My screams have buffeted these walls so loudly and for so long, I don't know if the echoes are old or new anymore.
We Slegna do not die. We were here when the Earth was only a spiral of dust. My mother is the first. We call her that because none came before her. It is my fault you call us Angels. I must admit, that I fall short of the misconceptions and lies I created regarding the religions. We are Slegna, not Angels, and my father is the one I had you name God. Save your prayers and wishes, however, my mother has encased him in crystal until he has given Asher and myself his precious forgiveness. It's been over two thousand years and I have yet to receive it.
I am Lucif, the first to fall from Haven, and am quite literally insane. The agony of time has driven me to it. I never realized that existing could be such exquisite horror as these past few decades have been.
I was betrayed by my own creations. These 'Vampires' you hear so much of turned on me. The iron spikes were driven into my eyes too long ago to remember, and since that time I have known nothing but pain.
My vampires have milked me for blood like a blinded cow for decades. They have become drunk on my essence and are now quite powerful. Don't mistake me; I destroyed thousands before they took me down. It was an epic battle, but I was eventually overrun by sheer numbers. Even I did not know of this particular weakness. As one writer so aptly put, 'The eyes are the windows to the soul'. So long as these spikes jut from my eyes, my essence will remain shattered and weak.
Before the worlds began, there were two sides of time. Those like the Slegna, that watched harmlessly, and another darker breed that had a more hands on approach. They are the Darmin, which I later tricked man into calling Demon. They are not nearly as weak or as kind as you have made them out to be, but you will find out soon enough.
A battle raged between us with my father finally taking the forefront. It was within his power to wipe them from existence, but instead he placed them behind the Veil. He like my mother maintains the balance, so the absence of the Darmin would not be tolerated. The gate to that pocket of the multiverse resides on his now forgotten fancy, Earth.
The Veil is weakening. My father was its creator and he has been detained. I suppose I mention this now because I know my brother Asher has finally awakened. He will come and free me. When that day comes, I will heal, gather my creations, breach the Veil, and finally meet my end. I will suffer no more.
A familiar sound drew my attention. I knew it well, but this time it wasn't my skin that felt the puncturing weight of an iron rod. Even stranger, I didn't hear or smell the sizzle of seared flesh.
- - - - - - - - -
Birth of The Damned
The man I love is dead. My time with him was a bittersweet torment. I gave up my world to be in his, and have endured the sorrow ever since. I watched my precious Moses wither with age, and die before I knew what my blood could do for his kind. Eternity pulses through my veins and can create the creatures known as Vampire. It was a different time then, and I was naive to the affect my blood has on humans.
It's difficult to explain how incredibly brief a human life is in comparison to immortality. When you have existed for several hundred millennia, a mere 312 years is barely a blink in time. I remember those last moments as if they happened only yesterday.
Our home was not as elaborate as one might think. It was a simple stone cottage, with a wood and reed roof, located on a hill top on the island of what you now call Islay, Scotland. We could look out our door across the ocean and, on a clear day, see Ireland. The constant breeze made the weather nearly perfect. A human would need a full layer of clothing. I of course usually wore little more than my breechcloth. Much like pain, the chill reminds me that I'm alive.
Moses lay on the fine fabrics and cushions that covered our wooden bed. He was frail and feeble, and had lived for more than three centuries. Though I could prolong his life, I could not extend it indefinitely. His body was well beyond the average age for humans of that time, and simply wore out. His cells would no longer regenerate and he was all but a rotting shell of the young man I once knew.
His olive skin was paper thin and would bruise with the slightest touch. Only after having healed him for many hours could I attempt moving him from one place to another.
'Take me to the cliffs, Lucif. I would see the sunset one last time.' His voice was a whisper as he seemed to lose himself in my eyes.
I couldn't deny him any request, but had no intention of letting my love die. 'You will be with me forever Moses.'
'Take me to the cliffs, Lucif. My time is short.' If he had had any strength left in him, I believe he would have stood and walked out the door. He had always been so stubborn.
