Discovers his light is truly night, what’s an angel filled with hate?
Demonic core can’t help but notice, an angel’s fall, a diabolical focus.
Princes, barons, knights, to arms, our cry to Heaven marches on.
Heavenly essence departed, oh fallen, oh frail, and weak.
Once foes, now friends, no need to lie and wither in defeat.
Our cause, now yours, the argument rages on.
Angelic limbs, now claws, Heaven’s eyes have shunned.
Feel free, your own, sacrilege and blasphemy your words.
Seeds of wisdom sewn, no longer part of an angelic herd.
The choice is yours, his children sleep,
Our Father assures,
Their souls are not theirs to keep. . .
“You are a religious man, Father, a spiritual man. Tell me, why do mortals fear death? Why do they fear the impermanency of life? Yet they continue to squander and pervert the very things they hold sacred. As if life was ever theirs to begin with.”
There he goes again, Father Purgeon thinks, referring to Roman’s use of the word ‘mortals’, separating himself from everybody else.“To many, death represents an ending. We doubt there’s more to life than what we see. All of our fears come from death. Every one of them. And even though we innately know that there’s more, doubt makes it easier to pervert sanctity, plausible to corrupt what is righteous.”
Roman smirks. “Man is enslaved to his ideas, his cages of concepts, and his tinkering thoughts. Selfish ends that disregarded the whole, to not only the detriment of the human race, but to the planet. There were once enough resources on this planet to accommodate not only every human being, but every living thing as well. Resources squandered for concepts like greed, power, and wealth. This cannot be what was intended.”
Though he catches everything Roman says, Father Purgeon can’t help but notice Roman’s eyes. They were blue last week. He stares at Roman’s green eyes, making sure that he is not mistaken. Feeling he’s taken too long to respond, the priest lets it pass. “Intended, implies that something was meant to be. We’ve been given the tools, Roman, the equipment to complete a task we cannot fully see, or understand. Nothing more. The choice is ours.”
Roman looked up at the sky. Three hours until dawn.
He was perched on the rooftop of the two-story house he called home, staring at the approaching day; a promised beauty whose fruition he could never glimpse, only speculate on. He no longer searched for a sliver of solace in an otherwise desperate existence. Morality owned nothing in this dark enterprise. This living oblivion was a mockery of life, a hell he couldn’t bear anymore, a hell he wouldn’t bear anymore. He’d hunger again. He’d kill again. No matter the regret.
Morning drank away the night, but the dark still held sway. Winter’s breath caressed his face, made him aware of how soothing the night could be. But it was a small comfort and it wasn’t enough to make him change his mind. He’d already made his decision. He mourned the night’s departure, though not his own.
Over the course of a year, (he could recollect nothing prior to that) he’d seen and learned much, and he didn’t know what depressed him more, the mortals who dwelled upon the earth or the parasitical phantom that he was, who pilfered their blood. His observations had shown him that most mortals, excluding the self-delusional, didn’t cherish the lives they led, didn’t cherish themselves, or those they professed to love. Like them, Roman wondered if there was any real meaning to life, to existence. Was it all for nothing?
Without a memory, he had no name. He’d decided to call himself Roman, because naming himself after that fallen empire seemed appropriate. He always felt that he’d fallen from some kind of grace, some unremembered sanctity he’d shamed. And the Fall of Rome was an archetype, for every real and imagined decline, and served as a representation to his and man’s fears.
Though he couldn’t recall a beginning, he was planning an end. If only he could remember. Why was he here? Was there a reason? Did he have a purpose? Or was he arrogant to think that?
At first, hunting and killing evil mortals had given him a reason to continue, made him feel like he was making some sort of a difference. But as the year wore on, what joy he’d received from killing dissipated nightly. Now he only killed to survive. And mere survival wasn’t reason enough to live.
If he’d kept his meeting, his holy friend, his only friend, would have tried to sway him, steer him clear of suicide. He’d miss their conversations. Yet he understood that their talks had to end, for on some level, Roman believed that his association with the priest might endanger his friend. He’d never bring harm to his door, knowingly. This was his hell and he didn’t want to share it.
