Disclaimer: Once on this Island and its characters (Papa Ge, Erzulie, Agwe, Asaka, and Ti Moune) are all (c) to Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Rosa Guy. This story and its plot are (c) to Me (Kasai120)
Author's Note: Unfortunately, this is not a very popular musical but my school is doing this and I'm a storyteller in it. I absolutely adore this musical and I especially love Papa Ge for some reason. This is meant to be a one-shot but I might continue writing fanfictions about him. If you have any suggestions on a plot you would like about one of the gods in this musical but don't feel like writing it or don't have the time, PLEASE let me know because I would be more that happy to make one. =)
A light rain fell from the skies as Agwe had intended, watering the plants but not drowning them to Asaka's delight. The people quickly scurried to their homes, the adults fearing a storm and the children watching the rain with curiosity. In one home there lived a family in a large hut. The eldest, a great-grandfather had taken ill earlier that week with a deadly illness that was luckily not contagious but couldn't be stopped no matter how many herbs they gave him to help. He lied on his deathbed with his loved ones weeping at his side as he tried weakly and in vain to hush them, telling them it was his time which only made more tears fall.
Erzulie watched over the close family from the palace of the gods which was placed in the sky. She sighed in despair, hating to continue to watch this family's suffering. It wasn't even the fear of Papa Ge that had this family in distress, it was not knowing when he would come. It had been far past this man's time now and yet Papa Ge had not come. Erzulie was certain this morning would be the time this man would die with how much pain he was in but he was still breathing, gasping sharp painful breaths. She rose from her spot and ran inside, searching for the god of death but coming up empty. She ran back outside, seeing Asaka and Agwe staring down at the island while holding hands, working together to bring healthy plants their full beauty. "Where is he?" Erzulie asked wearily.
Agwe looked away from Asaka, turning to Erzulie. "We haven't seen him," he said quickly which Erzulie was quick to act on.
"You know something," she accused with a glare. She had pointed out the family to both of them earlier and Asaka said they would keep their eyes open. Had she been lying too? Erzulie looked over at Asaka who looked very accusingly at Agwe, trying to figure out what he knew as well.
Agwe's body tensed as he took a step back toward Asaka. "I promised him I would say nothing. I haven't broken that promise in 640 years and I don't intend on breaking it now." Agwe turned his back, trying to relax and succeeded, calming the rough waves that tossed about briefly which now turned into soft waves as light rain began to fall again.
Erzulie frowned. "That man is in a lot of pain and you are only lengthening his pain by not telling me where he is."
Agwe turned to her. "I would tell you if I could but I would lose his trust that I had trouble gaining and keeping. He'll be back by tomorrow if that's any consolation."
Erzulie shook her head, her blonde curls falling towards her face as tears began to go down her cheeks. "It's not. That man is in a lot of pain that only Papa Ge can take away and you don't even care."
Agwe bit his lower lip, contemplating between his trust with his long time friend or the life of a stranger. He let out an exhale finally. "Fine. I'll show you where he is but you can't just act out and go get him right away. If you need to get him, let me go." Erzulie looked at him curiously and nodded. Agwe moved away, the two women following him as he separated a part of clouds and made it so they could see through tree tops to a hunched over figure, seeming to be crying on the ground or praying or possibly both as it was on the forest floor in front of a gravestone.
Erzulie looked over to Agwe, confusion covering her lovely features. "He's mourning? But he's the god of death! He's not supposed to-"
Agwe glared at her, something he rarely did to her. "Exactly why he didn't want anyone to know." His features lightened again as he gazed down at his friend. "It's the grave of his sister. As you both know, there are only two ways a god is made. You are either born one, like us, or you die for someone you love, like him." Erzulie's and Asaka's eyes widened, both of them having thought he was incapable of loving anything or anybody. "That's his younger sister's grave," Agwe continued solemnly. "They were abused in their home by their father. You two probably thought his love of food that we make up here is just him being a hungry man which, in that respect, I suppose you would be right but he is just so amazed we actually eat more than scraps. You two have seen parents feed the children first in the village, wanting them big and strong but his father nearly starved them."
"He told me one night how he would have to sneak out to get them food from the plants and when he would sneak back in, his father would catch him and accuse him of stealing and beat him worse. His father had once gotten so angry with them that he pulled a knife out in public, causing many to scream. His father had charged at his sister with the knife but Papa Ge leaped in front of her to protect her and ended up getting stabbed in the heart and he died, becoming a god for his noble efforts."
Errzulie looked down sadly at the mourning god. "It's a very sad story and I'm sorry it happened to him but why is he choosing today to mourn?" Her blue eyes met Agwe's as he released a sigh.
"His sister died on this day many many years ago and he's still hoping she will forgive him for having to take her soul. He feels like he had taken her life like their father had taken his life and their childhood. She saw him as she was on her deathbed and she was filled with happiness, thinking it was her brother waiting for her from the other side but he had to take her soul and put it in the other side instead," he said, his eyes still focused on the god of death who was shaking violently now with sobs by the looks of it.
Erzulie looked toward the village, thinking of that old man and his family. "They need him though." Agwe followed her eyes and nodded understandingly and, for the first time in 640 years, went to the grave of Papa Ge's sister. He slowed as he took in the sight of the demon of death. Dark hair surrounded his face and was short enough so you could see the face of the heartbroken god. He wore his normal clothes, a vest and a pair of shorts that were both colored black and red. His top hat was on the ground, far away from him as if it had been thrown which it most likely had been. Agwe's heart tugged as he heard sobs that were not held back from Papa Ge's shaking form.
Unwillingly and thinking only of the family in distress, Agwe approached him. "Papa Ge," he called, only to get Papa Ge's effort at holding back his sobs which resulted in a lot of sniffling and whimpers. "I'm sorry to interrupt but we need you. There is a family in the village with a dying man who needs to be relieved of his pain."