After wrapping a blanket around myself to protect me from the sunlight, I lifted him gently in my arms and carried him outside. The setting sun seared the exposed flesh of my hands and arms like meat on a grill. I lay him beside a tree and sat beside him so he could watch the sun paint the sky with reds and golds. Soon, all that remained was a pink halo that peaked from behind the horizon. The first hints of a diamond dusted sky emerged, and I lowered the blanket from around my head as he leaned against me.
I removed the heavy cloth and wrapped it about him to shield him from the cool night air. His smile comforted me as he raised his wrinkled hand and ran his thumb along my cheek.
'Will you not show me the same compassion you would another suffering creature?' His already blood shot eyes filled with tears, and the droplets trailed down his cheeks, pausing in the many ancient folds of his skin.
'I can take away your pain my love. Please don't speak of such things.' My heart ached at the thought of a world without him.
'So you would condemn me to this half life for all eternity? Are you so cruel? That isn't the man I fell in love with.' His words were spoken with as much strength as he could muster and his chest shuddered. A weak cough spluttered from his lips. 'Please let me go. We will meet in another time and place.'
I felt his body shift against mine, and his already bent back slouched beneath his own weight. I knew his life would end if I didn't intervene. I wanted more than anything to steal just a few more moments of time; just enough for one last memory.
Some of my gifts found their way into his soul over the last few decades. He read my thoughts with an urgency I hadn't experienced before.
'No more moments, Lucif. Let this be my final memory. I love you. Another time and place.' His hand fell away from my face as his brown eyes stared into mine.
'I will love you forever, Moses.' I leaned forward and brushed my lips against his.
I had not wept or experienced the infinite depths of loss one can feel until that day when he took his final breath. Part of me raged to bring him back, and I screamed my heartache into the darkness.
My cry was cut short as selfish thoughts filled my mind. I clutched him against me and heard the crunch of too many bones. I poured my heart and soul into him but found nothing to connect with. It was at that moment that I knew he was truly gone.
A rolling white light lifted from his body. It is the same with all humans when they finish their time on Earth. His energy rose up and lingered in front of me. With a pulse of light it passed through me, coalesced, and then blazed upward toward the stars. 'Thank you' was spoken in my mind as his familiar musky scent filled my nostrils. A feathery breath of air fluttered the bangs of my long black hair as I gazed into his vacant eyes.
Sobs shook my chest, and my heart felt stretched to the point of breaking. Then, that is exactly what happened. The link between us was severed and I watched his body age in seconds to a dried husk of taut flesh over bone. As the years passed, the bond between us grew and I didn't realize how much of myself I had given. I wept and screamed my sorrow into the night until the sun rose.
I felt the sizzle and burning sensation like a muted discomfort. I didn't scurry away from the dawn. Instead I hoped I might find oblivion under the harsh gaze of my father's eye, the sun. As dawn grew into day, my clothes erupted in flames making me a living funeral pyre for my love. He burned in my arms until only ash and fragments of bone remained. Normally, I am sure it would have been an excruciating ordeal, but the anguish in my heart made every other horror pale in comparison.
The tree we lay against had caught fire a few hours prior and still smoldered as the sun dipped over the horizon. Most of the limbs had fallen and now lay around me. Only the smoldering embers could be seen in the depths of the tree trunk. As the last remnants of color faded from the sky, my body healed and I watched the moon rise amongst the stars. My tears ran dry and I sat as I had when my love left me. My legs were crossed, but now my arms only cradled the grey dusty remains of my love, Moses.
Gathering a large bit of him in my cupped hands, I stood and made my way to our cottage. I pulled at the door with my mind and ripped it from its hinges. Stepping inside, I lay his ashes on the table.
I still wear a sachet containing his remains around my neck. The leather pouch taps against the center of my chest like a heartbeat with every step I take. It comforts me.
The smell of my love lingered in our home. I couldn't bear to leave and remained there for many years. It wasn't long before civilization found its way to my little island of Islay. Strangers were soon knocking on my door, and my uninvited company prompted me to build a stone wall around the cottage.
