milk in it. Just a tiny droplet, though. It tastes delicious.”

“We are all so different…”

“But it is that difference that makes us able to stand each other. If we were all the same, we would go insane. We’d all want to do the same things at once when someone was already doing it… It’d be Hell.”

I never thought about it this way. I had complained about us being so different before really thinking about the significance this had on our daily lives and society. If we were all the same, we would like the same things when the things we didn’t like or desire would go extinct. We would be doing the same thing day after day and, eventually, our society would crumble. If we lived in a Dystopian world where everyone was the same and equal, it would truly be a living Hell.

I put my hand on her belly and felt a small, light kick, which caused me to smile. “Little Annabelle seems happy…” Love puts her hand on mine, closing her eyes and enjoying a slight breeze that blew through our garden. “I cannot wait for our little girl to be born… It’ll be the start of our eternal life together.” Love’s words made me very sad all of a sudden. Since I was human when Thomas was conceived he turned out as such… But Annabelle was to be one of us. She’d probably even take Love’s place when she was older, unless Love didn’t allow it… But Thomas was human, so he would eventually grow old and die… And Annabelle would stay the same once she hit twenty one years of age.

“Annabelle won’t… Die, will she?”

“Of course not. She’ll be fine throughout the childbirth. Why would you ask that, dearest?”

“No, no… I didn’t mean just through the childbirth. I meant… Ever. She cannot die since she will be like us, right?”

Love, realizing what I was talking about, looked down and shook her head. “No… No, she will not.”

“And Thomas… Will?”

Love snapped her gaze back to me and took my hands into hers. “Exodus, don’t think like that!”

“How can I not?” I stood, pacing through the green grass of the garden. “In time, my own son will be older than me. Granite, it will take some time… But still. A son older than his father…? That’s impossible, or at least it should be!”

“Well… What do you want me to do, Exodus? I cannot make him one of us. That is impossible, and even if it wasn’t, it’d be like damning him to a life of sorrow and many hardships.”

“So have we damned Annabelle to that life too, then?”

“...No, darling. It is the only life that she will ever know, she won’t know the difference of the two lives. She’ll be fine, Exodus.”

“What exactly is your definition of ‘fine?’”

“Exodus…”

“You remember what you said? When you found out you were pregnant with her? Oh, what depression you held in your eyes that day…!”

She said nothing; Just stared at the red tulips that were planted in front of her… So I kept going.

“You said, ‘We have doomed ourselves and this baby.’ Those were your exact words, or at least close to them. We have damned Annabelle to the same life that we live. Ah, what horrible parents we are…”

She opened her mouth to speak but just gave up and walked away, not being able to deal with what I was becoming anymore. I felt the blue chains get stronger and the orange ones get weaker. I was changing greatly during this time, and only now do I realize it… Looking back on everything does make you see things from a different perspective. I’m not the same person I was at the beginning of the story. I’ve done a lot of changing, both mentally and physically (I no longer wear a vest for… Certain reasons. Certain reasons being imagining his little hands tearing it… The little hands I miss so much.) and I often wonder if my changing was a good thing or not? What do you think, my dear reader? Looking at the first portion of the story, then the second, and eventually this one, do you think my changes were for the best… Or for the worst?  

I stayed in that garden for another hour and a half before it started to snow, Thomas running out to me in his scarf and mittens. “Hi daddy! It’s snowing!”

“Yes it is, little man.”

He sat on my lap, trying to catch snowflakes in his covered hands. He had grown a lot in the past seven months and had turned nine as well. I was proud of him, to say the least. His hair was darkening as his eyes were doing the opposite, a few freckles beginning to appear on the bridge of his cute little nose. His voice was also changing slightly, but not enough to even really notice it. He stuck his tongue out and when a snowflake landed on it, his eyes lit with a certain delight that made me smile, swallowing the delicate creation of Mother Nature. “Daddy, I’m cold…” Those words kind of terrified me. My mind flashed back to when he was still sick at Euphoria’s, the first time I met him. The first words I ever heard him say in that gorgeous cockney of his: “I’m cold…” That was right before he died from the sickness I gave him. I still feel horrible for that.

I wrap my arms around Thomas, holding my son close to my chest. “Better?” He nods. We sat there as the fog rolled in, snowflakes falling harder and faster than before. After a few minutes, I saw a figure come toward the gardens in the cloudiness that now surrounded us. I stood slowly, setting Thomas down behind me once I realized who it was. Life grinned as she looked at me, then Thomas. “Hello there, Exodus. Thomas.” She nodded to my son. “Long time no see.”

