At the beginning of time and space there were three people. Far, Tia, and Mal. As siblings they started time and space.They each created their own universe. Tia created plant infested orbs in space. Mal created huge balls of gas that were blistering hot and kept him warm in what seemed an empty sky. Far made a universe of mind, animals, and wonder. Far was the first to notice that none of the universes were doing as well as they had hoped. So he made a plan, to create a huge explosion combining all the universes. His downside was that he didn’t tell his siblings and when it happened, they turned on him. They were so angry at their brother that they put a curse on him. He would live forever in the universe he had created, powerless, and he would be trapped there until his universe died. So they sent him to a planet that Far had previously named Earth. He was thereafter called The Immortal by his siblings.
Part I - Claire
I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone
We start our story in 1865, the American civil war. Claire Mathews is sitting at her army nurse desk writing a letter to her far away family in Illinois. The nurse tent is small and cramped. All the nurses wished the army fund would go towards a bigger tent but it was fine, for now. It has the basic red cross on the openings and beds lined the sides. Claire’s desk is at the very back so she could watch the other nurses and keep everything in order. Three beds out of ten are filled with injured patients. One right next to her, Billy. Billy was a teenager, forced to join the army because of his parents neglecting him. He now sits with a broken arm and a few broken ribs. Another in the middle of the left side is Mortimer, an old black man on the brink of losing his leg, and the last, a new man. He had short black hair and was clean shaven. Weird considering they were in a war. He had passed out because of dehydration on the battlefield.
“Hey, is it fine with you if we have the day off? We’ll come back if there is an emergency.” Claire looked up from her letter. At the back exit of the tent the two other nurses stood waiting for an answer. “Mary, Jane, you may leave for two hours and two hours only,” she said. Even though they wanted more Jane and Mary quickly walked off with grins on their faces. Claire got up and put the unfinished letter into her nurses apron pocket. Claire had auburn hair that was usually up in a messy bun, strands were always in her face. Claire, being a small-town girl, didn’t mind being alone with the patients, in fact it was the highlight of her day.
Claire went around to her few patients checking on them. They didn’t need much help. Billy just needed to smile once in a while and Mortimer to change the bandages on his leg, but the mystery man. If he had passed out then he should be up by now, it usually doesn’t take very long. Claire walked up to him. He was very handsome, but she had never seen him before. She barely ever can think that because even though she’s a nurse she gets around just fine. She can name all the people in this military camp but, him. His eyes started to quiver and open. Claire quickly got him some food and water. By the time she had everything together the man was wide eyed and didn’t know where he was. “Hello sleepy-head. I’m Claire and I’ll be assisting you in your time of need.” She wore a big smile because that’s what she’s paid for.
He stayed silent while Claire made him drink and eat. “What’s your name? I’ve never seen you before. New recruit?” she said. “Far.” He said this bluntly, so Claire had no idea if his name was Far or if it meant something else. She didn’t ask about it because clearly he hadn’t eaten in a while. He was gulping down everything she gave him. At the end of his meal he said, “Thank-you.” “Anytime sweets, but you’ll have to stay here for a couple of days. Don’t want you passing out again.” Claire said, and walked away. She couldn’t help feeling his eyes on her back. Clawing into her like nails, but when she looked back, he was fast asleep again.
The next morning was torture. She hadn’t gotten much sleep last night and the influx of patients wasn’t any help either. Soldiers had just gotten back from the battlefield and almost all of them needed medical attention. Broken fingers, ribs, arms, legs, you name it. Once there was some order she found time for her patients from the day before. Billy was fine and happy to see all the people, Mortimer was asleep, and Far was simply looking bored and out of place. There were more than 10 people in the room so some people were sharing and others on the floor. Claire went up to Far. She had decided that Far was his name because it seemed the only rational thing. “How are you today Far?” he looked up. “Should I just get out of here so someone else can take my bed?” he said, genuine concern on his face. “Oh, they’re fine, you’re fine. You don’t need to leave. Half of these people will be gone in a bit,” Claire smiled and Far smiled weakly back. Her palms started sweating and her heart started racing looking into Far’s eyes, his moonlit-gray eyes that sparkled like the heavens. She had only felt this way once before. When she first met her late husband, could this be a sign?