Papa Ge's long finger's traced his sister's gravestone. "You interrupted my mourning over one dying man. You broke our promise over one dying man?" he hissed, turning to face Agwe, his voice still quivering but holding as much strength as it always had which struck fear into anyone's soul.
Agwe dipped his head. "I'm sorry. He's in a lot of pain and you know I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think it was necessary."
Papa Ge sighed heavily, his eyes landing on the gravestone. He knelt down on one knee, his body still trembling slightly. He kissed the gravestone and whispered something to it before standing up, picking up his hat, wiping the tears from his face, and went back to the palace with Agwe leading the way as he tried to compose himself. His feet touched the clouds and he immediately walked toward where the clouds hovered over the village, disregarding the looks of pity and understanding held by Asaka and Erzulie. It took him less than a minute to find the family Agwe had been speaking of. Death almost held a smell around it that Papa Ge could find easily.
As he approached the house, Papa Ge frowned. This man had a large family and they wouldn't be happy with him being taken away but it had to be done. He entered the building, walking through the door since on one could keep death out. He avoided the gazes of the people as he walked to the room where the man lied. No one, to his surprise, said anything along the lines of begging him not to take the old man's life but, if anything, felt the need to encourage the god of death. The purple eyes of death fell on the old man who gazed back with eager eyes, wanting death to come so badly which was expected of a man his age.
"Papa Ge," a young woman said, seeming to be his grandchild, "please take good care of him but please do take him. He's been in enough pain." Tears fell from her eyes as she begged for his suffering to end. Papa Ge looked back at the man and held his hand over the old man heart as if he had claws and yanked back abruptly, the man's last breath finally given. Papa Ge carried the relieved soul out of the house, the family weeping of the old man's absence but at the same time filled with joy that he would no longer need to suffer.
The man's transparent arms wrapped around Papa Ge's neck as he was carried to the other side. Moving rather slowly, Papa Ge stared straight ahead, knowing he would regret looking down at the man he carried. He had made that mistake with Ti Moune as he carried her from the sea. He looked down and she looked so much like his sister that he willingly gave her to Asaka, letting her be turned into a tree to watch over the man she loved. Papa Ge entered his forest filled with dead trees that few barely entered because of the eeriness the place held. Looking around carefully for any human eyes, he found none and held the man close to his chest with one hand as the other reached to the side, his staff made of various bones from both humans and animals appearing.
He swung the staff expertly and a hole appeared in thin air. A young girl stood on the opposite side, smiling peacefully and reached out her hand to the old man who took it hesitantly. Papa Ge released him as the old man's soul was pulled through. Papa Ge watched as the old man disappeared from view and the young girl released his hand, looking at Papa Ge who was starting to walk away. "Wait," a soft voice called out to him, causing him to freeze, his grip tightening on the staff and it disappeared. "Please, talk to me. You could talk to me anytime you want but you choose not to. I want to know why."
Papa Ge turned to see the girl, her dark hair and pale skin similar to his though her eyes were a pale green instead of purple. His heart almost broke at how she actually looked healthy for once in her life. "Shiphra, I-I can't talk to you," he dipped his head, his eyes now on his feet. "It will be too painful to leave," he whispered.
She frowned. "Why are you so scared to speak to me? I miss you, brother. You saved my life-"
"Then I took it away just like father did to me," he cried, tears brimming his eyes as he glared back at her, the glare meant for himself as he could never be angry with her.
She smiled a little sad smile. "That's what this is about? I never blamed you for my death. It was my time to go and it was your job. I just didn't know your job was now to take souls so I'm sorry I gave you the wrong impression." He stared at her in disbelief and she motioned him over. Hesitantly, he approached, looking around to make sure no human eyes were near but, as it was mentioned already, not many humans would dare to enter the forest. Once he was sure, he stepped closer to her and she tugged him forward using his vest and hugged him, her arms making him feel like he was hugging air which he almost was in a sense. He felt the shape of lips kiss his cheek and the angry tears he had before turned to happy tears as they poured down his face now. "I love you, brother, and thank you," she said, a beautiful smile gracing her features as she pulled back.
"I love you too," he whispered, closing the portal. With a heavy sigh, he made his way up towards the palace of the gods, wiping his face free of tears as his smile remained there and his eyes were distant.
He settled on the couch in their sitting room and Erzulie appeared, coming from the kitchen. "Is he finally at peace now?"
Nearly forgetting who she was taking about since his thoughts only held his sister, Papa Ge gave a confused expression but then recalled his original mission. "Ah, yes he is," he said, leaning back on the side of the couch, wishing to get a nap in before dinner.
Erzulie still remained in her spot at the end of the couch and he raised an eyebrow to that. "Well, I-um... Well, Agwe was telling us about your sister and how you became a god and... I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for not thinking you had any real emotions. I mean, I saw you mourn Ti Moune's death for about a day but after that you went back to being yourself so I just thought-"
Papa Ge shrugged. "It's fine. I usually mourn in privacy if you haven't noticed from the three of you spying on me earlier." Erzulie tensed at that statement since she didn't know that he knew of them watching. "Everything's forgiven though so if you don't mind, I'd like to get some rest," he said, a smile gracing his lips. The goddess of love nodded with a smile and left to go encourage love through the island as she always had. Papa Ge removed his hat and vest and curled up on the couch, falling asleep quickly for the first time in over 600 years. Now knowing he was forgiven and his sister held nothing against him, he found sleep easy to reach.
Author's Note: Anything that you didn't like? Something you did like? Just want to leave a random comment about the story? Feel free to leave a Review! I love them~ =)