Still amazed by the whole place, but wanting to move forward, I walked into one of the many rooms surrounding the place. Each room was built slightly different from the last, and each contained more and more stories of triumph, of understanding, of love, of life. While the main halls seemed pristine and gleaming with white marble, the side rooms had the dusty old Earth tones of an independent bookshop or an antiue store. Some of them seemed even older, taking on the look of a well organized dig in an Egyptian tomb. I didn't dare touch anything, not just yet. But my curiousity was boiling over. I didn't even know where to BEGIN! This had to be the largest handwritten library on EARTH!
The walls of each room were built in such a strange and alien pattern, that it was hard to see how the books stayed on the shelves at all. The walls would occassionally twist, or lean forward, and none of them matched. The books were everywhere, each text seemingly filed in order inside this warped design. It was hard to tell how these rooms were even structurally possible, looking more like one of those illusionary construction pics you see in the art books. What's more, running across the room in a strange weblike patern, were a series of wooden poles, planks, and ropes. Stretched out, I assume, for someone....or something...to be able to gain access to the hard to reach shelves. It was all so....complicated in its appearance. So odd.
Suddenly, a head dropped from the ceiling, upside down, right in front of me! "Can I help you?" I jumped backwards, tripping over my own feet and falling flat on my ass! The voice had startled me so much that I found it hard to catch my breath, even after the initial shock had worn off. I looked up to see an inverted man, in his early twenties from the looks of it, with an Australian accent, hanging from one of the ropes in the ceiling.
"WHAT???" I shouted, still a bit frightened by him dropping in on me out of nowhere.
"Do you need some assistance, sir? My name is Stew, I'm here to guide you through this part of the archive if you're interested in anything in particular." He was wearing robes made of all black cloth, it looked like satin, and a pair of thick obsidian sunglasses that somehow stayed on his head perfectly, even upside down.
"Um...I don't know. This...this is my first time in here." I said, getting up to my feet.
"Ahhhh, a newcomer. Great." He spun sideways, and with a roll or two, he landed on his feet in front of me. "Welcome to the Nifty Archive. Take your time, read what you like. We have the largest original collection of vampire scriptures in our known history, all categorized into sublevels and sections for ease of browsing." He said happily. "So what's your pleasure? Social Issues, Science, Philosophy, Romance, Sex, Vampire Evolution, History, Folk Tales and Fables, Fighting Applications....?"
"Um...actually...what do you have on prophecies?" I asked.
His eyes lit up when he said that, and he lowered his voice a little bit. "My, my, my....this is no random search. It looks like you actually want to learn something." He grinned. "Come. Follow me."
He led me through this long hallway with maze like turns and a drastically uneven floor. I practically had to hold onto the walls to keep my balance. And then we passed out into the amazingly bright and well lit white walls of the main hall, merely passing through to get to the other side. "This place is so big." I said outloud to myself.
"We have a lot to carry here. Some of these books and collections are thousands of pages long. In fact, we have a journal, submitted by an elder who lived to be 460 years old. He wrote in it every single day of his existence in darkness. Elaborate, detailed accounts of everything he saw and encountered. It is over 2,500,000 pages long, and contains more documented life experience than any other scripture in vampire history. It was definitely a blessing to have that one submitted here." Stew said as he walked ahead of me.
"So vampires submit them on their own?"
"Naturally." He said. "While most prefer to keep their originals kept in their own private locations and libraries, they still submit their teachings and philosophies here. It is a great honor to be an addition to the wealth of knowledge contained in these walls. A vampire can find pretty much anything he wants to find here in the pages of these books. It's more information than any one computer can hold."
"Can anybody add something here?"
"Most certainly. Any vampire with a certain vision or a take on life can put in their two cents. And anyone else can come along to accept or deny what they have to say. I'd say a great many ideas have been both explored and rejected after being read here. But the point of it all is...the message is out there somewhere. And we give others the chance to present that message the best way they know how." He said, leading me across a large marble bridge, crossing the cavernous bottom of the cylinder pit I had been looking into just moments before.
"But...I mean, if you write something here, and just kinda leave it...how do you know it'll get read by anybody?" I asked.