I chose to sleep during the day. It's not a necessity or even a common practice among my kind, the Slegna. I took on this habit more out of avoidance of the sun, and to glean those precious moments in the abyss of my mind that is held captive behind closed eyes. I have never known a human that did not take this sweet, fleeting, serenity for granted.
Most evenings I chose to walk to the ocean's edge and meander along the shore. I could arrive at my destination with the speed of thought, but as is the case with so many of my habits, I needed to pass the time. When you have forever, it is necessary to find some way to fill the endless litany of days.
As far as I was concerned, all that I saw was mine. I would watch my surroundings and 'discourage' any who dared enter my domain. Their thoughts were loud, even though their steps were taken with extreme care. When they settled for the night, I would drift along the bending shadows of their campfire and send their bedding and belongings into a blaze with my mind. 'You are not welcome here. Go now or die.' I would merge the message with their thoughts in hopes they would have sense enough to flee.
Those individuals that did not heed my warnings did not live. We were here first, and this was our home. They were intruding, regardless of which conqueror planted his flag. The idiocy of someone landing on a rock and saying 'mine' never ceased to amaze me.
My guests came with increasing frequency and it was quickly becoming a problem. I did not want company, or a reminder of what I had lost.
On one of many lonely nights as I lay against the damp earth relishing the tickle of grass along my neck, I sensed them. Yet another group ventured onto what I considered my land. Taking a deep breath I let my eyes drift from star to star in the night sky.
The smell of damp earth and smoke drew my attention as the wind drifted across my body. They sat around a campfire. There were five of them, 3 men, 1 woman, and a young man of seventeen that lay unconscious beside her. Surely they knew that I would come. Enough rumors and stories had been told, that only those out to kill me had the lack of sense to come here.
I stood and felt the subtle breeze chill the dew on the flesh of my back. We Slegna do not travel like most creature of this world. We move through things as a ghost might and with the speed of thought. The wind took the last of the moisture from my back and legs, and I moved across my land next to where they sat around their campfire.
The woman sat beside the young man, tracing her delicate fingers through the blond curly hair on his forehead. She was exquisite. The red of her hair was intensified by the glow of the fire and contrasted with her ivory skin. I was about to give them my mental warning when the woman spoke.
'He's here. Do not attack him.' Doriana turned, and the firelight lit her face with a half crimson glow.
I knew her face and turned my head to find Galen staring back at me. Druids. As if humans weren't bad enough, now I had old acquaintances showing up uninvited. I didn't consider them friend or foe. We had only briefly met in the distant past, but it was a meeting I still remember.
As the light and shadow from the nearby campfire danced along the young man's face I recognized the mix of features. The Druids had broken the rules yet again. They had had a child. I would have probably chuckled before Moses left me, but now it was only a minor amusement. Of course, I too, was never much for following the rules.
She pointed her outstretched arm in my direction. The glow from the leaves on the tree beside me revealed my position.
'Leave my land Druids. You are not welcome here.' I spoke as well as sent the shattering thought to their minds.
The two guards fell to the ground unconscious. Galen and Doriana remained unaffected, and the young man didn't stir from his sleep. I have to admit that their ability to withstand my mental assault surprised me. I knew they were old, but I had forgotten their origins. These were immortals of another kind.
Stepping out from my failed hiding, I walked toward them. 'You are not welcome here. Do not think I will suffer your intrusion any more than these humans.' I indicated the two unconscious men with a wave of my hand.
'We cannot leave, Lucif.' Galen finally spoke. The low timber of his voice was rich and even. He meant his words.
Galen was yet another form of beauty. He blue-grey eyes peered out at me from beneath his shoulder length brown hair. His thin form did little to hide the strength and power he contained. He stepped forward, and I felt his mind roll across my thoughts with a feathery touch. They were invading my memories. I'm sure they felt the push of me doing the same to them.
'I'm so sorry about, Moses.' Doriana trailed her fingers along the young man's chin. Sorrow etched her eyes in red as she stared back at me.
'Will you please help us? He's our son.' Her voice wavered as she spoke.
'I know who he is. I would have thought you learned your lesson.' I sat on the ground and warmed myself in the amber glow of the campfire.
