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fact that all of our advertising pieces are now out-of-date. We have
several fliers, business cards, and other artifacts that we purchased
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address on them. While the address is out-of-date, it is not unusable.
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1) Featured excerpt: Howling

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2) Feature excerpt: Night's Final Hour

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Benjamin Delacroix “If you don’t take care of yourself, the undertaker
will overtake that responsibility for you.” – Carrie Latet
“If you please, sir,” I try to maintain a calm sense of being as I
address Scott once more. “There is only one way in which we will
accomplish your goals.”
“And that would be?” Mr. Stevenson asks with a distasteful attitude.

“Simply put, the way in which we will accomplish your goal is by
starting with mine. As I have previously explained to your dimwitted
mind, Miss Ivy has an indeterminable amount of time in which she can be
saved. You, in comparison, have no time in which you may be saved. Your
time has come and gone; what you had, you wasted and now you must wait.
As soon as I have tended to Miss Carter’s matters, then, I assure you,
I will help you go about settling your affairs –”

“For someone who’s supposed to help me find the afterlife and move on,
you sure aren’t the nicest, are you?” Scott’s voice interrupts me once
more and I consider his words.

“Mr. Stevenson, you must understand, I do not intend to be unjust or
brisk in your matter. In truth, I do care more for Miss Ivy’s
predicament than I do for your own, but, I wholeheartedly believe that
this would be the case with most anyone besides yourself. You and I
both have knowledge of how you wasted the life you once possessed. It
will not be an easy task; helping you settle your loose ends. I do not
know whether Miss Ivy can outlast that. Dealing with your affairs will
be time consuming and difficult so it will have to wait.” As I speak, I
watch as Mr. Stevenson begins to comprehend the words I’m telling him.

He nods slowly and I allow myself a small smile. “What do we need to do
to help Ivy?”

“Her body, her life line, must be somewhere within in the town limits.
The last instance when I saw Miss Carter, she was on her way to see a
good friend, Miss Maggie. The very best of my predictions would be to
say that she has ended up in the hospital, quite possibly on some form
of life support.” Mr. Stevenson points in the general direction where
one would find the hospital and I nod before we begin our trek.

It was the only possible solution. Miss Ivy’s body and physical being
was being held to one plane by machines while her being manifested in
this plane, believing it to be her time to move on. She was not the
first unghost I had encountered, but she was the first that I wanted to
help back to the other plane. It would be a lie to say that I believe a
body and its spirit can be separated and then reunited; I do not, but
then again, it would be a lie to say that I do not hope it can be done.

Our unnatural ability to move around quicker than the corporeal allowed
Mr. Stevenson and myself the opportunity to reach the hospital in only
a few moments. For the most part, the hospital was bare. Scott, who has
yet to learn how to become corporeal himself, followed closely behind
me as we made our way through the silent and somber halls. Upon
reaching the central nurses’ station, I realized how Mr. Stevenson
could function as an asset on our endeavor. With a general glance in
his direction and back to the patient records, he understood my meaning.

“Are you quite certain that no one in this hospital requested a
transport to the Bromwell Barn?” My continuous reference to the
desolate property bewildered the head nurse as she checked and
double-checked her files.

“Isn’t that the barn that all the kids say is haunted?” She asked,
making sure she knew what I was talking about.

“I believe it is indeed, m’am. I reckon it would be a rather odd place
for one to be transported to, but that certainly is what was written on
my orders.” Twirling a pencil between my fingers, I watch as Mr.
Stevenson holds up a file, grinning.

“I don’t see anything about the Bromwell property in my notes, let me
just –”
“You have been an awful lot of help, m’am. I suppose it would be in
both of ours best interest if I just ran back and double checked my
orders before we continue to search for that patient. Does that sound
alright to you?”

She smiles and I can see the relief in her eyes. Not only will she
finally be ridding herself of this crazy visitor, she will not have to
ask her bosses about a ridiculous transport request. “That sounds nice
to me.”

Scott scurries over to me and shows me the file of Miss Carter. Written
in the plain and unusually legible handwriting of a doctor, are the
words I had hoped not to see. Miss Ivy is in more trouble than she knew
and the only comfort I can find to appease myself is the fact that I
know where I am headed. Only one ward in this hospital deals with
traumatic head injury.

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Ivy Carter
“Love starts with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a tear.” –

“Good grief!” Scott’s voice comes from somewhere near Benjamin’s
tombstone. “What next, a proposal?” He holds his hands up to his chest.
“Remember me? Dead man here? Guy you’re trying to help move on?”

