Achille’s Heel. [story part 22]
March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
*** For those who are not here for a soap opera I would advise you to jump to the next post because this might just be one of the most soaking wet with feelings text you’ve ever read in your life. I put great strain on myself in expressing these feelings below, and it feels like I would be naked in a city full of people – rather than expressing my most intimate feelings to the world. Yet I did, and here it is. YOU will not miss anything important if you jump to the next post.
And again, if this feels too fantastic and too story-like for you, not reality like, then I’m sorry but would you rather read a bullet list with the events as they unfolded and get it over with? I’m describing everything as good as I can, expressing all my feelings and opinions throughout this whole story. And that makes it fantastic, because it is one thing to mark an event with words, and it is another to fill it with emotions. They are hard to explain, and break easily with the wrong choice of words. I need minutes for each word, I need to relive every second of what I’m writing about in order to express exactly as I felt then, and that is a battle of its own. It is hard and it is frustrating, because no matter how much you try, you will never be able to express a feeling into words or pictures, no matter how many they are. But I try… so keep that in mind, and if in doubt, try it for yourself, and marvel before your eyes how the story of your life becomes a fantasy, filled with emotions and feelings, describing things beyond imagination and belief. Try it. Try speaking about your most intimate desire, try putting that in words. I dare you. And then accuse me of being a fantasy writer. We are all fantasy writers my friends, when we lay our soul in front of everyone to see.***
I had stabbed her in her very live, but stormy heart. Through the side, under her left arm, with her very own golden knife that she held so dear. Regina was pierced from one side to the other, all the way through. I had stabbed her with such a fear and rage from within, I was not even aware I had it. It may have developed for the first time then and there. I had pushed so hard on the sharp knife that I had managed to pierce all of her, from the left side to her right side. Through her heart, through her throat, through her insides, all the way the knife went in with such an ease that it made no difference when it came out on the other side. I had not felt it going easier, not even at that point.
Only when the knife handle hit her side, I stopped pushing, and screaming.
No reaction from me, her or any of the elders was observed for the first two or three seconds.
For me it felt like the world had just suddenly stopped. Frozen in time. Forever. My immortal was now no more.
And then, in that deafening silence, after the initial shock, all hell broke loose inside me. What had I done!
Regina dropped Viktoria, and with a turn of a hand struck me in the chest so hard I lost my breath for almost a full minute. I literally thought I was going to suffocate right there. I flew two meters if not more through the air and hit the front door, smashing nothing, but breaking something in me for sure.
The elders all jumped towards me in an instant, grabbed me, growled at me and hissed at me. They were on a killing spree. Karl was the first to plunge towards me with a bite that I knew was not for feeding, but for ending my existence. He was stopped in his way, pushed violently to a side and hitting a small statue, smashing it to pieces. Lars, the one who said nothing, stood in front of me and did nothing also, but this time he did speak.
“YOU WILL OBEY HER TO THE DEATH.” He screamed at them, at all the other elders.
I had the right to kill her. As written in the Codex Strigis.
*** “You are one of the most terrifying predators to walk this planet. You have the strength of the ages, but again must I remind you, that your most precious weapon sits within yourself. It is your mind. Use it wisely, and do not rely on your strength to power you through the centuries. You will be immortal, and you will be powerful. Do not let the power corrupt your very being, do not let it drunken you with its flavor. Do not turn your back thinking your are invincible, for you are not.
Dare not listen to me, and you shall pay, for any human that will go and attain such a feat as to overpower you, has the control over your life. You, will obey this law. Even in front of seeing your kind die, you will not interfere. An overpowered kinship by any human is unworthy of your help, just like you will be unworthy of any help from your kind when it is your turn to die. Uniting against humans will only be done with a common goal and purpose, and will only be done towards an end. You will have your right to revenge, but you do not have the right over the life of your other.”
*** As good as I could translate and remember it, with some “poetic” interpretation of my own.
As written there, text that I had failed to read previously, or remember, or understand. I surely made sure the next time I had the chance to read it and understand it properly. In other words, stripping it of any fancy way of writing, it came down to this: Any human who overpowered a vampire in such a way, will have control over her life and death. The final decision, for it is often needed one, a vampire does not die easy, nor fast.
