Author’s note: As this is one of my favorite stories, I couldn’t resist another epilogue. In my opinion, Hellboy II; The Golden Army, which gives little clue as to the year the story is taking place, can’t be dated too far past the end of the first film. It is my personal opinion that the year that the action is taking place in the second movie is 2005, so that by the time you get to this current year any children Liz would have given birth to would be somewhere between 2 and 3 years old. On Halloween this year I saw the cutest kids of that age range in the most adorable costumes and I couldn’t resist adding to my little Halloween story.
—A Post-Golden Army Epilogue
Friday, October 31, 2008
Linda noted, as the years passed by, that each Halloween brought less and less children to her door with their shouts of ‘trick or treat’ and their adorable costumes. These days, security concerns were paramount and many parents took their children to specially designated parties rather than taking them around door-to-door. Still, there were some parents who preferred to keep up the Halloween traditions of their youth. Linda’s brightly decorated house was always a favorite stop in their quest to make their children’s Halloween special.
A bit later in the evening than she would have expected for a parent bringing around younger children, her doorbell rang. Upon opening her door, she discovered a woman with shoulder-length dark hair, who looked to be in her early thirties. Holding her hand was a little boy, dressed in an obviously homemade Superman costume that, even though it seemed to have been taken in, was still quite a bit too large for him. The costume and accompanying rubber mask looked oddly familiar to Linda.
Just as these thoughts crossed her mind, a large man came up behind the woman. He was the same man who had come to Linda’s door three years earlier, with his bright red skin, tail, sawed-off horns, and huge right hand. Holding his normal-sized left hand was a little girl, whose delicate features and long, dark hair broadcast that she was the daughter of the woman holding the boy’s hand.
The girl was dressed in what appeared to be a drastically re-sized black evening gown that had probably once belonged to the woman. A matching scarlet-lined cape covered over anything else that could be seen of the girl and, like the boy, she was wearing gloves. Both of the children were carrying plastic buckets in the shape of Halloween pumpkins.
Before Linda had the chance to completely take in what she was seeing, the little boy shouted, “Wanna Baby Ruth!”
“Trevor, what did I tell you?” hissed the woman, “Just take what the nice lady offers.”
Linda couldn’t help laughing. “I always keep a supply of Baby Ruth bars on hand, just in case certain boys turn up at my door.” She pulled two of the candy bars out of the bowl she was holding and handed them to the boy who was obviously named Trevor. He placed them in his bucket.
“And what would this pretty little lady want?” Linda moved toward the young girl, who seemed a bit more timid than the boy and shrank a little closer to the man whose hand she held.
The man smiled down at the girl. “Don’t worry, Katie, she’s a really nice lady.”
Katie let go of his hand and moved toward Linda, who lowered the bowl down toward her.
“Want that one,” she almost whispered as she took a miniature Almond Joy out of the bowl and then at Linda’s gesture she took another one.
“Now, Trevor and Katie, what do you say to the nice lady?” the man said.
“Thank you,” they both spoke up at the same time.
As the girl dropped the candy in her bucket and went back to the man’s side, Linda couldn’t help noticing that her cape had become slightly askew. The man quickly readjusted it, but not before Linda thought she saw, peeking out from the costume, something most children would not usually have.
Looking up into the man’s golden-yellow eyes, Linda could read conflicting emotions, pride combined with a touch of fear. She had been around for long enough in this life to understand both the pride and the fear; and hated how some would make this man’s children feel ostracized or even worse.
After his last visit, Linda had done some digging around on the Internet and believed she had figured out who this large, red man was. For her part, she was proud that the one they called ‘Hellboy’ felt connected enough to her to want to bring his family to meet her.
“This must be the wife you mentioned to me three years ago and these are obviously your children. They’re just adorable.”
As Linda dug two more Baby Ruth bars out of her bowl and handed them to Hellboy, the fear faded from his eyes, but the pride remained. “Yeah, they’re not bad for kids. At least when they’re behaving the way they should.” With a smile, he shoved the two candy bars in a pocket of his coat.
“We’re good, aren’t we, Mummy,” Trevor spoke up.
“Sure, we’re real good,” Katie agreed.
“Well, pretty good,” the young woman smiled down at her children. “Although, over-heated children do become cranky and I don’t like being too hot myself. Red should’ve reminded me that New Mexico is twice as hot as home. I could’ve packed some different clothes.”
“Is home still Newark?” Linda recalled the city having been mentioned the last time she met Hellboy.
“Nah, it’s Northern Ireland now,” he replied. “It’s a kinda long story why Liz and I are there, but it’s a great place to bring up the twins. I still freelance in my old job once in a while and I sometimes need to come around to check up on my father’s property. I thought you’d like to meet the wife and kids.”
“I’m delighted that you wanted to show them off to me. Would you like to come in for a while?”
Hellboy shook his head. “We’d love to, but we have to fly to Newark tomorrow to check some things out there before we go back to Northern Ireland.”
While Linda watched the family walking away, she couldn’t help thinking of the man and his young son she had met fifty-nine years earlier. Even though Linda only met this man once, she could tell just how much he cared for the boy he had been raising.
As she recalled this, she thought she saw this same man walking alongside Hellboy and his family; just as she had, for a brief moment three years before, thought she had seen him walking beside the grown son who had been still grieving his father’s death. Unfortunately, this man had not lived long enough to see his son’s children. Yet, as Linda watched what appeared to her to be five people walking together, she understood that there were some families that even death could not separate.
Author’s afterword: I couldn’t resist adding another epilogue to my little Halloween story, giving some idea of what I think the twins might be like. As Hellboy is actually half human, my idea is that his children will look more human than he does. I once encountered in a restaurant a three-year-old boy who conversed in more accurate grammar than most adults. I have patterned the twins dialogue after the way this little boy talked. In my opinion, with the fact that Hellboy was supposed to have been highly intelligent as a child and with Liz as their mother, these twins could be quite precocious. I can’t wait to see what Guillermo del Toro actually has in mind for Liz and Hellboy’s offspring.
Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome.
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