A/N: Here we are, folks, the final chapter of "Midsummer Tragedy"! Rejoice, for this nightmarish yet enjoyable story's over! And what better way to conclude this story than to leave it at a point where it will get ONE THOUSAND REVIEWS, being THE FIRST P&F FANFIC TO DO SO!
Before we begin, I would like to go my usual way and make this SUPER-LONG Author's Note to describe this story's conception and production, the previous ideas I had for the story, and my overall outlook on it. Personally, I think this is the best story I have ever written, tied with "Evil Phineas". Of course, I was very uncomfortable in writing the massacre scenes, but honestly, I am extremely proud of where I took this story.
However, it makes me feel bad to know how I was inspired to write the story. I was in Seattle, vacationing with my family, last summer. I woke up in our hotel room to see that the TV was already on, and my family was watching. But it wasn't Cartoon Network, which me and my brother love to watch during family vacations (the family TV doesn't have access to the channel). It was a breaking-news report of the mass shooting in the Aurora movie theater. Since then, my eyes have been glued to all of the news channels. I was in total disbelief of what I was seeing. I've been so familiar with shootings occurring at schools and offices that I never thought a shooting at a theater would be possible, let alone a shooting that would inflict so many casualties. Then, I began watching "Phineas and Ferb" again, the memory of the massacre still fresh on my mind. Then, I wondered what would happen if the Tri-State Area experienced such a tragedy. And unfortunately, this idea came up.
I was unsure if I should post this story or not, since my experience at the time has told me that no such story has appeared in ABSOLUTELY ANY community branch of the site, and especially not in one that is based on a kid-friendly show like "Phineas and Ferb". And then, there's the fact of family members of shooting victims coming across this and getting offended. I decided to leave it up to my devoted reviewers, and I asked if I should do so in a couple of chapters of "Evil Phineas Trilogy: Book 1: Dark Rising". You guys told me to go for it, and I did. I was also undeterred by the fact that Urhairsmellsnice posted a story DIRECTLY based on the Aurora shooting, called "Heaven Was Needing a Hero", so I felt that I wasn't alone at the least. And so, I began conceiving the story.
I was originally planning to have the massacre take place at the Googolplex Mall, but then, I became aware of a shooting at a shopping mall in Nebraska on 2007 that killed eight people, so I knew it was hands-off for me. I did not want the massacre I would be writing to draw off on any real-life massacres. That way, it wouldn't feel like I am using those tragedies as a gold mine. For a moment, I didn't have anymore ideas. Then, I purchased ATSD, which featured an extra in the form of the episode "Attack of the 50 Foot Sister". The moment I saw that there was a Mid-Summer's Festival in the P&F canon, I knew that I had the setting for the massacre. After all, I haven't heard of any mass shootings occurring at a fair or a festival. So, I immediately went for it.
At first, in my initially-cautious nature, I planned to have only a single shooter and that only one person would be killed while dozens more would be wounded. Believe it or not, I planned for the shooter to be Django, and the sole fatality to be Buford. Django would be filling Ben's role, crazed over the fact that Adyson cannot love him, and I planned for there to be a Buford/Adyson pairing in order to get him going. But I realized that this would make it solely a Django/Adyson story, and I wanted the story to concern multiple characters. So, that idea went down the drain.
Also, I felt that the preliminary idea for the massacre wasn't really deadly enough. So, I had more people die, and more beloved characters. Plans for the exact death toll were very chaotic: at some points, I had it at around 5-10, and at another point, I had it at around 90-100. At one point, I contemplated on doing only a bombing.
With Django no longer the shooter, I was wondering who the shooter should be now. Then, I read an article about Susan Klebold, the mother of one of the Columbine shooters. She had written an essay describing what she did the moment the massacre went down. It was powerfully written, and I was emotionally moved by it. Then, I realized that I should create a family for the shooter that I could focus on afterwards. At first, all of the family members were planned to be OCs, but then, I realized that I should have a character we know as a family member. I immediately looked at the Fireside Girls, since we don't know their families at all. And, since I am an avid Django/Adyson fan and I absolutely love writing Adyson, I picked her. And with Adyson's choice as a family member of the festival shooter came the conception of Ben. Truthfully speaking, Ben is a familiar OC of mine, for I had featured him in a previous fic, which has since been deleted.
The idea of other three shooters came to me when I stumbled across online articles of lists of students who had made plans to copy and even "outdo" the Columbine shooting. Fortunately, all of these plans were thwarted before they even came to fruition, and the students arrested. Some of these wannabes conspired alone, but an extremely shocking number of them involved as little as two conspirators to as much as five. Because the maximum number of multiple gunmen in a mass shooting was two, I chose four, since it would make the possibility of such a massacre really happening implausible, but not that far off. So, I created Tyler, Andrew, and Gabriel. Ferb being an unknowing conspirator was a last-minute idea, which was based on the fact that the Columbine shooters had people who inadvertently assisted them in acquiring their guns. I chose him because I felt that since Phineas was the essential leader of the duo, as far as my eyes tell me, he would act out of jealousy.
