dead of night
It was the dead of the night and the ghosts of his breath were prevalent as he stood calmly by the streetlight. Without even thinking he started tapping his thigh to a steady beat, ticking off each second in his head.

One, two. One, two. One, two, three, four.

Where was she? He was in no hurry to see her, no, and he knew she'd show up sooner or later. But it was rather tedious for him to lean on the post for so long. About two hours long now, he reminded himself. Usually she would arrive in thirty minutes. He figured he'd give her another hour and then he'd clear out. He didn't want to get caught out on the street corner when the sun rose.

It was another hour when he prepared to leave when she showed up finally. She ran towards him with her frilly dress, keeping it up off the ground so she could move her feet. His lady was out of breath when she stopped short in front of him. "I'm here, I'm so sorry for being late." She breathed once she caught her breath.

He shrugged, We're almost out of time. Come on, and he moved to lead the way.

She followed behind. My father found out, by the way. He thinks we are doing something uncouth. He disapproves.

He turned to look at her over his shoulder. Then how are you here now, Lady?

She couldn't help but giggle. My mother thinks it's adorable and snuck me out the house.

He nodded. Of course. She's so predictable!

The two chatted about it all the way to their destination. By the time they arrived at the wrought iron gates, the faintest sign of sun was starting to poke out over the horizon. The two fell silent and looked at each other for a moment. They were way too late, late to a point where they probably should turn back home. Should they enter anyway? Lady asked the question in her gaze and he held it for a moment before turning to the door. Without a word, he gingerly pushed open the door and stepped through.

They navigated their way through the plethora of old cobwebbed covered gravestones and dodged a few straggly statues. They ignored the eeriness that always came with graveyards and stepped into the very back of the place. Their breath was taken away for the third time that month.

In front of them stood a mini-meadow of flowers, their lovely bulbs open wide and accepting to the fading moon up above their heads. The petals glowed an eerie white in the moonlight and the pair was swept away by the beauty. And, as usual, they couldn't bring themselves to pick one to take home. They were so swept away they couldn't bear the thought of moving any of the delicate beauties. They say on the cold grass, breathing slowly and simply watching the flowers. As the sun starting to rise, the flowers would withdraw, and, without the moon to encourage them to show their faces, they closed up into their bulbs. That was their cue to leave.

For every failing sun, there's a morning after
Though I'm empty when you go
I just wanted you to know
That the world is ugly
But you're beautiful to me
Are you thinking of me
Like I'm thinking of you
I would say I'm sorry, though
Though I really need to go
I just wanted you to know
The World Is Ugly, My Chemical Romance

They showed up at the meadow every Saturday, almost always when the moon was at its peak. It was a ritual for them, the most remarkable thing they did together ever since they became friends years ago. Ironically enough, the graveyard was where they met in the first place. Both being the rebellious kids at the time, they had snuck out their houses to escape the night.

He had left for a taste of adventure; she left to escape her strict father for a night. Both bumped into each other, found the flowers, sealed a strong friendship. The two were all they really had in the small town. They were close as can be.

We took a walk that night, but it wasn't the same
We had a fight on the promenade out in the rain
Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, The Killers

One day everything changed in a negative manner. He waited in the usual spot where they met. He was expecting her to show up maybe an hour late. She never came that night. Puzzled, he went home when the sun rose up in the sky. He figured she was probably held up or forgot.

The next couple of times he waited for her, she never showed up. He had a sinking feeling it was on purpose and he wanted to know why she was avoiding him. So doing something he never did, he walked over to her house one day and rung the doorbell around noon. She answered the door after a few moments. The two stared at each other for what felt like many hours. Finally, breaking the thick air that seemed to grow with every second of silence, he spoke up.

How have you been? he began.

look, I'm sorry. I really am, but we can't hang out anymore.

why not? is your father angry? he asked.


You could have told me! It would've been better than leaving me alone, waiting for you at night in the cold! he nearly began yelling.

She hissed, you could've taken the hint!, and then she added, softly, I'm not allowed to hang out with the likes of you anymore.

He felt confused at that. They'd been friends for a long time. Both of them were even from the most respectable families in the town. They both resided in the two largest manors in town and were known for being agreeable people. Besides visiting graveyards at night, none of his hobbies were destructive in anyway. He wasn't a disgrace. What do you mean? he asked.

