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Authors: Jedaiah Ramnarine

Tags: #Fantasy

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BOOK: Cognata: A Vampire Romance
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"It is not mine." He calmly stated.

The walls all over began crumbling as I saw the image of me in another reality. I pretended to be at peace. I kept a smile for my people. I never let them know what happened, and I died, taking it to the grave with me...

"That's enough." He pulled my hand away from the scroll.

"What is the meaning of this? What is this writing? Is this some sort of spell?"

"It is no spell. It is the writing of our goddess, some tens of thousands of years ago."

"Why... do I see her? And why... do I remember?"

Aristide turned to me, his face now dropped from the confession bubbling at his tongue.

"What?" I prompted him to speak, "Tell me. What is this?"

"Alexia, what if I told you, I found Halona?"

"Her lineage? Is this the secret you kept from me? You found the mother to our kind, and you've kept that secret from me? That's why we're still being chased! You know of her whereabouts!"

"Yes, I do know of her whereabouts, but it is not I that is being chased."

I didn't know what to say.
"It is you."

"I beg your pardon?" I became defensive, "They do not know of my existence."

"Alexia... " He brushed my hair aside and gently rested his palm on my jawline. "You
are
her."

"What?" I remember the silence. It started creeping in, soon it became thick and stifling.

"You are the reincarnation of Halona. You, are the lineage. The same spirit that resided in her, resides in you."

"What... " I was trembling at that point.

"You are the reason we've been running. I've been protecting you."

"No... no, no, no... " I became dazed and confused, I soon found myself on the verge of fainting as I backed away from him.

"I didn't want them to get close to you. I couldn't risk history repeating itself again."

"You... all this time... you... no, no! No!"

"Alexia... "

"No!! Stay away from me! Leave me alone!"

"Alexia... " His cries rung out...

"Leave me... leave me alone... "

None of it made sense - yet all of it did. Why we were being chased, why he kept me a secret, why I had these strange visions and memories. I suddenly found myself wanting nothing to do with any of it. I wanted to run away. I wanted to escape.

And just as the thought came to me, I wished I'd been careful what I asked for. Cognati forces closed in on us at that moment of revelation. They stormed into our suite. Aristide was shouting my name, telling me to run - get as far away as possible, he'd hold them back. A patch of flame struck, then fire broke outside, encasing us in a trap. They were going to burn us alive. I was panicking, unable to think clearly. My head was spinning beyond my control. All I can remember was that he grabbed me and tossed me into the back alley, shutting the door behind him, locking me out.

'Alexia. GO! Now!'
His voice commanded me in my head.

I didn't want to leave him. The irony of the whole thing was killing me. I couldn't leave him! I banged on the door, begging, screaming for him to let me in, until I saw a familiar face from the alley's shadows. None other than the blonde, child-prince, Caelinus.

"At last, all things have come full circle and we have, without a doubt, unveiled Aristide's treacherous secret." He called to me.

I couldn't focus on him. The house was burning down. Aristide was still inside. I had to get in. I tried concentrating my effort, using my power to break in but it was sealed by other forces, greater than my own. Other, Cognati forces - who kept Aristide at bay while they ventured forth to have their way with me, but I refused to be such easy prey.

"Stand back!" I shouted at Caelinus.

All he did was continue walking to me boldly. In his eyes, whether I was meant to be the new icon of the Cognati society or not was irrelevant. I was a power card. One he intended to wield.

"Do you know what you are?" He questioned. "What you can do for us? For the world?"

"I said stand back! I will hear none of your lies!" I warned him once more.

He ignored me. Unafraid and unmoved, he advanced on me and that is when I felt the surge of power engulfing me.

Like lightning running through my veins, nothing around me was distracting and at last, a subtle moment of absolute peace and dangerous clarity overtook me. I curled my arm back and with an inner-led confidence I pushed it at him like I were batting the waves of the sea. A great telekinetic boom erupted from my hand and the force sent Caelinus flying, crashing several yards away into one of the nearby houses.

