Chapter Ninety-One

The hooded figure gave a small shrug as he finished his story. “So I kept my word.” Death explained. “And now I’m here.”

10-30-15_5-33-50 PM

It took Lucas a long time to find his voice again. He simply stared into the endless blackness where the being’s eyes should have been as he struggled to wrap his head around everything Death had told him. The reason Evelyn was left behind, why Death had tricked them all those years ago, the role of the mysterious old woman, and the missing piece to the cure… All questions Lucas feared he would never know the answer to. But now…

Now it all finally made sense. Or at least, most of it did. And it’s all thanks to Mel. Despite everything, the thought sent a rush of warmth through his heart.

“So… Everything that’s happened – all of this… Was just to teach Evelyn a lesson?” The old man spoke at last.

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The hooded figure sighed in exasperation. “Haven’t you heard a word I’ve said to you? Yes.” Death paused for a moment, thoughtful. “Though I suppose not ‘just’… This was for you too, boy.” He added with a shrug.

Lucas nodded, recalling what Death had told him. “I know.” He replied weakly, still in somewhat of a daze.  And helping me was supposed to help her learn to be selfless… He added mentally.

But was Evelyn really that selfish to begin with? Lucas wondered.

He took a moment, trying to think back to when he was very young… It almost felt like another lifetime.

He remembered all the conversations he’d had with Evelyn in his childhood, and everything she told him about her life before the fire that had killed her. She never told him much about her family or friends… Lucas realized. Just herself, and all the things she felt she was missing out on…

7

He thought back to when he’d first begun to work so tirelessly on finding Evelyn’s cure, and all the arguments they’d gotten into over it. She was so mad at me for not spending enough time with her… But had she ever shown him any real gratitude for the work he was doing?

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But the worst was what had come after. The night they broke up, when Evelyn had hidden herself away and ignored him… for months. And then more than a year. No matter how much he begged, she would not listen.

12

She was… Lucas realized. She was incredibly selfish. But Lucas held nothing against her for it.

Because after all, so was he.

Lucas been thinking so much of himself when he began the search for a way to bring her back – not Evelyn. He’d hidden the truth about Mel from her not to spare her feelings, but his own. It wasn’t until things got rough with Evelyn – when she got angry, and called him out on his mistakes – that he realized just how wrong he’d been. But by that time, it was too late.

I was so selfish too… But she taught me how not to be. He realized.

Across from him, Death nodded. “Funny little coincidence, huh?” He chuckled softly to himself.

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Lucas raised an eyebrow at him. “D-did I say that out loud…?”

The hooded figure cleared his throat softly. “Doesn’t matter.” He muttered quickly. “Anyway, the point is that little Evelyn’s finally learned her lesson, and done all she can to help you, and your family too… So thanks to that wife of yours, I’m finally going to let you do it.”

“Do what?” Lucas asked. “Y-you mean bring Ev back?” He couldn’t even bring himself to smile. It all seemed too good to be true, just like every other breakthrough he’d made over the years… And he feared that, just like every time before, it would turn out to be just that — too good to be true.

Death nodded. “But you have to promise me you won’t breathe a word of what I’ve told you to her. Do you understand? She can’t know about my little lesson. Not yet, anyway. Or the deal is off.” For a moment, the being’s usual light-hearted tone had vanished, and Lucas realized just how serious he was. “Sorry, kid. But there are rules.”

“I won’t tell her.” The man promised. “Just… tell me what I have to do. Please.”

“Good.” Death’s jovial nature seemed to return immediately. “Now, don’t misunderstand… I’m not going to just hand it to you on a silver platter or something.” The being laughed softly. “You’ve still got some work to do.”

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Lucas felt an uneasy sensation in his stomach at the words. It had taken so many years to find the flower and the fish… And I’m not getting any younger. He was only 72 years old; Lucas had another good fifteen, maybe twenty years left in him, as long as his heart stayed healthy. But it took over forty years to grow that flower… Another wave of unease swept over him.

“No need to panic.” Lucas could hear the smile in Death’s voice. “Come here.”

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The being floated across the kitchen toward the corner counter where the angelfish still sat in its large bowl. “You still have plenty of those flowers.” Death said. “But this little guy here’s your last hope for the fish. Mess this up, and you won’t have another chance. Understand?”

Lucas nodded nervously.

