I gotta say, folks, I am loving you. I wasn't sure how this was all going to work out, but Be My Guest is on a roll, and we have another great one this week.
My darling blogger buddy Elise, from Behind the Cover decided to get her creative on for her guest spot. I think you'll be pleased with the result...
My lovelies, I give you Elise's short story, just for you:
Old trees with worn bark, the crisp rustling of their leaves blowing in the distance, fog, bittersweet and sulfur filled followed with its rancid aroma, surround me like an old familiar blanket.
In mere hours the sun will rise over the not so far away hills, and already I ache for the melancholy of Night. The friendly hand of darkness on my shoulder, easing my unsettling thoughts and urges, has become constant to me. Over the years Night is all I’ve known, my only companion.
The grass beneath me is dampened with moisture from dew, and the longer I stare at the field under me and beyond, my eyes focus on the patches where the grass failed to grow, as if for some unknown reason those patches weren’t meant to be beautiful as well.
I drag my fingers gently back and forth across the blades of grass, just enough so, that I was only grazing their tips. In this moment, painful memories of past come to surface, reminding me of what it was to feel. Not just the blades of grass, obviously harmless, but memories of real blades, blood drenched dripping scarlet, draining, until they lay lifeless. The way their skin looked when it was punctured by such an instrument, an instrument created to sever and cut, and do nothing else. To think of pain as a feeling and not just something I’ve inflicted, caused my eyes to burn with tears that would never reach their surface.
The loud whistle from the only factory in town begins to sound. I look to the distant sky and watch as smoke begins to rise in huge puffs, eventually dissipating into night. I lay back, eyes still focused on the smoke, and my wish, now seeming so long ago, comes to mind. I wished for no more than to have Night forever. I had no use for the day. The burns it left on my skin when I basked in it’s warmth for too long, the brightness, on some days, caused my eyes to close so tightly, struggling, and almost hurting just to see. I rarely went outside, avoiding sunlight quite frequently. So, taking my loathsomeness towards the sun into account, I chose Night. Cold and intimidating, people seemed to fear the darkness that follows. To me that had meant power, but tonight, and the few nights before, I’m beginning to think I was wrong. Humanity, what little I have left, and some lingering memories, as of lately, are beginning to pain me, a pain I haven’t felt in a VERY long time.
I often came to this park as a child, and more familiar memories are the years I spent here as a teen. I would dance in the night, under the twinkling blanket of stars that strewn the sky. The moon would give me just enough light to see my steps, and the old radio I had received as a hand me down from my brother, poured music from it’s worn speakers, providing me with a beat for my feet to move to. I felt free in the darkness, a freedom that words couldn’t express. As I danced my blood would warm, but my skin would still get goose bumps from the cold outside of my body. It was around seventeen I first experienced Night, and all that entailed. Seducing, and beautiful, scary and so foreign to me, but these observations only drew me in further. After spending many hours with Night, dancing in the darkness in absolute bliss, I knew I wanted this feeling forever.
Now, years later I am back where it all began, and when the sun rises over the hills, this is where it will end as well. I have come to realize that all beginnings must have an end, or else what’s left to live for? Watching those close to me die as time progresses, and the precious few that had to die by my own hand. Like a manic disease, my hunger worsened so much so, that no one is safe near me. I seclude myself, and for a week now, I haven’t eaten, but aside from my hunger, my thoughts seem to be clearer now. I can almost taste the feelings in me, being brought to the surface of my mind, sour yet sweet, like an apple which isn’t quite ripe yet. I know this will hurt, but no more than that of which I’ve afflicted on others. The past torments me like a wicked lullaby, only sung to bring nightmares. I’m ready to rest.
Footsteps….about a mile away…..slow strides, I was so lost in the sounds of the park I almost didn’t hear them. I hopped to my feet, and in too fast steps, I was behind a tree in an instant. My hands pressed against the trunk so firmly that the bark beneath them began to splinter and pierce my skin. I looked in the direction of the footsteps, nearer now, they slowed, and soon I heard nothing. I inched away from the tree, still a little weary, and started back to where I sat before. I felt him before I heard him. His presence was one that could not be mistaken for anything else. It was as if briefly, everything was still, nothing moved, not even the wind which scientifically is constant.
I swiftly spun around, only to have my face smashed against his broad, firm chest, and in seconds I’m enveloped in his arms.
“Meum amor. I knew I’d find you here.” He said, brushing the hair from my eyes as I looked into his.
“Was I lost?” I replied, wondering if he could see into my thoughts like the stories claimed we could.
“I arrived at home and you were nowhere to be found, so for me, yes, I thought I’d lost you meum amor.” He expressed, as his finger slowly dragged along my bottom lip.
It trembled under his touch.
“You’ve lost nothing, for I am nothing. Night, if it wasn’t for you, no one would know I even existed. My presence is that of a ghost, easily forgotten.” I continue. “These memories of mine are slowly killing me, and where one disappears another comes in its place. This is not what I imagined forever to be.” I finished.
“Oh amor, did I interrupt yet another plot for your potential demise? You’ve got to stop this nonsense behavior; it will only make this gift harder on you. Many years have gone, and yet you still dwell in your past. This is your life now, with me, forever, how you wanted it.” He advised.
“I apologize, Nox but this isn’t what I wanted. To be with you forever…yes…my love… my Night, but at the cost of taking lives to live, I can’t possibly continue holding onto my sanity while other are dying because of me and my selfish request to be with you always.” I replied.
“This rush of humanity you are beginning to feel is completely normal. I refuse to lie and say it will go away completely, it won’t. You will learn to live with it, and still continue surviving as we must.” He continued, “I love you meum amor, since the first night I watched you dance, so free, so alive, I knew then I couldn’t continue eternity without you.”
I pushed away from Night’s embrace and walked the short distance to a nearby bench. I needed to just sit for a moment. I thought as the years passed, my empathy towards life would cease to exist. My face in my hands, unable to cry, I weighed the harsh decision I made for myself. An eternity of guilt, my soul tortured from the lives I’ve taken only to feed my selfish need to forever be with Night, or should I say Nox, Latin for Night.
I pulled my face from my hands and glanced up at his perfectly chiseled face.
He spoke. “meum amor… carpe mecum sempiterne noctern.” My love, seize the night forever with me. And held his hand out to me, palm up. These were the Latin words he spoke to me, under the stars time ago, when I put my fate in his hands, the fealty in his eyes, still present in his gaze even now. Of all the people in my town at the time, he chose me to spend forever with. I’ve been so foolish to think ending my forever is the answer. Nox has always been the answer, could I really die knowing it’s not in his arms? The thought churned my stomach. I placed my hand in his and allowed him to bring me to my feet. His right hand remained on my lower back.
“I promised you forever. And I tend keep my promises.” He said, kissing me on my forehead, as he pressed my hand against his chest, where his heart should be beating. In that moment, lost in each other’s gaze, is when I heard them. Two sets of footsteps, low voices whispering sweet nothings, strolling at the other end of the park, they were alive and in love. My instincts wanted them to stay that way, so I threw my arms around Nox’s neck and tried to tighten my grasp, pulling him closer to my body, but it was no use. He heard them too. He pulled my entwined fingers from behind his neck without effort, and said,” It’s been too long meum amor, you need to feed.” And in moments Night was stalking.
I’ve learned a lot over the years, but two things were constant. One… life is short, the snap of a neck, or loss of too much blood and your life is gone almost instantly. And two…the inevitable….there’s no escaping Night.
See? Aren't you glad Elise got her creative on? I think you should stop by her blog and give her some big squishy fuzzy-warm ♥. Go on, I'll wait.
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