I couldn't believe what I'd done. Such power was unknown to me. Aristide never trained me in such arts. He had trained me in mobility and that is what I needed to use. More Cognati forces came; all prepared, ravenous and unrelenting to capture me. I turned around and lunged on top of one of the buildings. My legs moved faster than I imagined. I was gaining speed by the second and soon, I was in such a speed frenzy that by the time I realized where I was, it was nothing but miles upon miles of uncivilized, lush forest. Far away from the cherry trees and beautiful pagodas.

Interlude IV

Samuel Speaks, 2017

What the hell am I doing?
This girl could be crazy. What if all of it is a lie? I don't know, some trick... or something, but why choose me? I'm not incredibly rich, although I am attractive - moderately so anyway. Going to the park with Alexia after reading that last bit before I had to shut the journal, has definitely been messing with my cool. I don't talk much. I really don't know what to say.

"Sam?" She's trying to get my attention while I keep sitting in the sand, looking at the setting sun, "Are you alright?"

"Sure."
I'm downplaying it

She blocks the sun's glare against me. I'm thankful, but I'm also unsure.

"I'm sorry." She says. "This was too much. Too fast."

"No... " I need to stop her, "No. Can you just... " I reach for her hand, tugging her to come sit with me - "Can you just understand that
this
... is a lot."

"I know. That is why I am sorry for bringing this on you. Would you like me to leave?"

"What? No. Just chill. I didn't come this far for you just to turn back now." I'm sighing at how much is coming up, a lot more than I expected, "I need to know something."

"Alright?"

Slight pause before I speak, need to compose my thoughts. "Why tell me about this? Even if you love someone, there are things you don't have to tell them and you decided to just, come out and tell me what you really are. Why?"

"How far did you get in the journal?"

"The part where you found out you're... " I look around to see if anyone's listening. "Halona."

A small smirk grows on her face.

"Her reincarnation, no doubt."

"Yes and you believe... what am I saying. There's probably so much more I don't know about you. Of course you believe in these things... "

Her gentle hand caresses my arm, firmly but so... feminine. Hard to explain, "There are much greater evils in this world than that of a fabled vampire goddess. Things I have to let someone know before I go."

"Go? Go where?"

"To my death."

My eyes are probably popping out of my head.

"What are you talking about?!"

"One day, we all have to die. My time is coming soon. I've seen it."

"Seen it?" My hand grabs hers, holding firmly begging her not to let go. "Alexia, what are you saying!"

"I will die next week. I saw it in a vision, four days before I came to meet you."

Curling in unbridled fire, I begin losing my cool and every cell in my body kicks into
'protect
her' mode. After all this time of waiting, the end is coming? How could she suffer such a fate? Why would she allow herself to?!

"Am I supposed to be your chronicler? You're... what? Did you even mean anything you said to me all this time?!"

"Every. Single. Word." Her voice is clear, calm and so unbelievably intimidating. She wasn't lying but I'm on the fringe of overreacting. It's just so hard to keep this all under control. I don't want to lose her now... I can't!

"Why don't you try to avoid it? Why stay here? Shouldn't we be getting you somewhere safe?" I find myself shaking like she did with Aristide once upon a time, a little more than a thousand years ago.

"Because I'd rather spend a few days here with you, right now, than to keep running - forever."

"Alexia. I am not worth your life. Please! If we need to get you... "

"Shhh... " She stops me, and like a feather massaging the inner walls of my convoluted brain, she eases me - "I have thought about this for a long time. This is my decision, please respect it."

I have to keep you safe! I can't...

"Listen to me. I have been drifting in the shadows for a very, very long time. I have seen things that people would not dare to believe and I've done things that I hope the world will remember one day - even if they forget my name. At last, I am at peace with all that has happened and all that will."

"Alexia... " I am plucking hard on my heart's strings. "I'm... "

She looks at me, letting me know that I don't need to speak but I'm sorry, you're going to hear what I have to say - "I refuse to accept that vision. Sorry."

