Author's Note- Well, after a couple months of inactivity, I decided to write this to tell everyone that I'm still alive. It is angsty though and may make some of the emotional people cry, so beware!
The Curse of Immortality
Foolish, foolish little Shadow, you're immortal...
Did you really think everything would be fine...
Did you really think it would all work out...
Here lies the testimony to your solitude and loneliness...
Shadow the Hedgehog shook his head to clear out the vile thoughts. He could not help it, after all, such a long time of solitude could drive anyone into madness.
How long had it been since he had talked to another besides himself or his now schizophrenic other half?
The ultimate life form was laying on a large wooden bed cushioned with lime green pillows and comforters, shifting every now and then to keep himself busy, even if it was in a sort of pathetic kind of way.
He slowly blinked, his ruby red eyes reflecting the sun's rays shinning into the room through a small window on the wall of the tiny cottage.
Should he just lie here and rot?
It was impossible, he could not rot, he had a gift.
Anxiety slowly griped his mind as he shifted on the bed again before finally deciding to stand up. A soft thud echoed through the silent and stuffy air as his air shoes hit the wooden floor.
Stalking over to the small window that was the only source of light in his rather primitive home, Shadow peered outside.
It was raining.
He gruffed, raining and sunshine at the same time? How peculiar.
The weather had not been like this since-
That's when it hit him!
It was that day. The day of remembrance as he liked to call it.
Spinning around, his hand swiftly flowed towards a small stool and picked up a dirty light brown cloak.
He gripped the cloak in his gloved hands, it was the only thing he had left of her.
Opening the small door that led into his home, rays of sunshine temporarily spilled into the house.
Shadow silently strode through it and shut it behind him with a loud creak, he would not be back for a while.
The rays of light disappeared along with the dark hedgehog, just as his rays had withered away so long ago.
A dark twilight shadowed the once green hill tops that a lone black and red figure ran along on. His rusted and dented shoes once recognized as a miracle of technology but now obsolete, hovering quietly, blowing away blades of grass and sand.
His large cloak fluttered behind him, the air kicking it up and making it dance. His face was hidden behind a mask of stone and indifference.
It was always how he had withheld his emotions from wandering or curious eyes. No one would or should be burdened with the pain he had endured for so long.
The wind whizzed around his ears and quills, memories slowly flooding from the very depths of his mind to tidal into his surface thoughts.
They were about the ones he had lost, the ones that had died so very long ago. It was like this every year, for as long as the ultimate one could remember.
He would visit them there every day, come out of his seclusion only to see a fragment of their once colorful existence edged into cold hard stone.
It had become something he had looked forward to and regretted each year he went. The rest of the seemingly endless annual drawled by day after day, his mind never once wandering to the inevitable day of remembrance.
But once it came along, something in his old, dark mind clicked just as if someone turned on a light in a dark room and he set off towards his destination.
Slowly, his ruby red eyes scanned over the horizon at a mighty industrial-looking city littered with sky scrapers and hover cars coming closer to him each second he performed another elegant glide across the short grass.
The sound of beeping horns and loud voices touched his ears. He had always despised going into the city, but it was along the way to his destination and would be too much of an inconvenience to curve around.
There was one thing in the hedgehog's favor when he crossed into the human habitat of metal though, no one recognized him.
It had been far too long, even if he once was on of this planet's greatest heroes. Human beings tended to forget their so called "immortal heroes" after a couple of centuries.
Even that annoying blue one was only a distant memory held by the sole survivor of that era so long ago.
It was him, the one that held the keys to the memories that even the Earth itself seemed to have tossed to the wayside.
No one turned their heads at the sound of the blue one's name anymore, no one quivered in fear at the mention of the ultimate life form from space colony Ark anymore.
It was all gone, as if they had been a tiny, insignificant spec in the long span of the Earth's life time.
His hover shoes illuminated the shadowed pavement of a small sidewalk as the dark one finally crossed into the outskirts of the large city.
The small amount of rays from the ever-giving ball of light in the sky dwindled to none as darkness took over completely, the soft, leisurely rain increasing substantially.
It blew furiously against the small hedgehog as he slowly came to a stop before a abandoned road, wrapping the cloak around his body and pulling its ragged hood up to cover his face behind a wall of shadows.
