Artemis Thomas Sharp
A father, husband,
Friend, and airmen
Artemis sighed miserably as he gazed down at his tombstone. He didn't like being dead at all. He couldn't feel a thing beside the ever-present chill about him. Well, he supposed he died for a good reason but being burned alive was not a pleasant experience. Better him then his daughter, though. Deryn was only thirteen, whereas he was in his forties. She had a full, and hopefully long, life ahead of her. At the moment, she didn't speak almost if she couldn't. Another thing that worried Artemis was Deryn's compliancy to be stuffed into skirts and corsets.
But then again, Hell hath no fury like Margaret Sharp.
Artemis wandered amongst the graves until he had exited the cemetery. This was barking ridiculous! He couldn't even touch the ground! He just sort of hovered over it as he moved. He highly doubted he would get over the entire ghost thing. It was just pure dead odd.
Artemis continued down the road, gazing around at all the familiar places. It made him feel awful. He couldn't go in the way he had, and be seen. He stopped in the middle of the street, shoulders sagging. Abruptly, he saw a pair of headlights out of the corner of his eye, racing toward him.
He whirled around and whipped his hands up to his face instinctively. Without warning, he felt as though he'd been cast back into the flames he had burned in before being submerged in the icy waters of Russia. He shuddered and looked back at the car that's passed right through him. He watched it until it had faded into the darkness.
That incident alone made Artemis want to cry. He wanted to be hit, and be hit hard, then bleed across the pavement just to know he was alive. But he wasn't alivenot anymore.
After meandering aimlessly about Glasgow, Artemis made his way back down the boulevard where he had lived. He didn't alert Angus and Billie, the old tigeresque watchdogs, prowling around the Finnegan's property. He could've sworn Billie had looked right at him and whined before continuing on. But she was only a dumb beastie as much as he wished he'd been noticed.
Despite the late hour, the lights in the Sharp household were still on. Or at least, a few of them. Jaspert's and Maggie's were on but Deryn's room was dark. Moonlight shone against the damp grass, fighting its way stubbornly through the thick cover of clouds.
Artemis ran a hand through his sandy hair and crept up to the house. He wondered how he would get up to the second floor when he remembered he may as well barking float up. And he did, coming up to lean just into his wife's room. Maggie was mending something for Jaspert, it seemed. She wasn't watching what she was doing, not really. Nonetheless, she never stuck herself with the needle. Artemis smiled sadly and moved on to his son's room.
Jaspert was looking at a book on aeronautics but didn't appear to be reading it. Mostly, he was doodling and scribbling on a loose piece of paper. His head was propped in his hand and he swung his legs back and forth as though he were a little boy. Artemis watched him for several moments before a quiet song pricked his ears.
He made his way to the back of the house, his feelings skimming over the wood without feeling. Deryn was perched in the single, tall tree that stood proudly by her window. She was sitting on a branch she spent much of her time on, sketching or merely enjoying the view. She was singing bitterly now, breaking her father's heart.
"You said that you loved me,
You said that you cared,
You told me you would never go
And leave me behind
You're all that I loved"
Her voice broke and a fresh stream of tears trickled down her face. She hummed raggedly to the next part and Artemis found himself singing softly to her hums.
"I have to leave now,
This place I adore
No more can I wonder
The wild glens and shores
For the tyrants have robbed me
Of house, lands, and pride
Bitter the parting of lovers entwined."
He sat on the branch beside his daughter, but only hovering over the branch. He let out a choked sob as he watched the sadness he'd caused. Barking kerosene tanks.
"I'm so sorry, my little bird," he whispered and tried to stroke her blonde ringlets. Again, the feeling of fire and ice coursed through his hand to his arm. Deryn jumped, alarmed, before settling. Artemis felt an odd sensation, as though he were being slowly erased like a blemish on a piece of paper.
"Oh, Da," his daughter rasped, "You great, bloody bum-rag." Artemis chuckled half-heartedly.
"That's only putting it lightly, love," he murmured. Then he let out another sob. "I love you all so much."
And with those last words, Artemis Thomas Sharpfather of two, husband, and proud airmenfaded from the Earth.