Men and women have sent millions to their deaths, fought thousands of wars, given billions of bets and bargains for something so simple. Many lives have been lost and wasted in the search for unending life. It is the ultimate gift and blessing.
Thousands of years have been spent searching for the ability to live for those thousands of years. So much possibility is held within each life. Each life is sacred and yet worthless enough to be bartered for another. At each death, a tear is shed. At every cry of anguish from a now childless mother, a cry is wrung from my frail body.
Immortality is man's uniting dream
And it is my unhappy blessing.
If you want to know about immortality then go visit your local pagan. I'm not here to tell you how to get it; I wouldn't tell you even if I could. No, I'm not being selfish or self-serving. As I said before, it is a curse, an unhappy blessing, a gift I would die to give back but I wouldn't give to another for the life of me. I have seen cities built and destroyed, rebuilt and torn down and then built over the top of with new, 'fashionable' architecture. I have seen many such cities.
Paris was my favourite for architecture. The La Ville-Lumière was the home of the artists and revolutionaries. And Roma, oh I've missed Rome, the spectacular ceiling of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni in the Sistine Chapel. God giving life to Adam, it is the most well-recognised of his works even though it is merely a part of 'the final judgement'. Yes, I have missed Rome. I might go visit in a while, once I finish my story. I've been waiting years to tell it but, before the internet came to the fore remaining anonymous in writing was difficult, even for a storybook such as this. It has taken a while to move from writing with ink and paper to pressing the little keys and having the letter forms appear on the blank screen before me too but it has been a gradual introduction. To me, there still remains something more honest and pure about the written word when it is actually written.
To think, the thing on my lap, a 'net-book' is the grandchild of a loud, clunking, unreliable beast that once filled a room in my quiet country house. Do I appear to you as much the same? Am I an unevolved beast attempting to blend with the better, more sleekly finished and largely improved younger generation? Granted that hulking beast would not blend with a room of PC's, laptops, net-books, note-books and mobile phones but neither, I feel, do I.
I never met Jesus, or chatted over coffee with Charles Darwin Senior, tutting over his son's latest antics onboard the HMS Beagle. Nor did I ever pursue a public career. In fact, whilst waiting for my family to pass, I spent many years as a hermit, emerging only to barter for food and occasionally clothes. Immortality does not mean you do not need to eat or that you do not feel the cold. It doesn't mean that you have the time or capacity to mix with the well-to-do. It is merely a means to an end.
And I am searching for the beginning of my end. I am beginning my re-emergence into society. I feel the need to be more than just the occasional visitor in the grocery store spending millions on tinned food in outdated clothing and with extremely old money. Well that or a rather dusty looking credit card that has been 'borrowed' from a young lady not too far away.
It is time for our return. Eternity is beginning to sound like a long time.
She falls through the loosely boarded floor, her golden curls and white dress billowing around her slim form. A falling star, tumbling through the air and landing hard on brown dirt floors. A red trickle stains brown as the white turns to red and spreads. Blue eyes flutter open and closed, a butterfly flying on wet wings. A creak on the stair resonates in C minor, wide green eyes stare at the brown, gold, red, white and dying figure on the floor, beige stockinged feet rush to the sadly coloured shape and mutter. Brown eyed boys clamour above, congratulating each other on their success at scaring the beauty. A single pair of eyes glisten as they peer over the newly formed gap in the floorboards. Silence slowly gains dominance as other pairs join him, realising their miscalculation.
Green eyes peer up, cheeks glistening and hands red, pink lips scream. Collapsing against the silent golden haired girl she gently pulls back the golden strands from the porcelain face, softly running cold fingers down the frightened face, closing baby blue eyes for a final time.
The light of an angel had left this earth.
I step out into the sunshine. The glare hits my eyes and I squint away from the pain. The light is too bright and too strong for me. It reflects off every shining surface, blinding me in its luminescence. Golden strands of sunlight and a baby blue sky, a woman in a blood red shirt and the white I see on the buildings around me, brown bricks and white paint. I try not to remember but years have taught me that forgetting is as much a punishment as remembering. Forgetting the smile of friends long passed, the way they looked before they wilted in front of my ageless green eyes. To forget the joy to be found in seeing another sunrise, a flower or a child is a punishment beyond withstanding. Forgetting a child and the joy of a child is most painful.
Sparkling green eyes meet sky blue, smiles grace both lips, and red and pink reflect a joy unknown to any. The first touch of a friend at the loss of a loved one.
Pale hands hold the back of my head, halting madness and placing barriers from the demons that plague me. My white stockinged legs thrash with the agony.
Another soul lost to humanity's endless quest.
I hail a taxi. No horses dressed up in their blinkers try to snatch the sweets from my pocket. Nostalgia runs through this old mind like water over a waterfall. I climb into the taxi and point the direction. I'm off to the bank. I need money to begin living again.
A stake through the heart killed her, robbing me of a companion to eternity. An angel brought down by a devil's death.