"You don't. I suppose it takes a lot faith in your sense of self expression, believing that someone out there is looking for exactly the story that you have to tell. But, every once in a while, when you toss your 'spiritual stone' into the lake...it makes a big enough ripple that you're able to see the effect in the lives of the people around you. Occassionally, you really do find that what you leave behind for others to discover...can really make a difference. And THAT, my friend, is an incredible feeling." He told me with a warm smile. "There is nothing more powerful, more rewarding, than having the ability to inspire thought."
"Yeah, I guess you're right."
"Of course I'm right." He grinned. "You now, a lot of average minds put their faith in other material things. Money, and social status, and technology...whatever. I say, give me a book with an orginal idea in it, and I'll be better for the experience."
"I take it you're not much of a 'techie' then, huh?"
"Not at all. I don't even really get involved with much of the other stuff in this club, marvelous creation that it is. Sure I lurk around corners from time to time, but the true heart, the real meaning behind all that mechanical madness, is right here in these dusty old books. Just waiting for someone to stumble across them and absorb whatever wisdom there is contained in their many pages." He said with a feeling of...satisfaction. "There's a certain purity in the simple exchange of ideas, that fancy lights, flashy devices, and multiple teams of dedicated 'worker ants', just can't reproduce. An honest story, written by just one person, straight from the heart...can move mountains."
As we continued across the bridge, I could see a few vampires walking out of some of the many libraries contained in this humongous structure. Some walked out with smiles on their faces, feeling relieved, and relaxed, and rejuvenated. As though they had truly found something special. Some walked out with tear stained cheeks, and a visible determination to create some kind of 'change' from the looks of it. They all had their own reactions to whatever they were reading, but each emotion was genuine, and while my senses were severely dulled in that place, I could feel their potency. "No amount of technology could do that." I giggled, watching a couple walk out of a library kissing and groping each other madly, anxious to find some place private outside of these walls.
"Nope. Not a single genuine emotion was ever created by something artificial. No matter how powerful or expensive or widely accepted it may be. All it takes is the vulnerable exposure and presentation of one person's soul to lift the spirits and awareness of others. The same words can change someone's entire existence, whether they were typed, edited, and formatted, with a billion dollar computer...or written on the back of a cocktail napkin at the bar. Those with a true sense of sentiment can easily tell the difference." Stew replied. Then he sorta tilted his head to the side. "Besides, out of all the great inventions that mankind has ever made, the only three REAL leaps in technology have been methods of 'war', methods of 'medicine', and methods of 'entertainment'. The first two, quite ironically, cancel each other out...hurt 'em and heal 'em up again. And the third seems to be made as a distraction of that paradox. Hmm...strange concept. Humans can be SO confusing. It's hard to believe that I was ever one of them."
We were reaching the center of the long bridge, and I was once again dwarfed by the millions of textbooks lining the walls around me. "Have you read any of them?" I asked. "The scriptures, I mean."
"Hehehe, my boy, I've read them ALL. At least twice."
"ALL of them???" I was shocked! That was a LOT of reading!
"Every last one. Every book, every page, every word. It's quite entertaining."
"Unfortunately, something went screwy with my crossover. It's an extremely rare affliction...but it happens. You see...I don't sleep."
"Nope. Haven't slept a wink in over 88 years. That's why my eyes are so sensitive to the light." He said, pointing at his sunglasses. "To be honest, I forget what it feels like...to just 'blackout' and...lose those moments." He stared off into space for a moment, then simply shrugged his shoulders and continued. "At any rate, it made me the perfect candidate to act as curator for these archives. I love it. I have plenty to read, with new material coming in all the time. I'm underground, so I never have to fear the sunlight. And they treat me extremely well for a 'librarian'. All I have to do is file the texts away in sequential order as they're submitted and act as a guide for the vampires who come to read them. What more can I ask for?" I guess he had it good here. But it still amazed me that he had read every book on the shelf.
"Wow....every one. I can't imagine." I said in disbelief.
"Yes. But of course they aren't ALL excellent scriptures. Some are farfetched, some poorly executed, others are downright insane. But there are many many more with the heart and spirit that moves a person to want to be better. I like those best."
We reached the end of the bridge and I followed him to an automated lift. We both stepped on, and he pressed a button on his wrist to make it start its ascension, taking us up even higher in the Archive vault. "So...how many vampires are writing these things, in all?"
