Free Fall
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Free Fall

tredici: mal di cuore

Free Fall

What does it mean to change so drastically that nothing is the same anymore, friends become fancy, foes become food? What does it mean to know that you will never see your loved ones in the same light again? That you once pure, loving view has become lustrous and fiendish? What does it mean to lose who you are? To go from someone curious for life to someone who fears they will grow weary of it?

A lone figure stood crouched under a tree contemplating these questions. Though the night was chilly and blusterous, he wore no protection. Though there was a festival going on below with lovers and children and families running around, shrieking in delight, he stood in somber, silent, solitude.

He saw a woman, her face lined with age and worry, walk with the help of a grandson; he smiled in recognition and felt a sharp pang as he studied her eyes. She was happy, grateful, content, but full of questions; her life still felt incomplete. He longed to go to her, to explain, but he couldn't. He did not wish to pollute her with this; he did not want her to feel distant from the family she had been able to build: he had always thought her to be wise, charming, progressive but the fact that she had kept herself honorable after what had happened- after what he had done to her- proved this fact. He did not wish to alarm those who loved her. Most of all, he did not want to watch her learn and ask the question he had asked himself a thousand times; he knew the answer, he believed the answer, but it still felt insufficient; it felt weak and wrong. He knew it wasn't, but he didn't really. He wanted to move away; he knew that is she looked up, she would recognize his silhouette even with her aged eyes.

But he could not stop looking at her and imagining their future- what they would have had if not for that fateful day. Shaking slightly, he made to move away but in that moment she looked up just as the sky cleared and her face filled with recognition. She turned to her grandson who followed her eyes and smiled gently. Strange, he was not offended by her gesture. He began to walk up the hill with her. The figure stood transfixed, unable, unwilling to move as they neared him.

"What are you doing up here on a night like this? Come join the festivities."

"Ma'am thank you, but I cannot."

"Why ever not?"

"It would not be right."

"Well, why wouldn't it? And why are you looking at me as though you owe me a great deal? It reminds me of how someone once looked at me; you even have his eyes. But he was different and I hope you're not like him."

The figure felt his heart crack and shatter.

"I mean no harm; I'm sure he did not either."

"Don't speak of things you do not know about. That man put my grandmother through things you will never imagine."

"I do know. Love, I am him."

"What? I may be blessed with years, but that does not mean I am senile."

"I know you don't believe me, but ask me anything only he would know and I'll tell you."

"When were we wed? No-one knows; I refused to tell anyone of that dark day after he did what he did."

"It was a bright day, the best of my life. It was the day before your father's cousin's birthday. You looked radiant in your dress; it was my mother's and I wore your father's garments. You looked at me and asked why I have always looked at you as if I owe you the world and I told you I did because I did. I do."

"How dare you! How dare you spy and learn these words and say them to an old woman, put her through it all again?"

"I never meant to hurt you."

"Prove you're him and if you can, then prove, somehow, that you didn't mean to hurt her. And you had better not say you were young and made a mistake."

"I'm a vampire."

"A what?"

"But they don't exist; I don't know how you found out what my family did but-"

The figure's face shifted causing the woman and her grandson to recoil.

"Begone! Never come near us again! Or I will hunt you down and make sure that the last breath you take will be your most painful, monster." The old woman spat at the figure who looked as though the floor had been pulled out from under his feet. He recoiled and fled.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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