Then, silently, he walked on, his speed decreased, but his destination still set in his mind.
He crossed streets, turned corners and weaved through the city as if it was all by natural instinct.
Who knows? Perhaps it was. Perhaps time had a way if inserting instinct into the mind after such repetitive behavior.
It had taken him less than two hours to make his way to the other end of town, passing only a few humans and animals as he went by.
It was good as far as he was concerned. He did not want to have any kind of run-in with some drunk fools today.
But, just like his life was, cruel and unfair, it decided to add another layer of hindrance to his existence.
Out of a dark alleyway, three large human males walked. They were all close to six feet tall and well-built by what the cloaked hedgehog could tell.
And they reeked of alcohol.
Shadow's nose and the lower half of his muzzle elevated slightly in disgust at the stench. He was hoping the three males would not do anything stupid, he did not want to fight, not today.
"Hey shorty!" one of the males, one in a black leather coat with slicked back brown hair called out to him.
The ultimate life form stopped dead in his tracks, still a good ten feet away from the humans.
"What are you doin' here, kid?" another one asked, this time one with blond hair and biker glasses.
Bloody red eyes narrowed slightly as Shadow parted his mouth to speak.
"I have no intention to fight."
He was mildly surprised at how his own voice sounded. It seemed natural though, after not having anyone else to talk to, to finally speak in his own words to another living being.
Deep and husky.
Not a bad tone, he decided silently to himself.
The third, with jet black hair, smirked darkly, "Well, you walked into the wrong neighborhood if you wanted to avoid trouble!"
A low sigh escaped his dry, cracked lips as he removed the hood from his head, letting his quills and eyes be exposed to the onslaught of rain.
"A hedgehog, eh? The first human asked skeptically, "It's been a while since I've seen one."
"You look like you had a dye job!" the blond mocked with a chuckle, taking a step forward.
Shadow's left fist unconsciously tightened.
He didn't have time for this foolishness. On any other day, he would have let the scene play out a bit more, but not today.
With movements as fast as lightning and as smooth as water, Shadow darted forward in a burst of unseen air towards the blond male.
The human's eyes widened in pain for a split second as his mouth twisted open in a failed attempt to give out a scream.
Shadow's cloak fluttered from the sudden jerk of his body and slowly fluttered back down against his furry body, the rain giving it an extra push downwards.
With a thud, the man dropped to the cold, wet pavement, Shadow's hooked fist still raised.
The eyes of the other two immediately widened as they took off the next second, back into the alley, running sluggishly and without a firm step.
On any other day, Shadow would have pursued them and taught them a lesson about messing with the ultimate life form, but he didn't have time today.
Vermilion eyes scanned over the fallen body of the human foolish enough to taunt him.
He was still alive, no doubt but was completely motionless, the rain patting onto his pale skin in quiet splashes.
He didn't have time to kill or care for this foolish human.
So, waving his dark cloak around his body and lifting his hood over his face again, the lone wolf by the name of Shadow the Hedgehog continued his journey towards his un-named destination.
The rain started pounding more furiously now, with Shadow taking no heed to nature's ironic cruelty towards him.
He didn't care, he wouldn't care. He was almost at his destination.
The industrialized town was far behind him now, barely a speck in his vision and he was slowly stalking up a large green hill, old and termite-infected stairs guiding him into the right direction.
His dirty brown cloak fluttered around him wildly and furiously, as if protesting to the dark hedgehog's actions.
Or was it just Shadow's insanity that came up with that analogy?
His ruby eyes shifted to look into the direction of the higher ground above him. He was almost at the top, his final destination.
Three more steps...
Everything he had done in his seemingly endless life flashed before him in less than a second, seemingly taunting the black hedgehog for his current actions of remembrance.
Two more steps...
Everything around him, his mind, his body screamed for him to stop, shouted foul instructions to him to cease this self-torture.
But he would not heed his conscious' words.
One more step...
He had asked himself that question multiple times before. Why was he doing this? Hadn't he gone through enough pain already as it was?
Shadow stood at the top of the large grassy hill.
There was not much to see on top of one of nature's raised pieces of land.
A single, slim tree with few branches and even fewer leaves stood on the far right, nature's tears pounding it furiously as if it had committed some kind of horrific act.
