The elegy of broken hearts – fanfiction by Refugnic

Sometimes, if you walk by the oceanside by yourself while the sun sets, you can hear them.
The countless broken hearts, lost in the tides of time, murmuring their elegy as the waves crash against the shore.

However you have to be really quiet, because they are hard to hear and are easily drowned out by even just the sound of your own thoughts.
It is said, that it is this murmuring, that acts like a siren’s call. It calls out to all those broken hearts that are yet stuck within people, awakening a yearning within them.
To join them in their elegy. To bond with them in eternity.
To allow the flood to take the pain and the hurt away.

So heed my advice, who you read this message I have left for those who would follow me.

Never walk the beach alone, especially not if you have an aching heart beating in your chest. For the siren’s call will reach out to you and promise you a false salvation in the cold, dark, damp embrace of the watery death.

Ada had read the message she had found in a bottle washed to the shore a few days ago a number of times now. She had talked about it with her friends and even a few colleagues, but all just told her to throw it away, that it clearly was a nutcase who had written this note, but somehow, deep within her heart, Ada wasn’t so sure.

There was something about this letter, that piqued her interest. Maybe it was the salty smell of the oceans, maybe it was the words dripping with an untold sadness or maybe it was just her mind, which longed for an adventure, an escape from the world that would refuse to understand her.

She really didn’t care. But she wanted to know.
She wanted to know, whether the person, who had written this letter had just been pulling her leg or if there was truth to his words.

And thus, at sundown, she ventured to the beach. The autumn gales had picked up and drove away the warmth of the setting sun, making Ada freeze a little in her light white dress.

She wandered along the beach, her dress fluttering in the wind, sending chills up and down her spine, trying to make out the murmuring the letter spoke of, but as she walked, the only noise she could hear were her steps crunching the sand under her shoes, the noise of the waves gently drifting against the shore.

Sunset

She was just about to turn around and curse her own foolishness when she noticed that she wasn’t alone on the beach after all.

A little ways away from her, a young man stood, his black jacket fluttering in the wind as he stared out into the distance, his eyes seemingly searching for something.
He was fairly short for a guy and about Ada’s height, and his stature and demeanor gave off an overwhelming loneliness that could only be described as eerie.

Ada hurried to make her way past the stranger, when the wind caressed her already cold bare skin once again and caused her to sneeze.

“A-A-Achoo!” her voice broke through the silence, causing the young man to look up and turn around, his empty eyes looking at Ada.
“I-I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to…” Ada started, flustered at her mishap, but the young man merely replied, “It’s cold…you’ll catch a cold like that.”

Ada quickly recovered and asked, “Yeah? So what’s it to you? Maybe I like being cold!”
“Nobody likes the cold…” the young man replied with a monotone voice.
He was just about to turn back around, when his eyes fell on the letter in Ada’s hand.

He looked back into Ada’s face and asked, “You…found my letter?”
“I found your…wait, you wrote this?!”
“I had to warn them. Warn them all from wandering the beach alone. Yet here you are. Tell me, what makes you hurt so much, that you would disregard my warning so carelessly?”

The young man took a step towards Ada, who stepped back and into a defensive position, shouting, “Don’t come any closer you creep! I’ll scream! I swear it!”
“None would hear you. It is too cold to come to the beach these days. But do not fear. I have no intention to harm you.”
The young man walked towards Ada and when he came within striking range, Ada closed her eyes and threw a punch straight ahead, which hit nothing but air.

Ada’s opened her eyes again, but the strange young man was gone.
Suddenly she felt something on her shoulders as he placed his jacket on her, went back to the front and said, “You must be cold.”
“T-thank you…” Ada stuttered, blushing slightly before asking, “But what about you? Aren’t you going to be cold now?”

The young man smiled with a deep sense of bitterness and replied, “I have grown accustomed to the cold. This is nothing.”

He as just about to return to his spot, when Ada grabbed his hand from behind and said, “No, that just won’t do. A little down is a small diner. How about it, wanna grab a bite?”
The young man looked at Ada’s hand holding his own for multiple seconds while something in his eyes flickered to life.

Eventually he turned around and said with a genuine smile, “That would be nice.”
“Good, come along then. But just so we’re clear, this is just…”
“Food, I know. Still, I appreciate it…unfortunately…I don’t have any money on me.”

Ada raised an eyebrow and eventually shook her head, “Don’t worry about that. It’s my treat tonight.”
“Why…are you being so nice to me?”
“Nice? I tried to punch you!”
“You were just afraid that I would hurt you. Why did you change your mind?”
“Eh, I guess I’m crazy like that. People sure seem to think that. But you know, most people just don’t bother to try to get me. So I know what it’s like to be on your own. Us outsiders have to stick together, ya know?”

Ada and the young man, who eventually introduced himself as Ivan Azarov headed over to the diner, where Ada gleefully ordered two burgers and a cup of coffee for the both of them.

While they were waiting for their food, Ada asked, “Okay Ivan…you come here often?”
“Yeah, somewhat often. I like watching the sun go down over the hills and how the light plays with the water.”