Thomas must have realized who she was as well, because he made a small whimpering noise and grabbed onto the sleeve of my black coat. “Thomas… Get inside of the house with your mother.” It took him three seconds flat to get inside the house and slam the door closed.

“You get away from my house and my family.”

“Oh hush now, Exodus… I merely came to congratulate you and Love on the baby that is to be born soon.”

“How did you know about that?”

“Ahh have you forgotten already, Exodus? Who gives life to all human and animal offspring? Who sprouts trees, flowers, and other kinds of plants everyday? Me, cousin. I was with you in the bedroom that night. I helped Little Annabelle be conceived.” She grinned, “But will Annabelle even live that long?” She shook her head slowly, “We’ll just have to wait and find out, won’t we?” “You will not touch her!” “Oh don’t worry, Exodus. I won’t, but…” She puts her hands behind her back innocently, that same mischievous grin coming to her face yet again, “...I cannot control what Death does, now can I?” I scowled, letting my anger show itself freely on my face.

“Dammit Life… Why can’t you just be nice for once in your life and leave us alone? It’d be a lot easier on us and you.”

“Yes, it would be… But I find that when I do that, my life suddenly becomes boring.”

I sigh, frustrated. “What do you want? What do I have to do or give you for you to leave us alone?”

Chuckling, she began to circle me, “Come back to us at Yun Gong. You do not belong down here on Earth with the humans, whether you were once one or not, and you should have learned that from what happened with Euphoria. Leave Love, Thomas, and Annabelle to fend for themselves. They are better off without you anyway.” “What… Do you mean?” “We are only after you, the Traitor of Yun Gong. There was a time when we were after her, but the crime you committed was greater than hers. Wherever you go, we will follow you… If you stay with them, you are only dragging them into a battle that is not theirs. They will never live the life of peace that they so rightly deserve. You’ll be dragging them into Hell right along with you.”

I thought about the conversation I had with Love earlier… About damning Annabelle to the very life that we had lived.

“I’ll… I’ll have to think about it.”

“Of course. I’ll be back in a week for your decision, Exodus.”

My black hair was streaked with white in various places from the rapidly falling snowflakes. My fingers were turning numb as I stood there for quite a while, thinking in the snow. It is the best place to think, after all. Nothing makes me come to my senses like the tight yet gentle embrace of the Cold. Both choices seemed obvious ones to make, but… I had to choose just one in the end. Seems like a great portion of my life (Or, at least, this story) was about “choosing just one.” I did eventually come to a decision, and yet… Who was I to decide? Maybe they wanted to fight it out with me? Perhaps they should have decided… In fact, I know that they should have. It was foolish of me not to give them a choice.

Another ten minutes or so passed before Love came running out to me. “Thomas told me that Life was here… What did she want?”

I hesitated, noticing how weighed down the pearly white roses looked with all of that snow piled on top of them. How could I even say it…? “I… I have to leave, Love.” The look in her eyes said it all.

“...I know.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” She grabbed my hand, but not gently like usual, “It is what’s best for our family.”

“Then why do I feel so horrible…?”

“Maybe because Annabelle will be born soon. Maybe because of Sorrow. Life has crept her way into your mind like a child sneaking down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. There is no way to get her out of there now. We caught her too late. She got away with eating something.”

“Oh, but Love-”

“So leave our family and our past behind. It obviously doesn’t matter to you. ‘To Hell with it,’ right?” She chuckles cruelly, but whether it was an intentional cruelness or not, I could not tell. “Leave us in true Exodus fashion.”

I was hurt, but I tried not to show it. I have no idea if I actually succeeded or not. “Love, trust me, it isn’t like that… I’m just trying to…” It was of no use. She was gone already, stomping her way to the house and slamming the door closed… Almost as if she was slamming the door on our relationship. “...Protect you.” Ahh, Hell.

Once again, I felt the world go cold around me and my fingers go numb. My throat began to turn dry so I swallowed some saliva in order to wetten it some, only to fail, just like with most things in my life. Why was my whole world falling apart so quickly? Was it because I hadn’t changed at all and was still the same selfish being as I was when I had met Euphoria? I began to miss her more than ever.

“Oh… Oh Love… I am so sorry…”

I wanted desperately to weep, for my eyes to turn into rain clouds, and perhaps, more than anything else, to die. Dearest reader… Have you ever felt that way? You lose someone you love more dearly than any other, and you want them back so desperately that you could die just to get their attention? That soon turns into insanity itself and you become suicidal in no time. I turned into that person. The man who was turned into an insane, suicidal one because of the love he lost. I felt horrible and depressed, more so than usual, which is saying something… I felt sick again.