"Oh my, an uncountable number. All over the globe. And there are more and more starting everyday." He said. "Some only write one or two short chapters and add them as they find the opportunity. Others create small tribes or clans of writers and update their texts much more often. Those tribes have seperate sections of their own." He pointed out a few locations as the elevator continued to slowly rise from level to level. "Over there is the Annex. And you've got Jeff's Fort over there. And there is Awesomedude, and CRVBoy, The Doghouse...all with a great number of scriptures each." He stopped the lift, and led me off on another platform. "Then, there are some authors who become rather prolific on their own, and have their personlized sections as well. Like Deweywriter on level four. And Grasshopper on level five. We have the entire 'Kandric Saga' here as well, very exciting. The 'Lost Land Of Ouranos' series, the 'Pellegrine' collection, and 'Circles End'...and of course we can't forget our very own Ty's magnificent works in the 'Stormfront' archives on the top level. We try to collect as many valuable texts as we can while they are still available. They can become lost or damaged over time if you don't keep up with them." I think we were getting closer to our destination. I guess that this was the level containing all of the scriptures on philosophy and theology. At least from a vampire's point of view. There were labeled shelves with scriptures that Doc was always talking about in his attempts to teach me about our history. Names like Jaden, and Ghostrydder. Gymnopedies, and Doom, and Ehman Penn, and Savoir Faire. I saw ancient spiritual testaments from Chrys Myst, and Zustara Orour, and Isaac Ashdown. All in their own handwriting, and displayed for all to see. There were even scriptures from people that I didn't expect to see there.
"I didn't know Dash had scriptures here." I said, wondering when he had the time to write any with all that he had to take care of back at the sanctuary. Wow...so did Char, the girl who had read the bruises and all on my arms and back when my extra was being analyzed for the first time. The information here came from so many sources, so many vampires just trying to reach out to one another...it lifted your spirits to have access to so much wisdom.
"Scriptures come from just about everywhere. A shared experience or personal view of life is just as valued coming from a newblood such as yourself, as it is coming from one of the elders. From beginning to end. Perhaps maybe you'll even try writing one someday." Stew smiled. "But you've GOT to finish! I was reading an excellent scripture by this author, Jalaki...and it stopped right in the middle. No new chapters have been submitted in YEARS! Incomplete scriptures can be so misleading."
He guided me further, his pace finally slowing down. "Here we are." Stew said at last, leading me into a dimly lit dusty old room, with just as much of a crazy layout as the rest of them. There was dirt on the floor, and the air was thick with the smell of millions of pages of vampire script, handwritten in red or black ink on old parchments. I looked outside of the doorway, and saw a few other vampires run playfully into a room on the other side of the chasm.
"What's that over there?" I asked him.
"That? Oh, that's the Comicality Library. Quite popular with the halflife's. Submissions from many great first time authors there. You may want to stop in. Busy, busy, busy." Stew leapt up into the air and grabbed a hold of one of the wooden poles overhead. He swung over to one of the shelves and propped himself upright. I can't understand how navigating that baffling network of ropes and ladders came so easily to him. But I suppose to a vampire that's been around for 88 years, still looks 20, and never sleeps a wink...it would eventually become second nature. "SO...exactly what manner of prophecy were you looking for?" He spun, rolled, and flipped, from shelf to shelf...gathering books in his free arm. "We've got....apocalypse theory, political predictions, pathways to enlightenment..."
"Actually...what do you have about the Vampire Dawn?"
"Really now? My word, you certainly are an ambitious youngster." He said, swinging to hang upside down in front of a different shelf. "Let's see....here we are. Would you like a basic instructional on what the Dawn is? Or are you more interested in the critics who don't believe such a thing is possible?"
"Um....well..I'm kinda looking for information about...the vampire Mimic." When the words left my mouth, Stew nearly dropped the books he was holding down to the floor. A look of genuine surprise was frozen on his face.
"The Mimic?" He said, almost in shock. "My oh my...we haven't had an inquiry for THAT particular text in quite some time. Decades at least. Technically, I'm not even supposed to allow access to such sacred testaments." He said, looking down at me as if analyzing my intentions. "You realize that I could get into real trouble divulging that kind of information. Are you certain that you don't want to read something else? Perhaps a nice twisted fiction about 'werewolves' instead?"
"I don't want to get you in trouble, but I really need this. I need whatever you have on mimics." He stared down at me for a second, and he was on the verge of making a decision, I could tell. "Please?" I asked.
