A/N: My first entry in the Word-Prompt contest, the object of which is to write as many one-shots based on a list of keywords as I can before Labor Day. The winner receives a 1 month's subscription to Deviantart. If you are interested in the contest, p.m. me and I'll send you the information.
Summery: Van Helsing, Carl, and Frankenstein prepare for Anna's funeral. In doing so, they cope with their own sense of loss and helplessness.
The keyword for this story was "lily".
He was supposed to be collecting wood for her pyre, and now and then, he would stop and pick up a piece of driftwood. It wasn't really necessary; Frankenstein already had more than enough, but Van Helsing felt as if he should be doing something.
The region seemed to have entered a false spring. A few flowers speckled the ground, though it was the first of November, and some of the trees had been tricked into greening. A bird sang overhead. Van Helsing wished that it would stop and that the rain and cold would return. The sun shouldn't be shining; not today anyway.
Anna would have liked it though. She'd have denied it, maybe pretended to sulk or focus on less frivolous maters; but secretly, she would have enjoyed herself. Van Helsing didn't understand exactly why he was so certain of that. He'd known Anna for a few weeks. But today would have been a perfect day to see the ocean, and he was sure that she would have enjoyed it. Without her, the day's perfection only made it all the more miserable.
He had insisted on bringing her body to the coast. She wanted to see the ocean. She had only mentioned it once, but once was enough. The sea was where her father had gone. It was away from cold Transylvania and the things that had consumed her life there. Anna had been like him in that her life revolved around duty. She had never known a life beyond her family's curse; just as he could not remember a time before the Order and its unending assignments. Her final resting place should be away from all of that.
Van Helsing's only comfort was that his companions seemed to want to do Anna justice as much as he, but were also equally at loss for a means. They were trying though. Carl had offered to say a mass; and had spent the morning trying to find the right verses. The traditional ones seemed bland, he said. They just weren't right for Anna.
Frankenstein stepped forward when it came time to build the pyre. He didn't know the appropriate things to say or do at a funeral, but he offered his strength. He was up before dawn, gathering wood. Van Helsing found him stacking the logs painstakingly near the cliff's edge. He had chosen the wood with care; nothing wet or rotting. The top layers, those that would be closest to Anna, were of fragrant cedar.
And Van Helsing, for his part, had chosen the place, the grassy cliffs with their majestic view of the sea. It did not seem enough. Nothing they could do would be enough. The three had acknowledged the fact without putting it to words.
If only he could darken the skies, chill the air, make the world seem as mournful and miserable as it should have been; perhaps then he would be able to do Anna justice. His hand went to his gun, and he considered silencing the bird, the one that would not stop singing its happy tune, but Anna would not have liked that. She would have pretended to be annoyed, but secretly, she would have wanted the bird to sing.
A handful of lilies, brought out by the deceitfully warm weather grew beside an old stump. Van Helsing put down his meager stack of wood and picked a few with care. Slowly, he walked back to the camp. Frankenstein had finished the pyre and he and Carl laid Anna out on it. Gently, Van Helsing folded her hands around the white flowers. Her funeral would be a meager tribute, but he suspected that Anna would have liked it anyway.