The Bloomer Legacy: 9.88 Bright Light

Sera held the infant close to her chest, smelling the baby scent. Everything about Silas was so precious. She kissed his head softly. He’d been home for a few days, but she couldn’t get enough of him. And in that moment, it was as if it was only her and him in the room. In the world. She smiled. Her perfect little boy.

2

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth – the nursery was actually filled with family who’d come to meet the little one for the first time. Wide grins were spread across the elder’s faces; even though Sera was lost in a world of her own, all they needed to see was the little family and their happiness. Couldn’t get much better than that.

3

“Well, I suppose we’ll leave you three, you seem to have everything under control.” Yenn told Lorcan – she’d given up on trying to get much of a reaction from the enthralled Sera.

Pauline and Leo exchanged a nod. “It was wonderful to meet our latest grandchild. Expect us to be back soon.” Leo chuckled.

4

“Oh yes, of course, you’re all always welcome.” Lorcan managed to say. “Thanks for coming by.”

“Good to see you, as always.” Yenn gave him a brief hug. She turned to Sera. “Bye sweetie. You’re doing great with the little one.”

“Later, guys!” Sera glanced their way, clearly distracted. The older trio just laughed, headed for the door.

5

Pauline could barely contain her giddiness. “You’d think I’d be used to being a grandma now, but it never gets old.” She said contently. “Things get better and better with every grandbaby.”

“Here’s to many more!” Yenn agreed.

They all made their way downstairs, slowly strolling back home.

6

“They do make a cute little family, don’t they?” Leo commented. “All of our children are so grown up…”

“I know, I still remember when Sera was that small.” Pauline sighed. “And now she has a family of her own… It’s odd, isn’t it? When she was born, I already started thinking heirs and responsibilities and wondering if she’d carry on the legacy… I suppose there isn’t much of that obligation left now, is there?”

“No, thanks to you they each carry a piece.” Yenn agreed with a smile. “You’ve worked out a great way to take the pressure off while making sure Newcrest can be the strongest. And with their children and grandchildren, it will only grow better and better.”

7

“You really think so?” Pauline asked her aunt. “I know how much the Bloomer legacy has meant to you…”

Yenn gave her a knowing smile. “I’ve dedicated my lives to this legacy. But just because it’s no longer a legacy in the traditional sense doesn’t mean there’s less to it. There’s more, really. Our family has built a foundation so strong that it’s not only about us anymore. Newcrest… it’s so alive, don’t you think?”

Pauline’s face lit up. “I couldn’t agree more. I’m glad you think I made the right choice.”

“I know you did.” Yenn confirmed.

8

She meant it. And how poignant they were having this conversation right by the park where it all started… Yenn could almost sense the founder’s presence. She felt a strange… calling? Pauline and Leo almost seemed to be in another world for a brief moment. She looked towards the park.

“Why don’t you two go ahead?” She told the couple. “I think I might stop by the park on my way. I haven’t even seen the new wishing well yet.”

9

“Ah, you do know the wishing well is mainly symbolic?” Pauline reminded her with a small shrug.

“Have you met me?” Yenn laughed. “I’m all about the symbolic!”

The two women hugged.

“I’ll see you later, aunt Yenn.” Pauline smiled at the older woman.

“I’m sure you will, honey.” Yenn said wistfully.

10

She walked towards the wishing well, though she was almost not aware of making a conscious movement. It was as if she was floating towards it. With each step, she could feel her ancestors closer and closer.

11

She took in the beauty of the flowers surrounding her, the solid feel of the buildings in the distance. How would her predecessors have felt about this version of Newcrest, built after generations and generations of the family’s effort?

She felt a bizarre urge to go back in time to the fresh-faced Kirk digging in the soil next to his tent and show him all of this. It would have been right about here, where the well was, wouldn’t it?

12

But Yenn knew there was no such thing as going back in time. Newcrest only got to where it was because the family always looked ahead. Kirk included. He must have been the most clairvoyant of them all…

Yenn leaned over the edge of the well. She was getting distracted. She wasn’t here to ponder about the legacy’s founder. She was here to make a wish. Her eyes followed the penny as it left her hand and fell into the well.

