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Story [The Crow] C'est La Mort || Shelly/Eric || Update 11/24

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by jedi_of_ennth, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. jedi_of_ennth

    jedi_of_ennth Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 1, 2005
    This story borrows elements from both the original The Crow movie and James O'Barr's original graphic novel in its 2011 anniversary edition format.

    Summary: While Eric fights to avenge Shelly, Shelly fights to save Eric's soul.


    Where sunless rivers weep
    their waves into the deep,
    she sleeps a charmed sleep;
    awake her not.
    “Dream Land,” Christina Rossetti

    Perhaps it was morning when hell stopped burning; Shelly found the flames that had worn her skin down to bone replaced by the sharp cool sting of dew on grass, the fires above turned to piercing diamonds on a black backdrop. She should have been relieved, but a new pain replaced the physical agony; where her heart should have been, seated deep beside her soul, she found only emptiness.

    “Where am I?” she choked, slowly rising to her elbows. A dove sat on her knee, head cocked to one side, eyes wise and sad.

    We’re moving on, a voice whispered in Shelly’s head. I’m sorry, my dear. He chooses to stay.

    That was the emptiness, Shelly realized. That was the ache destroying her from the inside, the ache she would return to the fires to escape. “Eric,” she murmured. “Where is he?”

    You were given a choice at the river’s edge, the dove explained. You chose to stay with him, to cross those waters at his side. The bird lowered her face. He could not find peace. He chose to go back. He chose to avenge you rather than follow you into the boat.

    “If he’s not here, then I’m not going anywhere,” Shelly protested. “What do you mean, avenge me? It’s over. There’s nothing left for us to do. The dead don’t come back.”

    Sometimes they do.

    A vision flooded Shelly’s brain, filling the space between her ears until she thought her consciousness would be torn apart:

    Eric, his face painted in gruesome mimicry of the masks on their apartment walls, holding a knife to a man’s hand and slicing deep, slicing to the bone, slicing each finger away from the hand and then holding them to the man’s face.

    “Where can I find them?” Eric demanded, using the severed fingers to draw figures in the blood pooling on a glass counter top. When the man didn’t answer, Eric shoved him back against the wall. “You answer me, scum, or I will make you eat the hand that feeds you.”

    “Won’t talk.” The man shook from the shock and drooped from the blood loss. “You think … think this is bad, this is nothing … what the boss gonna do ta me …”

    “Very well.” Eric threw the man aside as though he weighed nothing. “I suppose it’s time for dinner.”

    Shelly recoiled. Eric--her Eric--never let her kill so much as a spider, and his eyes--she had never seen eyes so dark, eyes so cold. Eyes missing something:


    Do you remember your final hours? the dove asked.

    “They burned,” Shelly managed to whisper. “There were men--they broke down the door, they … they shot Eric. They were on top of me, I was crying for him …” Her mind shut down around the thought. “Then I burned.”

    The dove flapped a restless circle above Shelly’s body. You were beaten. You were raped. He saw it all before he died. He was offered the chance to make those who hurt you suffer. That is the choice he made.

    The dove lighted on the grass. He is a man consumed by love, and humans are not meant to love so. When they do, they can become demons, and where we are going, there is no place for one with a soul so charred.

    “Then send me back!” Shelly exclaimed. “Send me back with him, I’ll help, I’ll--” Feed a man his fingers, Shelly remembered. Find a monster in my eyes. But she would, because surely burning again wouldn’t hurt so badly if she could burn beside him.

    Somehow the bird managed to look mournful. Dear, you would give up heaven? You would give up Elysium for him as he is giving it up for you?

    Shelly stood, her legs shaking. “Take. Me. Back.”

    That is not my realm. The dove came to land on Shelly’s shoulder. But if you can show me a part of him that is human--if you can show me that this love he manifests as violence is a pure love … Then perhaps I can make a deal with the Crow to bring your Eric to us.

    Shelly frowned. “What do you mean?”

    Start from the end, the dove advised, and tell me why you lived for this man, and why you would die again for him.

