Authors Notes: Death of a Simpson began as a small segment in a much broader storyline that I really liked and decided to go back and flesh out. This is my first attempt at Fan Fiction so forgive me for the length. I don't know any better. I found Homer the most difficult to write for; I went for canon circa Seasons 4-6, this was a conscious decision. Otherwise it rapidly would've degenerated into the more recent "Shrieking Homer" and I think the overall quality of the story is better for it. Maggie was definitely the most interesting to write for, however, because she's pretty much left blank (exempting the future-centric episodes and her occasional affinity for firearms...). I was satisfied with the direction her characterization took and being the oldest of three boys, I'm about as far from being in her situation as possible. The rest of the characters were pretty easy to fall into because I either felt close to them emotionally or I knew someone in my life to base them off of. Watching 3-4 hours of the show almost daily might've had some influence too.
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Outside the evening sky darkened prematurely as thick roiling clouds quickly massed for what was bound to be an epic storm. Deep inside herself, Lisa couldn't be bothered enough to get up and close her open window. "Good," she thought darkly, "I could use a nice cleansing rain."
Instead, she scanned her room with new eyes and saw just how empty it really was. It was true, she noted, there was nothing to reflect her personal life except for the meticulously maintained medals and trophies she had chosen to pursue rather than a real, active social life. But she had her reasons. People bored her, people could fail (They proved that on a daily basis!) and there was nothing she could do about that. These awards, though, represented the one thing she had come to rely upon over the years, herself.
"But, oh, how hollow those successes are," she came to realize as she balefully tore her eyes from them, "when there is no one to share them with!" All she really wanted was true companionship, a bond with another person that she could reliably fall back on. Okay, sure her mother and father were there for her, but she desperately sought acceptance from someone her own age. Alex and Janey might fit the bill but they, too, had proven themselves to be human over the years.
"Allison." Lisa thought, then recalled with a frown, "But she's usually so condescending these days!" She had to know that she wasn't alone in a world that was spiraling wildly out of control. These days she couldn't pick up a newspaper or watch the news without being outraged at one thing or depressed by the next. It was overwhelming to her innocent, youthful optimism.
Lisa's eyes finally settled on the one thing in her room that radiated any kind of warmth, her desk. For years she had retreated there to lick her wounds after a fight or pour her soul out onto paper for the entire world to see. She even practiced playing her saxophone in front of the mirror that sat on top of it.
Sluggishly she got up and wandered over to the desk, her final sanctuary. In the peripheral reaches of her mind Lisa dimly registered the gathering strength of the storm outside, making the air positively crackle with its pre-rain excitement.
Maggie watched her sister's self-inflicted torment from her lofty perch in the old tree house above the back yard. The longer she sat, the less she found she sympathized with Lisa. Her overriding thought being, "C'mon Lisa, you're stronger than this!" Presently, however, that was being muted as she considered if, in fact, Lisa was.
Looking up at the angry blackish-yellow sky, Maggie sighed and found she could watch no longer. She reached into a pocket of her well-worn jeans to extract a faded yellow note as the heavens opened before her and the rain began to fall in earnest.
She stood for a long time reading the four simple words over and over.
"You are Lisa Simpson."
Maggie had secreted it from her sister's room months ago after discovering it in the back of Lisa's desk during a bout of curiosity. The very desk she could now see Lisa hunched over, tears pouring down her face in a macabre reflection of the outside world she so obviously felt cut off from.
Those words tore into Maggie's already conflicting emotions. A blazing omen of the distance she could now see separated her from Lisa. The answer to her confusion was suddenly and undeniably etched into her mind as clearly as the words on the scrap of paper in her hand.
"No." Maggie admitted with a note of profound understanding. "I'm not."
A stiff wind caught her off guard at that moment of revelation and claimed the note from her weakened grip, whipping it outside to the mercy of the storm. Maggie watched it go sadly, then turned and retreated into a corner of the creaking shack where she lit her camp lantern. It soon burned fiercely against the growing strength of the storm.
"I'm sorry, Lisa." She mumbled before resigning to wait out the storm back inside.
Lisa found little solace at the desk. Flicking on her small lamp she frantically searched it, inside and out, for some small shred of comfort. After paging through her diary for several minutes she gave up and, in frustration, tore several pages from it and hurled them out the open window.
"Why?" She sobbed at her reflection. "Why do I have to be so alone?"
Lisa recounted the few friends she'd gained and lost over the years. It didn't take long to arrive at the one that hurt the most, her mentor and idol, Bleeding Gums Murphy. How she wished she could talk to him now!
"No." Lisa chastised herself for her weakness. "He's gone, long gone. Don't do this to yourself."
But the fleeting memory of the only other soul on the planet she ever connected to had done its damage and Lisa fell apart like a house of cards, crying out at the world for the terrible place she saw it to be.
The wind outside intensified to match her howl of anguish and the curtain over her window billowed inwards, momentarily obscuring Lisa's view of the mirror. As the curtain slowly drifted away Lisa noticed a small sheet of paper stuck to the mirror. Her senses of reason screamed in denial of what she was looking at!
"You are Lisa Simpson."
"No..." Lisa squeaked. "That's... not possible..." She'd lost "that" years ago!
Slowly, Lisa reached up and touched the rain-spattered relic of her early childhood. "It's was real?!" Her rational side told her to run but her instincts told her this was too important to ignore. She delicately peeled it from the mirror and clutched it in both hands, recalling for the first time in years the circumstances under which another friend she had nearly forgotten had given her this same note.
Mr. Bergstrom, the measure to which Lisa held herself up to as an academic. He had only been a part of her life for a few fleeting days. But her favorite teacher still managed to leave such an indelible impression on her that even now, alone in her room staring at the vote of confidence he had once given her, Lisa felt as though he was still right here. Silently encouraging her to nurture and cherish the gifts that she was blessed with, not to waste her efforts feeling sorry for herself, she realized.
Despite how bad she felt only moments before, Lisa couldn't help but smile weakly at the insanity of her previous line of thought.
She swallowed hard and held the faded note to her chest, feeling happiness bloom inside her for what seemed the first time in ages.
"Thank you." Lisa whispered, finally finding the center of peace and wellbeing she hadn't really noticed was missing until after it returned. She was ready for what life had to throw at her, she knew now. The worries and burdens felt insignificant next to the swelling pride and confidence in her abilities that were inspired by those four simple words.
Lisa looked into her mirror once more and, finally happy with what she saw there, wiped away the tears of sorrow, only to replace them with ones of joy.