Interminable Hope

By Jerm

How long had it been now? Time didn't seem to pass as she wandered in her meloncholy. Life itself seemed gone now, just as meaningless as the world around her. She was in her own world now, a bitter apathetic virus having caught her. And in this world, all was lost. A world without time, a world without meaning, a world without happiness. Such sadness.

It hadn't been long, but it still felt so to her. As she trudged up the lonely mountain known as Death Peak, she didn't realize her movement. Snow swirled around her, but she felt no chill, small bits of hail struck at her, but she felt no pain. Nothing. Inside, she had become empty. Outside, she was simply a shell.

There were others around her, but she couldn't think of them, couldn't identify them other than their mere presence. But she should know them, they were friends. They were all she had left now, but for the life of her, she didn't even think of them. Couldn't even remember them.

Another step, the snow crunching under her feet. So close to her destination, yet so far away from herself. Why did it have to happen? The aftermath was tearing her apart. Why? She felt nothing from around her, yet there was pain eating at her. So much pain inside her chest.

Crono was dead now. Ever since his sacrifice, she had been like this. Her thoughts scattered, her senses numbed. Nothing was there for her, Marle had become a husk of the former active girl. Why?

Did she truly feel for him, did she have emotions this strong? She had never thought about it before, never even noticed. It had taken something this traumatizing, this strong to make her realize that there was something more between the two of them. Another shot of pain struck through her like lightning, making her shiver. She had taken it for granted and paid the price. Now she was alone again, she had always been alone. She had her chance, but not anymore. He was dead and it was over.

There was hope to save him, yes. She knew this, yet at the same time couldn't remove her apathy in the light of it. Melancholy was an evil thing, and it was unrelenting in its grip. Just like the grip of death. And together the two worked. As if dancing together, step after step, the two came together. For death brought sadness, sadness brought more death. But to break the two apart required nothing more than hope. For life could only exist if people hoped, if people had true faith in what they were, what they could do. Hope could save Crono.

Yet so much could destroy him.

Her thoughts went back to Crono. What was it she felt towards him that could bring such pain at his death? It couldn't be love, this seemed too strong for that. Love was nothing compared to what she felt for him, the person who accepted her for herself. He had never even realized her title, it seemed. He had treated her as a human, as a friend. And in reparation, she could not even save him when he would have needed her.

A strong wind whipped at her face suddenly, breaking her from her reverie. She glanced up through blurring eyes to see a single tree, standing solemnly in the moonlight. She found this quite strange, a tree growing in the coldest place in the world. It had no leaves, no sustenance. Yet it still lived, still survived despite the fate it had been placed with.

Marle stared at the tree for several moments, matching its will to live with her will to return Crono. It had won its war atop this peak, it persevered. So would she.

Beside her, Lucca stepped forward, pulling out a small object. She softly patted Marle on the back, drawing her attention from the tree. Marle turned to Lucca with sad eyes, looking at her questioningly. Though Lucca hid it better than she, she was also broken by what had happened to her friend. There was clearly the mark of fear and sadness in her eyes, reflecting her soul.

Marle blinked, trying to clear the blurriness in her eyes, though no success. She felt more than saw as Lucca placed the object in her hands. She looked down, scrutinizing the tiny oval. The time egg Gaspar had given them. It was their hope--No, it simply represented their hope. Gave them something in which to focus their prayers, their wishes. Here they were, standing tall atop the mountain, standing above death, in a way. She had hope now, in the form of the egg.

She stepped forward passing by the tree to stand near the edge. Inches from the precipice, she stopped. Almost as if offering herself in sacrifice in exchange for the return of Crono. But she didn't hurl herself from the edge. She remained, atop death and with hope in her hands, with perseverance by her side. And then, she felt strength coursing through her, removing the numbness, the pain, the apathy. Her sight cleared as she gazed up at the golden moon shining down on her, adorning her with its light. This was her moment.

She closed her eyes, feeling as if she was floating in the air. She felt nothing around her, the wind disappearing and the ground moving away. Stretching out her hands, the egg cupped within them, she offered her heart, her hope, to the stars. To those that would listen and those that could help. Murmuring softly to herself a brief prayer to those faceless entities, she bowed her head.

Then, upon the conclusion to her plea, the egg lifted itself from her hands, going into the sky. She opened her eyes, watching the object slowly rise, the moon silhouetting it. She realized that she was not in fact flying, but still had a sensation of strength, a feeling of power. A brief wind rustled through, though the egg neither wavered or dropped from the breeze. Behind her, she heard the tree as its branches rustled.

The egg continued to rise, and her hope soured. She would bring him back, she would persevere the sadness, pain, and loss in order to do so. For perseverance was an aspect of love. The tree reminded her of this even as the egg slowed its ascent. She did indeed love Crono, with all her heart. She watched with fascination, no longer sad, no longer distraught. She had found her meaning, her faith, and her life. Even as the egg stopped in the air, she felt hope.

The egg shattered, bringing a gasp from behind her, Lucca and Glenn both fearful as to what this would portent. But Marle felt bliss, knowing all was well. She had faith that it would, her hope would bring her through. Something beyond the egg stole her attention and she shifted her focus from the shimmering fragments showering down onto the ground to the far away heavens, to the moon.

A darkness was crossover over the face of the satellite, covering it and removing the light that it brought them. A darkness that would capture them. But perseverence was still by her side, allowing her to beat the darkness and find what lay beyond. The moon disappeared, but her hope remained.

And in the darkness, through her hope, a boy was born again, given another chance to survive, to live, to experience. At the same time, Marle was born again as well. Given strength through her sheer will and determination.

With perseverance and hope, she had conquered death. With death gone, sadness left as well, allowing happiness to return, along with life. In the darkness, by the tree glistening with snow, a boy returned to earth, brought by love, hope, and faith. And in essense, bringing the three to a girl before him in a cycle that would withstand all.


Author's Notes:

Thank you for reading this story. It is an attempt to bring more to my writing. In all my other fanfics, I have had so much trouble displaying emotion or affection. I don't know why, it's just so. So I decided to write a fanfic that is completely emotion. I drew out the thoughts of a character after a trauma caused by the death of someone close, and after the removal of the trauma.

Yes, I know that this kind of story has been done before. I chose this because I found there were so many things that could be done with it. The symbolism formed by the egg and tree didn't even occur to me until I had reached that part, but I felt they added a lot more to the story, making it a little bit original. I did tend to sound poetic while writing, though I didn't really intend to.

In the end, this was merely a test to see how I could manage to create emotion. I hope I did somewhat well, though I'm sure I still need a lot of practice. This is something really hard for me to do, to be honest I have very little emotion myself; which can probably contribute to its lacking in my fanfics.

Once again, thank you for reading.

This ends "Interminable Hope."

Began: February 24th, 1999
Ended: February 24th, 1999

Jerm's Fanfiction