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About Digital Art / Artist Member MelissaFemale/United States Groups :iconmeant-to-see-the-sun: Meant-to-See-the-Sun
You were meant to rule the dark
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Scarf Buddies - LN by LuckyBlackCatXIII
Scarf Buddies - LN
"What's that on your arm?"
"Huh? Oh, dunno. It's a scarf, right?"
"That's what it looks like. Why don't you have it wrapped around your neck? That's where scarves are suppose to go."
"I dunno, I just felt like putting it on my arm! Wanna try wearing it like you're suppose to?"
"That sounds like a fine idea."


I almost forgot Lenny even wore a scarf until I remembered the little doofus wears it on his arm! So it's finally getting use like it should be. 

Lenny belongs to me, Maria belongs to :iconyukifrozen: Hope you don't mind the dumb little interaction I made up between them alkdjfa
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A sharp inhaled gasp and Iñes’s eyes snapped open, body wavering before she regained her balance but not without dropping the toy. What had that been? Her ears weren’t playing tricks on her again, were they? She had been desperate to hear her son once before but now, of all times? The point of all this was to end the torment, not urge more of it!

A boy, an odd, disturbing looking boy had run into the room with a skull in his hands, a candle burning on the top. There had been joy on his face until he skidded to a stop, his smile falling quickly in shock once their eyes connected, his eyes momentarily looking down at what was around her neck. Iñes felt herself stiffen up. Who was this, this child who caught her in the middle of what she could only imagine was the most disgraceful fall of her life? Children shouldn’t see someone like this, she thought frantically while her shaking hands wrapped around the rope under her chin, whether they understood what was happening or not they shouldn’t see such sinful, pitiful actions! It was then, the blurring world her overdriven emotions had brought began to focus again when the building tears spilled down, seeing the child more clearly now. She gasped again, unable to keep her feet from stepping back just a step, forcing her to regain her balance again to keep from falling. “L…Leo-!” Iñes choked out at first, the child leaning forward in anticipation upon hearing the beginning of a name, but she clamped her mouth shut.

Was this really her Leonardo? Whatever it was took the form of him yet was anything but his normal appearance with its green, sickly skin, dark circles that surrounded brightly yellow-orange eyes that only cats should posses.  

“A-are…could you be a demon?” Her voice quavered, eyes widening. Then a thought passed her mind, one that made her eyes widen wider then grow steely. Yanking the noose over her head she stepped down from the chair, rage bringing a hue of growing red on her tanned skin. Iñes’ flame, in the darkest of times, had roared back to life. “Have you been the one tormenting me!?” She howled in pain, stepping towards the demon who, at first, stood its ground before fearfully walking backwards from her advancing stride. It tried to open its mouth to talk but Iñes was far from finished. “You! The one who refuses to let me sleep without seeing his mangled body every time I close my eyes! Forcing me to starve from guilt! How dare you take my son’s image and bastardize it into…into this! I know I didn’t protect him! I do not need you to remind me!!!”

The demon kept silent, looking up at her with those strange eyes that glowed in fear then flickered in hurt at her questions and accusations, its bottom lip quivering. It seemed to be undergoing its own quiet thoughts, clutching the skull in its hands tightly, wounded before it melted into accepted sadness as if it deserved this.

Iñes swallowed, trying to wet her mouth so she could speak again, trying to swallow the lump in her throat. It was difficult to yell at something that looked like a child, morbid appearance or not. And it was especially hard when it looked like her son, about to cry at that. Was this right? Demons would work this way though, wouldn’t they, to attack your vulnerabilities and manipulate them to their liking. It could be acting to gain her sympathies. “What more do you want from me?” She continued to scream with extended hands, curled stiffly, begging for answers. Her frustrations and pain had finally been allowed to crawl out and would not be stopped. “Why have you shown yourself? I was about to let myself drop from the rafters, submitting myself to damnation! Is that not what you’ve been whispering to me to do? Is this not what you wanted!?” The thing shook its head, eyes growing moist, trying to speak but unable to. “Then what is it!?” Iñes was crying now too. “Why are you here!?”

“I missed you.”

Silence settled between them, the only sound coming from Iñes’ loud breathing through flared nostrils, her aching, mourning heart still ready to cast this supposed demon out of her home and life with vigor. She refused to believe she had just heard what she had…she had heard correctly, right? “What was that?” Her voice was low and quiet.

It stood there for a moment with a noiseless, flapping mouth, struggling to create an answer, its eyes trying to read her for her next move, to see if he should be ready to be yelled at more. “I…said he missed you.” The creature’s tense exterior began to loosen, feeling safe enough to finally speak, wiping its eyes dry hastily with a long, familiar looking sleeve. “What I mean is, um…I’m your son’s messenger while he’s in Limbo!”

“…Messenger?” She asked slowly, gradually standing up straight now. Accepting a demon in her home had been easy after how far she had fallen but she was still getting over the idea that this thing wasn’t here to drive her to suicide, eyeing it with suspicion. Was this a trick as well? It didn’t make sense if it was. She had just been about to knock the chair over! About to end her life! Why had this thing stopped her? To prolong the pain? It all seemed ridiculous, the thing wasn’t even trying to rub its morbid appearance in her face, blame her for her son’s death…what was its purpose? “’Limbo’, I-I do not…understand…what-I mean, who are you then?”

“I just said I’m a messenger-oh! You mean…uh…I’m…” It wagged a finger in the air, thinking, before giving a smile and its answer, pointing at her. “I’m a pumpkin! A magic one, watch,” Before her eyes, the creature’s head turned into a jack-o-lantern, causing her to give a cry of fright before seeing that silly little grin on its face. “Ta-dah!” The pumpkin child extended an arm, as if revealing a magic trick before reverting its head back to what must be normal for it.