The idea of the police conspiracy was also based on something from the Columbine massacre. There was this conspiracy theory that one of the victims was accidentally shot and killed by police while running out of a door. While I sincerely doubt the credibility of the theory, I wanted to make the massacre somewhat far off from reality in order to make it un-copy-able (blah, bad word is BAD!).
This was an extremely long story, with 55 chapters, not counting the Author's Note. I originally promised 40-45 chapters, but I felt like I should flesh out Adyson's story more, because I absolutely liked writing her situation, as sad as it sounds. I must say, however, that while I thoroughly planned out Adyson's hallucination sequence, I didn't execute it well, especially at the end, where it just cut off abruptly. I don't know where that came from, and it looked too cheap of an ending. So yeah, a planned sequence was dished out rather terribly, which I apologize for if you recognize the flaws.
AND THIS WAS AN EXTREMELY LONG AUTHOR'S NOTE! I shall get on with this long-awaited chapter. ENJOY THIS EPILOGUE!
Disclaimer: The song "Into the West" DOES NOT belong to me! Annie Lennox has sole ownership.
July 16, 2025
Ten years later...
I smiled from ear to ear. God, I never tire of hearing that simple question, and I never will. I turned around and looked at Isabella, who was smiling sweetly at me. She was wearing the clothes I bought for her: a nice pink dress with a white undershirt and a cute pink bow. With her flowing raven-black hair, tied into a ponytail, and her adorable voice, my five-year-old looked just like her aunt. It was like Isabella never left me.
"Nothing, Izzie. I'm just making the final preparations, and then we'll go to the pretty building."
Isabella smiled and hopped off the floor repeatedly in excitement. "YAY! I finally get to see the pretty building with all the water coming out of it!"
She pranced off, and I watched after her as she went into the family backyard. I sighed, just as Anabel walked into the kitchen, wearing her formal clothes. Five years of marriage have definitely been spent well. It wasn't the future I had hoped for, but it was just as good. We got married as soon as Anabel returned to Danville, which was when I graduated from college. And almost a couple of weeks afterward, we had Isabella, or Izzie, as we like to call her to avoid confusion. My son Lucas followed two years later, then Buford Jr., who was born two months ago. The best family I could ever ask for.
"Izzie's really excited about going to the memorial, isn't she?" Anabel asked.
"Yeah," I replied, sighing again. "It's a shame she doesn't know what happened there, almost ten years ago..."
Anabel placed a hand on my shoulder. "They will, whether you like it or not. We can't hide the truth from them forever."
"I know. I guess it's just all about timing our moves. They'll know when-"
"-It's time," completed Anabel. "For now, let's just rejoice on this day. Isabella, your mom, Addie, Wendy, and the others wouldn't want the contrary, would they?"
I nodded in agreement, just as Izzie ran back into the kitchen, Lucas trailing right behind her, his stubby legs moving his body as fast as they could. Though he began walking by his first birthday, Lucas still found walking difficult, with a trademark of his being tripping on his own feet in a comical fashion. In fact, he began to trip now, and I had to lift him off on his feet in time. He giggled happily at me and poked my nose, another trademark of his.
"Poke!" he said.
"That's right, Lucas," I said, poking him back. "Pokey pokey!"
He laughed, and I laughed too.
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You've come to journey's end
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore
"Mom, when are we gonna go to the memorial?"
"In fifteen minutes, Amanda, fifteen minutes. I just need to get all of this laundry sorted out, and we'll be on our way."
Amanda nodded at me and left the family room as I continued folding clothes and sorting them by type and color. I sighed after completing my third stack. Things have been extremely difficult without Jeremy. In the weeks following the shooting, he underwent moderate dialysis treatment because of a wound and resultant infection to his right kidney caused by one of the gunshots he took to save me. Finally, six years ago, the infection suddenly became worse to the point of fatality, and he required a kidney transplant. His father donated a kidney to him, and it seemed to work.
Then suddenly, three years ago, the infection reappeared in his left kidney, and it was extremely aggressive now. There was nothing that could be done.
I watched for a year as he suffered from the infection. I felt guilty for feeling a little relieved when he died on the hospital bed two years ago, in front of me.
Ever since Jeremy's death, Amanda wanted to know why her father suffered from such a ravaging infection. I knew I couldn't keep it from her any longer. No lies would have helped me shield her from the truth. I told her everything that happened on July 16, 2015. How her father was a hero to me, allowing himself to endure years of absolute torture to ensure my survival, and to an extent, the births of her and her twin siblings Xavier and Fred.
She has accepted the truth now, and she handled it well for a ten-year-old girl who just lost her father.
I sniffled. I had been so immersed in my thoughts that I didn't even notice myself crying. This distraction had rendered the folding and organization of the clothes more chaotic, and I groaned in frustration as I began reorganizing everything. Like I said, things have been difficult without Jeremy.
"WHAT?!" I shouted in a blind fit of rage. Then, my lower jaw dropped open when I saw that Amanda had reappeared in the family room, having heard my crying. "Oh my God, Amanda, I'm so, so sorry. It's just that... It's just..." My voice broke as I collapsed on the sofa, no longer caring about the clothes. "I miss your dad."