A flash of lightning raced down from the sky, and I batted it away with my hand. 'Don't test me Druid. I owe you nothing, least of all consideration for your folly.' I glanced at Galen as he stood in the shadows considering his next attack.
'What do I gain?' Doriana didn't seem surprised by my question.
'Is there no pity left in you, Lucif? Would you not spare me the same pain you hold in your heart?' She had pulled too many memories from my mind, and those final moments with Moses tore at what was left of my soul.
'To save your child, you must first kill him.' Doriana's jerked back and her eyes were wide with shock.
'You've trapped a soul in flesh and bone that was never meant to be confined. Did you think you could create a human child from the illusions you wear now?' I shook my head knowing what I said was true.
I grabbed a stick from the ground and prodded the fire as I spoke. 'What nearly destroying the earth wasn't good enough? You both know by now that everything comes with a price. You've imprisoned him in a human body. Just because you hold human form, does not mean you are human. I cannot help you.'
'You can't? Or you won't?' Galen's angry words cut through the darkness. A violent wind pushed against the flames and threatened to rip them from the wood they fed upon.
'I do not know what affect my blood might have on the creature you have spawned.' I turned and focused my gaze on Galen.
'If I give you my help, he may share my curse. Is this a chance you're willing to take?' The snap and crackle of burning wood filled the night.
'Yes.' His voice was stern and resolute.
'Galen! Wait!' Doriana's plea was too late.
A limb bent down from a nearby tree, and Galen snapped off a branch in his hand. As fast as the crunch of wood was heard, he moved to his son's side and plunged the spike into the unconscious young man.
Doriana threw her head back and screamed as a deafening crack of thunder erupted overhead. Tears fell from her emerald green eyes and rolled down her ivory skin. The wind swept her fiery red hair away from her face like vicious crimson whips.
'What have you DONE!?' Doriana's body pulsed with a haunting blue light and a glowing tendril thrust outward from her. It struck Galen in the chest like some poisonous viper and sent him flying through the air.
Doriana rose to her feet, and her moonlit blue glow gave way to a blinding white light. 'You killed my son!' She screeched out the anguished words as though each was a knife twisting into her soul.
'Doriana please! Control yourself! Lucif! Do something!' Galen's desperate cries fell on deaf ears. Mine.
She pursued him in a primal rage. He fought to stay at arms length, but her mind was without reason. She advanced on him like a crashing tidal wave of rage. Nature bent to her will and pressed her closer to him, cutting off his every escape. Stones rose from the ground and lightning burst from the sky. He was cornered.
'You're wasting time.' I had barely spoken the words when I felt a shift in the wind as her hand now clutched my throat.
Death crawled along my skin and for a fleeting moment, I welcomed it. A weakness I had never known consumed me, and oblivion begged my attention. 'Kill me and you kill your son.'
Moments passed before she released me and my body slumped to the ground. The sway of life ebbed as my mind found its way back to now. She was a woman on the edge and we had just taken what mattered most from her, her child. What shook me most was that she had almost ended my life, something I thought impossible for my kind.
My strength returned and I stood. 'Give me your knife.' Galen reached for the blade on his hip and released the strap that held it in place.
'No, get the iron blade from the knapsack. Now is not the time to feign ignorance of my weaknesses.' Galen rushed to one of the fallen guards and rifled through the leather satchel. Finding the blade, he stood and held it out to me.
'Cut me, Druid.' I stared at the blade in his hands as I stretched out my arm and exposed my wrist.
'I can't!' The words had barely passed his lips before Doriana snatched the blade from his hands. She moved with grace and opened my wrist with a quick upward slash.
'Remove the spike from your son's chest and add your blood with mine to the wound.' I knelt beside the still unnamed young man.
Galen pulled the wooden spike from his son's chest and a sucking crunch was heard. I leaned forward and let my blood spill into the gaping wound. Doriana made short work of her and Galen's wrist. They held their hands aloft and let their life spill into the wound.
I drew back expecting the worst and hoped for the best. 'Seal the wound, Druid.' With each passing second I distanced myself from them. I would not be taken by that woman again. She had my fathers touch; 'The killing hand'.
