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Post Reply Death and All Her Friends
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26 / F / In my own little...
Posted 12/25/08 , edited 6/26/09
Last Update to the Story ::
May 16th {{ the Little Reaper gets her tools }}

Kay, just to let all you know, this story might end sad D: I'm not sure yet how this story needs to end, but I have it down to two or three endings, and two of the three are sad.

Chapter 1

Brown eyes flashed, and muscles went to action, taking their master away from danger.

A whizzing arrow missed Arlette’s heart by inches. It whizzed past, right where her heart had been just milliseconds before.

How did I get myself into this?


It all started when she was five. She lived in a small city called Corncup, somewhere in the great state of Wisconsin. Her favorite color was orange, and she had dark brown hair with natural gold highlights. And her eyes were a light brown, a bit hazel in the center.

She lived with her mom, Anna Dyther, and had no pets, but counted all the little critters in her backyard as “pets.” She was five, after all.

And when this all started, she’d been sitting in her room, drawing a picture after finishing her homework, which coincidentally was drawing pictures.

She’d seen a squirrel outside her window. Perfectly normal, right?


This squirrel was floating next to her window.

And it talked to her.

She had walked up to her window, and opened it.

“Hi, Mr. Squirrel, how are you?” She had asked when she saw it hovering next to her window. Being five, talking to a squirrel floating outside her window seemed like a normal thing to do.

“Pretty bad. An’ somethin’s wrong here.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Well, the fact that ya can hear me an’ see me must mean somethin’s wrong,” he replied in a husky and accented voice.

“Why’s that?”

“’Cause I’m dead! And don’ ya think it’s a bit odd for humans to talk to squirrels?”

After thinking about it a second, she realized she did, and said, “Well, I guess that is a bit odd. But if you’re dead, why are you still talking?”

The squirrel shook it’s head and muttered something under its breath. She couldn’t hear it, but she had an idea that it wasn’t something very nice.

“Well, aren’t ya gonna do it?” The squirrel sounded agitated and impatient about something.

“Do what, Mr. Squirrel?”

“Don’t tell me ya don’t know!” The outburst was also agitated.

“Know what?” She kept her cool, even though the squirrel seemed to be having a fit.

“Yer supposed to help me on! Take me to the afterlife! I thought ya would know that! What kinda soul seer doesn’t know what they’re s’pposed to do?!”

“Soul seer? What’s that?”

So the agitated and impatient squirrel explained all that he knew, which wasn’t much:
“Ya say some mumbo jumbo about what’s gonna happen to me and do something that’ll take me there! Sheesh, what did ya expect?”

“That doesn’t help much, you know,” the little girl huffed. She folded her arms, and made a pouting face. She wasn’t liking this squirrel very much. He was mean to her.

“Well, what do ya expect me to know? I’m kinda new at being dead, ya know.” His sarcastic tone of voice didn’t improve her spirits.

After a long pause, the squirrel said, “Well, are ya at least gonna try something?”

“If you ask really nicely.”


“Okay, I’ll try something,” replied Arlette and she closed her eyes, and said, making it up as she went along, “I release you from your earthly ties. Go home.” And opened her eyes, to see the annoyed squirrel still floating there, tapping his foot on the air.

“It didn’t work.” He said, stating the obvious.

“I can see that.” She was really getting annoyed with this rude squirrel.

After another long pause, she said, “Well, I’m leaving now. Good bye Mr. Squirrel.”

And she left her window, closing it behind her.

The agitated squirrel floated there, and after a few mumbled curses, he floated off into a tree. If he was going to be stuck in this world, he’d at least make the most of it and enjoy the things he’d enjoyed before he died.


That night, after dinner, Arlette lay awake in bed, thinking about what had been said at the dinner table…

“Mom, guess what?” She’d said eagerly.

“What, honey?” Anna Dyther’s voice had been soft and loving as she dished out some food for her daughter.

“I saw a squirrel today!”

“Don’t you see squirrels every day, honey?” Was the woman’s reply, with a little chuckle.

“Yeah, but I talked to him. But he wasn’t very nice to me. And he talked all funny, different from us.”

Her mom looked at her with a concerned face, alarmed and wondering why on earth her daughter thought she was talking to squirrels. She’s only five, she’s just using her imagination. But her alarm was soon to increase.

“He said he was dead.”

“Honey, you stop that this instant.” Suddenly she was not concerned, but terrified. The stern look on the woman’s face told Arlette that her mother was not joking.

“Why, mom? Don’t you want to know what else he said?” She did not know why her mother was being so weird about it.

“Honey, stop pretending you can talk to dead squirrels. It’s not normal.”

“That’s what I thought at first too, but I figured that since I could, it wasn’t as not-normal as we thought!” She replied cheerfully.