“I remember you,” Benjamin says through clenched teeth.

“And what – am I to be forgotten now that the pretty girl has walked
back into the graveyard?” he asked, gesturing towards me.

“Not forgotten,” Benjamin says. “But, you can wait.”

“What?” Scott’s voice was getting louder now. I briefly wondered if he
was aware the volume of his voice was unnoticed by anyone but us. “You
said it yourself. She’s not dead. Therefore, she doesn’t need your help
moving on.” He points back to himself again. “I, however, am dead and
would like to move on to the good that awaits me.” He smiles,
undoubtedly thinking about his version of paradise.

“Quite the contrary, Mr. Stevenson.” Benjamin’s voice is smooth and
sure. “Miss Ivy needs our help. For the moment, she still has a
fighting chance to live. We are going to ensure that she wins the
battle of life.”

“We?” Scott repeats. “I don’t remember agreeing to help the red head.”

“There is nothing that says I have to help you move on,” Benjamin
retorts, bracing his shoulders.

“I can figure it out by myself,” he replies, his voice wavering the
slightest bit.

“Enjoy then,” Benjamin says, turning his back on Scott. “Miss Ivy, we
need to get to the hospital immediately if we are going to rescue you.”

“Benjamin,” I say, cupping his face in my hands. “I will not let you
turn your back on someone for me.” I look him in the eyes, trying to
feign bravery. “You help Scott find whatever it is that he’s looking
for. I’ll check the hospital and my house to see if I can find my
missing body.”

“I will not leave you alone in this,” he says, looking over his
shoulder with annoyance at Scott. “Especially for someone so arrogant.”

“I heard that!” Scott shouts from his perch on the tombstone.

“I was hoping you would,” Benjamin says, turning to face him. “Get your
bottom off my tombstone.” Scott huffs a moment before removing himself
from the tombstone to start a pacing circle around it.

“I won’t let you help me until you’ve helped him,” I tell him. If
there’s one thing I know about Benjamin’s existence in this plane, it’s
that he’s here to help lost souls move on to their next adventure. I’m
not going to be the person that holds him back from that.

“Ivy,” he says, grasping for something to say. “I cannot allow you to
go gallivanting around town without an escort. What if you need support
when you find your body? Who will be there to help you?”

“Benjamin, if I need support when I find my body, you will be the first
person I come to find,” I tell him, looking around the graveyard. Scott
has stopped his pacing and is staring at the list he helped Benjamin
carve in the mud of people he has offended.

“I’ve got it!” he shouts, coming over. “I know where we need to go!”

“See,” I say, pointing to Scott. “He needs your help.” I kiss him
lightly on the lips. “Help him. I’ll be fine.”

“Fine,” he huffs, before turning to Scott. “Let’s go get this taken
care of. You better be right about the solution. I do not feel like
wasting time chasing after wild geese as you like to call it these

I watch Benjamin walk away with Scott and hope that he will hold true
to his word. Something tells me that he’ll come looking for me sooner
than he should. I highly doubt that he is going to stick with Scott
until he has completely moved on. I head off in the direction of the
hospital and brace myself for whatever I might find.