Swaying ever so slightly, I began to make my way back to the house. I grasped the knob and it burned my hand. I quickly released it and growled lightly, kicking the door down. I was at the point of not caring anymore and I was actually looking forward to leaving. If only I knew what actually awaited me at Yun Gong… I would not have been so eager.

I went into the kitchen and hugged Thomas, who was drinking more hot cocoa. “Is she gone now daddy?” “Yes. She is.” “Oh thank God,” he seemed to melt in my arms as relief overtook him, “I thought that she was going to take us again!” “She was very close to doing so.”

He looked up at me with my own blue eyes. “Is something wrong, daddy?” He had used his incredible ability of reading people on me. “...Yes, Thomas. Yes, something is very wrong.” I only tightened my embrace. To my surprise he asked no further questions, only buried his face into my chest, which was wet from the snow. “Is she taking you away from me?” “In a way, yes. I’m leaving Thomas. Voluntarily.” “No daddy! No!” He grabbed my arm. “I will not let you leave me again!”

Maybe I didn’t realize it before, but I suddenly understood something: History was repeating itself. The events that were taking place were the same ones that had taken place back when Thomas was born and Life interfered. My cousin doesn’t like whatever was happening. She then forces her way into the situation and starts to slowly take control, like a puppet master. Whoever is involved has their very life crushed and destroyed by the being who gave it to them in the first place. She then has full control and goes on to live her meaningful, yet unhappy life. It is a sad process, really. If I was able to even feel anything for my bitch of a cousin, I’d feel quite terrible for her. However, since I felt nothing for what she had become, I feel that she deserved the saddening life that she had gotten herself, and perhaps even more. Was it wrong of me to feel this way, and still feel this way as I write this? No, probably not… I’m sure that you, dear reader, see eye to eye with me on this, if anything. I began to wonder… How did Life handle it all? She was slowly dying, though not in the way that you would expect. She was ever so slowly killing herself, and she would soon perish as she was engulfed within Love’s bright and radiant fire.

Though Life may have perished in such a way (Does this count as a spoiler?) she was no apple. She was a Forbidden Fruit that embodied sin itself and wasn’t supposed to even exist in the first place, for she caused more problems than she did solutions. I, on the other hand, played the role of Adam, while Love played, almost too well, the role of Eve. I was able to escape the wrath that was caused when Eve and I messed with the Tainted Forbidden Fruit… Eve, however, was not so lucky.

 

That night I went into the bedroom that Love and I shared, laying on the bed. She had already done so, but as far as sleeping went, I was almost certain that she was faking. I wrapped my arm around her slim waist, scooting closer to her ever so slightly. “I’m sorry…” She didn’t respond for quite a while, which led me to think that she really was asleep or simply just hadn’t heard me, so I repeated myself. “I’m sorry.” To this, she rolled over and looked at me. “You’re sorry for a lot of things lately.” “Well… I find that when regarding an argument, the man must always apologize unless you want to face the wrath of the woman for the rest of your life.” She rolled over, uninterested. “So this apology is not a sincere one, then.”

“I guess not. After all, why should I have to apologize for something I have to do? You’re just like Life… Expecting things you will not obtain.”

She stood angrily and slapped me, her eyes wide and burning with anger. “How dare you compare me to the woman who is trying to tear our family apart?!” She placed a hand on her stomach, “I am trying to bring us all back together, whereas you constantly resist because you want to leave!” She had tears in her eyes as she grasped my hand and placed it on her swollen belly. “Do you feel that? That is our baby. She loves you just like I do, so why must you leave us? Is it because you love us? Is it because you do not desire us to get hurt? Well, have you ever taken into consideration that maybe we want to fight with you? Maybe we want to hurt for you, because our battlescars and bruised bodies will be proof of the love we held for you! Please, Exodus… Please don’t leave us anymore!” I stared at my now weeping beloved and knew what I had to do… I was to stay and stay forever.

 

That week went by faster than other week in my life had. Sure enough, Life came to either retrieve me or declare war. One thing I have failed to mention: Life never breaks her promises. She grinned at me, wearing a thin, skin tight dress that was as white as the snow, if not whiter, her long brunette hair in a braid that hung over her right shoulder. She wore a magnificent silver headdress along with plenty of silver necklaces, bracelets, and rings. She was calm and cool in the cold environment, one that fit her well due to her heart being cold as well. If you can imagine the goddess Aphrodite in all of her beauty and glory, you’ll have my gorgeous cousin. “Hello Exodus. It’s nice to see you again.”