Now, her mother, being a no-nonsense sort of woman, said sternly, “That’s it, young lady. Go to your room now. I told you to stop talking about this nonsense! No dessert for you.” Her pointer finger was pointed toward Arlette’s room, and the five year old quietly and confusedly walked to her room. Anna was left in the kitchen, wondering what to think…

And now the girl thought back on the conversation. Her mother had seemed especially mad at her for this one. Her imagination had gotten the better of her many times before this, but her mother had never been this upset by her stories.

I wonder what Dad would have thought?

She took out the picture she kept under her pillow. It was of her mother and father, and herself as a baby. Her dad had died when she was just 2 years old. She’d never gotten to know him.

And since she had never gotten to know him, she’d created this perfect father in her mind. This is what he was like. He was tall, and handsome, which she knew from the photo. And he was a happy person and loved laughing, like her mother had told her so many times. The parts she made up were what kind of father he would have been. He would have taken her to the park every weekend, and he would have carried her on his shoulders and given her piggyback rides when she was bored. He would play dollhouse with her and read her stories at night. She sighed, playing through the perfect day with her imaginary father as she did before bed each night.

Today, he took me to the ice cream store! And then we went to the park! And he played on the monkey bars with me, and the sand box! She didn’t think her father would have had a bad back like her friend’s father did. He’d be in perfect shape, and ready for all her games. Then he took me home and we had a picnic with mom, in the garden. And at dinner tonight, he told mom that she was overreacting. He asked what the squirrel’s name was, and I’d told him he had none except Mr. Squirrel.

She sighed, and turned over onto her side, facing the window.

And found the squirrel glaring at her.

She stuck her tongue out at it and rolled over again.


When Arlette did manage to fall asleep, she dreamed about her dad.

They sat on a bench in the park. She was silent and so was he. She vaguely wondered why they weren’t doing anything, but her limbs and mouth seemed perfectly content doing nothing for a while.
After a while, he said, “So, you met Mr. Squirrel today? How was he?”

She looked over at him in confusion, and cocked her head to the side. “Hm? Mr. Squirrel? Why do we have to talk about that grumpy old thing?” She talked to him as if he was alive, and had been with her all her life. Like they were old palls.

He laughed, and said, “He’s more than that, you know!” He put his arm around her shoulder, and chuckled a bit more.

“How can he be more? He’s so mean!”

“Oh, you’ll find out. Did you say the words of release to him?”

“The what?” Now Arlette was really confused.

“Yeah, the words of release. ‘I release you from your earthly ties. Go home,’” he recited as if they were familiar words.

“Oh, that? I said it! It didn’t work. Was it right?”

“Oh, yes, you said it right. But did you do it right?”


“Yes, there are hand gestures with it. And you need your scythe.”

At her incredulous look, he laughed, and said, “I know, it’s a bit un-original, isn’t it? All those stories about the grim reaper with the scythe actually have something right. But they got one important thing wrong.” He looked at her meaningfully.

“What was that?” Her eyes were wide with anticipation. Being only five, she always loved a good story.

“You should know soon enough. When you can figure it out, you’ll be ready.”

And then he started to fade.


And she woke up.

She sat up strait in bed, and shielded her eyes from the bright sunlight that was coming in through her window. And she yet again saw the squirrel glaring at her. She ignored it, shut her blinds, and got dressed.

She skipped down to the breakfast table, where her mother was sitting, a bowl of cereal in front of her, and another a little to her left. Arlette sat down in front of the other bowl, and began to pour milk into it from the carton sitting close by.

Her mother looked up from her cereal, and said, “Sweety, I’m sorry about last night. I was just… well, I was scared for you…” she mumbled to her daughter.

Arlette smiled and said, “Oh, Mom, it’s okay!” Then she yawned, and said, “I’m tired… do I have to go to school today?”

“Yup.” Her mother was now smiling, and she finished up her cereal and put the bowl and spoon in the sink to wash later. Arlette finished hers quickly, and put her bowl and spoon right next to her mother’s, and she briefly wondered what it would look like if there were three bowl-and-spoon pairs.

She grabbed her backpack from its spot, leaning on the leg of the dining table. She always put it there before she went to bed so she could grab it on the way out. She picked up the lunchpail that sat on the table with the lunch her mother had lovingly made in it. Ready!

She and her mother walked out of their house and into their driveway, where her mother’s silver Honda stood silent. It was fairly new. Her mother had gotten a big raise at her job last year, so she’d gotten a new car to replace the old junk that they had before.

She got in, her mother turned the key in the ignition, and they were off.

She kissed her mother on the cheek in front of the preschool, and ran to catch up with her friends, who stood at the entrance, giggling.

“Bye mom!” She called over her shoulder before she disappeared through the doors.
Anna Dyther sat in her car for a few moments longer, staring into empty space. She heaved a huge sigh, and drove off to work.

“Guys, guess what?” Arlette walked with her friends to their classroom, where Ms. Leah would be waiting for them all, ready for her preschool class.


“I saw a cute little squirrel yesterday! His name is Mr. Squirrel.”

The looks of excitement pleased her, much better than last night’s reaction. “Oh!! That’s cool!”

