I Remember You
By Ever-Frost © 2005
Sequel to "What Really Matters"

Bryan rubbed his eyes and yawned, showing his sharp canine teeth. Then he scratched his head and tried to adjust his eyes to the morning light that shone through the half-closed curtains.

The concert of birds bid the early Friday morning welcome, as the sun lazily crawled to the horizon, appearing to be as sleepy as the wolftaur in the bedroom. He clearly smelled renewal in the morning air, and that made his nosepad tickle slightly. That was a good sign for him.

He was going to roll off the bed, but a pair of furry hands wrapped around his waist and stopped him. "Where are you going?" muttered a beautiful chakat next to him. Scarletpaws wrapped hir tail around his and pressed hir cheek on his back.

"Sorry, darling," he turned around and kissed hir forehead, "I didnít mean to wake you up."

Shi opened hir eyes and smiled. "In fact, you didnít. Iíve been awake for some time now. Just wanted to stay by your side little longer."

He smiled and hugged hir tight. "You have given me more than Iíve ever dreamt about. I love you so much for that." Then he looked hir into the eyes and a tender smile appeared on his muzzle. His hand slowly made its way on hir head. He started to stroke hir black, silky hair, slowly moving his hand to hir neck while holding his other arm around hir waist. Then he moved lower, caressing hir orange back fur. Slowly he proceeded onto the other side, stroking hir white belly fur and teasing hir sheath. That aspect had been quite disturbing at the start, but now he had accepted it as a natural part of hir. He was also pleased to feel hir reaction, as shi was starting to sport an erection.

Hir breath came heavier and shi used another one of hir hands to caress his furry neck while lick-kissing him.

Then he suddenly stopped. "No, we really ought to get up now. We have a long walk to the station and we really donít want to miss the train to Sydney, do we? Only one of those leaves in a day."

"I donít think that my sire would mind a little delay," shi said half-seriously.

Bryan snorted. "Oh, come on. Since hir call, youíve gone on and on about how anxious shi is to meet me."

Shi sighed. "Guess youíre right. Thereís one thing I want to do before getting up though." Shi drew closer and gave him a very intimate six-limb hug (bipeds canít give a lot of those, huh?). At this point he started to realize what shi meant, for he could clearly feel hir arousal against his furry stomach and he was quite sure that hir vulva was wet. He also felt that his own body responding and he was certain that shi felt it too.

Shi whispered into his ear, "Last night was incredible." Then shi licked his ear, set face-to-face with him and gave him a wicked grin. "Letís see if you can do equally well this time, shall we?"

He smiled back and caressed hir breasts with his hand. "Nothing like horny chakat in the morning."

* * *

The trip to the city was quite uneventful, but eventually a quick walk to the station and a butt-numbing sit in the MagLev-train brought them to the Sydney Metropolitan area. The day was already turning to evening, hence about two thirds of the commuters consisted of white collar workers returning from their jobs. One couldnít exactly speak of any rush-hour, but free seats became fewer and fewer as the train approached its destination. It was fortunate that taurs had no need for seating, for their wagon had some free floor space for them.

The crowds made cold shivers run through Bryanís spine, for he was still not comfortable among them. Apparently Scarlet noticed this and took his hand in hirs. This calmed him a bit, and he managed to sit still for the whole journey. At the final station however, one could notice a few drops of sweat on the wolftaurís forehead, and only part of those were there because of poor air-conditioning in the wagon.

In time, the duo found itself in front of an elderly den that belonged to Scarletpawsí family. The design was quite common, but what the building perhaps lost in architecture, it won back with its garden. The wave of green washed the entire den, as flowers bloomed and numerous trees slowly swung in the wind. Bryan couldnít even guess how many hours in a day had to be spent on maintaining such a decoration. It was easy to forget that they were in the city, since the bush-walls and trees hid distant skyscrapers and asphalt roads. This illusion became even stronger as they passed through the well-maintained oasis.

Scarlet rang the doorbell, and a moment later hir sire opened the door. A broad smile appeared on hir muzzle as shi gave Scarlet an enthusiastic hug and sighed, "Iíve been waiting for you two. Itís so good to see you again."

