by Carpe Diem
A vampire searches his locked past for a clue, or a key to his future.
|CHAPTER TITLE: Alemeth Jarkensen
Most people would not agree with me when I offer the query of a possible third stage of reality. Such people would say that I am crazy to state that you can exist without being alive or dead. They would say that when you die, you couldn’t still survive. Such people are fools. When you hear a small bump in the dark familiarity of your bedchambers, do you not wonder on the possibilities of its source? When the trees and their foliage tremble, yet neither gust nor spray of wind is present, do you not question the potentiality of it being your nightmares? Or per chance, do you scientifically question the fact that humans are the ultimate predator, and prey to nothing, save themselves? If something were to happen, something terrible to push all of mankind in the direction of utmost knowledge; something that couldn’t be explained to one of those fools mentioned above, would you question it then? Perhaps, then, the human world isn’t completely doomed; perhaps some of those precious few could save themselves from the terror of the future… Perhaps they would like to hear my tale. My name is Alemeth Jarkensen, Third Guard of Her Deamon Majesty’s Royal Person, and I exist in that third reality, for I have been murdered, found without a heartbeat, and buried six feet under. I am dead, yet I am definitely and inexplicably alive.
All I can remember of the actual transformation is... well, I can't remember anything really. It seems like such a dreadfully long time ago, that I can hardly remember whatever I had managed to withhold in my undead memory. However, time doesn’t exist when you live forever, and ten years can feel like minutes or centuries. To me, it was a bit of both I think. I can’t remember much, but it seems like yesterday. There was an intense pain, a searing in my neck that felt as though someone was injecting ice into my very bloodstream. Everything went dark after that, and the only real feeling that I remember is a tremendous weight on my chest, as though someone had piled the world on top of me. I remember thinking I was dead, knowing I was dead. Oh god, if anything hits a man hard it is the awful thing of knowing oneself to be dead. It's not painful, nor aggravating, it’s not even sad. Perhaps that's what makes it feel so bloody empty, the fact that you can’t even feel pain or regret or loss at those who are grieving over you. It makes you feel selfish and bitter, hard towards the world outside the last defense that is your very flesh. You feel as though you must curl up into a tiny little ball and cry out for sanctuary from the unnatural, malevolent feeling that you yourself are creating. Perhaps that is why mortals die anyways; they cannot take the pain that comes with the knowledge of exactly when you are going to die. After that, I wanted to die. I wanted everything to be over so I could just rest my tired soul and body, my aching mind and heart. Though at the same time, I couldn’t move, I was restricted by the very bonds that made me human: my flesh, my bones, my skin. It felt like I was a child again, and I had a lose tooth, though on a much larger scale. My entire being was that tooth, and I had to get it out. It was sore, and tender, and needed to heal, but before it could do so, I had to get it out.
Finally, I moved. It may seem like such a small task to one such as yourself, but believe me, when I clenched my hand into a fist, and felt the muscles there contracting, I knew I had gotten that tooth out, without knowing that the tooth had been my humanity. Like some epidemic virus I had forced it out of me, pushing it and hurtling it with all the last pockets of my core left. By moving, I knew that I no longer was held in a prison that I didn’t fit. No longer was I forced into a cage that made me bend over into oblivion. No. Now I had power, and broke the bars of that prison, and I picked the lock of that cage. I emerged, and stood, on my own. All of this was felt in a simple clench of the hand. All of what I would be for the rest of eternity was determined with one tiny hand motion. It’s not wonder that I had not enough substance to do anything but curl my fingers into a fist.
After that, my memory disperses for a while, and for that time, I become anonymous. I awoke in a cathedral, appearance and location unknown to me. I seemed to awaken to my senses and remember only the great stained picture of the Virgin Mary above my incompetent self. The evening sun shone through the window; straight through her motionless face and onto mine. I stared in amazement of the sight for a few brief and magical moments when it seemed that God himself was speaking to me. However, the vision left with the sunlight, and coming out of the trance, I resumed some control my confused mind. I was sane enough to realize that I was alone, and because of the knowledge that He had left me, I was afraid. At that moment, I knew not who I was, not what I was, nor where I had been for some unknown amount of time. I assumed only one thing, that I was alive, and even in that obvious conjecture, I was incorrect. I heard the door creak open and closed behind me, despite the fact that it was all the way across the room. My senses heightened. I turned around to see what it was and found myself face to face with an old man. He must be the bell-keeper, I told myself. However, he opened his mouth and I saw a row of pointed teeth. No, not pointed teeth. Fangs. The old man and I talked for quite some time, allowing me to reacquaint me with myself. Finally seeming to know myself well enough to trust my own tongue, I asked him my name. He told me that he didn’t know my name, and could care less about knowing a vampire’s title. For that is all a name is, a title by which others can call you. With this in mind, I named myself Alemeth, for only the reason that it seemed appropriate. The man merely nodded in pride and told me that his name was Camuel. His very skin reminded me of ancient oak trees that he probably had seen planted, but his sparkling eyes told of youth far more innocent than a child. He was as old as the earth itself, yet he was so young.