  2. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Your writing is just so lovely here - you have a poetic flare to your prose, and that in itself is just a pleasure to read. I am kind of hazy on this fandom as a whole, but the idea of seeing events from Shelly's eyes is beautiful and quite heartbreaking. The dialogue with the Dove was particularly interesting. :)

    I look forward to see where you take this. =D=
  3. jedi_of_ennth

    jedi_of_ennth Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 1, 2005
    Mira: Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. This franchise is still a bit hazy to me, as well, so this story is really my attempt to wrap my head around some things. I hated using something so cliched as a dove as a counterpart to the crow, but all the mythology I read associated the dove with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, which I thought was just too appropriate to ignore. :)


    Palms rise to the universe
    As we moonshine and molly
    Feel the warmth
    We’ll never die
    We’re like diamonds in the sky
    “Diamonds,” Rihanna


    “We should write our own vows,” Shelly insisted, looking up from the papers she had scattered around herself on the scuffed hardwood floor of their loft. “You’re a musician, honey, surely you can come up with something pretty.”

    Eric ducked out of the kitchenette long enough to shake his head and groan. “You’re going to kill me with this wedding stuff, aren’t you?”

    Shelly wrinkled her nose at him. “Oh, c’mon, all you’ve done so far is ask the band to be your best men and decided we should get married in October. On Halloween.” She rolled her eyes at him and unfolded her legs, pushing herself to her feet and crossing the distance between them.

    “Babe, I don’t know what to say,” he protested.

    She pressed herself up against him and walked her fingers up his chest to his lips. “No,” she corrected. “You’re just scared to say it in public, up in front of everyone.”

    His brow furrowed and he pulled her into his arms, resting his cheek on top of her head. “Maybe you’re right,” he whispered, his words muffled by her hair. He held her for a moment longer, swaying back and forth as though dancing to a music she couldn’t hear, then released her. He cupped her freckled cheeks in his big hands. “Okay. We’ll write them ourselves.”


    Three days later, Shelly returned home from work to find Eric parading around the apartment, two sheets of paper held over his head.

    “Finished my vows!” he announced gleefully, flourishing the papers in the air so Shelly could see the cramped handwriting that covered them.

    Shelly made a grab for his arm, but he laughed and ducked away.

    “Can’t hear them until the wedding!” he teased, waving them in front of her face and then snatching them away from her reaching fingers.

    She rolled her eyes playfully. “I just want to make sure you’re not including anything inappropriate--”

    Eric frowned and pretended to stare intently at his papers. “So I should cross out the part about you being an expert with your tongue and fingers, even in the most dubious environments?” He grinned wickedly. “Because the back of the van in the Trash parking lot was a pretty memorable part of our relationship, babe.”

    Shelly shrieked in mock horror and threw herself at him again, but he sidestepped her charge and lifted her off the ground. They toppled onto the bed, tangled up in one another, laughing.

    “Don’t worry,” he assured her, rolling over on his side and pushing a strand of hair out of her face. “I’m saving the parking lot reminiscences for the reception.” He laughed and rolled away before she could push him off the mattress and onto the floor.


    Shelly stared at the blank papers scattered around her on the bed. Blank. Blank like her mind. Tears welled up at the corners of her eyes and Eric was at her side in a second, as though he could always sense her discomfort.

    “Shh, babe, what is it?” he whispered, putting an arm around her and pulling her back against his chest.

    She shook her head. “It’s just … I made such a big deal about these vows,” she sniffed. “Now the wedding’s tomorrow, you’ve written yours, and I just … I haven’t written mine,” she confessed.

    Eric tried to stifle a laugh and Shelly turned to glare reproachfully at him. “This is important to me, okay?” she all but exploded, pulling away from him.

    “I know, I know,” he tried to pacify her. “But baby, it’s okay. You can just crib some song lyrics or a poem and no one will know.”

    Shelly shook her head. “Eric, that’s not the point.” She studied her fingers as they played with the flowered comforter. “The point is for me to tell everyone--me, not some anonymous lyricist or poet--how much I love you. But I don’t know how to say it.”

    Eric put his hands on her shoulders and turned her to face him. “Then you know what you’re going to do?”

    She raised an eyebrow.

    “You’re going to play it by ear,” he said decisively. “We’ll get to the altar and you’ll be in your dress and it’ll be just me and you, forever, and you’re going to tell me why--why you’re standing there, why you chose to make me the luckiest man in the universe.”