There was only one other outstanding characteristic of the damp hill besides the tree:
Six gray and crumbling tombstones surrounded by an overgrowth of dull green grass and moss.
The black and red hedgehog taking in the scene numbly felt tears welling at the corners of his once ferocious and fear-striking eyes.
Why did it have to be this way? Why had life decided to torture him so?
Acting like a mindless robot doing the same tasks over and over again, day in and day out, the ebony hedgehog took a step forward, parting grass and mud underneath his heavy step.
Shadow was in front of the first gravestone, the one farthest away from the withering tree.
His crimson, ebony-dotted eyes scanned over the writing carved into the tombstone. It was withered and crumbling, but the words were still as clear as the rain pelting against the obsidian hedgehog at the moment.
Here lies Miles "Tails" Prower.
Loved friend and adopted brother.
May he rest in peace.
Shadow's eyes clouded over with more tears as he remembered the young, two-tailed fox. He was so young, barely in his adolescent years when...
...He was killed by Metal Sonic.
The ultimate life form remembered the day perfectly, as if it was only yesterday.
Crimson clouds bathed the obsidian sky like huge clots of blood. Thunder roared above everything and anything as four determined heroes stood in the face of their giant adversity.
The giant metal creature above them high in the sky roared, rivaling the thunder itself.
Metal Sonic had once again transformed into the Metal Overlord using the Chaos Emeralds. But that would have been simple for the heroes to defeat as they did before, a couple of years ago.
Of course things were more complicated now.
When the metallic menace had surprisingly invaded Angle Island and took the Master Emerald, absorbing all of its power, he had gotten at least twenty times larger in size and one hundred times stronger.
On a half-destroyed bridge on top of the highest building of what was once Westopolis, stood the heroes.
A golden fox with bright cerulean eyes.
A crimson echidna with determined amethyst eyes.
An azure hedgehog with stone-set emerald eyes.
An obsidian hedgehog with ferocious vermilion eyes.
They were the Earth's last hope of defeating Metal Sonic after the robotic hedgehog had already taken out G.U.N. and Eggman.
"Tails," Knuckles quietly spoke in a hushed tone as to not alert the giant floating in the sky above them, "Flank him on the left side and fire at him with your weapon!"
The fourteen year old Miles nodded, his azure eyes hardening as he raised his right arm, showing off the impressive looking ebony cannon strapped to it and cocked it with his left hand, earning a distinct beep.
Then, in a whirlwind of speed, Sonic and Shadow took off, their fur suddenly bursting to gold, making a beeline straight for Metal Overlord, their illuminating presence cutting through the dark sky.
Knuckles ran off the bridge as well and jumped into the air, his crimson fur melting into a white-ish pink color and coming up on the right side of the blue metal monster.
Tails gulped down some spit caused by his anxiety and also took to the skies, his two tails propelling him high into the air as he sailed towards Metal's left side.
The metal monstrosity roared furiously as Shadow's Chaos Spear that had just been launched burned a part of his armor.
With a hurricane-like force of wind, the monster swatted Sonic and Shadow away, sending the two hedgehogs crashing into a building.
Knuckles cursed and fired a Thunder Arrow at Metal but the giant monster raised its huge clawed hand and blocked the attack, sending the back of it crashing against Knuckles' by-comparison tiny body and into the destroyed streets below.
Sonic had barely managed to pull himself out of the crumbling building along with Shadow when it happened.
Metal Overlord extended one of his huge claws and flicked the shot Tails had fired at him away before he slashed the very same claw against Tails' chest and abdomen.
A loud cry of pain accompanied with a river of crimson spilled into the air.
Sonic felt nothing at first, his green eyes wide and dull.
But then something new bubbled inside of the hero, something he had never felt before:
The black hedgehog remembered what Sonic had done. He had transformed into something new and dangerous.
Ebony fur and blank, white eyes. It was his darkest incarnation. Where the sudden power came from, the ultimate life form did not know but it was more than enough to obliterate every last cell of Metal Sonic.
After the battle, Sonic had carried the lifeless form of Tails back home to Station Square and buried him on top of this very hill.
Pushing the memory back into his mind, Shadow moved to the next tombstone.
