Part 3

"So how often did you have these flashes into the future...what would be our history, Great-Grandfather?" Polaris asked.
"It's hard to really say, Polaris," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "I could remember it happen a few more times before I was through smurfing all the memories that were given to me into that amulet, and then that was the end. These jumps into the future were to specific points, as if these moments in my life and the lives of my fellow Smurfs would be significant. They were mostly smurfed by losses, which is all I can tell you."
"It must have been strange for you to feel like you've been pulled into your future with each of these flashes and yet still remain in the present, Great-Grandfather," Polaris said.
"It wasn't something that I would ever want to experience again, Polaris, but those flashes were necessary if there was something in that future...our history...that was important for me to know at the time," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "Still, it made your great-grandmother and great-granduncle rather worried about me."
"This one can understand to some degree, Great-Grandfather," Polaris said. "It was not easy for you to carry a thousand year's worth of future memories in your head and not have it affect you in some way."
"That's par for the course when you're able to see into the future, though for a young whippersmurfer like me at the time, it was a frightening prospect that did not make me feel very happy...just important in some way," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "Anyway, your great-grandmother and great-granduncle went to see Papa Smurf after that latest flash into the future where I saw him die."

As Polaris listened to Great-Grandfather Smurf's story, he saw Smurfette and Brainy go talk to Papa Smurf about Empath's latest vision.
"He says that your death is going to happen 165 years from now, Papa Smurf, though we don't know all the details of how it's going to happen," Brainy said.
"Hmmm, I see," Papa Smurf said, stroking his beard. "And what are you expecting me to smurf about it?"
"We don't know, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said. "Maybe you should have yourself examined by Dabbler Smurf to make sure that you're not going to smurf down with something."
Papa Smurf laughed. "Brainy, Smurfette, I think that you're worrying too much about something that's going to smurf years to develop into what Empath may be seeing."
"But shouldn't you be the least bit concerned about what may happen to your health, Papa Smurf?" Brainy asked. "I for one would certainly not want to lose you because of all the wisdom you have yet to smurf me."
"165 years from now is still a long way off, Brainy...maybe not so much for me because I have lived for much longer than you and I happen to see time pass a bit different as an older Smurf, but still you can't expect for me to just suddenly worry about such a fate when only Empath knows how it's going to happen," Papa Smurf said.
"But if only Empath knows how it's going to happen, maybe he would know how to prevent it from happening, Papa Smurf," Smurfette said.
"If Empath feels that it's important for me to know how I'm going to die in the future, I'm sure he will be the first to let me know about it," Papa Smurf said. "Anyway, you don't need to be that concerned about me yet. I couldn't feel more healthy than I am right now, and I don't intend on smurfing anywhere for the next 150 years unless something does happen between now and then. Now you Smurfs run along and let Empath smurf what he has to smurf with the memories he is given."
"Yes, Papa Smurf," Brainy and Smurfette sighed together.

After leaving Papa Smurf's laboratory, Brainy and Smurfette were talking to each other. "I can't believe that Papa Smurf is not smurfing this matter of his future so seriously, Smurfette," Brainy said.
"Maybe Papa Smurf is right, Brainy, that this is something that we should leave in the smurfs of the future and not worry about it," Smurfette said. "Not that I feel comfortable with the idea of knowing this is going to happen to him."
"That just makes me all the more curious of knowing what's going to happen in our future, Smurfette," Brainy said. "If there's something that I, the great and knowledgeable Brainy Smurf, need to know about and am capable of handling, I would want to see myself smurf ready for the inevitable to take place."
"But what if, even with all the knowledge you have, you're not able to stop that future from smurfing place?" Smurfette said. "What if what's going to happen to Papa Smurf or any of the Smurfs we know and love is supposed to happen, and there's nothing we can smurf about it?"
"Oh, Smurfette, how could you be so pessimistic about the future?" Brainy said. "I believe that if we could know what's going to happen in our future, that there's a way we could prevent things like Papa Smurf's death from taking place. Nobody in our village would ever have to go off into the smurfy hereafter before their time, if I am at least able to know ahead of time how every Smurf's fate is going to unfold. Jokey wouldn't blow himself up with one of his pranks, Greedy wouldn't kill himself by smurfing in some kind of deadly spice, and neither would anyone else..."
"Say, Brainy, what is this you're talking about, that Papa Smurf is going to die someday?" Dreamy asked as Brainy and Smurfette passed by him and the conversation peaked his curiosity.
"Oh, it's nothing that a Smurf like you would need to know about, Dreamy Smurf," Brainy said.
"Empath was seeing things about the future last night in his dreams, and one of the things he saw was that Papa Smurf was going to pass away in the next 165 years from now," Smurfette said.
"You're not kidding?" Dreamy said, sounding interested. "I wonder how far into the future Empath was able to see in his dreams last night."
"From what Empath told me, it was a thousand years worth of memories that was smurfed into his head before he was able to wake up," Smurfette said. "That's why Tapper and Duncan weren't able to smurf him out of bed this morning."
"A thousand years," Dreamy said, looking spellbound by the thought of what Empath had experienced. "I could only imagine what the Smurf Village would be like in the next thousand years, what kind of progress Smurfs would make that would make Smurfkind even more smurfier than it is right now. I've got to share this news with the rest of the Smurf Village."
"Wait, Dreamy," Smurfette cried out as she watched Dreamy rush off to tell his fellow Smurfs about Empath's visions.
"Well, there goes Dreamy Smurf," Brainy said. "If there's something about the future that the whole Smurf Village needs to know about, he's the one who will want to share it with everybody."
"I know, Brainy, and that's what scares me when it comes to what Empath may have smurfed in his visions," Smurfette said.