    Shelly balked. “I can’t--”

    “--but you’re going to,” Eric said firmly. “No rehearsing, nothing but what’s in here.” He slid one hand down over her heart. “You wanted me to write my vows, so I did. I want you to improvise.”

    Shelly smiled wanly. “Why do I let you talk me into these things?”

    Eric winked. “Because I give you cheap wine and sex, babe.” He waggled his eyebrows and stood, reaching for his leather jacket where it hung over the back of a chair.

    “In fact,” he said, shrugging the jacket over his broad shoulders, “I think I’ll make a run down to Discount Spirits right now and get you some of that Andre you love.”

    “Classy, baby.” Shelly made a face, then smiled. “I’ll run the bath.”

    He leaned down to kiss her goodbye. “Don’t forget the candles.”

    “I won’t,” she promised. He opened the door and she shook her head at his retreating back. “I love you, you know,” she called behind him.

    When he turned around, his grin was so broad it filled his face. “I love you too--my Mrs. Draven.”

  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    It really fit, I agree. I'm glad you chose to go with the dove, cliched or not. :)

    And this post was even more heartbreaking than anything else, because you know how it is all going to end. Their relationship was so sweetly portrayed here, and the thread of the wedding vows was just perfect.


    “You’re going to play it by ear,” he said decisively. “We’ll get to the altar and you’ll be in your dress and it’ll be just me and you, forever, and you’re going to tell me why--why you’re standing there, why you chose to make me the luckiest man in the universe.”
    was lovely. Just lovely. =D=

    I can't wait to see where you go next. :)
  5. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    This is so sweet! I didn't know anything about this universe until I read your stories, but I really like Shelley and Erik already! He seems so good to her. I hope, somehow, they get a happy ending together.
  6. jedi_of_ennth

    jedi_of_ennth Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 1, 2005
    Mira & NYC: Thank you so much for reading, even though you might not be familiar with the fandom. I would definitely recommend the graphic novel or the movie, but I've done my best to stay true to both, so feel free to rely on me for fandom information. :p ;)


    C’est la vie
    C’est la mort
    You and me
    -- “C’est la mort,” The Civil Wars

    Shelly stared dully at her hands. “That was the end,” she intoned, the emptiness in her throat nearly choking off her words.

    No, the dove corrected. It was also the beginning.

    It began to rain, a light mist turning the air around them into a kaleidoscope of damp greenery. Shelly looked up into the sky, idly noting the clouds now covering the stars. She plucked a clump of dirt from the ground and crushed it between her hands until it fell back to the earth in a soft rain of dust and grass.

    Another vision--

    One knife, he’s still breathing. One knife, one knife and he’s in pain.

    Eric laughed and plunged another knife into the dark man he had pinned to a stack of crates in an alleyway. Two knives, he’s whimpering. Two knives, two knives and he knows what it is to be penetrated against his will.

    Another knife, but not to kill: No, Eric needed the blood to flow, needed to leave a message in silhouette on the warehouse wall behind them. Needed them to know that he was the angel of death, that tonight they would all die.

    The fourth knife hit a major artery, but Shelly’s pain--oh, Shelly had felt all of it, and so should her attacker. The man begged, he cried, he made promises he could never keep.

    “Shelly begged,” Eric informed him, strangely calm. “Shelly begged you, Tin-Tin, and you kept cutting her. Shelly cried, and you kept piercing her.” He laughed bitterly. “Why would I grant a hypocrite his dying wish?”

    The next knife killed.

    Shelly bent to her hands and knees on the grass and dry-heaved. The dove paced back and forth in front of her, waiting for the sickness to subside.

    His task is death, the dove explained. He is rechristening your union with violence. He avenges it. You must prove its worth with something much less tangible.

    A pause. Shelly knew her hair was frizzing into a strawberry blonde halo around her head, and the idea that it even mattered to her brought forth a coarse, cynical giggle.

    Do you still love him? After what you’ve seen, can your memories save him?

    Shelly gritted her teeth and met the bird’s eyes. “I never told him my vows,” she hissed. “I never told him.”

    The dove tilted her head as though in understanding. What would you have me know next?

    Shelly closed her eyes and tilted her head into the rain. “I didn’t think true love existed. I didn’t think I would find one person I couldn’t live or die without. I did.”

  7. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    Go, Shelley! I'm so glad she still loves him, even after seeing what he's doing to avenge her.