Bryan observed this chakat carefully. Shi had a tiger-striped fur pattern, base colour being a little lighter orange than Scarletpawsí, completed with white fur running down from hir jaw and over hir chest to the lower belly. Hir dark brown mane had been tied to a ponytail on hir back, probably to keep it from getting dirty in the garden-work. This combined with hir strong physique (not so uncommon trait among chakat-kin) made hir look slightly aggressive, but hir eyes were soft and told that their owner wouldnít hurt even a fly. Then those deep green eyes turned to him.

Wolftaur and chakat shook hands and shi said, "Iím chakat One-Ear, child of Whitepelt and Starbright. You must be Bryan that Iíve heard so much about." At this point he noted that hir right ear was, indeed, missing.

"Nice to meet you shir," he replied. Then they locked themselves in the chakat-style welcoming hug. Over hir shoulder, he could see Scarlet smiling and winking at him as he slowly started to overcome his awkwardness. Then they broke up with friendly smiles in their faces.

"Oh, please come in. Dinnerís ready soon," One-Ear said. Then shi gave both guests a friendly look. "I think we have some things to chat about."

The dinner clearly indicated that they were long-awaited guests. Roasted potatoes, wokked vegetables and juicy steaks were clearly made with dedication, and the taste told the same story. Bryan now knew from whom Scarlet had inherited hir cooking skills, as he filled his plate for a second time.

Conversation flowed freely between two chakats and the wolftaur. Of course One-Ear wanted to get to know about hir daughterís heartmate, but shi tried to avoid being too inquisitive. The wolftaur told hir the same that he had told to Scarlet a few weeks ago. He felt a little uneasy telling hir sire that he was practically a criminal, but managed to spit it out and even look into hir eyes when he explained it. Shi proved to be a sensible person, though, for shi told him that "Everyone makes mistakes." Then the conversation turned to hir.

"So, you both live in here, right?" he asked.

"Yes. Chakats favour extended families, yíknow."

"How does that fit into your work schedules?"

"Even though I have tight hours, shi doesnít," Scarlet replied.

One-Ear went on. "I work as a florist as a sole trader, so I got pretty much freedom over my working hours. Officially, I have a degree in bio-sciences, but I prefer it this way. Guess I have a green thumb."

"That explains the garden," he noted with a smirk

"You like?" One-Ear asked.

"Definitely." Then a question arose into his mind. "I donít know if I should ask this or not, but where did you lose your ear?"

"I didnít lose it, for I was born without it, hence my name. If I had lost it through injury, it would have regenerated, but congenital flaws donít do that."

At this point they had already finished dinner. After clearing the table, they moved into the living room, where they relaxed on comfortable sitting rugs. This whole family didnít seem to fancy itself with quadruped-fitted chairs.

The conversation kept flowing, and at some point the subject turned to fresh lovers. Bryan felt a little awkward at talking about his feelings openly, but Scarlet made up this lack. Shi openly admitted that at the start he had been a pain in the ass, but hir eyes had opened as shi got to know him better. Then shi told about hir confession, the forest-fire and Bryanís apology. Most of this time he stayed silent, only adding some details. At the end shi openly admitted that shi loved him with all his flaws. Then he blushed a bit, but managed to reply that he loved hir too. To his surprise, shi took a grip of the red scarf that had been tied around his neck and pulled him into a passionate kiss.

Bryanís ears were red as tomatoes when they parted. He took a quick look at hir sire, but shi just smiled and winked at him, as one could read from hir eyes: ĎDonít worry, youíll fit in nicely.í Then Scarlet wrapped hir tail around his, and gave him that ĎMona-Lisaí smile. Shi felt that things would be okay for now.

"So, do you two have any plans for tomorrow?" One-Ear asked eventually.

"Iíll visit the Star Corps office with Scarlet and ask about their employment-programs for pilots. I guess itís time to start earning some money," Bryan shrugged.

Scarlet cleared hir throat. "Actually, I have some things to do by myself, so youíll have to deal with the office business yourself. Iíll give you my recommendations, though."

"No problem. What is it that you have in mind?"

"Just some personal things I have to do," shi replied enigmatically.

"Donít forget our visit on Sunday. It would be good for you two to come too," One-Ear reminded.

Shi looked troubled. "Iím not sure if we want to go."

Bryan looked at hir. "But of course we do. Where are we going?"