Pumpkin? Magic pumpkin? This had to be an unholy force if it was doing magic like that! Yet she felt no malice in anything it said or did. “How did you do that?” Iñes stared, slowly kneeling down before her legs could give out, taking this all in. It was hard to do so, this night beginning to feel more like a dream the longer she sat in the presence of this…pumpkin. “And why…why do you look like-“

“Your son?” The pumpkin child asked eagerly, Iñes nodding in reply. Seeing this, it seemed to beam happily, for what exactly she could not read in its body language. “Because he couldn’t see you on his own and wanted you to see something like him, to keep you company. He’s busy!”

“Busy?”

“Mm-hm. He’s working to get back home. To you! But he missed you so much that he wanted to see you again somehow…so he made me! So I can talk to you and tell him how you’re doing!” The child’s smile faltered, looking at her nervously then at the rope that still hung from the rafters. “…you’re okay, right?”

Whether this was a dream or she had succumbed to the madness of despair finally, Iñes felt herself growing relatively calm and even a little embarrassed. She had been scared of this thing, even accusing it of such horrible things like… “Ah!” She had turned to see what the pumpkin was looking at, blanching at what she had left behind, still dangling ominously above the chair. Getting up on her feet, Iñes hastily made her way over, climbing up on the table to try and reach the noose to get it down, no longer having any urge to end her life. “I am sorry,” She murmured to the boy who had followed behind her, keeping its distance from her. “I never wanted anyone to see this.”

“Would that have hurt?” It asked curiously, still not showing any understanding of what the rope fixture was. By how the woman spoke about it though the pumpkin seemed to know well enough it brought nothing but bad news with it.

“Yes. But you do not have to worry, I mean,” Iñes looked down, simply accepting this now. It was easier to treat this as a nightmare turned surreal dream. “You don’t have to tell him about this. Please don’t. You…really are a messenger for him? That’s what you said, yes? He made you? What is this ‘Limbo’? What is he fighting, I don’t understand much of anything you’re saying. And,” Her eyes moved to the skull, the candle on it a little shorter than it was before, hardened wax keeping the candle more founded. “Why are you carrying that?”

The pumpkin had been looking around the house—something to look at that wasn’t the noose maybe—before returning its attention back to her, climbing one of the chairs and then onto the table as well, sitting on it and resting the skull on his lap. “Yeah, he made me from a pumpkin. I don’t know how it works, but I can talk to you as long as this candle’s lit! We can’t touch though,” Its eyes looked away briefly, as if to say ‘not that you’d want to’. It made Iñes deeply regret her earlier outburst.  “And Limbo it’s this…place! With lots of other dead kids and it’s always night, and it’s always cold and foggy. I-He doesn’t like it that much but it’s not bad.  There’s lots of woods to explore and he’s made a lot of friends there!” With his hand out, he started counting his fingers while Iñes finally managed to loosen the rope enough to free it from the rafters. “There’s Maria, Ukki, Ayanna—they’re like brother and sister now!—Thema and Quill! And I guess Mucha too, she’s not really a friend but she’s okay…”

It continued to ramble on about what could be considered irrelevant things such as pumpkin patches that grew turnips and ‘ember flies’ but Iñes found herself unable to stop listening intently. Getting off the table, she sat in the chair in front of this odd messenger, finding herself strangely comfortable even with the product of her earlier grief still held in her hand. Even when all that the pumpkin shared sounded impossible it was all very charming. The way this ‘Limbo’ was described and the tangents that were taken sounded just like how her son would tell his own made up stories, whether they were made up simply for entertainment or an attempt to cover a lie. Iñes hummed a gentle laugh. Leonardo had been awful at lying but, after he was rightfully punished, she had to admit his tales to get out of trouble were quite amusing.  

“Limbo does not sound like a place children should be in,” She whispered, disappointed with the idea that Leonardo was there. Like any parent who raised a yammering child, she was able to listen and converse with the odd information given to her, playing along like it was all fact. And maybe it was just that? “I thought…should they not be in Heaven? My chiquito might have been mischievous but he was a good boy, he deserves to be with the angels...Why and what is he fighting?”

The pumpkin’s jolly face winced at that pet name, speaking up before the woman could question the reaction. “He fights to get back home.” He kicked his legs, eyes on the candle, still shrinking slowly, sweating beads of wax that rolled down its sides. “Because of how he was killed someone felt sorry for him and all the other kids in Limbo so they promised to bring them back to life if they fight monsters off for the kids who are still alive!”

The pumpkin was struggling with his explanation but Iñes didn’t blame it nor did she ask for further clarifications on certain things, like just who offered these children such a horrible deal—who would be so cruel?—concerned about the limited time the creature had spoke of. She would just have to hold her tongue and do her best to understand what was told. “That sounds dangerous.”

“Pshaw!” It waved a hand, smiling to ease her obviously conveyed concerns, lines knitted on her brow. “It’s not dangerous! Well, maybe a little, but they’re not so bad! He’s good at fighting! You should see him! He can use his shovel to make holes in the ground and WHOOSH! Appear behind them! He beat a wolf that blew wind like that once! He almost got eaten by a monster too but smacked it away! Man alive, it was BIG! And he can summon treats and bread when he needs to feel better! Sometimes pictures fall when that happens too, we don’t know who they are but he likes to collect them so they’re not so alone! He can turn his head into a pumpkin just like me too!” The pumpkin, who had been talking enthusiastically with wild arm and hand movements, stopped himself there, clearing its throat before shyly looking up at the woman. “That’s…kind of it about me…can I ask things about you now?”

