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Death Is Not The End

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Please read the letter.
I nailed it to your door.
It's crazy how
It all turned out
We needed so much more.


 

 

To Ari Agnello, detective-

 

I’m no good at writing.  I spent an entire night writing and rewriting this, but I still can’t put more than five words together without something sounding stupid.  If this is all melodramatic and dumb, that’s why.  Sometimes you have to find a stopping point and tell yourself you did good enough.  That’s not some bullshit statement on life or the human condition or anything like that.  I’m just talking about writing.  They always tell you the more you do something, the easier it gets, but they’re lying about that.

I don’t know if you even want to hear from me again, but you waited up for me when no one expected you to do that.  You gave me a chance when you could have left me to forget everything about myself.  For that alone, I owe this letter to you.  I would have died again.  It’s stupid maybe (scratch that, it’s definitely stupid) but I spent my entire life waiting to die, wanting to die, trying to die, and now that I’m dead and maybe buried for all I know, I want to live, however it is that someone like me can live.  I want to live, but if I can’t have that (and I can’t have that, I know how this works, you live and you die and that’s that), then I want people to remember I existed.  Not a lot of people out there are going to remember Leone Abbacchio in fifty years.  I didn’t make it easy for people to care about me. 

I can’t believe I wrote that.  I’m not trying for self-pity; it just comes naturally.  I told you this would be melodramatic and dumb.  I’m not rewriting this letter another time and that’s that.  My hand hurts, I already gave myself a paper cut, and I don’t want to use up all the paper in the house.  I don’t know if it replenishes itself or if it has to be ordered.  They get mail order catalogues here.  You mark off what you want, put it in the mailbox with your payment or a promise, and then a few weeks later, what you want is dropped off.  I don’t get how it all works yet since no one here seems to have any money.  What do you do if you have nothing to pay with and no talents to offer?  They keep telling me everyone here develops a special talent but I don’t know if I believe that.  I met a woman who could kiss cuts shut, I know a guy whose crying makes plants grow, my friend claims he talks to snakes now (I don't actually believe him), and the lady who owns this house talks to roads (I do believe her), but I'm just me.

I made it to my destination, sir.  I don’t know if this is my final destination haha and I’m sorry, I tried to make a joke here and then I realized you died before you could understand the reference.  I’m so sorry.  I don’t know if this is meant to be my final stop or if this is just a place to rest my feet before moving on, but either way, it’s better than what I deserve.  It's nice.  Weird but nice.  I think I’ll be selfish and stay awhile if I can.  It’s different here.  I spent my entire life in cities and here I am surrounded by trees and dirt.  A deer came into the garden a few days ago.  I stood very still and watched him eat corn until I remembered to chase him off.  They’ve been talking about going down to the cursed lake (we have a cursed lake here; it tries to kill people but only when the moon's out) to swim, but I don’t know.  I pissed in an outhouse yesterday.  I shouldn’t have just written that sentence.  I wish I had white out but I don’t.  TMI.

The trip was fine.  Thank you for buying me a ticket because I don’t think I ever would have.  I normally don’t like trains and actually I still don’t, but it could have been worse.  I remembered my death and it turns out that remembering your death fucking blows.  Sorry about my language, sir, except actually I am not sorry because if anything, that’s an understatement.  Dying sucks. I walked around with a hole in my chest for awhile until the train stopped and I met someone who tried to fix it.  I’ll never be whole again, not in the same way as before, but she patched it up with flowers and a rock and I guess I’m a geode now.  This is apparently a normal thing here, apparently?  Sometimes I wish I didn't seek out that knowledge because now I'll never be the same as I used to be, but now I know that I didn't fuck up my final mission.

I don’t know how long I was on that train, but I’m starting to realize what you meant when you told me that time works differently here, so I don’t think there’s any point in attempting to quantify it.  It happened and now my trip is over.  Do you remember that serial killer, the Butcher of Milan?  No one had any idea of his motives or who he might be or how he kept evading capture, but that’s one final mystery solved at last by yours truly.  His name’s Sorbet.  Do you remember what I told you about Passione and about stands?  What little I remembered.  He was a hitman, but he and his partner-in-crime (who never shuts up, why do I know so much about your dogs, Gelato, they're not that interesting) took side contracts from people who needed to kill their abusers and who would never spill their secrets.  He said it was for money and he said it was to charge his stand, but I think he was looking for some fucked up absolution.  I met him on the train.  We shared the same compartment and rode together for awhile.  I’m invited to his wedding, but he’s been on that train hundreds of years already and I don’t know if he’s getting off anytime soon.