One-Ear cleared hir throat. "Weíre going to visit the graveyard. Itís kind of a tradition."

Everyone knows that there are times when you would just want to sink in the earth and to be anywhere else but there and then. For Bryan this was one of those moments. He couldnít make up anything to take back his words, so he just blurted out, "OhÖ."

One-Ear put hir hand on the troubled wolftaurís shoulder. "I understand if and why you two donít want to come, so donít worry." Then shi turned hir calm face to Scarlet. "But one has to make peace with the past to live in the present."

Shi knew far too well what hir sire meant, but shi was not sure if shi could cope with it. Then One-Ear took hir hand off his shoulder and gave both a reassuring smile to let them know that they would have hir support, whatever their decision would be.

Then shi stood up. "We have some free time before the evening. Come, Iíll show you the neighbourhood."

The two taurs strolled around the suburb while Scarletpaws gave the wolftaur a sort of tour, where he got to know of local grocery stores, boutiques, their nearest neighbours and other essentials. The sun was starting to set upon them and coloured the far cityscape with its orange. ĎNice contrast to hir fur,í he thought. Shi was also happy to see that he was overcoming his nervousness in small steps as he got to know the locals. There they walked, hand in hand, chatting happily, until something very disturbing caught Scarletpawsí keen eye. It was an innocent-looking flyer that had been recently fastened to the nearby wooden fence. There was nothing eye-catching in the white, printed paper itself, but in the lower corner it sported the infamous, green H1-logo.

Scarlet grimaced in anger and slashed the flyer with hir claws. Then shi noticed more of those flyers, and soon saw the culprit too. Shi started the chase with hir hands squeezed into fists. Bryan was stunned for a moment, but decided to follow from a safe distance.

"Hey! Whatís the big idea?" shi demanded, grabbing the human by the shoulder of his slicker and turning him to face hir. Shi was shocked when shi saw his face. The flyer guy was quite young, from 12 to 16 years old if shi was any judge. He had blonde curly hair and fair skin, so he was quite a classical example of a little cherub. He had one feature that broke this illusion though, and that was his eyes. They were blue, but in a cold and ugly way. They were the eyes of a twenty-years old habit criminal, not of a youngster. Now those eyes regarded hir with hate and disbelief.

"I asked you a question, now answer!" shi kept demanding.

"I have as much right to be here as you, freak!" he answered, looking hir into the eyes without even blinking.

"Donít give me that crap. Whatís about these filthy flyers of yours?" Shi had a sub-zero tone in hir voice.

"Theyíre not even half as filthy as you and your kin!" he spat back. "Thatís our opinion and weíre gonna tell it to the whole damn world, so theyíll know what to do with slaves like you."

At this point shi had had enough. Shi took a firm grip from his throat and lifted him up from the ground with only one hand. Hir jaws were locked in a beastly grin and angry growl rumbled from hir throat. This made the kidís expression turn much more worried. They both knew that the angry chakat could break his neck without much effort, even without hir battle training. He could also feel hir sharp claws on the skin of his neck, and a dark spot appeared to the front of his jeans. For a moment the whole world seemed to hold its breath.

Then shi let him down. "Now go back to your Hitler-Jugend or where ever you crawled from, and ensure that you take off those flyers before I nail them into your forehead."

He stumbled back with wild fear glowing in his eyes. When he was safe distance away, he pointed at hir and shouted with a slightly trembling voice, "We will get you and your kin! In time everyone will see you all as the slave-beasts you are!"

Shi grabbed a fist-sized stone from the roadside and took aim at his head. The kid disappeared in an instant. Shi lobbed the stone back to the roadside and threw an angry glance in the direction that he had gone.

Bryan trotted to hir side. "What the heck was that all about?"

"You wouldnít understand." Shi sighed.

"I donít like those people either, but arenít you overreacting just a little bit? He was just a kid for Makerís sake."

"Did I ever tell you how my mother, Twilight, died?" shi asked all of the sudden. Then shi looked away and went on "He was killed by those people, those very people who feel superior enough to kill us while they demand their own rights. Now they recruit kids like those on their lines to break more families," shi stated with tears in hir eyes. Bryan didnít know what to answer, so he just remained silent.

Then shi collected hir wits. "Itís getting late. Letís go back home."

