Tears are clawing down my cheeks, radiant beads of crystal light. They are staining my open palms and the wine red shirt covering my chest. Liquid crimson is covering my flinching hands; beads slide down my trembling fingers. I bite my lip with a single ivory canine, trying to force the thoughts away. What have I done? His body is only a few steps away, lifeless and no longer breathing. My beautiful Dominique…I'm writing this now, in hopes someone will remember…being forgotten is worse than death…I will start from the beginning, if it will help…
It wasn't too long ago, perhaps only to me, but I must start somewhere. It was on the last few days before I would turn eighteen that my life would change, for better or for worse…you can decide which it is. My name was Katherine then…it meant "purest one". I had received a pre-birthday initiation into adulthood, as if it was that big of a deal. I received a letter that day. It may not seem important this moment, but that was where it started. The only thing written on it was Secret, For Your Eyes Alone. I split the seam of the yellowed envelope and pulled out parchment that could have been mistaken for some scroll in the depths of Ancient Egypt. I tried to show it to my parents, but all they could see was blocky symbols and calligraphy. They couldn't read the fancy cursive that decorated the page in delicate swirls. It read:
My Dearest Katherine,
Congratulations on your eighteenth birthday. It is this day that I have awaited for many years, biding the time in which we will finally meet. Do you know who I am? It is doubtful that you will have an answer to this question, but I will risk asking you. We will meet very soon and, then, perhaps you will remember. For all your long years, I've watched you grow into the cherished young one that you are. Now, I believe it is time to tell you the truth of your existence. You are not whom you appear to be on the outside. You are far more than that…yes, far more, indeed, I cannot say much, for your eyes are not the only one's that can read the coded writing you see here. Your "parents" cannot read the words, for they are merely mortals. When we meet, I will tell you the truth of what you are. Do not be afraid of my presence, Katherine. I am here to protect you. I shall write no more, but my words will answer your questions when you see me.
All of my love,
I had never known of such beautiful writing, especially from a male, which I had assumed it was. So many things about this letter confused me so, that I had isolated myself for an entire day, puzzling over the written letter. Many questions reached me, ranging from, "Who are you, Dominique?" to even more confusing as "Why is the word parents in quotation marks?" I read it so many times that the paper became extremely smooth and almost cloth-like. I would turn it over, hoping for an answer to my questions, but there was only an even more puzzling inscription on the back of the letter. This one said:
The strongest and the weakest of us
I racked every aspect of my person for the answer until I had ensured myself that my mind had split into two. In the end I had become infuriated at the very sight of the letter and forced the thoughts to the darkest corners of my mind. I resolved that I would interrogate this Dominique and answer these revolving questions. The one question that could not, or I wouldn't let it, die with the rest. It was this question that possibly horrified me. Why should I be afraid of him? This question haunted me the most of all of them. I would dream of a faceless terror, whispers of torture in my ear. Then it happened. The day arrived.
Gifts were placed at the foot of my Victorian bed, as was custom. I adored the small cards and happy wishes that my parents and relatives had given to me. The gifts were delightful, most of them were fascinating books –I craved reading material.
One of the packages caught my eye. It was wrapped in delicate black velvet, which caused me to examine it closer, as packages were almost never wrapped in such soft velvet. The package had a bow of cream-colored lace, which wrapped around the entire package as a normal ribbon would. On the top of the package was another yellowed envelope and, as before, it had the same headline across it. It said Secret, For Your Eyes Alone. I gingerly grasped the envelope, feeling the plainness of the covering. I slit the seam as before, but only half a page of yellowed parchment was there. It gave congratulations again and nothing else but his signature on the front. On the back read: Tonight, a full moon rises. Tonight, I will be at your door.
Setting the letter on my bed, I picked up the package. It was small, almost the size of a leather bound novel, but it wasn't a book. I undid the delicious wrapping and delicately placed it beside the letter. It was a raven black box, almost the shade of the velvet, with solid gold engravings. The engravings read:
Warm With Love,
Lost In Passion,
It surprised me, these engravings, but even more so that they were solid gold. My fingers grazed the cool lid, and slowly it lifted. Inside was the most appealing item my eyes had ever seen.