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Chapter One: Prelude and Fugue Amos It was ironic: Ending a Vessel’s life at the same place that mine had also ended. Cliché that today happened to be the day before my own death a year ago. The two consequentials collided, making me feel nostalgic, reminiscent. The weather outside the window was... show more Chapter One:
Prelude and Fugue






Amos
It was ironic: Ending a Vessel’s life at the same place that mine had also ended. Cliché that today happened to be the day before my own death a year ago. The two consequentials collided, making me feel nostalgic, reminiscent. The weather outside the window was exactly the same as it had been that day: Rainy and foggy. Destiny was reveling; the circumstances were too non-discreet to be writ off as pure coincidence.
The interior of the room was the one thing that was original, altered from how it had been in my memory of a foregone life. Before, the place had been relatively bare, a small TV, a couch, and an armchair being the only decorative center pieces. Now though, the walls had been repainted, overlapping the decaying murky brown with plain white. A shag rug was in the center of the room accompanied with a plasma screen TV. Facing it were three leather arm chairs, the kind that were in prime condition unlike the one that had been there before, the one with tears and white stuffing coming out of them and scraps hidden inside its folds. Paintings, vases, round glass tables, there were too many exquisite, in comparison, changes to account for, but these specific details drew my eye. Part of me expected for this place to stay in a time stasis, the solitary place of the world that would always remain constant while everything around it changed. Theses changes evoked that the world had continued even after I had left it. I was an unneeded number to its equation. It didn’t matter if I was there or if I weren’t there, the sum would always be the same.
The world had moved on. I hadn’t.
Having this callous fact shoved in front of my face was painful reality, a cold slap in the face.
I closed the apartment door behind me, snuffing out the crack of light from the hallway that had escaped into the room, and locked it. It was a full moon today, but the clouds were eclipsing its pale rays. The room was dark. Even though I was part of the Darkness, it didn’t grant me sight-all-seeing: I still needed a light. From the obscurity of my vision, I could see a lamp in the corner of the room precariously placed on top of a stack of boxes. My eyes were beginning to adjust, but I still walked slowly over to it, ensuring that I didn’t trip over anything. I pulled the switch and its shaded, yellow light illuminated the room, dampening its bleakness. I turned around and set off to settle myself into one of the armchairs. I stretched my legs and lazily rested my arms onto its rests.
What I was doing was sickening, both an insult to hers and my own memory, but I found that for the most part, I really didn’t care. Stoicism was becoming my forte, slowly developing into an unhealthy habit. It was a necessary, but unfortunate, trait that was needed where was I was now: Hell. Almost literally. If I allowed my heart to overshadow my craving instincts, I would be punished. Punished beyond the likes of which I had ever experienced before.
My ears pricked up as the sound of jangling keys issued close from beyond the other side of the door, stationary, the sound didn’t fade away. This wasn’t a passerby; my break was being cut short. In a flash, I jumped up from the comforts of the armchair and rushed off to the lamp, turning it off, darkness engulfing the room again. My heart rate immediately picked up in double-time, gushing with excitement carried in my veins throughout my body. This was pleasing to me; I hadn’t felt a surge of emotion like this since the last time I had to do…this. Apparently, the effect didn’t get old but instead ripened with repetition.
The lock clicked and the doorknob turned as the door was swiftly opened. The light of the hallway bedazzled the Vessel: A man donning a brown suit who looked to be in his thirties, his black hair tied in a ponytail from the back of his head. He yawned widely, closed the door, and flicked on the light switch beside him simultaneously. My eyes squinted as the overhead light turned on. The lamp’s light had been dim, but this was exuberant, almost unbearable. It didn’t bother him in the slightest. Yawning again, he slugged his way over to the coat rack by the lamp in the corner I was in, and pulled off his jacket, hanging it onto one of the hooks.
He was tangibly close. I could perfectly see every minute blemish and speck of unshaven hair populating his face, every deep bag burrowed underneath his bloodshot eyes. My body was going haywire, reacting as it usually did whenever a Vessel was nearby. But since this one was so close, everything became proportionately magnified.
Update: Is the middle too slow?
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