Amanda sat down next to me and hugged me.
"I miss him too."
Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping
"It's beautiful, Daddy..." Wendy said as she held the ruby necklace that briefly belonged to the girl she was named after, and now her own mother.
"Now, now, you don't have to flatter," I replied, nodding. "I know you notice the cracks-"
"No, I don't care about the cracks, Daddy. It's still beautiful, that's what matters."
I smiled as I gently took the necklace from Wendy and placed it back on the shelf where Ginger liked to keep it, like a priceless heirloom. On one side of the shelf was a picture of me with Ginger, who was holding a newborn Wendy. On the other was another picture, this time with me and the other Wendy, both locked in an embrace as we laughed at the camera. I smiled at both photos as I escorted my little girl out of the 'special room', as I liked to call it.
Waiting outside was Ginger, who was stroking the bulge in her stomach with some slight concern. She constantly worried about the bulge making her look fat, just like she did when she was pregnant with Wendy. And, like last time, I assured her that she was still beautiful, no matter what. Just like the cracked ruby necklace.
"Hi, Mommy!" greeted Wendy as she hugged her mother's leg.
"Hi, sweetie," Ginger replied, no longer focusing on her stomach; she patted Wendy lovingly on the head and then kissed me. "Are we all prepared to go?"
"I've always been," I simply said.
As my family took their leave, I took one last look into the special room, the two photos of me with the three people I loved the most, and the necklace. Everything that I held dear was in this room. I may not be living the life I asked for, but it had to do. I am happy, wherever I am.
I smiled as I closed the door.
What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home
"Peace be with you, Father," one of the Mass attendants said as he left the church.
"Peace be with you," I replied.
The last of the attendants left the church, and I turned around to look at Milly. We've been happily married for five years now, and it has been the best five years one can ask for. After graduating from college, I started a new church in Danville, the Hope Circle Church. It quickly became popular, and it's helped me and Milly get on our feet, with my physical therapy and her psychological therapy; Milly's still a bit agoraphobic.
Five years ago, Phineas invented a pair of robotic legs for me. However, I turned his offer down, for I have gotten extremely used to my wheelchair to the point where I refused to let it go. So yeah, I'm still in that wheelchair. But I am proud of it. I just wish that Phineas didn't name his youngest son after me; he didn't have to do that.
"Anything I can help you with, dear?" I asked.
"Well, Josh is at the back door, seeking advice again," she replied.
Joshua Gomez was a teenager whom I had some encounters with for the past three years. He had been repeatedly vandalizing the back of the church was crude and foul graffiti, and finally, I caught him last month. However, I offered to not press charges if he changed his ways. Josh already had a record for himself, and he would be experiencing some serious incarceration if he was turned in, so he had no choice but to agree. Since then, Josh had been trying his best to stay out of trouble, and he would always go to me for advice. He grew up without a father, so I guess I fill the paternal role for him.
I nodded at Milly curtly and promptly wheeled myself over to the back door. There, I found Josh leaning against a wall in wait, smoking a cigarette as his stringy brown hair hung over his forehead. I opened the door; he put out his cigarette and casually tossed it aside before walking inside the church. He was wearing his clothing from yesterday, a black T-shirt with a dark-gray skull logo and a pair of torn blue jeans. Another thing about the Gomez family was that they were poor; Joshua would wear the same clothes for weeks at a time. I've constantly made personal donations to them, but his stepfather would always spend it lousily.
"Josh, great to see you again," I greeted.
"Likewise, Father," Josh replied quietly.
"Is there anything you need, my son?"
"Yeah, I guess there is." He looked out of the window, as if thinking that someone was listening. "See...there's this girl that I like, Father..."
I shook my head, smiling. "There's no need to explain any further, my son. All you have to do is be a good person for her, and she'll start to like you back. Just because you've struck quite a bad reputation for yourself doesn't mean you will be shunned by others. The Lord is very forgiving, and he has granted you a second chance."
"It's just that...I'm very nervous... She's actually been a good friend of mine, and I'm afraid she sees our relationship as just that of a friendship..."
"How long have you two been friends?"
"Since we met during the start of the year. But we've been each other's only friend, if you don't count the redheaded little girl and the artist she likes to talk to-"
"If you're her only friend, she likely has feelings for you. A girl your age doesn't have an only friend who is a boy for a reason. Now, run along, my son. I have to close the church for the day. Me and my wife have some place to go. Go and get her!"
Josh nodded, smiling slightly, and ran out of the church. I smiled after him. With just the right push, he can become a better person, the greatest person he can be.
Then, I smelled the cigarette smoke. I sighed as I activated the air refresher system.
And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass
"And...CUT!" Larry shouted. "That was great, that was really great!"
Alex, Brad, Laura, and Jessie sighed in relief as they took their breaks. In the meantime, I switched off the camera we were using and put it away. Larry congratulated each and every one of our friends before returning to me, patting my back.
"That was some great takes, wasn't it, Irving?" he asked.
"Yep, very great," I replied. However, I looked at our friends in concern. "Although I wish you wouldn't wear off the others so much. Look at 'em, they're drinking water like they just ran a marathon. Remember, we're not dealing with Sundance material here."