* * * * *

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Benjamin Delacroix
“Every man is afraid of something. That’s how you know he’s in love
with you; when he is afraid of losing you.” – Unknown
Scott Stevenson was a much more difficult man than I had originally
planned. His lists were unorganized and uncertain, his loose ends the
worst I had seen in years, and his commitment to the task at hands was
mediocre at best. Nonetheless, we worked on trying to tie up his loose
ends, we struggled to make amends of the mess of a life he’d led on
Earth and we fought to find his closure. To say that it was a struggle
to focus on Mr. Stevenson’s problems with my perplexing over Miss Ivy
would be an understatement. Between the two of us, it was difficult to
accomplish any task or goal.
Miss Ivy’s untimely death plagues my mind even now as I try to fulfill
my promise to Scott. I am supposed to be tracking down some of his old
friends and peers from a few years ago because he feels the need to
apologize to some of them, but my thoughts continually stray back to
Miss Carter. How is it that she has come to pass? In what manner? At
what time? And the question, which I have seen too many struggle with
too often, torments my brain as well: Would it have been possible for
me to prevent such an occurrence if I had been in a mood of different
“Have you figured it out yet?” Mr. Stevenson’s young voice protrudes
into my thoughts, a sudden and rude interruption.
“What is it, per se that you speak of good sir?” Rolling my head back,
I look at the man sideways.
“Have you figured it out yet? Why I’m still here? Hanging around an old
cemetery and visiting all these places like you do?” He lounges against
an unmarked tombstone and I can only hope that it will not soon belong
to Miss Carter.
“No, Mr. Stevenson, I have not quite figured out what it is that ties
you to this plane. Now, if you would be ever so kind as to close your
mouth and let me concentrate, maybe I can figure it out for you.”
“Well, I’m just saying” The boy lops about the area, sighing heavily.
“I’ve said all my goodbyes, thanked the people I needed to, and
accepted my death. What more can I do?”
“Do you realize what you just said?’ I ask the boy who shakes his head
in response. “What you have done is repeated, verbatim, the list of
things that I told you could be holding you to this plane. The list
that I told you earlier?”
“Did I?” He feigns surprise.
“You did indeed, save one.” With a solitary finger in the air, I catch
on to what must be holding Mr. Stevenson here. “Have you made amends
for your faults, Mr. Stevenson? I do believe I also mentioned that you
had to make amends.”
“Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I hadn’t made amends.” The boy
mumbles on for a half hour or so about how he may or may not have made
his amends and I begin to grow frustrated. As I am about to focus the
attention of the young man, Miss Carter walks into the cemetery. Her
entrance goes unnoticed by Scott as he yammers on still. She stops in
front of us, but does not speak. Behind me, I can still hear Scott’s
voice rambling on.
“Scott Stevenson,” my tone sharp, I spin my head in the direction of
the young man. “For once in your life, shut your mouth and wait until
someone invites you to speak.”
My focus returns to Miss Ivy as she stands with a many a newspaper in
her hands. Shuffling through the black and white prints, she shrugs.
Her face is a bewildered one, searching for understanding and finding
only confusion. I cannot begin to understand what it is she means to
“I couldn’t find anything.” She sets the papers upon my gravestone and
sits down. “I searched in every paper this town has and there is no
record of my death. I even checked the bookings at the church, but no
funeral has been scheduled.”
“Miss Ivy!” Her face turns up at the sound of my excitement, but she is
not smiling. Instead, a look of surprise covers her face. “Can you not
see that this is a thing to rejoice about?”
“A thing to rejoice about, Benjamin? I’m dead and no one has bothered
to report it or record it in anyway.”
“No, Miss Carter, not at all.” I sit beside her on my tombstone. “It is
quite the opposite. You are not dead, not at this moment. It is my
belief that you must be near death, on the verge of it in some place –
likely a hospital or care place of sorts, but not dead. Not yet.”
“Near death is hardly better than dead, Benjamin.” She says sadly,
watching the weeds below us blow in the wind.
“You are quite wrong Ivy.” As I cup her face with my hands, I tell her,
“being near death is a great distance away from being dead. If you are
near death, then there is hope and that is what keeps us going in life.
The hope that, one day – maybe tomorrow – things will change and it
will be better. The hope that, at some point, we will meet someone who
makes this existence worthwhile. The hope that, to someone, our near
deaths sound like heaven to one person because it means they have not
lost us. You and your near death give me hope. Ivy Mae, you will live
because I will not see you die.”
“Benjamin.” She pulls her head away from my hands and I find myself sad
to watch her do so. “You cannot know these things. There is no way that
you can guarantee that you can save me –”
“I can indeed.” Kneeling in front, I look up at her face. “I will save
you, Ivy, because I will not see you pass out of my life. This
existence and this non-earthly plane of inconsistencies, I cannot
control. I cannot ensure that you stay in my plane, Ivy Mae, so you
must go back to your own. I will not let you die because I cannot bear
to lose you.”

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Ivy Carter

“Disenchantment, whether it is a minor disappointment or a major shock,
is the signal that things are moving into transition in our lives.” -
William Throsby Bridges

“Miss Ivy, I do not know exactly how to tell you this,” Benjamin begins
as I sit up. My head is swimming as he speaks. The world seems a sudden

“Tell me what?” I ask, turning gently. The ground spins beneath me,
reminding me that sitting is probably best right now.

“I believe,” he starts, staring past me. “You appear to have left the
land of the living.”

“Are you trying to tell me that I am dead, Benjamin Delacroix?” I ask
in disbelief. Of all the bizarre explanations for waking up in the
graveyard, this is the one that had not occurred to me.