“The feeling’s mutual.”

She clung onto that grin with the fierceness of a young child holding onto their most beloved toy, or of Thomas clinging onto his hot cocoa. If I could have slapped it off her face, or take it and throw it aside, I would.

“I have come for your decision.”

“No shit,” I was becoming more foul mouthed with each day that passed, “What else would you be here for? To dispose of me?”

“Well, that is more likely than not…” She took a seat on the bench in the middle of our garden, patting the spot next to her. “Come and sit with me.” I did so, for curiosity had taken over me.

“You are just a baby, you know that right? Compared to us, who are millions of years old, you are only nine, not counting your humans years. You do not stand a chance if we all come at you at once.” “I know that. I am not stupid, Life.” “No… No, you are far from it. Anyone who simply looks at you would know that. You keep yourself physically fit, as one can tell from the muscles you possess on your arms, legs, and stomach, though not the same can be said about your mental fitness. You have been sharply dressed most of your life until recently, with you giving up your silky and smooth vests. Your hair has always been trimmed neatly and you despise facial hair, like most women. Your incredible good looks match your smarts quite well… And yet, I am most disappointed in you.

“I expected much more from you and I didn’t get it. Why is that, Exodus? Why haven’t you done things at your full potential? Because you’re in love, and love distracts you from things. Both the feeling and the being, in this case.”

I sighed, quite exhausted from her little “lecture.” “That’s great. Are you done now?”

“Exodus why don’t you listen?!” She stood and, as much as I tried, I could not ignore her figure in that dress. “You’re so ignorant… I often wonder why I love you so much. Why do I care about you so much?” I looked up to meet her eyes, which were clouded by… Real tears? How unusual, especially for Life. That’s when I felt the orange and blue chains appear on my wrists and ankles. She grabbed the orange one, which shatters when it comes in contact with her fair skin. “Your happiness is so frail that the moment someone pokes at it…” She gets closer to me, “...It falls apart.” She tugs on the blue chain but, no matter how hard she yanked or pulled, it would not break. “Yet… Your sadness is so strong.” She drew a quivering breath and plopped down next to me, leaning her head on my shoulder as she continued to weep her very real tears.

What was going on? Why was Life suddenly having a break down? Perhaps she was tired of living her exhausting lifestyle…? I must say that at this time she and I had a conversation that made me sorry for killing her.

“Life… I’ve never seen you like this before. What game are you trying to play?”

“This is no game. I’m tired of playing such things, my dear Exodus,” She wrapped her arms around me, “Aren’t you?”

“If you've come here to seduce me in order to get me back up at Yun Gong, you can just forget it.”

“No, Exodus. I will not force you back up to our cloud palace. That is your choice to make and yours alone. But…” She looked up at me, “...I have come to tell you something.” She sat up straight, flattening out her skin tight dress. She started to say something many, many times but always ended up stopping and sobbing some more, causing me to pat her back in order to comfort her. Never in a million years would I be prepared for what she had to say.

“I take great pride in my line of work,” She finally managed to say, “It is true that, in a way, every living and breathing thing is my child. With that said, I have millions of children all over the world that aren’t even really mine, for they have different mothers. Most of them are dead and gone, taken from me by my brother. When I think of it that way, it makes me sad. But you were different. You are special.”

“I don’t see how.”

“Of course you don’t. You wouldn’t anyways, since you don’t remember your human years.” She then went on to talk about something that seemed completely off topic to me at that time. “You see, there was a reason I did what I did to Love and Thomas. I wasn’t just trying to be a bully, like you assume. I did it out of pure jealousy. If I had to give up my human baby, so did she. It wasn’t fair that she was able to keep her baby when I had to give up my own years earlier.” I froze, staring at my cousin… In time, I’d come to know her differently. “Wait, what? You had a baby? A human baby, just like Love? You were forced to give it up? When? How long ago?” “Just take your age and you’ll know how many years ago it was.” My heart skipped at least three beats and my eyes widened, shocked. “No… No, this can’t be…”

She smiled gently, sadly. “Your father was human, so when you were conceived, you turned out just like him. You were our precious little boy. Yet… If the Forces found out…” She hung her head in shame, “I left you with your father, who died when you were at the age of five from a severe illness. I visited you periodically up until then, telling the other Forces that I was just doing my work. I stopped once your father passed, and what became of you then, I do not know.”  