My friend Narancia died.  It’s weird to think about that because he’s just in the other room yelling about a videogame or something, I don’t even know what the hell he’s going on about, but he’s dead.  He’s only seventeen.  I didn’t think seventeen-year-olds could die.  Is that fair?  It’s not.  He thinks he died a hero or something, and yeah, he did, but he’s just a kid and why doesn’t he realize that?  I’m grown, whatever, it’s fine, but he’s never going to have his birthday and fuck, I cried on the page, so now it’s blotched.  It turns out I am capable of human emotion.  I really should just rewrite this again but I don't want to do that.  Narancia’s nice.  Maybe he’s rough around the edges but who isn’t?  He’s got a crush on another dumb, dead kid and his mom’s here too (though she’s apparently haunting his dad at the moment) and he’s just himself now, and overall, he’s doing great, but why couldn’t he be alive?  I refuse to believe that people like us can only be happy in death.

Buccellati isn't here.  But that's good.  That's how it should be.

Anyway, like I said, I wound up in a forest and I’m doing okay.  I'm doing better.  I remember myself now and I don't really like myself but I never liked myself and wow here I go again with the melodrama.  We live in what happens when you throw rainbows at the Addams Family house, and it belongs to two dead Victorians.  They’re nice, although British and they don't understand pizza.  Robert keeps leaving pie outside my door and Erina seems fascinated by the goth thing.  Erina’s son is Rykiel and he’s either cryptic, a nervous wreck, or he’s trying to convince me that Bigfoot is real.  According to him, Bigfeet are critically endangered.  I think he’s fucking with me but after the life I’ve led, fuck it, maybe Bigfeet are real.  Who the hell ever knows anymore?  He’s got a brother named Donatello but I’ve only ever seen him at a distance.  Their dad (adopted?  I don’t understand their family situation.) apparently stops in sometimes but he’s being held captive in the pirate afterlife or some nonsense like that, I don’t even know, I just go with whatever bullshit people tell me nowadays because hey did you know that vampires are real?  You do now.  We have one.  Anyway, we also live with a doctor, but I haven’t met him yet.  I’m pretty sure he’s some kind of freak though because I peeked into his rooms and he’s got this room that has nothing in it except a single sofa and dozens of hand sculptures.  I’m afraid to touch anything in there.  And then there’s Josefumi.  He’s fine.  We’ve talked a little but he mostly keeps to himself.  I think he either left a kid behind or a particularly stupid dog.  I haven't talked to people my own age outside the context of Passione since high school and I don't know what I'm doing.  People keep calling me Leone but I don't hate it.

Speaking of kids, I may have a daughter now?  Or another sister?  Or something.  It’s complicated.  Actually, no, it’s not that complicated.  My secret magic powers budded from me when I died and took the form of an annoying little girl who keeps throwing rocks at my head.  Her name’s Moody.  I don’t know if I’m expected to be her parent or her friend or her tour guide through the afterlife, but I’ve been teaching her how to read, so that’s a start, I guess.  I don’t have any fucking idea what I’m doing, sir.  I’m trying my best, and if I'm lucky, I won't fuck this up any more than I already have.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself now, but maybe I’ll figure that out as I go along.  I’m trying to be optimistic as much as I can but it’s hard.  It’s really hard.  I want to think I can be happy here but I don’t know if I can be happy anywhere.  Still…maybe.  Maybe.  I hope you’re well.  I hope you left that dismal city and found someplace with a little more life.

You know, this letter probably won’t even reach you?  I'm probably just wasting my time writing all this bullshit. I pissed off the mailman and now he’s got it out for me.  He’s probably reading this right now and laughing his ugly ass off.  Go fuck yourself, Gyro.  It’s not my fault you have bad taste.  But if it does reach you, thanks for everything.  Thanks for solving mysteries with me and thanks for letting me sleep on your couch and thanks for waiting for me even though you probably shouldn’t have.  Now go and live.

 

Best regards,

Leone Abbacchio

 

P.S.  I’m learning how to make jam, so that’s what’s in the jar.  It’s cherry.  If you get the letter but don’t get the jam, I’m going to be so pissed because that fucker Gyro probably ate it.

 


Please read my letter,
And promise me you'll keep
The secrets and the memories
We cherish in the deep.