Memoirs of an Immortal</u>
He looked out at the people roaming the near empty streets from his place on the balcony and honestly wondered why they kept going. He knew the answer of course. Because they had no choice. Or better, because they chose to. They felt they had something to live for, something to gain.
They didn't. He knew this. It was the fate of all beings. The rule of life. To live, to die.
Yet that rule didn't apply to him. Yes, he lived, as he had lived for a few centuries now but that was all. Death never came knocking at his door. It never would. And so, he would live and keep on living in an endless loop.
Sighing, he ran a hand through his dark hair. On the day of his birth he was given the name Triack. It meant 'blessed' in a language the human race had long since forgotten. He shook his head at that.
Blessed? More like cursed. A gypsy-witch had cast a spell on him as a young man, granting him eternal life. A similar fate had be fallen his little sister but hers was a more tragic tale.
Triack once again turned his attention to the street below. Streetlamps blocked out the meager light from the stars above. There were strange things, streetlamps. Many of the New Age wonders were. Curious things meant to improve life, make thing better. Looking back on time of his own people, he didn't think it made much difference. It only provided a new torture to these wasteful lives.
He knew several humans wished to live forever, that it was some great gift. They weren't stupid, just cowards unwilling to face the harsh reality of life. Scared to face the darkness, scared of the cold. Scared of death.
Triack viewed immortality as a curse rather than a gift and those who seek it fools. Who would want to watch the world whither away? Who would want to live on as friends and family died of old age? To spend eternity the same age forever and grow miserable at each too long year. Obviously, some did.
He stood from his old whicker chair, went inside and retired to bed.
The music drifted gently up the hill in the chill breeze. It was the most hauntingly beautiful thing he had ever heard. He was drawn to it, though he wasn't sure why. It warmed him to his soul and seemed like the sweetest dream he'd ever had, filling him completely with a feeling of peace.
Smoke rose from the rather large yet ramshackle camp by the river. The music came from there. Other sounds rose up into the night, the moon making everything it touched look majestic. Laughter and voices were raised to the stars but he couldn't understand them. They sounded just like the music that wove its way around him, pulling closer and sinking in.
He stepped out of the cold, dark forest and realized in both fascination and horror what this camp was.
It was a gypsy caravan.
Gypsies were feared and shunned by the people of Rotavik, thought to be non-human witches that gave their souls to demons for their power. They dallied in free dance and song, movement and sound without purpose. It was how they worked their witchcraft. Everyone knew that. That would explain what they were doing by the river instead of being in the village. They were mostly likely cursing it for the village people, poison in revenge for their outcast status.
As much as he feared them, however, he couldn't help but be drawn closer by the dancers' swift and flowing movements and the rising melodies with the lowering harmonies. Walking closer, not thinking to be cautious, he gazed upon the beauties. They probably got that from demons too, there was hardly an ugly face amoung them.
One of the old white-haired men turned and saw him. He smiled.
"Look, my dear. We've got a catch tonight," he croaked in a language the intruder could not understand.
A bare-footed dancer dressed in flowing red and yellow- trimmed robes turned to see what the old man saw. She too smiled with a gladness that could not be match."That we have, indeed. He is from this country, too. Perhaps he is the one, Cordawn, my father."
Cordawn shook his head. "I doubt that very much, my beloved daughter. He seems too young."
"But why, Cordawn? Why would he come here if it were not he? The villagers hate and fear us. They would not dare approach without any weapons." Her bird-song voice wavered almost to the croak of a frog.
He thought this a moment as he examined the intruder. "You are very right, my dear. There is only one reason he is here. Go, my Fiery Daughter."
All the while he stood there, not knowing a word either of them said. The others seemed completely oblivious to the three. Indeed, he was most distracted by the rest of the caravan and barely spared a thought for the conversing pair.
Being transfixed by the songs and dances, he did not move as the red clad dancer began walking over. It wasn't until she reached out to him that his mind kicked in. Though he knew he had to run, his feet would not respond. His body had locked itself in place and his sluggishly mind could not send out the proper signals.
Fiery Daughter took his shoulders and sang in an ancient language known only to her people. A phoenix song. Fear consumed him but still he was paralyzed, rooted to the spot and not able to move. The moon seemed to disappear behind an oily black veil as did all the sounds around them.
"Go now," she finished though he could not understand her. "Go and realize what you have been gifted with."
Now he ran. Faster and faster he went, putting the strange incident and the witch people behind him forever. He ran for his life. Little did he know that his life would never be endangered again.
Triack awoke with a start, bolting upright in his bed and gasping deeply. Cold sweat drenched his body and his breathing was heavily like he had been starved of air. Dropping his head in his hands, he took a shaky breath and tried to shove his feelings away.
These dreams hunted him endlessly, plaguing almost every night ever since he had left the demon dance. They didn't seem to want to leave him, the memories of that terrible night. They circled around in his mind, turning to mist in the day and solidifying at night but never drifting away like smoke. Countless questions accompanied them as well. Why did that woman approach him? Why was he drawn to the music and no one else? What were she and that man talking about? He'd never found the answers to any of them. The caravan had all left by morning light.
As the image of the gypsy caravan faded from recent memory to lurk silently at the back of his mind, Triack rose and made his way to the balcony.
The night's air chilled his bare torso and the cement floor froze his feet. He welcomed the cold as it reminded him that he could still feel physical pain. It helped to wake him and showed that he did exist, that he wasn't some shade that would never know what it was like to feel. Leaning against the rail, Triack once again looked down on the streets below.
Few people roamed the darkened town just after midnight people in this district tended to be superstitious but the roads were never empty long. A couple of drunks staggered dangerously in no clear direction. He smiled at that, finding that as morbidly amusing as always. Downing your worries and fears in alcohol never worked yet still they tried. Like a man's desire for immortality.
"If they tried it for a while, they'll understand," Triack mused, age old sorrow etching itself in his face. "It's not as great as they seem to think."
He closed his eyes and tried to think of what he once had. Unfortunately, the memories of his family had long been lost to him. His mother, his father, his brothers. All lost to time. The countless years had taken their toll on his most precious memories. His sister, though, had survived throughout the nameless years.
R'maye. A mystery not even the smartest man alive could solve. He was the only one that remembered her true name, the only one who could use it against her.
He sighed heavily as an ancient weight pulled his spirit down. What had happened to his playful little sister so long ago? The one that always asked what she had to do, even when she had grown into a woman? The curious girl who wondered about everything? The one person in his life he could count on for anything?
She was lost to history, expect, not even history remembered her. That woman that had taken his sister's place was cruel and heartless, caring not one wit about anything surrounding her. She probably had forgotten him.
Sighing once again, Triack looked toward the stars. He would get no more sleep this night. All he could do was gaze upon the endless dark sky and think of all the things long lost to him.
To this immortal, he was not alive, he simply existed. And that existence was absolute hell.