“There’s still one ingredient you’ll need.” Death continued. “This book will tell you everything you need to know.” With a small wave of his scaly grey hand, a thick, leather bound book appeared on the counter in front of him. Lucas’ eyes widened at the sight.

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“So… that’s it?” He asked skeptically. “I just read that book, and it’ll tell me everything?”

“Yes.” Death confirmed. “It’s that simple.” There was something in the being’s tone that made Lucas uneasy.

“Why should I even believe you?” He asked, his voice hardening with every word. “I don’t care about your reasons… Justified or not, all you’ve ever done is lie, and try to trick us! How can I know this isn’t just another one of your schemes?”

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Death just shrugged. “You can’t.” He laughed a short, cruel laugh. “But you don’t really have any other choice, do you?”

The old man narrowed his eyes. This is all some sort of joke to him! But he was right… he really had no choice. And if Death had really talked to Mel – if she really trusted him, and sent him here to help… Then Lucas had to believe it, didn’t he?

“Just trust me this time, boy. And you’ll see.” Death promised. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I should be heading off… So much to do, so little time.” He raised a bony hand in farewell. “A pleasure as always, Mr. Ainsworth. Best of luck to you.”

10-30-15_5-49-16 PM

That’s it? He’s leaving?! Lucas still had so many unanswered questions. He can’t just go… Not now. “Hey, wait!” He reached out toward the tall hooded figure, but it was too late.

In a blink, Death was gone, leaving nothing but a thick cloud of black smoke behind him.

10-30-15_5-50-43 PM

Lucas stood in the empty kitchen for a long time, lost in thought as he watched the trail of dark smoke in front of him slowly disappear. It was simply too much to take. Here he was, still reeling from the loss of his wife, when all the answers he’d been looking for for years were suddenly dropped in his lap.

In that moment, he wasn’t even sure how to feel. Relieved that Mel had safely made it to the afterlife? Upset that she’d moved on where he could not follow? Grateful that she’d sent Death to help? Angry that he’d left so abruptly? Happy that he could finally help Evelyn at last? Nervous that he may fail her yet again?

Lucas tried to fight back the swirl of emotions that rushed through him as he picked up the leather-bound book and brought it into the living room. He sat uneasily onto the soft couch and flipped it open, flicking through several pages.

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At first, it did not look very promising. Most of the pages were nearly indecipherable, written in a language Lucas could not even identify. There were unusual charts and diagrams, with symbols that reminded him of the map that had led to the angelfish. But then finally, tucked away near the back, Lucas found something that caught his eye.

There was a small section written entirely in English – a recipe for something the book called ‘Ambrosia’. The food of the gods? Lucas thought curiously, recalling bits and pieces of what he’d learned about Greek mythology over the years. Could this be what he was looking for?

His green eyes scanned the page eagerly. It was described as an ancient recipe that could cure illness, extend longevity, and restore life. Lucas’ breath caught in his throat as he read the words.

The ingredients listed had strange Latin names he had never heard before, but some of the descriptions were strikingly familiar – Lilium Mortem, a flower with deep pink petals surrounding a white, skull-shaped center; Pisces aeternum, a silvery-blue fish that is rumored to be immortal – but the final ingredient was a mystery to him.

Aqua Vitae. He read. A thick white liquid harvested from the rare Dionaea Taurus.

The words meant little to Lucas, but one thing was certain – this book was describing Evelyn’s cure. He was sure of it.

10-30-15_5-53-00 PM

It seemed almost wrong to feel so optimistic and full of joy in that moment. So many decades of disappointment had lead him here. How many times had he failed over the years? Allowed himself to get his hopes up, only to have them crushed before his eyes? It would be foolish to truly believe that he’d found the answer, wouldn’t it? And yet…

We’re so close. We’ve never been this close before. I can feel it.

It was a thought he’d had before, of course. But there was something different this time. Something Lucas could not quite explain. This is it. I know it.

He rose to his feet, still holding the book in his hands. I can do this. He told himself. I finally have what I need. Lucas crossed through the kitchen and into the dining room, feeling a rush of something exciting and wonderful wash over him. It was a feeling he had not experienced in a very long time – hope.

As he looked up at the photos on the wall in front of him, his smile widened.

I love you so much, Mel. Lucas felt the sharp sting of tears in his eyes. But for the first time he could remember, they were not tears of sorrow or pain. And thanks to you, we’re almost there…

10-30-15_5-54-03 PM

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48 Responses to Chapter Ninety-One

  1. raerei says:

    Woot! Grimmy behaved himself and followed through, or…I hope he did. And yay it’s a book! That’s better than cryptic maps and seeds.