Although, I didn’t think I would survive one second later after deciding to kill her, forever. Although, I didn’t really think they would obey the Codex Strigis after all. Despite all of that, here was an elder, respecting Regina’s wish even if it meant her death.
Make no mistake, this rule, just as the others, who might seem off to you, was very, very well thought over the years. In a later post I will explain this one, the need for invitation and the willingly accept turning rule. I will show you exactly what and each mean, and I will show you how they are the most complex laws you’ve ever encountered, and yet expressed so simply.
Lars had made it very clear that I had to either finish what I have done – by doing nothing more – just waiting, or that I have to undue this, like rewinding a tape, I had to turn back time, grab the knife once more with my very same hand and pull it out just as I had pushed it in.
I was not going to do that. I was afraid. I have seen the madness in Regina, I have seen what she was capable of doing to Viktoria for what I had thought at the time, was much less, I have seen how she could break away easily, from such an ancient friend.
“You cannot stop us all!” I remember Karl yelling from the corner towards Lars.
“Do I have to dear friend?” He responded casually, and looked towards the others.
They were split, some wanted to obey the Codex Strigis or so they said, or just wanted the queen dead – but that was not true, they were the most loyal of them all.
Some on the other hand, were keen on killing me, helping the queen.
There were others, such as Giorgio which, in his Italian legacy, casually added.
“But friends, have a little passion. Be a bit creative. WE do not have to do anything to the boy. Let the queen decide.” He said.
I was terrified, I was sitting on the floor, leaning with my back against the front door, as in a gesture to make sure nobody can flee – or intervene from the outside.
At the time I would have preferred nothing more except being murdered by them, and not letting Regina decide. I was more terrified about facing her, looking her in the eyes, after what I had done, rather than death itself. I had no hope in Regina forgiving me. I couldn’t forgive myself either.
And then, as they discussed among themselves, I had slipped in memories, and my thoughts took me back home towards my parents and my brother. I remembered what my father said to me once:
“Listen, you are stronger than you think. All you have to do when there is nothing else to do, is actually stand up and do something, anything. You have to act when nobody wants to, you have to speak when everyone is silent. That’s all you need to do. Don’t be afraid of life, face it, and let it come to you.”
And he was right. I couldn’t stay there, waiting for my faith to be decided. I was human, I was strong, I was the one who had the say in it. I had to reinforce Regina’s will, and I had to muster my courage to speak against the most ancient creatures that walked this Earth, against those who loved the one who I had murdered, against those who were encircling me like wolves.
I started standing up, slowly, and they watched me. I saw their desire to see me do something, anything. I saw their relief when they didn’t have to act, and had hoped that I would, no matter to what result.
I stood up, straight and tall. My head was bowed no more.
“All you have left from humanity is your honor. If you care about it as much as I think you do, then you will listen to me.” I said.
Most of them went blank. No expression. Karl went mad. He wanted me dead and Regina alive. Lars was listening close.
“Continue…” Lars said.
“I’m the only one who can decide if your queen lives or dies. And you want to take that away from me? She fought for what she believed in for centuries, she fought for those same laws and rules you are now about to break. Are you absolutely sure she would not defend those laws with her death?” I was truly an orator. Damn you Cicero. In your face Hitler.
I let them boil in their thoughts, as I boiled in mine. It was this moment that I would know of my fate. I would either die at the hands of them, or trick faith once again. None spoke, but instead, after a silence that lasted centuries in my mind, but mere seconds in that room, they split apart, and made a corridor towards the end of the hall, where Regina was standing face down, dead as a rock, and Viktoria was in a corner, unconscious. I was pleased she was unconscious, I had hoped she was not dead. I was pleased because I was not sure, whether she would appreciate me saving her life, or she would assassinate me by my method of choice in doing that.
They were inviting me to act.
I walked determined towards Regina. It was now or never. I could go there, look at her and tell them it’s over. Regina would stay dead forever, for that was what I wished. I was scared, terrified, that if I woke her, I would die myself.
No matter how much you love a person, in the moment you’re faced with such a choice, doubts roll over you. Doubts that you once thought are not there. For I was more than once certain that if the time came, I would give my life for her. And yet, here I was, doing something totally different, ironically, deciding not to give her life.