"I know, I know, I'm sorry about that. But I just KNOW this movie will be a hit. People still remember the massacre like it happened yesterday, and I think it'd be a very great source of comfort for them to see a movie commemorating the existence of those we lost. But I guess my narcissistic mode's acting up again."
I rolled my eyes and chuckled as zipped up the bag containing the camera. Larry was the type of person who always wanted attention on him, but other than that, he was a good friend and an awesome person. In fact, he did everything in his power to assemble the film together.
See, me and my friends were doing an independent film called The Circle of 38: A Run of Remembrance. It was about these four joggers (Alex, Brad, Laura, and Jessie, of course) musing about the victims of the Mid-Summer's Festival massacre. The film included videotapes of the 37 that were killed, all shot before their untimely deaths. It had been surprisingly easy for Larry to borrow the videos from the families, and it had been a steady production so far.
Personally, I couldn't wait for the movie to come out.
"Well, I gotta go," I said to Larry. "My friends have asked me to accompany them to the memorial. I'll see ya around?"
"See ya, man," Larry replied. "Hey, great video there, man. I don't care what you say, you ARE a hero."
"Oh, don't say that," I said, smiling as I left.
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again
"Okay, Perry, we're leaving!" Phineas announced as I rested on the family sofa. "Are you gonna be okay without us?"
"As long as I don't have to hear Izzie sing, then I'm in platypus heaven," I replied, rolling my eyes.
Phineas merely chuckled, ruffled my head, and left. Just a few seconds later, I heard the front door open, a rush of footsteps, Izzie's annoying yet dissipating voice, the front door close, and then, Phineas's hovermobile starting and flying off into the sky. I immediately hopped onto my hind legs and jumped off of the sofa. Man, being in mindless pet mode for my owner's children is sure tiring. I stretched out my legs and arms before walking out into the backyard.
I wasn't surprised the moment I saw Carl there.
"Good morning, Agent P," the captain greeted formally. Every promotion he gets, the more serious he becomes.
"Please, Carl, do not call me that anymore," I replied, shaking my head.
"Oh, I'm sorry, but you know how used to that name I am."
"Uh-huh. Listen, if you're here to attempt to recruit me back into the OWCA, then forget about it. My time there has passed long ago, and I am just an ordinary pet now. I do not know why you're even trying so endlessly, Carl; this is the 86th time you've tried recruiting me back."
"But the agency deserves a skilled veteran agent like you back in their ranks-"
Carl sighed in defeat. "If you insist. But that is partly the reason why I'm here."
"What's the other reason?"
"Agent P had just passed away. The other Agent P."
My heart fell in an instant. The preceding few years without Isabella had left Pinky very weak, and Vivian's accompaniment didn't do much to help him emotionally. The last time I saw him, he barely had any energy to even make a simple movement. But even with that knowledge, it still dealt a near-fatal blow to my very soul. After all, Pinky was my good friend, the one I could count on in the OWCA aside from Monogram and Carl. To know that he is gone was extremely devastating, and I can't even begin to imagine how in the world Vivian was handling this newest loss in her life...
At least he's with Isabella now...
Recognizing my expression, Carl continued, "A funeral service will take place next week, and we want you to lead the eulogy. Everyone will be there. Monogram, all the other agents, Acronym, Carla, Doofenshmirtz, even Poofenplotz. But we agree that it'll do us a great amount of comfort if you attended. Just this once, for the agency."
I looked at Carl, and he looked back. At that moment, I knew I had to agree with him. Pinky would've wanted that.
I smiled and nodded. He smiled back.
"That'll be all, Agent P. That'll be all."
And you'll be here in my arms
And it's all my fault.
A tear dripped from my eye as I looked into a picture of me with the rest of the gang, taken days before the massacre. I was standing on one side of Adyson, and Ben stood at the other, looking very comfortable being beside her, despite the fact that, inside, he was obviously heartbroken over the impossibility of a romance between him and her, cousins and nothing meant to be more. I was also comfortable standing by her side as well...
I never realized it until after Adyson killed herself. It was a feeling I must have suppressed really efficiently, because it surprised me the moment it clicked in my mind.
It was a feeling of love.
A love for Adyson Sweetwater.
And I was left to bear with it alone for almost ten miserable years.
It makes me wonder...what would've happened if Adyson and Django came to be a couple...or, God forbid, Adyson and Ben... If I was capable of assisting four killers in their schemes to bring chaos, what does that say about my own capacity to kill? I mean...I did sense something illegal, but I never acted...
I absentmindedly dropped the photo to the ground and opened a drawer to a table that was standing near my bed, the one I was sitting on.
Guns had evolved in the past decade. Now, they shoot deadly lasers that increase the chances of dying from a direct hit to almost a hundred percent. And in the place of bullets, were so-called 'fuel cells', which were the exact size of any average bullet or shell, but carried a lot of power to create a laser.
No one knows that I owned such a gun.
No one knows that I am still considering taking my own life.
No one knows that I have also recently considered taking the lives of others beforehand.