"So your great-granduncle Dreamy shared with the entire village that I was able to smurf a thousand years into the future, because he was that kind of Smurf who thought that the entire village should know that a Smurf like me could smurf that far into the future," Great-Grandfather Smurf said.
"How did you fellow Smurfs take this news of what you were able to smurf, Great-Grandfather?" Polaris asked.
"There were disbelievers in the crowd, as I'm sure there would be for every kind of wild claim somebody smurfs about somebody like me," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "Nevertheless, it has made the whole village curious about what it is that I have smurfed in my visions that would be so important in their lives. Not that everybody in the village was smurfing at the chance to know about their future even if something important was going to happen to them."
And as Polaris continued to listen, he saw Clumsy approach Hefty as he was busy overseeing a building project with Carpenter, Mason, and Smithy working under his supervision. "Hey, Hefty, did you hear the latest news?" Clumsy said, sounding very excited. "Empath is able to smurf a thousand years into the future!"
"Yeah, so what's the big deal?" Hefty said, sounding disinterested.
"Well, don't you want to know what your future is going to be like in the next thousand years?" Clumsy asked. "I'd sure want to know what my future is going to be like."
"The only thing I want in my future, Clumsy, is Empath gone from this village like he usually does every single time he smurfs home to visit us for a year," Hefty said.
"Uh, I don't understand why you would want to smurf that to Empath, especially when Papa Smurf said he's not going to smurf back to Psychelia anymore," Clumsy said.
"You don't need to know my reasons for it, Clumsy," Hefty said. "It's just that when you're some Smurf who makes himself out to be more important than anybody else because you can smurf things that other Smurfs can't, you tend to make other Smurfs feel less important than they are."
"I just want to be as important as you are to every Smurf in the village, Hefty," Clumsy said. "That time when I smurfed that rock when I was smurfing out roots for Papa Smurf and I could smurf things in the rock that would happen in the future, I felt like I could be just that important."
"All I remember of you smurfing that rock is how much trouble it smurfed us into before you lost it, Clumsy," Hefty said. "I'm not eager to have some Smurf like you or Empath smurf me about what's going to happen in my future if I can help it."
"Oh, gee, if that's how you feel about me, then I guess I shouldn't be bothering you about this news," Clumsy said as he started to walk away before Hefty stopped him from doing so.
"Don't think that I don't ever want to be a friend with you because of that silly rock, Clumsy," Hefty said. "The only thing you need to be if you want to be important to anybody in this village is to be yourself, and to never stop smurfing yourself to be more than what you think you are...as long as you don't smurf yourself out to be anything like Empath."
"But that's the thing, Hefty," Clumsy said. "I don't ever want to be anything like Empath...I just want to be more like you, because you're strong and you're not afraid to smurf things bigger than yourself. I always smurfed up for you, even when you weren't the nicest Smurf in the village."
"If you want to be like me, Clumsy, I'm more than happy to have you as my friend," Hefty said with a smile.