The family ate a modest meal and spent some more time chatting and watching television. The time went on and eventually it was time to go to sleep, as One-Ear noted in a very motherly fashion. Shi proceeded on to hir own sleeping den, for shi felt that Ďthe lovebirds need some private time.í They exchanged goodnights as Scarlet and Bryan headed to the part of the den that was reserved for guests.

A short while later they were getting ready to go to sleep. Scarletpaws sat on the futon, brushing hir raven-black hair with an ornamented hairbrush. Active lifestyle and long hair was a combination that required some work, but shi preferred both hir life and hair this way. Shi had already taken hir top off, and pale moonlight brought out hir soft curves. Hir hair landing over hir shoulders, hir ample and furry breasts, and hir felinoid lower body that was lying on the futon in a comfortable position that was familiar to anyone who had observed felines before. Hir orange fur appeared somehow pale in this illumination, which made hir look more like a statue of a goddess (even though technically shi was as much god as goddess), although a cold statue could never match hir dazzling beauty, so skilful was natureís hand.

Meanwhile Bryan stood in front of a large window and looked outside to the night sky. His eyes met the distant shining of the stars, and let his mind wander among their countless mysteries. He wondered how many millennia men and taurs alike had stared into that distant light, trying to find out the unspoken secrets of life. Some things never changed.

Scarlet put away hir hairbrush and looked at hir dreamy mate. The moonlight that flowed through the open curtains made his grey and black-streaked fur glimmer in silver colour, and for a short moment the wolftaur and the distant shine flickered as one. Shi now understood why wolves howled at the moon, and shi felt that the wolftaur and the night shared an unbreakable bond.

Bryan had already removed his vest, so he wore only his lucky scarf, tied around his neck as usual. This gave hir an excuse to admire his broad shoulders and shimmering fur, and his pose in front of the window made him appear even dreamier and more powerful than before. Shi sighed and, in hir mind, thanked fate for every day shi had a chance to spend with this wonderful soul. Shi looked at him once more. "He is so handsome," shi thought.

Then he suddenly spoke. "Iím sorry."

Shi was surprised. "About what?"

"About what I blurted out earlier. About your mother and all," he explained, while still looking out from the window.

"Think nothing of it. We have come to terms with the loss. You donít need to feel sorry for something that you are not responsible for."

He sighed. "Guess youíre right, for your sire doesnít show hir sorrow too much."

"Shi doesnít do it openly, but Iíve seen hir crying when shiís alone. Thatís just how shi is. Fortunately shi has already found a new heartmate, but scars like these heal slowly."

Bryan turned to hir, looking surprised. "Shi has?" Then he smiled at hir, "...and so have you, huh?"

Shi answered nothing, and laid hir eyes to the floor. Trying to find an answer from the shadows dancing on the floor.

His smile died. "Iím sorry. I didnít want to make it sound like that."

"Itís okay. I know. I didnít fall in love with you just to fill the void in my heart, however." Shi lifted hir eyes from the floor and looked into his. Deep down in hir heart, shi was not as sure as hir words pointed out, but as hir eyes plunged into the abyss of those blue orbs, and reached for the bottom of his soul with hir empathy, shi found something that made hir convinced. It was deep, unquestioned love for hir, the love that was so strong yet so fragile, like a rose that grew on hir affection and amorousness. Shi embraced that feeling, and for once shi knew that something in this world was real.

They switched looks, and the shifting shadow passed over their eyes. If their love had been visible at that moment, then the night would have become as bright as day. Then he drew closer, and shi took a gentle grip of his scarf and pulled him into a long kiss. As their muzzles parted, shi whispered into his ear, "Come, my love."

He lied down next to hir, and they locked into an embrace, caressing each other. There they laid, kissing, snuggling and caressing, as the moon blessed the couple with its silvery light. Then he felt Scarletís penis erect against his belly, and started to stroke the sheath with his paw.

Shi moaned faintly, and gently ran hir claws along his spine. The feeling made his fur tingle, and lit a blazing inferno in his groin, a fire that demanded to be extinguished in hir vagina. Soon shi was as hard as stone, and ready for the coupling. He stopped his caressing for a while, and took his position behind hir, as his member demanded some mounting. He took a grip of hir cock, and stroked hir wet "lips" with the head of his penis. In ecstasy shi closed hir eyes, entwined hir tail around his and started caressing hir own furry breasts. Then Bryan suddenly hesitated "What if your sire hears what weíre doing?"

