Oaths Out of Darkness
By John Ogden
Thin and wispy, with a form and frame so tall yet light that she appeared almost emaciated, with soft, silky and unblemished skin that was a shade away from pale and contrasted sharply with her short, midnight-black hair. She stood in the hallway, two others behind her and on either side, impartial and with eyes fixed absently ahead, stared at me, deep and beautiful dark eyes full of sadness.
“But I am one of you!” I yelled, more at the two shadowy figures behind her than at her. “I’ve proved that already! The only difference is my loyalty to the light!”The sadness of her expression intensified slightly.
“Do you feel it?” she asked, almost forcing the words out through the pain. God I loved her, and it took every ounce of strength to keep myself from running to her and pulling her into a tight embrace. I wanted her, again. I wanted what we had shared, and I wanted it now. To make sweet love, to taste her soft skin, and run my tongue along the nape of her neck... again, just before that gentle nip, where incisors gently and lovingly pierced the skin and slowly siphoned off a stream of the sweet blood beneath.
“A slight tingling in your throat?” She continued, shaking me from my thoughts. “The barest traces of a headache?”
Worried, though I tried to hide it, I nodded. I was feeling these things, and it had gotten worse.
I could see her eyes moisten slightly as she swallowed and continued, slowly turning over her left arm and gently pushing it into my view. A large, lightly stained conglomeration of gauss and bandages sat snugly on her wrist. The need to hold her intensified as I realized... She had tried to cut herself.
“I... I was injected with a poison, a blood-borne toxin that stays strong in the veins of a person for nearly a week. It has no effect on my kind, on vampires, but humans...” She choked back her tears and gently touched the bandages. “When I found out I had poisoned you, with my own blood, I tried to empty myself, to end my life by draining every last ounce of blood from my body, but...”
She looked to the floor for a moment, then her dark eyes fastened on mine again.
“Tsara?” I asked. “Is there an antidote?”
When her eyes met mine, they were red and moist -gentle tracks of tears traced their way down her cheeks, and it was a moment before she responded.
“Only one.” She spoke quietly. “And it hurts me to think of it.”
She looked away.
“I must...” her eyes swung back to mine. “The kiss... it is the only way. You must swear to serve the shadow here and now, and I will share the gift of undeath with you.” she looked away again. “I’m sorry, it is the only way.”
God I wanted to hold her, and yet, I wanted so much more.
“Tsara, come with me.”
That surprised her. She fixed me with a gaze that spoke of intensity, of that strong soul within her that I had loved since the moment I had first spoken to her.
“What... What do you mean?”
I made a quick gesture with my hand.
“Forsake your oaths to the shadow, Tsara!” my hand went forward, ready to receive her soft, cool-to-the-touch palms. “We can still be together, forever, without serving the shadow.”
She looked longingly at my hand, then allowed her gaze to meet mine again.
“I wish... I wish it were possible,” She looked away again. “A thousand innocents will die every day for as long as we are gone if we try.” She closed her eyes tightly, and another tear ran down her face. “A thousand more when we are finally caught.”
The tingling and the headache had gotten worse, and it was everything I could do to keep from shaking, much less running to Tsara, even though I knew I’d likely be struck dead before I had reached her.
I wanted to decline, god I wanted to decline, but I loved her, and the last thing I wanted to do was to hurt her. I wanted to spend an eternity with her, and I was willing to give up my humanity, my very mortality for it, but the oaths to the shadow were not meaningless, they were binding, and crippled those who went against them. But Tsara was good-hearted. She had managed to work within the boundaries of the oaths without succumbing to evil, and it was this that decided me.
“Tsara...” Our eyes met, and it was if our souls touched for a moment. She already knew, inside, what I had chosen. We both knew that I was too much of a romanticist and too stubborn to give up the love of my life when there was still a way, no matter how detestable or vile, to stay with her.
- - -
John Ogden was conceived of a government form and a passing mailbox. He lives somewhere out in the woods of a rural land more akin to the fantasy realms of literature than real life, and his favorite dirt bikes will always be the broken ones.
Labels: John Ogden