No one knows that I loved Adyson Sweetwater, that I still do.
No one knows that my mind is spiraling downward in a vortex of madness.
No one knows me at all. That's always been the main fact of my life. It's always been me, second to my brother. Phineas and Ferb. Never Ferb and Phineas.
I might as well be no one. ...I am no one.
I looked at the many human-target sheets that hung over a few inches over my bed, encircling me, hung on a clothesline. Each and every one of their frames boasted holes in the place of the heads. I could feel them, and the entire world, circling around me. I must be going mad again.
After all, I could see Adyson. She's smiling at me.
I blinked and put the gun back into the drawer, closing it. The world's stopped spinning. The sheets flutter from a small breeze coming through the open window. And yet, Adyson's presence is still in the room. I ignore it, though, as I look at my cell phone. Phineas has sent me a text message, asking if I'm on my way to the memorial.
I texted back "Yes" as I stood from my bed and left the room.
When Phineas texted me back, thanking me for coming and saying that I'm a great brother, a new thought crossed my mind. It always did after I thought of these dark thoughts, after a family or friend of mine showed me the greatest of compassion and attention.
But I don't know how longer I can last...
What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?
Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come to carry you home
"We're here, honey!" Phineas exclaimed as he parked his car in a vacant space.
"YAY!" Izzie cried as she quickly got out of the car and ran into Danville Park. Phineas sighed happily as he took Buford Jr. in his arms, while Anabel took Lucas's hand; the Flynn family tried to follow Izzie into the park when another hovermobile, a rental one, arrived in the parking lot. Phineas smiled upon identifying the driver.
"Django, my man!" he greeted. "You came!"
"Of course I would," replied Django as he hugged Phineas. "What makes you think I would miss this annual get-together?"
"How's St. Louis treating you?"
"Well, I think I just got myself a permanent girlfriend, and my art career is starting to soar, finally, so I guess I've got a lot of positive things to say."
Phineas's smile widened as he patted Django on the shoulder. "There you go, Django, I knew you could make it there."
"Thanks." Django smiled at the rest of the Flynn family. "Hey, Anabel."
"Hey, Django," Anabel replied quickly, looking at Phineas. "Honey, I'm gonna go after Izzie. I don't want her to get lost."
"I doubt it, but okay, honey." Phineas and Django watched as Anabel and Lucas ran into the park, both giggling at each other. At that same time, three hovermobiles that Phineas identified as belonging to Candace, Baljeet, and Buford arrived in the parking lot.
"UNCLE PHINEAS!" shrieked Amanda dramatically as she ran out of her mother's car and hugged her uncle as tightly as she could.
"Amanda! How's my favorite niece doing?"
"I made this for you!" Amanda took out a small stick with a fan on the top. Phineas smiled in awe as he took it.
"Oh, Amanda, this looks awesome!"
"Press on the button and blow it!" Amanda instructed, pointing at a red button located at the center of the fan.
Phineas nodded and followed Amanda's instructions. The moment he blew it, the fan span, issuing bubbles from the blades. Xavier, Fred, and Wendy gaped in awe as the bubbles floated into the air, towards the blue, cloudless sky; Fred tried to reach for one.
"Amanda, this has gotta be the BEST gift you've ever given me," said Phineas, kissing his niece on the forehead. "Thank you."
Amanda smiled excitedly and looked up at Candace, who smiled back.
"So, shall we go in?" asked Baljeet.
"Oh, yes, of course," Phineas replied, nodding.
"Are you serving tacos over there?" Buford asked suddenly as everyone ventured into the park. Everyone laughed.
"Seriously, honey?" Milly asked, shaking her head and tutting in mock-disapproval. "You're in the middle of a self-professed diet, and you want tacos?"
"Hey, sometimes priests have to be lazy, right?"
"I guess the old Buford's never left," remarked Baljeet, smiling.
"Hey, Father Buford's gone during party times. During that time, Father Buford's in taco mode!"
Everyone laughed again, then abruptly fell silent the moment they reached the Circle of 37 Memorial. Now re-branded the Circle of 38 Memorial due to Jeremy's death, which had been certified as a homicide due to the fact it was caused by the gunshot wound he suffered, a 38th arc had been applied to the memorial weeks after, and his name had been engraved on an empty spot on the central marble slab. Reading the names were none other than Izzie, Anabel, and an unknowing Lucas. Phineas silently approached Izzie, knelt down beside her, and placed a hand on his daughter's shoulder, all the while looking at Isabella's name.
"I never knew this was here in the pretty building," Izzie whispered to her father. "Why are all these names here, Daddy?"
"Because this is a place where people in Heaven are remembered," replied Phineas.
"People like Aunt Isabella, Grandma Flynn, and Uncle Jeremy?"
"Yes, people like them."
It was briefly silent as everyone but Phineas and Izzie bowed their heads in remembrance.
Finally, Izzie whispered, "Daddy?"
"Why do people go to Heaven?"
And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass
Phineas sighed heavily. He instantly knew that this was going to be a tough explanation.