In the next few days Far was in the nurses tent Claire spent most of her time with him. They laughed and joked but at sadder times they talked about the war. Far learned her husband had died on the battlefield and that is why she became a war nurse and Claire learned that he never knew his parents and that his brother and sister hadn’t spoken to him in years. Claire still got that feeling every day of sweaty hands and heart beat accelerating. When he left the nurse’s tent he found himself coming back everyday just to talk. Since his last encounter with the war didn’t go so well the Sergeant didn’t want him there for a while. For the first time in a long time Claire felt happy. Before Far she had gotten tired of being a war nurse. They slowly were developing what they called a good friendship but others called love.
One night Claire was working late and Far made a surprise visit. “Hey stranger,” he said. Claire smiled when she saw him. “What are you doing up so late. Sarge won’t like it,” She said. “I snuck out. It isn’t that hard, when you’re me,” Far said, sitting down on a stool next to Claire. For a while they were silent, just looking into each other’s eyes. When he slowly leaned into a kiss she leaned too and after the kiss that they shared she blushed and continued working. Him watching intently as if he was interested in what she was doing.
The next morning Far received word that he was needed on the battlefield. Claire begged him not to go, she knew there was always a choice. He left. Did he not want to be with her? A few days later there was word that his whole troop had been ambushed and there were no survivors. It broke Claire’s heart, she took weeks off from her work in the nurses tent. They never brought his body back. They were all missing. She wished to see him just one more time. Little did she know he would be watching until her last days. Claire died on October 5th, 1865 of a gunshot wound to the head. Far watched her in the shadows until she died and later went to medical school thinking that he would do it for her.
Part II - Katherine
You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me
2013, Cove Memorial Hospital, Clinton, New Hampshire. A slender woman walks up the stone steps for her doctors appointment. She is wearing a pink sweater and dark jeans. Her black hair shimmering in the bright sunlight. Inside, she walks up to the counter where a tired, white haired, old woman is sitting at a computer. “Katherine Parks here. For my doctors appointment.” The woman looked up. “Dr. Jamson, down the hall take a right and its the third on on the left.” Katherine thanked the lady politely and followed the directions. Katherine had gone to this hospital all her life and knew her way around it pretty well. Considering she had photographic memory she had never seen this Dr. Jamson. Her doctor had sadly just retired. How she had loved Dr. Sanx.
She knocked on the door to Dr. Jamson’s room. “Come in.” She opened the door to find a handsome young man with clipboard and a doctors lab coat. “You must be Miss Parks.” He held out his hand for a shake.
“I am Far Jamson, your new doctor.”
“Nice to meet you” she replied and shook his hand. “Please, sit.”
Katherine sat on the paper covered chair. “So you are here because you have been having a series of random headaches and hallucinations. What do you think you are seeing?”
“There is just this black figure that I sometimes see at school.”
“School being College?”
“Oh, no, I am a kindergarten teacher at the local elementary.”
“I see, and when you see this figure what happens?”
“I flinch and shake and then it disappears. My students are starting to notice and it’s getting worse.”
“Hmm. Please wait here a moment.”
Katherine nodded. When the doctor got back he put Katherine through a series of tests and she did everything he said. After about 45 minutes of testing he said he would be contacting her when he has finished examining the millions of results. She thanked him for his time and left.
Sunlight poured into Katherine’s window onto her closed eyes. She had a feeling she shouldn’t get up, something was going to happen. Don’t move, don’t breathe. Anything could happen accept for anything good. But she got up, got dressed and went on with her normal morning routine. What could happen to a small-town elementary school teacher?
“Miss Arks?” Katherine looked at one of her students.“Miss what?”
“Johnny, you need to learn how to pronounce you P’s. How about you ask your mom at home to practice with you.”
“But it hard, Miss Arks.”
“I know. How about you go play with the building blocks with Jamie.”
Johnny smiled and walked away. Her kindergarten classroom was the best place. Always so happy and full of life. Except for the corner where a dark figure was. Katherine shuddered. It was the thing. The thing that has been haunting her. Slowly getting bigger it started walking around the room in almost a figure eight. Lifeless and black the thing seemed to be choking her. Swallowing her into an unknown she had never thought possible. “Miss Arks? Miss Arks!!!!”
