Shine On

There's a light in your eyes. I don't know if it's always there, or maybe we never see it, but it's there alright. The light in your eyes, that's everything from a twinkle to a spark, the one that comes dangerously close to being extinguished once you're an adult, and sometimes when you're a child...

Don't forget to keep your eyes full of life, because that's the only measure of your happiness... Shining bright when you were a child, it constantly amazed everyone around you, and anyone holding your gaze for long enough couldn't drop it... The light seemed to educate, enlighten... Maybe it shone so bright because you were an indefatigable optimist, or maybe it was because you just didn't know any better... It's the same thing, for a child, is it not?

But then you grew up, and you learned about life, and you started watching a little less Spongebob and a little more 'media', because suddenly, the media was your viewport to the world... and the Spongebob song was getting irritating anyway... The Age of Innocence came to an end.. and your optimist shrunk as time passed...

Your life became intense, or atleast your head said so. Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll became your staple, except if you were unfortunate, it was Sex, Drugs and Rap Music... You're life started revolving around things that would later seem not quite as important... But the light was still there, sometimes... The people who brought out the light were the people you knew you wanted to have around you for the rest of your life... Surround yourself with plump men like Caesar... But like Caesar, you had the weakness of relating appearances to character... Hey, it was high school!

Then came the real age of the Media.. stepping in after closing off your exits, and drowning you in a constant flood of negativity and call outs about what the hell is wrong with the universe... But it wasn't just the media... It was life... everything in life, from the little things that got you down, to the big things that knocked you off your feet... All you could do was pick up the pieces and hope that the scotch tape would hold... The light started to flicker... But then you found someone... Someone who laid out more kindling and started a fire in your heart... It was pretty obvious this person was important, but this person probably left, and your fire almost dies out... but it survives... and you learn that nothing in life is ever permanent... as much as you want it to be...

But if there's one thing it should have taught you, it was that you can never ever put too much faith in any one person... Because eventually you might be let down, and it might happen even if that person is absolutely angelic... simply because we are human, and the sooner you understand that, the better it is for you (or me)... Stop... step back, take a look at the big picture here to see if you know what I'm really talking about...

If there's one thing it should have taught you, it's that you can never stop moving in life... Much like a first person shooter... when you stop moving, you die... Crisp, clear logic... But I'm not here to preach about life, atleast not this time... Me? It feels like I've been waiting for my life to begin for some time now, and I shouldn't be... Words from an advertisement, so befitting... "Make the most of now"...

But I'm not here to preach... I'm here to tell you to keep that light alive... That light is the magical mixture of energy, hope, dreams, life, love, innocence and wonder. Keep those in mind.. those are the most important part of this post, and the most important part of your life... Protect the light with all you have, because at the end of the day, it is all you have... When all is said and done in the day, it is the light that gets you through to the next phase... It is the light that governs the colours outside your window to the world... It is the light that ignites you...

Shine On...

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In Memoriam

George Carlin
Pure Genius

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The Spotlight: Becoming/Arielle

Hi there, this entry is a guest spot that Arielle was kind enough to do for me... If you're familiar with her novel, you'll absolutely love this chapter (I certainly did). Just to make it clear, this is Chapter One of Book One except this time it's from Isis' POV (as opposed to Earric's). If you haven't read Becoming yet, you do not want to miss it!

Chapter One:

I hated pretending to be in high school. I mean, school was bad enough when I had to go, but going just for fun? That was just asinine. Amory made us, though. He wanted to blend in, he wanted to recruit. Whatever Amory said was law, and we couldn’t go against him. He gave us our second chances; he made us what we were. Posing as high school students made us seem like less of a threat, and we could loiter less conspicuously. At least, that was what he told us. A part of me didn’t really even want to go against Amory. From the day he saved me from a life of mental institutions, I fell in love with him. I loved him not only because of his handsomeness, but also his selflessness. He had dedicated his entire life to hunting vampires. That said something in itself about his character.

We moved quite frequently, keeping a low profile. We only stayed in one place for a year. Two, max. We only planned to stay here for one year. The town was so small, and it didn’t have many vampires. We would destroy the vampires living there, and then move on when our supplies ran low. If we needed fresh kills, the city of Dallas was close enough to make an evening or weekend trip up to get blood. That was the life of a vampire hunter, constantly on the move. We didn’t have much money; Amory had some savings that he used in emergencies, and we worked after-school jobs sometimes, just so we could afford rent and some food in our bellies. Grades really didn’t matter. I’d stopped studying after the fourth or fifth new school. The content never really changed.

This school was so tiny, everyone knew each other, and they were all smiling and happy. Those children, they’d never seen hardship, they’d never had to know how it felt to know the truth when no one would believe you. I had known the truth about vampires and other creatures long before I met Amory. I tried to warn my family and friends about the vampire threat, I tried to help them, but they locked me away, they labeled me crazy. It was Amory that saved me, he helped me to become powerful, he believed in me. I would follow Amory to the ends of the earth, including into this cesspool of a town.

