Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Everyone Needs a Hobby

I always believed immortality was a curse, a wretched, miserable, eternal existence with no meaning. Any bond I formed with anyone else was fleeting at best, as years pass for me as days pass for the rest of humanity. I’ve ridden through the rolling hills of France, slaying all in my path to spread the glory of the Mongol horde, battled side-by-side with would-be priests during the Crusades, and even helped crush the Aztec empire and their dark covens of warlocks. Truly the thrill of battle gifted me with a second life, allowing me to finally… feel once more.

You take for granted your ability to feel, you know. I truly believe you must be mortal to feel any form of happiness, however fleeting. I’ve spent countless years searching for ways to keep my mind busy, my hands useful. War seemed to be the natural answer for one such as myself, what with my noted immortality and my penchant for bloodshed. But war is only so entertaining for so long, and I began to feel the pull of time, as all old beings do.
Time waxed onward, and the familiar curse of lethargy that every elderly being must endure. The years began to slip by faster, the wars ending quicker, battles raging for mere hours instead of days, leaving me with naught to do but think. And from one… person to another, the last thing something like me needs is time to think. Such time gave way to a period of depression that I, regrettably, resulted in several rather silly decisions on my part.  For centuries I sought ways to end my perpetual existence…with mixed results.  While I’ve never succeeded in killing myself—gaining more scars than actual smooth skin for my efforts—my appearance has become far more ghoulish than I’d ever intended. And after nearly centuries of pointless, self-destructive behavior, I finally stumbled across a way to pass the time in a reasonably interesting fashion: 
Cold-blooded murder.
Thirty-seven days. That is my current record, my dear. I sincerely hope you can hold out longer than that, but I have my doubts. So far, I’ve had you dangling here in my warehouse for merely a week, slowly carving away your flesh as neatly as I can, watching you fade faster than I would prefer. I know you shouldn’t be this far gone, as I’ve been sure to keep your feeding tube well stocked with, well, you. How do you taste, by the way? I’ve been sautéing your tissue with a light wine, before blending it with a few fruits… you knows, to keep your strength up.
Maybe I can inspire you to fight the inevitable and hang on long enough to help me break my record. Keep in mind where I found you, my dear, all warm and snug behind locked doors with a happy family. I won’t lie to you and say you will see your husband again, as he only lasted but a few hours. I know I didn’t nick anything important, so I can only assume he died from shock.        
Sorry about that, by the by.
But I digress… give an old man what he desires and make his hobby amusing, I promise that your children will live. Little Anna and Sarah will be found by police, alive and unharmed, the day after you finally die.  But only if you break the record.
Disappoint me, and I’ll test your children’s mettle.  Perhaps one of them will perform better than you as the next subjects of my hobby.
Make me proud my dear, make me proud. All you have to do is what you do best: live.

AN: This is my second story ever published, a mere 611 words that made it into Dark Moon Digest #9. I love working with the Dark crew so much, be sure to check out their other work, namely their quarterly digest and their monthly magazine. 

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