100: The End
Well, we made it! Here's the final chapter! ...What are we gonna do for it?
How about we do a wonderful, beautiful thing? It would be amazing!
Ah, none o' tha' frilly nonsense, if ye'd be so kind.
Um, so yeah, our production budget is rather slim. We can't do something like Mimi suggested, 'K.
Well, we have to do something. What do the rest of you think?
Oooh! How about an action flick about Brobot fighting super zombies?
Uh... no. Nastasia already said we can't afford a frilly production. I don't doubt that an action flick like that is far out of budget, too.
Count Bleck believes a tragic romantic drama would be the best thing to do. Not only that, it would be in the budget, Count Bleck declared triumphantly.
Well, Count, you already had your tragic romantic drama with Super Paper Mario. I don't think we need another one.
Dimentio, you haven't suggested anything. What do you think?
Hmm? I have no suggestions. Except... no. It is your story.
Come on, Dimentio. You have an idea, and you're welcome to share it.
...Very well. Was not my search for Mereliah a rather important arc? It did come to an end, you know. A resolution that you might not expect.
You mean it extended past the Shaded Realms? I did not know this.
The Shaded Realms was not the ending. It was the beginning of my loss of hope.
Well, I like the idea.
Count Bleck seconds the notion.
Well, okay. If Brobot can't be in it, I guess this would be cool.
As long as there's no frilly nonsense, I dinnae see a problem.
It is in the production budget, as long as Dimentio tells it himself. We cannot afford another narrator.
Well... okey-dokey! I like it!
Dimentio? Could you narrate it?
I suppose. Do not expect much. Expect about as much as the portion of pie you get on Thanksgiving while sitting next to O'Chunks. It was a while ago...
I've always thought Christmas to be a sickeningly sweet holiday. Drenched in saccharine and coated in pure sugar, I never have been able to stand the holiday. Whenever it has rolled around, I would leave and search the dimensions in a vain hope. A vain hope that somewhere, somehow, I would find Mereliah. A vain hope that was always thrashed and shattered like the fragile snowflakes native to the winter season.
Yet that Christmas was different. I had fallen into a slump. That year had been the strangest I had ever experienced. Thanksgiving was a revelation, but that revelation was all but forgotten. Since the Shaded Realms, I had alternated between bouts of realization and episodes of denial. This slump, though... it seemed permanent. I had finally, irrevocably, internalized that Mereliah was gone. I saw no reason to go out that Christmas.
Two days in, I began to regret that decision. O'Chunks was always trying to get me to eat his strange homeland traditional foods, Mr L was decking Brobot with tinsel and garland, and Mimi was constantly attempting to get me under the mistletoe. I was not quite sure why, but it seemed like in the few days since Thanksgiving, Mimi had decided she had a crush on me. I was not ready to bounce back from Mereliah quite that quickly, and not with Mimi, either.
Nevertheless, I could not go back on my decision to stay in that Christmas. I spent much of the time in my room, writing poems and lovelorn sonnets. Four days before Christmas, I grudgingly left my room to partake in the festivities and to purchase gifts for the others. O'Chunks received a meat grinder, so he would not need to use his hands. For Nastasia I purchased a ten year journal bound in Muth leather, as I knew her current journal was going to run out. Mr L got a customization kit for Brobot, and Count Bleck's gift was a new cape (to replace the one I had turned brown). To Mimi I gave a small dimensional box that she could easily use. Tippi didn't really want anything, but I got her an ornament for the Christmas tree that looked like whatever the viewer wanted the most.
Much to my surprise, I enjoyed giving gifts and receiving them. Christmas morning was magnificent. A box of chocolates from Mr L, a book of poetry from O'Chunks, a desk calendar from Nastasia (with comics on each day), a framed picture of herself from Mimi, an engraved stone with my name and a personalized message from Count Bleck ('Be Yourself,' whatever that means), and a new pair of gloves from Tippi.
Christmas night the slump returned. I had temporarily forgotten my plight and Mereliah, but when I remembered I felt like a fool and a cur. What sort of person forgets their love?
I had retreated to the foyer with my new book of poetry, seeking calm and quiet to read and contemplate. Perhaps I sought solace in the poetry, as it was very reminiscent of my own condition. Regardless of the reasons, I was in the foyer, back against a wall, sitting on the floor, when there was a knock on the door.
How strange it was. We never received visitors unless we were aware of them first. I put my book under my arm, levered myself up off the floor, and went to the door. Upon opening it, I found a hooded being, shaking from the cold, teeth chattering so hard I could hear them. Without a second thought, I exited the castle and helped the being into the warmth of the foyer. Kicking the door closed, I supported the being to the kitchen, where I sat them in a chair by the fire. Grabbing a mug and some chocolate, I filled the mug with milk, put the chocolate in, then magicked some fire from some far-off dimension to heat the mixture instantaneously. This I gave to the being.
"Thank you," the being mumbled, lips half-frozen and completely numb.
"Do not mention it," I replied. I was struck with the strangeness of my behavior. Just two months ago I would have turned the stranger away, and now here I was, helping the stranger in and fixing them hot chocolate. Wondering where this newfound side of me had come from, I fixed myself a mug of hot chocolate and sipped it. I pondered as I sipped.
I wondered who this being was. I thought about why I had shown such kindness and hospitality, considering my own experiences. Glancing over the robe the being wore, I remembered Thyl and how he had shown me such kindness, yet for a price. Maybe I wanted to be more than just someone who would help for money. I could not figure it out.
The stranger coughed. My attention immediately returned to the present. "Are you all right?" I asked. I was surprised by the concern in my voice. But with that concern was a different warmth, more internal than that of the fire.