“Get her in there immediately!” “Hurry!” “Blood pressure at blah bla blah” In a daze Katherine was hearing this. Her eyes seemed to have shut off. No matter what she did she couldn’t see and moving limbs that ached was more of a challenge. The only thing that seemed to work were her ears and those even weren’t at their greatest. Everything else was numb. Seeing the black made her scared. The thing was there somewhere, skulking around in it’s habitat. A cold darkness only to be seen by her. “Miss Parks? Can you hear me Miss Parks?” A blinding light cut through the darkness. “H-h-uh?” Clearly forming words was going to take a while. “Patient is responsive.”
She had had a panic attack. A panic attack over something only she could see. Something made by her own imagination, and that scared her. “The black figure again?” Katherine looked at the door. “Yes, but it’s never been this bad!” Far was standing in the doorway looking at her like she was a sick puppy. Man she hated that. “What was he doing?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Don’t answer a question with a question.......... What was he doing?”
“It was just walking around my classroom... Getting bigger with each step.” Katherine shuddered. The thought of the moment got scarier the more she thought about it. Tears welled in her eyes. “Hey.” Far walked over to her and sat on the chair next to the uncomfortable hospital bed. “It’s going to be alright.” He said, reaching and holding her hand. Katherine replied, “I don’t think so doc, I really don’t.” As she talked she burst into tears, and he stayed with her. Holding her hand and trying to comfort her as best he could. Katherine just let it all out. Days worth of tears in a few minutes. This thing had been with her for only a short time. It probably will be with her longer, and thats all she could think about. Glass half empty.
As the days past the doctors weren’t seeing any improvement. A therapist was with her once a day, everyday. But Far was with her the more. Coming in whenever he could, and sneaking in real food that wasn’t from the hospital kitchen. She was still shaken about the figure but it seemed it was non-existent when Far was around. Sadly, the whole mood changed on a random day.
“Katherine.” Far said, walking into the room. Katherine Smiled, “ Yes?” Far looked down, not wanting to look in her eyes. “I’m terribly sorry but, we found out what is happening to you and it isn’t good.” He paused, “You have an extremely bad case of schizophrenia, the likes of which doctors have never seen before.” Katherine gulped, “Can it go away?” She knew the answer before he opened his mouth. “No.” Katherine shuddered. “What’s going to happen?”
“Well, we believe that you are a danger to yourself and others around if you aren’t in a secure facility.”
“A mental hospital?”
“No I can’t go, I can handle it. Learn not to be scared and he’ll go away. I’m sure of it!” She pleaded for him not to let her go. Not to send her away, but as a tear went down Katherine’s face, Far walked away.
Katherine was transferred to a mental hospital two towns away. All she had was a white padded room, a strait jacket, and the figure. Visitors were allowed but Far never came, never wrote a letter, never saw her again. Katherine lived a full life and Far attended her funeral in between teaching a class at the local college.
Part III - Aylish
I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along
You see some people don’t have the best lives. I’m not talking about not having a house. Yes the person I’m about to talk about doesn’t have a home, not a real one. I need to tell you her tale before anything else.
Aylish Halston had been 9 when her little brother, Dylan, was born. Two hours after her mother died leaving them with a psychic father who could see the future. What he saw wasn’t as good as he had hoped. He saw a war like none other, between entire continents. Jimithan, Aylish’s father, had indeed been a soldier before he had met her mother. He knew his children should be prepared for what was to come. So he trained them. Aylish master of guns a great soldier and Dylan a little behind his sister but just as good a hunter. Jimithan believed that he could hunt anything, meaning one day people. Aylish became the best soldier on the continent of North America by the time she was 17. When war struck, they were ready. Sadly Dylan was hurt during his second battle and was stuck in a coma on a hospital bed. Jimithan had never seen this in his visions. So outraged that he didn’t see it he committed suicide leaving Aylish alone with her brother in the middle of a full on world war.
Dylan was in a coma for two years. They hadn’t thought he was going to make it but somehow Aylish knew, he was going to wake up, and one day, he did. Sadly he had been exposed to some weird new disease spread through kids around his age. He had to stay in the same hospital bed until they found a cure.
Now in 2160 Aylish sits next to her brother. Both sleeping soundly.
“Dylan I have some things he-. Aylish visiting hours are over.”
“Huh? Oh! Sorry doc.” Aylish quickly got up waking her brother in the process.
“Where you goin’?” He asked, wiping sleep from his eyes.
