- March 6, 2023
Some Vampires Just Like to Watch
“Why do you do this?” Camilla asked Cade, one immortal to another. Fucking vampires.
Cade looked out over the barren planet, and its sky devoid of stars, planets, and moons. There was only one light left in the universe. He stared at it, his eyes able to stare directly into the light without feeling the burn.
“We live forever,” he reminded her as if she would forget, “what else are we supposed to do, other than watch the world end?”
“Fuck and fight, drink some blood, then fuck and fight some more,” she said with an indifferent shrug of her shoulders. She too could stare into the light of the last dying star, and she did so with an arch in her brow. “What meaning is there in being a witness?”
“We’re the only two beings in all the universes who can and who would.”
She turned her eyes his way and corrected him. “I wouldn’t.”
He smirked. “You’re here, aren’t you?”
She rubbed the bridge of her nose, trying to find the words to convince him that watching a universe’s last moments before the Big Chill was beyond morbid. When all matter had been stretched, and all movement slowed, and there was nothing left but the last star before it all went dark.
Seeing it once meant never seeing it again. Maybe you sit and watch it a second time to see if it’s any different. A third time may be for confirmation.
After the third time, you watch a universe finish out its shelf-life, come together, and explode in your face or freeze to a standstill, you should understand how it works, and how it can only work a few different ways every time.
Everything was dead, and sometimes everything began again, in an endless, unyielding, uninterrupted cycle, with no designer but itself.
For Camilla, it stopped being something worth seeing untold lifetimes ago. She was given so much. Immortality, a life that never ends; strength, the power to rend worlds a sunder with nothing but her hands; speed, to be beyond light; thought, the ability to think and comprehend like no other.
Why waste it seeing something that happened all the time when you walked the roots of the world?
And yet, with all the same curses as Camilla, Cade disagreed.
They may be able to survive the end and beginning of a universe one way or another, but it was only them.
Only we would know that a world existed, and with our lives, we would forget with time.
Something as big and endless as a universe is snuffed out, forgotten, and replaced like the crust the Sandman leaves in the corners of your eye. No one would ever think about it or remember it again unless Cade watched it.
To be immortal was to be a bystander, but not a participant. There were only so many things to care about when you had all the time in the world to care. Once you have all the time, you can never find the energy to care, so to drive madness away, you find something to care about.
With infinite time, Cade found there was always going to be a greater opportunity for nothing than anything else.
“How else better to learn the key to the universe and all the universes beyond, than to learn how it ends?” Cade asked.
“You’d know what I’d love to do,” Camilla began, “after coming so far to see someone I’ve known longer than anyone else?”
“I’m sure you’ll tell me.”
“I’d love to drink, and catch you up on my life as you tell me of yours.”
“What else would you love?”
“I’d love to tell you what I’ve been doing, of the world I’ve been making while you remain so enamored with the red dog.”
“Is that all you would love?”
“I would love for you to hold me in your arms, to confirm our feelings, and cast off our inhibitions, our titles, and everything else about how we have lived thousands of time-twisting years, and leave it all behind.”
Cade smiled, but you could only see it if you focused. It was so small, with so little curve, because it was born of something dissimilar to happiness.
“You speak of love only when you lie,” he told her.
“But if I’m willing to act on it, what does it matter if it’s a lie?”
“It means everything,” Cade whispered, as the light began to dim, and the truth of the star’s demise began to reveal itself. “If something as simple words don’t mean anything, how can something so big and fallible stand up? There’s no foundation otherwise, just us, and the stars floating through the void.”
“That’s all anything is, something floating through a void… anything but us. The mortals never seemed to realize, and even our younger followers too. Everything has a beginning and an ending, everything rises and falls apart, everything from the pebble that outlasts Shakespeare to the sun that destroys it… we’re all just floating through a void, and not even the void remains forever.”
“If that were true,” Cade said, as the light disappeared, “then I’d be better off dead.”
Then it was just the two of them in darkness as everything began its slow pace back together. There wasn’t even a sound as the light dimmed.
Cade sat where he was in the dark, unmoving, unchanging, without any reason to, until Camilla leaned over and whispered into his ear.
“You’re a vampire, Cade, you’ve been dead for a very long time.”
Then, as there was only darkness, she left the dying world for the one their kind had conquered, where things happened, where things died, and where things would end.
Cade stayed for a few moments longer, to get a sneak peek at the end.
“Why not remember to be a witness to things that only lived once? If something were to live again and again, why live at all?”
He reached down through the darkness and felt the planet’s hard surface beneath his hand. As cold as it was, it still has some heat for him to steal on his way out.
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