Wilted

She was a small and gentle soul. He had the soul of utter hatred. She lived alone in a small wooden home. He grew up in the forest surrounding her cabin. She was deemed beautiful. He was given ugliness. She was very kind. He was very cruel.

Or… so he thought.

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1. Wilted

   She was a small and gentle soul. He had the soul of utter hatred. She lived alone in a small wooden home. He grew up in the forest surrounding her cabin. She was deemed beautiful. He was given ugliness. She was very kind. He was very cruel.

    Or… so he thought.

    That day, It was bright. After two days of rain and dark clouds, the sun has finally shown it's happy rays. The kind girl was just coming back from the north side of the forest, a basket of fruits and roses clenched tightly in her hands. She was singing a song that day and was happy as ever!

    But him, he was not. The foul creature was walking in the forest, an angry look evident on his face. Why must I be the ugly child, the creature thought, why should I be considered ugly when my brother, Life, is deemed for eternal love and beauty? It set Death off to the edge. He screamed in rage. He wanted to be loved too. He wanted someone, just anyone, to stare at him with adoration and be grateful for his presence. It was a wish he had asked his father many times, and many times, he was told to wait. He didn't know, today, he can finally stop waiting.

    The kind girl appeared into his view, a look of sheer curiosity planted on her face as she looked around the small area. Death immediately went to hide in the shadows, making sure to stay away. “I could've sworn I heard an angry shout coming from here,” He heard her mumble. Her voice was like music to his ears. Her soft beauty was silently calling to him. She had the soul of a kind heart and the look of a sweet innocence. Something he deemed all of a rash moment magical! And he instantly knew from that day on he would vow to protect her.

    His Little Rose…

    Weeks have gone by as he watched the kind girl, caring for her and often leaving a few gifts that he deemed good enough for her and her needs. He loved the face she would make when she saw her porch filled with baskets of roses of all colors and fruits of all kinds. She would smile with shimmered eyes and blushed cheeks. And every time she would call out, “Thank you so much, whoever you are,” Death loved that about her and his urge to wait any longer couldn't be defeated.

    He wanted her to meet him.

    He wrote a small letter, laid it gently under a rose of white, then knocked on the door before running to hide back in the shadows. Where he was expected to belong. The kind girl opened up the door and found the letter after searching for a nonexistent presence. She unfolded it and proceeded to read it out loud. It made his heart beat when he heard her voice.

    “My dearest rose, for the past few weeks, I have been watching over you, keeping my distance. Often I would bring you small gifts to your porch. Today, I would like if you were to meet my by the pond at midnight. I would like to introduce myself and hopefully become a friend of yours. Yours truly, secret admirer,” A big smile grew on her face and her aura beamed with happiness. She yelled out in delight, “I would love to meet you there, secret admirer!”

    She ran back inside, trying to escape the blush taking on her face. He saw it, however, and he loved it. He loved everything about her. “Father has given you a fine choice, brother,” Life calmly said, patting Death's shoulder lightly. Death beamed with joy as he stood there in place, embracing the image of the girl in his mind. “Father sent me here to give you one small warning,” Of course he would, Death thought, what now?

     "You can't touch her, remember, she will die. Plus judging by that look on your face, you love that girl so you don't want that to happen." Life explained, knowing Death didn't like that. Death scowled. He picked up a small rose by his foot and watched it crumble and die right before his very eyes. Life sighed and hugged his brother, "I love you," he said, "and tell Uncle I said hello," Death nodded and waved Life goodbye as he disappeared back to heaven and him back to hell.

     Eventually, midnight rolled around. The kind girl was walking to the pond, a basket of flowers was clutched under her fingers, and she was humming that same song from last time. She reached the small clearance in little time and gasped. Candle light floated in the cold night air, a small blanket rested on the ground with food and wine on top, right next to the pond, and rose petals surrounded it. It was very romantic and pretty, something the kind girl could have never dreamed of until now. Who knew all of this was going to happen to her?

     "Do you like it?" Death's voice echoed, "I did this for you," The kind girl nodded happily, searching for the man's voice. "Yes, I love it. Why are you hiding?" She said, then head to the small picnic. "I don't want to scare you away, I'm afraid you'll fear me." To her, his voice sounded sincere, truly afraid of her judgment. To say she was also afraid of his was a small understatement. "I won't run away, I promise," She said and sat down on the blanket. A moment or two passed before Death made his appearance before her. He was surprised at her patience.