“Me?” Iñes leaned away some in wonder, not expecting such a fantastical creature such as this pumpkin boy to be interested in someone like herself. The pumpkin nodded, slumping some, looking away again. Leonardo had done the same thing whenever he was lying or ashamed, the woman recalled, watching it much more closely. There was something off about what she had been told.

“He told me a little about you but…I don’t know much. I think. I’m suppose to look like how he died, so,” The pumpkin knocked its head, glancing back at the woman to give a sheepish, awkward smile who only looked paler at the hollow sound his head made. She was quite sure just what part of Leonardo’s death that conveyed. “I don’t remember much…I forget a lot of things. And sometimes he does too.” It frowned, looking away again but occasionally glancing back here and there. “I bet he’d like to hear about you and other stuff in his life. That way he has something to make him want to work harder! Don’t you think?”

It acted so nervously now, like it regretted not knowing about her nor it’s owner’s life. What did it matter if it was just a messenger? A pumpkin at that! In fact, why was a pumpkin even worrying and emoting as much as it had its entire visit? It wasn’t a real child, it was, as it said, created as a visual replacement. But it did more than just sit there for looks, didn’t it? Iñes finally took the time to truly study this anomaly sitting in front of her. It really did look like Leonardo, messy hair and all, wearing a very hodgepodge outfit. Something about it all seemed familiar, especially what appeared to be a scarf wrapped around his arm. What kind of fashion decision was that? “Is there anything you would like to know?” She asked, continuing to study the child and its responses carefully.  

The boy opened its mouth, then shut it…opened, then shut, slouching in thought. Did he really have nothing to ask, thought the woman. Or were there too many questions to figure out which to start with? “Who are you?” She hesitated to ask, confused, before he corrected himself. “I mean, you! I know you’re his mama, what’s your name?”

“Iñes. Iñes Pe-“ She thought twice on that answer. “…Tierney. Do you have a name?”

“Does he have a papa?” He ignored her last question or maybe he was too excited with his own questions. They had limited time together after all.  “And not that bad man that hurt you. Where is he?”  

Iñes hesitated. She had accepted it after three years but it that didn’t mean it hurt any less to say it aloud. “He did, but he died too. In an accident. I…remarried to keep us off the streets. I would not have done so if there was any other way.” At least methods that didn’t involve sacrificing her own dignity. But after what had happened and how Thaddeus had treated both her and Leonardo she wondered if there really was a difference. She really had been selfish; Iñes’ guilt came trickling back. “But even then choosing that man for a husband I suppose I did not protect him at all. He must…he must resent me. What kind of mother fails to keep her son safe?”

“NO!” The boy blurted out, snapping her out of her guilt trip. He was gripping the skull tightly, staring down at it with a heavy, serious expression. When he spoke again, it sounded as if he were trying to keep from sounding choked up. “He loves you. He loves you a lot and thinks you were really brave. You kept him safe! And…and now he’s the best at hide-and-seek because you helped him so much, you know!” He looked up sadly at her now. “And he’s sorry he couldn’t help you like you helped him.”

Speaking with this child was beginning to feel therapeutic, even when it forced her into territories she had refused to explore herself. If this truly was a dream, her mind could have been creating all of this to assuage her guilt, another attempt to keep her from suicide. Even so, it had given her all the freedom to finally let out her insecurities, her troubles, doubts, guilt—not that she was proud of that part when it had been painfully unfair towards the child—and now it was granting her a moment to escape from the hardships of her life and her losses. Another chance with her son. Somewhat. To think this child, whom she had considered an envoy for Hell was turning out to be a Godsend.

She just hoped she was, in some way, helping him now.

“He tried.” She spoke softly. “And he was very brave too. I am grateful for what he did even if…if it resulted as it did…I am glad he can still love someone like me.” The smile that had grown on Iñes’ face wobbled as she tried to conceal her own want to cry. “I love him still with all my heart. I miss him as well.”

This seemed to encourage the boy to regain his energy, puffing up and curling his grip on the skull with determination. “You won’t have to for long! He’ll be back soon! And,” He seemed to be struggling with a thought before shouting out. “He’ll come back before his papa died and keep him from ever dying! Then you won’t have to be with that awful man!”

Such a promise to make! And from such a small thing. Iñes looked at the boy with the upmost respect, wondering if such a thing really was possible. It couldn’t be. But if there was a chance, even the slimmest one, she prayed for it. “And Leonardo…he will be safe trying to achieve this?” Her thoughts wandered to what he had said earlier about her boy almost being eaten up.

The boy nodded, looking away once before those yellow eyes focused on her again, a smile pinching at them. “Of course!” Iñes looked doubtful, clearly catching his nervous ticks for lying which caused him to look more determined. “I mean it! He’ll be okay! He has to be so he can come home! And he will!” His eyes shifted back to the rafters. “And…and he’ll see you again when he comes back, right?”

Iñes smiled softly, sadly, still regretting what the boy had seen. She knew what he was really asking. “Yes. I promise, I will be here.”

“Good.” He exhaled with a dramatic slump over the skull, satisfied with her answer. The boy seemed content, his eyelashes lifting again to allow him to watch her silently but suddenly tears began to build and his lower lip trembled. He turned his head away, embarrassed, wiping at his leaking eyes with his sleeve.

“What is wrong?” The woman panicked, worried she had convinced him just as poorly as he had to her earlier, though her answer had not been a lie like his. Her hand reached out to console him but instead phased right through his shoulder, causing her to recoil with a flinch. That’s right, he had mentioned not being able to be touched. Iñes frowned, pitying the child, but perhaps he didn’t want to be touched by a strange woman he just met tonight. Luckily for her, he hadn’t even noticed her concerned motion. “Are you alright? I promise, I stand by my word. I do! You do not have to worry!” He shook his head, hiccupping sobs now. That wasn’t the issue? “Then what is the matter?”