"Shi wonít mind. Now shut up and screw me already!" shi panted, while rubbing hir own hardened nipples. Thatís exactly what he did with enthusiasm, and a long time after that, they fell asleep in each otherís arms.

The next morning turned out to be quite uneventful. Somewhere around eight oíclock, One-Ear woke them up for a breakfast, much to Bryanís embarrassment, for he was still comfortably cuddling with Scarlet, but neither of the chakats seemed to mind. After gathering some energy, they headed downtown, Scarlet to take care of hir Ďown businessí, and Bryan to find some info about the Star Corpsí pilot-program.

In time they reached the recruitment office. At this point, the wolftaur was feeling a bit uncomfortable and nervous, for he still didnít feel comfortable near large masses, especially military personnel. Shi sensed this and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Itíll go just fine."

Then they kissed goodbye and parted. He put on a stern look and stepped into the office, ready to pull his own life together after many mistakes. Shi, in turn, headed to the city-prison.

"Hi, Josh," shi said as soon as shi made it to the office.

The man lifted his eyes from the papers and gave hir a smile. "Scarlet! What the blaze are you doiní here?"

Warden Josh Reilly was a bear-like man with chainsaw-cut, red hair and a short beard. Even though his regular visits to the pubs had left him with a beer-belly, it didnít make him any less intimidating. These characteristics combined with a slanting mouth, the result of a hit with a steel chair in a revolt twelve years ago, and a gruff exterior made him appear more suited to the biker clubs than to the clean office where he now sat, but his record proved otherwise. Even in his late forties, this beefcake had no soft spots, at least to anyone he didnít know personally. Scarlet happened to be one of those persons, though.

"Been busy lately?" shi asked as shi returned the smile.

"You bet. Thereís been already nine fights in this month and now the bureau wants to know what the heck is goiní on," he noted dryly as he shuffled through his papers. "Itís them who denied the smoking in the yard, and now they want me to clean this frigginí mess."

Shi cleared his throat. "I came to see McGrath."

He suddenly stopped his doings. "McGrath... You sure? That guyís one nasty bastard."

"I need to do this. For my own as well as Twilightís sake."

He sighed and laid his eyes on his desk "Iíve never had a better friend and a co-worker. Thatís something that one canít expect to happen, even for top-cops like hir." He gave hir a look. "Need to face some devils, huh?"

"One could put it that way," shi admitted.

"Sure you know that it wonít bring hir back?"

"I know. I just want to make sure of couple of things." Shi put hir hand upon his. "I ask you a friendís favour. Will you let me see him?"

His malformed mouth turned into an empathic smile. "Sure, lassie, but make it quick."

"Thanks," shi said and gave a light kiss to his gruff cheek. He blushed slightly, and rubbed his cheek after shi had left the room.

Then he pressed a button in a small terminal in front of him. "Visitor for McGrath; a friend." Then he reburied himself in his work, muttering something about "this crazy youth."

The electric lock let out a low beep as shi entered the visiting room. It was one of those classic bullet-proof windows, low desks, simple chairs and phones on both sides of the window: the stuff one usually sees in the mafia films. A few criminals had visitors: junkie girlfriends, crying mothers, tattooed "friends" and black-suited lawyers were all concentrating on conversations that could be the only one of its kind for weeks. In addition to all of this, all but one of the visitors were humans, a lone foxmorph among them, so a large chakat did seem to fit anywhere but here. Scarletpaws noted it too as shi padded by them, moved one chair aside and sat on the floor, brushing hir locks of hair off hir shoulder. However, hir stone-cold face didnít have a hint of insecurity on it, for shi knew that shi could knock out anyone of them with a jab if necessary.

Then the door at the other side of the glass opened, and shi caught a glimpse of the person who was a walking monument to all that shi hated in the world.

Kevin McGrathís head had been shaved already before his sentence, but now it sported a slight growth of dark hair, not much different from his chin. His leather vest had been confiscated and switched to a standard orange prison-uniform. The sleeves were quite short, hence the large H1-tattoo was proudly displayed on his right arm, while the left one was decorated with a fist-symbol. He also wore shackles on his wrists and ankles, the tokens that he carried like a martyr. That was the impression that he wanted to give to the great public, after all.