Here lies Tikal the Echidna.
Princess of a race, wife of a hero.
May she rest in peace.
Oddly, Shadow did not know too much about the echidna princess. She had reincarnated herself before Metal had absorbed the powers of the Master Emerald and had later married Knuckles.
They had no children and when she died of a rare heart disease before her husband did, Knuckles was the last of the echidnas.
He remembered the crimson echidna weeping for days over his dead wife before he decided not to bury her on Angel Island, but here.
Shadow moved to the next tombstone.
Here lies Knuckles the Echidna.
Brave warrior and loving husband.
May he rest in peace.
Shadow remembered the day the news of Knuckles' death had reached him.
Sonic was there, tears streaking down his tan muzzle as he quietly explained that the echidna had passed away.
The blue hero had only found out when he decided to visit the red warrior and found his body near the Master Emerald shrine, the jewel he had sworn to protect until his death.
He had the wedding ring he had given Tikal firmly grasped in his lifeless hand.
Shadow hadn't seen the burial or the ceremony, but he knew that Sonic had buried him here, next to his wife.
They say he died of a broken heart.
The ultimate life form moved to the next gravestone.
Here lies Amy Rose.
A flower in the life of everyone, a loving wife by a hero's side.
May she rest in peace.
...The rose hedgehog, his rival's wife.
She had died a few years after the two echidnas at the age of thirty-two, during child birth.
Sonic had been overjoyed when he found out that his wife was pregnant with their first child and was excited about being a father.
So much that he missed Amy's clear symptoms of a problem.
The child in her stomach battled with a raging infectious disease of the lungs that eventually began to take its toll on Amy as well.
But the pink hedgehog did not want to spoil her husband's happiness so she had said nothing.
It became painfully clear to the cerulean hero when Amy was giving birth.
Shadow was there, in the delivery room with his best friend and rival as he quietly tried to calm his wife down.
"Shhhh, it's all right Amy," Sonic cooed as he held his wife's hand in his own, tears cascading down his face.
Behind them, Shadow stood silently, tears of his own beginning to form in his eyes.
This was wrong. How could something so horrible happen to them?
The doctors had informed Sonic of the disease during Amy's birth-giving which she was still in.
The head-doctor had sadly informed the world-renowned hero that it was highly unlikely that Amy or the child would survive the birth.
So now, there they were, husband and wife as Amy screamed from the overwhelming pain.
"Here it comes," one of the doctors announced anxiously.
The rose hedgehog screamed one final time before her body, along with her hand intertwined with Sonic's, fell limp.
"Amy?" Sonic asked nervously, his tone heightening a few pitches.
Slowly, the pink one opened her tired emerald eyes and looked at her worried husband, smiling dryly.
She knew she was about to die, and Sonic knew it as well.
Tears splattered onto the ground as Sonic clenched his teeth together, "Amy...don't leave me!"
Only, he didn't want to accept it.
"I...love...you," Amy managed to breath out before her peaceful eyes closed lightly, her head and hair falling to the side.
The loud sound the life-reading machine the pink hedgehog was hooked up to made it inevitably clear.
Amy Rose was dead.
The blue hero next to her collapsed onto his knees, crying his lover's name out again and again.
This was horrible, but maybe the child...
"Mr. Hedgehog," one doctor in a white lab coat interrupted.
Sonic raised his head, tears still clouding his vision at the doctor who held a small bundle wrapped up in white blankets.
Sonic's world, or what was left of it, shattered at the doctor's words.
The child was dead as well.
More tears spilled onto the floor, but not just the ones from Sonic's eyes, but the ones Shadow's eyes produced as well.
Tears were now freely flowing from Shadow's eyes as he moved away from Amy's tombstone and to the next one.
Here lies Sonic the Hedgehog.
Loving husband, hero and friend.
May he rest in peace.
Shadow smiled weakly as he ran his hand over the wet tombstone, rain patting the heavy rock and his gloved hand.
He looked at the word he had carved into it himself when he had died.
The blue hedgehog had died the day after his wife and child had.
He was broken, completely lost in his own sorrow.
Sonic's spirit had died the day his family had died physically.
The coroner's report read that it was supposedly suicide.
But Shadow knew better. Sonic had not taken his own life, he had released himself from his pain...with a gun.