“I don’t want to leave!” He wailed, holding out the skull for her to see what he had just realized. The candle had shrunk during their conversation. Only little time remained andhe was beginning to have trouble speaking through his sobs. “I j-just got here! I wa-wanna t-talk more! I like you! I wanna stay with you!” Quickly, he added, gulping in air. “H-he probably won’t be h-happy by how little I learned…!”
Now Iñes really regretted she couldn’t hold him, wanting to gather the boy tightly in her arms and calm his tearful fit. All she could really do was scoot her chair closer and stay composed. Children needed adults to be a foundation when they themselves felt unstable after all.

“Shh, calm yourself,” She gently shushed him. “Yes, I suppose it is almost time for you to go but…but we still have a few minutes left! If we both get too wrapped up in our emotions then we will waste what little we still have, right?” The boy seemed to consider this for a moment, sniffling before nodding, Iñes smiling warmly up at him in return. “Then we have to do our best to keep calm for now.”

“Okay…Sorry for crying.”

“Do not worry yourself about it, it is alright to cry once in awhile. I do not want to see you leave either,” Iñes hoped her smile would help to urge the boy to cheer up. “But it won’t be long until you’re back. Right?”

“Yeah. I guess so.” The boy sniffed one last time, rubbing his nose with his sleeve now, too busy recovering from his crying to realize his slip up. Looking down, the candle burned strong but had melted a great deal since he first arrived. It almost was beginning to resemble more of a lump than its previous rod like structure, blanketed by layers of past fallen wax.  “Damnation.” The boy mumbled, hating the horrid little timer.

“Now! Do not say that, it is a vulgar term. Just where did you learn that, anyway?”

“People who passed by the pumpkin patch. I mean, he saw a lot of things before having to go to Limbo. He saw you too! Sorta.”

Her eyebrows raised in interest. “Did he…?”

The boy smiled and nodded. “Mm-hm! But not that much. He said you looked out the window at the pumpkin patch sometimes, but it’s hard to see through the glass.”

“And he was in the pumpkin patch…” Iñes thoughts wandered. He had been there and she didn’t know? Or had there been signs? Something connected. “You stole the scarecrow’s clothes!” Iñes cried out, hands covering her mouth at this epiphany.
Leonardo looked baffled before folding his arms, looking away. He seemed nervous, not sure if he would get in trouble should he be honest. “No! M-maybe! They looked nice and they’re comfy.”

“It looks very nice on you. But I think you still have some growing to do for your shirt.”

“I like it how it is.” The boy turned back to her smugly, kicking his feet and waving the floppy sleeves proudly. He seemed rather pleased she hadn’t gotten mad at his thievery. Silence settled between them, the atmosphere growing bittersweet with shared acceptance towards the candle’s inevitable end. “I miss you already.”

“I will be with you as long as you remember me. Just as I will remember you.” The response had been so perfect, so well done it left Leonardo speechless, a dumb grin spreading on his face. He was missing a few teeth, Iñes noticed, enough that he had managed to grow a gap between the biggest two front ones. It made her chuckle, reaching out to cup is face, knowing full well she couldn’t hold it. “Be safe for me.” Leonardo was going to cry again, the flush around his cheeks and eyes evident of that, but he bit his lip, nodding a response. Lifting the skull up, he closed his eyes…

“LAND ALIVE! Um,” Before blowing out the candle, the boy had whipped up a hand to protect the candle, not wanting it to go out just yet. “I almost forgot! He wanted you to know he…he wants to be called Lenny when he comes home!”

“Lenny,” She repeated, tasting the name on her tongue. It was different, that was for sure, but it was simple, cute. Especially when her son had requested it personally. It suited him just fine. “Alright.” Iñes smiled, nodding to him. “See you soon…mi chiquito Lenny.”
Lenny, feeling about as ready as he could muster himself into leaving, raised up the skull yet again so the candle lump was at mouth level. It was then a flicker of realization crossed his face. “Hey! You called me-!”

The candle, already at the end of its life and unable to support itself anymore, flickered weakly before snuffed out completely by Lenny’s exclamation. Gone was the flame and, like the wiping of a slate, Lenny vanished, a shocked, open-mouthed smile the last thing of him that lingered in Iñes’ mind. She had chuckled before settling back against the chair, a hand lifting to cover her closing eyes. Just as she had shut them, her tired eyes opened again.

Alone in the farmhouse, one candle had retired for the night, perhaps blown out by a breeze. Iñes sat up, looking around. Had she fallen asleep? It felt as if she had been awake all this time but clearly, by the candle on the table’s now shorter stature and the darker night that overwhelmed the outside landscape, she must have nodded off at some time during her drive of anguish. Luckily though her soul had felt pacified, the woman looking down at the rope in her hands, which she quickly tossed into the far corner of the room. She didn’t want to see that thing again, no longer feeling the weight of drowning despair. She hadn’t felt this weightless in a long time. Nothing had change. Her loved ones were still dead, she was still alone and would eventually be persecuted for the murder of her husband in due time. And still, she felt at peace. How very strange, she mused to herself. How strange of her to be acting to light hearted after being so violently driven to suicide mere hours ago. Perhaps she was going mad.

If that were the case and it meant feeling this comforted though, she didn’t care. “You will be alright,” Iñes told herself whilst standing up, moving to the ofrendas again, wiping away the moisture in her eyes that must have come from her sleep. Once there she struck a match, relighting the candles and, after waving the match to extinguish it, placed the twine horse that had found itself on the floor back on it’s display box. “Things will work out.” There was no foundation to base this statement on but, in the depths of her heart, Iñes felt this to be true. “If not for yourself, for Seamus and Lenny-“

She stopped. ‘Lenny?’ What on earth had possessed her to call her son that, a nickname never given to him by her or any other person in his life? Not that she knew of, anyway. The more she pondered on it, the more she enjoyed its sound, bringing back a mysterious sense of overwhelming happiness. It had a nice ring to it, a name just as silly and sweet as the child she had so happily once known. One she’d keep alive with her memories, one she’d hopefully see again.