"I am, thanks to you," the stranger said, their voice stronger than it had been. I also noticed it was very feminine and, if possible, familiar. "You've changed."
I was somewhat put off by that. "Do I know you?"
Slightly pruned hands emerged from the sleeves of the robe and pulled the hood back. A face looked at me. This face was one I had not seen in ages upon ages. A little more drawn and faded than when I had last seen it, but still a familiar face. One that haunted my dreams and waking hours for millennia. Mereliah.
"I thought..." I croaked.
"As did I," Mereliah replied, a small smile spreading across her face. I still thought her beautiful beyond measure, even with the aging of her features.
"I searched for you, but I could not find you," I said. "I thought you had died..."
"I did the same," Mereliah admitted. "After I left our land, I realized my mistake. Even with your transformation, I still loved you. So I returned to our land, but they said you had vanished. I began to search, but I never could find you. I lost hope, but still I wandered, until I came upon this dimension and found you..."
We were silent for a moment. All sorts of thoughts raced through my head. What could I think? There were no words to describe my feelings. The girl I had longed to find, searched for through the ages, had stumbled upon my doorstep. If I had left the castle to go searching, perhaps I would never have found her. One look at Mereliah showed that she felt the same.
There was one thought, though, that was clear. I glanced up and smiled. Taking Mereliah's hands, I gestured to the ceiling. Mereliah saw what I was pointing at and her smile grew. We leaned closer, like two trees magnetically attracted... Oh, what's the use? No simile can describe love accurately.
I dimly heard Mimi grumbling to herself. "All season long I've been pretty for him, and now he's with some random stranger! Boys are weird and stupid. I quit!"
As she stalked off, Mereliah and I pulled apart. I knew there was a smile, goofy in the way that love makes you, plastered on my face. I could feel it, and Mereliah was laughing lightly.
Yes, love is strange. Love leads you all over the dimensions in desperate games of wild goose chase. Love takes your senses and throws them right out the window, demanding that you kiss the girl right away or she might disappear. But it works miracles, too. It brings your loved one stumbling to your doorstep. It lets you pick up your relationship where you left off, and sort out questions later.
More importantly, however, is this: Love is forgiving. Mereliah had forgiven me long ago, and finally, after so many years, I was able to forgive myself and throw off the rest of the insanity that had crippled me. Finally, I could be myself once more.
So beautiful! *Sniff*
Count Bleck needs a tissue.
Brobot was in it! But really, that was fantastic. That's one story that didn't need Brobot for it to be good.
Waahaaahaaa! *Sobs* I remember that. I was so happy for you, Dimmy! Then I met a good boy, too, so it was all fine and good...
I'm happy to say that we stayed in the budget, and provided a heart-rending story at the same time. Dimentio... wonderful.
I must agree with everyone, Dimentio. That was a fine story, and a fitting end to our festival of story-telling. I do think it was interesting that Mimi swore off boys forever, then found one...
I was going to be an old spinster, I'll have you know! I'd also have lots of cats.
I understand that.
Thank you all. It was a relief to tell it, as I was the only one to know all, besides Mereliah.
Were you telling our story, dear?
Yes. It went very well.
What? Mereliah still lives at the castle with us?!
Yes, Mr L. I would think you'd remember her eating dinner with us every night.
Oh, yeah. Forgot that, sorry.
Hey, before you all go off on tangents, let's finish this up, all right?
Yer right, of course. Thanks for reading!
I wish to thank you all for following this story, Count Bleck says.
I do, too! I also want to thank everyone for loving Brobot and the crazy adventures we've had!
THANK YOU! YOU ARE ALL WONDERFUL!
Yeah, so you did not need to shout, Mimi. I think my hearing is damaged, now. But I want to thank the readers for joining us and respecting our innermost thoughts.
I suppose I must follow the example of the others. I, too, wish to thank you for tolerating the strange and mysterious happenings we partake in, and for listening with sympathy to my tales of loneliness.
I did not show up until this final story, but I'm so thankful that you all stayed with this story, despite how long it took to tell. I'm also grateful that you supported Dimentio, and through him, me.
Yes, thank you all. I could not have done it without all you readers. With your help and support, I've achieved something that very few authors can say they've done. I would like to thank these people: Mowo64, my first reviewer; wintermoon13; Jake Silvers; icefox425; Acro111; Duwee Davis II; rosiekatriona; C.A.H.L.Y; Riku Javert; Teengamer; ThatNintendoFangirl; Ittybit; Orca112; Elemental Queen; TwilightShadowMistress; AlwaysNinja; Luigisgirlfriend; AgentOfRedAndBlue; DukeBrymin; Jones Tereka Seasight; Eon of rest; rene10; GirlNamedFede; Wafflegirl0304; Dimentio's Epic Girlfriend; Random Dawn 14; The Chortling Mermaid; lizzy; rarmaster; StrikerDaisy; tntproductions; WritingMagic; and all the guests.
We would also like to thank The Great Allie.
I was going to say that, Dimentio. Yes, thank you to The Great Allie, whom I greatly admire as an author of Mario fanfiction. It is her universe of The Count's World that my stories here take place in, and though she has said not to worry about asking, I will still thank her for allowing me to use her world. So, thank you The Great Allie! Thank you everyone! I hope you have great times ahead of you all! For now, I'll say good-bye, farewell, adios, dasvidanya, and all those other words that mean, "Good-bye, until we meet again."
Guide to Dialogue
Bold Underline: Count Bleck
Italic Underline: Mr L
Bold Italics: Dimentio
Bold Italic Underline: Mereliah
Normal, Unformatted: Galadriadhar