With a sigh, he slowly nodded, and moved to the highest shelf in the whole room. "If anyone asks, I didn't do this." He said, looking through another set of books completely. "Many of those chapters were sealed a long time ago by the elders themselves for safe keeping. But...if I remember correctly, I believe we had a few hidden revelations that were submitted centuries ago. I doubt anyone has touched them since then." Then he dropped down for a moment and handed me some gloves. "Put these on. The books you're asking about need to be handled delicately." I slipped them on, and he said, "Thank you. Now...Mimic prophecy....Mimic prophecy.....hmmm...wait here, I'll see what I can find." He stood up on the rope above me with perfect balance, and began working his way back up to the top shelves, located at least 30 feet over my head. As he rumbled around and searched each book for something that would help me, I wandered around the room a bit more. Everything was covered in dust, and yet the books themselves were well preserved. For the first time, I timidly reached out a hand to touch one of the books and pull it from the shelf. It was sturdy enough, but I treated it delicately anyway, like it was wrapped in a cracked eggshell. Afterall, these books were all sacred. A rather large spider crawled over the back of my hand, and with a sudden jerk, I dropped the book on the floor and shook the insect loose.
"CAREFUL please!" Stew shouted down to me.
"Sorry!" I shouted back, and swiftly picked the book back up into my arms. I blew the dust off of it, and gently pried it open. The spine on it creaked and popped a little bit, and inside, were handwritten words on parchment. The ink had been preserved perfectly, and the pages were only faded a little bit, every word could be seen clear as day. It was written in some other language that I couldn't figure out...but I did recognize Comicality's symbol on the top of the page.
"HERE we are!" Stew said as he dropped down in front of me out of the sky...scaring the hell out of me again. "I think one of these books might be what you're looking for." Stew moved over to the entrance, and closed and locked the giant door to give us some privacy. When he came back he saw the book in my hand, and smiled. "Ahhh...I like this one. Good choice."
"What language is this?"
"It's an old vampiric dialect. No one really uses it anymore. You see, in the old days, vampires would have to write the scriptures in code in order to hide it from the rest of the world. Our society was still rather small and needed to remain underground for fear of persecution. A vampire could be tortured and killed for submitting a text about who they were and how they felt back then. Nowadays it's a bit safer to speak your mind without having to deal with the closed minded witch hunters causing you much trouble." He turned the page for me, and read a passage from the book to me outloud in whatever tongue it was written in. Then he said, "This was one of Comicality's very first submissions. Many think it to be the basic foundation of all he has written since."
"What does it mean?"
"Quite simply...it says, 'We cannot change what we are, but we CAN change who we become.'" He said. "It pretty much is a lesson in self acceptance and the motivation to strive for something more, despite the stigma attached to your biggest fears and weaknesses. Triumph over a painful past. It's a rather complicated text with a very simple message. If you read between the lines, you'll get it eventually." He then moved away and put the three books he found on a table in the corner. "There have been many scriptures that Comicality hasn't added to in ages. They were sort of 'left open', unfinished. It wasn't until recently that he started writing them again."
I looked up. "He's writing new scriptures?"
"More than ever before. Submissions are becoming uite frequent over the last few months. Even the chapters that weren't completed have been rumored to be in the works, as well as some new ones. Strange...after such a long hiatus, through some sort of pre-planned pattern, his scriptures seem to be coming around full circle." Stew said. "We, at the Archive, are all anxiously awaiting to see what his final works will be. And what footprint it will leave behind."
"Yes. It is rumored that Comicality has been recently preparing for his sun quest." He said, as I ran my fingers across some of the books on the shelf next to me.
"I thought a sun quest was like a funeral."
"Of sorts, yes." It took a moment for it to sink in, and even then I had to make sure that I had heard him right.
"He's not going to just....give up and expose himself to daylight. He wouldn't. I mean...he understands better than anybody how important it is to keep learning and growing, right?" I asked. "He's not..well...he just can't be thinking..."
"Rumors come and rumors go. What can I say? Only time will tell. But I DO know that the whispers started about a year ago. I know that he's been surfacing much more now than ever before. And I know that he is quickly finishing off the rest of his texts to complete his teachings once and for all." Then he pulled up a chair to the table for me to sit in. "This was the first of his scriptures, and from what I understand, there's only one major testament for him to complete."
"Which one is that?" I said, still not fully believing what I was being told.