     He lowered the hood off of his head slowly, still hesitant. The kind girl gasped in shock, it quickly triggered Death's reveal and he covered his face with the shadows of his cloak again. "You're beautiful," She exclaimed, a smile on her lips. Death thought she was lying at first. Who would ever love me, he thought to himself, who can ever see past my scars? Death had many flaws. His left eye was nonexistent, leaving a black nothingness there. His flesh on his jaw was torn, showing the teeth and mouth, and his skin was as pale as moonlight. "You are absolutely fascinating, please don't hide," She said again and got up. She took out her hand and grabbed his sleeve and led him down to the blanket. They had a fun time after the shyness went away.

     He laughed with her, smiled with her, and enjoyed his time with her! They had so much fun together. They got to know each other, even. To say they didn't suddenly fall in love would be a lie. Death raised out his gloved hands and snapped his fingers. A slow song began to play. He got up and raised his hands towards her, "Care to dance?" She got up and took his gloved hand. "Gladly," They danced to their heart's content. Laughing when the other slips, gazing into each other's eyes, silently enjoying the night, they did it all. And after a few sips of the red wine, all memories of a warning were simply gone. He slowly leaned in for a kiss, testing the waters. She stood there, staring at his lips that were hardly centimeters before hers. "May I, My Little Rose?" She nodded yes and leaned in herself.

     It was a magical moment that couldn't last long. Her legs grew weak, her heart beat slowed down, she fell to the ground. Death held her in his arms. "Love, what's wrong?" He asked, worriedly, as he set her on the cold grass. She weakly smiled at him and muttered, "You kissed me, I am now simply dying." That's when he realized, he forgot the warning. Oh, how could I simply forget?! Tears sprung to his face as he clutched her firmly, "No wait, you can't die, you can't!" She reached up and wiped a few tears, that smile never left her face. "Shh, love, it's okay, I knew this would happen," What did she mean?! "I don't have long now, I just want to say that I... I... I love you," Death begun bawling. Her eyes started closing, it was almost over...

     "What do you mean?! Don't leave me! Stay awake, please! Please, I beg of you! I'm sorry, I am so sorry!" No matter how many times he shook her, he couldn't get her to stay awake. "Please, darling, I love you too, I love you so much. You are the first person I have truly loved for so long. Please, come back!" He couldn't get her to open her eyes. It was all too fast for him, the process of his grave mistake ran through his head over and over again. Monster, I am such a monster... He had no choice now since he killed her, he decided her fate. It took a lot of will and right now, he wasn't sure he had any of that. "I'm sorry," He chanted at her as he uncovered his trembling hands and searched through her memories. In order to decide her fate, he must go through every single wrong and right doing she has done in her life. And so far, she was considered pure to him.

     However, there was something that shook him to no end. A small clip in her memory was a dream, and in that dream was their special moment detailed to the very last moment. He got to see her alive for the very last moment, replayed in their special night. She knew that she was going to die, she knew that he was going to accidentally perish her, but she didn't say anything. She loved him too much to deny the thing he wanted; Her... "She knew all along," It sounded so foreign for him to say, "Yet, she didn't care," This was taking a moment to process and it made him feel guiltier, sadder even. She did it because she loved him too much to say no... How could she? He kneed down before her body and gently fixed a loose strand of hair. He forgot he was still crying until a tear of black dripped on her cheek. He wiped it away then looked up at the starry night heavens.

     "I know what I did was wrong, and asking for a second chance is too much. So, all I ask for is a simple request. Treat her well, that's my last selfish need from you." And with his last cry, he took her body and formed it into a rose of pure white before taking her to the world of good on a ray of moonlight. He watched her leave him, for his mistake and sins. It pained him, so much. It should teach me a lesson for a long time, he thought to himself. A graceful petal fell back to the ground he stepped on. Death caught it with a glove and transformed it to a small necklace he now wears all the time. He stared back at the ground in depression as he said to himself,

     "That's it, she's forever gone because of me. It's... It's all over now. She..."

     "She Wilted..."

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