“You’re my… Mother…”

“Yes. Once I found out you were the one who had impregnated Love, I had to turn you into Karma. I had to keep you closer to me. But… I also had to erase your memory so that you wouldn’t give away to the other Forces that you were my son. I’m so sorry, Exodus…”

I was shaking slightly, sitting there in a rather uncomfortable position. My cousin… Was my mother… My cousin… What? I just stared at her with wide eyes, for what else was there to do? “Um… I uh… I…”

“Don’t know what to say? Speechless?” She sighed tiredly, “Yes, I know. It is a lot to take in. I am sorry that I left you. At least Thomas was a baby when Love was forced to give him up to Euphoria, so he didn’t remember you or her…” She started tearing up again, “You were five. You’d often cry for me at night.”

“I’m kind of sorry I didn’t remember you…”

“It’s alright. I am the one who took those memories from you, do not forget. Anyways, we’ll need to… Put all of this behind us if you decide to stay, like I assume you will.”

“Yes, I have to stay at least until Annabelle is born. Please mother… Reach inside you and find your humanity, or at least some sort of sympathy. I know you have it deep within you. Thomas and Annabelle are your grandchildren. What if they lose their father or mother, like I did? Please… Please don’t do this!”

“I have to, Exodus. I’m sorry for this and everything I have ever done to you.” She stood and, again, drew a quivering breath. “Just know that, as your mother, I still love you.” She began to walk away as I stared at her back for a few moments, but then I felt like I had to stop her.

“Mother, wait…!”

She froze, her back still facing me.

“What is my real name?”

Turning to face me, I could now see the tears that were flowing down her lovely cheeks. “Percival.”

 

I walked into the house in a daze, not sure what was reality and what was make believe anymore. Part of me felt like vomiting profusely, and the other part of me felt warm with the love of a mother I had never felt before. “Love… I… Life… She’s…”

“What is it, Exodus?” She grasped my shoulders, “Spit it out.”

“Life is my mother!”

She looked stunned as I explained everything. “So… Technically, she is Thomas’s and Annabelle’s grandmother.”

“She could be your mother in law…”

“What? How?”

I collapsed onto her and hugged her tightly, melting within her warm and sweet embrace like I had so many times before. “Marry me, Love.”

Her arms tightened around me and she answered without a moment’s hesitation, “Okay.” We were finally engaged.

 

I held my fiance’s hand, telling her to take deep breaths and to push. The midwife was there too, helping us deliver our little Annabelle. Yes, two months had indeed came and went, and the Moment of Arrival was here.  

Thomas waited for his baby sister to be born outside, anxious and impatient. “Come on Love… You can do it… I know you can!” She squeezed my hand so hard that I thought she was going to break it. She would scream then cry, scream then cry, for about an hour. Time seemed to stay still as I had to listen to her scream in agony and know she was in pain while I couldn’t do anything to help her. I drifted in and out of reality, not being able to believe what was finally happening. How many minutes had passed…? Maybe it had taken days and I had just lost track of time…? All I know is that it seemed like an eternity before I heard our little girl whimpering and crying in the midwife’s arms. I was the first to hold her (If you don’t count the midwife) as Love lay exhausted on the bed. Annabelle seemed to scream against the world as I held her, wrapped in that little pink blanket we had made for her. “Shh… It’s okay, little one. Daddy is here. Shh…” She was beautiful. She took after her mother, already having some blonde hair on her head. She had her mother’s nose and cheeks, but her eyes were mine. My darling little girl was finally here…

“Do you see her, Love? She’s beautiful…”

“I know, I see her… Our most precious treasure.”

Annabelle eventually stopped her seemingly endless crying and looked around the room, taking in her surroundings. When her eyes landed on me, she stared for a long while… She must have realized that I was her father. “Hey, little girl.” I lifted her to my face and kissed her sweet little nose. Her eyes got a little wider as I handed her over to her mother.

“She really is beautiful, isn’t she?”

“It’s because she looks like you,” I wrapped an arm around my fiance, “And you are the most gorgeous being on the face of this Earth.”

She smiled. “I love you, Exodus. Our children are proof of our love and legacy. Not even Death can keep us apart.”

“I know that. And someday, our wedding vows will say that as well.”

“Do you mind taking her out to Thomas? I’m pretty tired from all of that…”

“Of course. We’ll be outside if you need us, Love.” I carefully and quietly took Annabelle out, shutting the door behind me and showing her to Thomas. I think that it was at this time that I realized what had been true all along: Love and I would never live an eternal life together.  

“She looks like a little alien.”

“Babies always do when they are first born. They get cuter after a while though. Want to hold her?” He nodded eagerly, grabbing his little sister and snuggling her. “I love her!” “Me too, Thomas… Me too.” Annabelle stared at her big brother, as if she was trying to figure out what he was all about. After a while, She only snuggled into him more than she already had been, quickly falling asleep again. I forgot that all babies seem to do is sleep, cry, and eat. Almost like a little cat.