I went to Regina and stood by her. I turned her lifeless body in my arms, rested her back on my chest and her head in the space between my head and my shoulder. She was comfortable I thought, at least she deserved that.
Powerless I thought.
But she was not. Even in her death, she eclipsed everyone and everything in the world. In my mind at least, she did just that.
Even in her death, Regina seemed more imposing than ever before.
I turned my head towards them and was decided to say just that: “She’s dead.”
But it’s funny, how your mind works. It’s funny, how your heart and soul act together. It’s funny how you think.
You believe you’re a rational, critical being. You believe the right choice is easy to make. Yet, you do not think with your brain and brain alone. There’s a fight inside of you, there’s a fight within your heart. There’s a fight in your very life energy. Not a physical fight, but you feel your world spinning around you, you feel your insides ready to burst, you feel your heart screaming to escape your chest.
When faced with such a decision – murdering the one you loved, for the benefit of… whom? When faced with it, everything goes blank. There is nothing left around you. There is no sound, there is no light. It is just you and the storm around you.
You cannot speak, you cannot think. All you can do is wait for a decision. A decision made by the winning part within your soul. A decision that is not rational, a decision that does not have a path or a line of thought. It is a decision that just arrives, it is there, and it is the strongest thought you’ve ever had.
It feels like an instant change of heart – you know the feeling – those first two seconds after you have a change of heart about an important decisions, those two seconds in which you feel more confident that you’ve ever felt before.
I turned my head towards them but said nothing.
I looked at Regina once more and she was exactly as that morning. Sleeping, innocent and beautiful.
And then I remembered what I had written in my diary, word by word, my heart was punching me with my own words, my brain was resisting but my own words could not be taken back.
The image of this beautiful being, sleeping in my arms, could not be unseen.
I remembered what I have said: “I wish sometimes that she would never wake up.” and I also remembered what regret I had felt for just thinking that.
How could I live with the regret of actually accomplishing just that, by myself?
“Do you love your queen?” I asked them without turning again towards them.
One answered, for all. “We do” – It was Karl, angry but submissive.
“Then take her to our room at let us be.” I said.
I have decided. I will watch her sleep once more, and ponder again, on my thought that day. Ponder whether she will wake or not.
And they did.
As they laid her on the bed, I laid besides her.
I caressed her hair, and kept my heart at bay. I kept battling the words from my diary which were raging furiously towards coming back to me. One by one, storming my heart.
Rid the world of her… my brain yelled.
Follow your heart… my body screamed louder.
How can you do this? How can a man make such a decision? How can you murder the most beloved and wonderful being you have ever seen in your life?
Could you do it twice – like I needed to do? Stab her heart and then, take the decision to let her go once more?
I was the angel that was having his wings ripped off. You cannot imagine a feeling like that, you just cannot. It cannot be put in words, it cannot be put in movies, it cannot be imagined or thought about. It can only be felt.
They say love is the strongest feeling of them all – and it truly is – but not by itself, love is not a singular feeling. Love is not something you can describe by its own. Love, true, strong, unforgiving love – the one that takes you to the highest plane of existence, the one that also puts you through the greatest torture and pain you would ever know.
That is love – a bliss and yet in the same time, cruel as nothing else can be.
I had nothing else in me for Regina, but that love. And it was tearing me apart.
And Regina, the one whom I’ve always seen as an angel and demon in the same time. As kindness and pure evil in the same vessel, was the same with love. A double-edged sword, a magic potion that could heal and kill together.
Love, such a small and simple word.
Love, such a simple way of saying “all the feelings one could have, mixed together, pushed inside your soul, amplified by a thousand.”
But enough with my thoughts and feelings, enough with my sorrows and self-pity. I was nothing compared to her, not a speck of dust even. I had no right in deciding anything. I was the homeless man compared to the virgin queen of England.
Yet, in the golden lit room, in the middle of nowhere, in the room where as far as I knew the fate of a species was being decided, there was a queen which stood no more.
And, as they closed the door and let us be, the battle within me was over, and the result struggled to come forward. I didn’t want it, yet here it was.
*…I don’t want you here.
Let her go. – Was the result.