Disclaimer: All the characters recognizable from the Artemis Fowl books (I don't think I've actually mentioned any situations... What does that say about this?) belong to Eoin Colfer and his publishers. I am not making any money from this.
Author's Note: This is the first part in the Triangle Arc - a three part series of semi-related events involving situations with the Artemis Fowl characters. Each story will contain three parts to it, and this is only the first part of Death, which is quite a lot shorter than either of the others in Death. Each story will essentially have three stories or events, which can be linked to each other and the main idea of the particular part. The three parts are Death, Life and Future. The quotes at the start are taken from the three books in Terry Pratchett's 'Johnny Maxwell' series, since I've been dying to use Pratchett quotes forever.
Author's Note 2: It has come to my attention recently while rereading the books that Grub is not actually all that mentally handicapped (at least not in the original or TEC). What I had interpreted as that was just a childlike reliance on his family, while he actually has a reasonable vocabulary and doesn't have more than a normal level of stupidness. But, for this story, I can't change this interpretation because of how central the idea of Grub being mentally handicapped is to the plot. And so this fic is an AU (Alternate Universe) and should be treated as such.
"Um ... look ... when I looked up and I saw that thing ... I mean, it was so real... And I thought, but it's alive, it's living, how can I--"
"Yes," said Johnny.
"And then it was dead and ... I didn't feel like cheering ..."
"When it's real, it's not easy. Because people die and it's really over."
"Yes. I know. Over and over."
From Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind
On the day Holly Short was born, it was raining in the world above her. On the day Juniper Short died, it was raining in the world above him. Whoever said these had to be two different days? In one way, the physical way, they were. Two different days, separated by 64 years, 7 months and 12 days. In another way they were the same - two events separated by mere hours, minutes. Who can tell?
6th of December, 1985
The room was freezing as soon as he entered it. In fact, it had been freezing for years and years, probably since before he was even born - the room predicting the pain it was going to house in the future and preparing itself. The room lay in a nice house in the Haven suburbs, it had a reasonable view, nice bay windows, and a peaceful, earthy colour scheme. It should have, could have, been a happy place. It wasn't.
When the girl entered the room, muscles fresh from exercise, mind ready and pumped for violence, he didn't so much as freeze in what he was doing. The woman below him turned her eyes to the eyes of the girl and pleaded for her to run away, to run away as fast and far as she could. But the girl didn't like cowards. And she was tired of being one herself. She had always wanted to fight, but she had never had the guts to strike him. Now she did.
She threw a punch at him and pulled him off her mother in a moment. Breathing hard, she pummeled him and pummeled him, letting the rage burn and burn and burn. She hadn't been able to kill not long ago but now, with her hands, knees and feet doing the work her brain was barely involved at all. She couldn't stop, not even if she had the faintest desire to do so. The satisfaction was not in the kill, it was not in the revenge, it was in knowing that he wouldn't be able to hurt them anymore. And the satisfaction was so great it hurt.
4th of December, 1985
The workfairies trying to fix one of the major banks of filters for Haven's air supply hadn't been able to do much, even after working on it for quite a few hours. The failed filter meant that about half the air coming into the city was straight from above, unheated and still polluted.
It was so cold that ice formed from the warm, panting breaths of people running through the street - the pursued and the pursuers. One man - a crazy grin on his face, running, jumping, fleeing; and the others - running, chasing, just wanting to stop him however they could. The group split up, units running in different directions at the cross-road with the idea of cornering the fairy. In one group, there was only two. They ran. Ran as fast as they could, trying to keep ahead of the premonition of more dead bodies lying at the man's feet.
And the man ran out of a side street and crashed into the younger, smaller elf. The woman, who still had the features and nature of a young girl. And he was holding her close to him, facing her partner and staring into his eyes, daring him to do anything. He held her shoulder and pushed her away slightly so that he could look her over. He licked his lips, then brought them down over hers. She had a neutrino blaster in her hand, she knew that she could - should - shoot him and then it would all be over, all the pain would be over... she was about to... And she couldn't. She didn't. He laughed at her weakness and she flinched as though he'd slapped her. She flinched at her own cowardly nature. 'I'll enjoy watching you suffer.' he said...
And then he was dead. The partner rolled the body off her and pulled her close. Platonic. Comforting. Degrading. Condescension personified. She pushed him away.
And ran again.
12th of October, 1967
The heating had been broken for years now but there had never been enough money spare to get it fixed. The entire house was on its last legs anyway. And, well, the family wasn't so far behind. And so the rooms were cold today - the atmosphere holding the chill that came from both the recycled air of the Underground and the individual people who had long since stopped talking together for fear of the accusations and hurt that would eventuate. And no one really noticed the discord anymore; it was simply part of their lives. They each had their own defense - the mother would cook exotic meals, even if they would never be eaten; the elder brother had his sports, and mates to whom sensitivity was a strange and bizarre concept; the younger brother had books, piles and piles of fantasy and science-fiction, each story an individual world where things, people, were either good or evil, bad or good, not part of this muddle that is life. And the father had his drink.
The younger brother, probably only 40 or so and still in primary school, had a favourite place to sit. He would sit cross-legged in the corner with his back against the kitchen wall, a favourite book open in his lap. This is where he was today. This is where he would never sit again.
The father came in, smelling of cheap spirits and anger. It came off him through every pore, poisoning the air and people around him.
The mother heard him, but paused to wash her hands in the sink and wipe the tears from her bright eyes with a dirty dishcloth. She paused again at the door, steeling herself for whatever was to come. It had already started happening when she entered the living room.
The father was yelling - nonsense words, irrational ideas; yelling so loudly that the younger son's book had dropped to the floor when he raised his hands to cover his ears, what he had just read forgotten completely. Or maybe the book dropped when the boy was picked up bodily and shoved back against the wall, the father shouting again and again, wanting the boy to prove himself worthy, prove himself a man.
The elder boy heard the sound, wished that it didn't exist, wished that he couldn't hear at all, and then, when it refused to be dismissed as a figment of his imagination, came rushing from his shared bedroom, from which he had forced his brother from hours before because he had wanted to phone his girlfriend. He came into the room, gently but forcibly pulled his mother away, and went after his father. He talked, he shouted, but the father didn't want to listen at all; he wanted a fight.
The father slammed the boy in his arms into the wall once again and laughed at the resounding crack. The other boy, the powerful boy, lost it, lost control. He attacked his father, ripped the material of his brother's shirt in pulling the clenched, drunken hands away. He pushed the father into the air, not gloating about his power but trying to make his father see the pain that their family ran on. And how they ran on it because of him. But the father couldn't realise, he couldn't see it, and so he fought back. He thrashed, scraping the son with his fingernails and butting him with his intoxicated head.
But the son didn't care anymore. He couldn't stand it anymore. He threw his father against the far wall and fled out the door. It slammed shut behind him.