Empath’s personal journal, December 30.
A very unusual miracle happened last night that has brought a feeling of joy and excitement among most of our fellow Smurfs, including this smurf and Papa Smurf – all of Papa Smurf’s fellow Smurfs, the parents of this smurf and most of this smurf’s fellow Smurfs, have mysteriously returned from the dead. Papa Smurf was rightfully skeptical of this miracle taking place, thinking it was all some sort of trick or deception. But strangely this smurf could sense that these Smurfs were very much real, and they were exactly who they claimed themselves to be. This unexpected miracle has caused Papa Smurf to initiate a celebration feast, with Greedy and his father Baker Smurf doing the honors of preparing it, that would begin the following morning. So far, though, as every Smurf woke up in their own homes, the parent Smurfs were still there with us, and Papa Smurf woke up feeling much more happy than he did when he spent his nights in the Imaginarium, because his beloved wife Lillithina was now there for him to spend the night with in actual person. Of course, Smurfette along with Baby Smurf, Polaris Psyche, and the Smurflings were not present when the parent Smurfs had returned from the dead, so this news will be much of a surprise to them – unless, of course, there’s something about this event that they may find strange, which this smurf hopes isn’t the case.
Papa Smurf woke up in his bed, somewhat underdressed than he was when he first went to sleep that night, feeling rather refreshed when he noticed that his wife wasn't with him. He looked around the bedroom and saw that the only person in it was himself, so either Lillithina could have gotten up early ahead of him or the whole thing of her coming back from the dead was just a dream made real in Papa Smurf's mind. Yet he never remembered having such a dream that was as real as his trying to recreate those moments alone with Lillithina in the Imaginarium.
He grabbed his night coat and slippers, and then went to the hatchway and called out, "Lillithina! Are you there?"
"I'm here in your laboratory, dear," his wife's voice answered back from below.
Papa Smurf climbed down the ladder and saw his wife standing around, all dressed up and looking at her husband coming down to join her. He went over and touched her face gently. "I was beginning to smurf that what we had experienced together last night was all just a dream," the village leader said, smiling.
"You're right, Culliford...it was all just a dream," Lillithina replied, holding Papa Smurf in her arms, "a dream that smurfed true for all of us. We could spend the whole day smurfing that what we smurfed last night was real, my scarlet-smurfing lovebug...but then, we'd have to miss out on smurfing Baker and Greedy's feast, not to mention smurfing with the rest of our friends who also smurfed back from the dead."
Papa Smurf chuckled at the thought. "That would be a terrible shame indeed, my dear Lilly...but it would smurftainly be worth every minute!"
Lillithina lightly kissed Papa Smurf on the cheek. "Get dressed, sleepy head. I'll smurf you at the dining hall with our son Empathy."
"I suppose we can smurf the time with our fellow Smurfs while we have it," Papa Smurf responded, looking into his wife's eyes with eyes of love. She smiled back at him before she left without even putting a coat on.
Papa Smurf went back into his bedroom and changed into his sweater and red pants. He stepped out of his house and saw the bright sun shining over the snow-covered village, glad to see a perfect day ahead of him. He saw an orange-bearded Smurf wearing a green Smurf suit and a vest, whom Papa Smurf recognized as Séamus Smurf, approaching him.
"Smurf o' the morning to you, my fellow Culliford," Séamus greeted as he met Papa Smurf by the door of his house. "You look like you smurfed like a baby last night."
"Indeed I did, Séamus...indeed I did," Papa Smurf replied.
"Not that I mean to pry into your private smurfness, Culliford, but it does smurf like your sweet Lilly has smurfed the sparkle back in your eyes last night," Séamus commented. "It must have really been one restful night for you."
Papa Smurf chuckled, being slightly embarrassed by what Séamus was hinting at. But then he always knew how perceptive the Irish-brogued Smurf was when it came to determining how his fellow Smurfs were around him -- a trait that Papa Smurf knew was passed on to his son Tapper.
"I'm not ashamed to admit it, Séamus...smurfing alone with Lilly last night did make me smurf about 100 or so years younger," Papa Smurf responded. "I couldn't smurf for a better miracle than that to happen around my age. By the way, where's your wife Molly?"