Sometimes a girl only has to talk to other girls her own age to feel better about what her mother does. Arlette smiled and asked her friends what they’d done over the weekend. It was Monday, which meant show and tell!


Arlette held up her picture, and said proudly, “This is my dad!” She stood in front of class, and was showing the picture she kept under her pillow for show and tell. “I’ve never known him, but I’m sure he would have been a great dad! He’d have taken me to the park every weekend, and played with me all the time, and he’d be in good shape so he could do lots of things with me. Even though he died when I was two, I know he’s still with me.”

The teacher, Ms. Leah, looked at Arlette with concern and sadness in her eyes, but Arlette didn’t see it. “Thank you, Lettie! That was a great show and tell!”

Arlette walked to her seat, and sat down, with her picture displayed proudly on her desk.


And now she sat on a bench close to the curb in front of the school, waiting for her mom to come pick her up. The little drive-up pick-up lane was packed, but none of them were her mother’s silver Honda, so she took out her picture, and studied it.

She heard the voice of Billy, a boy in her class, and one she did not like much. He was always picking on other kids, herself included.

“That was a nice show and tell, Lettie!” Arlette heard him say, standing behind her. She’d made everyone call her Lettie since the first day of preschool, because she didn’t like her name much.
She didn’t look back at him, and ignored him.

He came around to stand in front of her, a leering grin on his face, and he picked up her photo, right out of her hands. “What’s so great about your dead dad, anyways?”

“Give that back. It’s mine.” She tried to sound firm, but she never could with him. He was just too intimidating. He was a bully.

He sniggered, and held it higher, as if to drop it.

“Don’t you dare, Billy!”

“What’s going to stop me?”

“I am.” A voice was behind her.

Billy seemed to be ignoring it.

A young man came into her view, and he walked calmly up to Billy. The boy didn’t even glance at the man. She watched as he threw the picture to the ground, and the young man tried to catch it, but was too late. The glass shattered, and Billy rubbed his foot into the picture, now exposed to the evil world, and sniggered again at her.

She stared at her ruined treasure, and picked it up, cradling it like a hurt bird. She looked up at Billy in horror and shock, tears welling. “Billy, you’re horrible!” She cried, and turned around to hide the tears that were streaming now.

But he noticed, and taunted, “Cry-baby! What, are you going to go crying to your mama? What’s she gonna do ‘bout it?”

He walked away, but the young man followed him, a steely determination on his face. When Billy was walking in the grass, he threw a stick right at Billy’s side, and when he turned to see who had assaulted his poor side, tripped him. Then he dragged him by the sleeve to a nearby tree, and pinned him against it. He didn’t hurt him, just scared him.

Billy was so terrified that he wet his pants, and passing children laughed, happy to see the bully of the class wet his pants for once. “Billy’s wet himself!” The cry rang out and Arlette looked up, and through her tears saw the young man walking back to her, a sad understanding in his eyes. She saw the wet spot on Billy’s pants, and couldn’t help laughing, even through her tears.

“Are you okay?” Asked the young man.

She sniffed, and said, “Yeah, I’m okay. Who are you?” She looked up at his black hair and blue eyes. She thought it looked odd.

“I’m Aaron. And your name is?”


“What about your real name?” Aaron crossed his arms over his chest and smiled down at her.

She smiled back and said shyly, “Arlette.”

“Nice to meet you… Arlette.” He stuck out his had and she wagged it a bit.

“Thanks for that…” She smiled sadly, and looked back down at her picture, which was ripped and wrinkled now, with dirt smudged over the whole thing. She couldn’t make out the face and smile of her father now.

He sighed, and said, “No problem. Sorry I was too late though… how old are you, Arlette?”

“I’m five. How old are you, Aaron?”

“I’m twenty. Exactly four times your age!” She giggled, not completely understanding all of this, and he smiled, happy to see her lips curled up instead of down.

Arlette saw her mom drive up, a strange sort of confused and concerned look on her face. She can tell I was crying…

“That’s my mom, I gotta go now.” She got up, picked up her picture and the bent up metal frame it had been in. Aaron walked her to the car, and smiled, waving as she left. Arlette waved back.

Anna Dyther glanced sideways at her daughter, who held the broken picture in her hands, and gasped. She slammed on the breaks, and pulled over to the side of the drive-up pick-up. “Was that Billy’s doing?” She demanded.

Arlette nodded, and her eyes clouded, and she felt the second wave of tears coming on.

“That Billy Mavrick…” she trailed off, mumbling things that Arlette couldn’t hear, but she knew they were things she was too young to know.

“Did your teacher do anything about it?”

Arlette shook her head, but hastily added, “But she wasn’t there, she didn’t know. And besides, Aaron helped me! He made Billy run away!” She smiled and pointed back behind her, where Aaron now sat on the bench she had waited at.

Her mother glanced at the spot where her daughter was pointing, and frowned. “Who?”