He limped to his place and took a seat. His right leg had never healed properly after shi had blown off his kneecap with a shotgun. He was followed by a middle aged, black male guard, who gave hir a slightly surprised look, but stepped back very casually, ready to act if necessary. McGrath picked up the phone.

"So, paying your old friend a visit, huh?" he commented with a sarcastic smile on his face.

"Itís been quite a long time since the trial. I bet youíve been counting seconds," shi noted with equal sarcasm.

"Heh, thatís right. Iíve been itching to kill you for what you did to me."

"The feeling is mutual, believe me."

"Look whoís talking. You got me locked into this shithole just because you were afraid of me getting the rest of your stinking family."

Shi banged hir fist on the desk. "You try that and Iíll take more than your knee!" Then shi sat down, but the angry grin remained on his face. "The blood of my mother still lies on your hands, that alone is a reason for me to take your stinking life after youíve gotten out."

He snorted. "Cut the crap furball. If you could really kill me, you would have done it before I ended up here." He pushed his face closer to the glass. "You just donít have the instinct of the killer."

Shi snapped hir teeth and tried to bite him through the glass, making him instantly back away a few inches. "Wanna bet your life on that?"

"Oh, how I would love to hit that ugly face of yours with something really heavy. Perhaps I could give my boys a call and have them do it for me, huh?"

"Let them come. I would love to release my hate on them with an excuse of self-defence. Then their remains would make you company in your cell."

"I doubt that. Some of those guys, who were with me in the riot, are still on the loose. They witnessed me shooting your mother, and they will not hesitate to do the same. Especially after you sent me here."

"Serves you right, and I just let you know that your stinking group will follow you to this cosy rock, or maybe Iíll just take their lives just because they know you. This place is too good for the likes of you, for I would have you dumped in the sewer with a stone tied around your neck, but this will have to do for now." Shi gave him an evil grin. "By the way, how many pieces of soap have you dropped in the shower already?"

He stood up rapidly, shoving the chair aside, with a burning rage in his eyes "You stinking...!" Then he pressed his face to the glass and hissed, "Listen now, you filthy bastard! In time everyone will see you the way you really are, and then Iíll be free! Iíll come and kill your dear sire in front of your eyes, and then Iíll make you beg for mercy before Iíll kill you slowly and painfully! In time you and your filthy kind will all die, and the Earth will be ours again!" Then he snarled in anger. "You know that this cage wonít hold me from you forever. Someday, the war between your kind and mine will break, and I will be there to fight."

Shi pressed hir muzzle against the glass and bared hir sharp teeth with an equal grin of pure hate. Shi managed to keep hir voice calm with a great effort, but hir eyes burned with pure hellfire, as shi too pressed hir muzzle against the glass. "And I will always be there to rip your guts out if you dare to step out of your little asylum."

Then shi hung the phone back in place, and the guard came to escort McGrath back to his cell-block. Shi stood up and left the room without looking back. Having now faced the demon from hir past, shi could go on with hir life. And thatís exactly what shi intended to do.

Scarlet spotted Bryan already from the distance. He hurried to hir, his happy gallop and broad smile revealing the news that he carried.

"I got in! They accepted me into the program and, after six months, Iíll be flying a scout-ship!"

Hir face lit with joy. "That is great news dear." Then they shared a kiss, and even a shy wolftaur didnít care if they were in a public place. "Letís tell my sire the good news."

"Yeah, letís do that." Then he suddenly remembered something. "What about tomorrow... yíknow..."

"About the visit to the graveyard, yes? I think Iíll go for it. How about you?"

He sighed. "I guess Iíll go too."

"Good. Now letís go home," shi said, and managed to even pull a smile.

On the Sunday afternoon, the land was grey as one could imagine. A thick fog had risen, and it seemed to wash the colour from the landscape. The sunís warming light was gone too, and the day seemed to become perfect for sad business.