"She's in the dining hall with all our fellow Smurfettes smurfing it ready for the feast, Cully," Séamus answered. "She's got more energy for smurfing that than she's ever had the last time we were alive and smurfing. Let's smurf there, and you can smurf me everything that's smurfed on since we last smurfed together."
"Smurfs fair enough to me," Papa Smurf said, closing the door of his house before walking off with Séamus.
Along the way, Séamus and Papa met up with another familiar Smurf from their years of being together -- a Smurf with a rust-colored suit, a red plaid kilt, and sideburns like his son Duncan. "Aye, if it isn't my dear laddie Cully," the kilt-wearing Smurf greeted him. "You surely smurf like you could still smurf the lassies with those whiskers of yours, eh?"
"I haven't smurfed much luck in that area over the years, Angus McSmurf, but now that my wife is back among the smurfing, it seems that I would smurf all the affection I will ever need from a female," Papa Smurf said. "Are you sure you don't need something much warmer to wear at this time of year?"
"You should know what the McSmurfs are by now, Cully," Angus said. "A little cold never seems to smurf the better of any of us. I'm just surprised to see my son Duncan smurfing a sweater, as if he's suddenly afraid of the cold whereas I remember that smurfing outside on a day like this with just his kilt wouldn't be much of a problem."
"This has certainly been the start of a chilly winter this year, Angus," Papa Smurf said. "But if you feel comfortable smurfing the way you are, then I have no problem with whatever it is you want to wear."
"Maybe Angus will try smurfing in the river on New Year's Eve just to prove that he's still a real McSmurf, Cully," Séamus jested.
"You're more than welcome to join me if you have the smurfs for it, Séamus, my boy," Angus said with a laugh. "But if you want to stay warm this season with your lassie, that's smurfy with me."
"Strangely I just don't feel quite as attracted to Molly as I used to be, Angus," Séamus said. "I don't know why that is."
"Come to smurf of it, I'm not feeling what I used to for my sweet Bonnie anymore," Angus said. "Maybe it's smurfing back to life that's changed all of us."
"We'll smurf out together why the two of you are no longer feeling attracted to your wives now that you're back from the dead," Papa Smurf said. "For now, let's enjoy the day and our chance of smurfing together again."
"Aye, that we're going to smurf advantage of, laddie," Angus said with a smile.
Most of the Smurfs, except for Smurfette, Baby Smurf, Polaris Psyche, and the Smurflings, were present in the great dining hall where the Smurfs would gather for their meals on days where the weather would prevent them from eating outside. On a big long table near an outer wall was a banquet of various kinds of food and drink prepared by Greedy and his father Baker, who was glad to be working not only in a kitchen again, but also with one of his sons who enjoyed preparing food just as much as he did eating it. Everything they prepared for the feast smelled so incredibly delicious, it made Greedy feel so humbled that he could never make such a feast like that by himself. Right now, the Smurfs present in the dining hall were bowing their heads as Aristotle, Brainy’s father, gave the blessing for it.
“We are grateful, O Mother Nature and Father Time, that you of all the guardians of this forest would besmurf us the blessing of smurfing us, the parents of these fine young Smurfs gathered here, back from the dead to smurf our lives once again with the ones we have smurfed behind in the care of our dearest friend Culliford Smurf, who has adopted them and cared for them as his very own little Smurfs. Please bless the food and drink that we have prepared to honor this smurftacular occasion, that it may nourish our bodies and smurf us strength to give you honor and praise in everything that we smurf with our very lives in thanksmurfing to all that you have smurfed for us. Let it be so.”
All the Smurfs present nodded in agreement to the blessing before they gathered around the banquet table to grab their plates and take as much as they wanted from the serving trays that were laid out. Greedy and Baker simply stood back and watched with pride at the Smurfs as they took their plates back to their tables and began digging in, enjoying the wonderful taste of the delicacies.
“Why don’t you smurf ahead and smurf yourself something to eat, my little Greedy?” Baker invited as he turned his eyes toward his son. “You desmurf to have as much as you want, because you and me have smurfed it together.”
“Somehow, Papa, I just don’t feel as hungry as I used to be,” Greedy responded. “Smurfing with you in the kitchen again just makes the desire to eat my own creation somehow less than desirable.”
“Your skills smurftainly have improved since I have been gone,” Baker commented. “I can see that Empathy’s Papa Smurf must have smurfed pride in your being able to serve an entire village with your own two smurfs. You even have invented recipes that I have never even thought of smurfing in my own lifetime.”
