Thursday, 4 September 2014

Chapter 38: Misguided Undecided

To say Angel had had a hard life would be a bit of an understatement. Losing a parent is hard, particularly when said parent is squished by a big meteor. And then there's the whole grieving process and the inevitable suppressed rage and subsequent murder spree... Not that the death of a parent is an excuse for becoming a murderous fiend or anything, these things just happen yanno?

Anyways, in summary- Angel had a tough upbringing, most of which led him to believe that everyone he loved would always leave him, and consequently he tended to hurt people before they could hurt him- often fatally.

But although Angel had for so long felt isolated and alone, recently he had formed a relationship that only seemed to be going from strength to strength. Okay, it was a little unusual- given that Angel's buddy Atticus is one of the walking undead and all- but for them the friendship worked.

They had met a long while ago when Angel had been rumbled stashing a body in the cemetery and he had taken Atticus hostage to keep her from spilling the beans. As you do. And after the initial fear Atticus had felt towards Angel she had gradually began to grow fond of her cutesy captor, and he too had felt the warmth of friendship beginning to grow.

The duo spent most of their time inside which suited both parties. Atticus hadn't really been outside since she had, well, died and Angel was definitely down with being a recluse given that going out tended to mean meeting people and they always let him down, and then he put them down.

But eventually the day came when it was time for him to go back to work. Angel had taken a lot of time off recently- essentially trying to cut himself out of the human race- but inevitably with the bills piling up he just had to return.

And to his surprise it wasn't terrible; in fact he even had fun.

It was then that he realised- the world that he'd been running from was maybe what he'd wanted all along, he'd just been too afraid to try and fail.

After that Angel began to spend more and more time outside, and for once it wasn't so scary. The people out there in the world didn't shun him, they weren't rude to him, and there were even some friendly faces out there to light his way in the form of his ancestors.

Why the deceased members of The Heart Family Legacy have suddenly decided to go out on the town I really don't know...

Drama queen...

And as well as ghostly companions, Angel even managed to make some more fleshy friends who I think you might recognise...

Long-time readers of The Heart Family Legacy may remember Raichu from generation nine- the vampish spouse of everyone's favourite human/Simbot hybrid- Thorn.

And speaking of such- here is the lady herself, and yup she is now a mother. How might a vampire and a human/Simbot hybrid have a baby you ask? Well, I have my ways... Don't I always?

So anyways, what with buddies both ghostly and real on the cards things were finally looking up for Angel. At least, it certainly seemed that way...

Somehow, in spite of everything, Angel wasn't satisfied. Something was still missing...

I wonder what it could be...?

Angel knew. There had been a lot of ambiguity in his life but some things were sharp like blades- such as the way he felt when he saw Atticus every day.

You would think that by now Angel would be down on love. Indeed, certain events in his life only served to confirm his fears that he was doomed; unlovable, but deep down Angel really was an optimist.

And so, once again, Angel offered himself up to another- put his heart on a plate and prayed the other wouldn’t just eat it.

At first Atticus just smiled. That was all- the simple curving of the lips.

But then it was something else.

It was exactly what Angel had wanted.

The following morning Angel awoke and, like always, the gloom descended. It was a state of mind Angel had become accustomed to throughout his life and one that he had never enjoyed.

But luckily for Angel the depression only lasted a mere moment before the memories of last night came to him with salvation. He wasn't alone anymore.

Down in the basement there was another just like him. Angel didn’t believe in ‘made for each other’, but this was pretty close.

In the days that followed Angel and Atticus rarely left the basement, let alone the safety of the house. It was unsurprising- their relationship was beyond unconventional and to be seen out on the town together would certainly cause somewhat of a stir...

But Angel and Atticus rarely thought of the world outside. Somehow all that didn’t seem to matter much anymore, for love is not blind itself so much as it is the thing that causes loss of sight.

During the weeks spent underground one attempt was made to venture into the unknown. It occurred at night- a comforting shadow- but even that wasn’t enough to quell Atticus’s fears of the world beyond the place inhabited by her and Angel.

And so it was back to the basement.



A long time passed with little change. The days came and went and were barely noticed, and below ground Angel and Atticus’ love continued to grow. In spite of this though there was a slight problem- the fact that the duo were prisoners in their own home in more ways than one. Since finding Atticus, Angel’s life had improved so much, but still with the stale surroundings of Bridgeport all around him he couldn’t forget everything that had happened here. For them to truly be happy he needed to get out- once and for all.

And so, in the dead of night, Angel and Atticus made their move... to Hidden Springs.

The final Heart house was modest. Understated even, but perfect. Angel could have afforded more, undoubtedly, but the peace of mind brought about by living out in the middle of nowhere was priceless.

A small house with secluded grounds- it gave the two lovers everything they needed.