"Well, there are many ways as to why. Sometimes, they get too sick, and they have to go to Heaven to escape from the sickness. Other times, they get very broken by an accident, and they go to Heaven because their bodies are so broken that they cannot be occupied anymore. But most times, they go there because they have to."
"Why do they have to?"
"Well, because they get too old. See, if people were able to live forever, their bodies would just become like that plant that you raised for a month. Withered, lifeless. People do not wanna go through that. It's just a way of life, and everyone must go to Heaven one day."
Phineas sighed again. "Yes, like you."
"I hope I don't grow old too soon."
Phineas smiled, as did everyone else. "Don't worry, Izzie, you won't. You have a lot of time ahead of you, time to spend."
"I saw the news. They always say some bad person broke somebody. Is that also why people go to Heaven? ...People can break others?"
For a third time, Phineas sighed. He knew that letting Izzie watch the news so early would be bad for her. She was very smart.
But he couldn't lie. So, he replied, "Yes, that's right."
"Is that what happened to everyone on here? A bad person broke them?"
Phineas bit his lip nervously. Izzie never knew how her Aunt Isabella, or her grandmother, or her uncle, or anyone else here, died. And now, she was asking questions.
"Well..." he replied, "...well..."
"Well..." Phineas sighed once again. "Izzie, you have to understand this. We are talking about something only adults discuss. I am offering you a chance to know what exactly happened to all of these people whose names you see here. But do you really wish to find out what happened? Or can it wait?"
Izzie looked at the ground, obviously contemplating her ultimate decision. Phineas watched her nervously; he really didn't want to tell her what nightmares he and the others had experienced today, ten years ago. He didn't really want to tell her that she was standing on a graveyard. He didn't really want to expose her to the world's true colors, and everything that they can offer, all of the psychological wounds, the everlasting fear, the feeling that nothing will ever be the same...
Not just yet. Only when she was ready...
To his relief, Izzie replied, "It can wait, Daddy."
"She's smart," Phineas thought. He then said, "Good."
Just then, Izzie smiled widely. "Uncle Ferb! Uncle Irving!"
Phineas turned around and smiled as his stepbrother and the stalker approached the group, a solid smile on his face. He stood up and hugged Ferb, who returned the hug by clapping Phineas's shoulder. Phineas then shook Irving's hand.
"Ferb, it's great to see you again, bro," Phineas greeted. "Same with you, Irving. Glad you could make it."
"Likewise," Ferb replied solidly.
"Ditto!" Irving added, smiling as he began recording with the handheld camera he was holding. "So, here we are, at the memorial!"
"Hey, have any of you heard if Joyce is coming here?" asked Amanda. She was a good friend of Joyce, whom she looked up to as an older sister.
"I'm here, Amanda."
Joyce had arrived on the scene so quietly that no one noticed her initially. She had grown to look exactly like her mother, and her older sister, having the straight dark-brown hair with large bangs and bottom curve, the green eyes, and the rosy-pink skin. In addition, she also inherited Adyson's red headband, allowing her to resemble her sister even more. Accompanying her were her parents, now late in their middle ages. Ever since the opening of the memorial, the entire Sweetwater family started immersing themselves back into society, along with the Garrison, Radeson, and Vladimirescu families. So far, their efforts have been a success, though Joyce was now socially withdrawn, save for Amanda, Django, and some boy at high school that she seemed to have a crush on.
"Joyce, you came!" Amanda screamed happily, hugging Joyce.
"Of course I did," replied Joyce, smiling as she returned Amanda's hug. "It's not like I didn't have a choice..."
The entire group banded together before the three slabs of marble, and silence reigned as they read the names engraved on them. After several minutes, the children began to play while the adults talked amongst one another. Meanwhile, several other people briefly stopped by to also commemorate those who were lost.
Finally, after many hours of this, everyone regrouped, for the day was about to end. Izzie skipped towards Phineas, smiling, not having a care in the world.
"This was fun, Daddy," she said jubilantly. "Thank you for taking me here!"
"You're welcome, sweetie," Phineas replied as Anabel smiled at them. "How much fun did you have?"
"So much fun!" She stood before the three marble slabs, her back facing them. The 38 arcs towered over her. "This is the best day of my life!"
July 16, 2010
Twenty years earlier...
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again
The Fireside Girls assembled at Danville Park, and it was not just Danville Troop 46231. Every troop stationed in Danville had gone on a week-long camping trip to the Oregon wilderness, and it had just ended. Several troops were still flooding out of the Fireside Girls-themed buses. Among those troops were Troop 46231.
"Alright, Fireside Girls, I hope we've all enjoyed our camping trip!" announced Isabella as she and the others marched off of their bus, previously the most rundown of the buses, but now redesigned by the troop itself, drawing off of the handy skills they learned from the best.
"I'm betting Isabella didn't," Holly said. "A week without Phineas and his Big Ideas must've been torture."
Isabella frowned and crossed her arms. "Excuse me, Holly, but a Fireside Girl never caves into the worst instances of pressure."
"Yeah, says the girl who was muttering about Phineas all week long," replied Milly jokingly. Most of the girls giggled, further evoking Isabella's frustration.
"At least it didn't blind me, not like Addie!"
