This is only an outline, the full version is not even half way done. Hope you like it!
|My tears are like the quiet drift|
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
- Dylan Thomas
Although I can’t truly explain why, every time I think of him I forget his face. He’s been gone for so long, it’s almost like he never existed. Everyone else seems to have forgotten him also, and I wonder whether I should hope for a time when he would be a distant memory, recalled only after I realize everyone’s finally forgotten him for good.
I shake my head and brush the black hair from my face, that’s when my notebook falls from the bed and lays on the floor with its pages open. I stop and stare at it before I pick it up. Then I see the page it has opened to, letters written in a hurry - some of which are hard to read due to fallen tears; and I stop breathing for a moment, remembering when I wrote them and why: It was the night he left:
I rushed through the park, heading north towards the train station. Dust had said that he wanted me to be there as soon as I could, for he needed to tell me something.
Then the station was in view, a train just pulling in. The truth hit me cold in the stomach as I stared at the black shadow of the freight train. I froze and my body went numb, then I saw him and melted.
“Rain.” He said in his deep calm voice. That’s all he had to say to send me away in happiness; like he could say my name and everything would be okay. I saw only him, his deep blue eyes holding fear and love. Tears burned the corners of my eyes, but none fell. I collapsed into him, but I didn’t cry. I wouldn’t break the moment.
I felt his arms wrap around my body. Time didn’t slow; it never slowed when you wanted it to. But suddenly his touch was just a figment of my imagination. I lifted my eyes to watch a dark figure disappear into the train’s door. Only after the train had pulled away and it started to rain did I realize he had spoken. “I’m not coming back.”
The rain came in sheets. The kind that you only get after months of drought, and it’s coming down so hard and fast that it’s painful, causing you to realize that you are alive. That everything’s alive and the drought is finally over. He was gone.
So I ran. I ran because I was angry and scared and I wanted to stop feeling, I ran on instinct, like when someone you love dies and you’re so shocked that you don’t want to know the truth. You admit you’re frightened and weak and can’t take the truth of what’s happened. I ran for hours until I ended up at the front door of my own house. I lay my head on the door pane and cried. I let myself inside and quietly crept to my room, wiping my face on my jacket sleeve. I took a pocketknife from my desk drawer, staring at it long and hard. Then I scratched letters deep into the rich wood of my desk:
Sometimes I wonder whether I'm the poison that burns the earth.
Breathing calmly again, I pulled back and relaxed in my chair. I read the words, but couldn’t figure out what they meant. I returned the pocketknife back where I had gotten it and switched off the lights. It was going to be one of those nights where you toss and turn, but never fall asleep. And when you finally do, you dream of the one thing that keeps you awake.
Closing the notebook, I returned it to the spot under my pillow, sighing. “I have to stop these puerile memories, he’s not coming back.” From downstairs I heard the light laughter of my mother and, wondering what she was doing back so soon I got off my bed and walked into the hall.
“Oh, Michael,” She giggled like a little girl and as I walked into the kitchen I saw her smile dramatically. I glared at her; she always had a way with bringing home boyfriends that I tended to hate. He kissed her roughly, so I turned to leave the room, thoroughly disgusted. “Rain, dear. Did you finish your homework?” She asked me, trying to act like a mother for Michael, but I recognized the I-could-care-less tone in her voice. I didn’t bother to answer her and I returned to my room.
Throwing myself on my bed I looked around my space at the off-white walls covered in band posters and articles about my favorite bands, deaths, and floods; I’d always been obsessed with the rain, it was the last thing I still held onto to remind me of him. Then I looked at my desk where I had scratched different sayings and words and such. I lifted myself gracefully from the bed and sat down in my black desk chair to read what I had written a while ago:
The snow is always falling in the winter of my discontent
I traced the etched in letters with my slender finger, it was the first thing I had ever written in the dark oak wood.
It’s like when you’re finally home, and you suddenly realize you’re all alone
My eyes saw it, words close together and slanted, but I didn’t remember when I wrote it. I leaned over my desk to see what was written around it, to boost my memory. The closest thing was:
. . .and now I’m leaving for good, here I go, walking into the wind.
I slumped back into my chair, thin body numb. I knew what I had to do.
In a hurry, I got up from the chair and grabbed my black side-shoulder bag. I flung it onto my bed and stuffed it with as many clothes that would fit, two black permanent markers, my favorite book, and some eyeliner. I grabbed my black trench coat, put it on along with my combat boots.
