Forever is quite a long time, especially when you sit there staring into darkness. I prayed for death in that coffin. I prayed that immortality wasn't what it really meant.
God didn't listen to vampires.
Still there were days buried alive where I was the most devout Christian in the world and then there were days when I felt nothing but anger. The majority of the days were nothing but emptiness. It was as if my soul was sucked out of my body with the air in the coffin. I didn't need air to breathe. I didn't need anything to breathe.
Some days I would talk to myself. Some days I would sing. That didn't last long when my voice left me.
Forever is a very long time.
Too long to think about the love my life.
Too long to miss anyone. Too long to really remember what it's like to be a vampire or what it's like to be a human.
There is nothing left after a while. I've thought of everything I could think about. I've felt as bad as I could for myself. I'd forgotten what hope was or where it came from. There was no way to explain the pain I went through. There was no way speak about something worst then death. There was nothing left to me. Nothing but silence and darkness and pain and eternity.
Until there is something.
are the lucky ones
We shine like a thousand suns
When all of the color runs together
I'll keep you company
In one glorious harmony
Waltzing with destiny forever
Dance me into the night
Underneath the moon shining so bright
Turning me into the light
Time dances whirling past
I gaze through the looking glass
And feel just beyond my grasp is heaven
Where movement is poetry
Visions of you and me forever
Dance me into the night
Underneath the moon shining so bright
Turning me into the light
Dance me into the night
Underneath the moon shining so bright
Let the dark waltz begin
Oh let me wheel - let me spin
Let it take me again
Turning me into the light”
I think I imagine it for a minute but I don't. Something has awoken in the emptiness. A voice has given me strength in the emptiness.
It's my mother.
And all of a sudden I feel my punching at the coffin I'm in. I'm punching! I'm kicking. I'm clawing and then I feel the coffin shatter! I feel dirt all around me and I'm clawing at it. There is a power in each one of my limbs. Dirt can't keep me down. Nothing can keep me safe. There is a need to understand why Lilith was singing that song. There is a reason that she has woken me up and I'm clawing up into it. I dig upward. I dig and I dig.
Until I see light...
you. You're really alive...”
I've dug through a hole from the ground. I'm covered in dirt and grime. I smell like a corpse. To my right is a man. At first I don't recognize him but then I see the girl who is speaking and I recognize her almost immediately.
“It's me Prince,” she whispers at me softly, “Geneva. You remember me, don't you?”
Geneva looks the same. I find myself standing on my knees. They are weak but somehow I'm able to stand on them. I can't talk. It's almost like I've forgotten how to speak. I wonder how long it could have been. When I look at the man next to her I remember who he is. He is the leader of the Rogues. From the reddish sky I can see that we are in Eden still.
Bacchus,” he says smiling, “Do you remember me my
He is smiling from cheek to cheek. He looks like he's about to cry. He's emotional for a man that I just met once in my life. There is a hope in his eyes that I don't understand. He thinks I'm some sort of savior. The second coming of the Human Jesus Christ. Am I his Jesus? Yes perhaps. Perhaps that is what he thinks about me.
“We've waited for you. We've waited so long for you to wake up,” Geneva explains.
“Lilith told us to come here. She told us where you were. She told us when you'd wake up. She knew. She knows everything,” Bacchus explains to me.
So I hold my hand out to him gently.
I welcome him into my arms. He approaches happy tearing up with eyes of happiness. When he comes close to embrace me I reach out and strangle him! I pull him to the ground like an animal in head and I savage at him. My fangs bite into his neck. Into his shoulder. He screams. He's struggling to get up from beneath me.
I tear out his throat.
“SANTOS!” I hear Geneva screaming out.
ignore her. She looks like she is going to come help him but when
she sees my finger ripping away his stomach and his major intestines
to suck them for blood she thinks again. She stands there half in
shock as she watches me devour this man whole.
I drink every ounce of blood until his body disintegrates into nothing.
never drunk all someone's blood,” I admit realizing all of a
sudden I can speak again, “I thought it'd take much longer.
I'm still hungry. Come...Geneva. Sacrifice yourself for me.”
I outstretch my hands to her.
...Just like her Jesus.
“You can't kill me. Please,” she struggles tripping over her own feet and landing on the ground.
stand up and slowly approach her, “I offer you a blessing.