For the first time today, Adyson's attention was piqued. "Hey, I had a good reason to be unfocused! My mom gave birth to my little sister three days ago!"
"I don't see what the trouble was, Addie," Katie said. "It must be awesome to have a little sister! You've been looking forward to that day for months; you would never stop talking about it! And now, all of a sudden, you're worried the moment the news broke!"
"What if my sister doesn't like me?"
The entire troop looked at Adyson, looks of compassion flooding their faces. Isabella was the first to speak.
"Listen, Addie, I may not have a sister of my own, but I felt the same feelings when I first became Troop Leader. I feared you guys wouldn't like me. But now, we're all the best of friends, practically sisters! All you have to do is be yourself, and hope for the best! Like Phineas always says-"
"Carpe Diem," completed the rest of the Fireside Girls, even Adyson, mostly out of mockery for Isabella, who would quote Phineas for months on end. The raven-haired girl frowned angrily and tapped her foot in frustration at her comrades before regaining her compassion in a split-second.
"Besides, Addie," said Katie, continuing for Isabella, "if your sister doesn't like you, we as Fireside Girls will knock some sense into her, sooner or later. Remember, we are Fireside Girls, standing cute, small, and strong! And we do that together!"
Adyson smiled slightly. "Thanks, girls, for the support."
"You're welcome, Addie," replied Gretchen. "Now, let's get back to our families! Your sister is waiting."
The troop walked further into Danville Park, away from all the buses, as other Fireside Girls reunited with their families. Immediately, they spotted an enormous stage standing near the park's center. Naturally, they walked towards it, knowing that only two certain stepbrothers had the capacity to organize such an event.
Finally, the Fireside Girls reached the stadium after edging their way through the crowd that formed around it. Just as they did, fireworks abruptly shot off into the air and exploded, the sparks forming the words 'WELCOME BACK, TROOP 46231!' Music then blasted into the atmosphere, and the Fireside Girls watched as Love Händel began playing their instruments and singing You Snuck Your Way Back Into My Heart, which appeared to be a slight rendition of their hit song You Snuck Your Way Right Into My Heart. The girls' jaws dropped open as three people appeared on the stage, singing along with Danny. They were Phineas, Ferb, and...
"Ben?" Adyson asked, utterly surprised by her cousin's sudden appearance in Danville.
Meanwhile, Baljeet and Django were lowered from above, throwing confetti. The girls giggled when Buford had to walk onto the stage and throw the confetti as well.
The song ended after a couple of minutes, as Vivian and the parents of the other Fireside Girls appeared on the stage, their arms outstretched. Everyone applauded as all of the Fireside Girls happily climbed onto the stage and hugged their respective parents.
"That was great!" Isabella exclaimed as she broke from Vivian and hugged Phineas tightly. "Did you plan all of this, Phineas?"
"Sorta, but everyone's parents had a creative input as well," Phineas replied honestly.
"Phineas and Ferb have SUCH creative minds!" exclaimed Holly's father. "They're the ones who suggested this, but we supervised all of the construction."
"You know, I find it very comical that the delivery guy knew the kids," added Katie's mother.
"Purely a coincidence, I'm sure," Kathy replied. She then looked down at Adyson. "Oh, by the way, Addie, there's someone else who wants to see you."
And you'll be here in my arms
Adyson's eyes widened, and everyone watched as Ben approached her. For the first time, she noticed something slung over his shoulder, tucked in his arms. Her eyes widened even more the moment she realized what the object was: it was a tiny infant, who had the same face and hair as her. The baby looked up at Adyson with her bright green eyes and blinked. Adyson looked at Ben cautiously.
"C-Can I hold her?" she asked.
"Sure thing, cousin," Ben replied, handing her the baby.
Adyson's bit her lip and struggled to hold back tears of joy as she looked into her sister's eyes, and they looked back. Her heart began to fall as a confused expression suddenly appeared on the baby's face, and she feared that she would burst into tears of fear.
Then, the unexpected happened: the baby laughed and held out a fat hand, touching Adyson's cheek and cooing. Adyson laughed in relief, tears of happiness dripping down from her cheeks as everyone else gathered around her and the baby on the stadium, while the audience applauded.
"Addie," Kathy said, "meet your new sister. Joyce."
"Joyce," Adyson repeated longingly, still looking into the baby's eyes with all of the compassion in the entire world. "I...I love it..." She looked up at Phineas, Ferb, Ben, the Fireside Girls, and her parents. "Thank you so much for this, everyone. I couldn't have asked for anything better than this."
"Anything for your pleasure, Addie," Phineas said, smiling widely.
They all walked off of the stage as the audience began to disperse. Seconds later, a random green laser hit the stage, causing it to turn into a storm of birds that flew about in the air. The group all looked up in the sky and gasped in awe at the birds; Joyce cooed curiously and tried to reach for some.
"Ooh, and you've got birds!" exclaimed Isabella. "Oh, Phineas, this was the BEST!"
"I don't recall birds being part of the plan, though..." Phineas mused at Ferb, who shrugged in confusion.