    I still really like him, even though he’s a bit of an untrustworthy git. I say Never trust an immortal, they rarely understand what it means to be human, and time is a foreign concept. I really hope it doesn’t take 15 years for this next ingredient…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. julyvee94 says:

    Awww yisss ^^ can’t wait what happens next. Lucas HAS to succeed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Texas Simmer says:

    Hurray! So excited. Hope it works 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maladi777 says:

    Yes! You can do it, Lucas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theplumbob says:

    A liquid harvested from the Dionaea Taurus… I had a sneaking suspicion it may come to that. I’m depressed already lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lol that was brilliant!! Good job can’t wait for next update!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope it doesn’t mean what I think it does :/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. thebookthief24 says:

    I know what you’re planning , Devious One.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The Ghost says:

    Sacrife anyone? Hmmmmm? Not Lucas cause he’s the only one who can make the dish but then who?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That sneaky Grim! He’s tricked him again hasn’t he? I wonder what Lucas is going to do when he finds out!?! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha I love that you’re still skeptical! 😛 (Probably a good idea, since it IS Grimmy… 😉 ) But maybe he’s telling the truth! Who knows? (Oh wait, I do… Hehehe)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. ninjapigsims says:

    I love seeing how Lucas has grown. He’s really able to take a long, hard look at himself and the people he loves and see all their flaws and inperfections. Super proud of him.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. NoaLyn says:

    Yay yay yay! I can’t write anything else, I’m just soo happy right now 😀 Only 9 chapters to go, so this HAS to be it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. medleymisty says:

    This story is very interesting. Valley, my Sims 3 work, also focused around ambrosia. But, umm…in a rather darker way, lol. So it’s been really interesting to read this entirely different take on it.

    *on to the next chapter*

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Cool! I will totally have to check out your story! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • medleymisty says:

        Ah, Valley was written in 2009 and 2010. So don’t judge it too hard – I’m better at writing and pictures now. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Haha it’s all good! We are all constantly improving! Even looking back at D2D (which was only written over the past two months) I can see my own writing and screenshots improving as well 🙂 So I won’t judge haha (also, we are always our own worst critics aren’t we? So I’m sure it’s great! It sounds like it was very popular too! Awesome! 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        (I just realized I said “two months” and meant “four”. Clearly I haven’t drank enough coffee yet…)

        Like

  14. lovesstorms says:

    I didn’t mention this last chapter, but I love how Grim can poke around in people’s heads. It’s super creepy, but interesting, nonetheless.

    Finally, a recipe! Grim definitely is helping in this one instance. I’m glad, but I’m super tired now. 😦 I have to go to bed, but I’ll be back. I can’t read your short story this month until I do finish it. So, I’m determined and I want to know what in the world happens (more than wanting to read the short story…lol). 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thank you SOOOOO much! I woke up to all these WP notifications and was so happy! I’m sorry for not responding to every comment, but I loved reading them and getting your take on everything! ❤ I hope you enjoy the rest of the story! You're so close! ^_^ Thanks again for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Brass Buckles says:

    Is it wrong of me to read this and feel bad that he’s driving the immortal angelfish species extinct…?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. msmarvel98 says:

    I have two questions – firstly, how did Lucas manage to keep that damn fish alive for over 5 years? (My own goldfish lasted a month).

    Secondly, how did you get the Grim Reaper to appear without anyone dying/stay to have a conversation/etc.?

    THIRDLY, because this isn’t a question, HOW DARE YOU WRITE AN AMAZING STORY THAT IS SO AMAZING FROM BEGINNING TO END THAT I’VE BEEN READING IT EVERY SINGLE CHANCE I GET OVER THE PAST 24 hours (while eating breakfast in the morning, late at night, on the bus, when I’m hanging out with my boyfriend, etc.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahahaha

      1. The Angelfish is not a normal Angelfish, it’s magical and immortal 🙂

      2. I downloaded him from the gallery ^_^ People use cheats to get him in their games as a playable sim and then upload him.

      3. I love that you have loved this story so much, though I am sorry that it’s been consuming your life 😂 You’re less than 10 chapters from the end now though! 😮 Thank you SO much for this awesome binge read. I am loving your comments. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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