“I have seen death many times over Miss Carter and your entrance is
certainly becoming of a woman who has died.” He walks away from me,
heading for a tombstone. I quickly piece together which stone he is
headed for.

“I don’t think my father will have any answers for you,” I tell him,
rising to my feet. The world has finally ceased its spinning.

“I know that,” he says, looking at me solemnly. “I just never thought I
would be the one to see the daughter of Mr. Carter enter the world of
the ghosts – the world of the dead.”

“It had to happen sometime, right?” I ask, feeling less afraid than I
would have imagined. Ever since I met Benjamin, death has not seemed so

“But you are much too young, Miss Carter. No one should have their life
cut short at your age,” he tells me with bowed head.

“You did,” I remind him. His eyes lock with mine, showing me the iciest
stare I’ve ever encountered.

“Miss Carter, I would not wish my fate on anyone.” He moves past the
headstone of my father to his own weather-worn stone. “Which is
precisely why I must help you move on.”

“To where, Benjamin? Where is it that you send these lost souls?” I ask
the question that haunts us all.

“I wish I knew,” he says, looking at me solemnly. “I wish I could tell
you that it’s all going to be okay, but I do not have those answers.
All I can tell you is that you no longer belong to this world. You will
soon be a spot in the paper and a body in the ground, nothing more.
With time, people will forget to mourn you and you will wonder why you
are still here. Hanging in the void between the living and the dead is
no place to spend eternity – I can promise you that Miss Carter.”

“Even if it means staying with you?” I ask, lifting his head to meet

“You cannot remain with me. Everyone passes in time. It is only a
matter of finding what holds them to this Earth.”

“What holds you?”

“I wish I knew,” he says, taking my hand from his chin. “Miss Carter,
we must figure out what – ” Company appearing in the graveyard cuts us
short. A young man has appeared across the graveyard, screaming

“Help – I can’t breath! Help me please!” He is shouting into the air,
unaware that his screams have already been silenced. My heart breaks as
I watch him struggle to understand his sudden change in location. “Wait
– what’s going on?”

“Scott Stevenson, I’m Benjamin Delcroix,” Benjamin says, approaching
him slowly. “I have been chosen as your guide in the afterlife. I am
here to help you find your way.” Benjamin casts a glance over his
shoulder as me. He seems puzzled by something I can’t figure out.

“The afterlife?” He looks around at the barren yard. “Do you mean to
tell me that I’m dead?”

“I do. I wish there were an easier way to tell you, but there’s no term
that makes it easier to hear.” Benjamin seems to be repeating lines he
rehearsed years ago. The words seem to be doing their trick to soothe
the young man.

“I’m dead? Not crushed beneath the weight of a car?”


“And you’re going to be my guide?” He asks, looking Benjamin up and
down. “No offense, but I think I’d prefer her.” His gaze has traveled
to me.

“She’s not qualified to be your guide,” he says rudely.

“Do you have something against women or something?”

“No,” Benjamin starts, but he seems to be at a loss for words. His
rehearsed lines seem to have run thin today.

“He has nothing against women. He just doesn’t like guys hitting on
me,” I comment, trying to save Benjamin. “My heart already belongs to
someone else.”

“That’s too bad to hear,” he says with a smirk. “Even the pretty dead
girls are taken. Such a shame.”

“Of course it is,” I say, with a smirk of my own. “He is right though –
we need to help you move on. You can’t just linger in the graveyard. Do
you have any idea why you’re still here?”

“What do you mean ‘still here’? Where should I be?”

“Well, some souls move onto the next life right away,” Benjamin
interjects. “Others linger in the in-between because they have
unfinished business.” I back away from the scene as Benjamin takes the
lead. “I am going to make a guess and say that you are still lingering
because your life was cut short so suddenly. There are probably people
you would like to say goodbye to.”

“Yeah, I guess there are,” Scott says quietly.

“We will start by making a list and then we will take care of making
sure they know how much you cared,” Benjamin is looking at me while he
speaks. “That should help you move on.”

“And me?” I ask, breaking in before Scott can begin his list. “What do
you want me to do while you two make a list?”

“Search for a paper,” Benjamin replies in a gruff tone. “I want to find
out how you died.”

