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Christmas by the Fire
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the_last_flower.rtf
Keywords male 856614, wolf 143716, furry 58937, love 20358, flower 3719, sadness 1158, memories 296, grief 104, final chapter 3, seven white flowers 1
The Last Flower
by Winter



His legs ached already, and he thought about sitting down on one of the benches he could see here and there. But no, it wouldn't do any good to dawdle. The one who had brought him today was one of the young ones, and he knew they didn't care much for waiting. He didn't know the fox boy's name, of course, but on some instinctive level he could sense their kinship. Great-grandson was another of all the words he had lost, so long ago.

The gravelled path made crunching noises as he trudged along. He knew where he was going, now. Seeing the iron gate and the low brick wall had jogged his memory. Not far now. He passed a large stone to his left, and it told him a memory of an old fox lady with a kind face and a warm smile. A smile he hadn't seen in too many years to even begin to count. Not that he knew numbers anymore. Other stones brought back other faces; faces he had once cared for, even loved. Every now and then, one of the younger ones came here with him, and talked about the stones and what they represented. Every now and then, he heard a name-word he recognised from long ago. And they would stop, and he would touch the stone. Maybe he'd shed a tear or two.

Not today. Today he was on his own, leaning heavily on his sturdy cane as he came closer and closer to his goal. He passed underneath the branches of an oak tree, whispering to him as wind rustled its leaves. It also rustled his face fur, more white now than grey, and it made him shiver.

It wasn't very cold today, and he was thankful that it wasn't raining. The word autumn meant nothing, but he could tell the seasons' passing from the colour of the leaves, as well as the amount of clothes he need to don each time he went out. Which wasn't as often as he would like, with the young ones being busy and busy, and his old body not as fit as it once was.

It seemed only yesterday when he had been a young pup, running and climbing and playing and laughing. It seemed forever ago when he had been a young pup in love, a young man married, a proud father.

He could see them now. The ones he had been looking for. They weren't very large, not like the more important ones. The heads of families and the ones who had strived to make names for themselves, all had elaborate resting places. The ones who had simply led their lives in happiness and content, without making a fuss, were given smaller stones.

By the low brick wall, on the outskirts of the yard, were his. Three among many similar ones. He stood in front of them, and as always his eyes began to water. The fresh pain had faded over the years, the sadness had not. His hips protested when he sank to his knees and touched the left stone. There were carvings on it, but he didn't need to know what they said. He touched the golden ring on his left ring finger, then stroked the edge of the stone gently. Wishing it were softer, wishing it were the fuzzy cheek of a beautiful face. Wishing it were his Jonathan.

A wet drop fell onto the stone, followed by another, then a third, but it wasn't raining. He picked up the boquet he had tied to his cane before he went out that afternoon, and separated the flowers. Two of them were for the other two stones, and he placed them there, running his fingers over the names that were unreadable to him. His mind mostly remembered Starflower and Summerwind as the pup and the kit who had danced into his life and enriched it to no end. They had grown up, of course, built a family of their own, then closed their eyes after long and joyful lives. But even though he could recall fragments of their adult years, it was as children their visages were clearest.

Likewise with his Jonathan. He saw the young kit he had fallen so hard for, whose love he had won over adversities he could no longer remember. Sometimes he saw the man who had remained with him, loved him, soothed his turmoiled mind whenever senses became muddled or confusion needed clarity. Sometimes he could all but feel soft lips touching his, or a bushy fox tail lying across his chest at night. Nights these days were dreary things. Going to bed seemed meaningless, sleeping but a chore.

He placed the last flower on Jonathan's stone, the season's last Alexander rose. It seemed to shiver as a chilly breeze blew past, and he stroked its petals gently as if to calm it down. The softness was a balm to his mind, and he was able to recall more recent memories. How he had held a gaunt hand in his, pressed it to his lips, touched a ring that only too easily slid off a thinned-out finger. Stared into vivid green eyes in a face marked by time. They got a long life together, he and his Jonathan, but when one life reached its natural end, the other just seemed to keep going on. He had no idea how old he was now, and he didn't really care. He would gladly have given all those extra years for just one more moment before Jonathan sighed and stilled.

It still wasn't raining, but more drops fell on cold stone.

He knew he should go. He'd had his moment of memory and nearness, for now. Next year, on the same day, he would be back with a new Alexander rose for his flower, his brightness. His knees cried as he struggled to his feet, protested being treated so roughly. Who knew, maybe he would come back even sooner, come back one more time to finally be laid to rest beside his Jonathan. To sleep, side by side, forever. Maybe his ghost would dream of a fox tail snaking its way over to rest on his chest, maybe their spirits would cuddle up together once again.

He could feel it in his old bones; he wasn't long for this world. It was his time to lie down now. Then again, he had felt that way for many years, maybe he would be back again, dragging heavy feet down the path to his stones, with his flowers tied to his cane.

When he reached the iron gate, the young one greeted him politely and talked words he couldn't understand, and they climbed into their cart and set off for home. For the Alexander mansion, where he had been given his last home. Maybe he would sit in the garden to watch the new generation of kits frolic, or maybe he would wait inside for his evening meal. Then he would go to his empty bed, and he would close his eyes to sleep.

And for just a little while, he would have his Jonathan back with him.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Christmas by the Fire
Last in pool
I have been toying with the idea for this short story for a long time, but I wasn't really sure if I should write it. One last chapter in the saga that began long ago with Seven White Flowers, this time following Tom as a very old man.

Fair warning; it's not a very uplifting piece. If you don't like sadness, maybe you should skip it.

Keywords
male 856,614, wolf 143,716, furry 58,937, love 20,358, flower 3,719, sadness 1,158, memories 296, grief 104, final chapter 3, seven white flowers 1
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 3 weeks, 1 day ago
Rating: General

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5 comments

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Thaddeus
3 weeks, 1 day ago
It hurts...
Winterimage
3 weeks, 1 day ago
Sorry. But I did issue a warning.
Thaddeus
3 weeks, 1 day ago
Its a good thing.  I'm glad you're not afraid to show bad or sad things.  The negative emotions make the characters feel real, rather than just sex puppets.  More of this is need in furry literature.
Winterimage
2 weeks, 6 days ago
This story felt as if I wrote it for myself, that's why I hesitated to post it. Right after posting The Eighth Flower, I wanted to write something like this, as a finale. It adds little to the story, though, and I'm still not sure if I'll keep it. Yes, I'm not afraid to write about darker themes, but I am quite afraid of adding drama for the sake of drama. I'm not really a fan of stories where the author throws everything plus the kitchen sink at the characters when it comes to emotions and disasters.
Thaddeus
2 weeks, 5 days ago
You have every right and reason to post something that you wrote only for yourself, if you want to.  I really hope you don't take it down.  If you do, at least let me know first so I can save it to my hard drive.
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