“My kitchen staff has been real smurfy to me over the years, Papa,” Greedy remarked. "Biscotti, Culinary, Gelato, Vino...they're the best family I could have smurfed any meal with together. Of course, your meals will always be the best of all."
A short while later, Smurfette had entered the dining hall carrying Baby Smurf with her, who last night didn’t have any trouble falling asleep in her house. Polaris Psyche and the Smurflings had also entered with Smurfette, and were rather perplexed by what they saw happening.
“What the smurf is smurfing on here?” Snappy finally asked.
“I don’t know,” Slouchy answered. “The adult Smurfs are surely smurfing strange around here.”
“I can imagine any of us smurfing invisible friends, but not any of them, including Empath of all Smurfs,” Nat observed.
Smurfette saw the same thing for herself, and was rather puzzled. “Polaris, do you have any idea what’s smurfing on with those Smurfs?” she asked.
Polaris shook his head. “This one is at a total loss for an explanation, fellow Smurfette. It does appear that they are interacting with people that we somehow cannot see for some strange reason.”
Sassette, however, did see a Smurf that she remembered from her youth before she was trapped in a crystal for about a hundred years. “Papa!” she cried out, seeing Muscles Smurf, the father of Hefty, Handy, and Grouchy.
“Sassy, you little ramsmurfious sprite!” her father called back, as Sassette ran to him with open arms and embraced each other. “You smurf just as young as you did years ago. Where have you smurfed when you smurfed away from home?”
“It’s a long story, Papa,” Sassette answered. “I just hope you’ll smurf around to let me smurf it to you.”
“Don’t worry about it, Sassy,” Muscles responded, playfully mussing up her hair. “Your own Papa Smurf’s back among the smurfing. You’ll have time enough to smurf me everything that’s been smurfing on with you.”
Empath in the meanwhile saw Smurfette at the door of the dining hall, staring in wonderment about what was going on. Apparently she must have been seeing this mysterious miracle taking place right before her eyes, though he somehow couldn’t sense what she was thinking at this moment.
“Empathy, what are you smurfing at?” his Mama Smurf said, noticing that Empath was staring off in some direction instead of focusing on his mother.
“Just someone this smurf has always wanted you to meet, Mama,” Empath answered.
“But I don’t smurf anyone there,” his Mama Smurf mentioned, seeing where Empath was looking toward.
“Believe me, Mama, she’s very real and very special to this smurf,” Empath declared. He then called out to Smurfette, who came over to where Empath and his Mama Smurf were sitting at the tables.
“Empath, what’s smurfing on here?” Smurfette asked. “I see most of our Smurfs smurfing on a big feast and smurfing with people that me, Polaris, and the boy Smurflings cannot even see.”
“What do you mean, you cannot see them?” Empath asked, uncertain of why she couldn’t. “This is my Mama Smurf, Lillithina Smurfette, sitting right here with me at this table.” He then turned to his mother. “Mama, this here is Smurfette, a very special girl Smurf friend that came to the village years ago to become a real Smurf.”
“Empathy, this is some sort of joke, right?” his Mama Smurf asked, still not seeing Smurfette being there. “All I can smurf is just empty space.”
“This smurf is not trying to play any sort of deception upon you, Mama,” Empath spoke a bit defensively. “Smurfette’s here, just as you are, as a living flesh and blood Smurf. Can’t you even hear her speaking to me?”
“The only Smurf I can hear smurfing to me is you, Empathy,” his Mama Smurf answered, still in disbelief.
“Empath,” Smurfette said, trying to get his attention, “something rather strange is smurfing on here, and it’s also affecting you. I can’t see or even hear this Mama Smurf that you smurf is here besmurf you. I have an unsmurfy feeling that you and the other Smurfs are being deceived in some way by ghosts or smurfthing.”
“This is no ghost that is sitting right beside me, Smurfette,” Empath retorted. “I can see her, hear her, even touch her. My minds-eye is also telling me that she is very much real as you are. Maybe it’s just you who’s being deceived by some spirit preventing you from smurfing what I’m smurfing right here at this table.”
Smurfette didn’t like Empath not hearing what she was trying to tell him. “Look, Empath, if you’re not going to smurf it from me, at least smurf it from your friend Polaris Psyche. He hasn’t tried to deceive you before, and I don’t think he will smurf so today with what he’s smurfing with his minds-eye about this smurfering.”