* * * * *

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Benjamin Delacroix
“While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to
meet him behind the veil.” ~John Taylor
My thoughts were still tormented as the sun began its descent. Try as I
was, I had not been able to escape my own mind. Of all the unthinkable
things that I had seen and done in my life, this was different. I will
not say that it was the worst or the most ill-conceived, but it was
certainly the most selfish. To have fallen in love with someone like
Miss Ivy is not only selfish of me but foolish. My days of existence
are numbered – that I have known for years. I do not know how long I
will remain here, but I know that I am not to be here for all time.

I should have kept my mouth sealed and my opinions hidden, but Mr.
Pearson has a way of turning me into a young man again. I find myself
acting and speaking before I think. Should I have thought about my
words before I announced my affections for Miss Ivy, things would be
easier to deal with when I see her again. Instead, I will have to right
my shortcomings and place distance between myself and the person who
found it reasonable to befriend me.

A sudden shift occurs across the necropolis and an ominous essence
fills the air. Each time a shift of this kind is created, I know that
I’ll have work to do soon. Reluctantly, I shift and turn to the
commotion. I expect to see someone, but not her. Under no conditions do
I expect to see Miss Carter.

If she had appeared any other way, I would not be alarmed. If she had
walked into the cemetery, I would not be startled. Even if she had come
on horseback, worry would not be flooding my mind. But, Ivy Mae
appeared suddenly and that only means one thing in this sort of morbid
place: Ivy Mae Carter is dead.

My mouth cannot form proper words and my mind lacks the capacity to
form a coherent thought. A few words that are not becoming of a
gentleman escape my lips as I make my way across the hallowed ground.
She blinks a few times as I stare down upon her. The sun glares down in
her eyes and she reaches out a hand to shield it. I reposition my body
and block the sky’s giant star.

“What happened Miss Ivy?” I inquire as she sits up in my shadow.

“What do you mean?” It quickly becomes obvious that she does not yet
know what has become of her.

It is on this day that I am thankful to be a ghost and hate it more
than anything. I will not be left broken, with words unsaid. I will not
be the one who regrets words spoken aloud. The one who grieves and
longs to say goodbye will not be me. Instead, it shall be I who has to
show her the passing. I will be the one who helps her find her peace
with this life and move into the unknown. The pleasure of saying
goodbye and the pain of watching her go; both will be mine.

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Ivy Carter
“People look at you and me to see what they are supposed to be. And, if
we don’t disappoint them, maybe, just maybe, they won’t disappoint us.”
– Walt Disney

I walk away from Benjamin feeling worse than ever. My hope was that he
would offer some advice on how to tell Maggie – or at least put up a
fight. Instead, it doesn’t seem to bother him whether or not the entire
town finds out about him.

I head straight for her house, with scenarios of how to tell her
running through my head the whole way there.

“Brigit, there’s this guy I’ve been hanging around with…”

“Brigit, do you believe in ghosts?”

“Brigit, do you remember Benjamin? There’s something I need to tell you
about him…”

No matter how I spin it, nothing seems to come out right. I finally
decide that I’ll just have to go with whatever I say and hope that it’s
right. She’s either going to believe me and ask a lot of questions or
she’ll take the more reasonable route and dub me crazy. Either way, our
friendship is definitely going to be altered by this.

I walk up to the door of her house and stop. Her house was built before
the Civil War and has a large door to accommodate the frilly dresses of
the ladies back then. I can remember us as children speculating about
what life must have been like for those girls. Now, I could find out
all of those answers from Benjamin and I don’t really want to. Instead,
I want to know about the here and now. I want to see a future with him.

“Ivy?” The door suddenly opens and Brigit steps out onto the porch. “I
was just headed out. What are you still doing here?”

“I came to talk to you,” I tell her, rubbing my sweaty palms on my
jeans. “Do you have a few minutes?”

“I guess so,” she says and leads me into the house. “What’s up?”

“You asked about Benjamin today and I wasn’t entirely honest,” I start,
hoping it’s a good beginning. “There’s something I didn’t tell you
about him.” We’re halfway up the stairs at this point.

“I knew it!” She exclaims, spinning quickly. I watch as her elbow
connects with my face and I feel myself going backwards.

* * * * *

I wake up in the graveyard, flat on my back. The sun is shining down on
me and a man is walking towards me. I blink my eyes in confusion and
can barely make out the man – Benjamin.