Over time, he led me to know his full name: Camuel Papillon. Camuel taught me everything I know about our race, everything I needed to know. Who to trust, who to despise, to forever serve and wish well for our Deamon Queen, Czarina. He taught me the one true rule, to never bite without killing the victim first. If the heart still beat, that man would also become a vampire and I would have broken the one and only true rule that all vampyres follow. He taught me how to feed, decapitating my victim before drinking the succulent crimson liquid that often dripped in puddles from the mortal’s neck. It was a messy job, but it was the code, and no one dared to break the code. Often I wondered on how there are vampyres if no one breaks the code, but Camuel would only reply by briefly staring out of the stained window, that I had seen first in this deathtime, at nothing in particular and answer that everything has a purpose. I never really paid attention, nor understood what he meant by that repetitive phrase, but I always wondered. Three years ago, Camuel drove me in a carriage to London, and away from my sheltered city of Marseille. I remember watching through the window of the carriage as the familiar clock tower grew distant and finally turned into a tiny speck by the horizon, a rebellious turret of shadow against the magnificence of the evening sun drifting off to other worlds. Then, Camuel put his hand on my shoulder and turned me to face him with a smile. I owed this man everything, I would be nowhere without him. It didn’t even occur to me to question how he had known where I was or when I had gotten there. All I knew is that this man is the closest thing to what the mortals call father that I had ever had. In the carriage, I told him this, hoping and wishing for his reaction to reflect the pride I held of him in my eyes. However, he glared at me and bared his teeth as he likes to do to his victims before he kills them. He turned away from me and simply told me that vampyres have no fathers, no mothers, no parents, but if I wished to compliment his care of me, I may call him my guardian. Guardian?! It sounded so formal, so cold, so fitting to this new world that I had unknowing become a great part of. Thinking this, I resigned my thoughts of parents and accepted the fact that Camuel was the best guardian that I could have asked for.
Our journey was a long one, traveling up a road that seemed to never end. From Marseilles we proceeded to the city of Arles, though we didn’t stop there. We didn’t truly stop until we reached the city of St. Etienne, and there it was only for a short time. We merely halted there to pick up provisions. Also there, we bought horses so as to be able to ride faster. Everyone knows that French horses can travel as fast as the wind should they like it. However, we didn’t need to ride that fast. The following month was perhaps the longest in my life. Every evening Camuel and I would pack up our necessities and ride throughout the night, becoming invisible to the human eye. During the night, Camuel would talk to me, often saying things that I didn’t understand. Sometimes, he would almost drift off to sleep in the saddle and start talking in a muddled and incongruous language. Sometimes French, sometimes English, the phrases would always come out awkward. At first, I found this slightly funny, watching him slumped over in the saddle talking to what appeared to be himself. Yet, as time grew as it always does, the sayings became more violent and understandable. I never really understood what he was trying to say, nor why, nor who he was trying to say it to, for after about a week of such behavior, he calmed and no longer went to sleep on the horse. From that point on, it seemed that he was looking, or watching for something that never came. When morning came every day, we would set up a tent somewhere off the side of the main road and go to sleep, deeming ourselves nocturnal. It almost seemed that we were. We didn’t sleep during the day because the sunlight hurts us, as many humans tend to believe, we slept during the day to make our cravings for blood more inconspicuous, and to make ourselves less known. Over time, it seemed as though we were in fact living in an alternate universe. Someplace far away where only your dreams can take you had become our new home. Yet during the day, we returned to Earth, despite the fact that we were literally inexistent to the mortal senses.
It took a month and a half, many broken sleeps, too many times when I woke wondering if I had in fact done so. It took thirty nights of riding the longitude of France, four days on the wooden ferry that took us across the English Channel, and another ten days of straight riding, but after all of this, we finally managed to reach our destination: London. Unlike Marseilles, or even Paris, the towers here seemed to scrape the very essence of the sky. The height of the cathedrals and churches were beyond the comprehension of my mind. There were enough people here for me to feed for a decade if I wished, and enough for such to happen without any knowledge of my existence. Everything seemed to fit here in this of all magical places. Here you may not understand the sounds of mingled human voices, speaking over one another to try to let themselves be heard. But here you can hear the very sound of stone ringing in your ears as the beautiful song of the church bells ring in the ears of the people. Here I was in possible the biggest city of our known world, yet unable to experience the natural humane joys of such a place. However, Camuel and I made our joys and for a time after our arrival, I was happy. I lived with Camuel in a small shack off the side of a street. I could feed whenever I needed to, and for once, I truly felt at home. However, my happiness was not to last long, for soon began a series of events that’s pain me to speak of even now.