13

The well’s response was a bright light. It came above the surface, briefly surrounding her and gently hugging her for a while before disappearing.

14

Yenn had never felt so light. She knew her wish had come true.

Turning to the stone face above the well, she waved at it in gratitude. She could have sworn the face was smiling.

15

“Thank you.” She whispered. Her arm slowly moved back down. It was an odd sensation; while her body seemed heavier and heavier, her spirit was lighter and lighter by the minute.

16

She came down on the ground, placing her hands against it. The plants growing, the insects buzzing about, she could feel it all. But was she still even there? Resting her head against the soft grass, she was ready to be at one with the soil beneath her.

17

And then she finally went to sleep.

18

19

20

21

22

Yenn had never seen Newcrest like this before. Perhaps most of her senses were gone, and her body was still down there, in the park, but her spirit was flying high in the sky. Was she getting further and further the higher and higher she rose? Or was she more at one with it all? She couldn’t decide.

23

As she few by Hallie’s orphanage, she realised none of the children were the ones that used to live there when the place first opened. Yenn wasn’t sure if she’d seen all of them before. Or if they’d already arrived. Now that she was gone, time seemed like a strange concept…

24

It was hard to determine if things had already happened, or would happen one day. But they felt certain. As did Hallie’s look of satisfaction when Yenn passed by. Hallie had found her purpose, Yenn was sure of it. She was sure of many things now….

25

She knew that some of the Newcrest heirs would stay in Newcrest forever, grounded in their roots, and making sure the city goes on.

And that some would conquer the world…

26

But moving on wasn’t a bad thing, as long as they’d remember where they came from. After all, Yenn was finally moving on herself, wasn’t she?

She hadn’t anticipated leaving the world behind would make everything so crystal clear. It was almost as if she could taste the future…

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

The woman in front of her was stunning. Yenn struggled to place her face at first. Or perhaps she didn’t want to. But as her features grew more and more solid, it was impossible to pretend she didn’t know who it was.

“You.” Yenn found it hard to convey her shock. “Why you?”

38

“Don’t worry, you’re not in hell.” Cassiel smirked. “The subconscious is a strange thing… Apparently you wanted to see me first. I was surprised too. Does this mean you’ve forgiven me? Your father has…”

39

A man appeared on Cassiel’s side. Or perhaps he’d been there all along? It was hard to say.

The memory of visiting him in that strange world came back to Yenn immediately. But then, was that world truly all that strange? Not much more so than what she was experiencing now…

40

“It’s good to see you again, Yennefer.” The man looked across to her. “What a sight. You’ve lead your tribe well.”

“So where were we on the original subject? Have you forgiven me then, sweet Yennefer?” Cassiel interrupted, almost mockingly. “I suppose I don’t really need an immediate answer though. After all, time is something we both have an abundance of, don’t we?” She cackled uncontrollably.

Before Yenn could decide what to make of it all, their faces faded away and were replaced by another.

41

Astrid. With the widest smile Yenn had ever seen on her face. She never looked so happy in her own time, Yenn thought sadly.

“But there’s no reason to be unhappy now.” Astrid told her. “It’s all gone. And I’m complete. If I’d listened to you more, I could have had a different life… but that’s ok. I’m happy now.”

Yenn didn’t have a lot of time to ponder over the bittersweetness of the encounter. Astrid disappeared too…

42

“Aunt Yenn!” The jolly looking man exclaimed. Though of course, in Yenn’s eyes, Monty would always be a boy. The adorable, good-natured boy with dimples in his cheeks. “It’s good to see you again…”

“Monty!” Yenn reached out for him, but he was gone already.

43

The pink-haired girl in his place seemed equally as happy to see her though.

Yenn was overcome with emotion. Her Liv. The closest thing to a daughter she’d ever had.

“What a ride, right?” Liv grinned. “You have to tell me all about it…”

She wanted to, but even Liv evaporated from sight, and was replaced by not one, but two people instead.

44

“Yenn! Finally, dude!” Booker scolded her jokingly. “We’ve been keeping your seat warm for far too long. You took your sweet time joining us…”

“Booker!” The woman on his side gave him a disapproving glare. She turned to Yenn. “Don’t mind him… I missed, sis!”