Standing in front of the mirror, I took in my image. I saw a girl with straight black hair, a thin pale face, and dark eyeliner. She was 5’7” and weighed 95 pounds, wearing a tight black stomach shirt with the words ‘Lost again’ in red. Her baggy black pants and trench coat made her full seventeen-year-old figure seem a little too fragile and small. Her eyes held a painful memory and she was screaming inside. I turned from the strange girl and checked around my room to see if I forgot anything.
My notebook! I retrieved it from under my pillow, stroking the cover before shoving it among my clothes. Then I crept down the stairs, heart pounding in my ears.
“Oh, Michael, it’s fine, she doesn’t dislike you - but let’s talk about us.” She purred the last part, and I rolled my eyes. Since when did mom’s boyfriends care about me? But deep down, I felt a pang of guilt.
I had my hand on the doorknob, then everything after played out in slow motion and I felt like I was watching the painstakingly slow scene play from above. The girl who was me tensed and turned the knob, about to fly out into the darkness of the night.
Then a man appeared in the kitchen doorway behind her, she turned-in slow motion-but still opened the door. The man spoke, words deep and pleading. But I never heard them. I was back on earth again, everything in fast motion, running from my house. I disappeared into the darkness that Thursday night, and never looked back.
My leg muscles were too tense, I had a painful cramp in my left side, my heartbeat was getting faster, and to make it all worse I was still running.
I reached Manhattan before I got dizzy and had to take a rest. Looking around, I let my eyes adjust and take in my surroundings. How did I end up here? I wondered, seeing as I was in the less populated area of the big city. I leaned my throbbing head against the cool, damp brick of the wall behind me, letting my breath slow to a normal pace.
I smiled at my accomplishment of coming so far, and it took all of my self-control to keep from yelling in triumph to the deep purple sky.
“Let’s see them hurt me now, with their fake smiles and lies about love.” I said to the shadows in front of me, anger surging back through my veins. I slumped to the ground, putting my bag in my lap and I sighed. This was going to be one of the longest nights of my life.
A flash of yellow light caught my eye, and I snapped my head up to peer into the deep shadows before me. I froze, breath caught in my throat, fear gripping my body. I swear that I heard my heart pounding in my ears, threatening to burst from my chest. Then there was a slight noise, like a soft sound of silk falling to the floor in ripples, or flesh brushing against something gentle.
A rose appeared. It was the most beautiful rose that I had ever seen. At once I found my breath and I gasped in awe. It was a deep crimson rose that was full and lush. Its petals were soft velvet perfection and they seemed to shine from within. The stem of the rose was long and a deep shade of emrald; it was sturdy and covered in thin dagger-like thorns.
I picked myself up elegantly and kneeled beside the beauty, my hair falling into my face. This close to its splendor, I noticed small beaded droplets of water, each as brilliant as a diamond. I reached out to touch the rose and nearly screamed as a huge shadow flew out from in front of me.
“My Magic Rose. You like it?” A deep voice came from behind me, and I felt a cold breath upon my neck, my body went numb. That was no breath of a human. I felt eyes boring into my back and I shuddered, desperately waiting for my fate. I couldn’t think of any other word than one: Murderer.
“Now, now, a pretty girl like you shouldn’t be out here all alone.” I knew now that my attacker was male, his voice dripping with amusement and mockery. I felt a caress of feathers against my cheek, but I was sure I had imagined it.
Cool fingers placed themselves on my face and the stranger slowly – agonizingly – walked to face me eye to eye. As he came into my view I took in his image before he even made it to my front.
He was tall, a good six inches taller than I, and he was thin. He was dressed all in black, except for something he carried which looked like a little bag of moonlight since it was such a stunning shade of silver. He had pale white skin and was actually quite handsome, with long black hair covering half his face. My eyes were lost when they reached his eyes though, for they were a brilliant yellow, when I looked into them I instantly felt naked; like whatever lie I tried to tell he’d pierce right through me to the truth.
But the one thing that scared me and interested me the most, were his wings. He had the most beautiful pair of feathery black wings I had seen on any kind of bird. They were perched upon his shoulder blades – sprouting right out of them, and they were glossy, but did not shine at all. They were darker than the night sky, and I had this feeling that they were the night sky itself.
My attacker hesitated when he saw me stare into his eyes, there was a flash of something and he turned away from me quickly.
“Yet upon meeting again, do you dare to look into my eyes and seek the truth? The Rain that hasn’t fallen from the sky, is it falling now?” I heard him whisper this frantically to himself, and when he said the word rain he said it with such passion…
I found myself able to move again and I touched his shoulder, sending him whirling at me. I jumped back.
“Who are you?” I asked, sounding more confident then I felt.