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Benjamin Delacroix“It is ever the invisible that is the object of our
profoundest worship. With the lover it is not the seen but the unseen
that he muses upon.” – Christian Nestell Bovee
“Tell her what you find most appropriate. Whatever is best for you and
your friendship.” I settle myself against my headstone. “I’ve never
asked you to lie to anyone, Miss Carter.”

“So I should be honest with her?” Ivy asks me, her expression shows
surprise. “You would be okay with me telling her the truth about you?”

“Yes, Miss Carter. You may tell her the truth. I am what I am.” I am
seated in a comfortable position, knowing that I will probably be here
for a good portion of time. “I am a ghost of a man. I died in 1782 and,
as long as I continue to exist on this plane, I will be a twenty year
old man. What else is there to tell her?”

"I know what you are. What I don't know is how to tell her what you
are. How do you make someone believe something like that?" She asks me
in earnest.

“There is no way to make someone believe it. Admitting to oneself that
something supernatural truly exists is a big step for anyone. Think
about it, why did you believe it? I certainly didn’t try to make you
believe it; you had to do that on your own.” I tell her, looking at the
setting sun.

“But you’ve had to make other people believe that they were ghosts
themselves, haven’t you? How did you do that?” Ivy looks at the
tombstones around us. I can tell she’s wondering how many of them I’ve
spoken with in my time.

“In all honesty, Miss Ivy, I don’t know how I manage to do that. Quite
often, it isn’t too difficult because they witness their own funerals.”
Glancing toward her, I admit, “if someone had tried to convince me of
the existence of ghosts when I’d been alive, there is no chance that I
would have believed them.”

“Oh.” It is all that she says, but I know her thoughts. Miss Carter had
been hoping that I might offer her some ideas on how to make the
discussion easier, but I had nothing to give her.

“I am sorry, Miss Ivy.” In the dirt beside me, I trace lines and
curves. “Perhaps you should go and speak with her now. The discussion
will be no easier at a later time and I am sure she is anxious to talk
with you. In addition, the two of you will probably discuss what she
has said to Mr. Pearson.”

She begins to say something, but then decides against it. I shall never
know what her words would have been as she turns and leaves the
cemetery behind her. Watching her as she leaves, the day seems to grow
colder. There is something that has passed between Miss Carter and
myself on this day, but I cannot place it in my mind. It troubles me
because I fear that, this thing which has passed; it is not a pleasant
thing or something which I should be grateful to have seen.

The night comes on slowly and, for once, as the moon grows brighter, I
feel myself fading. The order of things that I once knew has changed;
reversed itself at my expense just to confuse me. For now, I will not
try to maintain my corporeal self, but, rather, to let myself fade. At
11:11 tonight, I suspect that I shall be corporeal once again whether I
wish it or not. For now, however, I want only to fade from sight and
wallow unnoticed.

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.
Ivy Carter
“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

I step out into the bright light of day to see a small crowd forming in
the center of the school yard. I think nothing of it and keep moving
forward – it’s Maggie who pulls me back.

“Isn’t that Danny?” she asks, looking over at the growing scene.

“I think so. Who’s he with?” As soon as the question leaves my mouth, I
recognize the chestnut hair and odd posture. I whisper his name in a
panic. “Benjamin.”

“It looks like they’re about to fight,” she states, edging closer to
the scene.

“We can’t let them.” Benjamin still doesn’t have a good enough grasp on
his emotions to be testing them out in front of a crowd. In my opinion,
he’s lucky he survived a whole day of high school in one piece.

“They’re perfectly capable of handling themselves,” Maggie states,
breaking my train of thought. “I’m not so sure that we should be
sticking our heads in the middle of this one.”

“I think the middle is exactly where our heads belong,” I tell her,
pushing through the crowd. “I can’t really explain it right now, but
it’s too dangerous for Benjamin to be in a fight right now.”

“So it’s Benjamin you’re worried about, not Danny?” She’s looking at me
with crossed eyes. “What sort of hold does he have over you?”

“I’m not sure I can answer that honestly right now.”

“I’m not letting you go further until you’ve answered it.” She has me
by the arm in a loose grip.

“I love her and I would die for her.” I can hear Benjamin’s voice
behind me. Maggie’s eyes register surprise and she releases her hold.

“Get him safe,” she says, pushing me along. “I’ll take care of Danny.”
She stops for a brief second. “But, you’ve got a lot of explaining to
do tonight – at my house.” I nod my head and watch as she walks right
into the circle of people. She whispers into Danny’s ear and he slowly
trails behind her, glancing backwards only once.

