The City of Lost Souls

Arcanum Corvus is an author. He has a book on the New York Times Bestseller list called, Amissus animarum. There's a catch, nobody know's what he looks like. Matter of fact, nobody knows who he is; well there are a few. Arcanum has a past, and he cautiously exposes it through his characters. There's more to Arcanum than meets the eye. So who is the mysterious author, nobody truly knows.


28. Chapter Twenty Eight

I'd only been in the house a few horus. After recovering from the flashback; I took to my mother’s old desk again. Carefully I set everything down, and adjusted it to fit. Things were back in their place. The Professor and Julia sat on top of the desk. They were my companions; my only companions. 
            I looked at the picture of my mother, siblings, and I. My finger stroked my mother’s face. It was before she died. 
            I closed my eyes, and could hear her voice.
            "You need to push through the storm. Take the helm of the ship; and fight against the waves. Don't let yourself become overcome by the waves." She stroked my cheek. She was dying, and it couldn't be stopped. Cervical Cancer was stealing her life. It was stealing her from us. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery were done, but it wasn't enough. 
            "Arcanum, it's my time." She was ok with this. She'd come to terms with the news. 
            "You've not seen grandchildren." I argued back.
            "No I've not. Nor will I. I've seen you, Cassiel, and Emily blossom. I've seen Abby flourish with you. I've seen what I need to see in my time." She held my hand. 
            I couldn't process this. My optimistic views were becoming extremely pessimistic. 
            Sitting on the book case, Metis Ceridwen Presley the plague read. The box was small. One could hold it, in the palm of their hand. It contained only some of the remains of our mother. 
            I gently let my fingers, touch the dark wood. I missed her terribly.
            “How can you be ok with dying? You’re not fighting hard enough. I know you can fight this. Why are you giving up?” I argued with her. I was becoming angry. I ran my fingers through my hair. I was becoming exasperated. 
            “My dear child, I’ve fought. It’s been long, and hard. I’ve given my ovaries. I’ve given my uterus. I’ve given every piece imaginable. It’s my time. I’m becoming tired of fighting. I’ve spent my life fighting. Now I want to enjoy my time with my children. I know you’re upset with my choice, but it’s just that. You’ll have to accept it. Your brother and sister have. So now you must as well.” She smiled that her reassuring smile. It wasn’t reassuring. 
            “Mom, please.” I begged of her
            She shook her head, “Arcanum death isn’t fair to the living. It leaves you wanting more time with the ones we love. Living isn’t fare to the ones who are dying. It leaves them knowing what they’ll leave behind. So either way, it’s hard for both of us. In time you’ll see, you’re much stronger then you think. I know you’ll miss me, so will Cass, and Emily. You’ll have the memories we’ve made. You’ll have the memories to share with one another. Arcanum, do not spend your life being bitter, and angry. Do things in my memory. Help me live on in various ways. It’s what I want. Now take this quote, and please enjoy my days with me. "Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."  Isaac Asimov said that. Transitions are difficult, only for a short time. Then you’ll see that things will become easier. You’ll see me in all different walks of life. It’s ok to grieve, but don’t spend your life doing it. You’ll miss out on so much.” She brought my hand to her lips, and kissed it softly. 
            “It’s not fair.” My voice was gruff, and full of sadness.

            My mother chuckled, “Oh if life was fair child, we’d never learn to grow.” She smiled, and closed her eyes. 
            “How much longer do we have with you?” I asked bravely. I felt like such an insensitive arse for asking a dying woman such a question.

            She shrugged, “I’m not sure. Your brother and sister can come up now. I’d like my children with me. Abby is included.” 
            I quietly stood up from the edge of the bed where I sat, and hurried downstairs. 
            “Mom wants us all upstairs now.” I spoke quickly, with a clipped tone. 
            I turned around on the stairs, and hurried back up. I returned to my spot, and my mom smiled. 
            “Hello, Mrs. Presley.” Abby smiled, her eyes were red. 
            “Dear child, call me mum, or Metis.” My mom patted the bed, for Abby to sit beside me. 
            Cassiel, and Abby sat on the other side. 
            “My beautiful children all gathered by my bedside. What more could I ask for?” She sniffled a little. 
            “Now, I need all of you to be strong. Crying is ok, but don’t spend your days doing it. Be there for one another. Fights will be bound to happen, make sure you make up afterwards. If you have children, tell them about me. Share the fond memories we have. Make them laugh, and often. Never be afraid to be firm in your beliefs, that’s who you are. Most of all let the light in your life on the darkest of days. I love you all. Arcanum I named you for your amazing knowledge. Cassiel, you’re named after an archangel. Your name has several meanings. The one I felt would fit you. It appears to have done that. Cassiel was the angel of solitude, and tears. It’s also said, he was to preside over kings deaths. You becoming a police officer, solitude, and tears fit your name, and your gift. In time you’ll see. Emily, you were named after Saint Emily. She devoted herself to the care of neglected children by their parents. You however have chosen to become a pediatric nurse. You help children in time of need, and in all walks of life. So you’re all destined to be great people of the world. I’m proud to have you spent my life with you. Abby, sweet Abby, never stop smiling. You have the most beautiful soul anyone has ever met.” She closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. 
            “Mom we love you.” Emily’s voice was soft. 
            She smiled, “I will always love you all. Sweet dreams.” She took one final deep breath, and that was it. Her chest stilled, and her eyes never opened again. 
            I was brought back to the reality of where I stood. My hand lay on the wooden box. I’d abruptly left my home in Boston. I’d not told my siblings or best friend where I was. Not even a goodbye. I was being a selfish son of a bitch.

            I decided to pull out my phone, and took a picture of my laptop, and the window behind it. I opened the Twitter application, and tapped on the feather icon. When it allowed me to compose a message, I attached the photo I’d taken, and simply typed, “Tranquility.” 
            I knew once Emily, or Cassiel saw it, they’d know exactly where I was. Patty of course knew, but wasn’t aware of how much I’d packed. I could stay here for several months, as long as I washed my clothing on a regular schedule.

            I set my phone down on the desk, and sat down in the old wooden chair. I leaned back, and rested my chin against my chest. My gaze sat on the window. The sun was starting to set, and I wasn’t even entertaining the thought of dinner.

            My phone buzzed, but I didn’t bother with the notifications. I was extremely distressed, and didn’t have anyone to talk with. 
            I felt a single tear slide down my cheek. I could only imagine Abby’s small hand, brushing it away. 
            I missed my best friend, and the girl I was too stupid to realize, I was in love with.



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