“Thomas, with you being a big brother now, she’ll look up to you as a role model.” “She will?” “Yes. You will influence her life in so many great ways. I just know it.” He smiled, looking down at his little sister in admiration.

 

Only weeks after little Annabelle was born, the inevitable finally arrived at our doorstep. When I awoke from an unusually quiet night, I found that we had been taken from our home. Yun Gong. I should have known. Annabelle had not woken us up by crying her eyes out in the middle of the night, which had become the norm in our household, leaving us to rest well. It was nice to feel that way before panic arose inside of me. I shook Love awake and stepped out of bed, still shirtless. I never slept with a shirt on. With Love always lying on me and snuggling me, I became too hot to do so. Love awoke next to me, dazed and confused.

“What…? Where are we? Is Annabelle finally crying? Oh, I knew it was too good to be true…”

“No, I don’t know where the kids are. I know where we are.”

“Where?” She blinked a few times, trying to wake herself up.

“Yun Gong.”

She slowly sat up and looked around. “It’s… It’s your old room.”

I went to my wardrobe and was relieved to find that all of my old shirts and vests were still there, as they had been when I had left. Life probably never had the heart to move them… No. No, she kept them here because she knew this would happen. She knew I’d return and it would be because of her. I hurriedly threw on a black shirt and crimson vest, turning back to look at my beloved fiance. “Come on, let’s go. We have to try and find our children, if they are even here.” I sighed, lost in frustration. Oh, those pretty, pale blue chains… How they grew stronger.

She stood, stretching in her loose but thin white nightgown. It was hard for my eyes to ignore her. If you are wondering how we were so calm in our situation and how I had the time to be distracted by Lust, the answer is simple: We were warned in advance of what was to come by my mother, so this was not surprising to us. “Where do you think they’d be, Exodus?”

I thought this over for a second. “...If we find Life, we will find our children.” I knew this because, despite everything, Life was still my mother. Thomas and Annabelle were her grandchildren after all and, just like with me, she didn’t want any harm to come to them. What grandmother wouldn’t want to see their grandchildren just one more time if they had the chance…? We strolled out of the room and sauntered three doors down the hall. Gently and politely knocking on Life’s door (As to not draw attention to ourselves), the two of us waited to see our children again. My goddess of a mother opened the door and, seeing us, sighed and let us in to see Thomas and Annabelle. Our little infant daughter was lying on Life’s bed, making her look smaller and the bed look bigger. Thomas stood in a ready-to-fight stance in front of his sister. He still hated Life (I had not told her that she was actually his grandma), and was just protecting Little Anna from her. He was such a good big brother…

“it’s alright, son. Ease up some. We’re here now.”

“But dad, she kidnapped us in the middle of the night!”

“She did the same to us, Thomas.”

My son hugged me, glaring at his grandmother. That must’ve hurt Life more than anything… Having her own grandson detest her. “Exodus, I warned you of this…” My mother finally broke her silence. “You shut up, you vial witch!” I had to hold Thomas back from attacking his grandmother, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds. That boy was strong… “Life, what will happen to us? What will happen to my children?” “You will be imprisoned. As long as you willingly accept this fate, Love and your children will be free to go, never to see you again. Otherwise they will be killed.” Thomas growled and spat in her face. “To Hell with you! That is where you belong anyways, you wretched demon! I’m not leaving my father behind with the likes of you!” She looked hurt, but only sighed. “Suit yourself. I’ll have my brother come and collect you then.”

“Go ahead. See if I care, you old witch!”

She nods and opens her door, revealing my cousin (Who was actually my uncle) standing there. He was wearing one of his jet black suits, his dark brown eyes cold and lifeless as he stared us down. “Exodus, Love, and children… Please follow me.” We did not resist at all, for if you try to do so with Death, you always end up dead anyways. He led us away, in the darkness of early morning, to the Room of Horrors. He pushed us into the darkest corner and put a finger over his pale lips, trying to hush my yelling and enraged son for a good few minutes. I could tell that he wanted to tell us something, but Thomas wouldn’t give him the chance to. “Love,” I said, trying to get her and the children out of the room, “Please, for God’s sake, shut Thomas up and take him and Annabelle into the other room!” She nodded and did so, closing the door behind her. She must have thought that some unspeakable horror was about to happen to me and she didn’t want the kids to see it. This had to be it, because she never would’ve given in to an order so easily otherwise. I expected such things as well, but I was not tortured at all.

