Monday Flash Fic: Trust

The picture chosen for this week’s flash fic was lovely, but once I saw it as the modern-day balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, I could imagine nothing else. So I’ve chosen my own inspiration this week, because I really wanted to write something. My apologies to the rest of the group for striking out on my own.

wine and smoke manipThe lab was dark but for the light coming through a high window on the east wall and a candle on the table, which added to the eerie atmosphere. Arrick was ever one for setting the mood.  I shivered with anticipation, even as terror made my nerves as taut as guitar strings.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asked, gazing at me solemnly across the table. His eyes were dark pools under lowered brows, but I knew the irises were as green as new leaves in spring when the light hit them. “It’s not required. I will love you until… well.”

He didn’t say the words, but I heard them anyway: Until you die.

Smoke poured off the liquid in the wine glass set atop Arrick’s ancient recipe books, wisping away into the shadows that crouched ’round us. He’d let me watch him make the potion, but I still had only the vaguest idea what was in it.

“It’s the only way we can stay together, is it not?” I hugged myself, suddenly chilled.

“There is time yet,” he said. “No need to do this now.”

But I was aging as we spoke. Every minute of every day, I was getting older while he remained young and beautiful. Arrick had been alive over three hundred years.

The year he was born–1500–Portugal claimed Brazil and the Ottoman Fleet defeated the Venetians. He was nine when Henry the VIII ascended the English throne and Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The year France conquered Mexico, he was twenty-one, and a few months later, he became immortal.

I was thirty-two. It was 1837. “Will it hurt?” Stiff with anxiety, I stared at the acrid, pluming smoke.

“You don’t have to do this,” he said again.

All morning I’d teetered on the sharp edge of indecision, but now the choice was made. I only had to look at the face of the man I loved more than life itself.

I picked up the glass. It was unexpectedly cool to the touch. “All of it?”

“Every drop.”

Not giving myself the opportunity to overthink it, I raised the glass to my mouth, held my breath, and drank it down. The aftertaste made my lips curl, and I shuddered at the bitterness.

The seconds passed. Arrick watched me closely.

Drawing in a sharp breath, I gasped as seemingly every cell in my body exploded and was remade, dropped the glass on the stone floor, where it shattered, and gripped the edge of the table. “And then there was light,” I rasped as stars flared, burning bright on the inside of my eyelids.

Arrick circled the table and took me in his arms. “And life eternal,” he whispered in my ear.

The thought was briefly terrifying. I swayed against him, dizzy.

Arrick leaned over and blew out the candle. “An endless future lies before us, and we shall see it all.” He led me to the narrow bed in one dark corner. “But tonight, while magic still flows in your veins, we make love.”

I was 143 years old when John Lennon was shot in 1980. When Princess Diana was beheaded in a car crash, I was 160. The year I turned 200, in 2037, billions of people the world over died from a virulent bird flu mutation. I celebrated that birthday on top of a mountain in the French Alps with Arrick by my side.

The world was burning, but we would go on.

Life eternal.

___________

Word count: 635
Genre: Fantasy/horror
Read more flash fics here.

___________

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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10 Responses to Monday Flash Fic: Trust

  1. Helena Stone says:

    Oh, I like it. No, scratch that, I love it. And for some reason it makes me think I could have used the original picture for today for a time travelling story. Too late for that now 🙂 Maybe one of the next ones will go that way.

  2. Jaycee Edward says:

    Nice. I liked ‘your’ take on the original FF pic but I guess it wasn’t exactly an original idea. I like this one just as much.

  3. Lindsaysf says:

    Love this! It also sets me to musing about “life eternal” & love with eternal life. Life for me now in my 70’s is very different from what it was in my 20’s. More perspective. Less high drama. More contentment. Intrigued by many things that escaped my notice before. Love is different – less possessive. What would life & love be like after 150 years? Can i even imagine it? In my 20’s I could not have imagined or appreciated my life now. Anne Rice’s immortals seem to think & act like 30 year olds but would it be like that? As usual your story has crawled under my skin.

    • I do think love changes with age. The drama of the 20s and 30s was often destructive; I’m happy to avoid that now.

      You make an excellent point about Rice’s immortals. If you knew you were going to live forever, wouldn’t every single thing in your life change? The long view would be the only view. There would be time for everything.

      I suspect a few immortals would become appalling depraved from seeking out their next “high.” Could be an interesting story, eh?

      • Lindsaysf says:

        It would be. Can I tempt you to write it? One thing I ran up against – and I gather others my age have too – is a loss of the passion, the fire, the vital force in life. You know the weird way mine came back. How would that be for an immortal? My passion is learning – about new ways of life, other generations, etc. What if one were an immortal and felt one had explored everything?

        • I suspect this is why Bridges of Madison County was so popular; it showed two middle-aged people falling in love and lust, passion intact. Most movies don’t do that. It’s all about young people.

          I saw the Spectre the other night–the new James Bond?–and he makes love to a woman his age in the first part. Nice to see. But then they ruined it and gave him a young, sexy blonde. Meh.

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