"The one that connects this particular lesson to the coming of the chosen one. It's the text that connects the mimic to the Dawn." He sat me down and walked to the other side of the room to straighten two books that had gotten put back in the wrong order. He was extremely maticulous about keeping things in order. "It's funny you chose to pull that particular book off of the shelf, because it relates rather closely to the stuff that you're looking to read about." He had to wipe away YEARS of cobwebs and dust from the book's surface, blowing a cloud of it off so he could open it. I moved closer, and looked at what he had. "According to Vampire Evolution, as explored through multiple texts on level 12, the idea of another Mimic being born into our world in THIS day and age is nearly impossible. The odds are astronomical at best." He then leaned over to say, "Between you and me, I never really believed in the whole legend personally. I mean, let's be honest...a vampire that can absorb the extras of all others and use them at will? Come on."
"Right. Silly." I said, bashfully looking down at the book again.
"Anyway, it would take a great deal of sadness and torture in a human's life to create a being of that nature. And then that human would still have to be able to keep his heart and his spirit in tact. And THEN he'd have to find true love in the eyes of another vampire, and give his life over to darkness. It hardly sounds credible, in my opinion. Rumor has it the last one died crazy from the emotional scars he suffered. They all do. Every last one of them. I don't imagine that anyone could keep their sanity with skeletons like that in their closet." Stew told me. "But, like I said, I'm not really a firm believer in the whole concept. It's a myth. A legend. A prophecy, I believe, that was created as a metaphor for something entirely different. I haven't figured out what yet, but sometimes when there is a slow submission rate of new scriptures, I come back and try to figure it out."
"Well...help yourself to some enlightenment, my friend. This first book will tell you whatever you need to know about the Mimic prophecy, the second is the theory and philosophy behind the Vampire Dawn, and the third is a compiled history of supposed Mimic sightings throughout the ages. Really interesting stories in that last one. Most of them were mistakes or hoaxes though."
"You sure about that?" I asked.
"My dear boy, there hasn't been a true vampire Mimic born into darkness for six centuries now. I hardly think one is going to suddenly pop up now." He assured me, patting me on the shoulder. "I think you're all set. I'll be up in the rafters here straightening up. Just holler if you need anything."
"Ok. Thanks." I said, and sat down at the table to read through the books in front of me. Page after page, I skimmed through them hoping to find a small glimpse of 'me' in the fabled text at my fingertips. I don't know how long I had been sitting there, but my interest was captivated for every moment of it. The books told me of ancient wars between vampire and man, and future wars to come. They spoke of the ever constricting stranglehold of a human society, and how its prejudices and control issues were greatly affecting the way vampires were born into darkness these days. How our species was now bringing a lot of the harmful baggage into darkness with us from the declining values of a world in daylight. And the theory behind the birth of a new Mimic in this day and age? It almost hurt to read it. They talked of horrible abuse and emotional decay. Ideas of insanity and horror and death surrounded the very concept of the vampire mimic. In almost every story. Betrayal and corruption, wickedness and anger. A fall from grace so severe, that there was no return from the abyss once their abilities reached their true potential. Not just for me, but for every documented mimic that has ever lived. I couldn't be sure if this was an actual study of the 'facts', or the opinion of the person writing the book...but the picture it painted of me, of what I might turn into once my powers become fully awakened inside of me...was NOT a favorable one. It was like...they expected me to be a monster. Based merely on my past and my abilities...they calculated my future to be one of great pain and suffering. What's worse, they pedicted that I'd become so tainted by those horrible feelings that I'd lash out in anger, and cause more pain and misery than anyone could allow. The theory in that particular book made me wonder if...maybe I was on an unavoidable path to self destruction. If this is how the majority of vampires see the coming of the newest vampire mimic...then no wonder they want me dead.