One she would patiently wait to reunite with.
Please Don't Leave (Remember Me Prompt) Pt.3
WARNING: Suicide mentioned

Word Count: 4782
Prompt: Remember Me 

Pt.1
Pt.2
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(Contains: ideologically sensitive material)
Alone in the farm house, one candle stood guard on the table while Iñes wearily supported her head with one hand, staring down at what rested in her lap. ‘Has it really come down to this?’ She dared not ask herself aloud, still trying to deny the overwhelming sinful temptations that had taken hold of her mind since that day; that day where her world truly began crumbling around her.

She looked up, her dark brown eyes looking about the equally dark, lonely home. It was so quiet these days, even when the autumn winds whistled through and around the farm. No longer did the knocking sound of her husband’s heavy boots vibrate through the dull wooden floorboards, no longer did she have to hear his exaggerated sighs of frustration or his newest topic of complaints. What beautiful silence it would be had there not been a source of sound Iñes missed from the depths of her heart. The silly, nonsensical stories, that bubbling laugh at the slightest thing, those light pitter-pattering of feet running about the front yard and even the pumpkin patch when the thought he could get away with it…she let out a dry sob. Her hand that rested on the table had begun to tremble, finally moving to clutch at the coarse object in her lap.

Her son. Her darling boy was dead. It had only been about a week since the incident yet it continued to wear at her mind just as the day it had been freshly ingrained in her. With Leonardo’s death so came his stepfather’s and she took solace that the man’s soul burned in Hell while Leonardo flew with the angels now.  Surely he had to be, God was kind to all the little children after all, a lesson she had been taught as a child herself. But what would become of her with them gone, even with these reassurances? No son, no husband, no friends, no family. Much like her beginning journey in America, she was completely alone, left to her own devices. Only this time there was no spark of hope, no flame of perseverance to keep her moving on. Wars, lost loves, abuse, countless losses, they had all taken their individual tolls on her. What was the point of it all? Was God testing her? Punishing her? What sins had she committed to deserve such torment? Was it for not being there to die alongside her family, for deserting her home country, searching for her fortune in the very land that had so brutally savaged Mexico? Walking amongst those who humiliated and slaughtered her people? Such guilt had hounded her thoughts for a decade now.

Unable to keep sitting, Iñes pushed herself up and away from the table, still dragging the rope in her hands along while moving into the nearby kitchen, stopping at the window across from the fireplace. Looking out the sun had just about disappeared below the horizon line, blue dusk taking over the land for now until the black of night caught up. The scarecrow in the pumpkin patch stood watch, still only a cross of sticks and a sack for a head. Once the guardian had defended the garden clothed but, in the past week even after personally replacing it with new articles, the shirts, the pants, scarves, all had disappeared. Iñes had been forced to just give up, assuming whoever had stolen them to need more than she. “I lost him again.” The woman spoke monotonously, trying to act as if the thievery meant nothing to it. Those clothes had been meant for Leonardo, for when he went to church or when he grew older, and now they were gone. It didn’t matter, did it? He certainly wouldn’t wear them now, exactly why she had used them for the scarecrow instead.

Bitterly, she slammed a hand on the window, ignoring the stinging pain the action brought to one of the fading bruises on her wrist. Turning her back on the backyard she returned to the living room to look over a small collection of ofrendas she had created for her son and other departed family members for All Saint’s Day, thinking it could help ease the pain. It sat on a cabinet near the table; a simple display of seven candles, a plate of various breads and the St. Raphael medallion her first husband, Seamus, had given his son. There were no photos of Leonardo or the others—how could there be for a poor widow?—so, instead, sat the medallion with a twine horse in his stead, standing on a box so that it overlooked the ofrendas laid out before it. She had personally made it and a variety of other animals for her boy who grew bored living so far from other children and it quickly became one of his favorite toys; a perfect stand in for his portrait, she felt. Iñes stroked the items before moving to light the candles. Her stomach growled at the sent of slowly staling bread. She hadn’t eaten in days. While her body begged for her to eat any attempt led to her stomach rejecting any food or her appetite suddenly disappearing by the time it reached her lips, leaving her weak and haggard looking.

How could she continue on like this? How could she eat after what she witnessed, what she did? The candles lit, her hand gently picked up the twine horse, her breath rate picking up. How could go on after what she didn’t do, allowing the remaining happiness in her life to be snuffed out by that brute?  She had done this to her son. He had begged her to leave her new husband and to stand up to his abuse, only for her to reassure that it would end, that staying was the best and only thing they could do. ‘Here we have food and shelter,’ She would say regretfully but with the most reassuring smile she could muster for him. ‘We must stay.’  Iñes had been able to take his slaps and punches without crying anymore, at least long enough until he was gone, and she had made all the best hiding spots for her son to hide in before her husband could unleash his frustrations on Leonardo as well. ‘Things are alright,’ she had lied to herself. ‘Things will work out. There is no other way.’

But that had been a lie. All the smiles and comforting speeches she had given her boy had masked the truth that she had become too much of a coward to just up and leave. There had been truth in her concerns for food and shelter but had it required her to leave Leonardo in such a dangerous home? Had she really become so naïve that she believed her second husband, Thaddeus, would really ease off especially when their income had begun to grow smaller and smaller, his patience waning with each day? And yet she, who claimed to always protect her son, had insisted they stay, ultimately failing him in the end. This was her fault, her punishment.