“Exodus, I must speak to you. I feel as though I’ll explode if I do not.”

“Alright fine… About what?”

“My sister… Your mother.”

I sighed tiredly, “So she told you…”

“Yes. ‘Confided in me,’ as she called it. I call it finally confessing her sins against us and Yun Gong. It feels incredibly odd to call you my nephew when the whole time I have known you as a cousin. It is a lot to take in… In fact, I do not wish to take it in at all.”

“You’d rather deny it? What is going on here? Why talk to me about this, something I already knew, instead of revealing it to the other Forces?”

“I have grown tired of the corrupt practices of my brethren. In fact, I have been wanting to take them down for a long time. Now is the perfect time to do so, but I need your help.” I blinked, not being able to fathom this in the confused state I was in. He was going to eliminate them… And he wanted my help in doing so? Ahh, shit…

“Alright… But I have many questions for you.”

“Ask away.”

“Love is no longer an Unseen Force, having had her powers taken from her. So she and my children will not be harmed, right?”

“Correct.”

“And what about you? You are still an Unseen Force yourself. Will you give up your powers and live like a human from now on?”

“No. I do not wish to live along with the creatures I have killed and taken for centuries. I despise the very idea of it.”

“So… What are you going to do then?”

“I will perish with the rest of them. It seems more appealing to me than living the sad, pathetic life of a human.”

“It isn’t that bad, I’ll tell you that right now.”

“Even so…” He sighed, “And what about you? Will you destroy your powers and live with those… Creatures?” I thought this over. What exactly was I to do when all of this was over? Probably just live peacefully with Love, Annabelle, and Thomas… Too bad I would never get the chance to.

“I’ll… Live with my family, I suppose. That is all I really can do…”

“I guess so. I wish you four the best of luck.”

“Yes… Now how do we even go about this?”

“I will wait until an hour from now. You and your family have until then to get out of here. Whether you are able to do so or not, this place will burn in the flames it should have burned in long ago.”

“Alright, Death… I have just one more question for you.”

“What?”

“When we are all gone, who will replace us? Will the world simply live without the Unseen Forces?”

“We will be replaced after only one day. Mother Earth needs someone to do her bidding, after all.”

I nodded, “I always wondered who your mother was.”

He said absolutely nothing to this. “You have an hour, Exodus. Be out by then or die with the rest of these filthy pigs.” He walked away and let Love come in with the children as I slumped against the wall in exhaustion. I thought of the silly statement my cousin/uncle had made. Filthy pigs… He called himself that. He hates what he is… This is his way of committing suicide. It was never like him to be alone. With this, he will go out in glory… And take everyone else with him. Sighing, I looked at my fiance, “We all have to get out of here. Now.”

 

After explaining everything to her, Love showed no hesitation in evacuating the kids from Yun Gong. She had Death lower them slowly to the ground, instructing Thomas “Keep Annabelle safe and wait for us, for we will be back soon.” Only one, Exodus. Remember that… Only one. She turned back and faced me once the kids were safely on the ground. “What now?” “I was going to get my vests… Well, as many as I can carry anyway. Perhaps I have too many to carry all at once.” I laughed, somewhat nervously, and she just rolled her eyes at me. “Fine, whatever. Just hurry up. We have to get back to the children.” She followed me into my room, patiently waiting for me so that I could get my most precious vests and go. I even grabbed the vest that had been torn by Thomas’s little hands. I checked the time. Forty five minutes. To be honest, I didn’t really move that fast. We had plenty of time so I didn’t really feel the need to. I was… An idiot, to put it simply. As soon as I turned my back for five seconds, I heard a muffled scream and my door slam closed.

Racing over to the door and pounding on it, I screamed for Love. My door had been locked from the outside, leaving me unable to open it. I screamed again, trying to knock it down in my frantic, panicked state. Someone had taken Love and I couldn’t even save her. I felt worthless.

I put my back to the door and slid down until I was on the ground. I began to sob and think of a plan for another ten minutes. Eventually, I realized that I had to take real action and began to look around my room for something I could use to get out. I ran onto my balcony and noticed that it wouldn’t be that difficult to climb onto the roof from there. I had to escape the cage that my own room had become. I tried to pull myself up many times, but my upper body strength was… Quite horrible. After a while I sighed and checked the time. Five minutes had passed.

I realized we were losing time, which caused me to have a random surge of strength. I managed to finally pull myself up, though I hurt my left shoulder somehow. I wouldn’t notice it until later. I had to stealth across the rooftop to prevent people from hearing me and waking up, which took me another five minutes. We were down to just twenty five minutes. Twenty five minutes for me to find Love, battle whoever captured her, and save her… Oh this was going to be fun.

