The Hero

Part 2

"I just want to hold you.

I just want to hold you…

Am I in too deep?

Have I lost my mind?

Well, I don't care; you're here tonight."

Blackness. Cold, black clouds of nothing filled his heart. Somewhere he felt the need to sleep, but he just couldn't bring himself to do so. He was lost, numb, and heartbroken as he sat crouched over in the corner of the shop, occasionally shedding a tear beneath his glasses as he thought over the night's events.

If he had told her what the monster lived on, she never would have come to the shop.

If he hadn't gone out to get it food, he would have been there when she stopped by.

If he hadn't ordered the extra rare meat, he might have gotten back in time to save her.

But the plant got to her before he did, and left two large teeth marks in her side, mortally wounding her. He was only able to confess his evils to her before she made her last, heart-wrenching wish. He could hear her words as if she were saying them to him now:

"When I die…give me to the plant, so that it will live, and bring you all the wonderful things you deserve."

He didn't want to believe that she was dying. He almost thought the whole thing was a dream at first, but as soon as her body went limp in his arms, he knew it was real. Horrific, crushing, and real.

The girl he had sworn to protect was dead. How could he ever live with himself?

But somehow among all the darkness–the need to just give up–a new purpose arose. Who would have guessed that a salesperson would give him a reason to survive without her?

Patrick Martin was the salesman's name. Martin didn't know it, but his plan to take cuttings of the Audrey II to develop thousands of the blood-eating plants would put millions of lives in danger. One plant had destroyed the nerd's life, but thousands…they would destroy the world!

He was too stunned to speak to the pushy salesman before the Botanical Enterprise fellow went out the door, ready to take the cuttings, but he knew that the time to take action was now.

"Every household in America. Thousands of you eating!" he shouted. If his angel had been there as that surviving light in the darkness, he might have been brave as he said those words, but instead, they were desperate. "That's what you had in mind all along isn't it?"

"No shit, Sherlock!" Audrey II cackled.

The plant was taunting him now. Determined, he went into the back room and found whatever could possibly destroy the monster he had created. He returned with a pistol, a box of rat poison, and a machete.

"Feed me!" the plant demanded.

He turned sharply and cried, "You ate the only thing I ever loved!"

"Ooh, too bad!" Audrey II said, smugly.

At the mentioning of her, and how her death was nothing more than another meal to Audrey II, he had it. He aimed the gun and fired all six times, each round shouting, "Take that!"

But it did no good. Audrey II's skin was too thick. "Give up, Krelborn," the plant mocked.

Then he grabbed the box of rat poison and stuffed it in the monster's toothy maw. The plant coughed and spat the stuff out of its pod.

"Give up, small fry," it warned him. "I–am–bad!"

The nerd, however, was enraged. He gripped the machete in his hands and backed up a couple of feet before charging at the pod and beating at its lips with the blade.

"Maybe you're tough on the outside, but in there, in that pod, I'll hack you to bits! Open up! Open up!" he demanded, trying to pry the pod open.

The nerd had to really fight the plant to get its pod open, but eventually found the space he needed. Never once looking back, he dove in, blade raised toward the roof of the plant's pod. This time he knew there was no guarantee of return from the darkness he was descending into.

Audrey II growled before biting down on its victim, putting the boy through a tremendous amount of pain as a front tooth sliced through his shoulder. Still, the boy held onto the blade and swung as best as he could with the injury. The plant bit down again, now trapping his foot, and still the blade hadn't made any damage. Worse, the mouth of this monster was so slimy it was sending him sliding to the back of the throat. The digestive liquids that he had seen in so many flytraps before were dripping into his wounds, making them open further and bleed.

He dropped the machete in the struggle, but managed to get it back just before the plant bit down again. No injuries, but the machete was gone and he couldn't see a thing. He felt around for it, trying to ignore the immense pain, but it was no good. This time the monster clamped his back down with the left side of its mouth. He couldn't even imagine how many teeth pierced his skin or how much blood he was losing as the monster's tongue sent him right to the back of the throat.

Lack of air, blood loss, and exhaustion put his struggles to a stop, and his thoughts went near blank. He had failed. He had failed himself in not seeing the evil he committed from the start with Orin. He had failed his only father figure and fed him to the plant. He had doomed the world to a terrifying new enemy. But worst of all, he had failed to protect her.

Yes, her. In his last few seconds of consciousness, he thought of the last thing he had said to his angel before she was sent back to heaven where she came from.

"If there had never been an Audrey Two, if I was just a nothin' again, would you still like me?"

She hadn't waited a moment before answering, "I'd still love you, Seymour."

Then the darkness surrounded him. Silently, softly, it pulled him under. He knew that he would not die a hero; not by any stretch of the imagination. He was a failure…

The darkness suddenly gave way to a blinding light. Not just any light–it was the most beautiful, warm light he had ever seen, and his heart jumped with jubilation as he drew nearer.

Her beautiful blonde hair and white dress glowed in heavenly light as she stood before him with her arms wide open.

"Audrey…" he said, leaving his body behind without a second thought. He reached out to the angel and in a few moments held her tight, never planning to let go.

"Oh, Seymour," she replied, crying sadly, for her love had so soon fallen to the same fate she had.

Seymour could not understand how Audrey could ever cry for him when it was his fault that she had died, but he swore that he could have died again as he heard her whisper in the softest voice, "My hero."

Whether heaven or hell awaited him, he could at least enjoy this one moment with her. In the arms of his angel, he would always be a hero.

"I can be your hero.

I can kiss away the pain.

I will stand by you forever.

You can take my breath away.

I can be your hero."

Author's Note: This is kind of unusual for me to leave a note at the end of the story. I wanted to say that I hope no one was offended by the mentioning of heaven and hell and the afterlife. While I personally am not sure I believe in such a thing, the idea of the afterlife really fascinates me…mostly because it involves ghosts and stuff like that. Anyway, thanks for reading, hope this wasn't too sad.

*S. Snowflake