Ada looked out towards the ocean, where the sun was continuing its descent into the ocean, marveling at the colors it painted the waves in, momentarily getting lost in the sight.

She only broke free, when the waitress brought them their food and asked if she would like anything else, which Ada denied politely.

After the waitress went away and Ada began digging into her burger, Ivan suddenly said, “This is nice.”
“What if?” Ada mumbled, struggling to keep her bite inside her mouth.
“Sitting here like this. I had almost forgotten how nice it is to have company.”

After swallowing, Ada laughed, “I have a Goth at work who’s a lot like you! Maybe you two could go out on an actual date, being all depressed and sinister and stuff. Cheer up, Ivan! It’s a beautiful evening. And chow down, your burger’s getting cold!”

Ivan looked back at Ada, how she basically devoured her burger and smiled.
Ada noticed it from the corner of her eye and blushed again, this time from embarrassment.
After swallowing again, she said, “Usually my table manners are better, I swear!”

Ivan laughed, “That’s quite alright, Ada. It’s a delight to sit here with you.”
Ada pointed to the burger and the cup of coffee standing before Ivan and asked, “I was serious when I said it was my treat. Now eat up or I’ll hit you! This time for real!”

Ivan laughed again, but just continued to stare at the setting sun before saying, “I believe it is about time for me to get going.”
“Hey, now wait just a darn second!” Ada enraged herself, as Ivan got up and wanted to leave, when the waitress suddenly approached her and asked, “Honey, are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, it’s just this guy…” Ada started and hurled around back to where Ivan should have been, but there was nobody there. Just an empty seat and an empty table.
Confused, Ada asked, “Miss…what did I order again?”
“One burger and one coffee, dear…are you sure you’re alright?”

Ada sat back down, her head spinning with thoughts.
Was she going crazy?
Was she being delusional?
Was she just dreaming?

The waitress was just about to turn around and call for a doctor, when Ada said, “No, I’m fine. It’s just…I’ve been under a lot of pressure at work lately. Must be getting to me. I’d like to pay. Thanks.”
The waitress gave Ada a stern and worried look, but eventually did as Ada asked and after Ada paid, she wanted to leave.

However just when she was about to go, her foot brushed against cloth on the ground.
She picked it up and recognized it as the jacket Ivan had given her.

Ada considered asking the waitress, where the jacket came from, but from the looks she gave her, Ada already knew that she wouldn’t like the answer.
She put it on and went home, taking a long, hot shower before going to bed.

She didn’t speak about what happened to anyone, however one evening, after coming home from another stressful day at work, her eyes fell on the jacket still hanging over the wardrobe.

A smile crept on her face, she dressed into the same white dress she had worn that day, bound little pigtails into her hair and headed out to the beach, taking in the crunching sound of the sand beneath her feet, the cawing of the gulls and the murmuring of the ocean not too far from her.

As she walked, something like a whisper was carried by a gentle wind to her ear.
It was just three words, but they still made her smile.

“Thank you, Ada.”

A little before her feet, the tide washed a small, empty bottle ashore.
Ada pulled out the letter, picked up the bottle, unplugged it, shoved the letter inside and said, “Until we meet again, eh Ivan?” before throwing it back into the sea with all her might.

She never saw him again, but each time she watched the sunset over the ocean, she would remember his smile and hope to meet again. Even if it was only on the other side.

Author: Refugnic
See this short story on Deviantart.

14 comments on “The elegy of broken hearts – fanfiction by Refugnic”

    • Refugnic Reply

      You are most welcome. Thank you for inspiring me.

      Heh, I think I’ll do this more often. I get free beautiful illustrations for my stories and you get free stories for your illustrations! It’s a win-win. 😀

      • NotImportant NotImportant

        Until I finally freak out that you produced more content than me and characters you have created are more vivid that the ones in the comic xD

      • Refugnic

        I do think that I’ve already produced about 50+ % of the fanarts you’ve received so far, so yeah…I am an active little bugger. 😀
        Though I doubt that I’ll be able to produce more content and especially more vivid characters than you, simply because a single picture tells more than a thousand words. And that’s a whole lot of single picture (each panel being one) I’d need to catch up on. 😀

        Regarding the vividness…well, I’m trying my best, but I do think that I have a whole lot of practicing to do before I can write a fanfic that overshadows the original and at that point it’s not a fanfic any more, but much rather an original piece ‘loosely inspired by Replay’.

        So yeah, no need to worry about that.

        Plus, even if (and that’s a big if) I manage to write that absolutely uber-fanfic, you have two options to go about it.
        You can either be sad, that my work has overshadowed yours…or you can be happy, because it was your work that made me write it.

