Autumn awakes to alert consciousness not long before dusk.
Lowering Sun offers dimming of somnolent heat.
I tell her I can take her home or we can stay here to decide
what Kathy needs to know. I tell her I am here for her.
Whatever she needs. We can stay here, make this house
our home. We can invite Kathy away from her demons.
We can be a family. We can remake this place into our own.
She sees my excitement, my hopeful fantasy. She is calm,
deliberate, solemn. She moves slowly, cautious to speak.
I feel energy rising in me, response to falling night.
Autumn feels with me, sympathizes to charge of power.
She hugs me with sudden strength. She takes my hands
in hers, my eyes in hers. Watery blue absorb into deep,
fierce brown of earth.
“That Geoff, he told me you had a deal. He said you had
promised to turn him undead when he was ready. He
laughed that cold, deep knowing laugh and taunted that
he was your real partner for eternity, that I was only a
temporary playmate. He bragged about how powerful he
was now, but that it was only a shadow of what he would
become as super powered immortal.”
“Yes, I made contract with him. We were partners in crime
of mutual benefit. I wanted to believe him my friend.
I let him convince me. I let his plan take me in. I understood
no reason to resist. A good con takes advantage of
unspoken desire, pretends to answer as miraculous fit.
I desired an end to abandonment. I desired to matter,
to be more than for myself. I detested being me. I
attracted a fitting savior. Then he was gone. The man who
returned broke my promise. Betrayal is grounds for breaking
bonds of fealty. My true bond is to my love for you. I could
not let him hurt you further. I removed his threat, for now
She continues to hold my hands, my eyes.
“I understand. Of course I am glad, relieved, that he is gone.
I know you would have regretted his companionship, even
without me in the mix. He wasn’t friend material.
I know you love me, protect me, are loyal to me.
You know I love you. With me, you are not a monster. You
are my beloved friend. You have found your more than you
miracle. I have found safe keeper of my trust, my fantasies,
my fear, my care, all of me. We can be complete together.
We don’t need anybody else. We don’t need to put up with
being harshly treated by their hateful judgments and executions,
spiteful sprite power. We don’t have to live like them, to be
afraid of our own fear so we’ve always preemptively striking,
to always be messing up, creating ugliness as if that were our
greatest goal. I hate them all; and I’m so sick of hating.
You want to help me be whole, to heal from this traumatic
incident. You want to matter, to be useful in my resurrection.
Take me with you, into the night. Turn me.
I’m not some arrogant sleaze. I am Autumn, your true friend.
Give me the immortal power. We could be a happy partnership
forever. You won’t have to stay accustomed to lonely nights.
Neither of us has to suffer ever again. Turn me, like you were
turned from a living death into becoming a powerful undead.
Neither of us will ever have to be abandoned.”
I turn from her. My mind, my will break from her grasp.
A voice, Geoff/Peter’s cackle:
“We use you, vampire, not for any purpose you could condone;
otherwise, it wouldn’t be using but common cause.”
No, I understand. She is scared, scarred, desperate to hide
in transformation. She believes so deeply her need for power,
for defense. She desires to be safe. She desires constant
reassurance of adoration as blanket, as shield.
She demands permanent solution, immersion in darkness.
She does not understand or imagine unintended consequence,
the price of false salvation. She does not possess the truth
of who I am.
I offer my opening piece in response.
“It was not that I lacked sustenance. I had a home, a house
where I was allowed existence, expected. I was fed, clothed,
given opportunity to be clean. I had purpose. My life was
service. No questions, ideation of resistance. How can you
understand? There was no possible ignition of self will.
When the vampire changed me, it was just one more
unquestioned acquiescence. The horror came later.
When I was free to understand awareness of willful self.
My fate was never about free choice, power to effect. By the
time I could cognate the concept of conscience, I was undead,