A bolt of lightning streaked down from the sky and sealed the wound on his chest. He inhaled like one drowning in the sea and sat upright. A slow hiss escaped his lips and his head turned in the direction of one of the unconscious guards. Fangs pushed through his gums and shimmered in the fiery glow of the campfire.
In moments he was upon him. He tore into the man's neck and drew the blood from the unconscious body in heavy draughts. Not sated, he moved with an almost imperceptible speed to the other and took the blood from his veins.
'Marcus, NO!' Doriana's cry mixed with the slurping sounds as he fed.
Having drained the second guard, Marcus turned to his mother. There was no reason behind the blue of his eyes as he raced toward her. She reached out her hand and grasped his throat to keep him at bay. His teeth gnashed and snapped as he strained to get a taste of her blood.
'Damn you Lucif. What have you made of our son!?' Doris struggled to control her son's advances.
'I warned you. Do not condemn me for giving you what you asked for.' I had finally recovered, and shot upward into the sky. I preferred the safer aerial view of the camp.
Honestly, I didn't know he would share my curse so completely. Marcus was an innocent, and was loved by the most genuine hearts this universe had to offer. Now he was damned. My blood changed him and took him to a darker place. What was worse they begged me to do it.
'Use the sun's light to control him. If he shares my curse, then he also shares my weakness.' I spoke to the Druids' minds as I lingered in the sky far above them.
'Lumina!' A blinding white light burst from Galen's hand and I heard Marcus scream in agony.
The intense blinding light forced me to turn away and shield my eyes. Even at this distance I could feel it burn my skin.
'Father Mother please don't let me die.' It was the first time I heard Marcus speak, and his voice held such an innocent tone that even I was compelled to turn and look at him.
Marcus lay on the ground at Galen's feet, slowly inching away as the blaze ate at his skin. Sobs shook his chest and mixed with his screams.
'It hurts! Please! You're killing me!' Marcus rolled over and the light ate at his back as he crawled away and struggled to escape into the shadows.
'Don't kill him you fool. Protect him from the sun, but do not trust him. He may be the salvation for your unborn son, Doriana.' I felt the infinite ache of hunger rage in his chest.
What he needed was not human blood. He needed mine. I suppose, looking back, it would have been better to end his suffering, but I already had my fill of death. We made many mistakes that night. One, was not paying attention to the fallen guards, because now they were gone.
'What were their names?' I lowered myself toward the ground but still a comfortable distance away from Doriana and her 'killing hands'.
'What are you rambling about now Lucif?' Galen's voice was strained and filled with rage.
'The guards. I'd like to know their names. We've done the world a great disservice this day, and I would like to remember it properly.' I watched as their eyes shifted to where the guards had fallen and the reality of what I said entered their minds.
'They were dead!?' Doriana's shrill voice didn't hide her horror.
'Yes, and like your son, have been reborn. They are now far away from here. Well Galen?' I pressed again for an answer.
'How can you act as though you aren't responsible for this this abomination?' The tendons in Galen's neck strained as spat the words through clenched teeth.
'I didn't make the guards into the creatures they are now. Your son did. They are not my problem.' Druids have always had a tendency to piss me off and this encounter was no exception. 'See the blood on his lips. It is his. He gave as well as took when he drank.'
Their attention wasn't where it should have been, on their son, Marcus. I was barely able to cross the distance before he struck. Instead of Doriana's neck, his teeth sank into my wrist, and Marcus pulled the blood from my veins. My head swam and a strange ecstasy surged through my body. To liken it to sex would diminish the true nature of what I felt. It was beyond carnal pleasure. For that moment euphoria gripped me completely. Sated, he fell backward and convulsed on the ground. I struggled to keep my balance and watched him writhe in the tall grass.
'The guards are not my problem, but this one is.' I pointed to Marcus. 'Bring him to me just before sunset tomorrow. 'I'm not sure how he will react when he wakes.'
I passed through them and moved to my empty cottage. It had been a full evening, and for the first time since Moses passed, the hours seemed to race by with reckless abandon. They didn't know it yet, but the Druids were about to lose their son forever.