She sighed. You need to pay more attention to your family's business! Our two families are now rivals.

What? How? Another dispute over the wells or is it the mills this time?

Worse. Both. You're family is trying to expand onto the west valley. Mills, wells, and a marketplace! she said as if it were ridiculous.

I don't know why you're so shocked. That land is ours.

No, it's not! That land belongs to my father fair and square! You guys shouldn't be trying to take our new mills! she fought back.

What? No! That land was willed to us! You guys should back off- Oh. he paused for a moment to collect himself. I see what you mean by a dispute.

I'm sorry. You're a good friend, but I'd fight for my family first.

No "romeo and juliet" story here?

We were friends. Good bye.

Goodbye he said, nodding his head in farewell. The next time he will see her, she will be deathly sick in bed and unable to hear him.

did you forget to take your meds?
And if I only could,
Make a deal with God,
And get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building,
If I only could, oh...
Running Up That Hill, (cover) Placebo

He was casually browsing through the marketplace when he looked up and noticed Lady's father staring intently at him. Not wanting to start any drama, he simply kept his eyes downcast and moved to a stall farther away. It had been a few months since he last spoke with her. The family feud had gotten much more prominent in his life as his side ended up consulting a lawyer. After many court dates, debates, and a few fights, the land was determined to be fair game. However, since no one would accept that as the real result, they argued some more. Finally, the town being sick of the constant bickering, put the land up for auction. Whoever paid the highest bid would be able to take the land for their family and generations to come. Though he found the whole thing stupid, his family won the bidding at a large price. They paid a dramatic amount for the land, more than what their businesses were worth, but they promised each other it'd pay off. It was kind of true as they were profiting already, being the leading mill in the area.

He avoided anyone of the opposing side. They would surely challenge him and insult him for just being related to his family. The thought of having to face off with his best friend - ex best friend's father would be a nightmare. However, he noticed the father kept following him, eyes full of purpose.

Just when he was turning to leave the marketplace completely, he was stopped by the father calling for him. Corstle! Hey! Sir! her father called out his last name above the crowd and stopped in front of him. His face was worried. Corstle frowned.

Sir Henderson? How can I help you? he asked her father.

You were friends with my daughter? Mr. Henderson began, continuing when Corstle nodded. She's terribly ill! Close to death!

His heart dropped and the world seemed to freeze. What happened?! When did this start? Can I-

Please come with me. Mr. Henderson said gently and quickly led him to his home.

Corstl ran into the room where they were keeping Lady, and he quickly kneeled besides her bed. She was in a deep sleep but coughed every now and then. She looked pale - way too pale to be alive. According to her family, her illness was sudden. It started two days ago when she came down with a terrible cough. From there she was fatigued, lost a lot of weight, and fell into a comatose-like state. They feared she would never wake up. Her father had sent for a doctor earlier and the medical professional promised she was not contagious. He had no clue what was wrong with her though.

Corstl spent the rest of the day there. He returned home only to let his family know he was alive, but spent three more days with his best friend. She did not improve - but she didn't get worse.

While drumming his fingers on his thigh while he was sitting besides her, he came up with an idea. That night was the night where the flowers would open up. Maybe he could go there and finally pick one for her. People usually got their loved ones flowers when they fell ill, didn't they? That's what he'd do, only it'd be special since it was something from when they first met.

He set off at night, promising her family he'd return with a few beautiful flowers they could gaze at before the sun would rise.

He pushed the graveyard door open forcibly this time, having no time to lose. Without sparing a moment to look around and take in the usual eeriness of the place, he made his way to the back, a vase under arm. The flowers here were just reaching the peak of their bloom and he let out a sigh of relief. He wasted a few moments staring at the beautiful things, doubts and second thoughts about picking them filling his mind. They were too good to be removed. If he took one, he'd disrupt the strange perfection. But-

He reached out, fingers curling around the soft stem of the nearest one. He couldn't, he shouldn't, but his friend was dying. She needed it - her family needed it too. Do it already! They're going to close up again pretty soon.