What would become of him? Would hell have him to hold? If there was even such a place, he was surely destined for it. Or would he disperse into nothingness? He wanted to stop thinking; he wanted to stop feeling, yet he didn’t want these final thoughts to become his epitaph.
The sound of wheels churning on dirt broke his reverie.
Roman stood up. A figure immersed in black. His eyes were black onyx orbs, lifeless like a shark’s. They were as dead as his heart, a heart that only beat when fed stolen blood. Pale parted lips revealed the tips of ivory daggers. Blue veins pulsed beneath starving flesh.
He looked past the slope his house sat on, beyond the pebbled lakeside, where the shore shimmered under the lunar watch and lapping waves licked the bank’s graveled lips. The night breathed cold and whipped the lakeshore’s fog into the forest’s trees and thickets that flanked its borders. He looked beyond all this and spotted a car, half a mile away, traveling down a dirt road, headlights off.
Mortal dwellings in this vicinity were far and few. Unlike Cityside, humans sparsely populated Woodside. The vehicle’s presence was ominous.
Like a beacon, the driver’s aura attracted him; crimson as blood it seethed. The murderous red. An evil mortal. A destitute soul. Though the red was enough to unleash Roman’s blood lust, the rare, black field, girdling both the body and the aura emancipated his wrath, made him want to purge such a soul from the planet. He’d seen that black hue twice before, tasted the purity of its evil. The aura pulled him and begged him for death, stoked a hunger he hadn’t fed in over a week. Knowing he was going to end his existence, he’d purposely starved himself, abstained from the sustenance that would bring him both joy and despair.
All mortals have auras, and with each one, there is a song, notes strung by the soul, melodic or cacophonous, or somewhere in between, depending on the vessel’s moralistic inclinations. The driver’s aura was no exception; from his ebony-encased, red aura, deep, rolling drums of dread beat.
Roman sat back down, ignoring the car, the ache in his veins, and the desire to kill. The only death he wanted tonight was his own.
Then something strange happened. He heard a whisper, coming from the car, whose words hung somewhere on the periphery of his understanding. He looked back at the car and saw the source of the sound, a cerulean glimmer coming from the trunk. It was so faint that he doubted he’d seen anything at all. No, he had seen something. In this existence, his instincts and attributes were all he could rely on.
Again the flicker. Definitely another aura. There were two occupants in the vehicle.
Though the car was some distance away, the blue aura felt much closer, almost as if it were on the rooftop with him, as if it occupied the same space, as if they were one. Roman had never felt anything like it. Never seen anything like it. Not this perfect. Not this pure. A layer of white surrounded the blue aura. He’d no trouble recognizing it or its moralistic predilection. Aura reading was imperative. If misread, fatal consequences ensued. One could not feed on those of the pure. Transfixed by its gleam he couldn’t look away. It throttled with anxiety. A need for release.
It called to Roman. Whispers became words.
Remember, it said. Remember.
Simple words. Complicated request. It was the one thing he couldn’t do.
He focused on the pure aura, on its voice, but his head started to throb with implosive pain. His ears rang with blaring chimes. A faint harmonious melody played behind the pain. He pulled his mind away.
The pain stopped.
He looked to the road and saw the car now a mile away fading into the forest. The blue and white aura blazed bright again, inviting him to follow. Remember. Remember, it chanted. He could feel the desperation behind the words, could feel the fear escalating into terror, laced with a lingering sorrow, a lasting loss.
Dead eyes watched the departing vehicle like a bird of prey.
Never had a soul spoken to him before. Far more than frustration, the enigma bred madness. What had he forgotten? Why couldn’t he remember?
Roman focused on what he knew. An evil mortal was driving a car with a good soul in the trunk. Not just a good soul, a pure one. An abduction? He felt his anger rise. Felt the rage wash over him. He’d not have what was so rare in this world destroyed. He’d not have such light doused.
He could die another day.
Roman leaped from the roof and fell to the rushing earth. From the slits of his black coat sprung leathery wings, moist and glistening. With one powerful flap, he skirted the ground and swept to a soar, off into the dying night.