Categories > Movies > Corpse Bride

Under the Tree

by bruce2112 0 reviews

Corpse Bride movie epilogue: Many years later Victor, now an old man, rests under his favourite tree and reflects upon his life. As he does, a very special lady from his distant past comes to visit.

Category: Corpse Bride - Rating: G - Genres: Fantasy, Romance - Published: 2006-11-24 - Updated: 2006-11-25 - 1325 words - Complete

Under the Tree

"Are you sure, Papa?" she asked. "You were pretty tired yesterday."

"Oh, yes," Victor nodded. "It's a fine day, and I want to spend some of it in the sun."

The middle-aged woman wrung her plump hands nervously. "I'm still not sure it's a good idea."

Victor leaned forward. "You know," he said, "You look just like your mother when you do that."

His daughter looked quickly from one side to the other and then, satisfied that no one was watching, looked straight at him and stuck out her tongue.

"Listen, young lady," Victor warned. "You may be fifty-six years old, and maybe a grandma three times over, but you're still not too old to spank."

She chuckled. "Maybe not, Papa, but you're much too old to try."

"Lucky you," he mock-grumbled, and she laughed.

"But, yes," Victor persisted, "I do want to stay here. For a little bit, anyway."

His daughter shook her head and sighed. "Okay. If you insist - but just for an hour - and then we go home."

Victor nodded; that would be long enough.

She got out of the car and walked around to the passenger side. "Here, let me help you out."

"I liked the carriage better," Victor complained.

"That may be, but it's 1926 now. Modern times are here, Papa - and motorcars are ever so much more practical."

"Bah," Victor grumbled.

She pretended to ignore him. "Do you want any of your things?" she asked.

"No," he replied. "Wait. Yes. Actually, that old sketchbook of yours, if you don't mind."

His daughter wrinkled her nose. "Oh, that old thing - now, why in the world would you want that?"

"I like looking at the pictures," Victor said quietly.

She shrugged and guided him gently to his tree. They had planted it together, long before she was married, exactly where that old oak tree from Papa's stories had been. And that small twig had grown into a sturdy young tree, easily strong enough to prop up a weak, unsteady old man.

She made sure that her father was sitting comfortably, laid his cane within easy reach beside him, and then she walked to the back of the car to retrieve the book.

"Here you go," she said, handing it to him. "Now don't wander off too far this time."

She leaned down and kissed the top of his head. "See you later."

Victor looked up. "I love you, Pumpkin."

A strange look passed across her face. "I love you, too, Papa." Then she left.

He watched the car chug away, shaking his head as he did. "Infernal contraption," he muttered, then he turned his attentions to the book he held.

He didn't really have to look at the drawings: he knew them all well by heart. Drawn by his daughter when she was maybe nine or ten, they held many of his favorite memories. Modern folks might prefer the mechanical perfection of photographs (sterile things that they were!), but he was of the firm belief that the human hand - and heart - was so much better at capturing the true essence of the moment.

Victor flipped through the drawings: the one of the schooner, drawn the day she had fallen into the water; ones that she had done of the Captain and his peculiar stand by the sea. Others of the family: all in their much younger days, including Willie.

Oh, Willie...

...the old heartache returned and Victor sighed: a quarter century in the past - and it still hurt.

He continued - more boats: his daughter had loved to draw as many as she could find.

The last drawing he saved for last: a blue pencil drawing of a pretty dark-haired girl. That one brought back more memories - a flood of them...

He smiled, closed his eyes, and leaned back against the trees. Then he dozed off...

A raven's call stirred him from his sleep.

He opened his eyes, looked up, and saw that there was somebody standing there - someone whom he had not seen for a long, long time...

"Hello, Darling," Emily smiled. "Remember me?"

Victor nodded. Of course, he did...

"Would you like to go for a walk?" she smiled again. Then she leaned forward and held out her hand.

He returned the smile. "Wait a moment," he said, and he felt the ground beside him for his cane.

"You won't need that," she told him. "Come."

Victor took her hand and climbed to his feet. How about that, he marveled. She was right.

Her fingers felt warm and soft in his and Victor looked at her. She was no longer clad in the old wedding dress, but wore a modest white simply-styled gown sprinkled with pearls. And - she was alive and whole now. Much nicer like this, he thought.

"So, Victor," Emily murmured, "Did you have a good life?"

He had - mostly.

He told her about his family life, about his good times with the children and their growing up. About his daughter's wedding...

His companion nodded and smiled. "Daddy was right," she said. "I did want her to have that butterfly brooch. And I'm so glad that she liked it."

He told her about the bad times, too - about Willie going off to that African war and not coming back. Victoria had taken the loss very hard, of course: she herself was gone less than a year later. She had run down like an old watch and then one day, likewise, her shattered heart had - simply - stopped.

"I know," Emily said, gently squeezing his hand. "She and I are friends - very good friends, now. She told me all about it."

"So, you don't mind that I had her grave placed next to yours? It's what she wanted..."

"No," she laughed. "I don't - if anything, I'm flattered."

Victor sighed; flattery had not been the intent of that wish. Victoria always did remain just a bit jealous, but then - given what had happened - who could blame her?

"I do understand," Emily said. "And it's okay, really it is."

They walked a bit further and then, without warning, Victor pulled them suddenly to a halt.

"Oh my!" he exclaimed. "Now I've gone and wandered off again."

"Do you want to go back?" she asked.

"Oh, I'd better," he fretted. "My daughter will be most unhappy with me."

"Don't worry, Victor, she won't be," Emily assured him. "But, yes, let's go back now."

They walked back to the tree, talking and laughing and catching up on old times.

"How is your father?" Victor asked eventually.

"Very happy now," she replied. "And he's looking forward to seeing you again."

They turned the last corner before the tree.

"Oh, look," Victor said, squinting ahead in mild surprise. "Some one's sitting under my tree."

"So, there is," his companion agreed. "Let's go see."

They drew nearer to the spot.

"Anybody you know?" she asked.

It was a very thin white-haired old man, who was leaning back on the tree behind him. His face wore a slight smile and his eyes were closed. An old yellowed blue pencil sketch lay under one hand.

"My God," Victor whispered. "Is that...?"

Emily stopped and laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Who else would it be?" she said quietly.

"But what about my family - my daughter? What will she do without me?"

"The same as what everybody else does, Victor - carry on."

He still wasn't sure. But she was right...

"So, where do we go next?" he asked. "Are we going back to the Land of the Dead - to see the Elder and the rest of them?"

Emily shook her head. "I don't think so. Your business here is done, isn't it?"

It was, he agreed.

She held out her hand. "There are people waiting for you on the other side ... Victoria and Willie, too," she said. "It's time, Darling."

Victor took her hand. "I'm ready," he said.

"I love you, Victor," Emily whispered. "Let's go home."
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