        Quite personally, I’d appreciate it, if you’d do the second. 🙂

      • NotImportant NotImportant

        One picture doesn’t tell a thousand words, at least I don’t believe that saying. And I am sometimes envious that you can quickly show so much, while in the comic Ada or any other character voiced few of their thoughts and it’s going to be a long journey until I’m be able to show all their complexity… (╥﹏╥)
        If my drawings could portray those characters so perfectly, you would have been able to predict ideally what they would say and do, but you don’t. Your Ada is very different from the one I’m trying to introduce. So no, drawing doesn’t say so much, I’m afraid ¯\_(シ)_/¯

      • Refugnic

        It does tell a thousand words, however these words are different for everyone who looks at it. It’s all about the personal perception, and what the observer makes of it. There are actually a million words hidden within every picture, every single stroke of color tells a story of its own. What I am doing, is putting my perceptions of the world you are creating into a fixed form. I am putting down the thousands of words your pictures tell to me.

        I know I will probably never get them just right, because my perception is so different from your imagination. We simply tick differently. If we were given the same problem to solve using software, we would probably use vastly different approaches. None of these approaches is ‘wrong’, just like how my perceptions vs. your imagination make either of us ‘wrong’. With time and effort, I may be able to learn more about your characters (if you’d shell out more information, I could put in more effort and less time :P) and get them better with every single bit of trivia.

        But yes, the variations between ‘my’ Ada and ‘your’ Ada are an indicator that either :
        a) I am not as good a writer as you make me out to be.
        b) I am lacking information (which is probably part of the problem)
        c) My personal creativity drives me to create something original.

        Personally, I think it’s a combination of b and c (how’s that for self-esteem ;P).
        After all, if I portrayed your characters perfectly, I would be doing nothing but copying you. (Aside from being plain creepy)
        And may I be so blunt to ask…would you actually want that? Me creating ‘copies’ of your work? Or much rather continue like I did, putting my very own, personal spin on the information I have?

        Regarding the jealousy issue…well, they are completely different art forms, as we already established a while ago.
        The fun fact of the matter is, while a picture tells more than a thousand word, a single sentence can also invoke a picture in the mind of the reader.

        A good story can become a movie in the head of the reader, taking him on a journey to a far distant land.

        So yeah, a story can be worth a thousand pictures all the same (at 60 pictures per second to create a fluent motion for our eyes, you can imagine how long that movie would last :P), but that’s the issue I, and all writers are facing. And it’s also something most visual artists are actually struggling with.

        People look at the artwork, but that’s it. They don’t ask for the backgrounds, they don’t wonder why the character acts the way they do, what drives them etc.
        I do. I do wonder these things. It’s one of the things that make me a writer. A dreamer. The very person I am. And I can’t stop it either. I don’t want to stop either. And I’m rambling again! 😀

        *Ahem*, either way, your drawings tell me stories. They just may not be the stories you imagined. But that’s perfectly fine.
        Because they are my stories. My little presents for you and the world. If they were exactly how you envisioned them, that would either make them your stories, wouldn’t it?

        And one day, once the comic has progressed sufficiently far and I actually get to know the characters, their little quirks and specialties, I just may get them right. But always with that little, personal spin. 🙂

        I trust that’s alright? 😉

      • NotImportant NotImportant

        Ehh, you twisted everything I tried to say so badly, that I completely lost the will to explain my feelings. You have strayed too far for me to be able to continue the conversation… xD
        But you are wrong, I’d rather you portrayed the characters as I have envisioned them, just invent your own setting. That’s way I am constantly telling you to WAIT, but you are a very impatient guy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • Refugnic

        You do remember that I’m a writer, right? Twisting words and thoughts to fit the plot is kinda my job.
        I’m sorry that I made you feel uncomfortable with that though, it was not my intention. Despite everything I’ve said, I am terrible at explaining my own feelings. 😛

        Eh…well, I guess I’ve really got a lot more practicing to do (did I already mention that I’m basically terrible at creating fanart?)
        And I am not ‘inventing my own setting’, I am sticking to whatever you give me to work with.

        Regarding the waiting…patience was never my strong point and it never will be.
        Furthermore, you as a fellow artist should know how it feels, when inspiration decides to come rapping at your chamber door. 😛

      • NotImportant NotImportant

        Of course I know how it’s like when inspiration strikes, but I still don’t grab a brush and paint on someone else’s unfinished portrait, even if I want to 😀

      • Refugnic

        I don’t either. There’s more than enough fresh canvas to work with after all. Ruining the picture someone else is making or has made would be plain rude after all.

  1. drakwithout Reply

    well that felt like having teeth pulled, i like the imagery though

    dialogs a bit choppy, not that i could do better

    • Refugnic Reply

      I’m assuming you didn’t like this particular fanfic then? Would you mind telling me, what exactly irked you?
      You know, so I can pay attention to it next time.

      Choppy, hm? Quite personally, I don’t see it, but I have been mistaken before.
      I assume you would have liked longer dialogs?

      Oh and thanks for reading it, despite apparently not liking it all that much. 🙂

    • Refugnic Reply

      Oh, I misunderstood you then. I’m glad you liked it then. 🙂

      Hmm…I’ll try to pay closer attention to it then next time, thanks for your input. 🙂

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