With that last snippet of thought he pulled the plant from the earth with a flick of the wrist. It came out the ground easily, easier than he expected, and he stared at it in his palm, dumbfounded. The plant's petals glowed in the moonlight, still wide open. He started to breathe a sigh of relief -

His head started to hurt.

He couldn't see, the pain was too sharp and sudden.

the air was suddenly too thick, almost as if he were trapped in a block of ice, and he shrunk to the ground unable to move.

The wind started to howl, whipping his hair against his head, and it was insanely cold. No, too cold, way too cold. The plant fell from his fingers, rejected, and shriveled up like an old banana peel. Voices came from the gusts of wind, many different tones at once. They

If I could tear you from the ceiling,
And guarantee a source divine,
Rid you off possessions fleeting,
Remain your funny valentine.

Don't go and leave me,
And please don't drive me blind,
Don't go and leave me,
And please don't drive me blind.

He wakes up outside the entrance of the graveyard with a sore head. The pain inside his head beats steadily on, almost like a drum to his heart beat. He groans before attempting to get onto his feet. For some reason, his body feels very light weight. It's almost as if he's floating, he thinks.

He hears the ebb of the nearby stream and hobbles over to it, hoping to drink some fresh water to clear his mind. The water is half frozen, almost like a slushie. He could feel the normal cold of autumn bite the back of his neck; he forget it was October. Nevertheless, he scoops his hands into the water and brings several cup fulls up to his lips. Never in his life had he been so thirsty. Even though he drinks and chokes down countless other scoops down his throat, it's not enough to quench the strange thirst he has. The sun is above in full meaning it was just about noon. Everything that happened the last night was clear in his head and he shuddered just remembering the events. Did he die? What was his punishment for picking a flower?

He looked warily down at his reflection, thinking about all the possibilities - he jumped with a start and a gasp. There, mirroring his reaction, was a gaunt face that looked more like a smudged skull, startled too. He looked back at the reflection, taking in his new appearance. He had a faint glow around his body, eyes that were black as caves, and dirt from rolling on the ground that night. He looked like a corpse, everything about him simply - dull.

So he had died. So he had failed his friend. He was no longer Iel chancy but a dead spirit clinging to the land of the living. With his head low, he got up. He would head to the town. If he could, he'd let everyone know what happened to him. He'd try.
the truth
He thinks he died on that day. He thinks he's ghost, his perception of himself is someone who has skeletal face paint, and he thinks his punishment is to watch everyone around him fade away. He is wrong however.

He is very much alive, in fact he did not change in appearance at all. He is still a lutari who is part of a wealthy family. When he speaks to people, they understand and speak back. He thinks they must be clairvoyant. The townspeople are very confused with how he seems to have gone insane and refers to himself as a ghoul. He speaks of ghosts, monsters, everything supernatural when he gets the chance. The Chancy family is considering removing him from the family will...

This new perception of himself makes him undergo dramatic character change though. Where he used to think over every decision he made, he has become incredibly rash. He's impulsive, reasoning that everyone doesn't realize how short life can be. They need to act now or else they'd miss it!

Lady stays in a coma. He watches over her every day and helps her family around the house. When they questioned him about why he never returned with the flowers the two had enthusiastically snuck out every night to see, he simply shook his head. No, nothing good came of his trip there he would say. Nothing.

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You've clicked on a link that will take you outside of We do not control your destination's website,
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It is a journey
I must face...alone.
*dramatic music*
I want to stay on Neopets,
where the dangers of
Meepit invasion
are taken seriously.
Heads Up! You're about to leave Neopia!

You've clicked on a link that will take you outside of We do not control your destination's website,
so its rules, regulations, and Meepit defense systems will be
different! Are you sure you'd like to continue?

It is a journey
I must face...alone.
*dramatic music*
I want to stay on Neopets,
where the dangers of
Meepit invasion
are taken seriously.
Heads Up! You're about to leave Neopia!

You've clicked on a link that will take you outside of We do not control your destination's website,
so its rules, regulations, and Meepit defense systems will be
different! Are you sure you'd like to continue?

It is a journey
I must face...alone.
*dramatic music*
I want to stay on Neopets,
where the dangers of
Meepit invasion
are taken seriously.

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