Don't you want to please me Geneva? Don't you want to sacrifice
She is crawling away kicking up dust as she goes. Either she's too afraid to get up and run or she realizes that running away from me would be pointless. She sees something has changed about me. I'm not the same that I used to be before. I was different.
need me. Please.”
I laugh at her, “I don't need you. I've been alone for a very long time. Now, come here...let me make you happy. Let me kill you.”
My mouth is foaming with Bacchus's blood. My fangs are longer than I'd ever remembered them being. The blood drips down my chin and body and mixes with the dirt from my grave. Geneva is in tears now. I can't relate to them. I've forgotten what it's like to feel human. I don't know if she's scared or upset or crying from tears of joy. It doesn't matter.
“I know what Lilith wants you to do,” she pleads putting her hands out as I reach down to her, “She wants you to get the Lucky Ones.”
The Lucky Ones.
I remember. The ring, the bracelet and the necklace that once belonged to Eve were the lucky ones. They were ancient relics.
“You know where they are?” I ask.
“I do. I can take you to them,” she promises.
“Take me to them,” I respond.
“We should get you cleaned up first,” she states, “I know a place. Your father's. He's still alive. He's still in Eden. He'll take you in.”
Armando. The idea of seeing Armando again is a strange thought. I don't know what to think. I want to miss him. I want to feel this emotion but honestly I don't feel it. I'm empty on the inside. There is nothing left. Still the smell around me is disgusting. It would be nice to shower and get a change of clothing. Geneva might be useful after all.
me to him.”
“We should keep a lowkey. It's been a long time since you've been gone,” she explains.
I was locked up for 100 years doesn't make me feel anything. I just
didn't get it? Why couldn't I feel anything. Why was there no sense
of emotion in me?
We walk through the town of Eden. Geneva leads me as I cloaked up to the edge of the city. No one gives me any mind. I look like a homeless man. The streets haven't changed much. The eternal city of Eden remains eternal. There is a sense of desperation around the city but that's all that I recognize.
As we walk Geneva seems to realize how curious I am.
rogues have cut off the blood supply on the outside. A lot of people
are struggling to get blood in Eden but with Lilith awake they are
afraid to leave Eden.”
That's when I realize the look on people's faces. They were starving. Vampires sustained themselves with blood but all in all they were immortals. The lack of blood wouldn't necessarily mean the death of vampires but it would mean a strong deformity in their being. The vampires that are around now aren't the same vibrant vampires that I remembered when I first walked into Eden 100 years ago.
As I walk through the streets I get to a house that I don't recognize. It's on a private block in Eden. There is a well manicured neat lawn. There is a white picket fence. This is not the same beautiful lawn that I remember from a while ago.
“90 years ago I was caught by the King's guard and I spent 25 years in jail for my part as a Rogue. I told them I changed my life. I told them I didn't serve Lilith anymore,” Geneva explains, “I lied...”
It's not until Geneva walks up to the door and pulls a key out of her pocket that I realize what Geneva is hinting at. As I walk into the door, Geneva knows the house very well. I turn to the right and see pictures hanging up on the wall. Geneva and Armando have gotten married. I raise an eyebrow.
my mother know about this?”
I don't intend to ask her twice. I grace Geneva by her neck and begin to squeeze the life out of her. I can hear her squirm. I can her her struggle underneath me. She is in pain. Geneva was my mother's servant and had the audacity to sleep with my father.
The voice is familiar. It's strong, mellow and deep. I turn to see my father standing there. He still looks like the young man I knew all those years ago. He's grown out a little goatee and he isn't as muscular but he's still quite fit and handsome. I drop Geneva and watch as she crawls towards Armando.
“I was going to tell you baby,” Geneva says, “I was going to tell you that Lilith contacted me in a dream and told me where he was. I had to go see if she was right. I'm so sorry. I'm so---
father doesn't seem too worried about it.
“Thank you for bringing him back to me.”
That's when Armando's eyes fill with tears. They are legitimate tears. He is emotional and he runs over to me. He starts to whine like a small child as he hugs me. He kisses my dirty skin a million times and wrap his hand around my waists. He continues to rock back and forth as though I was the father and he was the son. There is no comfort that I can give him. There is nothing I can do to relate to him.