One-Ear had dressed hirself in a dark, long top and shi had a black cloth on hir shoulders, with hir dark-brown hair in the usual ponytail. Scarlet, in turn, had put on an equally black, long-sleeved shirt, and hir long hair was open this time. Bryan had borrowed a leather jacket from Scarlet, and wore his usual scarf tied around his neck. This, combined with his black Ďhairí, gave him a slightly rocking look, but it served its purpose.

In time, the dark group made its way into the city cemetery and, after some walking, found the grey headstone that belonged to their beloved relative. One-Ear took the old candle from the glassy lantern, lit a new one, and carefully put it in. Then Scarlet put the new flowers onto the grave, and took hir place next to him. After that, they all just stood there for a moment, staring at the grey stone and trying to remember the moments that now seemed so distant. Bryan tried his best to participate in their sorrow, as he stared at the picture of a smiling, black-furred chakat in the headstone. Underneath was a text:

"Chakat Twilight, d/o Sandstorm and Wanderer. Born 29th August 2284. Died 11th September 2337. A decorated officer of Melbourne Police Department, KOD (Killed On Duty), a beloved mate and mother. May our love be the light that guides you on your way, as you have guided us in ours."

After a long and sad while, One-Ear broke the silence. "I think weíre done here. Shall we go?"

Scarlet sniffed. "I think Iíll stay for a while longer, if you donít mind."

"Sure. Meet you by the gate," shi said as shi turned to leave, and wiped a tear off hir furry cheek.

A lonely tear rolled on the orange-furred chakatís cheek. As an empathic person, Bryan offered hir a comforting hug, and let hir cry out hir pain. Pressing his arms around hir, he wordlessly encouraged hir to take it all. Now he understood hir emotions a bit better, for deep down in his heart, the family-loving wolftaur had deep emotions. He could only imagine what would feel to lose oneís beloved mother to an armed group of maniacs with a Ďholy causeí. Now that he held hir in embrace, he tried to take part of that pain into himself to make hir feel better.

Meanwhile Scarletís heart was unimaginably heavy. Shi was just coming to terms with hir loss and, after so much sorrow held within, it now all took its toll on hir. The guilt, the hate and sorrow struck hir again and again, making hir shudder as shi cried hir eyes out. But this was something that shi had to let out to go on, and a loving mate standing next to hir was truly heaven-sent.

The slight breeze moved hir hair as the worst passed, as if the deceased mother had given hir dear child a last kiss goodbye. Shi lifted hir face and looked up to the sky, and saw that the fog was already fading. Then shi pressed hirself deeper into his embrace, and let him know that shi was now cutting hir chains. He was glad too, and caressed hir hair while smiling faintly. Then he started humming a sad tune, adjusting the rhythm to the blowing wind. Shi looked deep into his eyes, but remained silent, and listened as he started to sing in a nearly unhearably quiet and deep tone.

Every time I think about that day
the day I heard that you passed away
it brings the reaper just too near
so I face my pain and shed my tear.

So deep is the sorrow and grief
Ďcause our moments together now seem so brief
everyone will leave their legacy
both good and bad, so cruel is destiny.

I remember you when down falls the rain
even though it brings too much pain
the sorrows of the world are off your chest
the tired one may now finally rest.

Even though youíre six feet under today
youíre not entirely gone away
somewhere, you guide souls lost too long
so they can find a place to belong.

I remember you when tears pour to the sand
for youíll come to me and give me a hand
see you or not, I know that youíre there
Ďcause love and memories will go nowhere.

"What is that?" shi asked when he was finished.

"A song that my mother used to sing when her mother died. I thought it might suit to hir as well."

Shi dried hir eyes and hugged him deeply. "It did." Then shi turned hir eyes to the clear sky "Iím sure that shiís happy, wherever shi is."

Then he took a look at the smiling One-Ear, who was waiting for them by the gate. "Shall we go now?"

Shi managed to pull a smile. "Yes. Letís go now."

The trio left the graveyard with their hearts much lighter than some time ago. As they turned their backs to the secrecy and pain, a bird sang somewhere in the nearby trees. The fog had now fully cleared, and they saw the sunshine once more.


The poem, "I remember you", is dedicated to the memory of my late grandfather. RIP

Story copyright © 2005 Ever-Frost   (ever-frost@hotmail.com)

Chakats and the Chakat Universe are the creations of Bernard Doove and are used with permission.

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