“Aaron! He’s twenty! He helped me up from the ground, after he told Billy to stop bullying me!” She made up a few little tidbits to make the story more interesting. “And he said that if Billy ever messed with me again, he’d scare him good!”

Anna scrunched up her eyebrows, still looking for this Aaron. So now my daughter has imaginary friends?

She drew in a heavy breath and drove on.

And as she drove, she thought about her husband, and sighed sadly.

Arlette sat at her desk in her room, and drew a picture of her dad, the way he’d been in her dream last night. And this made her think of what he’d said about the squirrel incident.

She put down her pencil and tilted her head in concentration.

So I really am a reaper? I mean, I can see the squirrel, and I’m pretty sure I’m not crazy…

So then she thought about the little riddle her father had told her to figure out. “But they got one important thing wrong.”

She thought of what this might mean. And she couldn’t come up with anything.

She looked down at her crude drawing of her dad, and then got out a clean sheet of paper to draw her savior from earlier, Aaron.

Her pencil made a circular shape for the head, and then a shaggy mess of dark lines for his black hair. Two dots for the eyes, and then a smile; the smile was important.

A shirt, two arms, pants, two feet with sneakers on them…

Now for some color. She got out a light blue colored pencil, and colored in the dots for his eyes. And khaki for the baggy pants he wore. The black pencil for the shirt he was wearing, and a reddish-orange for his vest.

She held the picture at arms length, and nodded in satisfaction.

She walked out of her room and into the kitchen again, and said, “Mom, I’m gonna go outside, I’m done with my homework!”

“Okay, honey. Stay in the yard.”

She nodded and ran out the door.

She ran to her swing, the one her father had put up only a month or so before he died. She cherished it and spent much of her time sitting on it. She plopped down onto it, and kicked her legs, not thinking.

She saw the grumpy squirrel bounce up to her and she prepared herself for a stream of nasty words.

“So, ya know how to pass me on now?” He said irritably.

“No, I don’t. I don’t know where to get a 'scythe.'” She said simply. She didn't even know what a scythe was.

“A scythe?”

“Yup. Dad says I need one.” She pretended to know all about scythes.

“Yer dad…?”

“Yup. Told me last night in my dream.” She crossed her arms, as if daring him to argue with that.

For once in his death, Mr. Squirrel stood silent for a moment and did not argue.

She smiled, but it was wiped off her face when he said, “Well then, what kind of reaper are ya supposed to be?”

“One who is confused and too little!” She blurted. And she knew the answer to her dad’s riddle. I’m not a grim reaper. I’m a little reaper.

She sat straighter, and smiled as the squirrel muttered under his breath irritably.

She blinked, and found herself sitting in a white nothingness, with the squirrel on the ground next to her.

“What’s happenin’?” The squirrel shouted, making the silent nothingness ring with the reverberations.

Arlette just put her pointer finger to her mouth for him to be quiet, and stood up.

A hooded figure walked up to them, as if from a distance, but also right there all at once.

“You are Arlette Dyther.” It said.

She could only nod.

The hooded figure nodded too, and produced from within its cloak a bow that glowed silver and a quiver full of glowing arrows. “These will be your most treasured objects from now on, do you hear?”

“What are they?” She managed to choke out after a few moments.

“These will be what you use to separate a soul from its body. You may have been expecting a scythe, but we decided a bow and arrow would suit you more.”

“Who’s ‘we,’ by any chance?” This five year old had a quick mind.

The hooded figure only chuckled and said, “We are the Upper Circle. We make the rules and keep the peace. We make sure reality isn’t torn apart, and we make sure things are done right. And we believe that you have what it takes to do this particular job perfectly. Now take your tools.” The figure held out the bow and quiver of arrows for her to take, and she did so.

And here, the squirrel decided to make himself known. “So that means I get to go now, right?”

“Not quite.” Said the hooded figure.

“What?!” The outraged cry filled the nothingness.

“You are to be her companion. It is through you that we will speak with her from now on, except on rare occasions. You will help her find souls needing to be released from their bodies, and you will help her in any other ways possible. You will be her manager, so to speak.”

“And what if I don’t want to?”

“And what if I don’t want him to?”

The hooded figure looked from one to the other and chuckled again. “You must be off now.”

And Arlette found herself back in her back yard with the squirrel.

What she didn’t know was that the squirrel had spoken with the hooded figure for much longer than she had, and now knew some things that would make him easier to deal with.

“Well. If I’m gonna be your ‘manager’ ya might as well start calling me by my name. It aint Mr. Squirrel.”

“What is it?”

“Henry.” He held out his paw and the girl shook it, smiling.

Chapter 2

Arlette woke up the next Saturday with a smile on her face.

It had been five days since she had started her new job as a reaper. Her first reap had been the hardest to do, since it was her first one. And her second was the hardest to endure.

The first had been on Wednesday. She’d seen the soul of a rabbit that a cat had gotten to. And she hadn’t known what to do.