“I need the Lucky ones,” I tell him as he cries.
“What?” he asks me, “Santos it's been over a century that I haven't seen you. I searched everywhere I could. Santos I...”
He's in between sobs. I don't remember Armando being this emotional fool. I push him away from me with a hard strong arm. I intend to push him on the floor with as much strength as I can but he catches himself before he hits the floor and jumps back up. His face gets serious all of a sudden. Yes. That's the Armando I remember.
“Where are the Lucky ones?” I ask him.
“The King has them,” Geneva states.
“GENEVA!” Armando barks at her at that moment in a way that makes me think he isn't quite aware that Geneva's loyalty is still to my mother.
“Fine. I'll go to the palace,” I turn around at that moment.
“Wait,” Armando stops me, “You aren't going to want to go to the palace dressed like that.”
“I don't need to impress Arie,” I explain to Armando.
“Arie is no longer the king...Nero is,” Armando explains.
I stop and for a moment that changes everything.
I take as shower. I shave. I brush my teeth. Armando has left me an outfit to wear. It's just a plain black outfit but for some reason I don't think it's enough for the mood I'm in. Maybe that's why I dig in the spare closet in the laundry room and find a cape. It must be Geneva's. Looking around the house it blows my mind that my father and Geneva have become a couple. My father doesn't have any of his medals of valor up or any pictures that lets me know that he was ever once a captain of the guard. He seems to have gone into a life of complete solitude. It must be the reason he lives so far on the edge of Eden away from the palace.
I wonder if he really did look for me. Knowing Armando I could imagine he did. Thinking about Nero I could imagine Nero did as well. It's Nero that makes my heart beat for what I think is the first time in a very long time. The beat goes away though just as easily as it came and I descend down the stairs to see Armando sitting at dinner table.
“There is lukewarm blood for you,” my father tells me.
I look at the blood, pick it up and smell it. I throw it on the rug and my father watches me.
isn't human blood.”
“Animal blood. It's no where near as good as human blood but it's what we can manage since Lilith has barricaded everyone in Eden.”
I look at my father at that moment. He's pathetic. They all are. I wouldn't have drunk that blood even if it was human blood. They used blood banks. I don't know why I couldn't think how disgusting that was before.
Geneva. I have to go?”
“I locked her up,” my father explains.
He's dead serious when he says that. I can't help but to laugh at my father locking up his wife on my behalf. Maybe that's why I walk over to him and sit at the edge of the table overlooking his chair.
“You going to try to stop me?” I ask him.
father hesitates, “I know what your mother wants you to do.
She wants you to destroy the Lucky ones. Those relics keep her out
of Eden. If you destroy even one of them...nothing will keep her
out. This is the last safe place.”
“There should be no safe places.”
“I understand your pain. I can...feel your power from across the fucking room,” my father says but leans in over me, “But you aren't your mother. There is a soul in you.”
Armando grabs my hand. He rubs my hand into his strong hard ones. They are rough letting me know just how much Armando has been through in life. He massages my fingers until I pull them away refusing to be comforted.
“There's nothing left,” I explain to Armando.
“I know what it feels like.”
“Do you?” I ask at that moment, “Do you really know what it feels like to be buried alive without being able to go to sleep. Imagine being stuck in a coffin. I can't move my limbs. It's too tight. I can't go to sleep. All I do is stare for a hundred years!”
Armando shakes his head, “I get it. I went through it with you. You're my fucking son. I love you more than I love yourself. For 100 years I was in that coffin---right with you.”
“You look pretty happy now.”
Armando is pissed as he raises his voice, “I was only close to Geneva at first because I felt maybe one day she'd lead me to you. Then I did develop feelings but in the back of my mind it was always about you. I was trapped in a coffin just like you. First you feel denial---this can't be happening to me. Next you feel anger—--you sit there plotting against the people that betrayed you. Next there is bargaining----please god I'll never take the people I love foregranted again if you fix this. Then there is depression---when you realize God isn't listening to you. Then lastly there is acceptance. There is nothing you can do to change your situation. It is what it is.”
Armando has come up behind me. He has wrapped me in his arms. He is crying again but this time it's gentler. This time he is showing me that he really does feel something and maybe he does understand what I been through all these years. I want to feel bad for him. I want to feel bad for myself. I want to feel something.
forgot one thing. Nothingness. After acceptance there is nothing.