Interest is a girl's best friend. What began as thousand pounds in England is now...a fair bit more and very happy to see me again. I place all my golden interest onto a shiny little card with a black strip and my signature on the back and leave. What a happy little card.
"Jack, Queen, King, Ace, who will win first place"
My happy little card swipes me a happy little house a little closer to the city. I move all my furniture with a happy little truck into my new house and it feels
Eternity is a bloody long time to be lonely
My new house glitters in the sunlight. Christmas decorations catch the lazy rays beating upon it, capturing them, loving them and setting them free to where they came from. Such lucky little rays.
Clicking and tapping along the concreted pathways in high heels and floating in a willowy pink skirt I arrive at the park. Mounting the swing and beginning to build momentum I fly through the air. The world beneath me blurs and colours mix. I fall from the swing at its height, leaping off to land safely in the arms of another. He would never let me fall.
His fingers slide through black curls, eliciting happy giggles from my pink lips. I have missed him.
"Don't let me fall."
"I promise I'll catch you every time you need me."
"Please don't let me fall."
My feet touch the dark brown earth and sadness engulfs me. She should be here. She promised she would.
His dark head turns. The smile gracing his soft lips trembles so slightly. "Where is she? Where is that girl?" I cannot answer. "She should be here. Is she late?" I look to the man who seemed so strong and whole in my memories and I see a shell. Time has not forgiven him his folly. He remains broken. "I will wait for her." He sits with his legs crossed on the dirt. A lost little boy waiting for his mother, a toy waiting to be collected. My hands hold his shoulders as we wait for the girl who will not come.
His brown eyes know why she will not come.
His red heart does not.
After too long spent waiting he rises smoothly from the floor. His ageless body shows no signs of tiredness. A little boy in denim overalls approaches him. The man's mouth forms a child-like grin that mirrors the boy's. The boy holds a green stuffed bear close to his chest and looks into the eyes of the man. "My mummy says big boys don't cry but you look like you've been crying. Are you a big boy?"
The man's eyebrows furrow and he turns to me, lost. I kneel in front of the boy. "Some big boys never stop being little boys in their heads." The little boy cannot understand the sorrow of the big boy. This big boy never grew up. He is peter pan. Never dying and never growing older. This big boy is still a frightened little child. His glistening brown eyes do not let his heart see his pain.
"But I am a big boy. I'm older than you. Don't you remember? I was there when mother had you." This little boy does not see.
And the little boy goes home.
I take the hand of my big boy and lead him to my house. My brother flops onto the sheep-skin mat on my floor. He curls up like an old cat and falls asleep in front of the fire. I curl up beside him and we are content.
It seems to be a period of reunion. I awoke a year later, curled beside my brother and the fireplace as we do each night. Rustling noises stemmed from the kitchen. I silently slipped into the kitchen to find a strong back blocking the view of my stove. I tapped the counter with a fingernail and brown eyes meet green for the first time in years. Another brother has returned home. I send him to the fur and the fire.
He never could cook.
There are four of us. There were six. She was our fifth. Our golden gem. My three brothers, myself and her would face millennia together. The four of us had found each other again.
"How did it happen?"
"Murder most foul"
I also found him not long after, our 'other one', the one that we deny. Glistening brown eyes that shed the most tears belonged to him and him alone. He did not cry from sadness but well disguised mirth. Innocence was granted to the least deserving. Golden, red, brown, blue and white pain was his speciality. All the guilt belonged to him and was shared between the four who did no crime.
I saw him in the park during springtime. I cursed the steps he took. He turned and sadness seared through me. Lovers make the most painful sorrows. He wrapped my feeble form with his strong arms and held me close while angry tears ran down my face. The sorrow within him was not for her. It was for his loss.
I brought our traitor home.
Bright candles flickered before each of our eyes. They searched for truths we could not give. "Who broke the lock? Who loosened the nails? Who pushed the girl?"
Who pushed the girl?
Who pushed the girl?
Who pushed the girl?
He took us in there, to his uncle's shed on his uncle's farm. He took us up the fragile creaking stairs to the loft. He told the boys that the hay on the floor below would soften the fall. He told the boys that she wanted to be scared. She wanted the thrill. He told them it was safe.
And I believed him.
None of us checked the hay.
None of us checked how long the fall was.
None of us asked her.
All of us killed her.
My gentleman betrothed let us.
He sat before the guttering candles, proclaiming innocence and claiming truths that rang hollow. We planned it. We were jealous. They were engaged. To be wed in the fall. We were killers. It was planned.
Our very own traitor.
My brothers gather in my loungeroom. A slight snarl stems from the eldest and my youngest brother sits sullenly in the corner, glaring. And my brother, my twin, stands concerned and confused by my side. He does not know this man.
This is the first meeting since...
And silence reigns.
My question rings out. Brown eyes dart to me.
"Why did you hurt her? Why did you hurt us? Why?"
His brown eyes drop to the floor. The first sign of the guilt, the remorse that I hope resides within. "She was yours."
"She was yours too." I hurt with each word that crosses my dry lips but I cannot stop them.
