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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2254985-He-who-remains
Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #2254985
Immortal or not, being alone sucks. A 500-word story.


The day I lost the recipe started like any other day, except for the little-known fact that I knew the deceased. I'm not a chef, and the recipe is not for cooking. I only call it like that because I found it in a book with a cauldron on its cover. The recipe is for grafting, splice grafting of roses. And to answer your question, no, I'm not a gardener.

I'm immortal, at least that's what my daughter Cloe tells me, and except that I was born during the solar eclipse of 1600 in Jaen, Spain, there is little proof she's right.

The day in question, I was there when the deceased, Isabel Moreno, arrived at the Basilica of Holy Cross in a Rolls Royce Phantom Limousine, the 1960 series, her idea of a modern-day hearse. I didn't stay for the service, but retreated to the flower garden in the back of the church after Father Leon, the church pastor, started the funeral service.

Isabel's rose was right there, where I left it eighty years back when she died for the fourth time. We planted the rose together in 1645, and the flower kept her soul safe, young, ever since.

Carefully, I walked through the rows of roses, and when I came close to hers, I kneeled. Then, hands shaking, I opened the book with the cauldron on the cover. I used a bookmark to find the recipe, as the book had an infinite number of pages, and if not vigilant, one would never be able to open the book on the same page again.

I went through the recipe's steps, through the chants, the movements. The current felt before, I felt it again, this time stronger, wilder. Under an unknown pressure, I increased the rhythm of the chants, and it worked. From somewhere afar, behind the eyelids of my closed eyes, something moved, getting closer. It wasn't recognizable at first, but as the chants grew, so did the figure until, in front of my closed eyes, stood the one I always loved, my Isabel. Then, I felt a vibration, and against my better judgment, I opened my eyes. When I did so, the current, the unknown force, was gone, and so was Isabel. Looking around, I noticed Father Leon and Eloise, Isabel's other daughter, standing behind me and under the girl's heel, a rose. During my trance, Eloise, in a visible precarious emotional state, stepped accidentally on a flower, my rose, the one that kept my soul safe, hence the disturbance.

And now, I sit at the kitchen table in my tiny apartment in the suburbs, waiting for midnight to come. Before me on the table lies the flower, now withered, almost dead, and the book, which is of no help anymore. In the commotion that happened when I tried to save my rose, I somehow closed the book without bookmarking the page with the recipe.

I might die after midnight, or, who knows, I might even become mortal.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2254985-He-who-remains