Nothing left...” I explain to him.
“Nothing but pain,” he explains, “Pain is where your power comes from. It was where your mother's comes from too even when she lived in Eden and was kicked out so that Adam could marry Eve. Then she was forgotten.”
“Yes...they've all forgotten the first heartbreak,” I explain, “Vampires shouldn't live like this---in a magical city, drinking donated blood and being peaceful. That's NOT who we are. We are nothing more than a living reminder of Lilith's heartbreak. And it's time I make them remember again.”
“Santos. I won't stop you. I don't have the heart to stop you. If you want to revenge those who betrayed you...I'll do it with you. I'll kill them all for you. But no one knows but me what happens when you destroy the Lucky ones. If you destroy that relic it will let the darkness in. If you let that darkness in---that will be true nothingness.”
“You've been avoiding talking about him,” I notice.
“Armando---you know what I'm talkinga bout,” I say boldly, “You know who I'm talking about. You've been avoiding talking about him.”
lets go of me finally. He leans up against the table, “There
is a reason Lilith wanted you to break
out today. You had the strength to break out any other day. It was
always in you. Nero's getting married this evening.”
There it was.
ask even though I know I can't handle it, “To who?”
“Aiden,” my father replies.
I felt again. It surprised me at first when I leave my father's house. Nero was getting married. He wasn't only getting married but he was getting married to Aiden. As I walk through the town the emotions come to me. At first it's disappointment. Nero said he would love me. He said he'd always love me. Then there is confusion. How the fuck did Nero end up with Aiden of all people? AIDEN! They hated each other...because of me. Then all of a sudden I'm laughing so hard in the middle of the street that a couple of women stopped at a red light on the street corner turn curiously as if I'm some sort of madman. Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I've completely lost it.
Armando is following me. I know he is. He isn't stopping me but I can feel him almost. My senses are that strong. I can feel everything around me and even with me walking around the streets laughing like a crazy person I'm well aware of Armando. I don't think he is going to try to physically restrain me though. He knows I'm stronger than he is now. He meant to keep Geneva separated from me by locking her up so that he can talk to me by myself but he seems powerless to hold me back. A part of me knows that if he felt what I went through like he said he did that he understands what I need to do. He doesn't want me to do it but I think he understands it.
Maybe that's why he doesn't stop me.
“May I help you sir?” Two guards ask me as I approach the palace gates.
“I'm here for the wedding.”
“Sir...it's not here. It's in the garden. And you need an invitation. Do you have one.”
I can tell by the way the guards are looking me up and down that they suspect I don't. Geneva's long shawl is floor sweeping straggling behind me. I look like some sort of Goth fairy tale creature and maybe that's what I feel on the inside.
“How poetic. A wedding in a garden in Eden,” I explain and that's when I hear an organ, “Seems like it's already begun. I don't want to miss this.”
I start walking and I'm not surprised that several guards try to stop me as I approach an area that is blocked off from the public.
I am surprised however by how quickly my hands drive through their chests and take out their beating hearts. I wipe my hands on my shawl...letting the blood stain my black shawl and continue on into the garden.
The garden is beautiful. As I walk to the back of the area I can see two aisles. I guess tradition hasn't much changed in all these years. It's still the same. Flowers of every sort and arrangement have been places everywhere. The garden chairs are outlined in lilies. The huge wedding arches are outlined in daffodils. The flower arrangements are outlined wide and high.
The guards are approaching me. More of them. I count six in general. Some point crossbows at me. They have stakes attached to them.
“What's going on here?” a familiar voice asks urgently, “Why are all the guards leaving their posts. The guests have already been seated. I don't want to disturb them.”
“Captain...we have an intruder on the grounds,” one of the guards tells the captain.
Looking at the captain I have to admit that I'm amused. I stare at him long enough to realize that it is actually Milan. I can tell the difference between him and Aiden even after all of these years.
my God...” Milan states.
His eyes are glued onto me.
“Oh no I'm not God. I'm something much darker,” I assure him.
The crossbows fire all at once and all at once they miss. I swing across the back of the aisles, floating like I was made of clouds. I catch the arrows one at a time and redirect them at the the vampires who aimed them at me. Within a matter of seconds six guards are down.
my god...” Milan blinks a few times.
