Dear readers, you are now up to date on everything I had written before. From this post on this is all new content, and likewise, may be shorter or longer than the last few posts depending on how the story progresses. I hope you continue to enjoy!

PART 4

He spent that day staring at the ocean. The waves lapped over his feet in a rhythm that put him into a trance-like state. He thought through everything he had ever experienced during his time as a vampire. For the first time in ages, he faced memories that were painful enough to make him cry. So he stood there and cried remembering painful thing after painful thing. Each new painful memory brought on a fresh set of tears and it was the first time he had cried since he could remember. But even though he was crying, even though his soul was wrenched from these memories of betrayal and lost paths, in the wake of the sea it didn’t matter much that he was crying. She was full of salty tears and he wondered if they had been shed in the same manner and for the same reasons.

Was she free now that her tears had been spent? Was each new storm a new bout of crying over painful memories? Or was each storm a sort of release, understanding the beauty that was becoming free from these horrid feelings?

Off in the distance he could see another storm start to rain down and he allowed himself to cry with it until his own tears were spent. He had only experienced this life, not the millions that lived and died within the ocean. He cried only for him, not for a thousand others. His memories were his own and they paled in comparison to the memories that the sea had collected especially since she had once touched every square inch of this planet. She held the memories of everything that had ever happened since water first arrived on this planet.

Did she used to be so salty? Was she fresh water when she was first created by the changing atmosphere, slowly turned salty as the multitude of living beings lived, experienced, died, and gave their memories back to her to sort through?

In comparison, his life was nothing to cry over. His couple hundred years did not compare to her thousands. His one life was painful, sure, but not nearly as painful as evolution.

Throughout all of this and as the day slowly came to a close, Zanny had never taken a single step. She stood there clutching her robe, shivering as each new breeze came in from the ocean carrying the cold of the brewing storm that Ivan was watching off in the distance. She never sneezed, coughed, shifted, or hardly blinked. She watched as he shifted through memories that had long lain dormant and she came to understand this shy boy better. She didn’t even feel the pain in her muscles from not moving in so long, she was entranced by his stillness just as he was entranced by the metronome waves.

From an outside perspective, they were statues on the beach, slowly cooking in the sun. They were broken, frozen, records that were skipping but not bothering to be stopped.
In all this stillness, both of them came to understand themselves in ways they could have never predicted. They learned what it was to be alone even though they were five feet apart. They learned what it was to be surrounded by movement, sound, light, and life and yet allow time to pass on by. It’s an experience that humans almost never have…but then again they weren’t human, were they?

Finally stumbling upon a conclusion and snapping out of his tranced state, Ivan turned to look at Zanny with a peculiar smile playing at the edge of his lips.

“Who are you?” The question was without blame.

She stared at him and blinked slowly, allowing her lungs to fill with talking breath.

“I think you know who I am” she spoke his original name to address him, “but I also think you know I am not a danger by now.”

With the strength of a marble statue, he crossed the short distance between them and stared down at her, studying her features. How had he not noticed the points of bone sticking from under her top lip? Or the small layer of sun block that was ever present on her skin? Or the way she carried herself as opposed to her boyfriend, Jason?

“Does he know?” Ivan asked finally, shifting his gaze to her front door.

“No.”

“How do you survive?”

“When everyone is drugged I take some…they never mind and they always think they must have cut themselves on a beer bottle…it causes a little bit of a wacky feeling but its nothing I can’t handle.” Came the explanation as she stared off into space in his general direction.

“When were you going to tell me?”

“I wasn’t.”

“Why?”

“Life would have been simpler had you never known…”

He stared hard at her. What was that supposed to mean!? She refused to match his gaze and stayed staring.

“This world is shifting” she called him by his name again “and we need to do something about it before its too late…” She said softly.

“Please don’t use that name, my name is Ivan for now.” He said in a slightly annoyed tone.

Her nose crinkled up cutely as she grinned, “Sure, shy boy, whatever you say!” she chirped happily.

Together they stood until the darkness of night fell over them like a heavy blanket urging them to either move or be crushed. Neither one of them wanted to see what would happen next. They both silently hoped the area around them would convert to a movie and that the final credits would roll and they would disappear into the nothingness that all movie characters do when the show is over. But it would never come, and one of them had to make the first step towards home.

Ivan took the first step forward.

END OF PART 4

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