"She was yours, and I was not. You did not want me. You had her. You loved her as a sister and me as some kind of side thought."
"So you killed her?" a quiet voice resonates from the shadows of the corner.
"She was immortal. She was never meant to die."
The figure at my side moves. He sinks to the floor. Grabbing my hand and pulling me down. He hides his tears in my shoulder. Gasping sobs ring out as his fogged eyes can no longer deny him the vision. She is gone and his golden darling is not to return.
I leave my house, my family and him that day. That was the day I lost my faith in the humanity of an immortal. With centuries to learn it, we do not even begin to try.
It takes some time but I gradually make my mind up. Immortality is not for the hard-hearted. I wander the world for a while, musing, planning. My youngest brother is first of my list of relatives to meet.
We meet in Australia. He came here first on a fleet of 12 white boats. He was a convict who stole a rich man's purse and a poor woman's bread to feed his struggling family. That was the first time our youngest brother left me. I pulled into Sydney harbor. The little inlet managed to support a colony somehow. My plane rounded the airport, landing worryingly close to the water and zooming over a highway. I flounced off the plane, the epitome of the disgruntled traveller and ran to my baby brother's overly large hug.
We climbed into the car to go home. I demanded to drive. Years of study came together in a single moment. The holden commodore smashed through a pole, landing on the white car. His red blood spurted over me, the blue sky seemed to cloud over and the clouds began to cry. Brown seat covers were torn through and golden coins flew around the cabin from the compartment holding them. A section of the telegraph pole had been wrapped around by the car. My brother, my darling baby brother was wrapped around a telegraph pole.
My older brother was always the strong one. He held us together and kept us apart when we had been cooped up for too long. I came to him, broken after the death of yet another immortal. I explained myself, my reasoning. I did not admit to my brother's death until the knife was already firmly placed inside his chest. We are open to pain when we love.
My twin, my ultimate other half. I shared a womb with this man. How muh more intimate could two people become. Our love was not that of incest but that of brother and sister, family, one half of the same embryo. We were two bodies with the same birthday. I sat before him. He sat before me. He was broken. Her death had finally finished the job. He remembered. He could no longer wait for her return. I told my womb-mate everything on a chair in Venice. A small café that we owned was our host for the afternoon. I explained my motive and he told me of his guilt. We held each other close as I held his final breaths between my hands, nestled close to my heart. In that moment I am both the guiltiest and the most innocent I have ever been.
I spend years searching for him. He is the final piece in my quest for forgiveness. The final piece to our redemption is to be found in his death. He shall no longer mourn for his loss, he will mourn for her.
I corner him in India. The overcrowded country is striking in its beauty and simplicity. The raw human suffering andemotion strikes me. This is what we live for. This is what we are dying for. A dingy little hostel holds a dingy old man. Brown eyes open wide as I enter the room. Pure fear assaults my nostrils. He knows why I am here.
"You don't understand, it was all an accident. I didn't mean for her to die."
"I am not here for her sake. I am here for ours. Immortality is not meant for mortals darling."
"It's just us though, now. We can run, go back to the amazon basin and hide with the toucans. You loved the toucans. Or find a little English village that has never even heard of the Amazon Basin and start again. It'll just us being together again. You remember the song birds don't you? You would sit and listen to their beauty for hours. We can listen to them again for millennia."
I cannot deny being tempted. I look at the world around me. It is dirty and dying because of the likes of us. The complacent little children who never have to grow up. Rich peter pans who never learnt to fear death, who never knew the concept of unknown, simply that which is not yet known. The eternal children without mothers are pulling the earth to its knees because they do not care enough to care for it. My lover beckons be closer. He promises a world of perfection and simplicity and he broke many people, killed an immortal, to bring us to this place.
I hold my head high, ghosts fleeing my troubled soul and turn from him. I loved him once and I love him still. I do not love him as he is but for the shadow of what he was. I love him for a memory of what we once were. I am not the girl who fell in love with him and he is not the boy I fell in love with. I release his hand and I release his heart and mine. Sad green eyes hold his dirt brown, "I do love you but I cannot choose you." I walked into the final dust storm of humanity and immersed myself finally into their world. And finally disappeared from his.
Is eternity finished yet? Is forever done? Have enough people died to sate your thirst for life? I am done with your evermore. I have seen cities rise and fall and I have watched my home burn down. The world is ashes and dust and still you stand and laugh. Master that you are, what are you master of? A desolate eternal wasteland? And who do you rule? Owned by the ghosts within you and no one in your kingdom, you can rule nothing, not even yourself.
Goodnight Master, sleep well upon your empty throne.
May your dreams be pleasant.
And I fell through the loosely boarded floor, my dark curls and red dress billowing around my cured form. Time has changed me. A fallen star too long tumbled through the air and tossed by the clutches of others only to land finally. A red trickle stains gold as the red turns to white and spreads. Green eyes flutter open and closed, a butterfly flying freely. No one is there to see
Green eyes peer up and, cheeks glistening, grasps a well missed hand, closing wide green eyes for a final time.
The light of an angel has found this heaven.