Including a hidden stairway in the shed that revealed the perfect underground hiding place for Atticus.

Existence in Hidden Springs wasn’t all that different, at least on the surface. Deep down though it had improved beyond all measure, because with the ghosts of his past literally behind him Angel could finally look on his relationship with Atticus as a complete fresh start- something he wanted more than anything.

After all this time, after all the hurt and betrayal, after all the stalking and murder, Angel finally had what he wanted.

Funny thing about Angel though... He is an erratic little sod...

Monday: Dawn. Somewhere in the depths of the Heart household a zombie is sleeping. This is not unusual. What is unusual though is Angel (in more ways than one). On this day in particular though it’s Angel’s actions which make things a little odd- he is leaving.

His motives for leaving aren’t dramatic though, just mundane. After weeks of living off what little inheritance he had, Angel has now come close to running out of money, and so has had to get a job.

The zombie waits for him in the basement, as always. She stays there in silence until he comes home, as always. This continues for an endless time. Until one day.

The discontent didn’t come like a freight train. It was sneaky, like a stowaway, and took Angel by surprise. He awoke for another day of work, as always, and didn’t see it coming. He couldn’t have seen the change.

It started with a bug. Just a simple little beetle- inconspicuous and everyday- but as Angel looked upon that bug and he smiled as it wriggled in his hand he realised how much he had missed this. Being outside.

Because indeed every day with Atticus was the same. Angel even spent his birthday underground.

The birthday was a big milestone. As an Adult he should getting ready for the Winter of his life- settling down and all that. Instead he was just some ex-murderer in a shitty small house with a dead girlfriend.

It wasn’t long after that Angel began to go out more. Not just out for work you see, out for fun. He was enjoying being back in society- a community where no one really knew him and what sins he’d committed. He’d never believed he could have a fresh start in this way- but there it was. And it was only the beginning.

On a thinly veiled ‘work assignment’ Angel went to the cemetery one day. In truth he just liked graveyards, as strange as it may seem. Maybe because he had put so many people there he felt he belonged. Maybe he just liked the quiet.

But on this particular day it wasn’t quiet. To his surprise, Angel came across another person in the cemetery- a woman crying.

Now, women crying was nothing new to Angel, he was just used to being the one who caused the tears. And so on this occasion- faced with a distressed damsel bawling her eyes out- he really didn’t know what to do.

But from somewhere deep down- maybe a hidden sympathy chip- Angel managed to recall what he was supposed to do in this situation. He was supposed to offer comfort.

And so he did just that.

Angel wasn’t too sure how things moved on from there, all he could remember was that the crying woman- Geena- had been grateful for this sympathies and, after blubbering about the anniversary of her dead husband for a while, had invited Angel for a cup of coffee in order to say thanks.

It was an unusual occurrence for Angel- actually being seen out with another human being- but it was a welcome change.

And as the evening progressed he suddenly found that he was really beginning to enjoy himself, and more importantly he was doing so as a part of society, as he thought he should.

It was a pretty good feeling.

When Angel got home that night, late, he went to his zombie. She asked him about his day of course, because she cared.

And he lied, because he didn’t.

The next evening, in sunset, the real betrayal began. Geena had invited Angel to one of the town’s many viewing points- a platform that gave a stunning view of the whole town.

When she kissed him Angel was suddenly uninterested in the view, or much else for that matter.

The light in his eyes said it all- he had fallen.

Angel didn’t come home at all that night. From sunset til sunrise he stayed with Geena, and his thoughts never left her.

Back in the basement, the zombie waited.
And waited.
And waited.

Things moved pretty quickly after that for Angel and Geena.

At first it was just a cosy meal in here and there, and then it was more here than there as Geena began to reside at the Heart household almost fulltime.

Eventually there was nothing else to do but make it official as Geena moved in, joined by her surly daughter Lauren for a while before she went off to boarding school.

The move came at a great time as the next day Geena discovered she was pregnant.

She broke the news to Angel later that day when he returned home from work.

And he couldn’t have been happier.

Over the next few days, as Geena’s bump began to grow, she and Angel reveled in preparations for their new baby. Mainly though Angel just reveled in himself; his happiness. He was finally a Normal Human Being- a functioning member of society fit to be seen out in public, with a gorgeous girlfriend on his arm and a baby on the way.

Angel liked nothing more than showing people just how normal he was, but when it came to the important stuff- like getting married- he preferred for things to be as intimate as possible.

When the time came for the baby to arrive Angel was more than ready, though that didn’t stop him panicking all the same.

Eventually he managed to gather himself long enough to pile into the car and drive his wife to the hospital.

Not long after he returned home a better man- more complete somehow- with a beautiful new baby as the latest perfect accessory.

Angel didn’t put the child down for a long time after that. This fatherhood thing was so new to him and he wanted to make sure he got it right.

Only time would tell.