Clutching the toy horse in her hands, Iñes could no longer take it. He hadn’t deserved it, she moved to the table, stepping on a nearby chair before stepping on the table. Her hands began to loop and pull the rope in her hands, creating the shape she had seen so many soldiers—both the enemy and her own countrymen—strung up in when still living in Mexico. He was just a child, why hadn’t it been her who died? She threw the loop over the nearest rafter beam, slowly moving her feet back to the chair and pulling the rope, tugging to check how firmly it had wrapped. Why had God taken Leonardo and Seamus when she was the deserter? The traitor?

Iñes looked at her work, her gut feeling more pain than the normal hunger pangs. Yes, this would do. She felt her heart rate speed up, throat feeling tight. What would it feel like? Better than what the past week, the past years, had brought her she imagined. The pain would come but, unlike the murky pain which weighed on her shoulders, bringing her into a bog of depression that sapped any of the original strength her first husband had once commended, it would not last for long. No longer would she have to recall her loneliness, her worthlessness. No longer would the image or sound of that awful shovel colliding against her son’s head, breaking the skull with snaps and cracks play in her mind. No longer would she be haunted by her own accused faults. The pain would come, a snap of the rope and neck, and then she would be dead like the rest of them.

Free from her mortal pains though, what then? While Seamus and Leonardo would be soothed by the warm light of Heaven she would find herself burned by the licking flames of Hell, wouldn’t she? After all, ending one’s life was just as severe as taking another’s. A life was the most precious gift of all. Was this worth the escape?

The woman hastily took her head out of the loop, hanging onto it and bowing her head while she tried to compose herself from an uprising of sobs, her single long braid sliding off her shoulder and slowly soaking up the tears that fell down her right cheek. Was she willing to deny herself from reuniting with her husband and child? Or her original family? Instead, she’d rather the company of Thaddeus, the one who ruined her and her son’s lives? Not that it mattered if she finished the act once and for all. She had taken her revenge on that man shortly after his own act of murder, shooting him with his own shotgun. Iñes gave a harrowing, bitter laugh. He had been so confident that she was weak, spineless. Perhaps that was a delusion his eyes created to see her in. As if any respectable woman from her background wouldn’t know how to use a gun like that, just how stupid was he? The initial look of shock in his eyes had brought such sour joy to her in the heat of the moment but it did nothing for her now. Thaddeus had managed to drag her down one last time by bringing her to his level right at the very end, hadn’t he? Justified or not, it only confirmed that her soul was sure to burn no matter how or when she died, whether by her hands or by God’s.

Iñes took a deep breath, standing up straight. Solemnly, she slid the hole of noose around her head again, no longer showing any hesitation. It was settled. Why suffer another day when in the end it would result with the same outcome? Why wait for suspicions to rise when her husband stopped showing up for his weekly supplies, for people to find the buried bodies in the yard—one carefully, properly, lovingly bound in blankets in its grave and the other carelessly so—to assume what had happened and do with her what justice they thought suited her? She couldn’t just run away either, what was out there for her but more regrets? No, this was the answer. Soon there would be relief.

With closed eyes, a calm smile, Iñes clutched at the little toy horse together with the rosary around her neck, keeping it close to hear heart. Seamus forgive her for not being as strong as he had praised her to be, Leonardo forgive her for being a coward and a failure. God, with one last prayer in her heart, if there was a chance He could forgive her for what she was about to do, have pity on her soul. With one lifted foot she moved it to knock the chair over and—

“Mama!”
Please Don't Leave (Remember Me Prompt) Pt.2
WARNING: Suicide mentioned

Word Count: 1990
Prompt: Remember Me 

Pt.1
Pt.3
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Lenny ran to the Keep, sprinting with wide eyes and a bright smile on his flushed face, ignoring the tightness in his chest that grew more painful the longer he ran for his destination. How was he even feeling the pain of being breathless, why was it living traits still hounded him and the children of Limbo after they had all entered a realm of death? It didn’t matter to the panting little green boy, not when he had more important things to wrap his mind around.

All around him, children had bragged and shared of their experiences on how they had been granted a chance to revisit their home, returning to those they loved, seeing them, speaking to them! A miracle! Impossible! But there was too much proof to denounce it and Lenny just couldn’t bear the thought it was nothing but a large, elaborate prank. Lillian, a dreadful Reaper he had the misfortune of making acquaintances with—and unknowingly had thwarted her attempts to make him cry—had tricked him once before into thinking there was no Halloween event or treats being handed out. She wouldn’t be cruel enough to try and trick him again by false promises of visiting home, right? Lenny skipped into the air, floating for a second before the ground called for his feet to return, grinning more broadly. No, there was no way this was a trick. He was going to go home! He was going to see Her again.
At the thought, now hopping down one step after the other of the descending stairway he had arrived to, Lenny’s heart fluttered, nervous. If what he had heard was true, he could be reunited with his mother again, at least for a brief moment of time. Of course, any time with her was a Godsend but with the prospect brought many anxious thoughts. Would she want to see him? Would she want to see him as he was now? Even for a slow witted boy as himself, Lenny had come to realize his current form must be vastly different from what he once was. What would she think of it, of all that had happened to him? Would she even be in the home he had once seen her in through the lit up windows at night? The window she would look out from with a bittersweet look on her face only to eventually stop showing up at all?  