Yenn was overcome with emotion. “I missed you both too… so much!” She managed to utter. But they were both gone already.

45

“We’re so proud of you, sweetie.” The blonde woman in front of her told her.

“Of course, we always knew you could do great things.” The man added.

“Mom… dad…”

Yenn felt like a little girl. She hadn’t left the old sage woman behind, but in that very moment, she was so close to the little girl in her mother’s warm embrace…. Now that she’d passed away, could she pick which one she would be? Perhaps she was both.

46

“Hey, I never said our Yenn wouldn’t achieve great things!” Lilah said to her husband. “You’re the one that constantly worried about her!”

“I never worried!” Peter objected, tickling her briefly. “Not while you were with me…”

“Sentimental sap!” Lilah laughed.

Yenn felt a warmth rushing through her. If she still had a body, she would have cried. Her parents, just like she remembered them….

But she could already feel them slipping away too.

“No!” She yelled out. “Mom! Dad! Wait!”

It was no use. They were gone. She was now facing a couple she’d never seen before. Not in person, at least. She had of course come across their faces in pictures.

47

“So you’re Yennefer.” Isaac said to her. “I wasn’t sure what to expect…”

“You’re the one who believes in love beyond death.” The woman on Isaac’s side added in a matter-of-fact fashion. “So did we.”

Oh no. Yenn didn’t think it was possible to feel embarrassed after one’s death. “I’m SO sorry I wore your wedding dress when…”

“It’s more than ok.” Ruby shook her head. “It’s not like I was using it… You wore it well.”

She smiled as they both disappeared like the others.

And then there he was. Kirk.

48

“Yennefer. Good to finally meet you.” He told her. “I guess I owe you a big thank you. Not sure where my legacy would have gone without you…”

“No need to thank me at all.” Yenn replied. “You’ve set it all on a strong foundation. It was your vision. We all just followed. Newcrest… it’s yours.”

“Not more than yours.” Kirk shrugged. “I’m just a guy with a tent.”

“So… I guess it all ends where it began?” Yenn remarked. “With you. It’s fitting, isn’t it?”

“You’re a smart woman.” Kirk said. “But you’re not quite right about this one. You see, there is one more person left for you to see…”

Ruby’s voice echoed from somewhere that sounded muffled, but she could still make out the words.

“You’re the one who believes in love beyond death.”

49

It was him. After all these years. Yenn didn’t know what to feel anymore. All she knew was that she’d waited for too long to see him again.

50

“Welcome home, Yenny.” Ethan said to her, his voice filled with warmth.

His hand was reaching towards her, all she needed to do was grab it.

It seemed that he was already fading away too, much like the others.

“No!” Yenn yelled. “I’m not letting you disappear!”

His arm was reaching closer. She willed herself closer towards him. Body or no body, dead or alive, she didn’t care.

Everything turned into bright light.

51

52

53

54

Author’s note: If you’re still reading now, you’re wonderful! Thank you for joining me along on this journey that took me well over a year and a half! Every one of you is amazing.

I’m doing a bit of an FAQ in the honour of finishing the legacy, so ask me anything. If there’s ever been anything you’ve been wondering about the legacy, now is the time to dig deep! I would love to hear your thoughts and will do my best to answer your questions – if I get enough I will make a whole separate Q&A post. Whether you’re an old reader or a new reader, or never commented on the story before? I would love to hear from you. Just make a comment below or on my thread on the forums. Regardless of whether you do leave a comment or not, thank you for sticking around and taking time to read the story. We wouldn’t have gotten here without you!

The Bloomer Legacy: 9.87 This is our Newcrest

Sera attempted to stretch her achy back, but to no avail. She couldn’t help but smile though. Her back wouldn’t hurt for much longer, she thought. The baby would be here any day now.

2

Everything was ready. They’d added a second floor to the meditation retreat, creating a small apartment for their new family. She and Lorcan figured it would make sense for them to simply move there since they were spending the majority of their time at the retreat anyway. They hoped the new living arrangement would make things as smooth as possible when the little one arrived.

“I thought you’d left already,” Sera’s husband emerged from the house.

3

“I meant to,” she laughed. “But I’m slower and slower every day.”