“There’s our mark,” Amory whispered in my ear on the first day of school. His breath on my skin gave me goose bumps, but I ignored them, looking in the direction that he was pointing. We were standing in the parking lot of our new school, leaning against our blue Nissan. Standing with me and Amory were my fellow vampire hunters, Raze and Alex. Raze joined us shortly after I joined Amory, and Alex was our newest recruit. They didn’t take their job quite as seriously as Amory and I did. They were there for the power and the glory, though probably not the best reasons, since Amory limited our power, and there was absolutely no glory in our job. We hunted the vampires and we drank their blood for the power it held. Not many normal humans even knew of the existence of vampires, so they wouldn’t exactly mention us in the news or give us a medal. Still, Raze and Alex were orphans, just as I was, just as Amory was, and we all worked together, no matter what our motives were. We were a team.

I picked the girl out from the crowd, a normal looking student, with mid-length wavy brown hair. She didn’t stand out in her jeans and blue tee shirt. The only thing that kept her from looking like everyone else was that she was alone. All the other students were in groups, chatting and laughing. She was all by herself as she wandered around, waiting for the first bell to ring.

“She’s the girl with the vampire parents?” I asked him.

“Yes, that’s her.”

“When do we move in on her?” I could have easily made friends with her; she looked so lost and lonely.

“I’ll take care of this one, Isis.” Amory stared at the girl over the crowd. The parking lot was on the top of a small hill, so it was easy to view the surroundings as we leaned against the car, acting nonchalant.

“Alone? Why can’t I help?” I pouted, not wanting Amory to go off and befriend some other girl. I liked being the only girl in our group.

“Just let me do it, Isis. Her parents are dangerous, and I’m the best at hiding what we are. This is the safest way. I’ll talk to the girl after school and meet you back here afterwards. We have work to do tonight.”

“Don’t forget about it. Don’t let that girl cloud your mind.” I said, not wanting him to go, not wanting him to talk to her.

He kissed me on the cheek and I breathed in sharply, an involuntary reaction. He smiled and I knew he noticed. “I’ll see you later.”

“He’s getting too close to her,” I said to Alex as I sat in the driver’s seat, leaning over him in the passenger seat to look at Amory talking to that little hussy.

“He’s just being friendly,” Alex said quietly as he flipped through his Calculus book, not looking at me. He knew about my feelings towards Amory. Hell, everyone seemed to know, except Amory himself.

“I don’t like it. She’s too pretty.”

Raze snorted a laugh, upsetting me further.

“What?” I looked at him in the backseat. He was fiddling with a lighter, flicking it on and off, over and over again.

“You are oozing with jealousy,” He said, staring at the flame before extinguishing it.

“You’d better not catch the seat on fire. We can’t afford a new car.” Our Nissan was a few years old, and we got a good deal on it, but I wanted to keep it nice. We needed to make it last. “I don’t even know why we’re here; there are only two, maybe three vampires in this town. It’s not worth it.” I complained, resisting the urge to honk the horn at Amory.

“Amory thinks that these vampires will lead us to Chesed,” Alex said, putting the book away and pulling out a bent and torn copy of The Canterbury Tales. Required reading for our English class.

“Ah, the dreaded Chesed. Amory’s been chasing him for centuries. He should just give up already,” Raze said, waving his fingers over the flame, risking burns to ease his boredom.

“Amory will never give up, and you know it. It’s that kind of dedication that makes him such an outstanding man-”

Alex reached over and turned up the radio, drowning out my speech with heavy rock music. I immediately turned it down while Raze laughed from the backseat.

“Fine, I get your point,” I said, getting out of the car and looking over at the two. “He’s touching her,” I said. He just had his hand on her shoulder, but any physical contact was too much. Thinking fast, I tried to get Amory’s attention by yelling name, but he didn’t hear me.

“Help me, you two lazy-asses,” I said, frantically calling for him again. Raze and Alex joined in and we caught his attention, then waved for him to come to the car. We had things to do, and he was wasting our time.

He said a few more things to the girl, and then ran over to us. She got into her expensive car and drove off. I watched her leave when I’d rather have been watching Amory’s approach, but I wanted to make sure she actually left. I wanted to make sure that I was, once more, the only female.

The sun was setting as we drove into Dallas, a little over an hour away from our small town. We needed blood, and we couldn’t hunt in the town, not yet. Vampires were easy enough to find, they frequented the poor sections of town, picking off victims that wouldn’t be missed, victims whose deaths wouldn’t be investigated. The moon was bright in the sky, not quite full, but close enough. It was a good time to hunt. The vampires would be out hunting as well.

The four of us easily took down the vampire. We’d found him actually posing as a homeless man, attempting to gain the trust of other homeless, then luring them into secluded areas where he would subdue them and drink their liquor-filled blood. The high alcohol content probably didn’t do anything for him, but he had a good system going on. Blood was plentiful for him in this area, and he was careless.