“Coward,” Benjamin mutters under his breath as I approach.

“Where have all of your manners gone Mr. Delacroix?” I ask as I tap his

“Miss Carter, what are you doing out here?” His voice is full of

“I think I’m saving you from making a major mistake,” I tell him as we
start walking away from the crowd. “Did you honestly think it was a
bright idea to get your emotions worked up in the bright of the day? We
still don’t know if you’re stable enough to be trusted in the waking

“I’ve made it thus far, have I not?” Benjamin asks, walking just a few
steps in front of me.

“You’re mad – why are you mad?” I haven’t seen this side of Benjamin
often and it scares me slightly. He has nothing to lose, which makes
him scary in a fight – physical or verbal.

“Why did you think I would not survive a day in this place?” His pace
has quickened and I follow his footsteps. I know where we’re heading –
the place he feels safest. “I have seen death, destruction, sickness,
war, and yet you did not think I could handle a day of high school?”

“It’s not that I didn’t think you could handle high school,” I tell
him, my voice small. “I didn’t know if you would remain corporeal for
an entire day of new situations. Do you know for sure that you can
remain corporeal for an entire day?”

“I do not, but it is a risk. Everything with me is always going to be a
risk. My life is in a stagnant foothold between life and death. Nothing
is ever certain for me. It is something we must live with.” His eyes
are shaded as he walks towards his tombstone.

“And we will,” I tell him quietly. “But, while we’re living with it, I
need some help.”

“What Miss Carter?”

“I need your help in figuring out what to say to Maggie about you.
She’s curious and I don’t think she’s going to take a lie very easily.”

“What is it that you want to tell her?” His forehead creases in thought.

“The truth.”

* * * * *

Night's Final Hour by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United
States License.

[Two to Write] Anthromagic ~ Chapter 32

“I know.” Katie told me quietly.

“What exactly is it that you know, Katie?”

“I know that you don’t know and we don’t know why.” She looked up at me
as the sounds of leather on marble filled the air. The man known as his
lordship came down the hall, approaching us. Katie stood and he looked
at her before quickening his pace.

“Katie, dear, I didn’t expect to find you here.” His tone was insincere.

“Actually sir, I was just leaving. Her ladyship has found a rip in her
dress. I tried to mend it, but I have no talent with sewing it seems.”
From her pocket, I watch as Katie pulls out a needle and thread. It
seems she was prepared for an intrusion. I wondered silently whether
she would have ripped my dress if it wasn’t already. Out of everyone
here, she’s been the most honest with me and I’m disappointed to see
her go. A sense of déjà vu overwhelms my mind and I think of the other
Katie; what have I forgotten about her already?

“Whatever are you daydreaming about?” His voice protruded and I
realized that Katie is gone once again.

“Quite simply? Who I am, or rather, who I am supposed to be.” I
informed him, honestly.

“In due time, I promise to tell you all I know.”

“Why in due time? Why not now? And what is due time? How long is that?”
My questions become a string of run-ons, finally voicing out loud and
revealing my fears.

“Due time meaning when you’ve all but forgotten the other place.
Meaning I don’t know how long, it varies. And why? Because I’m not
ready to lose you yet. I’m not ready to see you disappear again. I’ve
done too much to get you back and I can’t see you vanish. I won’t.”

His honesty was frightening; he’d gone from a tough lord to a startled
and scared child or, worse still, lover. Was it possible to forget
someone who loved you? What if you didn’t remember loving them?

“Why would you lose me by being honest? That’s what I’m asking you to
do. Tell me the truth, I won’t vanish.” It was the truth; I would not
vanish. I would listen, think it through and make a rational decision
before I decided whether to go back to where I’d been – what little I
could remember of it.

“Because you always do. You can’t help it, the leaving. It’s not
something you have control over. Every time I tell you what I know,
which, mind you, isn’t all the answers you want or need, but every time
I tell you, you disappear. That’s just how it seems to go.” He watched
the floor, intent on counting its specks and avoiding eye contact with

“Have I ever asked you to tell me before?” It was curiosity, but became

He looked up and met my eyes. “No.”

“Have I ever said that I’ll stay before? Promised not to immediately

“No.” A smile crept onto his face.

“So maybe this time’s different?” I had to know what he knew.

“So maybe this time’s it.” His smile grew.

“It?” I asked, confused for a new reason.

“The time when you have to decided; have to pick.”

Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.