I eventually managed to make it to Love’s old room and I jumped onto her balcony, running through her room and into the hallway. It took me an extra ten minutes to find her in the gardens, tied to a pillar with my mother circling her. She was frightened and scared for she, too knew that the remaining time was running out. “You can’t do this to me,” My mother said, getting awfully close to Love’s face, “He is my son, you know! I will not lose him again! I need him by my side from here on out!” Pang! I slowly stepped into the dim light that was cast by the early morning sun. “Mother.”

She looked at me and, for the first time, I saw what my mother had been hiding ever since she gave me up: Sadness, loneliness, and insanity. “Oh, hello there Percival…! I didn’t see you!” I shook my head, “It’s Exodus. Let her go, mother.” “But… If I do that, I’ll lose you again!” So this was what my mother feared… Losing me. How she kept herself contained all that time, I will never know.

“Mother, you’ve already lost me!” Freezing and eyes widening, she began to tear up. “You never had me anyways! The minute you gave me up, you lost me! Now let her go!” “N-No! Not until I have you back to me!” “Don’t you see what I am trying to say?! I am already lost to you forever! Why can’t you admit that it is all over?!” She slowly began to walk towards me, her knees buckling half way, causing her to collapse to the ground. She sobbed hard as I checked the time. Ten minutes. Fuck. I ran over to Love and began to untie her, only to get tackled again by my mother. “Life, for God’s sake, get off of me!” “No! I will not lose you again!!”

I pushed her off and tried to crawl to my beloved, but she grabbed my foot. “You will not have her corrupt your mind!” “Mother, stop it! I love her! I want to marry her and make her mine forever! Perhaps even more children! Can’t you just let me be happy for once in my miserable life?! Please!” As much as I begged and pleaded, she would not let go. It took a long while to get my own mother off of me. I could practically feel the time slipping away from my hands. We were down to five minutes when I saw a hand pull my mother off of me. Death tied her to a pillar, spitting in her face just as Thomas had done. “Give it up, sister. He’s gone… And, soon enough, you will be as well. And me, for that matter.”

“W-What are you talking about, brother?!”

“Yun Gong will burn and you will go along with it. Seems fitting, doesn’t it? So many years of calling it ‘your palace’ when we all shared it equally… We will go with you so you won’t be lonely. That I promise you.”

Death nodded to me as my mother began to panic. I ran over to Love, trying to untie her with my rushing and clumsy fingers. She looked at me, tears in her eyes as she gently shook her head. “Exodus… You must go. We… No, you only have three minutes left. That is not enough time for you to untie me and escape together. At least one of us has to live for our children… And that has to be you!”

Naturally, I opened my mouth to protest, only to be pushed aside by Death. “Just go, nephew. I will be sure to make her death swift and painless.”

Pang! Just those words were enough to get me… “Her death.” I could choose to stay with my fiance and die or live and go with my kids. Choose just one. I had to choose between Euphoria or Thomas back when I loved them both. I had to choose between leaving to Yun Gong or staying with my family. Now I had to choose between life with my children or death with my soon-to-be wife. It pained me to do so, but I had to make a decision. Choose just one. “Exodus,” Love begged, “Please! You must go!” I blinked, “I… I…” With tears in her eyes and a quivering voice, she yelled something that made up my mind: “Dakishimetainoni!” My eyes closed painfully as I ran off, one minute left to go. As I was slowly lowered to Earth, the sky lit up with a bright orange that was only for my eyes. I looked back and saw it: Yun Gong was burning, and with my beautiful apple still inside it. I then knew what that dream I had so long ago meant. My dear, sweet Eve…

 

I barely felt the soft green grass of Earth touch my feet. My eyes were wide, my jaw unable to close as my legs shook in devastation. I almost didn’t notice that Thomas was right next to me, Annabelle in his arms. “Are you alright, dad? You don’t look so good… Where’s mom?”

Now… Please be understanding. By now, I had no orange chains of happiness any longer. They had completely disappeared once I learned that Love was to burn alive. I know that what I did next was truly rotten, but considering the circumstances… I had to. I thought of Life… She died a helpless and emotionally wrecked mother. I thought of my uncle Death, who died with hatred for the world, his brethren, and, perhaps most of all, himself. The others, who lay in their beds asleep at the time of the fire, probably awoke too late and were already being engulfed by the flames of Death’s rage, if not close to it. They died a slow and painful death, confused and frantic, making d


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