"I'll never be caught dead using one of those!"
'I guess you were wrong, weren't you faker?' Shadow mused in his mind sadly as more tears spilled from his ruby eyes.
His eternal rival.
Slowly, Shadow moved to the very last tombstone.
Here lies Rouge the Bat.
Affectionate treasure huntress and loving wife.
May she rest in peace.
The ultimate life form couldn't take it anymore.
Slowly, he collapsed against the tombstone, hugging it as if it were Rouge.
As if it were his wife.
"Why did you have to leave me Rouge?" Shadow sobbed, remembering the white, seductive bat that had stolen his heart centuries ago.
The ebony hedgehog finally remembered how long it had been, in years.
Three hundred and fifty-five years had gone by since she had died.
He was over four hundred years old and still looked like he was eighteen.
"Why?" Shadow cried against the cold stone, ignoring the numb feeling it was bringing him.
"Why can't I die?"
Because you are an immortal...
He longed to be with her, wherever she might be, he longed to be with all of them.
"I love you with all my heart, Shadow," Rouge purred as she nuzzled against her knight in shinning black armor.
"As do I," the ultimate life form responded quietly, kissing the top of her white-furred forehead.
Why was she taken away from him?
She was not an immortal...
She had to die...
You should not have loved her...
The obsidian hedgehog shook his head violently, sending the rain that had settled upon his body spraying in all directions.
Shadow lightly tipped his head forward and kissed the cold lips of his now deceased wife one final time, tears dropping onto her body.
"My love is only yours to hold, even in the afterlife," Shadow whispered quietly as he creased the side of her old face with his hand.
She had died peacefully of old age but still looked as young and beautiful as ever to Shadow.
Why did things have to be his way?
Why was he denied happiness?
You have been given an eternity to find happiness...
This is your gift...
Shadow's ruby eyes snapped open at his dark mind's last words.
No, this wasn't a gift.
Shadow slowly rose to his feet, his eyes focused on Rouge's gravestone.
It was a curse.
His head turned to the side to see a fuchsia sun poking out from underneath the thick sheet of dark clouds and rain, drowning the scene in crimson.
Vermilion eyes flashed with sadness and anger, all in vain.
It was the curse of immortality.
Author's Note- Normally, I'd put a lyrical ending like I do in all of my stories but it's only a one-shot and might be removed if I do.
Anyway, I'm still working on "In the End" and should get a lot of it done over the Summer.
For those of you awaiting it, here's a brand new sneak peek!
The first thing sensitive tan ears picked up with a small flicker was the powerful rush of a waterfall. Emerald eyes slowly adjusted to the change in brightness to see the setting before him.
Two huge brown boulders surrounded by forest with a giant waterfall flowing in between them, spilling into a large lake at least three hundred feet below.
He was standing on one boulder, his sneakers creating soft taps as he slowly came to a halt.
He recognized the place instantly, the Valley of Tears.
It's name must have come from somewhere, but why it was called the Valley of Tears, the hero did not really know, nor did he have time to find out.
There were more serious and pressing matters at hand, matters that included the cloaked, black and red hedgehog on the other side of the waterfall with his back turned to him.
Sonic hadn't even realized he had shouted at the ultimate life form a second time. It seemed the name subconsciously rolled off his tongue.
The loud, shrill call of the hero echoed through the open area again and again. There was no way Shadow couldn't have heard that.
Yet, he took a step away from Sonic.
"Will you run away from me?" the cobalt hedgehog spat, his tone full of venom.
The ultimate life form halted in mid-step.
Sonic gulped as Shadow slowly began rotating his body to the left. It seemed so painstakingly slow, as if the dark hedgehog had something to hide from him.
Emerald eyes widened and pupils shrank to the size of pinpoints when Shadow finally faced him. A single bead of sweat ran down the side of Sonic's tan cheek.
The ultimate life form's gaze was nonchalant, his lips were completely straight...
And his mismatched crimson and ebony eyes bore directly into Sonic's shocked jade ones.
In the End
Author's Note- Confusing and mysterious eh? Well, I'll leave ya'll to your lives now, but keep an eye out for me, I might write another one-shot, on the lighter side, before "In the End" is published.
Until next time.