“Just say what ya said to me, and shoot the poor thing through its heart. It releases the soul from the Earth and allows them to pass on.” Instructed Henry, who had become much more tolerable over the past few days.

She did as he instructed. She beckoned the rabbit’s shadow to her, kneeled by her, and said, “I release you from your earthly ties. Go home.” She stood up, and fumbled with the bow. She aimed for the heart of the rabbit. The little thing held still, wanting what was coming. It was painful for most souls to stay too long. Henry was another story.

She shot, but missed at first. She’d never used a bow before. But it seemed to come naturally to her. Her second try was a direct hit, weather by sheer luck or skill, she did not know.

“Thank you,” said the rabbit, only a faint whisper in the wind.

Arlette stood straighter, a calm smile on her face.

“That wasn’t too hard…”


But it got hard. Emotionally.

Her next reap was a human. On Thursday, she’d been walking down her street. A child, who had run in front of a speeding car filled her view. She had witnessed it happening. She cringed as she heard the sound of the child’s flesh meeting with the metal bumper of the car, and the sickening crunch of his fragile bones cracking.

The driver got out of the car, and didn’t seem to notice her as she walked timidly to the child.

His little soul got up and looked down at himself, horrified.

“Come with me,” she had said, holding out her hand.

The little boy took her hand, and walked with her, clinging like a child to his mother. He couldn’t have been more than four years old, and looked up to the big five year old who was helping him as he would look to his own mother.

“What’s your name?” Arlette asked the little boy, stopping under a tree, and turning and kneeling so she was face to face with him. Though, a five year old wasn’t that much taller than a four year old, so she ended up at his chest height.

“Mac.” The look on his face could have melted her heart. It was so sad.

“Well, Mac, do you know what’s happened?”

“I’m going to sleep for a long time, aren’t I?”

“I really don’t know what’ll happen to you… But you’re going to go somewhere, and you have to be strong, okay? I’m sure there will be someone waiting for you wherever you are heading.”

“Will Grampa be there?”

“I bet,” she said, a reassuring and sad smile on her face, and her voice choking up a bit.

“Are you ready, Mac?” She prepared the bow that she was now holding. She hadn’t noticed she was holding it, and it shook only slightly in her hands.

Mac put on a brave face and nodded, setting his jaw and clenching his fists.

“I release you from your earthly ties. Go home.” Arlette couldn’t help admiring him for his bravery, at the small age of four.

She raised her bow, and aimed for his heart. She felt horrible. This little boy had had a whole life to live. But it was all taken away now. She released the arrow, and watched it arc in slow motion and pierce Mac through the heart.

She felt more than heard his sigh as he went to go be with his Grampa. His figure shifted and misted into the background.

She looked up to see Henry sitting in the tree above her.

“It’ll get easier as time goes.”

“How can doing that get easier?” She was nearly in tears. She could now hear the little boy’s mother sobbing over his body. The driver was walking in circles, cursing himself, his head in his hands.

“It will, you’ll see.” The familiar voice came from behind her. She turned around to see Aaron walking up to her, his face one of pain.

She brightened up a bit, but was still dwelling on the sobs of Mac’s mother. That sound would haunt her for a long time to come. Five years to be precise.

He knelt down next to her and took her chin in his hand. “You must not let it get you sad. Your job will be too much if you can’t bear the burden.” When she still didn’t cheer up much, he said, “Er, do you need a hug?” She nodded, tears welling, and falling down her cheeks.

So he hugged her, and she hugged him back, not wanting to be left alone right then.

“Can you tell me a story?” She asked after a while. Her tears had stopped coming by now.

“Um… what kind of story?”

Henry sniggered above them from the tree.

“A story about a princess…”

Aaron cleared his throat noisily, and started. “Um… well, there was once a young princess, five years old. Named… um…”

“Isabella!” Offered Arlette.

“Named Isabella. And one day, a dragon came and took her hostage.”

Arlette gasped and her eyes widened. It was such a typical story, but at the moment it seemed he best and most creative in the world.

“And after twelve years of being in that tower, a prince came to save her.”

She clapped her hands and waited eagerly for the rest of the story.

“And then the Prince had to go far away for a long time…” He concluded, and his eyes clouded over for a moment.

“Oh, that’s not a very good ending! He saved her from the mean old dragon, then had to leave? They are supposed to live happily ever after!” She scolded him, her pointer finger wagging at him.

He laughed, and said, “Okay. They lived happily ever after.”

She was by now sitting in his lap, and he was sitting against the tree.

She had almost completely forgotten about Mac and his sobbing mother by now, and sat happily, glad to have a friend like Aaron. She looked up at the setting sun, and said, “Oh, darn. I have to go back home, or mommy will be angry.” She got up, looked up to Henry, who nodded and bounded out of the tree to stand beside her. She waved to Aaron, and said, “bye, I’ll see you later!”

She ran up the street toward her house, which was a few blocks down and then down a few houses. She had always been a wanderer, going farther and farther when she went for walks. She had proved last year that she could responsibly take a walk by herself, but her mother still worried about her.

