Thursday, April 19, 2012

"My Name is Kenny" Chapter 24: Epilogue



South Park fanfiction. 
Rated T for swearing, violence, and some sexual themes.



It was a rainy day in South Park when everyone gathered for the ceremony. Everyone was drenched; some people from the rain, and some people from their tears. Or maybe it was all from tears, since it seemed like the gods themselves were crying.

Kyle Broflovski stepped up to the podium. Even though Father Maxi was technically leading the ceremony, it had fallen to Kyle to be in charge of giving the eulogy. Everyone had agreed that he was the most talented when it came to this sort of thing.

"My friends," he began. "We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of our beloved friend, Kenneth Lazarus McCormick. Those of us who are old enough have known this day was coming for fifteen years, ever since Kenny became mortal. But even so, it seems far too soon; we thought he would outlive all of us. I would like anyone who wishes to say a few words to come forward now." He stepped down.

Kyle's little brother, Ike Broflovski, came forward first.

"I've only been in office for one year, but I have to say: it's not easy being the youngest mayor in the history of South Park. But one thing that makes it easier is the fact that people aren't dying from completely random stuff, like when we were younger; frankly, I don't know how McDaniels handled it. But none of that happens anymore, thanks to Kenny." Ike wiped his eyes. "I didn't know Kenny as well as some of you did, but he was a decent man, and I definitely looked up to him."

Stan Marsh got up next.

"Kenny…was the kind of guy who was always there for you. When your other friends go off to become great lawyers like Kyle, or successful businessmen like Cartman, Kenny was the guy who settled down, built a great family, worked his ass off at a medium-paying job, but he always had time to help his friends when they were in trouble. As most of you know, the last few months have been rocky, with the scandal and everything, and I can safely say that Kenny McCormick is the reason I'm still married to my lovely wife."

Next up was Gary Harrison.

"I wish I could thank Mr. McCormick for his personal insight into the afterlife. When I was a kid, our church struggled with a tiny congregation. But ever since he told the town that only Mormons go to Heaven, our church's size has been booming; we Mormons probably make up a greater majority here than we do anywhere else, even in Salt Lake City. And we all have Kenny to thank for that."

Then Eric Cartman.

"I just wanted to thank all of you for being here. I know it would mean a lot to our dear old pal." He paused. "Kenny McCormick was the greatest friend anyone could have. I did some selfish things in my childhood, and I know that I often alienated myself from many of my friends. But never Kenny; Kenny didn't judge, because he knew that everyone made mistakes. Like Stan said, he's always willing to help a friend. He even offered great advice to me when I was first starting up my fast food empire, 'Cartman Burger,' which incidentally—"

"Cartman…" Kyle warned.

"—is offering an incredible discount—"

"Cartman," Kyle said firmly. "We agreed: no sales pitches."

"Sorry. Anyway, he's the guy that sticks with you, no matter what. If he hadn't stuck with me all those years, my other friends would probably have given up on me long ago (Stan and Kyle exchanged a solemn nod), so I owe him for that."

Cartman stepped down, and Senator Wendy Marsh immediately stood up. The crowd sat with bated breath, not wanting to miss a word. Bebe Stevens and the rest of the CNN news team held out their microphones eagerly.

"What to say about Kenneth McCormick?" Wendy began. "Kenny was the guy everyone knew around town, though many not very well; he was the poor man, who nobody ever thought would amount to anything.

"This turned out to not be true; he applied himself, worked hard, and earned enough to make a decent living, which wasn't much, but it was more than his parents could have said while Kenny was growing up. If his parents were still alive today, I know they would have been proud of how far Kenny went with what he had.

"But even more importantly, I think, is how much Kenny changed since his childhood. We all knew Kenny for his promiscuous way during those early years. It was something that was well known about him, and frankly it was something that I looked down on him for."

Wendy paused. One could have easily heard a pin drop.

"As you all know, I…was recently involved in an affair with my childhood crush, Eric Cartman. When my husband, Stan, found out, he was all ready to sign divorce papers, and I honestly couldn't blame him. But Kenny was the one who convinced us of how much we still loved each other, and told us we could make our marriage work. I think, if we had split up, we would have both regretted it.

"All this is to say…well, that I misjudged Kenny. I thought he cared little for marriage, but I know now that there was no one who placed as much value on the institution as he did. He was a great man, and we will all miss him."

Wendy stepped down and was immediately embraced and kissed by her husband, proving how much Kenny had done to save their marriage. Butters Stotch went up the podium next.

"Kenny always pushed me to improve myself; I guess he must have done a good job, because I rarely stutter anymore. He also offered plenty of advice for my dating life, which I suppose he did have some experience with. His constant coaching has done wonders to my self-confidence, and it gave me the courage to finally pop the question to Lexus. I kn-know h-he would have wanted to come to the w-wedding next month."

Then Kenny's widow, Lizzy McCormick, got up. Her eyes were red and puffy, but now there were no tears in her eyes anymore.

"I've never been good at speaking publicly, like our honorable senator. So all I will say is this. Wendy is right; Kenny valued our marriage more than anything, and I have never met a more loyal man in all my life. It's not easy to be the wife at the funeral, but today…the only emotion I feel is pride, because I consider myself the luckiest woman on the face of the earth to have been married to him."

Finally, it was Kyle's turn.

"Everything that I wanted to say about my friend Kenny has already been said, except this. Kenny always tried to be a pleasant guy. Whatever pain he felt from being under his curse, he kept hidden from us, so we wouldn't worry about him.

"He probably spent a lot of his childhood very angry with us, since we couldn't remember him dying. But even in all his loneliness, he never let his friends down. What we owe him more than anything is how he saved our lives, over and over and over again. His selflessness is the reason we're still alive; the same selflessness that drove him to get everyone out of the school before it burned down, and he gave up the life he knew he wouldn't get back this time."

The elderly Mr. Garrison sobbed.

"Throughout almost his whole life he never got any thanks for what he did," Kyle went on. "I believe that was his greatest fear; that when he finally died for good, he would just be forgotten." He pounded his fist on the podium. "I say no! I say let a memorial be built right here in this cemetery, dedicated to the greatest man who ever lived! Let Kenny McCormick never be forgotten!"



Later that day, Kyle made his way to the bar. Stan, Wendy, Cartman, Butters, and Lizzy were already there. "Mind if I join you?"

"Of course not, Jew," Cartman replied offering him a sixth chair. Kyle sat down.

"Great speech," Stan said.

"Thanks."

Lizzy looked down into her scotch. "I just…can't believe he's gone."

Wendy put her hand on Lizzy's shoulder. "He's not gone. As long as we remember him."
 
"I agree," Butters said.

Kyle's drink arrived. He stood up and lifted his glass. "To Kenny."

All six glasses clinked in unison. "To Kenny," they agreed.

And from far above, a lonely figure watched. A figure who held a new scythe, had a new job, and yearned for the day he would be able to see his friends again. But for now, he let them go on with their lives. As he turned, he noted that, even on this cold day, his black cloak kept him incredibly warm.

Just like his old parka.



THE END


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