“You mean more and more beautiful every day.” Lorcan corrected her smoothly, placing his hand on her baby bump. “I love to see how our little boy’s growing.”

“You’re too good to me. If it wasn’t for you, I would have gone insane by now.” She gave him a grateful smile. “I do really have to go now.”

4

“Don’t keep your siblings waiting on my account.” Lorcan replied. “I need to get ready for the next yoga class anyway.”

“Don’t let Destiny gawk at you too much.” Sera giggled. “I’ll see you later!”

Lorcan chuckled softly. He glanced over his shoulder briefly before returning back into the house. The sight of his heavily pregnant wife headed for the park filled him with warmth.

He barely ever woke up angry these days, but on the off days he did, all he had to do was remind himself of the charmed life he’d been given.

5

Sera spotted the new wishing well immediately. The others were already there.

“Hi guys!” She waved at them from the distance. “Sorry I’m late! I’m sure I’ll be more mobile once I’m not basically a giant walking balloon…”

“Don’t worry, I’ve been there,” Carly laughed. “And you haven’t missed much.”

6

“Look at you!” Hallie exclaimed. “When was it that you were due again?”

“I’d say any minute.” Vito said with a laugh, giving Sera a quick nod.

“I’m sure I can spare a few minutes,” Sera smirked. She turned her attention to the newest addition to the park.

7

“So, this is it, huh?” Sera looked the well up and down. “Pretty grand, I’ve got to say.”

“It’s definitely not subtle.” Carly agreed. “I still can’t believe we were able to get one of these for our little time. I wasn’t even entirely sure they really existed…”

“Even though it was your husband that got the thing sorted?” Hallie was amused.

“If something can be found, Ralph will find it, you’ve got to give him that.” Carly shook her head. “In totally legitimate ways, he assures me.”

“I’m sure it’s fine.” Vito told her firmly. “So anyway, who should do the honours and make the first wish?” He swiftly changed the subject.

8

“Do you guys think it actually works?” Hallie asked. “I figured it was mainly symbolic…”

Sera glanced at the stone face above the well with a thoughtful smile. “Of course it’s symbolic… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.”

“Are you gonna give it a go?” Vito asked her.

Sera’s hand instinctively gravitated to her belly. She gave it a gentle stroke. “Hmm, I don’t know… I can’t think of anything to wish for. I already have everything I could ask for. Well, I will do, once little Silas is born.” She smiled.

“Silas McCoy.” Hallie said, seemingly lost in thought. She paused briefly before continuing. “I’ve been thinking lately… this well, it’s our last contribution to the legacy, isn’t it?”

Carly nodded. “Time to let the offspring take over, isn’t it? And of course, the children from your orphanage.”

9

Hallie looked at them uncertainly. “Yes, but… it’s different now, isn’t it? I mean, remember when Pauline sat us down to have the heir talk, back when we were teenagers?”

“I try not to,” Sera laughed awkwardly. “Wasn’t one of my best moments…”

“You weren’t as graceful as you are now then, no.” Hallie let out a soft laugh. “But you weren’t wrong when you questioned it. I was never a Bloomer. It came to my mind so many times over the years, before I figured out how to contribute to the legacy in my own way.”

“Hallie… This is ancient history!” Sera objected. “Please tell me you don’t believe I still think like that! I’m not even a Bloomer myself anymore!”

“That’s exactly my point.” Hallie looked around. “Your son will have Lorcan’s last name. Aslan never took Vito’s. And all of Carly’s kids are called after Ralph. So when you’re talking about the new generation taking over… Haven’t you guys ever thought about it?”

10

Vito’s face grew serious. He sighed. “I’ve thought about it a lot. I’ve just… never said it out loud. Because it would make it sound like we failed. But you’re right, Hallie. The three of us here are the last three Bloomers Newcrest will know. After all these generations.”

They stood in silence for a moment.

Carly was the first one to speak up.

11

“Well I for one don’t think we’ve failed.” She shrugged. “If anything, we’ve followed through with everything mom taught us that day when we had the talk. Each of us have helped make the town better, each of us have carried the legacy, regardless of what we’re called. Remember that exhibition Vito had a few years back, to honour the legacy?”

“This is our Newcrest.” Vito thought back on the exhibition’s name.