She flutters her eyes curiously, wanting me to go on, so I do, feeling the confidence rising in me. "I don't care what you are, and I don't care whatever happened. I care about what
will
happen and I made you a promise, years ago when we met that I'd be your rock. I'd be your shield. What kind of a fucking hypocrite would I be if I didn't live up to it? Yeah, you're gonna' die - we're all going to die, but it's not next week for you."

She starts shaking her head with a fading smile.

"Would you die for me Sam?"

"I would." The answer came instantly

"I don't want you to." She stands up, pulling me with her as she dusts her butt off. "All I want you to do is keep your promise. Nothing more. No heroics."

I find myself coiling her into my arms, hugging her - this supposed vampire goddess whose very frame is smaller than mine. A natural, masculine instinct to protect her clouds my mind. No matter what she says, I have to do what I have to do. Only problem is, she might be expecting it but in the end, does it matter anyway?

"I love you... " I whisper in her ear, kneading my head into hers.

"And I love you. Always remember that." She whispers back to me.

Chapter Four

Sergio

Alexia's Journal,

June 7th 1932

I was forced to live with the burden of remembering my last words to the man who cared for me before he was so abruptly taken away. It left me in a state of shock. I did not return to civilization for some time. Not simply because of fear that I'd be taken - no, that was not the case at all. I wasn't ready to face myself and I certainly was not ready to face my hunters. That day would come in due time.

I just kept walking, avoiding all roads, sticking to the wilderness. Eventually, my journey brought me to Siberia, to a virgin pine forest that no foot had ever left a trace, human or Cognatus. I must have stayed a week out there in the lonely forest, begging for a death that would never come. I stayed fondly reminiscing all the years Aristide and I had been together - some sixteen decades or so. All the years running with him, sometimes thinking he himself was my captor... so ridiculous. He was trying to protect me and I was too stupid to understand it then. Now he was gone and I was on my own. All alone. I can't recall how many times I cried. The utter confusion and pure chaos that streamed through my blood began steering me to darker paths of the mind.

The animals out there weren't my predators, however. They were my prey. When I thirsted, they answered and I was ruthless in my onslaught. Some of them I can confidently say were slain by my instinctual hunger to survive yet there was always this one, this... silhouette of a wolf that would keep its distance, trailing and stalking me occasionally. I did my best to ignore it. The creature did not attack and so, I felt no need to pursue it. It never came close enough. It simply watched me, even throughout the blackness. The nights were dark, cold and windy while the daytime brought greater threats.

The sun shone through the trees with no remorse for whatever creature of the night decided to take up residence in its way. I was nearly burned to death; drained by its rays. That was when I was forced to adapt. Find a way that the sun would not put me in an early grave. Hiding behind the shadows of trees was only a temporary solution. I needed to grow a new power. A power of adaption; one that does not cower from the light.

It was either that or die a miserable, lonely, starving and perhaps - well deserved, death.

And yet I kept pushing on. The outer shell of me was crying and complaining, brooding and hating but my inner voice always remained calm. Always told me that I had to survive. Aristide's words were not those of a charmer. They were words of truth. I knew this well. Too well. Enough that I wanted to tempt fate.

Stumbling upon a tall, ancient waterfall, I decided that if I was so 'special', then I should be able to survive the plunge into the water: a fear of many Cognati who hadn't adapted with their dark gifts. I was no master of mine and at that moment it didn't occur to me that I should have been.

I wanted to die, and so, I went ahead to breathe my last breath, removed my tattered dress and dove into the abyss. I lost consciousness for a second or two. Once my sight returned, I asked myself,
'what is the point of getting up?'

I wanted to sink. I wanted to feel the acid against my body.

The water filled my lungs. I was content. Content to let it end there. I did not consider it an act of suicide. It was a test.

'This is not your destiny.' My inner voice would warn

'And I do not care.' I'd answer.

Let the water consume me. No better, more permanent way to end it.

Oh the grave error of the pampered-god-complex. I was burning, bit by bit, my adaptation was failing because I chose to turn my powers off. This is where I wanted it to end. It is where it should've ended... until I felt this... strong grip, reaching for me, hugging me close and pulling me up and away.
Why?
I wondered.

BOOK: Cognata: A Vampire Romance
12.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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