Sunday, October 19, 2008

A History Mystery: Day Seven / Part One

From the Memoirs of Jean Baptiste Morgane

Thursday, 30 October

Anger burned through me, so deep I can barely contain it. In spite of my control, this Mattias continues to thwart me. Images of him hinting and downright coming out and telling Morgan of my nature filled my slumber. If I did not think she would become suspicious instead of incredulous, I would have slain the man as soon as I woke. Though the calling to do so consumes me, I will not give into it. In all good time, he will outlive his usefulness and then I will see to him.

Instead, I decided to sequester myself in for the evening, thereby hoping to avoid the gnawing need to see Morgan. Despite my resolve, my brain refused to focus. It constantly whirled with thoughts of her, the rainbow splash of her eyes as she laughs, the way she purses her lips when she is deep in thought. As foolish as it this may sound, my body still tingled from the passion we’d shared before I slipped away with the blush of dawn painting the indigo void of the dying night.

Never in my existence have I felt so completely lost.

No, that isn’t true. Perhaps for the first time I am found. Morgan defines me like no other ever could. Looking back now with a spark of hope in my heart, the reality that Constance had not been the love of my life came bearing down on me. She had been a means to escape the life I’d chosen for myself. Assuredly, her beauty had marked her as a prize among women, as had her demure nature. I can not deny the benefits of a union between us but I remembered no passion. At least nothing resembling the heat I feel when I am with Morgan.

That train of thought has me straining to fly for the door. Calming the beat of my heart seems an impossibility, but I will strive to do just that.

In light of my decision to stay away from Morgan tonight, I thumbed through the journal I’d retrieved from Mattias, damn his soul. Immersing myself in ancient history didn’t offer the balm I sought. Yet, revisiting my youth made me see the truth. Diablolique’s curse did not make me a monster. I had already been one. Centuries later I saw my humanity had been a sham. Constance had been a tool to turn my buccaneering ways toward loftier atrocities. Whatever delusions I had cultivated lo those long years ago have now been cleared from my eyes.

With that, I know what I have to do. Sacrificing my happiness to let Morgan live without this taint I bear is no longer an option. For she is my happiness. But, can I force this burden upon her? I know that to blindly thrust this upon her will only drive a wedge between us, but I fear revealing it will accomplish the same outcome. To live without her is unthinkable. I can see that now.

Yet, I can not let her run from me when she hears the truth. My self-preservation will not allow for her to reveal my secret to the world. The popular media craze over vampires has diminished the speculative nature of the world. They hunger for vampires to be real. All it will take is for a whisper to become common knowledge and I will be hunted. I refuse to exist that way. No, her choice will be life or death. Nothing else can be allowed.

Love may sway my dead heart but my thoughts know what my heart wants to deny. Without love, life holds no meaning. Even this half life I endure would be heaven compared to what awaits me should Morgan say no. Do I risk all by revealing myself too soon?

I remember, from what little mortality persists to plague me, that normal courtships proceed at a slow rate, even those of an arranged nature. My heart knows we are meant to be together for eternity but will Morgan’s human understanding acquiesce to the harsh truths I must speak?

The thought agonized me for the better part of the evening. Only the chime of midnight striking the ancient mantle clock broke the moroseness of my musings. I knew the matter would prove moot if I didn’t act soon. I could see Mattias’ mind spinning with betrayal. If I didn’t take care of him first, he would take the problem out of my hands, creating an even larger one.

Laying the journal upon my side table, I rose to confront this willful thrall. The night welcomed me with a smothering haze as I exited the door to trudge through the growing humidity that not even darkness could diminish. I ignored it and made my way toward the heart of the city. The endless parade of lovers, or those caught in the grip of lust, no longer held amusement for me. They simply enlarged the yearning I felt to be with Morgan. As I neared Mattias’ abode, I clung to the backstreets to avoid the sight of true love in bloom.

A block from the man’s building, a sudden thought struck me. I made my way to one of the few pay phones left in working order and placed a call to Morgan. She answered with a warmness I found comforting. After apologizing for the intruding so late at night, I fabricated a lie about yet another night of business keeping me tied up. She accepted it gracefully, saying she had been working late in any case. Inquiring as to whether or not she would be free the following night, I expressed a need to see her. A lightness entered her voice and she answered that she was indeed available. She said that she would rather not dine out but would instead fix us a quiet dinner at her place. I agreed whole heartedly to her idea and bid her good night.

With a lighter air about me, I hastened to Mattais’ door. A simple knock gained me access. The man appeared haggard. Dark circles ringed his eyes, giving the indication of lost of sleep. His groveling did little to take the edge off my rage. If anything it infuriated me further. He opened his mouth to spout more lies to questions I had yet to ask. I could stand it no more. The back of my hand sent him sprawling across the floor. The crack of bone let me know, it was a lesson he would not soon forget.

Mattias scrambled to get out of my reach. Faster than he could blink, I jerked him up by his collar and slammed him into the wall. He gasped for breath, my hand tightening around his throat. The scent of his fear intoxicated me. The need to feed overwhelmed what reason I managed to control. With a twist of my hand I bared his neck. The pulse of his fevered life called to me. My fangs dropped and with one swift motion I sank them into his jugular.

The flavor of his fear tasted as sweet as honey upon my tongue. The touch of my lips on his flesh ignited the rush of his mind into my own. I captured his thoughts easily. They were so muddied with his anxiety, I fought to block them from becoming my own. Then blessed silence reached out to me. In the folds of his psyche I commanded obedience. With his death imminent he gladly gave it to me. I released him from my kiss as the last of his resistance flowed away.

I left him then, a crumpled husk of a man, but alive. On the morrow he would be tired, but this memory would remind him that his life was not a gift from God, instead it was a whim of my choosing.

A slight rain, more mist than actual precipitation, greeted me as I strode onto the deserted street. The washing spray soothed the burning that twisted under my skin. I had fed too deep, too fast. I felt drunk on the man’s life force coursing through my veins. It gave me a sudden clarity usually only reserved for geniuses and fools. Tomorrow I will claim my love or find death’s embrace to lull me to sleep.

1 comment:

Maithe said...

Ooh, Jean Baptist is mad! *L*

This is getting better and better. I can't wait to see what happens next!