He landed on the last step, his smile faded now and his throat tight. And how would he tell her he had forgotten everything…forgotten her? Himself? Would she want this ‘Lenny’ to visit her or the little boy she remembered and had tried so selflessly to protect?  
A deep inhale of air was what drove away the lump forming I his throat, a smile returning on his lips albeit weaker than before. Nothing could go wrong. They would be reunited, he could learn about his life before death again and she could be promised of his permanent return. Everyone wins, he concluded mentally.  A step forward and his earlier confidence slowly began to trickle back in.
The Keep was not an area of Limbo Lenny often found himself exploring. There wasn’t much to it to begin with; a barebones ruin of some cathedral cloaked in darkness. The only light came from the grand stained glass that stretched high above anyone who visited, as if trying to reach the trees above, and the lit skulls that rested on the graves that littered the ground. The boy frowned while navigating his way through it, using the skulls as his guides and assistants to keep him from tripping on the dead plants or roots on the ground. The last time he had been in here was after he met with Maria, the two shortly after running off to claim the land they hoped to discover. Before that though she had pointed out his grave which, irritatingly enough, had engraved his name completely wrong. Rather than ‘Lenny’ some dolt had put…had put…

Lenny paused to think, trying hard to recall the unfamiliar name he had scratched out, using a rock to write out what he perceived as his true name. “L…Le…” He struggled, whispering under his breath, thoughts interrupted by a high voice.

“Are you going to get over here or what!? If you’re just going to lag behind all the time I’m just going to put a leash on you!”

Startled, Lenny’s head snapped up. Ahead of him, under a stone arch and silhouetted by the stained glass behind her, stood the very girl who had teased and tricked him about Allhallowtide, arms crossed and that mocking look on her face again. A distrusting frown pinched at his cheeks, not wishing to be near the reaper and her forever-writhing snake hair. “I like it here, thank you.” He called out, turning his back to her and waving a hand, shooing her off. “So you can just go be a pain to someone else, L…uh…” What was her name again? “…Liddy?”

“BZZT,” The reaper made a horrible sound from right behind him, causing Lenny to yelp and spin around in shock. The girl shrugged at him, head shaking. “Not even close, it’s Lillian dummy. And, y’know, you should be nicer to me, I’m the one who gets to let you return home you know~”

“What about the other Reaper-?”

“And Bambi is like, suuuuuper busy right now so she can’t help it’s just me.” Lillian quickly added, talking over his question before flashing a not so innocent smile, that one sharp snaggletooth of hers now more exposed. “That’s why you’re here, right?”

Lenny hesitated with his answer, still recovering from her sudden appearance. “How’d you know?”

“I’m a Reaper, I know everything,” Lillian pressed her fingers to her head, widening her eyes and pretending to read his mind. “That and, you know, everyone here wants to see someone back home. Duh.” Lenny fidgeted, frowning more. It felt like she was mocking his intelligence, a sensitive subject already to him. He often joked about his slowness but when people like Lillian did it…there was nothing funny about their jokes. It was always a purposeful jab at one’s insecurities; uncaring and malicious.

True to Lenny’s view on her, Lillian seemed to move on topic without so much of the batting of an eyelash towards his comfort. “So let’s see,” A flick of her wrist and a skull flew towards them, the girl catching it then shoving it in Lenny’s hands. “You’ll be visiting your mother, right?” Lillian snickered before letting out a snort. “Not like you have anyone else in your life to visit, huh? Dumb question, sorry~”

While she cackled to herself, Lenny forced himself to keep entirely still, refusing to give her the satisfaction of reacting. It was possible—if not a sure fact—Lillian already knew of his amnesia since she had been the one to bind him to a contract then drag him to Limbo after accidently lingering on Earth. Yet the idea of letting her take joy in any wince of pain, any grit of irritation was enough of a challenge for Lenny to take. The best thing he could do was stay excited…which wasn’t hard, even with the nagging insecurities that still nipped at the back of his thoughts. She wasn’t going to ruin this for him. “Yeah, I want to see my mama!” Just saying that caused his heart to flutter again, only this time it felt more like it was dancing instead of spluttering like before. His grip clutched onto the skull the more he daydreamed of returning, his little fingertips growing white from how hard he held the thing. “Can I go now?”

“Geez, don’t crush the thing! You want to go home or whatever, don’t you?” Lillian snapped, seeing the product of his enthusiasm. Vimal, the only white snake that lived amongst the nest of vipers on the girl’s head, jolted out too with a clap of its little mouth, affirming its mistress’ words.  A giggle broke loose on Lenny’s face. She sounded annoyed. His earlier indifference to her teasing must have worked, her tone no longer as playful. He loosened his grip as instructed, almost dropping it in the process, which he fumbled to save. “And don’t drop it either! You drop it when the candle’s lit and then what? You’ll be coming straight back here! What a waste!”

Looking around the skull in his hands then around where he stood, Lenny’s brows furrowed in confusion. “What candle?”

A roll of the eyes and Lillian produced a candle, bringing it down to the top of the skull with, apparently, enough force to keep it there. “That one, obviously.” After a pause, she smacked the skull from the bottom, almost jarring it from the boy’s grip until he clutched hard on it again. She smiled. “…Just checking how focused you are~” Lenny had the right mind to ‘accidently’ bring the skull up and collide it under her chin. He was on his best behavior though. If Bambi really was as busy as Lillian stated then the only thing standing between him and his mother was the Reaper’s approval.

That and his stubbornness to withhold glee from her still burned strong.

“I guess I should get to the boring part of all of this and tell you the rules, though maybe I should just let you go up there and flounder around.” Lillian huffed, dejected her antics were receiving so little reactions from the young boy. “You’ve already heard, this thing,” She patted the skull. “Is your ticket to a visit to anyone, any place from your life when you were, you know, not dead. Only they can see you, no one else though so if you just pop in front of them while they have company it’s your fault if their friends start thinking they’re crazy when they start pointing and screaming at you. And that’s the thing: you’re just appearing to your target. You’re not actually going to be there physically. Meaning no hugs, no kisses, no nothin’.”