Actually, she had snuck out of the house that time. Her mother had searched for her frantically for an hour, before she found her daughter playing hopscotch with one of the neighborhood children.

She was a very… mature five year old.

She stepped into her house, and called, “I’m home, momma!” And she waited for her mother to come and ask her how her walk was, as she always did.

She came, but she was looking very nervous and wringing a dishtowel in her hands.

“Where have you been?” She demanded.

“Walking. And then I saw Aaron again and he told me a story.” She put her jacket on a hook by the door, and went to sit at the dinner table, where she could smell dinner waiting for her.

Anna’s face darkened at the mention of Aaron, but Arlette didn’t notice it.

Anna walked to the table, and sat down. “Prayers.” She said, and folded her hands in front of her nose. She seemed especially ardent about her prayers tonight.

Arlette said her usual prayers, and added one for Mac, a sad angle flitting across her lips.

Anna passed her daughter the main meal, after she got some for herself, and said firmly, “I do not want you walking alone any more.”

At Arlette’s shocked jaw-drop, Anna put down her fork, and said, “You may not know this, but a little boy was run over today. He died, Arlette. I don’t want that to happen to you. It was little Mac, and he doesn’t live far away. Who knows what kinds of people drive around?”

“But momma, I know not to walk in the streets!” She had put down her fork, too, and looked shocked and insulted. For a five year old, she was very stubborn and independent. But she had the temper of all five-year-olds.

“I don’t care. You aren’t walking alone any more, you here me?”

“Yes, momma.”

They ate the rest of their meal in silence.


That night, Arlette lay awake in bed, yet again. Once again, she and her mother had not had a very good meal together. And now Arlette felt bad about how she’d pouted. Her mother was just doing what she thought was best for her daughter.

She looked at her ceiling, which had glow-in-the-dark stars and moons all over it. She’d gotten them last weekend, just before she’d met Henry. She liked them. They helped her sleep when she was upset. She’d had plenty of chances to test that theory. She was going to bed unhappy almost every day this week.

She looked at her window, and saw Henry floating outside it. His attitude had changed so much since she’d met him, that the sight of him was comforting to her now. She was surprised at the speed of the change, and the suddenness. Right after that meeting with the hooded person, he’d been a lot nicer.

She silently got up, and glided on tiptoes to the window, and opened it for Henry to come in.

“Can’t sleep, can ya?” He looked sympathetically at her.

“Yeah… Can you sleep at the foot of my bed tonight?” She felt a bit foolish for asking this.

“Well, I technically don’t sleep, but yeah, I can stay there tonight. Today was tough.” He jumped up to her bed, and curled up at the end, his fluffy tail over his nose. He let out a loud snore, and Arlette laughed. He poked his head up and winked, and put his head back into its fluffy pillow.

Arlette got back into bed and almost instantly fell asleep.


She had a very short dream that night. She walked down her street, and she was holding Aaron’s hand. He was telling her things about the neighborhood, and how he used to live there. But he’d moved.

So they just walked for a little longer, then he and the scene vanished, and some voice said, “You can’t even imagine.”


She sat upright, and opened her eyes to a dim sunlight coming through her window. Her mom was closing it.

“You really shouldn’t leave your window open, Arlette. You’ll catch a cold. Or animals might come in.”

She looked to the foot of her bed, where Henry was sniggering. Of coarse. Mom can’t see him.

“Sorry, mom. Won’t happen again.” She crawled out of bed, and went to her dresser, where her mom had laid out her outfit for the day. She slipped out of her pajamas, and into her clothes, and went out to the kitchen, with her mother following. They had both seemed to forget about last night. That’s how it always was with them.

They ate their breakfast, and went to the car.

While they were in the car, Arlette thought she saw Aaron walking along the street. She saw black hair, but it could have been anyone.

She didn’t look back, for some reason.

She got out of the car, and stood frozen for a moment before joining her friends.

She knew what had felt odd about him. She had thought it was his eyes at first, but now she knew it wasn’t. When I did that reap yesterday, he knew about it! And mom couldn’t see him the other day. She never said it but I could tell.

She stood dazed for a moment, then shook her head and walked into the school building to her preschool class.


That afternoon, she sat on her usual bench, and waited for her mom to come pick her up. She always got there a little later than the other parents, because she couldn’t get off work sooner. But only 10 or 15 minutes later. She was reading a book called Letters From Felix. She was only five, so she couldn’t read long books like her mom did. But she could read exceptionally well for her age, her teacher had said, and she was proud of that.

She sat, turning the pages, reading about Felix’s adventures in Italy, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She looked up, and Aaron was standing there.

“Hi, Aaron.” She said. She hadn’t forgotten her revelation from before.

“Hi, Arlette,” he said and sat next to her. “What are you reading?”

She didn’t even here his question, and just blurted out, “Aaron, are you dead?”

After a long pause, he said quietly, “Yes.”

