Chapter Twenty-Five: Fleurs Du Mal (Memento Vivere)

I moved away from Abigail. No way was this girl getting anything from me. Behind me, I could hear the others quickly backing up. I was glad that I was not on my own.

"You can't get away from me!" Abigail screamed. She ran towards us, but, then, stopped. It was as if something had a hold of her.

"This ends, now!" a voice screamed. It was Zachary, looking as if he had came back from the dead. His hair was sticking up in several places. His skin was paler than normal and his clothes were dusty and torn in a fair number of places.

Abigail turned and attempted to pull her dress out of his grip. "NO!"

Zachary did not let up on his grip. "Yes!"
"You can't do this to me! You can't do this to us!" Abigail begged.

"I am."

Abigail's eyes were animal like. She sort of reminded me of a banshee. "NO!" she screamed again. This time she sounded like a cat in a fight.

I could see the sun beginning to rise over Weeping Lake. Morning was coming.

"It's too late!" Zachary screamed. "You failed!" He pointed to sun.

Abigail screamed louder.

The sun was getting bigger.

Zachary let go of Abigail. Abigail fell to the ground screaming as the sun hit her. Her skin began to turn to a dull grey. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head and her hair began to turn white.

"The Gathering is not happening this time," Zachary said smiling. "With us, it ends."

Abigail opened her mouth to say something, but all that came out was her teeth.

"No more deaths, no more stories, no more cover ups," Zachary said as he circled her. "It's over."

Abigail was growing smaller and older. She no longer looked like her beautiful, young self; in her place, was an old maid, an old dying maid at that one.

"Just a few more minutes and we will be a memory," Zachary whispered as he knelt down next to Abigail.

Abigail tried to hit him, but her arms were too weak to moved.

Zachary smiled. "You see, you don't always get what you want."

Abigail gasped.

"I know...You don't like this, but you will get over it. It's not the end of the world," Zachary whispered.

Abigail looked like a child in her dress. She was struggling to breathe.

Zachary's smile grew bigger. "It will be all over soon." He sounded liked a mother smoothing her baby.

Abigail was shaking now as her body got smaller. Her breathes were coming out in small rasps now. I hoped that it would be over soon; I wasn't sure how much more I could take of this.

"You-you," Abigail spat. I could barely make it out.

Zachary leaned in closer. "Speak up. I can't hear you."

Abigail opened her mouth, but all that came out was black butterflies. Her body sunk back down into the ground. In its place was a garden of dark flowers. The flowers and butterflies spread along the beach, creating a gothic flower bed. We jumped back as they spread, not wanting to be covered in Abigail's remains.

"Fluers du mal," Zachary muttered. "Flowers of evil."

Cheyenne eyed the flowers. "Beauty equals evil."

Zachary nodded. "It sure does." He stared at the flowers for a few more minutes before turning to us. "It ends with me. I don't have a lot of time, but you must make sure that this doesn't happen again. Even though, Abigail and I are the last of our kind, the Gathering could come back. You must stop that. Promise me that much."

We nodded.

"Are you afraid?" Annie asked in a small voice.

"Afraid of what?" Zachary asked.

Annie stared at the ground. "To die."

Zachary knelt down next to her. "Why would I be afraid of that?"

"You won't be here anymore."

Zachary took Annie's hand into his. "Sometimes the greatest adventure isn't in this life, but in the next. We don't know what awaits us until we go and experience it."

Annie nodded. "Mommy and Daddy are over there. Do you think they're on an adventure?"

Zachary smiled at her. "I think they are, but they are waiting and watching for you. They don't want you to come to quickly, but they know that you guys will be a family again. For now, you have your brother and sister."

Annie nodded. "Well, have fun."

Zachary laughed and let go of her hand. "Well, you have fun in this world."

Annie nodded. "I'll try. David can be annoying.

Zachary laughed again. "Brothers tend to be that way."

He stepped into the sun light and spread his arms over to the sky. The rays caught in. Zachary's body began to turn to leaves and, soon, they were flying out over Weeping Lake. We watched as they flew higher and higher until they disappeared from view.

I let the sun warm my face. Life did not end with this life. We have many lives and many chances to life. Yet, this was the life I lived in now and I needed to live.

The fluer de mal opened up as the sun hit them, revealing neon petals. The neon gave me hope. Even in darkness, there is always a light, always something to fight now.

Something to live for.

I looked back at the others. "What do you say to getting out of here?"

"That sounds like the best idea I've heard in a long time," Jasper said.

Sadly, David was still limp in Jasper's arms. I had hoped that he would have woke up by now.

"I like it," Cheyenne said.

We all started toward the boat, being extra careful because no one wanted to step on Abigail's rotten remains. We made it to the boat without any difficulty. Much to our surprise, the boat started without any difficulty.

We raced across Weeping Lake. David still had not woken up.

About halfway across the lake, a piece of paper came falling down from the sky. I reached up and grabbed it.

Cheyenne looked at me. "What is it?"

I shrugged and opened it. "It's a story."

"Are you going to read it?"

I looked at it. "Do you think I should?"

Cheyenne nodded. "Of course."

I opened it and read aloud:

Memento mori is something that most of our kind seems to live by. It has a good meaning. It serves as a reminder that each day is a gift. Each day is one step closer to the end.

Life is an honour, not a right.

As one we step out into the battle, as one we prepare to die.

For that is what memento mori means, remember you will die.

It sounds dark and evil, but life is full of demons. Just like the ones we have to face now.

After the smoke clears and the dead buried, we pause to remember something.

What about life?

What about family, friends, and everything else that matters?

Justice has been served and mercy screamed its violent love.

And finally, the knights was getting his kiss and his princess.

The lost had taken the world off of his shoulders.

The pain still lingers, but it's from remembering all of the good times.

The little thingsā€¦

Now our kind lives by memento vivere. Not everything is about darkness, evil, and death. Sometimes it's about light, good, and life.

Just remember memento vivere.

Remember to live.

Jared frowned. "Where did that come from?"

I smiled as I folded the paper. "It's Zachary's final message."

Jared nodded. "Even in death, the guy still has a way with words."

I nodded.

"GUYS!" Jasper yelled from the front of the boat. "YOU BETTER COME UP HERE!"

We all rushed to the front of the boat. Was Abigail back?

Jasper was kneeling down next to my brother. "He's waking up."

I knelt down next to David. Sure enough, he was beginning to move around. "David," I whispered.

David slowly opened his eyes and looked around. "What happened?" he groaned.

The rest of us exchanged looks.

"I don't think you're ready for that one," Jasper said.

David pinched his nose. "I'm not sure that I really want to know."

"That's probably for the best," Cheyenne muttered.

I smiled at her.

We all sat there gathered around my brother until we reached the shore. As we climbed off the boat, the mist was burning off Weeping Lake for the first time. I lifted my face up to allow the unblocked sun to warm it and for the first time since arriving, I knew that I had come to where I belonged.

We all have to live by Memento Vivere. We can't let the Fluers De Mal control us. Life is about living and not being afraid of evil.

~The End~

Completed June 28, 2013

Copyright 2010-2013 by AlysonSerenaStone.