I went to the next book, hoping that the prophecy within would give me a few more rays of light than the mimic studies conducted in the past. And it was there....that I saw it. A part of the prophecy that was so old, so ancient...but very specific in its presentation. I read further, and it spoke of a human child...betrayed and abused by his father. It told of a mother who was left behind, and a social standing that never rose above ridicule and persecution. And I nearly froze when I turned the page to see a small inked drawing that someone had created centuries ago. The sketch clearly showed a man with his head down, tears dripping from his eyes...standing on the edge of a cliff. Beneath him, were the raging waters of the ocean....and in the background...a small shadowed figure sitting behind a large rock...eyes glowing bright gold. I sat back in the chair, my mind completely paralyzed by the haunting reality of the drawing and what it represented. The birth of the Mimic. Exactly the way it had happened many times before. The same way it happened for me that night on the Pier. It frightened me more than anything else. Seeing it right there in front of my eyes...wondering if...maybe, just maybe...all of the pain I've suffered in my life was created on purpose. If it was somehow devised as some sick plan to make me what I am. If my father's physical abuse, my being gay, my mother's drinking, Richie's sickness, my struggle with suicide...was all a part of some fucking disgusting scheme to get me to be someone else's hero. I didn't WANT to be a hero! I didn't ask for this. Why? Why would 'fate' make me live this way? Die this way? Do I even have a choice? Did I ever? Or was my life destined to be a failure from the moment I was born?
Emotionally confused, I didn't know if I should keep going or not. But morbid curiosity kept me focused on the text in front of me. So I continued to read through the pages. And I saw it all. While the pictures and words were done on a different scale due to the time period, the references between the lives of past mimics and my own were pretty accurate. The vampire, born out of love. The bands on the lover's arms. The commune of other vampires, being the mimic's first exposure to the use of other extras. The starvation, or traditional 'fasting', before the mimic's first kill. Even the fighting arenas, the manipulation of another vampire in their tribe, the battle with a horde of thieves that came in the early evening, the seeking out and eventual training from a 'master' to hone the mimic's skills...it was all here. And after a while...I felt sick. Especially when I got closer to the present. Closer and closer to what might happen. Closer and closer to the point when the mimic lost his senses, and became hostile towards the whole world. Eventually leading up to their brutal murder. A shiver ran through me, and I was too nervous to read that part yet, so I skipped ahead about 30 or 40 pages to see the results. It looked like every single reincarnation lived...and died...in pain. Most of them insane with rage and a lust for vengence against the world of men and vampires alike. However, there were two mimics out of all the ones preceeding me who were elevated to a positive position in vampire history. Only two. One was a young lady, who did all she could for the vampires in her country. She was remembered for bringing together a large order of vampires together from many different cultures and locations around the globe. The community grew, and was able to govern itself after a while, she disappeared shortly after that. Her abilities became self aware atone point, and she feared that she would begin to tear down everything she had built if she remained alive. It gets kinda fuzzy after that, but apparently something happened to her that had 'stolen her will to live anymore'. She questioned her faith, and her purpose, and eventually took a mountain sun quest before her own power corrupted her completely. The second was a young monk...who, after freeing many vampire slaves that were used as assassins for a tyrannical order, and leading a huge society of vampires to build their own fortress along the Eastern China border, was said to have vanished into the mountains, never to be seen again. But not for a sun quest. It's presumed that he purposely starved himself to death, refusing to feed the abilities inside of him. I couldn't find much more information on him than that, but again...there was a tragedy in his life that caused him to simply give up the hope that he had been fighting so hard to achieve. Was it heartache? Was it betrayal? Was it fear? Was it persecution? I don't know. Something tells me that it was contained in the stack of pages I had skipped through to get here. Both honored mimics had done some good while they were alive, but it seemed like their hurtful emotions consumed them completely. For the other mimics that lost their sanity, it was their abilities that overtook them, and it led to their downfall. Many vampires either became afraid of them, hated them, betrayed them, or turned their backs completely on their teachings to start settlements on their own. It seemed that their only choices were to either be tortured and killed, committ an honorable suicide, or to live an eternal existence of pain and misery.....alone.
"Alone?" I said outloud to myself. "Wait...wait something is missing here."
Stew made his way down to the table rather quickly. "Problems?" He asked.
"The Mimics...it says here that they all died alone."
"Yes. That's right." He replied. "According to legend, that's the way it's supposed to happen."
"But....wait...that doesn't make any sense." I said, staring and trying to go back and skim through some of the pages I skipped. "What happened to the rest of their companions? The tribes, the comrades? I thought Mimics were supposed to be born out of love?"
"So then...where are their mates? I don't see them mentioned in here anymore after a certain time frame."
"They're dead." Stew said the words simply enough, as though they held no real power, as though they weren't the single most horrifying pairing of words ever spoken in my presence. I paused, and then felt the emotion rush up to the back of my throat.
"What do you MEAN they're dead???" I nearly shouted, my heart immediately pounding in my chest harder than ever before.