“Why didn’t you tell me at first?” She was really curious as to how he’d died, and why he was still on Earth.

“Because I don’t think the best way to introduce yourself is to say, ‘hey, I’m Dead. How are you?’” He laughed, and stuck out his hand as if to shake for emphasis.

She thought about this, and nodded. “Okay, I guess you could be right there. I might have freaked out if I’d known that.” She nodded vaguely, her mind buzzing with new input.

She put her book away, and heard her mom’s car drive up. She waved to Aaron, and walked up to her mom’s car, to find Anna looking past her, searching for whomever she’d waved at.

“I was waving goodbye to a butterfly that landed on my hand,” she quickly lied. Mom might not want to know I’m talking to dead people now.

She buckled her seatbelt, as her mom drove her home.

She did her homework, pictures again, and headed out the door, hoping her mom had forgotten about her new rule. Unfortunately, she hadn’t.

“Stay in the yard.” She called as Arlette huffed out the door.

She went to her swing, and sat on it. Henry had seemed to vanish for the day. It was too bad. She wanted to talk to someone who understood things a little better.

And she got her wish in the form of Aaron, walking casually across her lawn, with his hands in his pockets.

Her heart lifted a bit, and she called out, “Hi, Dead!”

He stopped a moment, confused, then remembered their conversation at the bench, and laughed. He sat down at the base of the tree, and said, “So, what’s Arlette up to?”

“Oh, I’m just swinging. Thinking mostly.”

“What about?”

“About how my mom won’t let me take walks alone anymore.” She made a face, and let her arms hang.

He laughed a bit. A short laugh that made her laugh too.

“So what was that book you had earlier?” He asked, closing his eyes and leaning his head on the tree.

She got up quickly and said, “Wait here!” She ran inside and got her book, and ran back outside.

She sat down in Aaron’s lap, like she had the day before, and opened the book in front of them. “This is Letters From Felix,” she announced proudly.

She started at page one, and read to Aaron how Sophie had lost her toy rabbit Felix at the airport on the way home from summer vacation. She read to him how she was so sad, until one day when she got a letter in the mail from her dear Felix.

Arlette slipped the letter out of the envelope that was on the page, and unfolded it for Aaron. This was her favorite part of the book. You got to take out the letters and read them like actual mail. She giggled every time she opened them.

She read the letter to Aaron, and had to occasionally ask for help with the bigger words.

They read about Felix’s journey across the world. How he went from England, to Italy, to Africa, to Rome, to New York, and then back home. And Felix had so many things to tell Sophie about the places he’d visited.

When they’d finished the book, the shadows had moved on the ground, and they just sat for a while.

And Arlette realized that Aaron was the perfect brother she’d never had. She smiled, and turned around to hug him.

He was taken by surprise, but hugged her back nonetheless. He’d taken it upon himself to be a friend to her; someone who she could talk to and have fun with.

“I’m glad I met you, Aaron.” She said quietly. She was so happy to have a brotherly figure in her life, especially since she didn’t have a fatherly one.


Anna looked out the kitchen window, into the back yard, where Arlette seemed to be sitting in mid air. Naturally, this worried her.

Arlette stood up and said, “Well, it’s almost dinner time. I have to go inside now.” She waved goodbye to Aaron and walked inside, smiling.


And so Arlette woke up smiling. Since it was Saturday, she would be able to go to the park with her mom.

She got up and jumped to her closet, to pick her outfit. She and her mom had an agreement, where during the school week, Anna picked her daughter’s clothes, but on the weekends she could pick from whatever was in her closet.

Today she chose a little jean skirt with frills on the end, and an orange sweater with green knee socks. We’ll just say that Arlette has a very distinct sense of style.

“Mom!” She called, knowing that her mother was probably still asleep. She ran to her mother’s bedroom, and jumped onto her bed. Anna sat up groggily and said, “It’s Saturday…”

“It’s Saturday!” She repeated, more cheerfully than her mother had.

Anna got up and stretched, her energy flowing slowly to her legs, and said, “Okay, you go get some breakfast, and I’ll get ready.”

Arlette skipped to the kitchen, as her mother got ready for the park.

When Anna emerged in her casual jeans and a tan sweater, she got a quick bowl of cereal, and then got up, almost all of her normal energy restored to her, and said, “You ready?”

“Mom, I’ve been ready for ages!” Arlette joked, but was half serious. She ran to the door, and slammed it behind her in her eagerness.


Now she sat on the swings, pushing herself higher and higher. She had learned to do it herself long ago, because she had the swing in her yard, and could practice all the time.

Up and down she went, and stared dreamily into the distance.

I’m a bird! Flying to see my chicks in my nest! And I can see a river below me, and there is a bear fishing in it. In her mind’s eye, mountains formed in the background, with lots of orange autumn trees. Clouds dotted the sky, and the sun was bright. She blinked, the actual sun coming out from behind an autumn cloud, and the scene vanished. She sighed, and looked toward where her mother sat on the bench at the edge of the park.