“So many rules,” The boy mumbled under his breath, downtrodden that any hope of being held in his mother’s embrace had been dashed away.

“I’m not even done so shut your gob,” Lillian twirled one of her snake hair strands around a finger playfully before scratching it under the chin. “So you see your select person, you chat, yadda yadda, do what you feel you need to do, say what you need to say. But remember you’ve got a timer, that candle there. Once it’s burned all the way down or if the flame blows out by you or some other force, you come back here. So make sure you say goodbye to your mom or whatever before it goes out.” For a moment, the girl opened her mouth as if there was more to say, but instead she smiled and closed her lips, thinking against it. Instead, she asked: “Got all that? Think you’re ready?”

All in all, there weren’t many rules to this as there were instructions, ones that Lenny could generally agree to. The lack of physical contact still stung but it was a small price to pay to appear to his mother and talk with the woman he barely remembered. With a firm nod of the head, he chirped happily. Of course he was ready! “Yes!”

“Great. Before you go, let’s make sure you got this down though.” Reaching out, Lillian pinched the wick of the skull’s cranial candle, creating a tiny flame to wriggle into existence. “Blow it out like you would to get back here.” This all felt unnecessary, or maybe Lenny was just growing more impatient, but he obeyed, the wick now streaming thin wisps of smoke. Lillian cocked her head. “…huh…you actually fell for it? I told you, you only get one chance at this opportunity and wow, you really wasted it.”

“WHAT!?” Lenny screeched, horrified.

The snake girl broke out of character then, cackling and snorting loudly, taking Lenny’s shoulder and spinning him around to push him forward. “I’m just kidding! Have fun, Pumpkin Head! Careful of that flame though!”

Stumbling forward, the faded colored light of the Keep’s stained glass began to warp, mixing with the inky shadows that enveloped the ruin’s graveyard until nothing familiar surrounded the boy but darkness. One light source remained to guide him though. Glancing down, the skull’s candle had yet again regained its flame but flickered dangerously here and there, threatened by an unseen force of wind. Lenny cupped his hand around the flame’s body carefully. What was he to do now? This wasn’t home this was…nothing. “Okay, haw haw! Nice trick!” He called out to the air, attempting to mask his fear, but silence was his only response back.  He fidgeted in his place before looking back down to his candle, as if searching for answers. “…will you take me to my Mama?” He whispered, feeling silly.

The flame said nothing, only casting its warm glow upon his hand. Lenny sighed, feeling all the more humiliated by his actions. While he turned to see if he had somehow missed something in this scenery of nothing, the flame began to grow brighter. Turning again, catching onto this anomaly, the flame would either begin to splutter again or grow stronger, causing Lenny’s face to brighten once more. Silently, he moved forward when the flame grew, changing his direction when it died, slowly beginning to laugh happily again. Brighter and brighter it grew until he was forced to cover his eyes. Like stepping through a veil, Lenny was met by the sudden feeling of what could only be described as the weight of life around him. A cool breeze caressed his cheek, forcing him to drop his hand and protect the flame once more, allowing him to see just where he had landed: home.

Around him was that oh so familiar pumpkin patch, the worn down fence he often balanced and played on, the dirt road various passerby would travel with their horse drawn wagons, the lonely land surrounding a small, modest white house. And, of course, pumpkins speckled all over the patch; his pumpkin patch. Lenny lost himself in the moment, a large jack-o-lantern grin spreading on his face as he went to run around the dirt, whooping and hollering in glee. He was living out his most precious memories, the ones he had created in his new life as a trickster that had granted endless freedom, play, and loneliness in the end. It wasn’t until that thought hit and the waving flame of the skull candle drawing dangerously close to his protecting hand that Lenny forced himself to stop.

“That’s right,” His eyebrows furrowed and he gave a determined nod. “I’m not here for fun! I’m here for…!” Head turning in the direction of the house’s back door, Lenny’s heart began to beat faster now.  Without missing a beat, he was running again, running up the two little stairs, phasing through the door, running through the small kitchen step father had once chased him down with his shovel, running into the living room where a figure caught his eye.

“Mama!”
Hello everyone! I'm taking commissions again and you can find all the information here! 

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LuckyBlackCatXIII
Melissa
Artist | Digital Art
United States
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:iconisisxii:
IsisXII Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014  New member Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are such a great artist ! <3 I know you must have a lot of things to do but can you take your time to take a look on my drawings ? Please !
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:iconluckyblackcatxiii:
LuckyBlackCatXIII Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014   Digital Artist
Thank you, I'm honored to hear that! :,D And your drawings look very nice! Keep up the great work!
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:iconisisxii:
IsisXII Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  New member Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much :)! No , problem , you do deserve all this attention you get from people :)
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:iconikusaa:
ikusaa Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
<3
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:iconluckyblackcatxiii:
LuckyBlackCatXIII Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014   Digital Artist
Well hey stranger!
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:iconikusaa:
ikusaa Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Student Digital Artist
> u < asdkjshasioda YES HELLO.

ITS BEEN A LONG TIME!

how have you been? ;; u ;;
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:iconluckyblackcatxiii:
LuckyBlackCatXIII Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014   Digital Artist
It really has! 

Been generally well, yourself? 'v'
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(1 Reply)
:iconkishi-san:
kishi-san Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Student Filmographer
WHY ARENT I WATCHING YOU YET
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:iconluckyblackcatxiii:
LuckyBlackCatXIII Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014   Digital Artist
IDK BUT I WASN'T WATCHING YOU SO WE'RE EVEN
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:iconkishi-san:
kishi-san Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Student Filmographer
AHHA GUESS SO
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