“You should pray to someone else, he's doesn't listen to vampires. Trust me I know.”
I walk past him, brushing past him and watching as Milan jumps back in fear and falls to the ground. There is something about seeing true fear in his eyes that allows me to have mercy on him. I think about killing him but I want him to see this city of his burn. I want him to be there when it all happens.
I want Milan to suffer even worse than when I killed the love of his life.
I'm standing at the back of a long aisle. Milan hasn't followed me. I'm sure he's still stuck in fear or maybe he went to get reinforcements. I could care less. At this moment I'm looking straight up the aisle. My black train sweeps the back of the aisle almost like a dress.
They don't see me but I see them.
Aiden and Milan. They are holding hands. At the front.
Their guests number maybe in the 100s but they are all glued at the King and his soon-to-be husband at the very front under a beautiful arch of flowers. I recognize a few people including Coco who looks like she is on Milan's side; she's possibly his best woman. Then I see Antwon and Tina also in the wedding party. Maybe they have gotten close to either Aiden or Milan. Off to the side I see my old friends Lucca and Camille with wide smiles on. They look wealthy. I have no doubt they had their dreams fulfilled. They are important. They are standing at the king's wedding. They must have gotten almost everything they ever wanted.
They are all so happy.
Toasting with their animal blood.
Living in their Garden of Eden.
Little did they know a snake was in their midst...
I recognize the person tying the knot as none other than the Countess Roxanne, “Dearly Beloveds and Honored Guests: We are gathered here this day in the sight of God and the company assembled to witness the giving and receiving of the marriage vows.”
“Do you Aiden take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in heath, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer, keeping yourself solely unto him for as long as you both shall live? If so, answer. I DO."
There is love in his eyes. This is the strangest sight I've seen. I have to get closer. I start walking down the aisle. Some people see me and I hear whispers amongst the crowd. They must not remember who I am. If they remembered they would have been running by now. There was no where to run any longer though.
“I do,” Aiden explains.
Roxanne turns to
King Nero, “Do you King Nero, take this man Aiden to be your
lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and health,
to love, honor and obey, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer,
keeping yourself solely unto him for as long as you both shall
“It won't be much longer!” I interrupt, “I promise.
All eyes turn to me. I'm halfway down the aisle. I haven't stopped walking. I take one step at a time. I want to make this traditional. I see Nero staring at me and for a minute he looks like he gets weak in his knees. It's Aiden who rushes to his defense straddles underneath him in order to hold him up and secure him from falling over.
“Santos?” Aiden asks.
He raises an eyebrow confused as fuck. He's looking at me with this look that I don't understand. They just didn't expect it. None of them did.
“It can't be,” I hear Lucca say.
“It's HIM. Lucca look!” Camille is screaming at his side.
Roxanne,” I state, “If so, answer 'I DO'.”
Roxanne doesn't finish. Her mouth had dropped open. You can put a fly in it. The guards are piling from all angles now. They are coming into the wedding. There seem to be a million of them. The guests don't seem to know what is happening when they realize they are surrounded by almost an army of guards for one boy.
“WAIT!” I hear Nero say.
He stands on his own feet now. I can see Aiden looking at him with a look of concern. Nero gets away from him. He looks at me. There is emotion there but it isn't immediate like Armando breaking down into tears. He is shocked and maybe feeling awkward. I was someone he loved at some point and he was about to walk down the aisle with a man who also said he loved me.
Strange how things can change.
“If so, answer ---I DO,” I repeat to Nero.
I've walked up to him. Guards look like they are ready to all come at me all at once. Maybe I can stop them all. Maybe I can't. I haven't pushed myself that far to find out. I'm not afraid though. I'm not the little weak boy from long ago that was dragged away.
Nero puts his hand on my face. It's in front of everyone...including Aiden. He touches me and then I realize what the emotion was. It was pure disbelief.
“This isn't real...” he suggests.
“Nero be careful,” I hear Aiden warn him.
Nero ignores him. He keeps a hand out to stop the guards. That is when a tear finally falls down his cheek. It's a single tear slow and lonely.
“I didn't ever think I'd see you again,” Nero explains to me, “I looked for you...forever.”
“Forever isn't as long as I thought it was,” I smirk.