She smiled to see Aaron leaning over her shoulder, reading the book she’d brought with her.

As if he knew she was looking, as if feeling her glance at the top of his head, he looked up and smiled and waved. He started making his way toward her, and she slowed down her swing a bit.

When he was close enough to hear him, she could make out the words, “hello, Arlette.”

“Hi, Dead.”

He smiled vaguely at their little thing, and sat in the swing next to her.

She could see him pushing himself off, and matching her speed perfectly. But anyone looking in her direction would see the swing next to her as still as the slight breeze would allow it to be.

“How did you sleep last night?” He asked absentmindedly, enjoying the swing, but not able to feel the wind in his hair or on his skin. He missed that about being alive.

“I slept really well! But I can’t remember if I had a dream or not.”

He nodded absentmindedly, not able to feel the sun on his skin either. No warmth, no cold. It got very plain being dead.

Arlette seemed to sense his mind on other things, and asked, “What’s wrong, Aaron?” She had always been very perceptive and not afraid of asking questions that make some people feel uncomfortable.

“Oh, nothing, I’m just trying to remember the feel of the sun on my skin.” He was surprised at the honesty of his statement. He normally would have just said, “Oh, nothing,” but today he felt like talking, about anything.

“You can’t feel it? How long has it been?” She asked, sympathy crossing her face.

“It’s been five years.” He didn’t realize what he was saying until it was out. His mouth seemed to be taking over for the moment, letting his mind wander to past times.

“Hey, I’m five years old!” She giggled, and looked over at her new friend, who seemed to be in deep contemplation. And then a question struck her.

“How did you die?”

His face darkened, and he looked down. All he said was, “I’d rather not talk about that.”

She nodded, and they began a discussion on where Felix could go next if they made another book where he went to more places.

After an hour or so of swinging and talking to Aaron, her mother began to wonder why she hadn’t even touched the monkey bars or slide, and when she watched closely, she saw her daughter’s lips moving, then not moving, and then moving again, a different expression on her face, as if she was talking to someone… Must be that “Aaron” person again… She worried, and got up. She walked to her daughter, and said, “Honey, time to go. We’ll get some ice cream on the way home,”

Arlette seemed to glance to her right apologetically before getting off her swing and walking with Anna to the sidewalk.

Go Here to continue ^^
Posted 12/26/08 , edited 12/27/08
?KINNIE?: Hey that's MYY BRANCH! i was gunna have it for DINNER T^T
-eats dinner table-

*poke poke* makez fun of Kinnay cuz she thinks every little things alive xD
Posted 12/26/08 , edited 12/27/08
OHH lmao

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26 / F / In my own little...
Posted 12/26/08 , edited 12/27/08

ay_bay_bay wrote:

OHH lmao


YAY!! I hoped you would xD
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22 / F / o-o places =3
Posted 12/27/08 , edited 12/27/08
luffles jooh storie D:
-emo corner- T^T
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26 / F / In my own little...
Posted 12/27/08 , edited 12/27/08

kintsuchl wrote:

luffles jooh storie D:
-emo corner- T^T

Aww, but we only do it because we luff you Kinnie .^^.

Should I put more up todaayyyy?
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22 / F / o-o places =3
Posted 12/27/08 , edited 12/27/08
LIES D: omg that took me 829374298374 tries to spell lies o_O
and YES! -goes back to rereading ym old stories- >w<
you know what i just read o_o
'Could I really fall for you?' has a characte named embie o_O'''
me:when did i name a character that?! o_O'
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26 / F / In my own little...
Posted 12/27/08 , edited 12/27/08
Ohhh, really?!?!? I shall have to read it then >:D
Is Embie a cool person??
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22 / F / o-o places =3
Posted 12/27/08 , edited 12/27/08
how should i know o_o
i stopped after it said

~From Embie
i think o-o''
i think ima work on that storie ..soon >w< -finds more coke- I NEED MORE CAFFINE FOR SOME REASO N:D
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26 / F / In my own little...
Posted 12/27/08 , edited 12/27/08

kintsuchl wrote:

how should i know o_o
i stopped after it said

~From Embie
i think o-o''
i think ima work on that storie ..soon >w< -finds more coke- I NEED MORE CAFFINE FOR SOME REASO N:D

xD lol
I just read it, it looks like she's a childhood friend .^^.
You should make her an AWESOME character, with a kitty-cat chara xD
lol that would be funny xD
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20 / Desert Bluffs
Posted 5/9/09 , edited 5/9/09
Posted 5/9/09 , edited 5/9/09
Posted 6/25/09 , edited 6/25/09
cant wait till the next chapter! ^_^
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26 / F / In my own little...
Posted 6/25/09 , edited 6/25/09
I should add more soon, shouldn't I??
It's been a while since I even looked at this one T^T
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28 / M / Archangelus
Posted 6/25/09 , edited 6/26/09

ember1116 wrote:

I should add more soon, shouldn't I??
It's been a while since I even looked at this one T^T

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