Of course, he didn’t go down without a fight, but we had hunted together enough to be able to get him. Tonight was Alex’s turn to make the killing blow, stabbing the vampire in the heart, obliterating the vital organ. Then, Amory made a cut near the man’s neck and proceeded to drain the vampire’s blood into an old, cleaned, gallon-sized milk jug. We brought several with us, but we ended up not using them all. Alex was still the newest, and the killing blow had been messy, causing more blood loss than we wanted. He pulled out his knife and licked it, not wanting to waste any of that precious elixir of life. After Amory got all he could, Raze poured gasoline on the vampire and used his lighter to catch the dead vampire on fire. It would burn more completely and faster than a human would in that fire, especially accelerated by the gasoline. Vampires, while strong, are pathetic creatures and have many weaknesses if you know where to find them. The dismal monsters can only survive by leeching off of humans, something that they used to be. Their lives are filled with only death and blood, a never-ending cycle. It is a similar life to that of a vampire hunter, yet not quite the same. They are greedy, choosing an existence based solely on their want for immortality, their desire to live on. Even if it means killing to gain that power, they want it. We hunters, on the other hand, while dependent on the blood of the vampires just as they depend on the blood of humans, only kill the monsters, not the innocents. That’s what separates us from the vampires. That is the fine line between us.

I crept, wordlessly, into Amory’s room, shutting the door behind me. He was awake, of course, his dark brown eyes peering at me in the dim light of his reading lamp. He had the same copy of The Canterbury Tales that Alex had been flipping through earlier in the car. He was propped up in his king-sized bed on some pillows. He had the largest bed, sleeping in the bed that was supposed to belong to our imaginary parents.

“Are you alright, Isis?” He asked me, patting the empty area on his bed, a spot for me to sit down and tell him my woes. My heart sped up at his invitation, but I tried to ignore it. He was just being nice.

“I’m okay, I guess.” I sighed and tried to breathe normally as I sat on the edge of the bed next to him, my back to him. This was going to be a difficult conversation, but I had to act now, before he got closer to that other girl.

He was silent behind me and I turned slightly to look at him. He was just sitting there, waiting for me to say what I was going to say. He was always like this, so understanding. If only he’d picked up on all my hints, all my subtle flirting.

“Amory, I’ve waited all this time for you to make a move, and you never have. You’re such a gentleman. I know that you’d never dream of trying to take advantage of me because we work together and live together.” I looked away again, down into my lap. “Sometimes though, sometimes I wish that you weren’t such a gentleman. I wish that you would just make that move. I’m so open to you, so inviting, and you never come in. We’ve been together for such a long time, but we’ve never actually been together.”
I heard him put down his book and he leaned over and touched my shoulder, a gesture that mirrored the one he had given that girl earlier in the day in the parking lot. I turned again to look at him, hoping the look in his eyes would mirror my wanting gaze. Instead, they were empty.

“Isis, I saved you from something worse than death. Your mind and heart were broken and damaged. You were on the brink of insanity not because you were truly insane, but because they made you that way. Even if you are better now, I feel like a father that can’t see his daughter as a grown woman. To me, you’re still that damaged girl, strapped to a hospital bed. That’s what I see, that’s what I’ve sworn to protect you from.” His empty eyes began to fill with emotion, sadness. It was a distant sadness, he was remembering the past.

I turned my whole body around and held his sad face in my hands. “I’m better now, Amory. I’m fixed. You fixed me, you saved me. Now I need a different kind of saving. I need you to accept me as a woman; I want you to be my boyfriend. I want to be yours and you to be mine.” I leaned in to kiss his lips, but he turned his head at the last minute and his lips brushed my cheek, an all-too-familiar gesture.

He pulled away and looked into my eyes, “Isis, you deserve better than me. I am a vessel for revenge. That is all I exist for. I am here on this world still breathing only to avenge the death of my parents and rid this world of Chesed, the abomination that I helped to create. You deserve someone who will love you with all their heart, not someone who is only preoccupied with death and vengeance.”

I began to cry, I couldn’t help it. He rejected me. “What about after you kill Chesed? I’m here to help you kill him. So is Alex, so is Raze. We will do it together. Then, after we kill him, you and I can be together!”

He hugged me suddenly, causing me to cry even harder, getting his nightshirt wet. “Isis, even if I survive my eventual fight with Chesed, I will be done with this life.”
“Done?” I cried in-between sobs.

“I’m getting too old for this, Isis. I may not look that old, but I am slowly tiring. Once Chesed dies, I will end my own life. Humans aren’t meant to live this long.”

“I won’t let you,” I pulled away and wiped my face.

“You won’t let me.” He made it a statement, a smirk on his face.

“I won’t lose you, not to Chesed, not to that girl, and not to yourself.” I said, leaving the room, slamming the door behind me. He may have rejected me, but it wasn’t the end.

I remembered something and yelled it through the door, “Oh, you’d better find your own ride tomorrow! Hope you like the BUS!” Satisfied, I went to my room and got ready for bed, my own anger and resolve keeping the tears at bay.

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