This look in his
I don't understand it and I'm not going to take the time to.
“I don't know
what to say right now,” Nero says looking at me, “I
thought about what I'd say if I ever got you this close to me again.
I knew what I'd say and after all this time I've
“Dad whose that?” I hear a voice say.
There is a boy standing there. It's a boy my age. He looks almost like Nero's fucking twin. He is handsome as hell. He has Nero's facial structure. He has his strong chin and his defined look. He has his silver eyes. The only difference that I really see is that this boy, who looks about 20 years old has curly hair at the top of his head.
I raise an eyebrow
at the handsome boy and take a few steps towards him, “And just
might who this be?”
I see Aiden struggle a little bit. He doesn't hold him back though.
That's when Nero looks over at the boy and then at me, “He's my son...Justice.”
They looked like twins even now. I have to laugh at the fact that they look the same age. It's how I imagined Armando and I would be at my wedding. More like brothers than father and son. I look up and down at this boy and watch Aiden panicking. It's no doubt Aiden adopted the boy as his own by how he is struggling at that moment.
“I'm an old friend of your father's...” I explain.
“You're...beautiful...” Justice says and licks his lips in a way his father would have done almost a hundred years ago.
He's a flirt...just like his father.
Aiden grabs at the
boy's arm and pulls him, “Justice...let your father handle
“What's the problem? I'm confused. Dad is this an old friend of yours or not?” Justice asks.
Nero looks up at me, “The closest of friends...”
“Then why are the guards acting crazy...” Justice asks, “Why can't he join.”
“I guess they don't think I'll be behave Justice,” I explain.
Justice looks up and me, raising an eyebrow, “I can make sure you behave. You wanna come sit with me? I'll keep you company or whatever.”
He thinks this is a
joke. I am surprised Nero kept me a secret from him. I guess there
was no point in explaining to your son past loves you had in your
life. There was no point in bringing any of that up. So I stand
there and I cross my arms and I watch Justice. He's wearing Gold.
He is Class O. I have no doubt.
Nero is next to me at that moment, “Can I...talk to you Santos?”
“This is our wedding...” Aiden says.
should postpone this!” Nero explains, “Clearly we have a
Aiden grabs at Santos and pulls him close. It's as though he's trying to keep all the men in his life away from me. I can't help but to laugh at how close he's keeping them.
“You know what
your father said.”
“I'm not my father. And I won't make the mistakes of my father,” Nero explains, “I'm king...and if I'm here then Santos is welcome here...forever. And that's the law...”
As though he had a choice.
“How sweet of you,” I respond.
Nero looks at me,
“Can I please...talk to you?”
“No of course not,” I smile, “You have a wedding to finish.”
“Santos...we should talk,” Nero states with this look of desperation in his eyes, “I haven't seen you in over a 100 years. I feel like I have to explain everything. I have to explain...this...”
“So what's a few more minutes?” I ask, “Go on. Go ahead. Justice will keep me company.”
I look over at Justice. He smiles at me warmly and makes his way over to me.
The guards are called off. I wonder how long it'll take for Milan to tell them about the dead ones. It won't matter. Nero won't have them do anything to me when they do find out. I'm sitting pretty and I'm given a first row seat.
All eyes are on me now...including some of my old friends. The ones who betrayed me back in the day. They are all watching me.
Countess Roxanne states, “If there be anyone present who may show just and lawful cause why this couple may not be legally wed, let him speak now or forever hold his peace.”
Camille and Lucca turn to me.
Coco turns to me.
The Countess turns to me.
Then there is Aiden staring at me with wondering eyes.
I ignore then and turn to Justice, “You're very handsome. You have your father's eyes. And his muscles.”
He smiles blushing a little bit, “Thought I knew all my father's friends around the city. Wonder why he kept such a valuable possession hidden.”
Then when I see it.
I see the necklace dangling from Prince Justice's neck. It's a red necklace. Red as blood.
“Isn't that a Lucky One?” I ask him.
He smiles and starts talking about it as he lets me play with the necklace between my fingertips, slowly touching every single bead. I can almost see his heart beating heavy in his chest the closer I get to him. He can't help but to keep licking his lips. And here is one of the Lucky Ones out in the open ready for the destroying.
Seems like I was the lucky one after all.