Stew was a bit confused by my reaction. "That's...simply how the legend was told. No Mimic has ever outlived his sire. None. They always end up passing away, and the Mimic is forced to travel the path alone. It's a an essential part of the ordeal that each Mimic must go through in order to make the changes that need to be made..."
"No...NO...that's stupid." I said, denying the entire thing. "I won't believe that."
"I'm afraid that's how the prophecy unfolds."
"No! It isn't! They're WRONG! This whole damn book is WRONG!" I felt the fear gripping me, holding me tightly around my heart, squeezing it with each passing breath. I gritted my teeth, and already felt tears welling up in my eyes.
"The prophecies are never 'wrong', my friend..."
"Well THIS one is!" Stew looked at me, baffled by the streams of tears now beginning to slide down my cheeks. "I won't believe this mythical bullshit! I WON'T!!!" I said, and I slammed the book shut, forcefully sliding it off of the table and onto the floor in anger. "I don't wanna read anymore."
I saw Stew wince and cringe when the old book hit the ground. I knew that he was probably outdone by the fact that I could treat one of his precious books that way. But, upset as he might have been, he didn't say anything to further provoke me. At least not this time. He just squatted down to pick it up and gently put it back on the other end of the table. "Relax. It's just a fairy tale. Don't take it so seriously. The idea behind a lost sire exists in many different vampire scriptures. It represents sacrifice, and victory over times of great adversity. The author of this particular part of the prophecy might have meant it as some kind of a lesson in humility for the rest of us. Or maybe it's just a good pinch of drama in a creative tale of woe. Who knows? The fact is, Mimics aren't real, kid. Their our version of unicorns, and leprechauns at the end of the rainbow, and 'honest politicians'. You might as well believe in Paul Bunyon and the Tooth Fairy."
But his words brought me no comfort. No comfort at all. What if it's real? What if all the pain I've suffered through is far from over...and I end up losing Taryn? MY Taryn. I felt my whole body suddenly turn cold. Warmed only by the river of tears that began to trickle down my cheeks with an unmentionable feeling of hopelessness trailing behind them. Alone. I was meant to die alone. It was written, here, in these pages. The pages of an unmerciful, unwaivering prophecy that hasn't been wrong once in centuries. I had been selected as the next soul to bear that awful agony. To witness the tragic passing of the one I love...and hopefully find the strength to use it as a stepping stone to supposedly enlighten a world that might not even deserve it at this point. It can't be true. It simply can't be true. I won't let it be true. I won't lose my soulmate! Not EVER!!! Fuck this prophecy, fuck the Vampire Dawn, and fuck EVERYTHING that goes along with it! We're HAPPY! We were meant to be together, and we're BOTH gonna live forever! Just like we promised each other we would. I'll turn mountains to dust and rip the stars from the sky before I let any harm come to him. Nothing else matters to me in this world. Nothing.
There was a loud knock at the giant door behind us. A forceful pounding from someone outside who wanted to get in. Stew took a step or two away from me to answer it, but when he saw me closing the scripture book in front of me, he quickly rushed back to the table. "I'LL put it away! I've got it. I've got it." He said, practically snatching it out of my hands. I suppose that I've lost my 'trust points' concerning his fragile materials after throwing it to the floor. He tucked it carefully under his arm, and moved towards the door. I stood up and turned towards the wall to wipe the tears from my eyes. Not knowing whether they were from anger, or despair. It felt like...like he was already gone. Like Taryn was naked without me. In danger. Alone. The more I tried to wipe my tears away, the faster they came, and a painful ache began to grow in my chest...as I began to think of a possible life without my baby by my side. No....no, I refuse to let him go....he means everything to me. He's all I have. I've GOT to find him. I've got to find him NOW!
As the big iron door opened slowly, Stew peeked his head out. "I'm sorry gentlemen, but this part of the Archive is temporarily closed. However, if there is a particular text you would like to examine, I'd be happy to get it for you." While my thoughts were tightly wrapped around protecting the love of my life, they were briefly interrupted by a rather violent nudge in the back of my senses. An inner alarm. A warning. I hurriedly wiped the rest of my tears away so that I'd be able to see straight, and I was overcome by the same feeling I had experienced a few other times before since walking in this club. Those watchful eyes, the ones who had been following me around all night. They were HERE!