“I need to get back to the camp, ok? I promise I’ll come back later.”
He yawned and nodded his head. Smiling she kissed him on the forehead and left the room. She had missed her bus so she had to run back to camp, 7 miles away. For her this was a good thing, more endurance running.
She got there in 45 minutes. Not her best time but good enough.
“Your late Aylish, again.”
“Sorry Chamois, I was with my brother.”
He sighed, “Everyones outback, firearms today.”
“Thanks!” Aylish waved. Chamois was the military camp director, but he had always had a soft spot for her. He knew Jimithan and his son used to play with Dylan, before he died. Everyone in the camp had at least one relative dead. Some are all alone in the world, but that would never be for her. Angels have been at her back ever since Dylan woke.
“Aylish Halston...... Aylish here?”
“Right here!” Aylish yelled a few yards away. She had been called up to shoot already? She was usually near the end. She grabbed a random gun and shot it immediately at the target, not even taking aim. “Bulls-eye, next!”
No one oohed or awed. They were used to Aylish being the best. The rest of the day went by pretty quickly. Everyone that didn’t get a bulls-eye went through more firearm training. The rest of them were split into two groups. Ropes course and DRT (dodge random things). Aylish was in DRT. It wasn’t that hard today and in the last hour before sleep she wrote what she called a heaven letter. She had been writing letters to her mother since she died and placing them every weekend on her grave. Lucky she hadn’t been transferred very far, she knew Chamois had something to do with it. “Lights out ladies!” How she hated that they referred to the guys and girls in the dorm as “ladies.”
The next day Aylish got up bright and early and headed to the hospital. There were no buses this early in the morning so, she ran. “Ugh, 39 minutes.” She said to herself as she got there. She quickly walked to her brother’s room, where she heard a different voice coming from Dylan’s room.
“Now we’re going to start roman numerals. They’re really simple at first and then gets harder the bigger the number.”
“Knock-knock.” Aylish said, smiling and walking into the room.
“Hey Ayli! This is my new teacher, Mr. D.” Dylan said excitedly as Aylish entered the room.
“Far Dodge, I assume you are Dylan’s older sister?”
“Yes, Aylish Halston.” He stood and shook her hand. He had a surprisingly strong hand for a teacher. Not to mention the scar he had on his arm that only Aylish would notice.
“Go on with the lesson I’ll just sit and watch.” She could spend the entire day with her brother, but most of it was taken up by his new tutor. There was something about this man that was weird. He wasn’t like the others. She knew he had seen battle, she could always tell, but he was sweet and gentle with Dylan. Most would be hard and crippled, but other than the scar he looked untouched. Like he was at peace with war in some alien way. No one is at peace with war. Too many innocents die for that possibility.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Dylan.”
Aylish woke from her frozen state of thought.
“Do you know that roman numerals are really hard and confuzzling?”
Aylish looked at her brother. “You should know confuzzling isn’t a word.”
“It is when you’re me!” He smiled the little boy smile he still had. Weird how he has be through so much yet is still acts so young.
They spent the remainder day together playing scrabble and battleship, but then Aylish had to make curfew. She said goodbye and went to wait for the bus. As she walked out the tall doors she saw the mysterious Far. “Missed the earlier bus?”
He turned around. “Yes, I had paperwork and lost track of the time.”
“Well the bus will be here soon. You won’t have to wait much longer.”
“Great.” He smiled and looked back at a book he had in his hand.
“Whatcha reading there?” Aylish sat on the bench next to him.
He held up the cover, The Holy Bible. “Oh my”, was the only thing going through Aylish’s head.
“I think these stories are completely horrendous and illogical.”
Aylish slowly breathed out the air she didn’t know she had still in her lungs.
“So, you don’t believe in God?”
“No, but I do believe in a higher being that is not in these stories. I also believe that that higher being has a family that he has passed the power and responsibility too. They are looking after us now.”
“Well, maybe not all of us...” Aylish’s mind went back in time to all the things that she had been through. The ones she prayed for not to at the time. She shivered.
“Don’t think that. In the end all anyone has is hope.” He looked at her sweetly and she looked at him. The way her dad and mom used to look at each other, she recognized it immediately.
