Author’s Note: I already posted a story for Didi Oviatt’s September WIP Challenge, but I came up with one more idea for this challenge. So, yes. Here is a second story for her September WIP Challenge, just for the fun of it. 😉
LM sat alone in the coffee shop. He had taken on a form of a random person he’d remembered from The Institute. His wings were safely out of sight. No one would know that he was a half-human/half-fey. No one would harass him with demands.
He was safe.
He curled his hands around his cup of smoked spice mocha. He didn’t care much for the taste, but it had been Capernaum’s favorite drink. And today was the first anniversary of Capernaum’s death. It seemed fitting to have that drink in his honor.
Maybe he’ll reappear.
Maybe he’ll come back one last time. But we had said our final farewells last year. He’s gone now. He will never return.
I thought I would be fine.
I thought I’d be able to move on, but I miss him. I don’t know. Maybe I will always miss him. He was such a good friend to me.
Capernaum hadn’t been any taller or stronger than the other scientists at The Institute. He wasn’t ugly or handsome. Just a middling in-between. But there had always been a kindness in his eyes that had made the half-fey feel safe, like he had found his way back home.
LM closed his eyes and he could see him.
His short hair.
His kind eyes.
The way his eyes crinkled in the corners when he smiled.
“Oh! Thank you!” He took the coffee cup from the half-fey and took a long sip. “Mmmm. Best coffee ever.”
He put his hands on LM’s shoulders and crouched so they were eye to eye. “You don’t have to be afraid, LM.”
“What are you doing?” Capernaum ran into the room and pulled LM out of Josiah’s grip. “He is NOT to be experimented on. He is one of our own.” He punched Josiah in the face. “He is MINE!”
Capernaum wasn’t burnt. LM was glad to see that Capernaum wasn’t burnt, but his eyes were glazed over. His breathing was a dry rasp. “LM? I…I’m not…not—”
“Shh.” LM carefully touched his face. His skin was terribly warm and dry. “I’ll get you out of here. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you. I’ll—”
Capernaum coughed, but it was all wrong. It came from somewhere in his throat. It sounded weak and ineffective.
LM’s stiff wings rustled uneasily.
“Antioch. Save…him…LM. not sorry….” Another weak cough. “not sorry I saved you. not…”
“It’s okay. I’ll get you out of—”
Capernaum stopped breathing.
LM opened his eyes. He was no longer kneeling on the floor in the burning Institute. He was sitting at a table in the StarCatcher’s Café with a cup of smoked spice mocha.
But Capernaum was gone and he would never return. Not even as a ghost.
LM cleared his throat. “Wherever you are, my dear friend—” He raised the paper cup in a toast. “—know that I am drinking this for you.”
He took a sip.
And know that I will never forget you.