“Exactly.” Carly nodded eagerly. “As long as there are people who want to keep making the town better, nothing is lost. Bloomer is just a name. It doesn’t make a difference. McCoy, Leoni, Forrester… It’s all the same. This is our Newcrest.” She smiled broadly.

12

“You’re right,” Sera nodded. “The names don’t matter. Besides, Vito could always have another kid. Weren’t you voted Newcrest’s most eligible bachelor the other day?” She nudged her brother playfully.

“Very funny,” Vito shook his head with a laugh. “I don’t think I could handle another Aslan. You’ll see for yourself soon enough, Sera. Kids are a handful… I don’t know how Hallie copes with looking after seven of them at a time.”

13

“Sometimes I don’t know myself.” Hallie grinned. “But seriously though… I’m glad you guys feel that way. About the Bloomer thing.”

“You’ve never been less of an heir than we are.” Carly told her. “And what you’ve done for Newcrest was the best build of all.”

“I’d like to think that Newcrest will give the orphans a future, and they’ll then give a future to Newcrest.” Hallie smiled softly. She shook her head. “But enough of being cheesy. We’re talking like we’re ancient… So what about that wishing well?”

14

“Now that I think about it, I’m with Sera on this one.” Vito said. “I don’t really need to wish for anything. I’ve got an amazing son, a thriving photo studio, awesome sisters… plus, I also happen to be Newcrest’s most eligible bachelor.” He winked.

They all laughed.

“I feel the same,” Carly nodded. “Well, aside from the bachelor thing.” She giggled. “Our little family has been doing so great, and the store’s never been better either.”

“So you’ve made peace with Hope’s modelling plans?” Vito asked.

15

“Hope is not a force that can be stopped.” Carly said proudly. “She’s too much like her father. If travelling’s what she really wants… well, let’s hope Sadie and Graham will stay in Newcrest.” She smiled. “As long as Hope doesn’t forget where she came from, she’ll be fine.”

“I guess that leaves you Hals.” Vito looked at Hallie. “Are you gonna make a wish?”

“And break the little circle we have going? I don’t think so.” Hallie shook her head. “I guess we’re all boring, can’t think of a single good wish.”

16

“Hey, I think I’ve got one,” Sera raised her hand. Everyone’s heads turned towards her. “I’d like for this to become a regular occasion. Why don’t we make this an annual thing? Meet here by the wishing well every year and evaluate how things are? As heirs. As siblings. As friends.”

“I like that.” Hallie agreed.

“So do I.” Carly joined in.

17

“Me too.” Vito nodded. “But surely we don’t need to make a wish for that to happen. Let’s just all agree to do this every year.”

“Agreed.”

“Agreed.”

“Agreed.”

18

Vito gave the three women a warm smile. “I guess the four of us haven’t done all that poorly after all, huh?”

***

19

Sera slowly made her way up the stairs. “I’m home!” She called out.

“Did you have a good time with the others?” Lorcan greeted her.

“I did, yes!” She exclaimed. “It was one of those rare moments. Synchronicity.”

“Oh really?” Lorcan was intrigued. “I guess that’s why you’re glowing even more than usual these days.”

20

“You think? I feel particularly disgusting at the moment.” Sera laughed. “And Silas won’t stop moving…”

“Let me have a feel.” Lorcan felt the baby fidgeting. “He does seem rather excited in there.”

21

“Aagh!” A sharp cry escaped Sera’s lips. “Actually, I think he seems more excited to get out of there…”

“Oh! Wow… let me grab our things…”

Sera had often wondered if Lorcan would keep his cool when it came to this moment. She always joked he was sure to lose it. Now that it got to it, he seemed excited but calm. Damn his perfect ways, she thought. Did he not feel the panic that was flooding over her?

22

“Lorcan, wait!” She almost yelled. “What if… what if I’m a terrible mother? What if I say something awful to him? What if he grows to hate me…”

“Shhh.” Lorcan stopped in his tracks, wrapping Sera’s hand in his.

23

“He’ll love you, how could he not?” He looked into her eyes. “And I know you will be an amazing mother. Because you’re an amazing person. Don’t forget that.” He kissed her forehead. “Now, let’s not keep him waiting.”