We stared into each other’s eyes, both searching for something, and he answered. “They call me Rook.” Just then there was a loud flapping noise and I was above the buildings, soaring through the night sky. I didn’t dare look above me, afraid to see this boy whose name is Rook, flying. Wake up, Rain. I told myself, but I knew I wasn’t dreaming. All these feelings and thoughts inside…could it be? It was indescribable, and I knew this was love. This was real.
Rook landed at a broken-down house, and to my amazement he slid his wings back into his shoulder blades and they were gone. He jumped down into a hole and motioned for me to follow. I hesitated, but leapt down into his open arms; he held me for a moment, then put me down.
I waited for my eyes to adjust, but they never did. I felt my heart beat faster in fear, and I brushed the hair from my eyes, shivering.
I heard him shuffling around and then I felt a cold body next to me, and something equally as cold pressed to my lips. “Sip.” I heard him say, it was an order.
I drank it all in a few seconds, for there wasn’t much, and was left afterward with a rich metallic taste in my mouth. When Rook next spoke I surprised by what he said.
“I think, of course it just may be your quick heartbeat, but I think that I am in love with you Rain.” He said it with truth and I didn’t notice that he said my name without my telling him.
He settled his slender body against mine and I gave my heat to him, all thoughts of Dust and how I missed him, gone. I smiled slightly and looked where I thought his eyes were, and it seemed that the more I tried to focus, the easier it was to see.
I felt his breath upon my neck before I realized there was something missing in him. Instinct kicked in and told me that something was not right here. I closed my eyes and tensed up, but I found that I could move no further.
“Come now, pretty Raindrop, don’t tell me you’re afraid.” There was gentleness in his voice and I relaxed, unaware that he had placed sharp fangs on the flesh of my neck. A tingling sensation went up my spine when he sank his fangs into my neck. It was a pure kiss, full of pain and passion. I found my breath taken away and my body went limp in his arms. He pulled away, and moved as if slowed down by water. I opened my eyes and saw a figure in front of me – but it was not Rook. It was Dust, and he was smiling, black wings surrounding him, his hand reaching toward me.
I uttered a small unintended cry and was torn from the vision, breathing heavily and staring up at Rook, whose breath just as ragged.
I saw Rook in a new light, everything was sharp and clear, the dark world I had been in just moments before was now as distinct as day. I sat up and looked at him, afraid of what was happening.
Rook looked sorrowful, but at the same time he looked amused. “You’re not of the plebeians, I can tell.” He smiled softly, looking down. “You’re like me now, Rain. We can be together forever.” My heart almost stopped when I heard those words, I’d waited my whole life to hear those words said to me. But now, instead of the happiness I would have loved to feel, fear replaced it.
I backed away from him, eyes wide. There was something wrong. And I now knew what it was, he had no heartbeat. “What are you?” I asked him, voice shaking, and not from the cold.
He looked stricken, like I’d told him something that broke his heart. Then he merely nodded. “To survive, Rain, I need human blood.” He said it calmly, eyes glazed over with a practiced serenity. “I’m a vampire.”
I took in what few words he said and I caught myself wishing I had stayed home, listening to the empty promises my mother and her boyfriend spoke all night long. “And am I one, too?” I asked, keeping my eyes on his.
“Yes.” He said it with no hesitation, nothing to make me think he was not telling the truth. He stood and took my hands in his, he laced his fingers with mine and his wings appeared again, sliding from his back. To me, it seemed like something had just clicked in his mind, something I had missed and was completely oblivious to. “There was so much I wanted to tell you, so much you should have seen.” He said it quickly, staring deep into my eyes. “But, alas, fate has taken a hold on me this day.”
“What do you mean—“ He cut me off with two fingers to my lips.
“Rain, you must live on. It is part of who you are. I don’t have much time, for I’m not coming back.” I stared at Rook, and understood. Nodding obediently, for already his pale hands were getting warmer.
“Dust.” I whispered so softly, even I barely heard it. I saw him smile, and I knew I was right. My heart lurched forward in betrayal, but I ignored that feeling. He took a step back and it then hit me like concrete. He was going to be gone. Not like before, because I knew he was out there somewhere; but now he was going to never be a part of this earth. Then an idea came to mind, he was going to be a part of this earth, for when he died he became the earth itself. I touched his cheek and almost immediately as I did so he winced in pain, and crumbled into himself, burning from some unknown inside source. “I’m sorry, Rain.” He said, pain taking over his voice. A tear burned a path down my cheek as three glossy black feathers fell from his wings and drifted to the ground. My diamond tear fell upon them. “I love you.” It was faint, but I heard it.
I kneeled down to pick up the feathers and noticed that under them was a perfect crimson rose, beaded with raindrops – teardrops. I caught my breath…there was a feeling inside, Could it be real?
I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.