“Well, maybe his minds-eye is also deceiving him as well,” Empath noted. “In any case, you’re very welcome to join us at this feast. Greedy and Baker have put on a very smurfy banquet that you shouldn’t smurf out on.”
Smurfette groaned, realizing that Empath wasn’t going to listen to her. She walked off toward where Polaris Psyche was standing along with Baby Smurf and the three boy Smurflings.
“Empathy, I’m sorry that I couldn’t smurf this Smurfette that you smurf was smurfing right here with me,” his Mama Smurf consoled. “Yet I couldn’t help noticing that you only spoke in Smurf when you smurfed really emotional trying to smurf this Smurfette what it is you’re smurfing.”
“It’s something this smurf had only realized as of lately, Mama,” Empath explained. “This smurf spent most of this smurf’s life in Psychelia, so normally this smurf would speak in the manner of a true Psyche. Yet there are times when this smurf’s emotional state would reach a point where this smurf would speak in Smurf rather fluently. This smurf thought that the part of me that was Empathy died when the Psyche Master erased every memory this smurf had of being a Smurf when I was a baby Smurf, but apparently what he did wasn’t very thorough.”
“Smurfs like Empathy didn’t die after all, like I had thought when your Papa Smurf brought you to Psychelia,” his Mama Smurf mused.
Just then, Papa Smurf joined her and Empath at the dining table. “Sorry for smurfing time away from you, my sweet Lilly,” he said as he kissed her on the cheek. “I’ve been busy smurfing with my fellow Smurfs because there was just so much I wanted to smurf to them about what happened since they were gone.”
“I’m not jealous about it, Cully,” Lillithina responded, still smiling. “Your friends are just as important for you to smurf some time with as I am. Empathy and I were just smurfing some time together trying to smurf to know each other, though he tried to introsmurf me to someone special in his life named Smurfette. Sadly I couldn’t smurf anything of this wonderful girl Smurf who is so dear to him.”
“Smurfette is very much as real as you are, Lilly,” Papa Smurf stated. “I’m not sure why you couldn’t smurf her at all, but you can be sure that she wasn’t smurfthing that Empath just smurfed up in his own mind. She’s smurfed with us for about seven years now, and though she hasn’t fully committed hersmurf to only one male Smurf in her life, Empath tends to be the one that she smurfs about more often than not. I can smurf that look in both their eyes that these two Smurfs were simply smurfed for each other to be smurfmates for all time.”
“Just like you and I, Cully, no matter what smurfened between the two of us,” Lillithina added, looking into her husband’s eyes with that look that spoke the same truth to him.
Papa Smurf held her hands in his and just simply smiled back. “It’s just great to smurf you again, Lilly.”
Smurfette in the meanwhile rejoined Polaris Psyche, Baby Smurf, and the Smurflings, apparently frustrated. “Empath smurfs so convinced by what he’s seeing, hearing, and feeling that he smurfs that I’m the one who’s being deceived,” she reported sadly.
“He’s not the only one, Smurfette,” Snappy pointed out. “Look at Sassette! She thinks that her own Papa Smurf is there among those Smurfs that we’re not smurfing, we can’t even tell her that what she’s smurfing is not real.”
“It would seem that there’s some kind of influence at work here among our fellow Smurfs that’s causing them to have powerful hallucinations that are so real, they are unable to see them for what they really are, my fellow Smurfs,” Polaris pondered.
“Hallucinations?” Slouchy asked. “You sure they’re not just smurfing ghosts here?”
Polaris shook his head. “Such apparitions would be much easier for this one to detect than whatever it is going on that they’re experiencing, fellow Slouchy.”
“Could it be that the Imaginarium is being smurfed to make these ‘hallucinations’ appear, Polaris?” Nat asked.
Polaris rubbed his chin in thought. “It may be possible, fellow Nat, though this one isn’t entirely sure how. We might as well study this phenomenon for ourselves to see what may be causing it and possibly find a way that we can bring the Smurfs to see these hallucinations for what they really are instead of what they think they are seeing.”
“Well, one thing’s for sure…those Smurfs smurftainly seem happy about whatever it is they’re smurfing,” Smurfette commented, still looking at Empath having a conversation with someone she couldn’t see.