Chapter 6: The Leaves Fall

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Barely Mortal Creations presents,

A Teller Skelton Story,

In Association with a short story my friends give me shit about,

My Life as the Father of the Devil

Chapter 6: The Leaves Fall

(Justin and Dom... You can kiss my ass.)

Cover Art by Teller Skelton

Although I will definitely be the first to admit that I have not always been a perfect parent, there was no hesitation taking the role of a single dad. From the moment I held Ember in my arms all my doubts fell away and I knew with complete certainty that I had found my purpose. I was in this world to guide her and help her become the best version of herself she could be. While I have always strived to be patient, understanding, and as good of a dad as possible; I can't help but wonder how much things would have been better with her mother here. I've done my best, but there is no doubt Autumn would have done it better. With Ember's birthday rapidly approaching and the prophecy that was supposedly gonna be unleashed that night... with her here we would be more ready. She wouldn't have had to know how to fix things cause she would have already done so.

Letting out a soft sigh, I looked down at the little shrine Ember and Kai had put together for Autumn. Candles flickered next to an assortment of photos and her most precious keepsakes. From her favorite necklace, a crescent moon on a silver chain, to a small green stone she had picked up on a camping trip we had taken right before we discovered she was pregnant with Em. She had called it her lucky stone as it was still in her pocket when she found out. In the center of the table next to a photo of us on our wedding day was a small, white faux rose that I had made from sting to give to her on our first date. It only took re-watching a tutorial three and a half dozen times and stabbing myself nearly double that to get it right. Despite the effort I felt like an idiot when I had given it to her. However to my surprise she lit up, treating the small flower like it was the most wonderful thing in the world. It wasn't even on the stem straight! But, she loved it. That was all that mattered. Really that was just Autumn. I've never in my life met someone as encouraging and supportive as her. She truly believed in the best parts of everyone and would thrown herself into making sure they learned to believe in themselves. Hell, once I wrote this shitty short story, (which is not self-deprecation. It's on Amazon if you want to see just how bad for yourself. I wouldn't, but you can.) 'The Leaves Fall', and every day after she got home from busting her ass being incredible at her job she would take the time to read the newest draft. Without fail she would smile like a fool as she read it and push me to keep working on it. She knew writing was my dream, and she was going to be damned if I let it slip away. Autumn made me want to be better. I don't think I'd be half the person I was without the combination of her, my Mom, and of course Em. Goddamn I'm a lucky guy to have had some of the most powerful human beings ever in my life. That's without even adding Maya to the mix. I couldn't be more thankful.

I felt someone bump their shoulder against me, as Ember wrapped her arms around mine. "Looks pretty good if I do say so myself," She said playfully as we looked down at the shrine.

Nodding, I kissed the crown of her head softly, "You two killed it this year. You're Mom would be so happy."

It had been sixteen years since she passed away. I had wanted to ensure that Ember not only learned about the amazing woman that was her mom, but also that we dedicated the anniversary of her death not to mourning her, but to honoring her memory. So each year we had a small celebration of her life and I would tell a different story about the time we had together. The other added bonus about this day was that it was quite possibly the only time a year that Fenrir wasn't a complete asshole. Instead he practiced the 'if you can't say anything nice' principal and sat quietly, curled up at Baldur's feet. It truly was a blessing.

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