"And so throughout the day the news of my being able to smurf the future has been such a great distraction among most of my fellow Smurfs that they kept smurfing at my door while I was busy trying to smurf all those memories into the amulet," Great-Grandfather Smurf said. "Fortunately, though this was more for selfish reasons, my brother Brainy was able to keep them from smurfing into my house when I was busy with the task, saying that I will smurf them all about the future when I was done smurfing what I had to smurf."
And as Polaris continued to listen to the story, he saw Brainy and Smurfette at the door of Empath's house after the crowd of Smurfs have dissipated, waiting for Empath to emerge. After a while, the door opened, and Empath came outside looking rather exhausted.
"Empath, are you all right?" Smurfette asked as she greeted him. "You look like you could smurf a break from transsmurfing all those future memories."
"This smurf is nearly finished with the transference, Smurfette," Empath said. "All that's left is the next 500 years that needs to be put into the crystal, and then the task will be complete."
"Have you smurfed anything more about my future, Empath?" Brainy asked. "I just got to know what's in smurf for me besides being a great sorcerer and book writer, what other accomplishments I would be able to smurf in the next hundreds of years from now."
"Really, Brainy, can you think of anyone besides yourself?" Smurfette said, disgusted with Brainy's attitude.
"If I had all the memories of those thousand years in my head, Smurfette, I would want to smurf them to the greatest advantage that I can, both for my fellow Smurfs and for myself," Brainy said. "There's just no end to what all those visions of the future can smurf us about the great road that Smurfdom is going to take, and I would want to see that I am able to smurf my best in smurfing forth that future that my great-grandsmurfs would want to smurf back upon and..."
"Smurfette!" Empath shouted. "Oh no...not you! Please don't die on me!"
"Empath, what's going on? What are you seeing right now?" Smurfette asked, seeing Empath not looking at her but in another direction.
"Here we smurf again, Smurfette...Empath is now smurfed in the future," Brainy said. "Who knows what he's smurfing this time that concerns you."
Empath found himself appearing as an older Smurf around Papa Smurf's age, this time in his future home with his daughter and her future husband along with Brainy gathered around a frail and weakened Smurfette, who looked as if she was falling apart. The color of her hair, which was a pale blonde at that point, had splotches of blue in it as it had lost its texture and was turning into clay.
Brainy looked at Empath with a grim face of realization. "There's nothing more that I can do to try restoring her, Empath. The spells that Papa Smurf used to make her into a real Smurf has worn off with time, and there's nothing in his books or anything Homnibus' relatives have smurfed us that can prevent the inevitable from happening. I'm sorry to let you know."
"You have smurfed your best, Brainy," Empath said, putting his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Maybe it's time for us to let Smurfette pass away peacefully without any more pain."
"Please, Papa, I don't want to see Mama leave us yet," Empath's daughter said as she held her husband's hand tighter.
"It's part of life, Psycheliana, that all things should eventually pass away," Empath said comfortingly. "The spirits of the Ancestors have smurfed us a beautiful gift of life that we are to cherish for the time we are smurfed in this world, because those moments will never smurf again."
"I pray that the Ancestors will give Mama the peace that she deserves as she joins them in the smurfy hereafter," Psycheliana said with a tear in her eye.
Empath nodded as he turned toward Smurfette, who tried to reach out with a hand that looked like it was melting. "Please, my dear, don't exert yourself too much," Empath told her. "You need to conserve what little energy you have left."
"I just have to know...Liana, our daughter...is she going to...?" Smurfette asked in a weak voice.
"This smurf has sensed that she's in no danger of becoming like you are right now, Smurfette," Empath said. "She and her children are going to remain healthy solid Smurfs who are not going to smurf into clay."
"You must think...that I'm so ugly...I don't blame you...for thinking that right now," Smurfette said.
"Your beauty doesn't come from how you look, Smurfette...it comes from how you are on the inside, and all I can smurf right now is an angel just waiting to join the others in the smurfy hereafter," Empath said with a smile. "You've been my angel since I left Psychelia for good, and for the years that we smurfed together as husband and wife I am grateful to have you as my wife."
"You have been...the greatest...and only...husband...that I ever...had, Empath," Smurfette said. "I will...smurf you...again...in the...hereafter..."
And with that, Smurfette closed her eyes, and the rest of her body had melted into a pile of inanimate blue clay that was lying on the bed. Empath sat there by the bed, holding a handful of the clay in his hand for a long time, sobbing.
Smurfette of the present time saw Empath breaking into tears. "Empath, are you all right?" she asked as she reached out her hand to touch his face.
Empath turned to see Smurfette when he heard her voice and realized he was back in the present. "It was you that this smurf saw pass away, Smurfette...456 years from now. There was nothing left of you but a pile of blue clay."
"I smurf back into blue clay?" Smurfette asked, sounding worried. "But how did that happen? Did Papa Smurf's spell to make me a real Smurf stop working?"
"Please, Smurfette, you shouldn't be asking Empath such questions about the future if he feels you're not ready to hear it," Brainy said, trying to sound concerned.
Smurfette nodded with some understanding. "Maybe we should leave Empath alone and let him smurf the rest of his task without us smurfing him about the future."
"Please, Smurfette, you don't have to leave me alone," Empath said, reaching out for her hand.
"I'll be right with you, Empath, for however long you need me to be near you," Smurfette said as they walked off together.