For the next few days Aylish went to see her brother, Far had ‘accidentally’ missed the earlier bus. They talked and talked and talked until she got off the bus at the camp. She had lost concentration during training and had to do a lot more work than usual, but it was worth it. Seeing him everyday was priceless, and she was as light a feather for hours after. He was so kind, handsome, and Dylan absolutely loved him. She eventually grew feelings for him and soon all her heaven letters were filled with him and Dylan. Forgetting that anything else really mattered.
“Forget something this time?” She asked, waiting for his excuse.
Far was sitting on the bench waiting for her. “No. I have no excuse for being here, accept, I wanted to see you.” This was very forward for Far. He always came up with a different reason for not being on the earlier bus. “Well, don’t I feel special.” She smiled and sat next to him. Instead of starting a conversation he just smiled and looked into her eyes. This was no longer awkward for either of them and before they knew it their faces were so close they could feel each other’s breathe on their lips. Far’s hand rested on her cheek, and he leaned in kissing her on the lips. It was a sweet kiss, like the way he put his words together in the perfect tone. Perfect. That was the word to describe the moment where neither took a breath for a while. Stunned by the event that had occurred, frozen in happiness that was overwhelming. The last time this feeling had been with her, was the day Dylan woke.
They grew closer from then on. Love in their eyes, bubble heads in their own special way, everyone noticed. Aylish was no longer the best at camp, but that didn’t matter anymore. Heaven letters were no longer about Dylan and Far, they were about Far. Every bit accept for maybe little parts at the end saying, “Dyl’s fine,” or, “Dylan loves you.” But, as we all know, the happiest times must come to an end.
Sirens could be heard all around the camp at an unusual time of day, 11:30. Aylish was practicing with her brand new gun that Chamois had issued to her. “What’s going on,” she said, practically running to Chamois. “Aylish, there’s been an air raid by Asia, on the hospital.,” Chamois said, running to a car. Aylish’s heart sank. “What? How is this possible? Everything is amazing right now. Dylan!,” These are the things going through Aylish’s head while running in the direction of the hospital. Five minutes in, she could already smell and see the smoke.
When she got close enough to see the destruction she sped up with remarkably fast speed. When she got there she could barely breath, not because of the run she had just had, but the sight that lay in ruins in front of her. People buzzed around her, firefighters, first responders, and medical people. From the smoke these people were pulling out patients left and right. Aylish frantically gaped at the long line of survivors. “Dylan must be there,” she said. Far hadn’t even entered her mind yet, family comes first. This was automatic for aylish now, her mom always said it to her and it stuck.
Far came out of the building with a firefighter and a few others. Aylish noticed immediately and ran to him. “Where is he,” she exclaimed! Far looked at her sorrowfully, “I tried,” he said. Aylish started bawling, “No, no! You didn’t try hard enough!” Aylish said, falling to her knees and crying into her hands. Far tried to comfort her, but she pushed him away. For some reason she blamed him, so she just sat there, crying. There was no reason to be on Earth anymore, Dylan was gone, forever this time.
Aylish continued to be in the North American army. Soon after Dylan’s death Aylish lost her spot as the best soldier in North America. Dylan was buried next his mother at the cemetery near the military base. Aylish no longer wrote letters to her mother, it hurt too much to go to the cemetery. She was the only Halston left on the planet, alone, forever.
The Earth fell to ruins in 2654 and the humans died out. In the year 3000, there was no living thing left on Earth. At this time is when Tia and Mal sent Far back home. When he got home Mia smiled and Mal nodded in respect. Far ignored the both of them. How dare they be nice to him. He was alone for more than 3000 years, because them. He didn’t deserve it, and neither did the humans on Earth. Tia and Mal can control certain events on Earth when the time is right. Specifically, he knew they started the continental war. Far walked past them into a little room that he once called his own. It was now foreign to him.
Tia walked up to her brother, sitting down in silence next to him. “Who would you pick Far...... we made those girls come to you for a reason. To make you fall in love and for you to see what it feels like to be torn from it. But just for kicks, who?” Far looked at her, hurt in his eyes. “I loved all those people, they were innocents that were amazing in so many different ways. I loved all of them...... not just the girls, the humans. The ones I met and the ones that were just existing all around me. Which one would I go back and save?” He paused, thinking about all he had been through. The challenges and pain that came and went through his mind and heart over those long, dreary years. “Dylan,” was his simple reply.