Most of the last century was spent traveling the world in
search of knowledge and history. My
passion for art and ancient architecture was bottomless. The more I saw the more I craved. At first, it was the paintings of the
masters. DaVinci, Botticelli,
Michelangelo. You can't imagine the
layers upon layers of colors that the hand of man labored within each
work. The vampiric eye can see deeper
within the canvas. Many times I
uncovered the mystery that lay beneath the final work. The first attempts that were discarded with a
mere coating of whitewash, for the artist to begin anew. The follies were invisible to the human eye,
but most revealing to me. Ah, the
secrets I could expose, but choose not to.
Why? What was the point? I had respect for the artist's secrets. Yes, that is what they shall remain.
The exploration of the ancient ruins of Rome
and the pyramids of Egypt
which Armand and I explored together temporarily filled the growing emptiness
that time had ravaged me with. Only the sensual
landscapes of these lands so rich in history, pain and beauty eased my
soul. But even if only for a short lived
moment, a moment which was but a spec of dust in the immortal timeline, could I
forget what I was...a soul damned to walk in eternal darkness, tied to me with no
hope for escape. Armand, I think of him
now and then. These were good times, for
lack of a better term I guess, for this short span of time. But we drifted apart. Further and further till there was nothing to
keep us together. It was my doing. I will admit to that. And now I walk this road alone.
Perhaps it is because I no longer believed what Armand tried
to instill, that God had a purpose for our existence. I questioned God, but got no response. I questioned his existence over and over until
I could ponder it no more. The little
humanity that I guarded shattered within me.
I had finally and fully succumbed to this nature, the beast that I am. For that is my legacy now, my truth. It is the reality that I loath, a life I can
no longer share with another. Yet, to
this day I still cannot bring myself to take the final walk into the burning
rays of dawn. Somewhere, buried in the
depths of my mind where my brothers beliefs of eternal damnation brought about
with the act of suicide. Such a quandary
to be caught in. Ah, Louis...Damned if you
do, damned if you don't.
So I continue to travel.
To explore life's mysteries. To
take from it only what I need to survive.
That is all. I always wanted to
visit the ancient churches of Germany. One in particular beckoned me, the Cathedral
of St. Bartholomew. Its majestic Gothic
form took hundreds of years to build and all was almost lost in the great fire
in 1867. It was thought to be a sign
from God to the people of Frankfurt. A sign of their conquest to Prussia. 'Would God show himself in such a way?" I
thought. "No. Because he does not exist. God would not suffer me to exist. And, truly, only man is capable of
destruction." I did my research. Frankfurt would be next
on my list. There were many sites to
see. Several museums and opera houses to
satisfy his lust. Such a wealth for its
relatively small size. And of course,
I preferred to travel in the more modern mode of today, the
airplane. It was quicker. And although my need to feed has lessened
over time, I would rather not be confined to ship travel. It only brought back haunting memories of the
past. Fleeing New
Orleans for Europe with Claudia
in hopes of finding others of their kind.
I pushed those thoughts from my mind when they arose to the surface like
drops of oil in water. What good was it
to dwell on the past, the loss. It could
not serve any purpose but to plunge me further into abyss of loneliness. But I could not fully wipe the memory of his
Claudia away. She will remain always in my
heart. Her tragedy an eternal life
lesson for me.
It was early evening and my arrival in Frankfurt
was without incident. The sun was just
setting in the west. Although, I could
tolerate some exposure, the skin would still blister and require me to feed for
healing. Why provoke the need if it was
not necessary and I had already feed before boarding so my look would be more
mortal. Time has a way of leaving a
definable mark upon the immortal person.
The more perceptive human can sense it but not explain it. Hopefully my victim was an evil doer. I no longer made the effort to try and read
their minds. I take them quickly,
painlessly. But of course it is never
without gratification. The sensual
thrill of it always slid into me with each draught of blood that flowed into my
mouth. I cannot deny the ecstasy of the
kill. That would be impossible.
I traveled lightly, not needing much in the way of luggage
and quickly left the crowded airport.
Stepping outside, it always amazed me how the air was different in each
place visited. Was it not the same
Earth, the same sky and atmosphere? It
was unique and intriguing mystery. Instinctively
I made my way to the Church, as if I were being summoned. I entered the great through the grand south
portal graced with the figure of St. Bartholomew himself. My footsteps echoed as I slowly graced the
main walk. The Crucified Christ hung
high before me, the altar ahead. The
great art and sculptures came alive with my vampiric eye. I reasoned this to what I believed to be that
the work contained the essence of the artists' soul. Yes, I believe that immortality does exist in
this fashion among mortal men. I took a
seat in the pew and tried to imagine the morning rays of sun shining threw the
magnificent stained glass the adorned the walls. I was lost in this tranquility. That was until the sound of footsteps echoed in the shadows. Ethereal steps have their own unique way of
resonating the night. Yes, somewhere within
these hallowed walls was another.