"NO, MOM, MOM, MOM!" Candace's voice filled the air. "THERE WAS A STAGE THERE, WITH FIREWORKS SHOOTING OUT OF IT! I SWEAR, MOM, IT'S TRUE!"
"Yeah, that's lovely, Candace," Linda replied dismissively as she approached the group. "Oh, this must be the new addition to the Sweetwater family! Congratulations, Kathy, Randy. And you too, Adyson. You all must be happy to have this new member of the family."
"Yeah..." Adyson replied.
Little did anyone know it, but the very spot the entire group was standing on would become a location of sadness in five years.
Isabella didn't know she was going to die at the exact same spot she was standing on, and Ben didn't know that he would meet his death a few yards away.
They didn't know this either, but that same spot would also become a location of hope and rejoice in twenty years.
Adyson didn't know that, on the place she was standing on, a five-year-old girl, named after Isabella, would be looking up at her father, Phineas himself, and say the exact same words she was about to say. And Izzie wouldn't know that, on the place she was standing on, one of the women her parents told her about had rejoiced in a happy occasion, not knowing of the fate that lay ahead of her.
The concept of time and space is a curious thing, being dictated by unpredictability and filled with occurrences of random chance. In a year, in a decade, in a century, in a millennium, there is a great chance that people would stand on locations of history, without even recognizing the significance, no matter how minor it would be. Who knows? Maybe the local asylum is standing on the location of a heroic rescue that happened over twenty years ago. Maybe the site of a nuclear power plant might be an unoccupied location of wildlife protection in about thirty years. Who knows?
It's very curious, how the place you can be standing on is already important, is becoming important, or will be important. But it's a philosophical question that does not reach the minds of the group that is standing on a location soon to be marked in history, and them with it.
Adyson didn't know it, but her words will be repeated twenty years later, on that same spot.
"This is the best day of my life."
And all will turn
To silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the west
A/N: The last two words say it all! I guess this now concludes my longest and most-reviewed story in history.
So yeah, it looks like Ferb has a crush on Adyson as well, and he might be gaining homicidal feelings in addition to his secretly-retained suicidal feelings. Will he actually go through with his delusional thoughts? Unfortunately, I actually don't intend to write a sequel to this, and that this will be left open-ended for everyone to decide for themselves. The same goes with the scene of Ben and Adyson having sex. Is it a hallucination by Adyson, or not (since we didn't really see what happened after Ben kissed her in the videotape in Chapter 35)? I know, it sucks butt. But sometimes, for a story to be emotionally effective, it must leave its readers permanently hanging as long as the author directly recognizes these so-called plot-holes. Either that, or I'm thinking about "Inception". :P
Before I list everyone who reviewed, I want to make an update on my announcement that I'll be taking a temporary break from P&F stories. I said that, but even as I said so, ideas of new stories of such kept bouncing in my head like ping-pong balls. So, technically, I'm withdrawing my statement from earlier. Besides, I have found a perfect date to publish my non-P&F/Simpsons story, whose identity I will not reveal yet.
With that said, I add that my "Legend of the Five Elements" story is still in production and will not be published yet, for I am still trying to flesh out the universe I intend to introduce; it's a surprisingly complex affair. However, I have another story in my mind, but it is a sequel to a magnificent story that Michi41, a good reviewer of mine, should be familiar with: "Summer of Love" by Lowrider. I read the story a couple of days ago, and I am not sure if Lowrider intended it or not, but I came across some really good loose ends that, to me, seem to branch off into a continuation. Lowrider hasn't been active on this site for almost two years, so it seems like he/she might not be writing the sequel. I tried sending a PM to him/her, wondering if I could do it, but he/she hasn't answered back for days now. I've already created about three-fourths of the story in my head now, and I'm just itching to dish it out of my head and onto writing. But now, I'm just gonna leave it up to you guys, my reviewers, to decide if I should write such a story without approval from the original author, even while I intend to leave important disclaimers. I even have a poll up.
Well, enough of this concern! Time to list out everyone who's reviewed! :D
My Dictator Level is Over 9000
Better a Freak Than A Fake
Robot Wolf 26Z
Da Darkest Knight
The Magic Catgirl
Kitty in Boots
PIE-314 AKA PxIforever101
And last, but not least, all of the anonymous reviewers and the tens of thousands of viewers who read this story!
PHEW! I just went through 67 pages of reviews in order to compile this list! PHEW!
And it looks like this is the longest chapter I've ever written in a while. Hopefully everyone managed to make it this far!
It definitely looks like I'll be making the 1000-review mark. :D Oh, I'm so proud of myself and all of you reviewers! I'm REALLY making an impact here. I can't wait to see what you've all got to say about this timely conclusion! You were all great, guys and gals, you were all GREAT!
Don't forget to state your opinion of the "Summer of Love" sequel in your review and/or vote on the poll! I really need a response from as much fans as I can, just like what happened when I asked you all if I should publish this very story or not. Be honest, it's okay!
Anyway, now that this story's over, you can all now fully enjoy a non-crazy Ben in "A Love Unexpected"! :D :D :D
TheCartoonFanatic01 is out. UNTIL NEXT TIME, PEACE TO THE WORLD!